Coming Out Of The Closet. Mark 2.

For as long as I can remember I’ve hated having my photograph taken. I’m not entirely sure why, although feeling awkward in front of a camera and some hellish looking pictures over the years may have had something to do with it.

When I joined WordPress I had no intention of putting my face or own name to my site. I’ve already done a post on my reasons here ‘faceless, not voiceless’, so it’s pointless to reiterate. But something has changed. Maybe not hugely. But significantly enough.

OM did a rant on his post, the-right-to-opinion, regarding Project O, which I took part in. I mainly took part in it because of his rant. How dare I not express my opinion when it may be of some benefit to others? As pointed out by OM, some people – many people, way too many people – do not enjoy that basic right.

I said, quite truthfully, in my post for Project O that I would fight for my rights. All of them. But, especially those I value highly – like free speech, self-determination, freedom to worship in my chosen way, freedom to be me.

And then it occurred to me that fighting means putting yourself out there. Oh, I do that in my life but not in public forums. I’m actually quite shy in lots of ways and the main one has always been any public display.

This sounds a bit stupid to my own ears, coming from someone who has sung in front of hundreds of people and in pubs, in front of strangers. But, I was so much younger then and probably had a different sort of confidence. But mostly, my mum had drummed it into me that talent was a gift and self-effacing bashfulness disallowed use of that talent. Talents are to be shared. Otherwise we insult God. And waste our gifts.

Anyway, all I had to do was stand up and perform. Performing is one thing. The idea of ‘being myself’ in any sort of public display embarrasses me.

I’m the person who would use a nom de plume if I ever finish a book. I would shun publicity if it were required.

So, what kind of righteous militant am I when I can’t face people but ‘hide’ behind my voice?

I don’t feel I’ve been hiding here. I’ve found kindness and understanding and approval. For my words. But, most importantly, as my words express me, for me.

It may seem somewhat pathetic but maybe we’re all a bit pathetic. With or without faces, we’re all seeking something from WordPress. From each other. Otherwise, I’d still be writing, dating it and filing it.

So, coming out of the closet Mark 1 was putting myself, in words, out here. Not on Facebook, not on Twitter or anywhere else.

But that has to change, I feel. Coming out of the closet Mark 2 has been required. And I did it yesterday. I did a video reading of a poem I’d written and opened up a scottishmomus Facebook account so that I had somewhere to post the video to. I had a hellish time trying to work out how to connect it from Facebook to WordPress but, with a little help from my friends, thanks Cubby, I did it.

At the moment, all that means is that I’m ‘performing’ but I’m putting my face with my voice and my words on display. For public perusal.

I am kacking it slightly but I see no reason to go back  – unless, of course, Facebook people are horrible to me!

I don’t know what Mark 3 will be or even if there is one or should be one. But, my ‘getting over photophobia’ and fear of public display begins. I am adding a page to my site for video readings of some of my writing. My face is there, my voice is there, my words are there.

OM asked what we hoped to expect or happen from Project O. I never expected this. I’ll be running around naked next through the town, shouting to passersby that I’m no longer shy or afraid. Well, maybe not naked. I do have some modesty left.

Little and large things can be changed in so many subtle, unexpected ways.

Something special is occurring here. I can feel it. I know it. OM’s Project O is not just for me and my little foibles. It’s for everyone. To give over an entire month on a forum that has over 23,000 followers, to allow all of those linked in this way to share each others’ minds and opinions is huge. It’s momentous.

I don’t know what it is yet. But, I’m pretty sure OM has an idea and hopes. I’m really beginning to think that ‘Ohm’ would be more appropriate as his catch-all.

It takes someone a bit ‘bolshy’, a bit questioning, a bit pushy, a bit ‘get in your fucking face’, to raise awareness. He’s doing that. And not, I believe for himself. Oh, he may get something out of it. There’s usually splendid payback when you do something wonderful, And, really, this has the potential to be full of wonder. My stomach’s fluttering at its potential. Insights and understanding of others could go a long way in making the world a better place for all of us. For all children, no matter where they are born. Namaste.

 

My videos will be ‘warped’ somewhat to protect myself, I hope, from mammies and daddies of weans I teach. If any of them come on here and see my full face and name I might get into bother for letting ‘fuck’ and ‘wank’ and other such niceties slip from my pen. I try to do so only when it seems fitting and I’m pretty sure lots of people (including mammies, daddies and some school kids) use them. But, given some of the odd things that happen in this crazy world, I’m looking out for my job.

And, if anyone recognises my face that knows me as Mrs. ******, school teacher extraordinaire! – I’m blaming OM. He made me do it! Well, you know what I mean.

And, if ever I make it into print and people slate me, I’m blaming him for that too.

And, if I burn the dinner today – well, I’ll blame my husband. I’m too busy writing to cook!

Thanks OM. It’s only taken 52 years! Where have you been all my life? Oh, that’s right, you weren’t born. 🙂

50 thoughts on “Coming Out Of The Closet. Mark 2.”

  1. Haha! Great post! I agree with you on the faceless not voiceless idea. I originally started off the same way but I’ve ended up putting a few photos of myself with friends and The Bloke…

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  2. I’m, I’m effect, faceless on my blog, but it’s more for security reasons. It sounds really silly in words, but at school they keep on talking about Internet safety and the like, and all these creepy Internet horror stories. 😕 I do hope to post some pictures some day though. 🙂

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    1. I know just what you mean. There are some weird things to worry about on the net. I hope I’ve not made a boob, although I’ve tried to keep the visuals on the video partial. For me, it’s more about getting over some of my phobias, you know? It’s a bit ridiculous of me to feel that this is a big step. But, it feels like one. And I couldn’t or wouldn’t have done it a few weeks ago. It just feels right now somehow. Whatever feels right for you is alright by me. I’m happy to have friends with and without faces. It’s about the person. :)x

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  3. “self-effacing bashfulness disallowed use of that talent” ….wow did that line speak to me.

    I think it is wonderful that you are sharing more of your talents with your WordPress family and in a way that you feel comfortable. You have such a beautiful voice, and it is such a great pleasure to listen to you read. I am pretty happy being a cat for now, but maybe one day I will materialize in a different form. 🙂

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    1. Aren’t we all just riddled with self-doubt and a sense of being somehow unworthy? Or is that just me? Cubby, you have a beautiful soul. I know that. I have read your words and absorbed their meanings and messages. Whatever form you take on changes nothing for me and how I perceive you. The time seemed right for me is all. A little more confidence perhaps. I’m pleased for me at the moment. I hope it doesn’t come back and kick me in the teeth! Hence, what I hope is a partial view. My friends are friends because of who they are and not because of visuals. I learned that one a long time ago and have been proven right over and over not to be deceived by looks. Except maybe for Hugh Jackman. He might be a right bastard for all I know but I’d still jump his bones! I would just tell him to shut up while I was at it! 🙂 🙂
      I will always look forward to your words and communication. Love and hugs.x

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      1. I think you are right that the majority of people have some self-doubt and/or sense of unworthiness. I think, however, that it is inevitable that people’s perceptions will change once they see someone’s physical appearance as we have lived most of our lives judging people based on their looks in some manner. Unfortunately, we cannot escape all of our culturally engrained sensibilities when it comes to appearance, but hopefully for these superficial aspects, the modifications made to our opinions are also only superficially small and insignificant.

        BUT surely someone as handsome as Hugh Jackman is just as handsome on the inside! 😉

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      2. He must be, I think. Nature wouldn’t be so cruel. People can be, no doubt. It is in the nature of the beast, as they say. But, not everyone, thankfully, perceives others through only one medium. x

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  4. Ah you’re a brave one, alright!! I still live my 2 separate blogs but I am quite outspoken on my public one on issues. This one here is more for writing and personal stuff comes out that I cannot allow with my work.

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    1. I don’t know about brave. I might have to start another blog after this! I do try not to say anything that would implicate directly or identify anyone I work with. Or indeed identify my kids or husband. Unless they’re happy about it. I’ve shared some things about school as you know from way back in June. Not anything identifiable. Just feelings. We have been, as a collective group, (teachers) alerted about watching what we say or make public through social media or emailing etc. that could haunt us. It’s all a bit big brother. Although some of it is for valid reasons, some is more about being perceived in a certain way. As if teachers don’t have a life and a personality and problems and opinions. Just an image to live up to. I suppose that goes for so many walks of life. Yours is one such example. The job you do is too important to risk not being able to do it. But you do also have the right to voice your feelings and opinions. If two blogs facilitates this, more power to you. If I end up without a job I’ll just have to get tore into my writing and maybe apply to the court of human rights for the right to be a teacher and a person!
      Namaste, my friend.x

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  5. I was just using those extra 20 years to come up with project O. 😉
    Thanks for the link. It always surprises me to hear how, or that I even have, affected someone in some way. I can only hope the results are what you are looking for. I think we are all just seeking to be something and that “thing” may change, as long as you are happy that is all that matters right? -OM

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    1. I can’t be truly happy. Too much angst about the human condition! But I do try. Don’t underestimate the power of your voice. One voice is sometimes all it takes to make the change. 20 years! I could be your mum!! x

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  6. The reason you don’t like your image is because your whole life youhave been seen in a reflection, a photograph is your true image, its how everyone see you. The camera never lies. 🙂

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    1. FFS! I don’t want that to be true. I truly have some hellish pictures. If I really thought they were like me, I’d walk about with a bag on my head! I think they just capture a moment. And, with me, it’s usually the wrong one. 🙂 x

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      1. Sorry its psychological nothing you can do about it unless you start viewing your life through a lens. But isn’t beauty in the eye of beholder so its nothing to with you as you are not the beholder. 🙂

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      2. Well, I don’t want to view my life through a lens, even rose-coloured tinted. But, I don’t really see how that works. I’ve had photos taken where other people agreed (and laughed!) that the images did not look like me. I’m so awkward in front of a camera that I have bizarre facial expressions. Well, I suppose I do, actually. 🙂 I just don’t want those to be the ones that are captured! I’m embarrassed now ‘cos I’m obviously a vain bugger! And, for urging that self-analysis on me, I don’t know whether to kiss you or kick you. 🙂 I’ll settle for a kiss but only ‘cos my legs don’t stretch that far!x

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      3. Over the years as a photographer I must have photographed thousands of people doing weddings, portraits, events, commercial and unless you are experienced people are very nervous and having your photograph taken can be a trail, not knowing where to put hands, faking a smile and you can always spot a fake smile and we instinctively know as there is no ‘crows feet ‘ which a muscle work only when you you smile for real, look in the mirror and try it. Anyway have a read of this, its very interesting 🙂 http://mashable.com/2013/02/15/social-media-and-the-selfie/

        Enjoy

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      4. That was very interesting. I could identify with quite a few aspects of self-perception and image. I also think that you’re absolutely right with your comment above. Most times photos are being taken they are posed and I hate that, hate that, hate that. The only ones I’ve ever liked of myself have been captured when I didn’t know. So, I obviously grimace for the camera. It must be so difficult to be a photographer and succeed in making people look natural when they are strained, as some of us are.

        Maybe that’s why I don’t mind the video so much. There’s animation in it so I suppose it’s more like me than a strained pic would be. Even although I get to ‘warp’ it.
        I’m curious now what you were doing on the Social Psychology site! Or did you look that up particularly?x

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  7. Absolutely love your sense of humor. Your writing resonates so much with me. Although I have no children of my own, I was an elementary teacher for over 20 years…I considered those little ones my own, although I could send ’em home at night. I, too, am an introvert and somehow, even though I’ve used a photo, my blog seems to give me voice a don’t otherwise have. Thank you for sharing your Spirit-given talent with us.

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    1. I love psychology, I love the way people interact with each other on all levels, I also love Sociology, I love watching people in groups, people who live in streets and interaction with their neighbours. When I was a child, I live 80% of my childhood in a Victorian street, we were poor and lived behind a shops storeroom, with livingroom, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, outside loo and tin bath. Everyone on that street including the shop in the middle was connected with the sea, either fishermen, lumpers, filleters etc. You can read more here http://mysoresoul.co.uk/weekly-photo-challenge-sea/
      But we were safe, safe to come home from school to a locked door and with the knowledge we could go to ANY door and would be taken in until someone came home, my grandmother and uncles lived in the next identical street through the alley.
      When the fishing industry died so did the community, house came for sale, up for rent and people moved away to find work in other towns, as we did. I returned to these streets 3 years ago and I was taking photos and stopped by two police officers and asked what I was doing, I said I used to live here and they said we will wait with you until you have finished because you will get mugged…….these streets were the most sort after when I was a kid.
      So many social changes have taken place since the 70’s, adults, especially females are in their 30’s have never changed a nappy, at 10 I was changing by brothers nappy, I was feeding him and putting my sister to bed because my mother was working, families stayed together, worked together, grandfathers, worked with fathers, fathers worked with sons.
      The whole social structure has collapsed and we are seeing that social structure changing online, people are not leaving their homes at night to nip to the pub because of the fear of violence so they stay at home, watch TV and with laptop on knee talking to ‘friends’ with the glass of wine on the side. No disrespect but people online are not my friends, I don’t know these people I speak to, I cannot see any body language, I cannot see facial expressions these things matter to me and tell me that I am safe with a person, small body movements cause me to move away, step forwards, trust or distrust. All I know of you and you of I is what we have written and anybody can lie.
      I have friends, I am not a 55 year old fat bloke surrounded by empty M&M packets and tissues, wearing skid marked and yellow stained off white Y fronts and beer stained vest, who hasn’t moved from the seated position for 8 hours. I have friends I have met online and then met in real life until then I don’t trust them, unless they have done something to make me trust………normally a signed blank cheque shows trust lol.

      Going back to the photographs, I never or rarely pose adults, never pose children, humour is the only way to take a photograph. Humour at a weddings its stressful enough for the couple, so for example I normally used to reshoot the exchange of rings and the kiss as many churches don’t allow photographs during the service, so when it comes to the kiss, they lock lips and I say while taking photos, “hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it…..” and so on, then they smiles during the locked lips and their faces glow. With children, I have them sitting, mum on one side, dad on the other, camera on tripod and shutter release cable on and just keep clicking away, its digital its free, unlike when I shot in film, everyone counts lol.

      Ok your bored now…….. 🙂

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      1. So much to answer to in your comment. Firstly, I enjoy psychology and sociology myself. It is fascinating to observe people and communities and try to comprehend what makes them tick. Although so many motivations are similar, it’s the nuances of people’s conditions that create the mystery and the wonder. Each person striving in different ways because of life experiences and natural inclinations. And socoiology governed by so many diverse factors. All of it very fascinating.
        Secondly, I possibly am too trusting of people. I’ve had my fingers burned but I must be the eternal optimist when it comes to human nature. I have made snap judgements before and I’ve been right. But I’ve also been wrong and had to reconsider my first impressions. You’re right when you say that people can and do lie. How much can any one of us trust another whether face to face or online? What I do feel about here, is that I can gauge a sense of who people are by their words and how they are formed and their topics of conversation. OK, so I’m not meeting them down the pub but, when I do go to the pub with friends it’s to talk and share a laugh and some anecdotes. Maybe have a sing-song. All that is not going to happen here. But some of it does. I do have a sense of others and rightly or wrongly, I’ll take my chances. It’s not like I’m going to meet up with people here. Although I have invited two Canadians for a holiday!
        It is sad to see the death of a community once known and loved. I see it here in my own surroundings. What was the town of my childhood is quite different now. Less countryside for rambles, fewer people I know on the Main Street, fewer jobs available locally and a sense that something has died a little. Or a lot. I still have people I have known and lived among for years but we don’t live the same way in terms of closeness and dependence. Although, I’m pretty sure I could call on anyone of my neighbours for assistance. They’ve been there before for me, taking the kids in if I’ve been delayed. And the kids know them. Our two next door neighbours are amazing women.
        Perhaps people do go out less now. I’m trying to think of an amazing short story one of my kids had been reading at school. It centred on someone out for a walk when they were stopped by the automated police and asked why they were not at home in safety with their entertainment systems. I suppose it may be getting more and more like that fantasy.
        And lastly, thank God you took natural pics. I did actually manage to relax at my wedding and had some smashing pics as a result. One of my younger brother’s friends did a homemade video of it for £40. It was a hoot because it had all the real stuff going on in it. Nothing posed and nothing edited. A bit like me, I was going to say. But that wouldn’t be true. We all, I believe, keep some things back of ourselves and that’s reserved for maybe only the very closest of friends.
        And please don’t depict yourself in the way you did, even jokingly. It was an awful image to conjure up! 🙂 x
        P.S. I’m rarely bored. It’s one of the things I really like about myself. :)x

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      2. LOL No that was an image of me, I don’t wear Y fronts for a start 😛 and I have lost 6 stone and now 14.7lb first time since I was 30, 20 years ago.
        I spent a lot of my childhood being bullied mostly by an uncle who is only 4 years older me, he tried it again a few years ago, he forgot I am older and I put him in his place live on Facebook, before removing him. When I was at school both primary and then to the grammar school, there were a group of us that came from the fish side of Grimsby and was reminded often that we didn’t need an education as we will work on the docks like our forefathers, guess our black cloaked, cane wielding masters did have hindsight they thought they had so we were treated differently and left at our own devices.
        Anyway I digress, I am quite a shy person which the bullying didn’t help develop an outgoing person, but I am more open online and my cheeky side comes out, because if it goes wrong and I have attracted another bully I can hit delete and make it better, I hate to think what Freud would make of that. 🙂

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    1. Yes he was a bit, I had to read quite a bit in child development, I was called the lecturers nightmare as I always argued when we did theorists as there is no point looking what they thought in 1920’s as society and behaviour has changed since then ands as children are affected by that change their behaviour also, How many alcoholic druggies aged 18 with 2 children were there in the 1920’s The human instincts haven’t change still need comfort, food and warmth but as proven with baby monkeys a baby can get that from a automated robot. 🙂

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      1. fantasy is a dangerous if you are loose lipped during ‘snoogle time ‘ with the calling out the name of the character who portrays in your fantasies. I am sure one day there will be a contraction that will look like a miners lamp and will project your fantastic fantasies onto the bedroom wall for you to share. Now the person who invents that will be able to afford to act out their Fab fantasies for real. As for mine they are drug induced madness, to combat and control my pain I have patches that I wear on my arm contains a drug that is 100 times more potent then morphine and along with two painkiller tablets, lets put it this way I woke up on morning with no PJ ‘s on a mark on my chest like a disc the size of a 2p had been push against my skin and a very real belief that I had been kidnapped by aliens. I even told my doctor and she said that is quite normal until the brain gets used to the chemicals. I don’t think my mind has I still have strange one. I have waking dreams which last for only a second or two and when I have taken painkillers and dozy its a mixture of real life and my mind, they are quite nice, never had a bad one yet lol.

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  8. Anyway who says Hugh Jackman is good looking? Do we look at our ‘idols’ and feel attracted to them because our hormones, do basic instincts say that she has the right shape with a healthy glow and child bearing hips, large ample breasts to provide sustenance for off spring to carry on my genes. Is Hugh that male you lust after ,is he the right shape, the triangle shaped torso with muscles in his arms and legs big enough to provide for you, is he able to chase down the wooly mammoth and defend you against other attracted younger males when they come sniffing around for gene transference.
    Attraction for sex is one of the most basic instincts we have, not only for pleasure but for gene transference. We take our time selecting the right partner, attracting them especially males with gifts that we know will make the male look more attractive, the bigger the gift the more likely the male will be rewarded with everything from a fumble in the dark to full blown sex. But of course this is also influenced by ones moral compass and social influences such as upbringing, peer pressure, emotional influences, loneliness, shyness, how we score ourselves on looks and how we score others we are attracted to for example we score ourselves on looks, say between 1 & 10, 1 being the most ugliest critter walking on the face of this earth and 10 being beauty that no angel can match, if you score yourself a 5 you will be attracted to anyone you score between 4 & 6 some of us are very good at getting score right and other are hopeless, an experiment was done to prove this people were asked to bring in two photographs one of themselves and one of their partners on the back they were asked to write a score between one and ten and then place the images randomly on a table. When this was done people were then told to match one image to another by guessing the score. I took part in this experiment and I was utter rubbish, yet 60% of the class scored 90% correct.
    There are exceptions to this rule for example Andrew Lloyd Webber, he would score low for good looks, I think you would agree, but he makes up in talent and bank balance, footballers such as Wayne Rooney or Shriek as he is known to his friends, again it’s not the good looks it’s the status of having a rich talented man on your arm. Now there are other attraction factors such as how they act, the sound of their voice, the sensation of their touch, and other sensory cues. These are things we can identify and recognise; they are obvious and self-evident. Yet lying below the surface of our conscious awareness are subtle, less apparent factors that contribute to the degree of attractiveness we find in others. These factors relate to unspoken, even unknown wishes and desires for what we might be able to experience with this person. They involve the agenda of the heart and they often are very distinct from the desires of the mind. Such agenda can include the hopes of fulfilment, the healing of buried wounds, or a realisation of our deepest life potential.
    So Back to Hugh, ladies and some men swoon over him, they love his rugged look as Wolverine, is it the fantasy of a strong, protected man to come and protect you from the days drudgery of the washing machine and the kitchen sink, or the kind caring side and the interaction with his son in the film about fighting robots in Real Steel, what about the role in Les Misérables as Jean Valjean , either way all manner of role playing fantasies will roll through the female and yes male minds while on their own, or in some cases with a partner. Many teenage girl have had their first orgasm at pop concerts, it was first reported at Beatles concerts, just being with the Fab 4 in the same arena was enough to cause total collapse of female and some male fans, 1Direction better watch out!!
    Last thing I wish to mention which there is no real proof of these playing important parts in attraction, it does in pigs so why not humans;

    Pheromones
    Studies show that men’s smell is more appealing to women around the time they are ovulating. This facilitates contact at the key moment for conception. Some other studies suggest that women most like the smell of men whose looks are symmetrical at the most fertile period of their menstrual cycle. They can also smell the difference between symmetrical and non-symmetrical faces.
    “They are looking for the best genes,” Sergeant says. “A few studies have also pointed out that men find women’s odour most attractive when the female is most fertile.” At around this time of ovulation, a woman’s body odour and vaginal secretions are also more appealing to males. “Lots of secretions like body odour are dependent on hormones moving around the body. As people’s hormones change, their smell changes.”
    Human attraction Eh! What would we do without it!!

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    1. I just fancy him. 🙂 That’s all. And so does half the female population, by the sounds of it. The reasons behind attraction are indeed multi-varied. I only saw him in Australia with Nicole Kidman and then later in a couple of other movies. Of course, an actor’s depiction of a character may have some bearing on our sensibilities but he’s just lovely. Like a flower is lovely. Or a mountain. Or a lake. Nature is benevolent in her beauty. And, I’ve never been near enough to smell him. I wish! Then I could experiment with the theories outlined. But, as I am a faithful, loving wife who also happens to fancy her own husband, I’ll keep my dreams as fantasies. Nothing wrong with fantasy. 🙂 x

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    2. Thank you its fine I have days when nothing can quench the pain, imagine the worst tooth ache and the imagine that in every joint and muscle and its so sore that a hug can have you screaming, chuck in sleeplessness, irradiatable bowel and bladder, dizziness, fuzziness in the head. Day in the life of most with fibromyalgia add arthritis in most of my joints including my spine, toothach sounds a lot more fun lol. Smile 🙂

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