Sunday, 27 December 2009


I went on holiday to Spain last Monday. After twelve fun-filled hours at Gatwick I returned home again. Trouble was as I’d left, the builders had moved in and so I got back to a flat filled with dust and destruction.

I had to break into my own bedroom which I’d sealed up against the onslaught only to leave again at 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning to travel back to the airport where the big silver bird finally decided its wheels were able to navigate the two centimetres of fresh slush and so it took to the skies.

When I landed at Malaga, it was raining so hard I thought I’d best rent an ark rather than a car. The thunder and lightning were so severe, I expected G-d’s voice to boom down from on high telling us all The End Was Nigh.

It rained for four days and four nights. I hardly left my apartment. Sunday morning dawned bright and clear just in time for me to return to the airport to collect my children who are now staying with me, effectively ending the holiday that never got started in the first place!

Add to the above the long-awaited translation into Spanish of my first novel for my editorial perusal, and you've got a whole heap of hard work to throw into the equation.

The translator has told the story but removed the spirit with which I am wont to write. She was too lazy to utilise synonyms and so I counted forty-eight uses of the word ‘enormous’ in the text as well as many other repeats, something I always try very hard not to do. What about ‘big, great, large, massive, colossal, huge, monumental, gynormous, humungous'?

Consequently, I am now obliged to go through the book word for word to ensure it sounds right. Luckily - or not - I speak Spanish and my sister has helped. Had it been in Swedish, it would have gone to the publishers as an ‘enormous’ly bad edit and I’d never have known. . .

The ‘suitable’ older man I spoke about recently has blotted his copybook so many times that his days are seriously numbered.

What is his crime? I hear you ask. Being way too keen, I hasten to answer.

His texting, literally morning, noon and night is driving me nuts and boring me to tears. I’ve resorted to being rude in return – no actually, I’m being honest:

He texted to say he’d been to the gym and now had the body of a 20-year old.

I replied that I actually did have the body (and the head) of a 20-year old tied to my bed in London awaiting my return. That’s one way of holding onto your youth!

As for Mr. Suitable . . . the meaner I am, the keener he becomes!

Why is it always the troggy ones who want you truly, madly and deeply?

Sunday, 13 December 2009


I can actually feel my late mother pushing me towards him. I can actually see my girlfriends nodding their heads enthusiastically and giving me the thumbs-up. I can actually hear my children sighing with relief and saying: “About time – thank God she’s finally come to her senses!”

And yet . . . and yet . . . I don’t know, I just don’t know. You see . . . the problem is . . . (don’t all faint at once!) I’ve. Met. A. Suitable. Man.

What’s suitable? I hear you ask.

He’s the right class, status, religion and demographic.
A bit short but taller than me.
Not bad looking.
Good head of hair.
Decent teeth from what I could see.
Gentlemanly, as in opening doors and walking on the side of the road the carriages splash mud over.
Well turned-out and presentable.
Nice car.
Booked a great restaurant for lunch.
Interesting enough to talk to.
Recently widowed so very different to a divorcé.
Didn’t hog the conversation boasting about his past achievements and general prowess.
Very keen to see me again asap.

So what’s the problem? I hear you ask again.

The problem is that I’m not yet ‘half way sensible’. Because if I was ‘half way sensible’, I’d leap on him like a hungry lion and cling to him till death do us part. Because, as I understand it, in the eyes of society, at 63¾, with probably no more than ten good years left, I should be looking to settle down with someone with whom I can enjoy the twilight of my life and go gentle into that good night.

Bollocks! says I. As long as I’m still getting messages on toyboywarehouse. com from 21-year olds (yes! 5 minutes ago!) saying I’m hot and gorgeous and when can we meet for a drink? why on earth would I want to hang up my boots and settle down with a 63-year old?

This is not a trick question, but I could really use some good advice.


Sunday, 6 December 2009


It’s been a bit of a wild weekend. No, not like that . . . it’s just that I’ve been followed around by three different film crews. I mean honestly, what’s a girl to do? No film crews for simply ages, then just like buses, three come along all at once!

My inner Media Whore rose to the occasion with the usual aplomb, posing and preening for the cameras, trawling out my much-told tales, trying to find a new slant on the way I relate the fact that I enjoy the company of younger men.

If only they would ask me different questions, I’d be able to give them different answers . . .

It all began on Friday afternoon with an insightful interview with the delightful Jo Good for the BBC1 series 'Inside Out' to be aired on Valentine’s Day.

This was swiftly followed on Saturday by ze French TV peeple, marching into my apartment like Napoleon's army, rifling through my wardrobe, picking out what they thought I ought to wear, moving my furniture around and directing me to tell zem exactly what it eez zat I like about ze boyztoyz.

They filmed me in the (disrupted) comfort of my own home then took me hostage and made me drive them to the Toyboy Warehouse Xmas Party (Zut alors! Quel chore!) where they continued their interrogation while I tried to act normal and work my way through a whole gaggle of gorgeous guys.

Another crew were already filming there and it seemed greedy to hog them as well, so I didn’t, but then Auntie Beeb turned up again and we had to continue what we’d started in the Ladies Room as the party was so crowded and noisy by that time, I couldn’t hear myself flirt.

I’d be lying if I said I don’t enjoy the media spotlight. Something inside me opens up like a flower when the cameras start to roll and I feel myself growing and glowing. It’s probably a bit late to find one's preferred milieu at the age of 63, but I guess it’s better to find it late than not find it at all.

Now I have to work hard on keeping that spotlight shining. Plans are afoot. Watch this space. . .

Sunday, 29 November 2009


An old – and I mean positively ancient – friend of mine just lost his wife after 45 years. They’d worked and lived together 24/7 and her sudden death came as an agonizing blow.

When I spoke to him immediately after it happened, the first thing he did was to come on to me. We’d always enjoyed a bit of a flirt and I liked him well enough, but there was no way I was going to show interest in such sensitive circumstances, apart from which he’s far too old for me (72!) and I never fancied him anyway.

Days after the poor woman was barely cold in her grave, the bereaved husband was on the internet seeking solace. He complained about early-onset loneliness, the hollow emptiness of his house, the terror of climbing the stairs to bed each night and not finding her there. Those of us who’ve suffered human loss of any sort can certainly relate to that.

His sons, grandchildren, business colleagues and friends could not console him. He needed another woman! And fast! Enter Ms Russia. Oh how we groaned . . .

Don’t you realise what she wants? said one. She’s hardly after you for your looks, said another. This is disrespectful to J’s memory, said a third. Give yourself time to grieve, said a fourth. No fool like an old fool! they all said in unison.

The trouble is, emotionally, men are not strong. Especially men who’ve been looked after all their lives – washing and ironing done, food on the table, children reared and packed off into the world. OK, I know they have to bring home the bacon and provide the means, but a widowed woman is a very different animal to a widowed man.

And so Mr. T started dating Ms Russia long-distance and became hooked. Late night conversations soon became intimate and revelatory as they do without the naked exposure of eye-to-eye contact. In fairness, she’s no spring chicken, but life in the West is a great draw and she soon professed undying love.

They met in the summer, planned their future in the autumn, and get married this winter. Poor J hasn’t been gone six months - no wonder some of his kids have disowned him and his friends are saying: “Good on ya, mate” to his face and screwing their fingers into their temples behind his back.

But is he so wrong? Should he have waited? Come to terms with his loss, let time be the healer and all those other platitudes we’re told to suffer. Aren’t we all just looking for love (maybe in all the wrong places) but grateful anyway for whatever form it takes?

He says she’s saved him - if it hadn’t been for her, he’d have topped himself. And if, as he reckons, he only has 10 or 15 years left, why should he spent them in misery and pain if there’s a woman out there willing to spend them with him?

I take my hat off to a man who’s recognized his weaknesses and pro-activated himself a happier future even if society disapproves. I wish them both joy. If they’ve found something in each other that no one else can provide, then good luck to them.

As the Beatles sang: All you need is love . . .

Friday, 20 November 2009


My best friend’s gone off to Cuba and I’m feeling a bit spare. I could have gone with her but the time isn’t right as I have ‘stuff’ going on and am also deeply immersed in writing my next novel.

I’m also more than slightly susceptible to anyone who ‘purrs’ at night. Had she committed this most cardinal of all sins and disturbed my precious sleep, I would have had to kill her. Then I would have lost my best friend and my freedom which would have been stupid on both counts.

You see we normally speak every morning to talk about last night and every night to talk about the day ahead. So in her absence, I’ll just have to talk to you instead.

The question I’m posing, after a recent date, is: how much sex is too much sex? And do men ever actually think they’ve had enough? I don’t mean in the post-orgasmic afterglow when they’re either fast asleep or trying to figure out how soon they can leave without seeming rude, but in general terms like: there’s no one special in my life at the moment, so I’ll just switch off until someone comes along. I’m guessing the answer is NO.

Some women can go for months or even years without sex and it doesn’t bother them in the slightest. There’s always the faithful Lapin who loves one unconditionally but with great passion and goes back in its box when one’s had one’s fill.

Women don’t deploy an ‘every seven second’ mechanism whereby whatever they’re doing, they’re also having a mental wank at the same time. When my mind is otherwise occupied, the part of my brain that controls desire cruises on neutral. It’s only when someone comes along and rings my bells that it cranks back into gear again.

I don’t think men have that neutral facility. It’s a design fault, like the one
G-d made when he put the definitive female pulse point in a place inaccessible to the male organ just when it’s needed the most. (Again. . . Hail O Rabbit! – I love thee well!)

Despite our neutral ability, there have also been times when a lover, whoever he may be, has satisfied me sufficiently that the first thought that enters my head is: Thank you very much, you can go home now. I don’t much like room or bed-sharing, which is another reason why I’m writing this in London as opposed to Cuba!

Although I’m partial to a morning cuddle, I haven’t worked out a polite way of asking said lover to piss off and go and sleep in the other room. but to please creep back in when he thinks I’m ready for him next morning.

Had I been discussing all this with my absent friend, she would by now have voiced an opinion, shared some stories and made me laugh. Us girls always enjoy commenting on each other's love lives - it’s aural voyeurism or auralism, if that’s a word, and if it’s not, I’ve just invented it.

So there you have it. Random thoughts. Must go now. I’m trying to organise an End of Year Party for 30 people to include champagne, canapés, a buffet brunch and Hollywood musical film show on a very tight budget. Any suggestions would be gratefully accepted!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


“So this date you’ve got tonight – are you going to take her home with you?” my girlfriend asked.

“Absolutely” I answered with conviction.

“And later – are you going to go to bed with her?”

“Yes I am,” I said equally confidently. “I can’t guarantee we’ll have sex but I’m definitely going to sleep with her.”

Let me explain: last Monday night, I took myself off to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to see my favourite ballet Mayerling. It was a late decision, the house was sold out but I managed to acquire the one last decent seat in the house.

I felt rather brave attending such an illustrious occasion on my own but I really wanted to see Carlos Acosta performing in the role and you don't get him prancing about at the local Odeon.

I had a few apprehensions about entering the enormous Vilar Floral Hall bar by myself during the two 20 minute intervals and had I been completely wussy about it, I could have simply stayed in my seat. I was, however, determined to enjoy the whole experience and so I did.

Mayerling was a feast for all the senses - not many people could choreograph a story about a syphilitic, morphine-addicted womanising Crown Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who died in a suicide pact with one of his mistresses and make it entertaining, but the late, great Kenneth Macmillan certainly managed to.

While I was sipping my glass of champagne and enjoying my cashew nuts, a couple of men looked at me and smiled. A couple of women looked at me then looked away again. I didn’t care. I was dressed up to the nine and half weeks and I’d paid the price of my ticket.

And now I’ve fought the fear and done it anyway, I’ll never be afraid of going to the theatre, cinema or away on holiday on my own ever again.

Another evening concerned a young gentleman I’ve been texting for some time with whom I finally made a date to cook with only to have him cancel at the last minute ‘due to illness’.

The date was rescheduled, duly confirmed, a menu decided upon, the shopping done and guess what? The little f*cker cancelled again - ‘called away on business’ or so he said!

What is it with some blokes that they just feel they can just fiddle around with your agenda when all you’d really like them to do is fiddle around with you?

Anyway, nothing lost. I called in my first reserve and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening eating all the delicious goodies and watching TV on the sofa. And then we went to bed.

Learning to Love Yourself is Truly the Greatest Love of All!

Sunday, 25 October 2009


Someone asked me recently if, after so many meanderings through the labyrinths of life, I didn’t now hanker deep down for a long-term, settled, committed relationship.

Having given what some may say were 'the best years of my life’ to marriage (all through my 20s and all through my 30s) plus a further 7 years from 49 to 56 to long-term, settled, committed relationships only to have them not work out, I now know what suits me and what doesn't:

Wabi-Sabi: a Japanese expression meaning The Beauty of Impermanence.

The trouble with the merging of men and women is that we both want different things. On the basis of there being, say, 10 levels - if you click with someone on 6 of them, they’re going to be found wanting on the other 4. And what they’re wanting is going to be very different from what you’re wanting.

As time goes by, those un-clicked levels are going to gnaw away at your happiness until there’s a hole big enough to drive a lawyer through.

To my mind, being ‘settled’ at this stage would be akin to having one Wellington boot stuck in the mud while the foot with the tango shoe on it thrashes the air helplessly trying to dance.

* * * * *

The fact that I write about my sex life seems to be an open invitation to some men to grope me indiscriminately just because they feel like it. They also assume that because they want me (or possibly anyone) ‘me’ must automatically want them back. Having invited a lady out, they should not expect that lady to invite them in. And when they’re let down – gently but firmly - yet still persist in being lascivious, that’s just downright arrogant, ignorant and rude.

I am, however, prepared to keep an open mind and as an antidote to my forays into toyboy territory, I help to run a Singles Social Group for people aged 50-70. On Sunday we visited a stately home for a guided tour and afternoon tea.

In one of the grand salons where Countess Lavinia Gimemore-Goldleif once entertained The Grand Duke Harry und Gedemoff, there were some chairs. Two of the male members sat down and promptly fell asleep. Older men, eh? I rest my case.

So as far as long-term relationships go, it ain’t happening at the moment. And so I shall continue to amble through the maze without finding the way out. Because I enjoy the Wabi-Sabi - and let’s face it: a long-term, settled, committed relationship wouldn’t half interfere with my social life.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


I came back late last night from a long weekend in Istanbul. OHMIGOD! The men! They're all insane! But I loved it!

I’ve had a chat up line or two thrown in my direction in the past few years but none as inventive, exotic and amusing as those dished out by the Turks!

Any ladies feeling neglected in the fawning department should head straight to the airport. Don’t bother to pack – you can shop till you flop right there.

The first point in the Turkish men’s favour is that 50% of them are gorgeous: tan-skinned, black-haired, pistachio green-eyed, three-day stubbled, in short . . . drool-worthy. And if you glance admiringly in their direction, you’ll get it back in spades.

The second point (perhaps not in their favour) is that they’re the biggest shmoozers in history. All I wanted to do was browse the Grand Bazaar but I nearly ended up with a third husband!

Before you’ve had a chance to take in the stock of jewels, handbags, leathers, souvenirs, pashminas, spices and furs, the merchant salesmen have lured you into their caves with a:

“Vel-cum, beautiful lady! Vel-cum! Today is my birthday! You help me celebrate or you break my heart!” Oh! OK then. . . if you put it like that . . .

A small boy appears through the labyrinth swinging a silver tray on which balance various glasses of fruit tea: apple, sour cherry, pomegranate, melon – very tasty. Of course, you neither want nor need a glass of tea, but it’s all part of the shopping experience.

As the banter goes on, your head is turned, your blood starts to pump, a surge of adrenaline fuels the fire as a thousand and one designer handbags dance before your eyes. Try as you might, you find yourself unable to resist the vendor’s leathery clutches.

“Your body is perfect. . . like a Coca-Cola bottle!”
“You look so delicious, I want to eat you in a sandwich. . .”
“Look into my eyes, I will change your life . . .”


Now I’ve never had myself down as naïve or impressionable – not with my great age and experience – but by the end of the trip I’d fallen in love - not once, not twice, but three times in as many days! So much so that I actually began to empathise with those foolish English women who set off somewhere hot, and within hours of arriving want to stay forever because they fancy themselves enamoured with the first man who flatters them.

And you can understand why: there’s something utterly seductive about a place where the air smells sweet, the nights are balmy and the moon hangs, laconic and lemony, in the dark night sky.

Add to this a sip of raki, the whisper of promise from those full and faithless lips, the brush of a dark-skinned hand against your hair, the adoring gaze of a pair of long-lashed eyes and what woman wouldn’t find herself hooked?

OK. I'm not shtoopid. I know what they’re after: the same thing men all over the world are after, no matter their colour, creed or climate, but what a wondrous web they weave in their efforts to ensnare you!

No: “Get yer coat, darlin’, you’ve pulled!” or “Brace yerself, Sheila!” for the likes of them. It’s all about ‘your beautiful eyes, your wonderful smile, the scent of your skin, the shape of your mouth’ – keep talking, baby, just Keep. On. Talking. . . even if it is a load of old (Istan) bull!

My first visit to the Grand Bazaar produced one fabulous handbag, a chinchilla-trimmed leather jacket and a date with Josof. The second visit delivered an amethyst necklace, presents for the family and an invitation from Ferro, the quintessential tall, dark, handsome Turkish toyboy. Within hours of meeting, we were snogging on his sofa. Yup! They sure move fast.

The nightly trips to the Tea Garden to smoke shisha pipes and get leered at by anything in trousers offered up Murat, Hasan and Ozäy all very keen to take our relationship to a higher – or was it lower? – plane. In fact the one we nicknamed Ali Baba who started with the usual: “Verr arr you from?” immediately followed this up with: “I have very good feeling about us!” Us? Really? What was your name again?

He did manage to sprat my mobile number though by dictating me his, asking me to dial it to check I had it right and presto! he had mine. Duh!

So now Josof and I are meeting in Rome in November and Ferro is coming to London as soon as he gets a visa and we’re taking the Eurostar to Paris!

I’m very hopeful these two events will come to pass. Why wouldn’t they? These are genuine guys after all, about as genuine as all those Gucci, Fendi, Hermès and Vuitton handbags!

But you know something? I don’t care. You don’t have to go to the party, but boy, it’s nice to be invited! And my long weekend in Istanbul was the most ego-boosting, life-affirming, femininity-flattering experience I’ve had in a very long time.

Saturday, 19 September 2009


The nights are drawing in and the pages of the calendar will soon turn from green to gold but there's Strictly! X Factor! Thai Sweet Chilli Flavoured crisps and dips! Sofa! Heaven!

Now that the world's two favourite programmes are back, fighting for ratings and keeping our channel-flipping thumbs happily occupied, there's only one place to be on a Saturday night. Rejoice and celebrate.

Our old friends Brucie, Tess, Simon, Cheryl, Louis and that girl with the wonky nose are back so no need to feel lonely or afraid if you don't have a date. He'd only talk all the way through it or demand to watch the football instead, and some things - like bars of Green & Black's Dark Organic Cherry Chocolate chomped in front of trash TV - are far better enjoyed alone.

The Wedding in Marbella turned out to be a bit chavvy, in case you were wondering. Despite the beautiful setting, with a ceremony on the fringes of a sunset beach, the company left something to be desired (salvaged at the 11th hour by some cool people on my table).

The first person I set eyes on when I arrived was Paul Danan. And I thought this was meant to be a "Celebrity" wedding!! I was also teamed up with the most boring man on the planet but in case he's reading this, I better say: "Oh no I wasn't!" (then you can say: "Oh yes you was!")

I downed a couple of kir royales in quick succession in an attempt to make the other guests look marginally more attractive. I then embarked on a side-splittingly misguided toyboy moment. Unable to accept the fact that amongst a blur of middle-aged faces I was just another one of the same, I attempted to claw back some of my personality by making eyes at the very bloke who'd filled me with dread on arrival: Paul Danan.

I vaguely remember lurching up to him, telling him I was losing the will to live and demanding that he entertain me. How embarrassing was that? More so, because although he rose to the occasion and promised to comply with my instruction, even suggesting we head off down the beach to search for stranded dolphins, he swiftly disappeared into the crowd never to be seen again!

The expression: No Fool Like An Old Fool was obviously invented for a reason. Shame that night the reason was me!

On returning from sunnier climes, I found a proper old-fashioned letter amid my post. You don't get many of them to the pound nowadays. It had been forwarded by my publishers and contained a 5-page hand-written missive from a man I did not know, whose address began 'H M Prison...'

I'll tell you all about it next time...

Saturday, 5 September 2009


Well not only did he NOT cancel, he arrived with all guns blazing... or at least the Big Gun that mattered. I was ambivalent about how to handle this. Does one slide between the sheets with ex-lovers who've become friends just because one of you is horny? I guess it depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and I was stone cold sober at the time.

It did, however, put to rest something that had been bothering me since the last visit from Beautiful Cherokee. On that occasion, we talked for five hours and then he went home. Much as I enjoyed the social intercourse, his departure left me slightly miffed. I was saddened to think he no longer fancied me. By way of explanation, however, he told me that he had grown to like and respect me so much, it didn't seemed appropriate to have sex any more! Shucks! Does one not have sex with people one likes and respects?

As of today, I am the mother of a 40-year old. How in hell that happened, G-d only knows - I remember giving birth to her like it was yesterday. I've long since stopped worrying about numbers though, and I no longer lie about my age and the ages of my children. It's all out there, loud and proud.

We had a fabulous party,and she ended the day bedecked with new diamonds - a pendant from her husband, a ring from me and a bracelet from her father. My 11-year old granddaughter Tatiana sang 'Hotel California' well worthy of Simon Cowell's approval and we all joined in the line "...we haven't had that spirit here since 1969..." because that was the year of the birthday girl's birth.

The only thing she found disconcerting was the fact that when her newborn third daughter Xenia celebrates her 40th birthday, she will be 80! And I'll be 103! Or dead!

For the next two weeks, I shall be in Andalucia immersed in writing my second novel - working title: The One and Lonely.

I have a showbiz wedding in Marbella to attend in between. If it's worth blogging about, I'll let you know.

Sunday, 30 August 2009


A full week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival produced such a glut of comedy, theatre, culture and various other weird and wonderful forms of performance art that I felt the need to lie down in a darkened room. This activity obviously could not be done alone...

One of my sometime toyboys is now a stand-up comedian and was appearing at the Fest. On the comedy front, whenever this particular gentleman was upstanding before me, I tried not to laugh. He is incredibly well blessed. Gasp? Yes. Guffaw? Noooo.

Although I was unable to catch his show due to a clash of agendas, we did meet late one night for drinks. Our physical relationship dwindled into friendship a while ago as he had a steady girlfriend at the time. He was also working the clubs from Land's End to John O'Groats. Although it was suggested, I don't do matinees with attached men... well not that particular one at any rate...

However, with the heady adrenaline rush produced by great reviews in the Edinburgh press, he suddenly turned up the heat on me again. This resulted in a rather public snog in the shadow of the Udderbelly - a giant, purple, blow-up cow used as a venue at the Fringe.

That old feeling flared at once but I was sharing a hotel room with my sister and he was gigging nightly, so our romantic reunion has had to delayed. I'm a sucker for anticipation. We have a date for Thursday. My instinct tells me he's going to cancel. I think when he comes back down to earth and London, he may feel differently. Insecurity is alive and well and living in Maida Vale!

Post Edinburgh, I managed to slip the Lesbian Love Slut event into my calendar and very nice it was too. It involved an old lover (he's 39 now!)I see infrequently who doesn't mind wearing lipstick and silky lingerie. This produces an erotically androgynous character who is ALL MALE in every other respect, while fulfilling some of my darker urges in others. I may need to explore this further at some point...

On a more sombre note, two of my girlfriends have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to them. There but for the grace of God go any of us. They are brave determined women but one has confessed to being terrified, especially on her own at night...

I wish them courage and renewed good health. And I urge you all to CARPE DIEM. You never know what's around the corner and that is why I seize my days (and nights) and squeeze out their juices for all they are worth.

Saturday, 8 August 2009


How do you explain to someone you haven’t seen for 44 years the depth of the footprint they left on your life? Especially when you only have 15 seconds in which to do it and they haven’t the faintest idea who you are!

This happened to me last week - but first let me take you back to 1965. . .

The place is Marbella, a sleepy fishing village on the southern coast of Spain. An 18-year old English girl is taking an extended vacation from her boring job, capricious friends and controlling parents.

She escaped to Spain because when she was nine, on holiday in Alicante, the girl had an epiphany: she was taken to see her first bullfight. Mesmerized by the passion, drama and raw courage of a man prepared to place himself - unprotected save for a piece of cloth - in front of a wild and raging bull, she became fascinated by the savage beauty of this ancient art.

Over the next few years, the girl researched the culture, studied the language and learned to dance flamenco. She longed to spend more time in her beloved Spain, her greatest wish being to see more bullfights.

Her grandmother muttered: Be careful what you wish for . . .

The girl enjoyed her first few weeks away, but money became tight so she began to look around for something to do. Sitting at a sidewalk café one afternoon, she got talking to an American - a journalist. He’d been commissioned to write the life story of the world’s most famous bullfighter, Manuel Benítez El Cordobés! He needed assistant and interpreter! The girl could not believe her luck! They set off next morning for Córdoba.

I was that girl and over the next few months, I travelled the length and breadth of the Iberian Peninsula as part of the matador’s entourage. Manolo, as he was known, was the craziest, most charismatic person on the planet. He’d begun life as a feral, gypsy orphan and had risen, through sheer bravery and determination to global stardom – the quintessential ‘rags to riches’ story.

The title of the book “. . . or I’ll Dress You in Mourning” was taken from what Manolo said to his sister on the morning of his first fight.

“Tonight, Angelita,” he told the fretting woman as he left the hovel where they lived, “I will buy you a house or I’ll dress you in mourning. . . ”
Angelita got her house and then some.

Although initially banned in Spain due to its references to the Civil War and supposed disrespect for the dictator, Franco, it went on to become an international best seller.

The problem with Manolo was you couldn’t just take him or leave him – you had to get involved. Women threw themselves at him wherever we went. Young, old, married, single - he was The One they all wanted to know.

Even nuns in convents campaigned to have TVs installed so they could watch their hero fight, twitching no doubt later in the privacy of their cells in places man had never been. He was James Dean, Elvis, John Lennon and Mick Jagger all rolled into one. Except he had an added twist: he faced death every afternoon.

Although I found him magnetically attractive, I tried to keep my feelings hidden. I was, after all, working - doing a serious research job. He wasn’t an easy man to resist, but resist him I did. . .

Over time, we became rather attached. He was relaxed and comfortable in my company – unlike the others, I wasn’t after him for what I could get.

On rest days, we’d spend lazy afternoons at his ranch, hanging out with his friends and family, sharing al fresco lunches and flamenco-fuelled dinners or buzzing around Andalucía in his Piper Aztec plane.

On fight days, we’d travel across country in his chauffeur-driven limo, him asleep with his head in my lap, me tenderly stroking his forehead, my heart melting with love as I kept vigil on the long roads through the night.

The international press soon picked up our story. They called him ‘the English girl Wendy’s personal Peter Pan’ and wrote that ‘El Cordobés had a British fiancée and was learning the language of Shakespeare’! In truth, his parish priest travelled alongside us teaching him to read and write. A scholar of the Bard he was not!

One afternoon, in the middle of his hectic season, he dedicated the life of his noble bull to me - a high accolade and display of affection of a very public nature. The animal, however, did not share this affection and tossed him mercilessly until his pants were ripped to shreds, his buttocks exposed for all to see.

He raked his fingers through his floppy hair and changed hurriedly into a pair of jeans. Then he went back on the sand and showed that toro who was boss. He displayed such valour and artistry that he was awarded the trophy of an ear.

To further compliment his dedication to me, he lobbed the severed appendage straight into my outstretched hands. As I caught it in a clap, warm blood splattered all over my dress. Boy! Was I proud of that! I never washed it off and later, if anyone asked me where the stains came from, I bloody well told them!

That night, persuasion overcame propriety and I allowed him the sword thrust he had so often sought. . .

In October, the Spanish bullfight season terminated and the toreros prepared to fly south for the winter, to Mexico and Latin America. I was invited to accompany them but my father wouldn’t let me. And so the dream ended and I went sadly home. I packed up my photographs, press cuttings, cine films, diaries, letters and bull’s ear and stored them away in my memory bank.

Over the next four decades, I revisited those memories many, many times. I also got married and divorced twice, had two daughters and now have four grandchildren. Manolo also married and is the father of five children.

I continued to visit Spain two or three times a year, but I never saw him again. I became an antique dealer and then a writer. Last year I wrote my first novel, Blood On The Sand, based on our story or at least the beginning of it. . .

And then I heard he was to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented to him in Marbella. A grand occasion was planned: a midnight bullfight by candle light with flamenco music instead of a brass band showcasing three of Spain’s top matadors. I didn’t hesitate. I booked my flight . . .

I arrived at the bullring with my sister well ahead of time, flustered and nervous. I was no longer 19 yet I still felt it inside! A limo drew up. I could see him through the window. Without hesitation, I pounced like a panther and explained - in the 15 seconds I had available before the press descended - exactly who I was.

He smiled broadly and took my hands in his. He looked confused, bemused, amused.

“You’re still so pretty!” he enthused kissing me warmly on both cheeks. At 63, I could have been a wizened old crone. . .

I showed him some of our old photos. He beamed and put his arm around me. My sister took a picture. My heart soared. I was right back in 1965. Maybe I should have defied my father and gone away with him after all. Who knows how my life may have turned out?

After the bullfight and award ceremony, I managed to snatch another few moments just as he was leaving.

“We have so much to talk about!” I told him. “Talk to me! Talk!” he managed before another microphone and TV camera were shoved in his face.

He did his interview then the chauffeur floored the pedal and off they sped - out of my life for a second time.

I’m sure I’ll see him again, though. I’ll make damn certain of it. And it won’t be another 44 years this time!

Friday, 24 July 2009


I’m afraid the Lesbian Love Slut affair had to be postponed due to inclement weather and another event which unsurprisingly took precedence. LLS will be rescheduled and reported on in due course but for now here’s what happened this week written live and direct from my dining-room table:

"I’m writing this with shaking hands in between devouring a large bar of Green ‘n Black Cherry Chocolate and waiting for the phone to ring.

It’s been a rather surreal day which began at 8 in the morning when my elder daughter called to tell me that she had, at last, gone into labour. The baby was only a day overdue but it’s been a long nine months and as it’s her third, we all expected the birth to happen quickly.

It is now 9.15 in the evening and I’m still waiting for news. She’s texted me intermittently throughout the day with details of epidurals being administered and waters being broken, but she requested that our large extended family do not descend on the hospital until she’s all done and dusted and her other children have had the first sighting of their little sibling.

I live the closest to the hospital and it’s been very frustrating. All I want to do is get in the car and go down there, either to keep her and her husband company or at least pace up down expectantly outside the delivery room. But they like their privacy and I must respect that.

My two older granddaughters, Tatiana and Normandie, are with their other grandmother and my grandson, Noah, is with his mum also awaiting news.

We don’t as yet know what the sex of the new baby will be. They’d quite like a boy for a change but as long as it has ten fingers and toes and is healthy inside and out, it doesn’t really matter.

9.40 p.m. A call comes through to say 'It Won’t Be Long Now!' Enough of this procrastinating, I think, so I leap in the car, arrive at the hospital in record time and burst in through the double doors. I’m sent straight up to the fourth floor and there is my daughter, halfway between birth and afterbirth, looking calm, serene and very happy.

In a crib by her side is a tiny head covered in a dark mop of black hair.

‘You have another granddaughter!’ she says with no trace of disappointment, just joy and relief that the little mite has arrived safely.

Weighing in at 4.04 kgs or 8lbs. 9 ozs. in old money, the baby is to be called Xenia Minnie! My mother was called Zena, another grandmother was Minnie. Mouse may become her nickname but not from me!

So no toyboy stories this week I’m afraid, though I do have a tea date with one tomorrow. I’ve been washing, shopping, cooking, cleaning and generally performing my maternal duties like the good girl I sometimes am...

Some r ‘n r would be most welcome, but it’ll have to wait till next week...

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


After the celebratory night of passione with The Smouldering One - aged 29 - I threw myself headlong into a hot date with a 70-year old.

This had all the similarities of trying to extract a bottle of fine wine from a handful of dry leaves. He is, however, an Old Friend and as he always shows an interest in my work, I gave him a copy of TB2 - The Daily Male.

He called me the next evening having read about a third of it.

"I need to have a serious talk with you, face to face, not over the phone," he said in deeply sombre tones, like a doctor who was about to tell me I have a terminal illness. "I think I've worked out what your problem is..."

Ooh eck! Do I want to hear this? No! Not if it's negative and not if it's critical. And definitely not if he's going to try to convince me that settling down for a life of dull domesticity with a man old enough to be my husband is the answer to all my prayers!

On Monday, I looked after my 15-month old grandson which is always an absolute joy and the best little boy toy a girl could have.

On Tuesday I guested on a chat show on Radio Coventry and Warwickshire. Yes! It finally happened! Today Coventry, tomorrow Ze Vurld! but the lowlight of my week came on Friday evening, when a girlfriend and I went to a double bill at the Arts Theatre.

The first half was called F**king Men, a well-written, well-acted play about gay love. So far so interesting. The second half, however, was called Naked Boys Dancing (or it may have been Singing...)

Now the clue should have been in the title but imagine our surprise when halfway through the penultimate number, we were presented with six limp dicks. Never mind too much information - this was simply too much vegetation. One limp dick is bad enough, but six? Enough to turn a girl vegetarian!

Unfortunately, my friend and I were bang in the middle of the second row which made it rather hard to get out. This was the only part of the performance that was rather hard. It emphasized the expression 'less is more'. They should have kept their kegs on, or a subtle towel at least...

When we eventually got home, I actually felt like gargling with Parazone. I'm not sure why, but somehow, having all that male genitalia shoved in my face was quite a turnoff...which may sound strange coming from me!

Luckily I was turned right back on again by a further date with The Smouldering One. I'm still not sure if I actually like him. He may have a Phd in Lovemaking but his personality is edgy and confrontational.

I might not see him again. But on the other hand...

Next week's blog will be entitled Lesbian Love Slut - you'll have to read it to find out why!

Thursday, 9 July 2009


Check out today's FEMAIL online for a double page spread on yours truly...

My words and some of the facts are slightly distorted. After a 2 hour interview and 3 hour photoshoot, they chose to dumb down most of what I said and print a 2 year old photo but hey!

The ONLINE COMMENTS are the most interesting part...I'm reeling from the worldwide 'interest' or denigration of my lifestyle choices!

Sunday, 5 July 2009


This weekend I experienced one of those magical moments when the stars are aligned in such perfect symmetry that one is possessed with a feeling of such utter euphoria, one just wants to capture it and hold onto it forever.

And for once, dear readers, it had nothing to do with a man!

I was out on a date with ARP, the Arrogant Rugby Player who sent me the pretty Myla lingerie some two years ago. He's been living in New York ever since but is now back in Blighty and invited me, rather belatedly, out for dinner.

We arrived at l'Atelier de Joel Robuchon a mere 15 minutes late - that's two years and 15 minutes if you're being pernickity, which I am. (Well worth the wait, incidentally. HISTORIC food - absolutely tip-top tickle your tastebuds tremendous).

The evening was going deliciously when, at about 10.30 p.m. my text went off. One of the children no doubt, I thought, as I grappled discreetly in my handbag and had a sneak peek. But wasn't one of the children. It was my agent! At 10.30 p.m. on a Friday night? This had better be good!

The text read: Sorry so late but if you can, please call me. News!

I apologized to ARP and with a flutter in my heart and a prayer on my lips, I stepped onto the pavement. The paparazzi were out in force, waiting to snap some poor unsuspecting C-listers emerging from The Ivy just up the road.

I returned the call, my voice eager with anticipation. If this was what I hoped it would be, I would be soon be dancing in the streets. Perhaps the paps wouldn't notice.

The News! was that after a whole year of waiting and hoping (because my agent thought it best not to advance it until Toyboy Diaries 2 was on the shelves) I heard that my first novel BLOOD ON THE SAND, a project very close to my heart, has been accepted for publication!

Euphoric does not begin to cover it!!! I thanked my agent profusely and dashed back into the restaurant. I flung my arms around ARP's neck, swigged down the remains of my Bellini and ordered another.

And then that feeling overtook me, powering through me like electricity, sparking up every crevice of my being and igniting my very viscera with pure, unadulterated joy. I still can't believe it! I'm going to be a novelist! A lifelong ambition is about to come true!

The evening ended back at mine with me beating ARP roundly at Scrabble.

On Saturday night, The Smouldering One came over and we took a picnic to the park. He continued to 'smoulder' until the early hours of the following morning when we finally got some sleep.

I still haven't managed to wipe the smile off my face. It must be very annoying to anyone who hasn't had such great news and for that, I can only apologize...but I hope to continue entertaining you with fiction for a long, long time to come.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Whoever gave me that fabulous review on Amazon - THANK YOU!!! So glad you enjoyed the book. Very gratifying to know - I appreciate the time and effort to review it, so thanks again. If you read this, reveal yourself, so I can thank you personally.


Sunday, 28 June 2009


The publicity machine cranked into action with a double page spread in the Daily Express and an appearance on a late night chat show on Radio 5 Live on Saturday evening.

There are several interviews lined up on national radio and in a variety of magazines. I shall know I've finally "arrived" when I'm invited to fall off a cliff into a snake pit wearing nothing but a smile and a pair of stilettos in a new TV reality show called I'm a Nobody - Get Me Into There!

Socially, the hot and hopeful date last Saturday night with The Poetic One ended, not with a full English breakfast on Sunday morning, but a skulking off at dawn with his tail between his legs...

I cannot elaborate for fear of hurting his feelings but after such a long and promising build-up, had I been a virgin (I said Had I!!) I'd still have been intacta the following day...

Friday dawns and with it a date with someone I've have my eye on for quite some time. Having spent the afternoon in a field watching my grandchildren running, jumping, and falling over during the egg, spoon and sack races of their school Sports Day, I meet up with The Smouldering One late in the evening.

A wonderfully balmy night in Little Venice provides the perfect backdrop for our slow, sensual meander along the canals, stopping at intervals to have a drink and then get thrown out of a selection of local hosteleries - not because we were behaving badly, but because of their proximity to residential properties which means they are not granted outside licences beyond 10 or 11 p.m.

And so we find ourselves, far too early into our first date, not knowing where to go next. Loath to invite him home lest he produce an axe and chop me to pieces, we cruise along in my new convertible (yes! I was showing off!) and do a recce round the 'hood looking for a late night bar in which to continue our conversation. Having found nowhere suitable, I question my instinct which answers 'Go on, he seems OK.'

We sit out on my terrace drinking scotch on the rocks and listening to Cuban music until 1.45 a.m. I talk too much. Too much about my past. I should have said I was only interested in the present and the future. Remind me to remember this. No man no matter his age (this one will be 40 - one about 12 years' time!) wants to hear about some older woman's bad marriages and worse divorces.

I fancy the guy but I'm not sure if it's reciprocated. Like me, he's an Aquarian. I recognize some of my worst traits. He's blunt and confrontational. He spent a lot of time staring at me with a deep intensity I couldn't read. It made me cross my arms protectively across my chest in a very bad demonstration of 'feeling threatened' body language. He's definitely not a Yes man. I quite like Yes men. They're not such hard work. But they're not as interesting either.

At around 2 a.m. I said I was tired and like a gentleman, he left. But not before teasing my mouth very slowly with his and grazing his lips against mine like a promise.

I stood my ground. Refused to react...but if he comes my way again, arms folded across my chest won't be enough. I better buy a suit of armour.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

IF YOU WISH TO PRE-ORDER 'THE DAILY MALE'... can do so on Amazon but you must type in:

THE TOYBOY DIARIES 2 and it will come up. 'The Daily Male' is the sub-heading and doesn't feature if that's all you enter.

Thanks everyone!!

Hope you enjoy it xx

Saturday, 13 June 2009


Last Saturday, I had my third date with TenderLovingBoy (TLB). We went to the Toyboy Warehouse party together and I was proud to have him on my arm. He arrived to meet me with a bouquet of long-stemmed white roses stylishly bound round with raffia. So thoughtful, so romantic... it's been way too long since I've been treated like that. No wonder I'm behaving strangely!

TLB looked after me all evening like Kevin Costner in 'The Bodyguard'. Watchful, protective, bringing me food and drinks, attending to my every need, taking a step back when people came to talk to me and generally acting out my fantasy of a perfect gentleman on the outside, smouldering with desire within. I enjoyed the experience so much, I decided to prolong our 'courtship' and relish the subtle anticipation of what is inevitably to come. Bizarre as it may seem, I actually like him enough NOT to jump into bed with him.

Our previous date, the night prior to the party, found us wrapped around each other in the back row of the movies. Our kisses ignited incendiaries in all the relevant parts of my viscera. It would have been oh so easy to take him home and let him finish what he started, but did I? No. Why? Respect.


Yes, friends, you are - this is still me, but it's the New Improved Me.

Although it's clear we fancy the pants off each other, those pants are staying firmly put a little longer than usual. After a deep and meaningful discussion over a Mojito or three, I suggested (and he reluctantly agreed) to adhere to the 'Six Date Rule' because after all: what's the rush?

'Ahh!' says TLB as the significance of my suggestion sinks in. 'You mean the 'pleasure delay'?'

'Precisely' says I, thinking how fortuitous it was that I had resisted buying the ingredients for a full English breakfast as it would have been far too tempting to invite him back to taste the hostess and her wares, especially if the sausages had had an early sell-by date.

I've been far too guilty in my time of rushing through relationships and out the other side but this feels calmer somehow. Less hurried. More controlled and dare I say it...sensible. (OK, OK - he's only ain't ever going to be 'sensible'...)

And so I retired alone and lay huddled on the right of the bed, the left side as empty as a beach in winter. I awoke feeling rather virtuous - a feeling I'm not exactly familiar with.

Sailing through the following day on a flotilla of breathless expectation, I was smacked in the face by a wet haddock when he texted, later that evening, to finish with me! Said he was already 'in too deep'. Knew exactly where it was headed. Didn't want to get hurt. Needed to protect himself. Didn't really trust me.

It reminded me horribly of CC, except this time, I was determined to reel him back in. This one was not going to get away that easily, I thought. Not as long as I was female and had a pulse.

Through a softly, softly approach, I convinced him to meet up again. He backtracked his negation pretty quickly. We have a date arranged for Saturday. I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll make it. It'll be the fouth date not the sixth but rules were made to be broken and who cares anyway? I like him. He's different. Dark and complex and he writes me poetry.

I wonder what poetry we'll make when dusk falls on the city this weekend...

Shame it's coming up to the shortest night...

I've a feeling we'll need a longish one...

Friday, 5 June 2009


Unbelievably, 'The Toyboy Diaries 2 - The Daily Male' actually went to press today!

I say 'unbelievably' because the first final proof had my name spelled wrong, the second final proof had forgotten to insert my dedication, the third final proof had a fair number of typos and the fourth FINAL PROOF spelled the bloody title wrong: Mail instead of Male! Good job I was alert enough to notice all these things - an author's work is never done...

I celebrated tonight with a toyboy date. Of course! How else? Darling chap, tall, good-looking, fair hair, smooth skin, a true gent and very young...dare I say it - too young at 27 even for me?

We went for a couple of drinks then I deposited him back at the station from whence he'd emerged and came straight home. Hmmm! I thought to myself as I climbed my stairs alone. Growing old or simply growing up? There was a time I'd never have let a live one get away but sometimes it's more powerful to say No than to say Yes. And it keeps the momentum going and I'm sure I'll see him again which I may not have, had I 'succumbed' on the first date.

So now I wait for the first actual copy of the new book to land on my mat so I can hold it in my hand and see that it's real.

Next project is my first novel 'Blood on the Sand' - the story of a young girl who goes to Spain in the 1960s and falls in love with a bullfighter (Yup! Me again, I'm afraid!) currently being looked at by a Madrid-based literary agent.

On Monday, I'll get on with my second novel 'West from Odessa' a book I'd like to read but I have to write first.

Writing a book is like giving birth...very creative, very exciting - but first my elder daughter is going to do that, hopefully in six weeks time, and present me with my fourth grandchild! How blessed am I?!

Sunday, 24 May 2009


It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting in my bedroom in Spain, looking out over the calm blue Mediterranean and giggling. No one is tickling me - no dog or cat, grandchild or lover - though my friend, Rich-ard is asleep in the other room. He is, sadly, neither Rich nor ‘ard – but a good friend is ‘arder to find than a rich one, so we leave it at that.

The reason I’m giggling is something that happened at last night’s party - my niece’s 40th. She was born in 1969 so the theme was The Sixties.

While searching for the perfect get-up, I contemplated wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘I’m in My Sixties!’ printed on it. Then, while hunting through the vintage rails of Camden and Portobello, I found the perfect dress: an A-line silver number complete with couture label, of the type worn by Jackie Kennedy or Twiggy way back when. £15 secured it.

I chopped another few inches off the hem and teamed it with white tights and a pair of Aunty Betty’s pointy-toe sling back shoes from Dolcis still lurking at the back of her wardrobe. Genuine 1965!

Add a beehive hairdo, Dusty make-up, false eyelashes which flapped like crows’ wings, white lipstick et voilà! It’s my old self come back to haunt me 40 years on! All that was missing was a Beatle, but the one I loved way back then is currently crooning with the angels. Yeah. . . yeah. . . yeah. . .

So there we are at the party – among the mini-skirts and flower powered hippies - when the mike crackles and silence is requested. Standing before us is a man in a suit about to burst into song. This is my sister’s surprise to her daughter: a ‘Frank Sinatra’ impressionist who proceeds, with the help of a scratchy playback, to murder most of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ greatest hits.

"Fry me a baboon and let me pray among the cars
Let me know what wife is ripe on Blue Peter and Mars. . ."

Poor guy was Mexican and had obviously learned the words phonetically! It was clear he had no idea what he was singing about – and no voice to speak of either. We all looked at each other and burst into fits of laughter. At the price she paid, my poor sister had been done up like a kipper.

‘See if he can sing Far Far Away’ I told her.

After he’d finished the Sinatra set, he came back on as Elvis. Well, let’s just say he’d changed into a pair of white shoes.

"If you lookee for trouble, uh-huh, uh-huh, you come a right place
If you lookee for trouble, uh-huh, uh-huh, you come right in my face. . ."

Yes. Well. Whatever. . .!

The party went with a swing but if you’re ever going to book a Sing-a-Like in Sunny Spain, make sure you check him out first.

Friday, 15 May 2009


In between my workaday slog of trying insidiously to sneak back in all the bits my editor is cutting out of The Daily Male (will it never end...!) I've entertained myself socially with a few blind dates, totally blind, in fact, as I never actually got to see any of the guys I’d arranged to meet!

The first was the darling 20-something, effusive in his admiration, showering me with compliments, begging for an hour of my time, a minute, a second even - just for the pleasure and privilege of merely setting eyes on me.

He assured me of his utmost devotion, enthusing about how he would go to the ends of the earth simply to sniff the air I’d just exhaled! Whooaah! It’s not every day you get bombarded like that, so, overwhelmed with the force of his affection, we made a date.

The great day dawned and I texted to confirm. No reply. I never leave home without re-confirming a confirmation. You know how vacant toyboys can be... Most times I don’t leave home until they’ve called to say they’re actually waiting at the designated venue, but did he reply to my text? Did he answer my email? Did he have any intention of actually turning up? Answers on a pinhead, please.

Adding ten years to the equation, the second ‘applicant’ was a 30-something Oxbridge graduate, a professional man working away but keen to meet up the minute he got back. We emailed for a few weeks, our friendship growing with every message. He was polite, articulate, charming and well-mannered - everything I like in a man. The scent of promise was in the air.

On the morning of our first date, a Jekyll and Hyde transformation took place. He began texting vulgarity – detailing everything he was going to do to me the minute he walked in my door. I hadn’t invited him through my door. Why would I? We hadn’t yet met and I needed to check him out in person first.

And so he blew it. If only he could have remained a gentleman a little longer...maybe the porn would have taken place, but on my agenda not his!

As the premise of The Daily Male is my attempt to find a more suitable suitor, I decided to creep up the age ladder by another ten years. The 40-something was not exactly a toyboy, but seemed interesting nevertheless. And probably, or so I thought, somewhat less of a brain fuck.

He generously invited me to the theatre in a complicated building which I knew but he didn’t. I explained exactly where I would be waiting and arrived at the appointed time. No sign of him. I went up and down and round and round until the first and second bells had been rung.

At 7.29 p.m., with the audience in their seats and my date nowhere to be found, I reviewed my options: I could either slink off home and sulk for the rest of the night or I could buy a ticket and go in. I chose the latter. Very brave and grown-up, I thought - especially after the disappointment of having been stood up.

On returning to my flat, there was a message from him: ‘ You missed a great play’.

'No I didn’t! You missed some great company!' I shot back. And then he phoned.

‘I waited by the book shop,’ he explained. ‘You had to come that way from the station.’

‘I waited at the first floor box office’ I answered, ‘exactly where I said I would be because I drove straight into the underground car park and went up in the lift. Who ever mentioned anything about the book shop anyway, and why didn’t you call me to tell me where you were?’

And then he uttered the immortal line: ‘I was out of credit.’

I’m sorry but if you’re over forty and don’t have a mobile contract, then you’re not the man for me!

He has since texted to ask if I'll give him another chance, assuring me that he now has a mobile contract. I'll have to give him another task to do like climbing Everest - see if he'll oblige with that as well.

And as for the 20-something, he came over all apologetic the next day and wants to make another date too.

Frankly, I can't be arsed. Well would you?

Friday, 1 May 2009


Hallo. I'm sorry. I'll say that again. Hello.

Which of the above is correct, do you think? I'm darned if I know but my editor has deleted all my 'a's and replaced them with 'e's. Whazzat all about?

The reason I've been off the radar since Easter is as follows: I'm re-writing the edit of the edit of the edit of The Toyboy Diaries II - The Daily Male. I thought I'd finished this book about a year ago, but when my publishers got hold of it, they told me I had not.

This is a blog, sez they, and a blog doth not a book make. And so I've had to go over every single word of it - 82,786 words in fact - to create a proper story with a narrative arc of no more than 70,000 words. The deadline was last week. I'm only halfway through and I'm suffering - oh boy! am I suffering...

It's going to be good though. By wielding her iron fist inside a velvet glove, my editor has encouraged me to craft my story in a different more readable way.

The cover is ready. The shelf-space in the shops has been booked. All that remains is for me to finish subtly honing the text.

And then I can start to tell you my other little stories the one about the toyboy who came for Sunday lunch and stayed till Tuesday.

And the 44-year old I made a date with because I'm trying to be good and climb the age ladder.

And the wagon I'll doubtless fall off when that doesn't work out...

Friday, 17 April 2009


I went to Brighton last Sunday with a male mate. Took the train. Much more relaxing. He could read the papers, and I could do some work. Or so I thought.

The town itself is a bit sleazy, like a rundown suburb...London-on-Sea. We walked from the wonderfully ghastly Palace Pier - how did they manage to fit everything that's tacky about Britain onto one strip of wood and metal and point it at France? - all the way to genteel Hove, where lonely, maiden aunts live out their days listening to the waves wash over the beach, the stones rattling against each other like bad memories.

On the train home, we sat opposite a beautiful young couple. As we pulled out of the station, I asked my friend what he was planning for Sunday evening.

"I'm going to the Torture Garden" he joked.

The beautiful couple looked at each other then at us and smiled, and for the rest of the journey, they regaled us with details of the World's Greatest Fetish Club where weirdos in creatively-outrageous rubber outfits parade about with their bits hanging out. Fascinating. We agreed to meet them there one evening. I'm wondering how I can adapt the Marigolds 'cos I'm damned if I'm going shopping at House of Harlot.

In complete contrast, I was taken out last night to Harry's Bar, the most delightfully decadent dining experience since Nero's Rome. Everything was perfect - the peach bellinis, the sycophantic staff, the luscious menu and the excellent company.

I managed, with much hilarity, to slip in the story about the failed Viagra purchase in Spain. My host was so charming that not only was I right-royally entertained, I also ended the evening with a couple of little tabs in my handbag for free.

The night of experimentation grows ever closer. And you'll never guess who I'm planning it with...

Saturday, 4 April 2009


One of my young chaps and I had discussed the entertainment value of experimenting with Viagra. He, of course, doesn't need it and I've never had to do with it.

They sell it over the counter in Spain so as a little treat, I thought I'd buy us some.

There was a bit of a queue in the pharmacy. An elderly male,a middle-aged woman and young Master Monobrow were serving. As I inched up the line, I prayed I would get either of the first two. Did I? Did I, buffalo!

"Si, senora?" Monobrow asked.

I lowered my voice to little more than a whisper and croaked "Viagra, por favor?"

He looked at me with an expression that said I'll try not to change my expression but I noted pity in his eyes.

"25, 50 and 100 mgs?" he asked in hushed tones.

Bugger! I didn't know it came in soft, medium and hard. I went the middle route and he brought a little box out of a drawer. To give him credit, he kept them concealed in the palm of his hand to spare my blushes.

I wanted to scream: "They're not for me! I don't need them! It's just a joke. My lovers are young and virile and up all night and...and..."

"Cinquenta y tres con noventa, por favor" he requested.

Whaaaat! 53.90 euros? At today's rate? With my reputation? No way, Jose!

I cleared my throat: "Oh. Er. Sorry. I'll er...I'll leave it thank you..." and scuttled away. He shrugged, this time definitely pityingly, probably thinking: Poor Cow! She's not getting any tonight.

I never realized sex was so expensive. What do the poor pensioners do? I hope it's available on the NHS. I'll bring my bus pass next time and see if I can get it free but meanwhile, we'll just have to carry on without the dubious pleasure of fun-enhancing drugs.

I didn't much like JR referring to me as his dealer anyway. Not at my age!

Thursday, 2 April 2009


I'm currently in Andalucia - my second home. On the coast, the sky is blue, the sea is calm, the palm trees are wafting in the breeze, the sunsets ignite the sky with spectacular displays of fiery red hue and the sweet aroma of orange blossom fills the air around the cobbled square. I'm in heaven!

This morning I travelled up to Sevilla and am staying, as I love to do, at the Alfonso XIII Hotel, an exquisitely romantic location from which to explore this jewel of a city.

I'm here to research a passage for my forthcoming novel, a chapter already written which I need to verify. I enter the vast portal of the world's grandest Gothic cathedral and proceed up the aisle to the Altar Mayor.

A Major Event takes place here and I want to make sure I've got the details right. I make a few amendments, climb the 37,952 steps to the top of the clock tower and admire the splendour spread out below. From here I can see La Maestranza - the bullring - which also features significantly in the book.

Fortuitously, my first toyboy lives nearby - fat and forty now - but keen to meet up. He is a sentimental 'friend' and we pass the afternoon together reminiscing about times gone by, marvelling at the fact that we are still in touch 21 years on from our first encounter that heady New Year's Eve in the Sierra Nevada when he seduced me as the clock struck midnight.

Tomorrow it's back to the Costa to continue editing 'Blood on the Sand'. With the mountains to the right and the Med to the left, inspiration abounds...

Thursday, 26 March 2009


I've just spent a delightful evening with a recent young lover of mine (now aged 34).

We had quite a hot and ongoing relationship at the end of last year, then he got injured training and couldn't visit for a while. He doesn't live in London but we kept in touch.

We subsequently made a date for tonight. He arrived on time having obviously taken great pride in his appearance. To me he's gorgeous rough, smooth, tidy or unkempt but I appreciated the trouble he'd gone to.

I cooked us a meal then we sat on the sofa playing catch-up, listening to music, and telling each other many intimate stories like we always used to. Five hours passed then he got up to leave.

I was surprised and not a little disappointed. I presumed he would stay. When I gently broached this, he said it hadn't occurred to him that he'd made very early arrangements in the morning but would definitely stay 'next time'.

Question: If a man comes over to spend an evening with a woman who he's slept with in the past and whose company he clearly enjoys, why would he not want to make love to her?

I'm confused. Is he no longer that into me? Did he not want to appear presumptuous since we haven't seen each other for a while? Should I have tried to seduce him though I always prefer the man to make the first move?

Help me here, boys, and give me some honest answers please.

Sunday, 22 March 2009


A girlfriend of mine - if you can call us Swinging Sixties 'girls' - is convinced we all have A Soulmate. I'm not so sure. The chance of meeting this person in the context of the Big Wide World would be too random and restricting.

She did however think she'd met him a few years ago. They dipped in and out of each other's lives for a while and then he disappeared.

As time went by, she told me she'd never have sex again because all her drive and desire had gone for good. I told her it would only take the right man to fire her up again.

Last night, he came back and proved me right. Yay! You Go Girl!

Saturday, 21 March 2009


Hallo faithful readers,

I've really missed writing my blog but the finished manuscript of The Toyboy Diaries Part II - THE DAILY MALE - is with the publishers, due out in June, so I had to stop blogging in order to keep you in suspense (and myself in suspenders...)

If you wish to listen to me speaking about the life of a toyboy-loving Noughties glam-ma log onto live and click on Listen Again. My bit is about a third of the way through the programme.

Thanks again for reading and I'll pick this up again soon, I hope.

Best wishes to you all and I appreciate all your messages of support and encouragement.

Wendy x

Friday, 6 February 2009

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

I concede to the situation, thinking only fleetingly that I really shouldn’t let Messrs. Smirnoff & Absolut make so many important decisions for me but I soon dismiss the thoughts, decelerate him to my preferred pace and we striptease each other down to naked.

Having now picked up on the fact that I like ma lovin’ slo-o-ow, he creeps his kisses down my body until he reaches my nerve centre and again, I am blown away at the sexual competence of today’s youth. He is delighted by my Hollywood, and explores it with his tongue.

‘I can’t wait to fuck you…’ he murmurs romantically against my thighs.

I allow him to feast on me until I get too close, then I swing away, get up, take his hand, blow the candles out and nudge him down the corridor to my bedroom.

He rips the covers off the bed, pushes me backwards then twirls me around until we are nose to toes.

We lingua awhile until we reach the point of no return and he swings himself up on top of me. As he’s about to enter, the word CONDOM appears in flashing neon lights above my head. I address the issue.

‘I didn’t bring any!’ he moans. ‘It seemed rude…’

‘Ruder not to!’ I reprimand and grapple around in my bedside table for my emergency packet of three, and over the next couple of hours we use them all up.

I make a mental note to add them to the next Sainsbury’s shopping list alongside the Sanatogen and tinned pilchards.

Not long after I fall off him for the final time, we are in my car on our way back to Paddington Station. He could have stayed, but he has an early start and I need a good night’s sleep.

‘Shall we keep in touch?’ he asks hesitantly.

‘Sure’ I answer. ‘Why not?’ but I feel very little as we say goodbye.

He gets out the car and without a backward glance, I floor the pedal and zoom down Praed Street right near to where CC lives. The fact that I haven’t heard from him since dinosaurs walked the earth grates on my sensibilities. My heart makes a fist and I grit my teeth and turn the radio up.

See what you’ve led me to, I curse in his general direction.

It occurs to me that I’m currently available for the price of two drinks. God, that’s cheap...but I shan’t dwell.

It was an evening’s entertainment: an Everest situation. Dan was there so I climbed him.

Mountaineers need to practice on hills before attempting cliff faces, don’t they?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

Saturday. All the men in my life seem have overdosed on stupid pills. On my way to the gym, I get a text from Rugby Player cancelling our long-awaited, pre-planned dinner date for tonight because he’s had some dental work done which has gone horribly wrong and he’s in hospital on an IV drip for the foreseeable future.


Absolutely fucking perfect.

Just what I needed.

Now I’ve been double, or is it triple, dumped.

I text back berating him for cancelling at the last minute. He must have known in advance he was due to have this work done, so why did he commit himself if there was a likelihood of him letting me down?

My rant receives short shrift. Well it would, wouldn't it!

Thanks for the sympathy. I thought you of all people would have been a little more gracious. Let’s draw a line under this. Good luck with all you do

I carry on to Pilates and push myself to the limit which helps up to a point, but I can’t help seeing Saturday night stretching before me like a wet weekend in Weymouth.

As soon as I leave the class, I go straight to my ‘stables’, and organise films tonight with Jeremy Fisher (one of the frogs), confirm tomorrow’s drink with Desperate Dan and just to add a belt to the braces, arrange dinner with Flash Gordon for Monday night. There. That wasn’t so difficult, was it?

Of course I could have been really grown-up and stayed home re-arranging my knicker drawer, or better still, my head, but what on earth would I want to do that for?

Sunday. I text Dan to double confirm the confirmation (so which one of us is the more desperate, would you say?) and thank God he’s still up for it. As it’s cold, I suggest meeting for a drink first and if we don't horrify each other, this could be followed by 'a bowl of soup by the fire back at mine'. We arrange to meet at 7 p.m. at Warwick Avenue Station. Déjà vu Centrale.

I make a big pot of chicken and vegetable broth then go to tea at the home of my mother’s new neighbours, an utterly charming and very well-connected Canadian couple. It occurs to me they may know someone suitable for me, but I don’t know them well enough to ask. And what’s ‘suitable for me’ anyway? I’m buggered if I know.

At 7 p.m. I drive to the station. It’s raining heavily but a young man soon comes out looking this way and that. I flash my headlights and he runs across the road and jumps into my car. We take our first look at each other and he kisses me hallo.

There’s a certain insanity factor in meeting strangers off the internet like this. If I thought for one moment either of my daughters was hanging around tube stations on dark, rainy nights waiting for God-knows-who, I don’t think I’d ever sleep again…

Dan is clean, freshly-shaven and smells nice (douze points) but is only average-looking and slighter than I expected (nul points). A long evening stretches ahead.

We go to the Elgin and he gets the first round: a pint for himself and a Bloody (awful) Mary for me. The staff in there changes with the frequency of Jordan’s breast size and none of them know how to make a decent cocktail.

We fall into an easy conversation and I find him articulate and interesting to talk to. When our glasses are nearly empty, I offer to buy the next round but he won’t let me. I go to the bar with him anyway and show the dozy cow how to prepare a Bloody (good) Mary, which hits the spot like a home run. After another twenty minutes of idle chitchat, I decide it’s safe to take him home.

The vodka goggles make him seem way more attractive than he was when I first set eyes on him and when I ask what he'd like to do next, he answers:

‘Your call...but that soup back at yours sounded good.’

I play the game of pretending to ponder the matter, just to build up the tension a little.

‘It’ll be fine’ he assures me, running a finger up my forearm. ‘You won’t have a problem with me. I’ll head home whenever you want.’

He’s trucked halfway across London to meet me and it’s only 8.40 p.m., plus he’s fairly weedy so I could probably wrestle him to the ground if needs be. That would be to defend myself, not force him down on one knee, in case you were wondering.

We get back to mine and I light the fire, open a bottle of wine and put Madeleine Peyroux on the stereo. I have no wish for this particular person to Dance me to the end of love or anywhere else for that matter, but it’s easy listening and will fill the gap should the conversation wane.

I put some crisps, nuts, crudités and dips out and heat up the soup. We cosy down on the sofa and carry on chatting. My tongue is looser now and I decide to conduct a little experiment based on my falling-out with Cute Face. I steer the conversation towards age and the sort of women he’s looked at on the toyboywarehouse website.

He says at 52, ‘which you don’t look’ (when I first joined the website, I made a typo on the age question...!) I’m at the upper age limit of what he, at 25 (Christ! Is that all he is?) would be prepared to go out with. He’s looked at women up to 55 but really… that’s 30 years older than him and would definitely be off his radar. I nod sagely and wonder whether or not to do what I’m about to. I decide to go for it.

‘I’m going to confess something to you’ I say. ‘Promise me you won’t freak out…you’ve met me now so you can judge for yourself. This is to show you that you should never define people by a number…’

There’s a long pause while he waits for the hammer to fall.
‘I’m 62, not 52’.

Without missing a beat, he lunges forward and kisses me passionately on the lips swirling his tongue around and around in my mouth as if he’s searching for something. The missing ten years, perhaps?

I respond eagerly by pulling him down alongside me on the sofa and we undulate against each other while continuing to kiss. I feel the unmistakable hard-on through his jeans.

‘Not a problem then?’ I giggle as we come up for breath.

By way of an answer, he tugs my top and bra aside and lunges at my nipple.

Friday, 9 January 2009

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

I weigh up the flattery factor of receiving this kind of quixotic missive from a man young enough to be my son against him being obviously pissed and looking for - as they say in the navy - any port in a storm...

I’m fairly certain he’s done the geography and my particular port is probably the closest to the bar he’s just fallen out of, not to mention the gutter he’s about to fall into.

It’s 11.45 p.m. I’m in bed, nightie on, make-up off, kilos of cream upon my face with the rotting remnants of The Migraine throbbing gently like a waiting taxi just above my right eye. The last thing I fancy is being used as a doughnut for a young man’s pleasure.

Should I even get a half decent shag out of, which frankly I can do without right now, it will no doubt be followed by a sleepless night alongside The Snore Monster, so I text back NO, it’s too late and he immediately calls and tries to convince me.

He is very drunk and when I refuse him again, he becomes abusive.

'Aw come on, at your age you should be grateful…being as how you said you were 51 on the webshite…now I find out you’re 61, which makes you a bloody liar…you should…'

I kill the call mid-stream and switch my phone off. His invective doesn’t bother me but it doesn’t make me feel great either. I decide in future to only ever tell the truth about my age. If anyone doesn’t like it, they can lump it. Besides, IT'S ONLY A NUMBER.

I sigh deeply at the tragi-comedy that is my social life and wish CC were here to take me away from all this...

Wound up now and irritated by Cute Face’s vitriol, I switch my phone back on and text him:

Life lesson for you: calling late and drunk for a fuck then making insulting remarks is neither big nor clever. U’ll never impress a woman like that. We hate arrogance and a little charm goes a long way. A hard cock is not always enough – plenty of those on offer with nicer men attached.

He throws all his toys out the pram and huffs back:

Plenty of younger women around who don’t try to take the moral high ground after they’ve lied about their age

To which I reply:

My age didn’t seem to matter when you were humping me last weekend? And you still wanted to come over tonight, right?

That shuts him up.

I ponder on this chronological/biological age thing. Looking at it from his point of view, boasting to his friends that he’s bedded a 51-year old makes him sound like a cool accomplished Casanova.

Finding out that she is in fact 61 - no matter if she only looks 51 - has put him off balance, tipping his stud scale into the realm of ladies in lavender. This could not be further from my image or that of most other 60+ year olds I know but the message that Young is Hot and Old is Not is still live and kicking in the public consciousness.

If only the media would stop defining us by a number – Paris Hilton, 25 or Vera Scrubbs, 63 – people could be judged by who they are not how old they are.

Cute Face is cross with me for misrepresenting myself but even more cross with himself for falling into the tender trap. I suspect that his gran may not be much older than me, but he’s still phoned me for a shag tonight so go figure.

I guess when the blood has risen, any orifice will do…