And bottom up. Plus, just look at that lovely castle view!
How I miss the bright, Mediterranean mornings of summer. The heat already burning through the patio door at 8am. The sky blue and the sun high.
My apartment in France is wonderful in summer. It does get rather hot in the evening and over night. But each day brings a coolness that lasts till late morning. Which is how I managed to get work done every day. It’s quite small space, though perfectly enough for two. However as you can see there is clutter I couldn’t quite hide in this photo.
But what is clear, is that this is another bright new day.
My blog and memes like Sinful Sunday have definitely made me into more of an exhibitionist. But there is someone else who likes to show himself off and who lets me photograph him. This photo was taken on our boat holiday and shows Master letting it all hang loose. So, I’ve called this photo dangling.
During normal, every day life it is easy to lose sight of what is really important. To imagine the small irritations of decision making, the routine of work and household activities are everything. It is easy to lose sight of your core, what makes you tick. The things that brought you together. Sometimes it takes a complete change in those routines to help you focus on what is really important.
Two of this week’s meme prompts lend themselves well to this topic – The Wicked Wednesday prompt is Core and Erotic Journal Challenge one is Retreat. The past few weeks for us have been in the form of a retreat. We left home on 8th July and only returned on 24th August. During that time we have travelled the length of France, from Calais in the north to a small seaside village in Aude in the south. Along the way we visited several towns, taking time to enjoy the culture and explore the countryside. After a couple of weeks chilling out we moved onto a boat and spent a week travelling at almost walking pace. After a long weekend celebrating my mum’s 80th birthday in England we returned to France. A week later we began the return journey through northern Spain before returning home.
During much of that time our engagement with others was limited. For days on end we heard no English voices. We had no need to be anywhere dictated by anyone else. We took time to be together and to explore our relationship in a way that hasn’t been possible before.
As regular readers will know the past year has been something of a rollercoaster and whirlwind combined. Last year I moved in with Master in July. Having packed up a three bedroom house and leaving little behind I brought a lot with me. In August I finished work. We had plans to spend the autumn and winter sorting the house so that my stuff fitted along with Master’s. But our lives were thrown into turmoil in September when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was not until February that the treatment was finished and we were able to get into any kind of proper routine.
Our relationship is strong, but we struggled to sort our what our roles and responsibilities to each other were. To understand what we wanted from our M/s, our sex lives and how much we wanted the outside world to inform and define us.
It was the knowledge that I’ve been paying the (not insignificant) bills on a property in France I have barely had time to visit that spurred us. Plus neither of us are working (permanently) and caring responsibilities (for me) are limited right now. No one we spoke to seemed to think it would be a problem if we disappeared off for 6 weeks or so.
Plans were made, ferries, hotels and flights were booked and with a very full car we left for France.
Just putting the channel between us and our real lives was enough. We had suitcases of clothes, but packed a smaller bag for a few days at a time. An electric cool box meant we could picnic rather than eat in restaurants during the day. Stops were planned just 150-200km apart so we had time to see the sights, but also downtime. We didn’t always take breakfast. This meant that we could spend longer in bed, not necessarily sleeping.
Getting back to the core of who I am
This trip gave me the chance to get to the core of me as a person, my raison d’être if you will. Also for considering who and what we are. For Master it was about exploring my submission and reclaiming it in a way he hasn’t been able to for some time. We spent a lot of time talking about what my submission and his Dominance mean to us. Exploring our roles, sexually and literally.
The cancer diagnosis, mastectomy and treatment affected us more than we realised at the time. This time away gave us the chance to look back and articulate some of those issues. To get to the core of what breast cancer meant for me, a woman and him my partner. I articulated what he knew, that I struggle with my remaining breast. Worry about my lack of cleavage etc. The tablets I now take to dampen down my hormone levels seem to have affected my ability fo orgasm easily. All of these impact up on Master and the way he manages our sex life.
But also we were able to distance ourselves from the world. Not only family but the messed up politics, social media circus and yes my blog. Having said that, when my data package was used up while we had no wifi on the boat, I bought more. Plus, Master dropped his phone in the canal and was without for a few days. That made him positively on edge. So we have a way to go before we are ready to disappear completely even for a few days.
So, we are back. Recharged and ready to face existing and new challenges. Hopefully happier human beings and closer to each other than ever we were.
The photo below was taken from one of our hotel rooms and gives a flavour of our time in retreat.
This is my first (and hopefully last) summer with just one boob. The idea of going braless, let alone topless is pretty much a step too far at the moment. Even around the house, I feel weird without a bra. But in hot weather wearing a bra (or swimming costume) all of the time is a bit much.
Probably the best part of our time away was the boat holiday. We chose a route that had few locks since it was my first time. Also there were just the two of us on the boat. That also meant that for hours at a time we saw very few other boats and the people on them. This gave me the chance to leave my bra off for a while and then to take my dress off for this shot.
I love this, even though it isn’t a close up, because it shows the beauty of our surroundings and that no one else was around. I have a close up which I’ll show another time. I’m starting to feel more comfortable in my body again, but posting pictures of me topless is still challenging. However I know I was happy and relaxed that day and so I feel happy to share.
I absolutely love summer and in particular the part of summer where the days are at their longest and the nights, their shortest.
I married in June, on 23rd. The closest Saturday to midsummer. I even tolerated night duty when it fell in the summer. It was amazing looking out on the streets of London and into the sky that never properly darkened. For many years, I only holidayed in June. Everything everywhere remains fresh, even those places that by August are sunbaked and dry. Of course, England often offers a different kind of June midsummer. But even in the rain, there is the wonder of beautiful flowers, green fields and always a long day to behold.
These days, summer holds a whole new meaning for me. It is about stripping off the clothes (more now than before perhaps) and so being more available. Also it is about feeling more like having sex, not just in the morning but other times in the day. When I was working, summer offered up the chance of a week or two away and an opportunity for afternoon sex. Even last year that was the case.
Now, we can have sex anytime, but for some reason, summer has brought with it new opportunities. Yesterday morning, we set the alarm for an early flight. I was awake long before necessary and suddenly, as the sun rose around 5am Master and I were having the most amazing sex. Summer this year has also provided an opportunity for a resurgence of our M/s dynamic. A time to be alone without outside interference and to reflect on what we want from our relationship.
We travel a lot, but for some reason, summer has provided us with the opportunity and the means to actually put our thoughts and desires into action.
Of course not everything about summer, and even in the sun is good. Here think sunburn and mosquito bite, also hot nights where you can’t sleep and any idea of sex would be just too steamy.
But give me summer over any other time of the year. You can keep the cold of winter, the flowers of spring and the leaves of autumn. I’d go for the long days, hot nights and fun of summer any day. If I were getting married again, I would still choose the romance of the middle of June. Always and forever.
Summer holidays give us the chance to sit around (semi) naked. Master took advantage of that today!
There is usually one month (at least) each year when my blogging mojo runs out of steam. Usually this coincides with a planned holiday. It is not unusual while away to have poor wifi and long days out and about enjoying the sights of the area. Also, unless this was to become a travel blog, there is little to write about.
This year, since I am not working, I thought it would be different. Except that the first few months of the year were pretty frantic for blog posts. Ideas came in thick and fast and then there were the memes. February photofest, A-Z in April and then Every Damn Day in June. This year, the approach of my holiday coincided with my only working period so far this year. Yes, in June and July I had paid work. Indeed I spent about 5 days while in France writing a report and being paid. I only intended to take a short break from blogging, but in the end only posted 4 times in July.
But I think that in the long run this break will have done me good. It’s impossible to keep going as I was without either repeating myself or just blogging for its own sake. I know many people manage to keep the momentum going, but I really can’t. My level of creativity requires time spent resting and yes, a retreat.
I am lucky to have a place where I can recharge my batteries. A place where life can exist at a slower pace. My retreat, in the South of France is a small apartment in a holiday resort, busy in the height of summer, dead in winter. A place where we have spent the past 3 Easters, the odd weekend in March, September and October, but few summer nights. This year I was determined to spend an extended time there.
I love to sit on the balcony on a July morning and feel the coolish air. The sun doesn’t fill it with heat and light until lunch time. This made it an ideal office space. We also enjoyed the 14th July fireworks from that same vantage point on the day we arrived. I can read there in the afternoon while sun bathing, eat dinner looking over the swimming pool and finally enjoy a late night drink before bed.
Of course we also go out, stroll around the port or lake. Walk down to the beach and stroll along the promenade. Explore the shops and the village market. Life there is different from at home in England.
After two weeks we left for our week on the boat so my niece and her family could enjoy our little retreat. I’m pleased that they had a wonderful time, making fabulous memories. My great nephew enjoyed his first ever holiday there and his mum re-lived holidays from her own childhood.
I know I am lucky to have a place like this to visit and enjoy. But I am grateful that at last I am able to spend time there. In my special place, my retreat. We return for one final week on Wednesday before starting the return journey back home and reality.
I had forgotten that this weekend is prompt week. So, since I haven’t prepared anything theme related I have looked back through some recent holiday snaps. Though I’m not particularly low down in this photo, I am leaning down. So I’ve called it ‘bend over’.
At one of the chateaux we visited, we found ourselves exploring the ancient building alone. This gave an opportunity to whip some clothes off and for Master to take some photos. this is one and there are some better ones to come.
We arrived back in the UK last night for a few days to celebrate my mum’s 80th birthday. For the past week, we have been in a wifi free zone. Hence no blog posts, not even Sinful Sunday, which I rarely miss. I was also short on mobile data, and ended up topping that up. But other than updating on facebook (I love keeping my friends up to date with my travels) we have been out of contact. Master more than me, since he dropped his phone in a canal a few days ago.
So, this week has been spent on a small(fish) cabin cruiser. We travelled through a small part of the midi canal, across a large etang (lake) and then into the canal du rhone à sête. It was absolutely amazing, and I am now hooked on this kind of holiday. We were up and moving early each day, stopped for lunch along the canal and then moored up in a port or sometimes in more remote areas. On the boat, we ate simple, easy to prepare food and drank lovely wine. But we also found some great restaurants and enjoyed some amazing French cuisine.
We also rekindled our M/s a little. Master instilled a ‘no panty’ rule for the duration, which I happily followed. Admittedly I did wear shorts quite a bit of the time. But tended to change into a dress if we went off the boat for the evening. We also had some very good sex. After months of feeling a bit below par when it comes to libido, things seem to be looking up. I think it is the healthy, active lifestyle that agrees with me. It’s only one of the reasons I think I’d like to do more boating.
After a week on our own it is time to mix with family and friends as we get together over the next few days. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. My son will be there tomorrow and it is always a real treat to see him. Master is looking forward to picking up a new phone. I won’t go into the difficulties of doing so when you no longer have a handset for the company to text.
Then next week we return to France for a few days rest and recuperation before staring for home. We will be travelling up through northern Spain and then taking the Ferry from there. This is proving to be an amazing summer, one which I will remember always.