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Today I’m back in my usual corner seat in the wine bar – frankly I was half afraid that someone had usurped my spot in my absence.

“Nice to see you again,” the barista had said, offering me a genuine, welcoming smile with my coffee.
“Thank you,” I replied, taking in the designer stubble and shadowy rings around his eyes. I knew what they meant; he was in his final year and exams were looming. So, as well as holding down a job he was hitting the books late into the night.

His female colleague, who I’d discovered went by the name of Coleen, was at the end of the bar, her Gaelic complexion polka-dotted with a splendid crop of sun-born freckles.
For the hundredth time I wondered if he’d had her yet. Over the past weeks I’d been idly looking out for signs that they’d become intimate, but they were either very good at covering it up, or their relationship remained professional, despite the desire I’d seen in her blue-grey eyes whenever she glanced in his direction.

I’m a little later today, so all usual suspects have come and gone. There’s a lone, blonde female sitting in the other corner nursing a tall glass of something red, her eyes riveted on the door, as if she’s waiting for someone who is very late.
A grey suited business man, with a huge shiny, bald head and looks like a second-hand car salesman, is deep in animated conversation with another man dressed in a light leather jacket, jeans and brown loafers. Five twenty-something females in short summer skirts, tight tops and long legs are sitting around a table in the middle giggling, as they facebook, tweet, twat, pin, blog, blab, text or just old-fashioned email.

It’s been more than a week since I last had the opportunity of a little privacy in which to commune with the outside world; and I thank the lady who emailed and enquired what had happened to me. Your interest and support are appreciated.

*

Never ask a woman her age, my dad told me once, when I asked how old a particularly wrinkled, bent-over, bow-legged, silver haired, shuffling on the sides of her feet woman was, who lived like a hermit at the far end of our village. She might curse you with chin warts and a saggy bottom, he added.
He also informed me that women, once they reached a certain age, rarely told the truth about how old they were. It’s customary to remove anything from five to ten years, he said.

Even at that tender age, I was a little sceptical about some of the sage advice he gave me; especially after I discovered the word misogynist in the dictionary, and realised that dear old dad was ever so slightly infected with the disease; which might be excused, since he’d grown up as the only boy in a house of six sisters and an elderly spinster aunt, who had a pathological mistrust of the male species of all ages.

I did discover later that women, and many men stay the same age for years, once they reach a certain number. This age usually coincides with the appearance of the first grey hair – either cranial or pubis.

Well, I don’t believe that I’ve yet reached that magic number, so I can divulge, truthfully, that I am still in my early thirties, even though I had another birthday last week.
Which leads me in a round-about way to the reason for my neglect.

My husband, bless his lecherous soul, secretly arranged a holiday for my birthday. Lucky me.

It’s also lucky that my employer was understanding enough to allow me to take a last minute break, and it was also fortunate that my workload had become more manageable of late. If I was a suspicious person (and I am) I might suspect that the sudden slowdown was due to some collusion between him and several of my more senior colleagues.

He rented a beautiful house on top of a hill, overlooking the bay in a place called Theoule sur Mere in the south of France. If you want it, it is for sale, at a cool….. £2,500,000.

Ladies, I‘ve noticed over the years that there is a direct correlation between exercise and the length of a man’s libido. The more exercise he gets the more sex he wants, needs and has to have; otherwise he gets fidgety, loses concentration and is generally a pain in the neck; especially when all you want to do is lie down and chill-ax, while the sun toasts your skin to a nice golden brown.

He is not a sun-worshiper, doesn’t really enjoy reading the latest fiction, and tends to get fidgety after about thirty minutes of inactivity.

The house, fortunately, had a good sized pool, was not over looked by anyone, except crows wheeling round and round in the hot air, and passing 747’s; which meant that I could strip off down to my birthday suit and get that all important, all over tan.

As I said, the house is on a hill, up and down which he could run or cycle, and I suppose it didn’t help that he always placed his lounger facing mine, so he could stare longingly at my naked body. So it isn’t really surprising that he was almost constantly horny and dragged me to bed twice on the first day; three times on the second……..plus last thing at night and again in the morning.
As I said, lucky me.

Cooking outside on a barbeque, in the sultry evenings, with the crickets singing in the bushes below and the mosquitoes buzzing around looking for any exposed flesh not drenched in evil tasting repellent, also seems to bring out the meat eating, cave man in him. It was a bit like being back at university in the early days of our relationship, when every meeting ended in a marathon of fucking- when we’d try all the possible positions, and some of the impossible ones, in which positional agony almost over-powered any pleasure our plugged in sex organs could give us.

“What….. again?” I gasped, as he turned me around and lifted my skirt, while the steaks sizzled. “Didn’t you get enough already today? If you’re not careful, you’ll wear it out. You haven’t been taking Viagra have you?”

He chuckled as his finger slid between my lower lips, still slick with his earlier deposit. “Don’t need Viagra, darling. You are the only aphrodisiac I need.”

Now I ask you, how can a girl deny her man, when he says something like that? So I bent over the back of the blue painted wooden chair, took a tight hold, and let him have his way with me, knowing that he would be ready to go again, as soon as I slid out of my clothes and into bed.
Again…..lucky me.

So ladies, be wary of men who take you away for holidays as a present for your birthday. It might just be because they want to imprison you in a beautiful castle on a hill, and use you for sex a half dozen times a day.

Oh yes, there was another reason for his almost bi-hourly desire to make love – he, and I suppose I am too, are hoping that by the end of the week he’ll have succeeded in making me pregnant.

How lucky will that be? And that really would be a good birthday present.

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