For The Love Of Books

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Books… what do they mean to you? Do you like going to the library? How many books do you own? Do you have any recommendations of books others should read? Come on, share your passion (or non-passion) for books…

One of my great loves in life is books, and my earliest memories are of me, in my own little world, with a book.  As soon as I learned to read there was no stopping me; a trip to the local library with my mum and sister was my greatest treat.  I devoured books at speed: desperate to get to the end, yet feeling somewhat sad when that particular journey was over – nothing has changed and I still get a hint of sadness when I finish a book.

I can still picture the hallowed hall of the children’s library; the smell of the polished parquet floor and the dusty aroma of thousands of books.  But what I vividly remember above anything else is the silence. The deathly hush that hung over the rows of bookshelves.  My sister and I knew that we were not to utter a sound; a glare from mum was enough to scare us into silence.  The only sounds that could be heard were the hushed tones of the austere librarians, the clicking of heels on the parquet floor, the rhythmic clunk of the date stamp, and the thud of the cover as the stamped book was closed ready for the borrower to take away to read.   Then, people really did respect that libraries should be silent places, unlike today.

I could never choose books quickly; I had to examine the contents of each shelf carefully and often several times.  I would end up with at least half a dozen books and then spend ages trying to decide which three to take home. Nowadays,  the entitlement is more generous, but, for me,  a trip to a library has never been a short visit.  I am fortunate now that I have a great library a short walk from my home.

At home, I have several shelves filled with books of all kinds, including modern fiction, classics, children’s books, text books, reference books of diverse kinds and a variety of cookery books.  I enjoy books by a wide range of authors, but a couple of particular favourites are Peter James, a British crime writer and Alexander McCall-Smith, a Scottish writer whose books are quite magical.   I always find that reading and books are  topics that can be relied on to get conversations flowing in most situations and, of course, a love of reading shows intelligence. And intelligence is sexy!

My love affair with books took an unexpected twist a few years ago when I developed a serious eye condition, which required a number of operations. I was left unable to see well enough to read comfortably. But, I did the next best thing and downloaded several audio books to save my sanity during the long periods of time spent convalescing and desperately waiting for my sight to improve. One of the most captivating of these was ‘The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared.   What made the audio version so amusing and memorable for me is that the book is set in Sweden with Swedish characters, but the narrator is British and reads the parts of the various characters in different British regional accents.

As soon as I got some useful sight back, I borrowed some large-print books from the local library; I was so grateful to be able to actually read a proper book again.  I also downloaded some books to read on my IPad; the facility to be able to increase the text size was invaluable. But, I found I didn’t get as much pleasure from reading in this way as from a normal book. It’s more for convenience; holding a normal book is definitely more enjoyable. Thankfully, I can now see well enough to read normal print books again. But, I no longer read as much as I did. I used to read a couple of books a week. Now, it’s more like one book a month. The discovery of dark Twitter has had a lot to do with that, along with discovering other new interests…

Interestingly, I sorted out a long-forgotten drawer recently, and found this book – a purchase from around nine years ago – long before I had even heard of Twitter.  But I have always had an enquiring mind and obviously liked to vary my reading material, even then…

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What Turns Me Off

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The Food for Thought Friday question this week…

What would constitute a deal-breaker in terms of finding someone attractive? List the top three things that would be a serious turn off for you; it can be physical, a personality quirk, a habit… whatever does NOT float your boat!

Smoking

My biggest dislike in life is smoking, of any kind, and it is one area where I will not compromise my principles. I was more tolerant when I was younger, but as I have aged, I know what I do and do not like. If I get a flu or cold-type illness, it always affects my chest very badly, and I believe that this is a result of being around people that smoked,  when I was younger. I was in contact with someone recently and it turned out they were a smoker, so despite their desperate pleas that they were trying to give up, it was a definite no thank you from me as they were still smoking. I cannot bear the smell that surrounds smokers and the thought of kissing someone that smokes really turns me off. I can honestly say that for me this  is a definite dealbreaker. You could be my ideal man, my perfect partner, irresistible in every way, but if you smoked, I would flatly turn you down.

Arrogance

I have never been impressed by arrogant or cocky men. I am not the type to swoon and simper and be impressed by a show of being ‘Jack the lad’. I am more likely to give a Paddington Bear-type hard stare and think what a complete and utter jerk they are. I am a fairly reserved character, and while I appreciate an outgoing personality in others to bring me out of myself, I think people can be extrovert without being arrogant. For example, I cannot bear the TV programme ‘The Apprentice’. I saw ten minutes of it once and that was enough. The egos that feature are good examples of the type of person that I cannot abide.

Self-Centred

In life in general, this is a trait I abhor, so in a relationship or sexual encounter,  it is a true dealbreaker. Perhaps I should have grouped this trait together with arrogance under a general heading of narcissism, but there are a few actions that are guaranteed to make me mad, so I wanted to list these specifically:

  • Monopolising a conversation.
  • Making any conversation about the other person
  • Talking over the other person
  • Showing no interest in what the other person has to say
  • Not listening
  • Only being in contact when they want something

I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture and no doubt we all know a number of people like this! I have experienced many people with some or all of these habits. I met someone last year who turned every conversation around to himself and talked over me and other people incessantly. In the end, I figured it was just easier to say very little as I wasn’t being listened to. And that was the end of that!

It was quite difficult to think of things that would be absolute dealbreakers. I think I can be quite intolerant sometimes, but often the things that annoy me are quite minor and too trivial to be dealbreakers. If you like someone, you can change your mindset on certain things. But, those minor things can become dealbreakers if the spark is more of a damp squib or one party is less keen than the other I guess. One other thing I did consider as was poor personal hygiene, but, to play devil’s advocate, perhaps if it is addressed in the correct way. it can be dealt with, whereas the personality traits I raised above are generally ingrained in someone’s character. But, as always, first impressions are so important and I certainly would not want to be intimate with someone with poor hygiene.

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A Rant About Being Asked to Follow on Twitter

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Twitter is a great place most of the time, but one thing that irks me on occasion is when someone asks me to follow them. These are examples of recent requests:

Where’s the follow?’

‘Follow back’

‘Follow me’

‘Follow so we can DM’

The common factor in most messages like these is that the person requesting rarely uses any niceties. If I wanted something from someone, I would add a please and thank you into my request. Good manners cost nothing in life. So, immediately, messages like those above raise my hackles.

I decide who I follow and I choose to follow accounts that I find interesting, intelligent, amusing, witty, friendly, informative etc. I do not expect those accounts to follow me back. I am interested in what they tweet, but this does not necessarily mean that the feeling is mutual. Nor would I expect it to be. My tweets and pictures won’t appeal to all that I follow and that is absolutely fine.

I am not interested in following accounts that just retweet stuff, especially porn and intimate shots, which is often the case with a lot of those who ask for a follow.  Nor am I interested in reading about football or any other sport. And as is common with those who ask to be followed, there are rarely any original tweets on their timelines.  And, of course, what people tweet is their business – it has nothing to do with anyone else, but the choice of material is not going to be of interest to everyone.

These accounts frequently ask for a follow after they have paid you a compliment. Other than that there has usually been no interaction. It’s not a trade-off – thanks for the compliment, but it does not give you the automatic right to be followed. And good interaction requires more than a comment of ‘nice tits’.

I also get annoyed that there often seems to be an assumption by these accounts that I should want to DM with them, which I don’t.  Just because I tweet the occasional cheeky picture and write a blog that makes reference to sex does not mean I want to receive lewd private messages or see pictures of cocks. I must just point out that for anyone that I do follow and who already DMs, please continue!

Another reason that I don’t follow many people is because I like to keep my timeline manageable,  so I can read everything on it and interact when I can, and have the time to. If I followed hundreds, even thousands of accounts like some seem to, that would be an impossibility.

In case anyone thinks I am a diva, a prima donna or a bit above myself in dictating my rules regarding following  on Twitter, I can assure you I am not.  Most of us on Twitter are normal, everyday people; we are not celebrities, nor are we better or worse than anyone else. Being followed by a woman who is a bit of a saucy minx is not a badge of honour!  I am grateful that people are interested in my account and choose to follow me, but that is not necessarily going to be reciprocated. But I might follow if you are interesting and I like what you tweet.  If anyone changes their mind and chooses to unfollow me, that’s fine – our tastes and interests change over time. But quality of followers and not quantity is always key for me.

 

 

 

Wicked Wednesday #8: Getting Older

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It starts on the day we are born – we grow older. For roughly the first twenty years of our lives we never think about our age. Maybe some people don’t think about it for the first thirty years. But there comes a time when you do think about growing older. Are you at that point yet? How long have you thought about getting older? How old are you? Do you regret getting older? Why or why not? Come on, talk to us about age, your age! 

 

Getting older is something that I frequently think about. I am 48 and often dwell on the worry that I have not made the most of my life so far. Although I have done many things in my life, I frequently think about missed opportunities and wish I had made different decisions. Life for me, was supposed to start at 40, but fate had some nasty surprises in store and things went pear-shaped in a big way. However, most of the bad luck relates to work, family, health and friendship and as this is a sex-related meme, I shall concentrate on that theme.

I met my husband when I was 29 and prior to that had had a number of sexual partners, but I would not particularly rate any of them as being outstanding or particularly memorable. Apart from the first one, the rest were all about the guys and their selfish pleasure. I wouldn’t have had the confidence at that age to have questioned it – that’s how it was, sex was mainly about the man.  I have blogged before about my sexual relationship with my husband, so will not repeat the details again, but have linked it here if you wish to read further. But to sum up, at the age of 46, I genuinely believed that I would never have sex again, and had resigned myself to that fate. I felt fat, unattractive and undesirable. Then I discovered the dark side of Twitter and the dream of being sexually attractive and desirable became real. Some other adventures subsequently happened and I started this blog – none of which would have occurred without Twitter.

I feel more sexually confident than I have ever done before, even though I have put on weight. But that confidence still needs to grow and be enhanced through further experiences. I now know what I want and what I don’t want sexually; which I guess is one of the advantages of getting older.  But finding what I want is not proving to be a quick process and I do worry that time may not be on my side. I feel that my window of opportunity is a very limited one. Although I do often feel sexy and desirable, I realise that my age may dictate that this could disappear any time soon.  I know age is only a number, but our bodies usually say one thing, while our minds say another!  I have only just rediscovered sex and I don’t want to lose it again so soon!

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