Time Management

It’s now 18 months or so since I left my permanent job and kind of retired. In that time I’ve worked on a couple of projects that paid money and am about to again soon. Mostly my time is my own in a way it never was before. Blogging is one of my main hobbies and I try to write most days. But without structure, it can become difficult to maintain productivity and then when some paid employment comes along it’s a challenge to do both.

I was listening to the latest Smutlancer podcast as I journeyed to my meeting yesterday. In it Kayla talks about having a morning (or whenever you need to get writing) routine. I was struck by how much I have tried to put structure into my day, where none previously existed. I’ve done this consciously over recent weeks because to be honest, my time management had slipped over the previous months. It became too easy to blog from the sofa or not. Plus, I had a whole list of things to do that I just kept moving forward in my 2019 planner. One of those was my divorce. It’s 6 months since I told my ex I would start proceedings and had done nothing. I had planned to update my blog, redesign it and make it more whizzy in time for the top 100. But I haven’t done that either. Last summer when I had paid work my blog was neglected. I don’t want that to happen again.

A new year is a good time for a new start

But only if you keep at it. So, new planner in hand I have begun to manage my time more effectively and get through my lists. I particularly love the structure and have created plans for the year and beyond as well as some week by week lists. This relates to personal stuff (the divorce), paid work (vanilla and sex blogging) and content creation for this and Food, Fitness and Health.

I know it is only 2/3 of the way through January but I am confident that I’m heading in the right direction.

Each week I look back at what I’ve achieved and think about how productive I’ve been and what habits I need to change. This also includes some health related stuff, which in turn is material for my health related blog. I’m finding that I want to write about much more than sex and kink (including posts like this). Whereas in the past I’d write nothing rather than something seemingly unrelated, I’ve changed my opinion. This in turn has released some of my creativity and I was delighted that this post was chosen as one of Cara’s picks in Elust. Plus I’ve written some fiction this month too.

Managing time going forward

I’m not convinced I’ve completely cracked the planning yet. My project plans, supplied in the planner need further fine tuning and also I need to think about how I’m going to review my goals at the end of each month. This will, I think help me stay on track. There’s also a finance element as well as productivity outcomes I’ve not completed yet. I was interested reading this post by Marie this morning, that she takes her planner to work with her and plans her work day in the same way as the rest of her life. This feels important to me, who will be returning (at least in part) to working. This time I want to be much more structured about how everything fits together.

The other thing I want to factor into my time is more exercise, adding more walks into my week. Currently I swim every week and walk to and from the pool. But I want to build an increasing amount of exercise in as I get fitter.

I’m sure I’ll return to this topic with an update later in the year.

A bit of a show off

Yep, that’s me. I was that child eager to strut her stuff on stage or to take part in fancy dress competitions. I was that live wire, loud, trying to be centre of attention. Precocious the adult me would have called the younger Julie. I’m an extrovert and I’ll be honest I am a show off and I’m not frightened to flaunt any talents I have. At one time that might have been my long legs and my boobs. I’ve never had an hour glass figure instead I’m more pear shaped. But over all I haven’t let it stop me from wearing what I want.

I guess that’s why I immersed myself so thoroughly into posting pictures on my blog. Because, although I tend to dress for the occasion at work or socially I really love to show off my body. And, over the past 8 years I’ve been lucky enough to be with men who appreciate it.

For S, it was stockings, suspenders and heels. With Master it’s me naked. Though he has a certain appreciation for me in leather fettish gear. I guess that I’ve got out of the habit of wearing it, what with one thing and another. So, last weekend’s trip to a fetish club was a great opportunity to strut my stuff. We don’t have any photos since photography in the club is (for obvious reasons) not allowed. But we certainly should take some for February Photofest.

Lingerie is often something hidden beneath clothes, or not worn (that would be Master’s preference. I tend to wear knickers with jeans, but not leggings and in winter. I do love the opportunity that summer offers. At the moment I always wear a bra, but hope that in the fullness of time that won’t be necessary again. But for now, I have a new found desire to buy matching lingerie and wear it. Last week I showed off my new set and don’t have anything else to show. But this is the 52nd week of Lingerie is for Everyone and so I feel I must join in. My show off, flaunt it self demands it.

So, I give you a photo taken for February Photofest 2017. This is one of my favourite sets and while I have thrown out some of the lingerie I doubt I’ll wear again, I very much would like to be seen in this set again. When I manage it, you’ll be the first to know.

Me wearing beautiful red lingerie. There is beading and lace on both bra and pants.

Motivation

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

This was the last of my navel gazing, reflective posts (well for now). Onwards we march into January 2020. For once in my life I still feel motivated and it’s already the second week of the year! But joking aside, what gets and keeps me motivated?

Blogging motivation

I’m definitely being helped along by my new planner. I’m still learning to use it, but this afternoon I’m going to spend some time on the project planning pages. I have plans for this blog and also the continuing development of Food, Fitness and Health. There are some great features too, space on the back of each diary page. A beautiful folder and because it’s loose leaf I can move stuff around. So far so good. But of course, my motivation will only last as long as I produce results. I’ve not really been feeling sexy or kinky lately, which has hit my ability to write anything erotic. But I’m hoping that will change, and prompts do help that. The Food for Thought prompt this week is intimacy, so……..

Sex, kink and submission

These elements of my and our life ebb and flow. Busy times such as Christmas mean that we are focused outwards and not inwards. Plus, we are both pretty sure that the lack of day and sunlight affects us. This winter is so far not cold, but it has been wet and more often than not overcast. Plus we don’t have a week in the sun to look forward to this year.

But we have plans coming up. This weekend we are off to a new (to us) club and so there will be play. The release of endorphins will, I think help us both. Master also has plans for March – something special after Eroticon (more news later) and his birthday celebration. He has plans for us to go away, but won’t tell me where we are going. I managed to squeeze an average temperature from him and it definitely isn’t the Caribbean. However, I know that wherever we go we will be sure to focus on our dynamic plus hopefully have some good sex.

Work

I’ve recently taken on some voluntary work with a charity which will take up a bit of my time going forward. I was thrilled to have been asked to join the board and hope that I will get the chance to learn as well as share my expertise. There’s also some paid work in the offing. I was a bit worried I’d need to go to an agency but it looks like that might not be necessary. There’s nothing like being wanted to make you feel motivated. I need to replenish my savings a bit in this half of the year and that is motivation enough to look for work.

Community

People (including me) have had a bit more time on their hands lately and this had led to a higher level of engagement. Or so it seems. I’m trying to read and comment on more blog posts and to engage on twitter. February photofest is a great blogging community event and will be coming up all too soon. We’ve started to take some extra photos and edit old ones so I have enough material to join in. Then there’s the run up to Eroticon (66 days and counting), always a motivating event and time.

Health and fitness

I start most years with plans to lose weight, get fitter etc and then lose motivation when it proves too hard. I struggle with changing habits for longer than a week or two. So, given I have a good reason to keep going this year I am trying to take it day by day. But to focus each day on doing the best I can and if I slip to carry on the next day. Maybe that is a message for any goals – tomorrow is always another day.

2020 – Goals and plans for the New Year

I’ve written a couple of reflective posts over the last couple of weeks. This one offering my personal thoughts and reflections of 2019 and this, a review of my blogging year. And now, on New Year’s Eve 2019 I turn to 2020 and my goals and plans for the coming year.

Last year at this time I bought myself a planner and used it reasonably well for the first 6 months or so. Really though I only planned a month at a time and kept rolling goals and plans forward. I was always going to lose weight, always going to earn money, to redesign my blog and write loads. But at the end of the year I am the same weight, earned only a small amount of money and my blog is exactly the same. So, my first goal is to use my new planner properly and to set longer term goals as well as short term ones. I’ve begun that process, which is how I am able to articulate them here in this post.

Goal number 2

I want to be fitter and healthier. This does involve losing weight, but is more about being fit for surgery. Which is likely to take place towards autumn 2020. I’ve been exploring changes to my diet and have been intermittent fasting for about 6 weeks (some weeks more seriously than others). This involves fasting for around 16 hours and eating during an 8 hour window. I’ve made no other real changes but have lost a few pounds. This year I am going to try to work out what foods are good for me and which are not. I’ve been swimming most weeks for 7 months or so and I want to step up the exercise regime now. This all brings me to goal number 3.

Goal number 3

A new blog. I’d been toying with the idea of starting something new about health and wellbeing. Something to help me along in meeting the challenge of getting ready for surgery. Marie messaged me to say she had been thinking of doing something similar, but wondered if I might want to do it. Great minds hey? So I got myself a new domain – because I want it to standalone from this and attract people who might not be interested in the stuff I write here. But also I wanted to give myself more accountability.

The past few weeks have been busy, so it is a bit less ready than I wanted. January will be about creating content, raising profile and getting people to visit and contribute. The purpose of Food and Fitness for Health is to promote a healthier lifestyle without becoming obsessed with thinness. I’m never going to be thin, but I do want to be healthy and I want others to share in that process. The blog will be about food – healthy food doesn’t need to be dull and boring. We all have to eat and can’t survive on salad and vegetables alone. We need chocolate, the occasional pizza, burgers. Because life isn’t just about physical wellbeing but emotional health too.

I’ve discovered exercise is good for me physically but also helps my mental health. It clears my mind of worries and confusion and allows me to function better.

I want people to share their stories about food, fitness and health. I want it to be a sex positive and body positive place, but it won’t be a sex blog as such. I hope that if you are reading this you will want to join me over there and contribute. More details on that to come.

Goal number 4

The time has come to take this blog to the next level, both in terms of content and style. In April it will be 8 years old and in February I will have been self hosting for 3 years. Early in the New Year I plan to start playing around with a new blog style and trying to make it as welcoming and fabulous as I can. Maybe creating a gallery of my photos, separating out types of posts etc.

In terms of content I want to focus on being able to pitch ideas for other sites and make some money. To do that I need to write content for the blog that is the same quality as it would need to be to pitch and sell. That I think is where the planning comes in. I’m writing this post to publish this afternoon and while I have thoughts about how it should end up it is being spontaneously written. That is how most posts are written and that will continue. But also I want to produce more research based and thoughtful writing both for MPB and Food and Fitness for Health. That takes time, but also provides an opportunity to schedule posts and to decide not to put them here but to pitch them elsewhere.

This brings me to Goal number 5 – Fiction

I want to write fiction, but need to be in the right head space and I think I am pretty much there. I am going to write a new fiction piece on MPB every month. I toyed with the idea of joining the Smut Marathon again but really don’t think I need to pressure. So, I’ll concentrate on writing here, though I may use some of the Smut Marathon posts. Instead of joining in I’ll commit to reading, commenting and voting on the entries. As well as reading more fiction written by my fellow sex bloggers since that helps with my own writing too.

Well, I think that’s enough to be going on with. So here’s to a successful blogging year in 2020 for me and for all of you lovely people who visit and who comment. Happy New Year!

Photo by Denise Karis on Unsplash

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

2019 In Review

Over the past few years, at the end of December, I’ve looked back over my blog and created a review. The year has, on the whole been a good one, we’ve travelled to new places and done some fabulous things. This is my 235th post this year, up considerably on last year. I’ve discovered that writing about something is better than writing nothing. So it was only when I was away for the whole of July that I didn’t write at least twice a week. I’ll write more about stats when I post about my plans for 2020. But now, this is my year – 2019 in review.

January

The year didn’t start especially well for me, a hangover as it were from 2018. The unfinished business was radiotherapy for my breast cancer. The treatment itself wasn’t bad, but the cumulative effects – physical and emotional were. This post sums up the month. I haven’t written for the Sex Bloggers for Mental Health meme often and this is something I plan to rectify in 2020.

On 10th January I wrote this Friday Flash post and although I haven’t written much fiction in 2019 I managed two in January. My goal in 2020 will be at least one piece of fiction per month.

Being mainly confined to home, I wrote 27 posts in January, which set me up pretty well for February photofest.

February

My 7th highest post / category of all time is my February Photofest one for 2019. I posted 36 times, so it obviously wasn’t all about the images. I began to show bits of my body, and especially noticeable are the radiotherapy burns visible on any photo showing my chest.

Tell me about, which is co-run by Missy and Sweetgirl, have led to some reflective and thought provoking posts in 2019. This one, about showing my own vulnerability, is no exception.

Love Lock, is a fiction piece about genital piercings used to provide female chastity. I’ve now linked it to my most popular post ever – Chastity, does a girl need to be locked in? Something I did following a talk by Girl on the Net at Eroticon (more of that event below).

March

There were 19 posts in March, and two of my favourites are photos posted for Sinful Sunday. This one, Double Exposure was for the prompt week at the beginning of the month and Birthday Breakfast at the very end on Master’s birthday. Both were taken in hotel bedrooms and I am thankful that we have the opportunity to travel both here and abroad and to stay in some fabulous places. In these relaxed environments I have begun to feel able to share photos of my body again.

The other notable event was Eroticon, which I wrote about here. As the conference rolls around again soon, I am really excited to catch up with old friends and to meet new people.

April

Once again I joined in with the Blogging A-Z, this time using my blog history to examine how my journey has progressed. I found it a useful reflective tool which showed me how I have changed (or not) along the way. I posted 29 times, often combing other memes with the Blogging A-Z one. While I said afterwards that I wouldn’t participate again, I have an idea so I just might!

Favourite posts from this month were this one, of Master in the Swing of Relaxation and this one entitled Kinky. Both include images taken at STOXX which is sadly no longer available to rent.

May

Of the 22 blog posts for May, several are especially memorable. On 1st I wrote my Confessions of an unruly slave for The Erotic Journal Challenge. Brigit’s prompts are thought provoking and now they are monthly I’m better able to join in with them all. I think that particular post sums me up. I want to be the perfect slave, but often fall short.

Unmentionable has turned out to be particularly popular in terms of traffic. This is in no small way due to being placed in the top 3 posts for Elust #119. I would highly recommend submitting to Elust to help broaden your readership.

At the end of May we toured around Holland and Belgium for a week, during which time we were lucky enough to meet up with Marie Rebel and Master T. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon / evening together which I write about here. I’m looking forward to seeing both at Eroticon in March.

The following day we travelled to Amsterdam where we stayed in the Kinky Suite. My review is here.

June

Once again I joined Every Damn Day in June on Hy’s blog, and while I didn’t manage to post every day I did manage 29 posts. I participated in my first Lingerie is for everyone meme with this post. There’s new lingerie for 2020, so, I will be participating again soon.

I discovered a friend had passed away in April, but didn’t know until mid June. I wrote about him here.

July

We left for France at the beginning of July. Somehow I had run out of steam and was a bit out of love with writing and posting. So, there wee only 4 posts, one of which was Elust. Lazy days and hot nights sums up the month.

August

We were away for the majority of August too. But despite being on a boat with no Wifi for a week I still managed to write 12 blog posts. My favourite photo, posted for Sinful Sunday was this one – Topless. At last I was getting my mojo back!

On 29th I wrote about some issues I’ve been having with elusive orgasms. I’m pleased to say that the strategies we have been taking since seem to be helping.

September

This month we returned to CMnf after a break of a year and my mastectomy. I wrote here, about the wonderful reception I received. Sun kissed skin was a favourite photo, posted for Wicked Wednesday. How I love the feeling of the sun on my skin. Something to think about in the middle of winter!

The Smutathon took place at the end of September and while I wasn’t a participant, I wrote this post about abortion to link in with something that I consider a very important cause.

October

My Kissing Vignettes post for Food For Thought was in hindsight a way of edging myself back towards writing fiction. The post is based on some happy memories, but with a little artistic licence thrown in. The other of my 15 posts during October that I want to highlight is this one.

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last year during awareness month. My Breast Care Nurse warned me at the time to steer clear of the internet and I can understand why. This year, May More contacted me to ask if I was happy for her to write something to raise awareness, which of course I was. She inspired me to write the post above.

November

My Sinful Sunday post for November didn’t conform to the set prompt. But having the image available to use, I just had to post it. Molly and many others retweeted my post and then it and then it was chosen as one of the top Sinful Sunday posts that week, despite not being related to the prompt. I still feel proud and positive about this image. It has gone on to be the 6th most viewed post of all time (not just this year). And was partly responsible for my best ever blog stats that month.

My post – Submissive Training is it necessary for Tell Me About has proved immensely popular, and is currently number 8 on the all time list. The other of my 19 posts for November to highlight is this one. Bedroom Talk is another post based on reality, but which lends itself to a kind of faction (when you kind of remember stuff but have to elaborate). I posted this on Masturbation Monday.

December

That Bedroom Talk post inspired me to actually write some fiction. I’m really proud of An Advent Diary and am thinking of making it into a rolling story through the year. Perhaps the next instalment will be around Valentines……

At the beginning of December I was happy and proud to find that I was once again recognised in the Top 100 Sex Blogger List. This year I am at 32. My aim is for a top 10 spot, which will need some work both in terms of content and blog structure. I’m up for a challenge,

F4Thought

Christmas stresses

The run up to Christmas has been a little fraught. It shouldn’t have been, but a series of events at the weekend seem to have sent me off kilter. So much so that I am really not looking forward to the journey to my mum’s later today. I truly wish we were staying at home. However we must go and spend two nights with her, even though she won’t be at all grateful. What’s more she will probably spend most her waking hours watching TV. Something she never did in the past. So, back to the series of events.

Friday

We went into London and saw a film. It was a Danish film, Ordet (The Word), made in 1955. It is very well made and obviously subtitled. But it was really quite harrowing and very moving. A woman dies following childbirth and is subsequently resurrected by her brother in law who believes himself to be Jesus Christ. At the time I wondered if this was a suitable and fitting film so close to Christmas, but on reflection it probably was. Since it is about the small mindedness of people and the way in which we disregard people we believe to be mad. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Saturday

We arrived home late on Friday night, but I slept well. I was up early on Saturday morning and set off to my mum’s at about 10. She has been completely disinterested in Christmas this year. I’ve found her irritating, though I know she is down because of a fall she had a few weeks ago. This resulted in a leg ulcer which the nurse at the GP surgery has been dressing. Thankfully it is healing, but she has been very miserable about it. Worried I would be late, I didn’t stop off to pick up the parcel I needed to collect from the post office. Instead I headed straight onto the motorway.

Traffic was quite heavy, the road was wet though it was a sunny morning. It had obviously rained a lot over night. People were driving erratically, speeding up and slowing down and changing lane – a lot!. Only 20 minutes into my journey the cars ahead of me slowed and then the one in front stopped. I was in the outside lane of a busy motorway, driving at about 50 mph. But I stopped and didn’t hit the car in front. Unfortunately the car behind me hit me and then behind us was absolute carnage. Thankfully no one hit the car that hit me, but behind people crashed into each other at an alarming rate. I looked back with horror that I had caused it all. Though of course I hadn’t. Thankfully no one was badly hurt or killed, we all had an amazingly lucky escape.

My mum was very understanding that I needed to turn round and go home. I felt nervous just driving those few miles. The car is drivable but damaged quite badly at the back. So of course there was the insurance company to call etc. Later I called mum and said Master and I would travel there for the day on Sunday, get the shopping and take her out for some dinner. She didn’t sound happy, but accepted it.

In the evening we went to our local pub. They had an older couple running a disco, of old favourites. We got up to dance and had a fabulous time. Unfortunately someone dropped some of their drink on the floor and next thing I was on my backside. I had bashed my knee and almost did the splits. Still, no massive damage I thought and we walked home.

Sunday

I woke realising that I probably should have put an ice pack on my knee before going to bed. It was really painful and swollen. However I can walk on it and I don’t think it’s anything serious. It still hurts but is getting better each day now.

We set off for Mum’s in good time to get to the shops etc (Master drove). But for some reason I didn’t realise that they would all close at 4pm (usual Sunday trading times). We got to her in good time, but she was watching an old film. I tried a couple of times to get her to go out before the end of the film, she was recording it on her sky box anyway. At one point during that hour, she stated that she has little interest in Christmas this year!.

Anyway by the time we got out of the house and to the supermarket it was closing in 5 minutes. So we went and had dinner early. Then we went back to her place, I wrapped up some of the presents I had bought for her to give to other people. Then we left. I don’t begrudge seeking her, but neither of us were happy that we had travelled 4 hours (there and back) for a rather substandard meal out and everything still to do on Monday.

We did have a lovely bath together after we went home which was great for my sore knee.

Monday

We went out in the morning to buy presents for my 5 nephews and nieces on my mums behalf. We then bought all the food to take to her place. Unable to find some of the items I wanted in our local supermarket we then walked back down into town. Probably not the best thing for my knee, but it felt par for the course.

Tuesday (Christmas Eve)

I feel better for writing this quite whiny post. I’ve collected my brother’s present from the post office (see Saturday). The car in booked in to be repaired on Monday next week and I’ll have a hire car.

Sitting here writing this I feel grateful that I am going to be able to see my mum and other family. I have a day with my son and daughter in law to look forward to on Thursday and of course Master and I will be together. The events on Saturday could so easily have changed everything.

But I do hope my mum cheers up today (she has some grandchildren visiting this afternoon). Because I really want to be happy and not miserable myself.

Next year, I would like to go away. Let’s see what happens.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Personal reflections on 2019

As usual I will be posting a few reflective posts in the coming couple of weeks. About my own blogging milestones, as well as shouting out about my fellow sex bloggers and writers. I plan to articulate my goals for 2020 too. But this post reflects on 2019 for me personally. The ways in which I have struggled, but also where I feel I have grown as a person.

The end of 2018 was pretty shitty. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in September and had a mastectomy in October. The very end of the year was somewhat brighter with my son’s wedding on 29th December. But I didn’t exactly feel good about myself. I’m not keen on the photos taken of me on the day partly because my dress definitely didn’t flatter. But also my makeup was wrong my mum caused me a lot of stress. It was a lovely day and I was a proud mum of the groom, but it was that day that set up how 2019 needed to be different.

I have always been someone who puts others first. I worry about what other people need and then consider myself. But in January I was waiting for my radiotherapy treatment to start, so prepared others that I would need to put that first. From 10th January, for 15 days we travelled to the cancer centre for treatment. But the effects; fatigue, soreness and general malaise lasted well into February. The emotional recovery though has taken much longer. It’s only now I can say that I am over the psychological effects of the cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment.

The impact of having one breast

Before I’d had breast cancer, I didn’t understand just how important a complete body is. I’ve been overweight for the past 10 years or more, but can usually find a way to feel good in my body despite it. I’d never had surgery, so other than a few stretch marks, no blemishes. My tits were pretty good for a woman of my age. Losing one of them has at times felt like a tragedy. It has led to me feeling less happy with the remaining breast and in me losing interest in it being touched. Weird I used to be able to orgasm through nipple play. I’m sure this is a psychological, not physical thing. But it does relate to the knowledge that the right breast is missing and that what remains is numb. A physical reality and not a psychological one.

Overcoming my fears

Being a sex blogger who posts photos of herself has been useful in my recovery. It’s true I could have shut myself away and not spoken of it to anyone. But that isn’t me. First and foremost I blogged about my recovery for me. I wanted to show others what it looked like and to demonstrate that while a mastectomy is a horrible thing to have to go through, there is life afterwards. At my son’s wedding I felt incomplete even though no one could tell. I bought a dress with a higher neckline than suits me because I didn’t want to show cleavage. I guess it was just too soon.

Eroticon helped my recovery journey immensely. I got the opportunity to take part in a group photo and went topless for it. That was the first time I had shown anyone other than health professionals and Master my new body. That occasion and the response to it helped drive me on. And since then I’ve been back to CMnf, taken my clothes off in a hot tub with others present and been naked at a couple of play events. I have also begun to post photos on my blog that show me breast, scars and all. I feel self conscious when naked in front of people, but am able to forget and be myself.

Weirdly though, while on holiday with my mum, I was very careful not to show her my body. I’m not sure why. But maybe it has more to do with our relationship than the fact I have only one tit. After all it isn’t as if she doesn’t know. I also find I prefer wearing a bra rather than going lop sided. Even though I doubt most people would even notice. This made my holidays this summer hot and uncomfortable at times.

The future isn’t plain sailing

I’m on the waiting list for a DIEP reconstruction. This will mean surgery to my abdomen to taken fat and skin for reconstruction as a breast. A huge operation which will give me more scars and a new breast that looks different from the other. But in clothes I will be able to look ‘normal’ again.

At least this surgery is planned. There will be time to talk to others who have had surgery. Time also to lose weight. My tummy will be flatter afterwards which has to be a great side effect. But this won’t give me my body back and make me look as I did before. I’ll need to have a nipple created later and this will include a tattoo.

Looking back I was feeling pretty fragile this time last year. Even though I’d been told I was cured, the uncertainties around the diagnosis lingered around me. Treatment was physically tiring and emotionally draining. But I was focused on getting through and in coming to terms with what had happened. I might not be wild about how I look right now, but I am in a much better place to cope with whatever the future throws my way and that is a massive achievement.

Thank you to all of my fellow bloggers that have helped me along the way, particularly May More, Molly Moore and Posy Churchgate, all of whom have been there for me along the way.

My Breast Cancer Posts are here

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

An advent diary

Advent calendar

Opening my eyes in the dim early morning light, I reach for my phone. Several messages await, but my focus is on the time and date. 08.00, December 25th. I’m alone in the bed and I have time to luxuriate in the warmth, the space and the peace before family arrive later. Today will be something different – parents, grown up children and partners. Nothing like the 24 days of advent.

1st December

I was in a coffee shop. Bill and I chatted we waited in line. He didn’t tell me his name right away, but he thoughtfully told the Barista when he ordered his latte. By the time we left the shop and went our separate ways, he had my name and number. More of him later.

2nd

I’ve been seeing James for a few months and he called round after work. He is under the impression that only full on naked sex in a bed is being unfaithful to his wife. I really should end this thing, especially given the way my ex treated me at the end of our marriage. Trouble is, James knows his way around a woman’s body and gives fabulous orgasms. His tongue action on my clit is to die for. What’s more he has great taste in champagne and always arrives carrying a bottle or two.

3rd

Dinner with my good friends Tom and David. They are in a relationship with each other, but not averse to flirting with me. Nor looking every man in the restaurant up and down to decide who might make a suitable partner for me. Or at the very least someone who looks to be a good fuck opportunity. A hilarious, if a little rowdy evening. It’s probably as well we don’t get together too often.

4th

I bumped into Steve, list in hand, as I browsed the salad isle in Waitrose. Strange really, because when we were married he was more of a Lidl or Aldi man. But I guess Sandra has an eye for quality when it comes to vegetables at least. Thankfully he was in a hurry, so the encounter was short.

5th

My boss, Gavin called me into the office to tell me our directors were really pleased with the project I recently completed. He thinks I might be in line for promotion in the new year. It’s weird really how my career has come on since I stopped being some kind of appendage to Steve. I don’t always feel massively confident about myself, but people like Gavin and his boss have been a great encouragement. Looks like 2020 might be a good one after all.

6th, 7th, 8th

Bill called last night and we met up for a drink, which led to dinner which led……… I really don’t usually sleep with men on the first date. I tend to be more cautious than that, but….. He has one of those riverside apartments and I went outside to take a look while he opened a bottle. He brought blankets out and we sat for a while chatting over our wine. Then he leaned in for that first kiss and before I knew it we were naked in his bedroom. Next, he was telling me how beautiful I am and I was running my hands up and down his greying chest hair. He is pretty fit for 55. The sex was really something. It’s funny, until recently I had no idea that there were men out there who actually know how to please a woman. And that they want to do it.

Next morning he made us breakfast, before we went back to bed for a few hours. I’ve not done anything quite this crazy in…… well maybe forever.

When I left for home on Sunday night my cunt was sore from being stretched by his very generous cock and to be honest my jaw aches a bit too. I’m already a bit addicted to sucking him off. I knelt before him while he sat on the sofa; I’m not sure I’ve done that before either. But it felt right somehow.

Work tomorrow though, so home it is.

9th

David put me on speaker phone in the car so Tom could hear. Damn those two have an instinct for these things, because I hadn’t expected to hear from them this side of Christmas. I’m to update them after the weekend.

10th

Away with work. After the events of the past week, I made my excuses after dinner and went to my room. A bath and TV was all I needed. I’ve no idea what time Gavin and Paul turned in, but there was football on in the bar anyway.

11th

Bill called me as I was driving home to ask if I’d be up for going to an adult club at the weekend. Another new thing for me to encounter in my 50’s. This really is turning out to be the decade for me. We discussed BDSM and his dominant side last weekend, I was surprised though not shocked. I’ve read some great erotic novels, just not thought about getting involved. He says we can just go and watch and I’m up for that, so I said yes.

12th

James texted to ask if he could call round, but I put him off. Maybe I should end things this side of Christmas.

13th – 15th

I’ve done it again – spent the entire weekend with Bill. I’m now considering taking a day off in the week to get stuff done. That includes my Christmas shopping.

But what an amazing time. Plus, my first spanking. I hadn’t expected to want to strip off down to my underwear at the club, but it happened. Everyone was so friendly, explaining about the equipment and how it felt to play. Bill kept me close to him while we watched and then I actually asked him if we could have a little go. I could tell he was really pleased I’d asked. And I found that having your bottom spanked, then flogged is really very arousing.

The sex back at his place was something else. As he removed my knickers he exclaimed at how wet I was. He told me how proud he was of me and do you know, it made me feel all the more aroused. It’s almost like I’m turning into someone else. Or else maybe the real me is emerging.

16th

I told James it’s over. Strangely he didn’t argue, but then I haven’t been returning his texts and calls. Especially at the weekend.

17th

Christmas shopping day. Thankfully I managed to get everything done before heading round to my parents for the evening. The only man in my life today is my dad and it’s great to catch up with him. They are looking forward to Christmas and I am too. I’m also wondering just what next year will bring.

18th

David and Tom summoned me for impromptu drinks. We went to a bar just up the road from my place. I spilled the beans on the spanking, I think I might have shocked them a bit. Of course, they want to meet Bill. After Christmas I said.

19th

Office party. I had great fun dancing to the old Christmas hits with the girls from our team and pulled a couple of the guys up to dance too. But I didn’t have a drink tonight and drove home. I want a clear head for tomorrow.

20th

As the family are coming to me this Christmas, today was my last day in the office this year. Gavin and I exchanged presents and I bought a few gifts and cards in for the team.

Tonight Bill came over to me for dinner. I am definitely falling for him, Sadly he has family stuff on tomorrow and so couldn’t stay. But I’m seeing him on Sunday.

21st

Food shopping and then a quick coffee with my son and his partner. Present wrapping to Christmas music and an early night. Sometimes you just have to do it.

22nd and 23rd

Bill and I went Ice skating in London. This is just the kind of fun and stupid thing that Steve turned his nose up during our marriage. He wasn’t even keen on taking the children out to places like that.

We drank mulled wine and ate mince pies then walked along The Embankment arm in arm. He can do the romance too. This man might end up being a keeper.

I stayed at Bills, something that’s becoming a habit – a very nice one at that. We talked about some of the things we might do together in the coming weeks. He gave me a couple of books to read, stuff about Dominance and submission. I promised to report back to him after Christmas. I won’t see him now till next weekend, but we’ll speak on the phone every day.

Christmas Eve

I got a bit behind with preparations as I was reading one of the books Bill gave me. The more I read, the more I realise that I am a submissive woman. How I yearn to have someone provide me with control. Apart from the great sex, Bill provides a quiet leadership, makes me want to please him. But also he is open about his wants and desires and somehow has allowed me to open up about my fantasies in a way I’ve never done before.

It feels like I’ve been opening a virtual advent calendar and have somehow reached Christmas Day as a new woman. How unexpected.

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Masturbation Monday

Stop apologising!

Image says: "Saying sorry"

Last week I had a hospital appointment. They hospital uses an electronic booking in service, a machine that then gives you a receipt. Only last week it didn’t. There was no one at the reception desk so, assuming I was checked in we just sat down and waited. And waited. When we had been waiting for an hour past the appointment time I went to the desk. It turned out that because I hadn’t been to the dest, even though I had booked in via the machine I was assumed not to be there.

Thankfully I got to see the doctor who apologised and complained at the stupidity of the system. The nurse also apologised. But, do you know what I found myself saying how sorry I was that I hadn’t realised and how sorry I was I hadn’t gone to the desk. They, of course, told me to stop apologising.

The trouble is I often can’t help apologising for things that aren’t actually my fault. For some unknown reason the word sorry slips out of my mouth too often. I don’t mean when I’ve done or said something wrong and need to apologise. But when someone else has done something to me – walked into me, stood on my foot or accused me of something I haven’t actually done.

I’ve been wondering if any of this has to do with my naturally submissive personality. My desire to please to make people happy? And, I think it might. No one has told me I should apologise more, but plenty of people have told me to stop.

I’d say that since I’ve been putting myself and us first, it has happened less. I do still say sorry to my mum when I can’t visit as much as sh wants. But other than that there is no one close to me that I need to apologise to. That means that when I find myself saying sorry to someone who has wronged me, they are likely to be unimportant in my life. Not to say that seeing the doctor last week wasn’t something that needed to happen. There is something about those kinds of situations that can make us feel socially inferior. However I have been to that clinic and seen that doctor a few times. What’s more I have been in professional meetings with him (though he doesn’t remember me). So it really isn’t that.

Writing this post has caused me to reflect on my propensity to apologise and I am going to try to do it less. To reserve my apologies for times when I really do need to say sorry.

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Multitask?

Hardly! I can barely do one thing at a time.

That is partially true. I am better at being efficient and effective when I focus on that thing and get it done than when I try to do 2 or 3 things at once. But of course life doesn’t allow us the luxury of concentrating on that one thing and then moving on.

Work, managing a family, social life and blogging all require attention. But if I don’t work out what I need to do and get on with it, I am likely to try to do everything at once. Not literally perhaps, though I do often have several windows on my laptop open at once and of course there’s that important WhatsApp message to check. Next I remember I promised to call my mum and then there is the washing to take out of the machine. (Break here while I go and do it).

Planning

The secret to being productive is planning. I started the year with a fabulous planner and faithfully planned out whole months and then weeks of activity. For about half the year this worked well. I kept track of appointments (lots of them at hospitals), social events, birthdays and my blogging plans. But then life got busy, I took some paid work and things went wrong. I concentrated on the project (I did the planning) and got that done. I still managed to blog, but found it difficult to find the brain capacity for both. Next I went on holiday. Since then I’ve hardly planned anything other than in my head. Appointments are in the diary (often put there by Master), but blogging is more haphazard.

Multitasking in the way I have been doing lately is tiring. Keeping most plans in my head is crazy as I am not doing things in the right order. Plus I am forgetting important (though small) tasks.

Goal setting

When I finished work last year, I had all sorts of plans in mind. To have a prolonged break from the stress of the workplace. To travel and to write. I wanted to see if I could make money from writing. None of this stuff was written down, which is why I got the planner. But I hadn’t factored in the small issue of discovering I had breast cancer and requiring treatment and recovery from it.

Now though I am ready to set goals again and to plan the coming weeks and months. I have a new planner for 2020 and I am going to use it.

I’ve just listed to Molly and Kayla’s latest podcast about setting goals as well as other’s recently about planning and planners. So in theory I am ready. I have ideas I want to put in place, new exciting projects I want to embark on. This week I have found myself steaming ahead to do one of them, only to be stymied by internet problems. This led to multitasking in a way that is not efficient and fruitful as I tried to sort it out.

But while at a classical music event last night I worked out what I need to do (I find piano music particularly useful for this). Set goals and plan. Then do.

You see, as I said at the top, I can’t really multitask. I can barely do one thing at a time. So I will leave multitasking to those who can.

During the writing of this post I drank tea, put the washing into the tumble dryer, went in search of my laptop lead and checked a news story online. Plus chatted to Master who has just returned from the shop.

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