My family

My family have always been important to me  and I have always lived close to them. My parents are still alive, though not in the best of health and I have 2 brothers, both now divorced. Our children are quite close in ages to each other (ranging from 15 to 22), and when they were young, my brothers still married, my parents well and younger and my grandmother alive we were all very close.

Many weekends and holiday times were spent at my parents house, with all of the generations present. My mum would cook a huge roast, or the men (or sometimes I) would be cooking a barbecue. There would be wine (lots of it), the children would play and we would discuss stuff, often putting the world to rights. They were happy times in lots of ways and certainly we have many photos which seem to reflect that.
I think things began to change in 1999 when my nan died after a very short illness. In many ways, she was a glue that held us, prevented bickering and arguments. Stopped people judging and prevented unpleasantness. She was a kind lady who would give her last £1 to you. She lived on a very small pension, but always managed to make Christmas and birthdays something special. She was always up for a challenge; getting into the children’s tent, putting her feet into their bath at bath time with them, getting on roller skates and a skateboard to their delight. 
After her death, things did continue, but her absence affected us all. For some reason things were never quite the same. 
More recently there have been marriage splits, and the older children have of course gone off to University and my nephew is about to join the army. But there are sometimes glimpses of the old days, like at Christmas just gone. My son and two nephews, now old enough to drink, sitting around the table like older men, eating cheese and drinking wine. I was able to glimpse both the past and future. Hopefully family will remain as important to them as it always has been to me.

Anniversary week updates

This week is the first anniversary of when i first met Sir in person. So, i have updated my journey page and changed the about me bit of my blog.

Next time i write about my progress it will be on a new page – for a new year.

A few months in, we discussed where our relationship was going. Sir was worried that i wanted to move from an unhappy marriage to life with Him. He was worried that i viewed him as my destination in some way. Perhaps at the time i did hold one or two romantic thoughts, but He was right. That is not where we were or are heading. From then on our relationship has gone from strength to strength.

Neither of us expected to reach that first anniversary, but we are glad we have. In Him i have found someone special both in terms of being my Master, but also as a friend and lover.

(Sir – when you read this please don’t get the idea i have gone mad or soft. i haven’t. It is just my way of expressing where we are right now).

Am i pleased we met, explored a D/s relationship, had great sex and everything else? What do you think?

Someone who inspires me

I have thought about this for a few days, and have struggled to think of a specific person who I am currently inspired by in all things. In the past there have been people at work, colleagues or managers whom I have been inspired to emulate (and others of course I would rather not). Those who are good leaders, who support, encourage and yes inspire their colleagues to achieve and to perform well.

Right now though, I am inspired by some other women. Women who have taken the step to review and re-evaluate their life and who have been brave enough to do something differently. It seems to me now I have embarked on the path that I have, that there are quite a few such women around. On Saturday I went on a hike into the English countryside, with a group I have just joined. It was open to all, and there was a variety of age groups. Most of the group were women, out of 34 people there were only about 7 or 8 men. Most didn’t know each other, but during the course of a long day people began to get to know each other, to talk about their work, their travels, their home lives. A large number of the women were single, and a number of those happily so. During the day, it was reaffirmed to me that it is possible to live your life differently to the way I have always assumed to be my destiny and what is more, that you can do so with contentment. What you do need though is friends, people who can offer each other support, who can share good times and bad, have fun and perhaps travel.

A photo taken on my walk

As I have said before, my circle of friends had become small and was getting smaller. My life was about myself, my husband and son and a few close family members. With the break up of my brothers’ marriages and the ill health of parents, our social life became even less active and interesting than it was before. Hubby wasn’t exactly bothered by this (or didn’t appear to be). I didn’t expect to need to strike out on my own, but that is what I have done. I am finding that perhaps it isn’t quite as scary as I imagined to widen my circle and to meet new people. In fact it is enjoyable and I intend to do more of it.

Thoughts for the coming week

It has been a month since i laid in the arms of my Sir. Circumstances (finishing my job, Easter holidays, and His holiday) have conspired to keep us apart. In a way it has been difficult, after all no one likes to be apart from someone they care for, but in another way necessary and for that reason reasonably easy to manage. The last week or two at work, required me to actually be there. Also my son returned from university for the Easter break (and will be here for another week). It has been good to spend time with him, particularly as i have quite a bit more of it. Tonight Sir returns from holiday and i feel we can start to think about the week ahead.

This time next week we should be together as we head off for the weekend together. Some plans have been put in place which are not too dissimilar to those discussed by Jake in his blog post today . I won’t go into details right now, but there are plans to do something new and different, something we have discussed a few times, something of a fantasy. Like in Joy’s fantasy, this will be consensual, which is one reason there isn’t much to say right now. We don’t yet know if what we are thinking about will happen. Everything rests on the circumstances on the day and whether we decide to go through with things. But rest assured there will be something to say afterwards.

For me though, next week will be a little momentous. Hubby leaves for a trip to give himself a break, which i hope will help with sorting out his head and i have a whole week of freedom from the invisible bonds which seems to surround me most of the time. He is mainly absent, but in constant text contact, sometimes pleasant and ordinary and sometimes not. Sir has on more than one occasion commented about the way in which i submit to hubby, in a domestic, discipline kind of way Sir doesn’t seek to have me submit to Him. i do it without thinking and then could kick myself, since it is not the way i wish to be. But i guess that years of conforming to a particular way of life will take a little longer to break free from. With Sir’s help, though, i am sure that i will.

The great thing though, is that i am really looking forward to the next week, whatever happens and whatever we end up doing together. Plus is will be fun, and we both needs some of that!

The NHS and healthcare in the UK

So, completely off topic (if there is one on this blog) and in danger of infringing on the content more usual on my other blog (which no I am not linking to) I bring you my take on the NHS and healthcare generally in the UK. This post is brought at the request of Florida Dom.

The National Health Service (NHS) is an now an institution of its own. It was founded in 1948, shortly after WW2. It formed part of something now called the ‘welfare state’, at a time when the country was still recovering from war, when many people were living in poverty and post war rationing still existed. The philosophy of the NHS was (and still is) that healthcare should be provided free at the point of delivery. It meant that for the first time, everyone in the UK could see a GP (primary care practitioner) or attend hospital, have an operation etc without worrying about whether they could pay for it.

All those who provided care within this context became direct or indirect employees of the NHS.

To begin with dental care, prescriptions etc were also free, but within a few years charges were introduced. However, there are parts of the population (children, elderly, people with certain health conditions) who receive all healthcare free.

Over the years, people began to see the entitlement to free healthcare as a right rather than a privilege. Also over those years there have been massive advances in medical technology and in the medicines available. Costs have spiralled, and the demands of the population have grown with them. People seek more healthcare, and demand more from their practitioners. What is more, people often have no idea of the costs associated with providing good quality care and what’s more most people appear not to care. In some cases they think healthcare is the responsibility of others rather than of themselves. They demand the best, to receive the newest treatment and perceive that they and their families should be saved at all cost. However they do not always see that they have a role in preventing ill health and in managing their own recovery. This has led to gatekeeping of healthcare and from there what is akin to rationing. It has also led to a challenge that those working in healthcare have lost compassion for those who they treat, and that what is delivered by the NHS is not as good as it can be.

One of the greatest myths is that the NHS is one organisation. While everyone who is employed is part of the NHS family, each hospital, primary care provider, community provider is a separate (or a group) of employers in their own right. True, there is still national pay and conditions for employees but each of those organisations is run as its own separate entity, with its own budget. The standards set and  expected by the department of health are unified, but the policies and procedures and management structures of each provider are different. This means that the delivery of care across the country is not the same. What exists is a complicated web of organisations that commission (or buy) services, those that provide them and then the different governments that govern them (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland all have slightly different arrangements from England).

In practice though, for most people the NHS is about being able to see your GP if you are ill, being referred for investigations and having treatment without cost. Medicines are not free unless you belong to one of the groups above (though while you are admitted to hospital all medication is free). You can attend A&E (ER), be admitted, have your life saved etc. at no cost. You can have a baby, see a midwife / doctor regularly during pregnancy and that baby will receive immunisations and checks from relevant professionals at no cost. And so on…

It is what people know, what they expect and it is what people see as their right. The debate over what is free and what isn’t and who can be treated and where is a hot political topic that will be debated for ever. Maybe that’s another subject in itself.

Information can be found here

Three Blogs I always read

It is coming up to a year since I started blogging here.

This is not my only blog, I have another which is mainly about work related stuff and where I have also discussed the state of nursing and of healthcare amongst other things. Through that other blog, I have found a few people with whom I have interacted online and who are currently facebook friends. I have blogged since 2006, not always regularly. Now I have more time, and now the fog of the last few months at work are beginning to lift, I have begun to post there again.

This blog though feels different. I have used it to feel my way through a whole new episode in my life. I have at times been overwhelmed by the wonderful support I have been given here. I have also found some wonderful blogs. Those blogs have made me smile (and even laugh), cry, wince (at the pain some people enjoy). I have found a group of people I can identify with, many of those people are women, but equally some are men. I have found I like to look at sexy and erotic photos, and have seen that these can be beautiful, funny, sad and a real turn on. I have enjoyed the stories of peoples lives and the wonderful fiction that flows from the key boards of others.

I have chosen the blogs on my blogroll because I can identify with the people who write them in some way. I always read all the updates when I have time to do so, and if I feel like commenting, then I do that too. I can’t choose three blogs, because there are so many. The list increases as I discover new ones, and there remains plenty of room at the side of my blog to add them.

To all my fellow bloggers, thanks for being there and for writing such amazing stuff worthy of reading. I read you all.

A favourite piece of architecture

We are lucky here in the UK to have so many historical buildings, many of which are beautiful to look at. Of course we have our fair share of newer buildings, some like the building we call the Gherkin, are striking, and others are ugly. One of my favourite buildings and therefore architecture is this one.

I love that you can see it from a distance, even taking account of the other taller buildings around and you immediately know what it is. You can’t mistake it for any other building. I have been inside and indeed to the top (though years ago now) and the views across London are wonderful. At that time, there were few opportunities to see the skyline of London in that way. Now you can go up in the London Eye for example. 
This has been something of a quiet weekend. Hubby was away for all of it, reappearing this morning to get changed for work and collect his lunch. Yesterday as I was ironing his clothes, it occured to me how far apart we have drifted and what I am to him. I know that I will have to change that, but just need that extra bit of energy to do so.
Sir is away on a much needed holiday with his children, so there is no contact between us, and I am missing our chats. We have a weekend together to look forward to soon and it is that which is keeping me going through all of this. I really am looking forward to getting centred again with him. 
Meanwhile, I have a number of lunch dates. One of which is in London and you know I might just get a glimpse of St Paul’s in the process. 

Three Word Meme

Quite a few people have answered this today; so my turn!

1. Where is your cell phone? In my bag
2. Boyfriend/girlfriend? it is complicated
3. Hair? Grey but dyed 
4. Your mother? Not the same
5. Your father? Living with Cancer
6. Your favorite item(s)? love my mac
7. Your dream last night? don’t  remember one
8. Your favorite drink? Gin and tonic
9. Your dream guy/girl? Sir of course
10. The room you are in? The living room
11. Your fear? my parents deaths
12. What do you want to be in 10 years? Happy and fulfilled
13. Who did you hang out with last night? no one, alone
14. What are you not? quiet, introverted, slim
15. What’s outside your window? My dark garden
16. One of your wish list items? A new kitchen
17. What time is it? Quarter past eight
18. The last thing you did? cooked my dinner
19. What are you wearing? jeans and shirt
20. Your favorite book? i love loads
21. The last thing you ate? pasta with bacon
22. Your life? Not as expected
23. Your mood? Gin helps chilling
24. Your car? Old Renault Clio
25. What are you doing at this moment? Watching the Voice
26. Your summer? Hoping for one
27. Travel plans? France in June
28. What is on your TV screen? Its the Voice
29. Last time you cried? About a week
30. School? I love learning

Something I am Proud of

Back to the 30 days. I have delayed continuing this series because I wasn’t sure what to write. The person I have most pride in is my son. He has turned into a kind and thoughtful young man who has demonstrated that hard work in your studies really does pay off. It took him a long time to persuaded that he had the potential to achieve, but once that happened (when he was around 17), he never looked back. I will be the proudest mum ever when he graduates this summer.

I am also proud of the way he is handling things between his father and I. He has already told me that he loves us both and won’t take sides. He has not pushed for details about the reasons for our difficulties and I have not burdened him with them. What he thinks deep down may be revealed in the fullness of time.

There are a number of changes taking place in my life as I approach the possibility of the end of my 28 year marriage. I have also recently lost my job, as I have already said. This offers me risks, but also opportunities. I have already identified that I don’t have the friends around me that I would have wished for. So many have fallen by the wayside. But I am now trying to form new friendships and have already been reasonably successful. I have a couple of friends I have met through fetlife, with whom I meet regularly for lunch / coffee and a chat. I also exchange emails and chat, and I have started to form a friendship with a lady who is part of a couple Sir and I will soon play with. But my social world needs to extend further and I have joined an organisation through which I can meet people socially and have arranged to go on a walk next Saturday and a treasure hunt kind of thing at the end of the month.

This is near where I will be walking next weekend

My instinct during all of these troubles is to sit at home and complain that my husband has taken offence to the choices I started to make last year and is more often than not absent. But sitting at home and moaning will do nothing. That is what led me to the situation in which I find myself. So it is time to live my life, to do new things and that is something of which I hope to be proud.

What I wanted?

Since discovering my blog, hubby has undergone a further change in attitude towards me. i have to admit that in coming clean and telling him about Sir and i back in November, i gave little thought to anything other than letting go of the secrets i held. Since then, it seems to him that every month or so there has been a new revelation. First he discovered an affair, then a D/s relationship and now he has read a small element of that relationship displayed on a blog. As far as he is concerned, he remembers everything i have told him since November, everything i have done and he remembers everything he read on my blog last week. When i challenge any of this, he tells me that this is what i wanted, and therefore this is what i have got. 

The truth of the matter from my point of view is that i have hurt him so much more than i ever felt possible. He is now a very confused man who is in great pain for much of the time. He deals with this by physically avoiding me for most of the time, but keeps his element of control through regular texts. These give me instructions about the things he wants me to do (tasks about ordinary life and sexually explicit things he wants me to do to be ready for him). i find myself doing many of the vanilla things without question, but then challenging myself, since this attitude towards me is one of the reasons i find myself where i am now. As to the sexual requests, well on one hand i want to fulfill them. i want to have sex with him, but at the same time there tends to be a large amount of emotional blackmail attached. Also i wonder exactly what it is he wants from me and indeed what exactly i want from him.
He is now obsessed with my relationship with Sir. He is obsessed with the things we do together and deeply hurt that those things happen with Sir and not him. At the same time he feels he has nothing to offer me, he feels there is nothing he can give me that is as good as i get from Sir. for him this is about sex and nothing else.
The state of our relationship is now forgotten by him. He fails to see that the relationship as a whole needs to be in tact for a good lovelife to occur and that good sex contributes to a stable, loving relationship. He says he loves me and wants to fuck me. But when he sees me, he spends his time telling me that he is not good enough for me and then expects us to go to bed together. He thinks that us seeing each other just a couple of times a week is like a date. But then when we have spent that time together failing to agree on anything it feels like the date from hell for us both.
He is planning a trip away to a warm and sunny place for a week with friends. i know this will do him good, and hope he will come back rested. i just don’t know if it will help in any way.
After 20 years i still remember the pain hubby caused me when he cheated on me. Yet i have done something very similar to him. Is this what i wanted?
Of course not. i just wanted to find happiness. On one hand i have found this, but on the other i have caused great pain and sadness and for that i am really sorry.
Trouble is, would i change what i have with Sir?
That really is the million dollar question!