Tag Archives: relationships

All women are bisexual…Sexual Identity

tumblr_mxycdlSojS1t8zu1to1_400

In my mid twenties it became important for me to assert my sexual identity as bisexual. It seemed to me it was either deny it or live it and I chose to live it. Some people don’t make a big deal about such things. I don’t think I made a big deal about it, but I did make a deal of it to some degree. I was kind of aware that many of my choices in life were slightly against the norm. I was a pagan, I was a witch, I hung out with artists and musicians, I had tattoos, I drank and smoked quite a lot and most of the people I chose to have as friends were similar in many ways to me. But while my life and lifestyle may have seemed to be a bit outside society’s norms, it was normal for me. I had always been equally as attracted to women  as I had been to men sexually. The choice aspect was simply whether to live as a bisexual or to deny that side of things to myself. There was always a rebellious part of me (which still very much exists) which wanted to be open and upfront about my sexuality to challenge those who still clung to what I believe to be archaic prejudices about sex, race and gender. And so I was pretty open about being bisexual and I made the most of the opportunities that opened out to me!

Over the years my feelings about my own sexuality and sexuality in general have fluctuated a bit. There was a time when I thought women might be just for fun while men might be for longer term relationships involving babies and such. Then I went through a stage where I could quite happily identify as purely lesbian. I am now in a very happy and stable relationship with Sophie. However what has become clear is that neither of us are really lesbians. Our sexual tastes have grown and developed as a couple but we are both very aware of being bisexual. Luckily we have very similar tastes in men…

In any case we are pretty much at an age now where we don’t really care much about what others think. We do our own kinky things together and sometimes with others and it’s nobody’s business but ours. But a couple of things lately made me think about this subject again.

My step-daughter has become sexually active in the last year and is probably rather more self confident and worldly wise than I was at her age. (Although I was pretty keen to experiment and quick to learn myself)! What kind of fascinated me about her view of things is the degree to which sexuality seems like a non issue to her. Or rather, bisexuality is a non issue. It’s as if for her bisexuality is the default position. Perhaps that is how it should be. Perhaps the fact that she has been brought up by bisexual parents is an obvious factor. But it just seems curious to me that something which I felt obliged to “come out” and make a bit of a stand about, is even more normal to her than it was for myself and Sophie at her age. I think it is a good thing of course.

Then there was a study published this week that states that “most women are bisexual or gay but very seldom straight”.  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/11/05/most-women-are-either-gay-or-bisexual-but-never-straight-says-study/

The survey found that straight women were strongly sexually aroused by videos of both attractive men and attractive women – despite identifying as heterosexual. By contrast, women who identified as lesbians exhibited a much stronger sexual response to women than to men. Dr Rieger, the leader of the the study said,   “Even though the majority of women identify as straight, our research clearly demonstrates that when it comes to what turns them on, they are either bisexual or gay, but never straight”

The Pink News article also goes on to report another study which found that; ” 43% of people identify themselves as somewhere between exclusively homosexual and exclusively heterosexual – showing people increasingly see sexuality in a less polarised way.”

Well I think all of this is progress and it is all good. Indeed anecdotally I had come to the same conclusions myself. I have often said said that I think most people are somewhere on a spectrum of sexuality and very few people are exclusively one end or the other. I also believe that where we are on the scale can vary to some degree at different points of our life.

But there is something about these latest surveys that disturbs me. I don’t know what it is exactly. Partly it is because these results were published in various newspapers in a style that seemed mainly aimed at titillating the readers. In particular at titillating men. I also think there is a big difference between what turns people on in theory and what people’s sexuality actually is, a point which the first survey ignores. Also in part I think I resent scientists and the fullness of time being required to somehow legitimate feelings which are in essence perfectly normal and perfectly human. Perhaps I am just getting old!

Anyway I hope the main thrust of these reports is true and that our society is beginning to grow up about sex. My step daughter’s generation have inherited a lot of political, social and environmental problems which they will have to deal with. Hopefully they can at least enjoy full and happy sex lives in peace.

~Cassie~

Savoring the forbidden fruit

“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”
W.B. Yeats, The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats

Some think that the forbidden fruit is evil and should not be touched. Some think that one bite will wipe away all your innocence and spoil you forever. Some of us doubt that is true. Some of us enjoyed giving in to temptation. Maybe we are dammed. Maybe we are just liberated… We tasted knowledge of the forbidden and enjoyed it…

tumblr_mfr01omkEi1rkijzoo1_500

Have we lost our innocence? Perhaps. Are we changed? Certainly.

tumblr_o0g02sMk5V1uw6alvo1_500

But we like the taste of knowledge. We enjoy the pleasures of the senses. So we can either ignore the new world or we can indulge in it. We could try and run from the darkness or we could learn to navigate in it. We can find our own way; our own balance…

tumblr_mxwr1t0W4m1sivzjbo1_500

We can ask for more…

tumblr_mq8bp4BsST1rcj5g1o1_1280

We can open our eyes…

tumblr_mwh4i1tjwI1qg8ft2o1_540

We can dance with the devil…

tumblr_myc5q8DaWf1s0pvf5o1_500

We can acquire new tastes and desires…

tumblr_mxycdlSojS1t8zu1to1_400

And celebrate life in the forbidden landscapes…

tumblr_mwbuvyIP8A1qmonmuo1_500

Inhale… And be one with the music of our soul.

tumblr_mii3ujiYR41qf6jy9o1_1280

“In youth, our blood rises and becomes volatile. Desire, worry, and anxiety increase. External circumstances now direct the rise and fall of emotions. Will and intention become constrained by social conventions. Competition, conflict, and scheming are the norm in interactions with people. The approval and disapproval of others become important, and the honest and sincere expression of thoughts and feelings is lost.”
Liezi, Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living

Bondage, Dominance, Submission, Trust, Love

image

 

Sophie and I have been planning for some time to write something here about BDSM and the darker areas of love and sex in general. We may describe some of our kinkier experiences of sex with each other and with other people but we felt that first some explanations are needed. Perhaps first up, why should we write about such things in the first place?

Well the first answer is it might be enlightening and educational for some people and of course it might be entertaining for some too. This blog is fairly obviously and pointedly aimed at adults only. But equally importantly it is cathartic for us. Perhaps one of the darker aspects of our own sexuality is that we are unapologetic egotists, we’ll admit here and now that it turns us on to give public glimpses of ourselves in a controlled way. Anyone who is put off by that should head for the door. However, having said that, we are also quite sensitive and sensible people. There are millions of people who write about these things, perhaps we can do it in a way that is more sensible and down to earth than many.

We are not heavily into the BDSM scene, but we have experience of it and we do incorporate many aspects of it into our own sex lives. We can both switch between dominance and submission; we have several kinks and fetishes in common and a few extra individual ones. Sex in all its variety has pretty much always been important to both of us. We both feel blessed that nature made us bisexual because that has allowed us to experience things which people who are completely one way or the other might never know.

I was 15 when I lost my virginity to a guy who was only slightly older than myself. It was all very nice and in an ironic way I suppose, very innocent. He was my boyfriend for the best part of a year after that. We had good sex, enjoyable sex… Pretty much all my memories of that time and that relationship are good ones. Very occasionally we meet up again and there is still a lot of warmth between us. We have not slept together since that relationship ended and I doubt that we ever will again, but there is something special about your first time and your first real lover… It was all very nice.

But I think I knew from the beginning that I wanted a more interesting and adventurous sex life. I still like “nice” sex, but I always wanted to explore my own boundaries and find out more about myself and other people through sex. I was always keen to experiment. Over time I have realised that not everybody feels the same way. Some are less experimental. Some never have any desire to experience sex that is anything beyond pleasant and comfortable and loving. That is fine, but some of us are not made that way. I am not. My partner is not. We have both always enjoyed variety in our sex lives and we like to explore what are sometimes referred to as the darker areas of our sexuality and sexual tastes.

As ever; by dark I don’t really mean bad, but those areas of sexuality and psychology which are kept hidden and often deemed as being unusual, kinky or naughty. Areas where to some degree the boarders between pleasure and pain may merge, where voice and feeling are given to parts of the self that are often repressed. For Sophie and I it is just another aspect of our way of life and philosophy in which we value both the lighter and darker aspects of ourselves and seek to integrate them as fully as possible. We are big believers in Jungian philosophy and psychology and in sex, as in all aspects of our life, we seek balance by working with our shadow side and making peace with our demons. As some may know, our spiritual life follows the same pattern.

All very philosophical, but what does it all mean? As somebody very innocently and honestly asked me recently, “What is the point of all that darker sexual stuff? Don’t you have pleasure just from being intimate and making love passionately with the one you love? Isn’t it just a kind of addictive thrill seeking which lessens the value of love itself?”

Good questions, and actually not all that easy to answer…

Firstly love. Yes that is the most important thing and without it any kind of sex, even if thoroughly enjoyable, is a lesser thing than making love. I can shudder with emotion just by brushing my lips against Sophie. I can bring myself to orgasm just by imagining how she touches me; and I can cry myself to sleep from missing her. Having darker or kinkier sex can be great and rewarding without love, but when combined with love it is so much better. Moreover many of the kinkier kinds of sex depend totally on love, respect and trust between the participants in order for such activities to elevate you to another level of experience.

Even in the most simple forms of bondage which I’m sure pretty much everyone experiments with at some stage, allowing somebody to tie you up or restrain you in any way is ultimately a huge act of trust. If that trust is broken, if you are hurt or in any way distressed by what what your partner does while you are tied up, it can be an awful experience and could and probably should be the end of a relationship (and could even lead to rape charges). On the other hand if your partner knows you well enough to pleasure you to your limits and just a little beyond perhaps, it can be a sublime experience. Also knowing that somebody trusts you enough to let you restrain them and control them to some degree is a huge honour and responsibility. I’d say it was a very meaningful sign of love in fact.

It can indeed become addictive to look for ever more extreme ways to be turned on sexually and some people may damage themselves and others in such a quest. There is a real danger there. However, most people can control themselves or learn to; indeed that is part of what life is about. People can become addicted to just about anything from cream cakes to computer games, the test of a person’s charecter is retaining self control and/or knowing when to stop. Some will fail. Most will learn and grow. Sophie and I believe very strongly indeed that people’s potential to grow should not be hindered because a few are unable to.

But we are getting too philosophical again…

Next time, Sophie the dominatrix. 😉

Lesbians seeking men?

image

image

image

 

Things have been rather quiet and tame here for a while so I thought we should spice things up and do a definitely NSFW post!

A little context before the naughty bits. As those of you who follow this blog may know, Sophie and I did some paperwork and signed some forms recently confirming our status as a legally registered couple. We are as married as we ever want to be, and more importantly in our hearts and minds we are committed to living together and growing old together as a couple for as long as we are able to imagine. We have also made spiritual commitments to that effect and furthermore I am now legally registered as Tina’s guardian meaning that if anything should happen to Sophie I will continue to raise Tina as my daughter. So we are not just a lesbian couple; we are a complete family and we all love each other very much indeed.

Inwardly it is fair to say that both Sophie and myself have changed sexually and psychologically since knowing each other. We both used to describe ourselves as bisexual, indeed I was fairly strident about that. I felt that bisexuality was not understood very well or taken seriously by either the gay or the straight community. I still think that. However if anybody asked me today what my sexuality was I would answer without hesitation that I am a lesbian. Sophie would say the same. If one of us died the other could never contemplate having a long term sexual relationship with a man. We are lesbians. I never really thought I would say that of myself but it is true.

But that doesn’t mean we have lost all of our bisexual leanings. There are times when we fantasise about having sex with men. In the early stages of our relationship we were very open and both of us had occasional one night stands with men. That hasn’t happened for nearly two years now. Frankly those adventures didn’t impress us much and we realised we much preferred having sex with each other. We also began to be less and less sexually attracted to men and more and more attracted to women. That process disturbed us a bit at first but now we just accept that this is how we have grown and what we have become. And we have never been happier or more sexually charged. I can come just by thinking of the things Sophie and I do together and sometimes when we fuck I am pretty sure our lovemaking really does cause earth tremors!

But men are not completely out of the picture… There are things we miss about men and things that could still potentially turn us on. To do a bit of chauvinist role reversal, it’s their bits we miss, not so much the rest of them! We both certainly miss the taste and smell of semen. And sometimes when browsing our ever growing library of porn we find an image of a cock we that makes us wet ourselves…

So, we got to thinking… What about inviting somebody for a threesome? No commitment, no involvement; just find somebody who was up for a night of fairly mindless but full on sex with a couple of willing and horny lesbians. After all, it is the stuff that porno films are made of; what could go wrong?  We have both had impromptu threesomes once or twice in the past before we knew each other, but we have never planned such a thing in advance. This could be an adventure…

We were very sure about the kind of man we were looking for, perhaps that was our biggest mistake. We were looking for a beautiful body attached to a personality we would normally go out of our way to avoid. We wanted a man who was cock sure of himself and who could do the business in the bedroom but whom we would never want to see again… We were victims of our own success!

Neither of us have ever claimed to be well behaved ladies in all respects. We are open about liking sex and we both know how to turn it on when we want to. It was however the first time we had gone out on the pull together with such a specific aim in mind. That was actually a lot of fun.  We waited for a weekend when our daughter was away with her father and then put our plan onto action. We went cruising in a couple of well known pick up bars and it didn’t take long to attract exactly the kind of guy we thought we were looking for. He was very good looking and he knew it, he was arrogant as hell and expected all women to kneel down and beg for his body. We played along. He was boastful about all the women he had had and what he had done with them. We pretended to be impressed. He clearly thought that all women were basically whores and I’ll be the first to admit that our actions that night did nothing to change his opinion. We all got a bit drunk and we took him home.

(Before the story continues a disclaimer and a warning. Sophie and myself are grown up, sexually experienced women in our late thirties. I have had a lot of sex with a lot of people usually but not always within the context of a relationship. Even so I usually preach and practice safe sex especially with people you don’t know well… In the account that follows we clearly did not practice safe sex. This was a calculated risk that was acceptable to us in this situation but which we absolutely do not recommend to others.)

So we took our man home, drank some more and got undressed. When we pulled his pants down the cock that sprang to life was exactly what we were looking for, large, meaty and sweet to taste and smell. It certainly revived our  instincts and memories of hot heterosexual sex and we went to work right away. We took turns going down on him, licking and sucking with years of expertise before allowing him to fuck us in various ways, places and combinations. For him I think it was a dream come true (although he probably tells his mates that this sort of thing happens to him every day). He didn’t deserve his luck. He really didn’t.

Yes he had a large penis and it was beautiful to behold, and even to play with. Unfortunately it was attached to an idiot. His entire vocabulary was a mixture of groans, “yeah baby” and expletives that seemed to come from the very worst seventies porn movie, made in Sweden and dubbed into English by somebody from Bulgaria. I have been known to murmur , moan or scream words and phrases including “fuck me” in various tones while having sex, but to have somebody repeat the phrase, “I’m fucking you baby” (in case I wasn’t aware of the fact maybe?) in a monotone like a demented robot no matter what he was doing, I was doing or Sophie was doing; became a little distracting to say the least… And frankly Sophie and I have vibrators with more sensitivity and variety of movement than this dick came equipped with. He did have stamina though. We couldn’t fault him for that. No vary speed, but a long battery.

Okay. I enjoyed the first five minutes. We both did. And we got what we were looking for; a penis attached to somebody we didn’t want to be with. It’s just that the not wanting to be with him got intense very quickly. We played along for quite a while to be polite (after all we had invited him round).

The only thing that did turn me on was seeing Sophie being fucked by a man at close quarters. I had never seen or experienced my love having sex with a man before and there was something strangely erotic about that. She had the same feeling watching me. We realised this as things were happening but the problem was he was still there… We were getting horny for each other but he was just in the way…

So we told him to stop. He was annoyed and slightly aggressive. In order to stop things getting nasty we told him that he had worn us out. He kind of accepted that. But then wanted to stick around thinking we might recover and be ready for more after a rest. I began to have nightmares that he would never leave or at least want to stick around until breakfast. And I began to get very uncomfortable with the fact that he might remember where we lived if he saw it in daylight (we had come home by taxi in a drunken state). Our solution was to get him even more drunk and very stoned. By the time we pushed him into a taxi we were pretty sure he no longer knew what planet he was on and would have very little memory of anything that had happened.

It wasn’t our finest moment, but it was an important one.

For myself I admit that there was a certain amount of relief that I can still respond sexually to men if I want to. But there was also a deep realisation that I don’t really want or need to. Sophie felt the same way. I don’t think either of us felt very proud of our adventure that night and I suppose it is true that we deliberately picked a guy who was not typical of the kind of men we have had genuine feelings for in the past. But when he had gone we were relived. And despite having drunk and smoked as much as he had, if not more, we were clear headed and relaxed and we had long and blissful sex.

Don’t get me wrong. We don’t dislike men at all. Previously most of our sexual experience has been with men and those were some great times. And we still find men and their willies sexy sometimes. The above adventure was a bit of a mistake but quite amusing to look back on. It did however underline where we are at now emotionally and sexually.

I doubt that we will ever deliberately go out looking for a threesome with a guy again. Hmm, I don’t think either of us have ever had an all female threesome though…

Cassie

 

 

 

 

 

A Long Last Post

This is not the end of my blogging and certainly not the end of my writing, but it is the end of this blog. It is a slightly bitter sweet moment for me. Bitter because I have enjoyed writing Cassie Being Cassie and it has charted a significant period of my life. The actual process of writing this blog has helped me to reflect on my life and refine my opinions and in that way has helped me to grow as a person. I have also challenged myself as a writer to be honest and explore issues close to my heart. I don’t think I have become a great writer or even a great blogger but I have seen improvements or just changes which please me. This blog also became my gateway into the world of blogging through which I have come to read and know many great people from diverse backgrounds who continue to impress and influence me. I will continue to follow their blogs and I hope they may continue to follow my other projects.

Yet this is also a sweet moment because as an end it also marks a beginning and a point in my life where I know more clearly who and what I am and where I am going. And the fun part is I am not at all where and what I expected to be!

I started this blog as an experiment; a chance to write and express myself in a new way, a new medium. I had no idea how the blog would develop or what it would really be about. It was full of random thoughts and ideas. I had a vague notion that people might be interested to read about the everyday life of somebody who called themself a Pagan and a Witch. I thought others might be interested in my travels, I expected to write more about my musical and artistic interests than I actually did and, closer to the bone, I needed a place to occasionally talk about my mother’s losing battle with dementia. All of those subjects were indeed discussed but a quick look at the tags and subject headings I have used reveals there was a lot more about sex, sexuality and relationships than I had envisaged and that while remaining central to my lifestyle my spiritual path and life as a witch evolved quite a lot.

As my life went on and my blog evolved there were two events that stood out in terms of being life changing and altering the nature of this blog. The first of course was meeting Sophie. From the start of this blog I was open about being bisexual but even so, while I thought I might write about my sexual adventures with men and women as a single girl, I still fully expected to end up with a man and probably have children by now. Two years ago I met Sophie and all that changed.

Those who read my last blog entry will know that Sophie and I have now set up an apartment together in Zurich. It has been a busy time but very rewarding and I can say that without doubt in terms of love and sex I am in a totally different situation and mindset now. I am bisexual by nature, I couldn’t change that any more than I could change my blood group. However I no longer have any hesitation in saying that I am fully and unequivocally lesbian by choice. I love Sophie and feel loved by her more than I thought it possible to love and I truly hope the rest of my life will not be just Cassie being Cassie, but Cassie and Sophie living life together. I also love Sophie’s daughter and I cannot explain the depths of joy it gives me to be accepted as a significant person in her life. Having a child of my own would not give me any greater satisfaction. Sophie and I have talked about the possibility of me having a child… Of course there are ways in which it could happen… Just as obviously there have been times when I wanted to become pregnant and give birth to a child of my own. But for all sorts of reasons, not least being the beautiful family I already have, I have both decided and fully accepted that childbirth is one of life’s wonders that I will not experience in this lifetime. Sophie and Tina are more than enough for me and being Tina’s second Mum is as much a privilege as having a child of my own. I don’t want and do not intend to have any other children. Period.

The other big change in my life came to a head at about the same time I met Sophie and that was the change in spiritual direction; becoming a Satanist. I could have done that very secretly and privately and perhaps in terms of Satanic philosophy that would have made more sense. But since I was already publicly blogging about witchcraft and my pagan lifestyle it would have seemed dishonest and deceitful not to mention such a fundamental change in my perspective. Moreover I felt then and I still do that Satanism is a very misunderstood and badly represented religion and philosophy. For many people it will always be associated with evil and depravity. But it isn’t that and I found myself in a position to say so out loud…

I hesitated at first. In fact I deleted my original ” coming out as a Satanist” post. When I did talk about it publicly here I lost some followers and I lost some friends off line too. But I found new followers here and on my Devils Advocate blog, and made a lot more friends and connections in the Satanic community and amoung open minded people in general. I have no regrets. I admit that Satanism is as much a cause as a religion to me and I am prepared to be open and public about it in the hope that my small voice may challenge a few misconceptions. Part of the reason for bringing this blog to an end is so that I can concentrate what little writing time I have at the moment on my Devils Advocate blog. Quite simply, that is where my writing and spiritual priorities are.

Of course I am happy that Sophie has also become a Satanist and embraced it as fully as me. It makes some aspects of our life together easier and more fulfilling; but it was never inevitable and it was never a deal breaker. Even if she had remained a Buddhist or if I had remained a Pagan the most important thing is that we found each other.

I have no regrets about Cassie Being Cassie. I have no regrets about the aspects of my life I have shared with readers over the past few years. I have been brash. I have been naughty. I have been thoughtful. I have been silly. I hope I have been kind and helpful sometimes. I have had adventures. I have had affairs. I have had a few triumphs and made a few mistakes. I have tried to be honest and I have certainly been politically incorrect! And I have done all these things a bit publicly, albeit in front of a readership I have largely come to regard as friends.

But that was Cassie Being Cassie, or perhaps Cassie Being Single.

And now things have changed.

Above all things Sophie and Tina are my priorities now. I feel the need to draw more of a veil of privacy around my family as we move forward together. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me but our challenges and adventures from now on will be private and personal.

I do of course have some regrets about saying goodbye to this particular blog. I have recorded some memorable and interesting personal times here. The fact of blogging about some things was in itself cathartic and added to the memories and impressions of the last few years. I also appreciated the space to vent my views about everything from pornography to smokers rights, politics, travel, art and music. I think I will miss that a lot and may incorporate some of those types of post into my other blog.

I will continue to write about Satanism in Devils Advocate.

Sophie and I will continue to post erotica (Okay, porn!) art and Satanic imagery on our Tumblr site.

I can still be found under the name Cassie Wren on Facebook (although I rarely post there).

Sophie and I may start a new more obviously themed and less personal blog here at WordPress sometime in the future.

I will continue to follow all those bloggers I follow now; you all mean a lot to me.

I can actually remember the first post I wrote here. I was sitting in the living room of my Mum’s house hunched over my laptop. Mum was sitting in an armchair across from me watching the TV. In those days we could still talk to each other; she used to forget the occasional word and was lost when it came to computers or any new technology, but in most respects her dementia hadn’t really taken hold. She couldn’t understand what I was doing on the computer but we could still chat about the things that I guess most mothers and daughters discuss. I cherish those memories and the times of just being together. Then the dementia came in force and stole her from me in progressively large chunks. Now she is in a care home. She doesn’t know her own name, let alone mine.

I had always thought I would be with her til the end; that I could and should put my life on hold until hers was over. I went through changes and opportunities opened up. But I held back… Waiting…

Rightly or wrongly I have decided to stop waiting. In my head I know that is what she would have wanted, but my heart has been more difficult to convince.

As I move on with my new family I hope I can be somewhere near as good a mother to Tina as my Mum has been to me.

If you happen to pass by a collection box for Dementia research please put a few coins in the box. And meanwhile celebrate and enjoy every moment of healthy living you have.

Thank you for reading.

Cassie Being Cassie

The End.

Cassmoking1

lh_Chrome_Pent

Sophiekiss

cropped-sophieandcassie.jpg

family

Sixteen Cigarettes

Cassmoking1

My girlfriend and I are both smokers and I guess regular readers will know that I tend to rant a bit when smokers rights are reduced. We both like smoking and are not intending to stop at this time, however, we were recently discussing the possibility of cutting down a bit. We thought we should look at the cigarettes we smoke every day and perhaps cut out the ones that were more habitual than pleasurable.

I thought I’d give a summary of that thought process here as it also gives a snap-shot of a typical day in my life. I worked out that on an average work day I smoke 16 cigarettes…

1) My first cigarette of the day is with my breakfast coffee. I can’t remember when this habit began but by now I can’t imagine beginning the day any other way. On the rare occasion that I miss my breakfast coffee and cigarette; I am not a nice person to know for the rest of the day! When I’m working I’m usually staying in a hotel. I come down to breakfast about 6.30AM, have some fruit and muesli, perhaps a ham and cheese roll and then my coffee and cigarette. In some parts of Europe there are still places you can smoke inside, even at breakfast time. Otherwise I take my coffee and go and light up outside. Non smokers will never understand the sublime pleasure of that first cigarette of the day. Maybe it is just satisfying a chemical craving, but it does feel so good!  Chances of cutting out the first cigarette of the day;-Zero!

2) The second cigarette is on the way to school about 7.15AM after rounding up my teaching team. It probably is mostly habitual, part of getting ready for work. Chances of cutting out my 2nd cigarette, 60%… Doable!

3) The third cigarette depends on the particular school timetable and the length of the breaks. If it is possible I go out for a smoke during the mid-morning break. It’s healthy because I have a little walk and get some air and I do find it relaxing. But it’s not always possible and I suppose I could go for some air without a nicotine kick as well. Chances of cutting out the third cigarette, 50%

4) The fourth cigarette is as soon as I get out of school about 2.30PM after six hours of teaching and solving the other teacher’s problems. It is probably the one I inhale most quickly and deeply. Chances of giving up 4th cigarette, very small, maybe 20%.

5,6, & 7) The fifth cigarette is usually with a coffee after lunch. This may be in the hotel or out in a cafe in the town somewhere. Cigarettes six and seven may follow with more coffee (or something stronger) while I am doing paperwork or marking. Chances of cutting out one of these, about one in three.

8) The eighth cigarette will be in or just outside the hotel at about 5PM, marking the transition from daytime to evening activities. Chances of quitting eighth cigarette about 50%.

9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, & 15) I usually smoke six or seven cigarettes during the evening. Sometimes these will be before during and after the evening meal with my teaching team while organising the next days lessons, dealing with any problems and generally socialising. If the majority of the group are non smokers I might reduce these cigarettes by half. But if there are a majority of smokers in the group the number might go up a bit. Sometimes I have to dress up in my posh frock and go out and meet local teachers to do promotional work. In central Europe half of these are smokers and it breaks the ice to match them drink for drink and cigarette for cigarette; thus the number can vary according to the people involved. Chances of reducing the average number of cigarettes I smoke in the evening, about 50% but the amount I smoke during this period could also go up.

16) On an average day my last cigarette is just before bedtime at about 11PM. This is deeply inhaled and meditative. Chances of giving up cigarette number 16, nil.

So in theory on an average working day I could probably reduce the number of cigarettes I smoke down from 16 to about 10; if I really wanted to.

On weekends when I stay out later in the evenings I can add up to ten more cigarettes to my total. Also whenever I am staying with Sophie we tend to smoke more…

Still in principle I can see where I could cut down, the question is do I really want to?

Home

Home

I seem to have found a buyer for my mother’s house. I admit I am conflicted about this news. On the one hand it is very good news. It was becoming imperative to find a buyer quickly before my Mum’s remaining funds run out and the sale will secure her care and financial situation for the foreseeable future. This is a big relief as I was getting worried about what would happen if I didn’t find a buyer and get the money in time. On the other hand it means I am really losing my family home which I have been using as a personal space and store room during the past couple of years. In all that time the idea of actually selling the place and having to move out completely seemed like a far off reality even as I was clearing the place out.

But now it really is happening and there is a lot to do fast and (because of the way the system works here in the UK) the pace is really being set by lawyers and things out of my control.

And the final traces of me and my Mum have to be removed from the building.

I have been feeling unusually stressed and even a bit depressed this week. Yesterday I went to visit my mum in the care home. She always seems happy to see me although I don’t think she really has any idea who I am any-more. She doesn’t really know who “she” is either. We don’t really have conversations now. I hold her hand and tell her what has been going on in my life. Sometimes she listens, sometimes she interrupts with whatever random thoughts are going through her mind. She doesn’t really understand what anyone is saying to her. When she speaks, disconnected words and sentences come out but I can no longer make any sense of it or even guess what she is trying to convey. She seems happy though. Insane, but happy…

And what is happening with the house seems to parallel what is going on in her mind. Bit by bit the memories are being moved out and pretty soon there will be nothing left.

I usually have no trouble in thinking positively about things, but this week it has been a bit of a struggle.

But I have to be positive.

I am glad that this summer I was able to enjoy six blissful weeks with Sophie and Tina in the house. The energy we leave the house with will be beautiful. And it will be engrained somewhere in the walls even after all the furniture is gone. All the happy moments from my childhood will continues to echo here and my mother’s love will keep the place warm and homely for whoever moves in next.

I will also take those memories with me as I move on.  My next home will be with Sophie and Tina and we will make it a warm and loving place and fill it with new memories. Meanwhile I will continues to visit the shell of my Mum in the care home as often as I can until she moves on too.