Are you a sublime hot flusher or in need of refrigeration?

I was watching a TV show with my youngest the other day when I yelled, rather over enthusiastically, “She’s having a hot flush, I swear it!” I think I may have been rather consumed by the camaraderie of it all, to be honest. And I was somewhat in awe. The woman, despite her predicament didn’t have a hair out of place.

My offspring looked at me (I’d like to say in awe also, but the look was more, well, sceptical), “What makes you say that?”
By that time I was already clicking on my phone, scanning through the omniscient Wikipedia for further info. “Yes”, I fist-bumped the air. “She’s 48!” I stated, “Definitely at least perimenopausal!”

“But what makes you think she’s having a hot flush?” My child looked challengingly at me. The way a teenager just needs to.

“Because she left the building to go outside and removed her coat!” I concluded.

The expression on my young one’s face revealed that she still required some convincing. But I know I was right. The history documentary couldn’t have been filmed on a hot day otherwise, why was she wearing a long coat?

I jubilated at my own cleverness for a while and the fact that I AM NOT ALONE. But I can understand my child’s unconvinced stance. The presenter is an absolute consummate professional. Who knows what she did right after they said CUT! Maybe she threw herself into the nearest lake? But for the shot, she managed to keep her composure and simply removed her jacket, which was a signal only to those of us ‘in the know’.

In contrast, my child witnesses scenes like this:

Yesterday I hardly slept. I woke up time and time again, sweating. I thought I had a fever at some point, which made me think I might have Covid. Although I am almost the only person in my suburb still wearing a mask voluntarily and I am avoiding contact with actual people, so I will be able to go on holiday. And my warning app hasn’t turned bright red and sung “You were standing next to an infected person on such and such a date.” Leading to me puzzling away for half a day exactly where I was a week ago.
I tossed and I turned and I took my socks off. I always wear socks. Always. I have bad circulation and they prevent cramps. Well, I don’t wear them in the shower. Or in the pool. Or when I wear those red shoes. I also wear them during sex. Unless it’s a special occasion.

Anyway, the socks came off and I dangled my feet out of my side of the bed. I threw my quilt over my man. Who’s a naked sleeper by the way. I always wonder what will happen if he has to go into hospital as he doesn’t own any pyjamas… Then I clearly remember whining somewhat. My man does as well. He doesn’t get much sleep once I finally climb into bed nowadays. We are travelling through my trauma together.

Morning arrived. Dishevelled, I looked for my socks. Then decided on a fresh pair. I staggered downstairs to the tap and the Covid tests.

And then it started. What I like to call my ‘rolling flushes’.

A brief explanation: a ‘rolling flush’ is when you have one hot flush, which subsides after a few minutes, but you go straight into another one.
After a ‘normal hot flush’ you can take a little time to properly cool down, you may even get to feel cold, as the sweat on your skin chills you. That never happens during a rolling flush, as you never quite make it back to normal temperature before the next wave comes. In my experience this can go on for as long as an hour or more.

I got my little battery operated fan out but it just wasn’t up to the job. I overheated my cooling scarf. I entered a self imposed bra ban – no need at all for extra items of clothing. My son advised me to go out in the cold rain, so I ran out onto the terrace, my half open linen shirt flapping around, but I only contributed to global warming. In a supportive attempt my poor son joined me, battery operated fan in hand. But neither the wind nor the rain nor a well meaning son could help me. I re-entered my hot-house, soggy socked and moaning. And raced to the fridge. I opened both doors (it’s a French double door fridge – the French are wise people) and I shoved my head in there for a bit. To no avail. But while I was there opportunity struck: I spotted a ready chilled bottle and I had the glorious epiphany to hold that to my naked skin. The flavoured water inside even contained some ice crystals. Hooray!!
Suddenly my linen top, hanging by then off shoulder, revealed a kind of hammock shaped carrier and I realised I could actually lie the icy bottle in there, directly against my naked boob and perhaps, finally, find some relief.

Me, my shirt and bottle wandered around for a while. Coexisting. Cooling. Occasionally wailing. My damp thinning hair made the word dishevelled feel tidy.
Then the bottle got fed up and threw itself to the floor. I grabbed it, quickly, and thrust it’s icy loveliness to the nape of my neck. Sticky, sugary flavoured water trickled all the way down my back.

I’ll finish with two points.

One: thank fuck for HRT gel.
Two: I understand exactly why my baby didn’t associate that incredible woman removing her long coat with a hot flush.

To warm your cockles on yet another very hot day

There’s a man who doesn’t live in our street but visits it regularly. Like pretty much every day. He used to live here as a child. I know that because his sister is a neighbour and she once informed me that the reason she stares out of her window at us all day, is because she used to live where our house is, and the land around about was all part of her parent’s farm.
I’m not sure she really meant to tell me that she stares at us all day, but she was fairly pickled at that moment. And I’m not sure I really wanted to know either. Generally, I’m so absorbed in what’s going on around me that I don’t look up at the neighbour’s window. Though, I do admit, some visitors have complained about being stared at from precisely that window (and indeed from another balcony – but that’s another oddball neighbour and another story for another day). In the spirit of honesty, I can tell you that my repeated attempts to console those guests with jokes like “we live in a zoo!” failed miserably.

The man isn’t generally visiting his sister, he’s visiting his allotment, which is directly opposite my garden. So I see him a lot.

For 15 years, no matter how often I have greeted him, he has totally blanked me. He never once smiled or said hello. I don’t think it was personal. I never saw him smile at anyone else either, even his own family. In fact, he just looked downright miserable at all times.

Once, a few summers ago, a small infant went missing from our street. My daughter was playing outside and came running home with the news within moments of the poor family’s terrible discovery. I yelled for everyone in the house to leave their rooms and we raced into in the street. I told my kids to knock the door of every neighbour and tell them to come out and search. Apart from the fairly busy road at the back of our street, we all directly overlook the river. So the panic was valid when a not yet two year old went missing. Most neighbours responded well, if in my opinion a little lethargically, and started looking. The grumpy man appeared at the top of the street on his bicycle. And in my hyped up state you could really say I had accosted him. I stood in front of his bike and refused to let him pass and told him it would be very useful if he cycled around to look for the child as he would be much faster than us lot on foot.

He didn’t refuse me. True to form, he just didn’t say anything at all. He did stop his bike, as I was stood in his way, but it was the only acknowledgement I got at all that anything was amiss. Once I moved he drove to his allotment and acted just as he did every other day, seemingly without a thought for the missing child.

The child was found quickly and unharmed. All was well again. And I didn’t think about the grumpy man too much.

Springs, summers, autumns and winters flew by and the grumpy man continued to tend painstakingly to his allotment.

Last year my husband and I were out walking the dog and we saw him again at the top of our hill with his wife. That in itself wasn’t unusual. Sometimes he arrived by himself on his bicycle. Other times in a vehicle and others on foot with his wife.

What was exceptional was that he was smiling. And not just a slight grin. He was positively beaming!! He saw us and the dog bounding towards him and greeted us warmly!!

After 15 years of being completely blanked, we were astonished. Automatically we greeted him back and afterwards I wondered why. Especially after the missing child incident.

My usual rule for myself is not to invest in people who aren’t good for me and this man had ignored us all for 15 years. Even when we’d asked for help. I’m not revengeful, I just have learned that I should protect myself and save my energy.

But still his smile seemed infectious somehow. And my thoughts lay on what had changed for him in his life to bring such a turnaround?

Fast forward a year or so until today. I haven’t actually seen that much of him in that time. But today as I was walking over to my car, to drive to my sports class, when he started shouting over the high hedge of his allotment to catch my attention. Just hello, but repeatedly. To help you realise just how bizarre this was, I couldn’t even see him as the hedge is so high. Then he walked over to the entrance of his allotment, which is right opposite my carport and waved at me. That’s when the penny dropped. He’d rolled out a pushchair containing a contented young child. The two of them then waved at me incessantly the whole way to my car, during my reverse and my departure. Both grinning. I felt like the Queen in a parade. Though I waved a lot more haphazardly.

A grandchild. A grandchild has brought real joy into his life. He’s a new man. It’s like medicine.

I really wouldn’t mind one.

Is optimism overrated?

I’m struggling a bit more than a little to connect with my inner optimist at the moment.
And I’m quite agitated about a few things.
Just like everyone else I know, I am sick and tired of Covid. I’ve been lucky enough to have my four injections and now I want to go back to living life as usual again.
Just like everyone one else I know, I ventured down the path of ‘everyone is just going to get Covid, some people several times, I’ve been jabbed and that’s all I can do, so I’ll just go through it, hopefully not too badly and without catching Long Covid and then I’ll come out the other side’. But last week our health minister said: “No! Still avoid getting Covid! Still wear masks (it’s no longer compulsory). And dread the autumn, because guys, it’s going to be really bad here in Germany!”

I want him to be wrong. I really do.

At the start of Corona my Crohn intensified rather dramatically. My instinct says that being under the protection of constant lockdown wasn’t too good for my over-excitable immune system. I had an exhausting amount of tests, was poked and prodded thoroughly and put on a treatment plan. It worked somewhat. A few weeks ago I discovered the steroids had pushed down the Crohn moderately and encouraged a cataract. I was told to do yet more tests and I’ve now been informed, by post, not by my doctor, that I have achieved the ranking of being both lactose and fructose intolerant.
This news may make you think shit, even more trips to the doctor. But after calling them today, apparently not. Apparently I am released from all appointments. Forever. No blood tests. No stool samples. No scans. No cancer checks. I am no longer a patient.

I wouldn’t say I feel free. I feel more like an overplayed iron on the Monopoly board who has landed on Go To Jail. Go Directly To Jail. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Receive £200.

I swear to you that I am not a difficult patient. Quite the opposite. I am British. So I am exceedingly polite and generally restrained at appointments. Take the last appointment for instance. I didn’t complain at all when the doctor only had a minute to do a quick ultrasound (I swear, he would win a competition for speediest scanner, hands down) and no extra minute at all to discuss my continued symptoms or other results. Even though I’d waited patiently outside his office for almost two hours.

I’ve been flummoxed all day. What do I do now with no gastroenterologist?

Then there’s our heating. It’s on its last legs. We spent a chunk of last winter financing repairs. One concerned heating engineer after another gave it their very best shot. But it’s a goner. Finito. A lost cause. A dead duck.
Apparently now, due to Green policies we need to get an Energy Adviser to come out before we can replace the heating. The Energy Adviser examines your whole house and tells you what you must agree to do in order to replace the heating. Our preference is to go as green as possible and hopefully get some kind of heat pump. But the engineers said they won’t work properly in our property. Besides you can’t book an Energy Adviser to appear at your door anyway, not for love or money. Masses of people are freaking out about the probable upcoming gas shortage and have bought up all the existing pumps, and pre-ordered all the hypothetical ones. So it seems unlikely we can locate one. Even if it would work. Temperatures are regularly minus here in the winter. I’ve even experienced -18°C during the daytime. So heating is an essential.

That brings me to Putin. I am SO angry with him. Apart from the disgusting abuse he’s inflicting on the Ukrainian people (and his own people). The ripple effects of the war feel more like a tsunami.

And then we have Querdenker – ‘out of the box’ thinkers who began demonstrating against Corona Measures at the beginning of the year. Demonstrating against government measures believing them to be forms of oppression. Now advocating Putin’s actions!!!

Have people gone stark raving bonkers?

I am calmed slightly by the fact that when Boris tried to do a Trump and overturn democracy, he was held to account, finally, by the system. Though it seems likely they won’t opt for a moderate replacement.
Wishful thinking let’s me dally with the idea that maybe the Republicans will see sense and stop enabling a corrupt liar.

Still an optimist after all.

Changing lives

When we arrived in Germany, all those years ago, one of the first things we did was to go to the school to register the children for the next term.

On arrival at the school I was shocked!! Where was the wall or the fence? Everything was open!! Even the main entrance door was open! You could just walk in!!

I quizzed the headmaster. How did they keep the little children safe? Did the children not run away? I think he was surprised by my interrogation. I may have spent my childhood in the UK being caged in for ‘my own protection’ but he had spent his German childhood being free. He did his best to soothe my worries, but to be honest, I remained a little nervous.

In just a matter of weeks after starting school though, those worries melted away and I looked at my little ones with new eyes. How lucky were they to attend a school in which they were free? No locked door. No wall. Just grass. And street. And an area to play. No one kept them in. They just stayed. No one placed a barricade between them and the rest of the world. They just sat in their classrooms and learned.

Now, there have been issues here. There have been a few school shootings. Sadly, there are (in my opinion, far too often) threats, generally by students, to rampage through the school, harming fellow students and teachers. The police take those threats extremely seriously.

But no walls are built. No doors are locked. And children remain generally free and feel pretty safe.

I never heard a politician here say, “Let’s arm the teachers.”
I never heard a politician here say, “Let’s allow anyone, in their right mind or in their wrong mind, to buy a semi-automatic weapon, no questions asked.”
I never heard a politician say, “It was mental illness and not a bullet that murdered your child.”

Issues with mental illness are dealt with here with high quality therapy. With a bit too much medication for my personal liking. And with far too long waiting lists. But not with a license to kill.

Be brave.
Choose another path.
Don’t vote Republican.
Save your children.

I sometimes think my car is possessed…

I sometimes think my car is possessed. Yesterday I ran out to do a quick errand and I noticed both the passenger’s window and the driver’s window were slightly ajar, just a couple of inches, but enough to let in a small breeze. I’m not complaining, it was hot outside after all, and the airing the car gave itself really was good for me also. But it was slightly unnerving, because I’m telling you: I DID NOT OPEN THE WINDOWS!!!

And, to be honest, it’s not my first strange event with the car. A few weeks ago I went outside and the boot was wide open. I hadn’t opened it, and irritatingly I didn’t actually need it to be open. So if my car was trying to help me in some way, well, really it was more of a hindrance. I had no idea just how long it had been open for. Had small animals made a nest inside? Had rain got in? Had something been stolen? Tentatively I assessed my car, and discovered all was well. But I had a slight irk in the pit of my stomach. Why the hell was my boot open?

I do try my best to be polite to my car. I say thank you if she peeps at me if I go over the speed limit and I immediately reduce my tempo for example. But we do find ourselves getting into these huge arguments.
She says, “Turn left at the next junction.”
I answer, “What? That’s not the quickest route! Where are you trying to take me?” And I drive on, all assertively.
She responds, “Turn around when possible.”
And I say, “Fat chance!”
She becomes so insistent, “Make a u-turn!
Then, after I ignore her, “Turn right in 2km, make a u-turn and turn left, back into this road and follow the road back for a little more than 2km and then turn right into the road I told you to turn into before.”
It’s not just determination that I hear in her voice, I’m sure I notice a little bit of ticked-offness.
Sometimes, just sometimes I do yell back at her. I bawl, “Look love, I’m not making a bloody u-turn, I’m driving this way whether you like it or not. Last week you may have managed to convince me to take a detour down that no through road, which, by the way, I’m still sure was private property, but I’m not taking it anymore. I want to drive this way and this way I will drive.”
I admit, at times, I do use more profanity.

Do you think she’s retaliating?

Happy New Year and I need your help!!

2022 Hooray!!

Let’s hope, as a year, you will be much kinder to us all than 2021 was. Or 2020 for that matter!! All our hopes (and dreams) are riding on you! Plus with so many twos in you, I am convinced you must be going to be a good year. Though that might be my optimistic nature….

I wish us all good health. That includes a cure for Covid-19. A cure for cancer. And a cure for the bloody menopause.

I also wish for a cure for stupidity, but I think I might be pushing it on that one…

I wish us all much joy and laughter.

I wish us all to find the strength we need when times are tough and to have good friends around to catch us when we start to fall.

On a personal note I need to come to terms with the fact that I will turn 50 this year. And I want to finish my book (nearly there), finish the work on my house (just need a builder), be healthier (might require a new body for that one) and just find my inner balance again.

On that note, one of the hobbies I’ve taken up in recent years is photography. I’m no great photographer but I keep taking pictures and if I take enough, I finally get a few good shots.
Of course, I take blurry photos of moving objects like the dog and the kids. But what I really love is nature photography. There is something truly relaxing about it. And I have a strong feeling of inner peace when I look at specific pictures.
With that in mind, I had the mad idea a couple of years ago of starting a gallery of ‘annual favourites’ in our house. That is, I would choose one beloved photo from each year and have it made into a gallery style print and hang it up on the wall. It’s a mad idea because we have almost no wall space left, especially not for a growing number of photographs… But I’m striding along with the project anyway.
The most difficult part is trying to whittle down my favourite four/five/six pictures of the year to just one. I truly agonize over it. It’s so tempting to just print them all off, but that would be too expensive and as I said: there’s not enough wall space.
So this year I thought I’d share the final pictures with you and ask you what you think!!

Autumn leaves

Christmas Wishes!!

Just a quickie to wish all of you, my readers a wonderful Christmas. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your support, your lovely comments and helping me to keep the laughter alive.
I’ll be off, hungry relatives are about to arrive. You’d think I was feeding the five thousand the amount I’ve cooked. We’ll all roll into the New Year!!

I’m living on the edge, I tell you…

When do you know, officially, that you’re an old git? Past your best? Readying yourself for the scrap heap?

Is it when you start removing your glasses, rubbing your eyes and then trying to read the text that just popped up on your phone, by bobbing the phone back and forth in front of your face to ‘find’ that correct position?

Is it when you go to ‘that’ birthday party, knock back a few too many sparkling wines and decide to dance, forget how to dance, jump up and down a little, then stop suddenly as you notice a little bit of wee just popped out?

Is it when you take a shower and there’s more hair on the shower floor than there are shampoo bubbles, and not just because you keep pulling them out in an attempt to execute the greys?

Is it when you keep insisting on driving along the road to the supermarket, rather than taking the turning to the doctor’s surgery/school to pick up your child/or anywhere else you are actually supposed to be driving?

Is it when you’re hot, you’re cold, you’re hot, you’re cold, without having a fever or anything and you become known as the crazy cardigan lady who is constantly stripping and covering up?

Is it when technology is just beyond you nowadays? You can’t figure out how to turn off the car. You shake your phone in an attempt to ‘make it work’. You keep mixing up your PIN numbers and have to test the patience of all the local shopkeepers while you look up potential hidden codes on your phone, once you’ve found the correct app, that is, and all the while they’re resetting the card payment terminal…

Is it when you start to epitomize your son’s term multi-failing, instead of proudly multitasking as you did in bygone times?

Is it when you realize you bought far more advent calendar gifts for one kid than for any of the others and you find yourself scratching their name off the packaging and inserting another?

Is it when you carefully do a wool wash, cool and with a gentle spin and everything, then fail to hang it up. And once you finally notice the washing is still in the machine, you have to rewash it, but as you eventually remove it from the machine, you discover you washed it the second time on a normal wash?

Is it when you don’t even remember you forgot that appointment and when someone calls to tell you, you say what appointment?

Is it when you look through your mobile and can’t decipher who half of these contacts even are?

Or is it when you don’t need to jump anymore to liberate a fresh urine sample? You just need to sneeze, or cough, or laugh.

It’s a huge problem. I laugh a lot.

Can you un-twitch a twitcher or would the music stop?

My husband is one of those people who laughs a lot. So much so that if he has the opportunity to live on to a ripe old age, he will end up with deep laughter lines, forming crevices all over his face. Generally his laughter seems to be set off by me, or one of the children, or the dog, or a reckless politician.

Since Covid removed him from his actual office in the city and placed him in my our actual office upstairs, he has taken to retaking up an old hobby: playing guitar. My husband is many things: a laugher, a fixer of broken things, a dog teaser meanwhile he is also an obsessive person, and this new-old hobby of his, really is reaching new heights.

Not only do I find him plucking his guitar strings on the sofa, I also spot him strumming through meetings, while his microphone is on silent (shh don’t tell his boss) and hear him tinkling from the loo.

To top it all, he’s now started playing ‘air guitar’ except it’s not in the air, perhaps a more appropriate name for it would be ‘belly guitar’? He started this weird thing, right after dinner, in the midst of conversation, whilst waiting at traffic lights etc: of twanging his own stomach. I asked him, of course, what on earth he was doing, and he informed me that he needs to build up the muscle so he can play faster.

Jo has dated a couple of drummers in her time and what I’ve noticed is this; natural born drummers tap. They do it it intuitively, like they just can’t stop themselves. Actually, I don’t think they generally even notice that they are doing it.

Do intuitive guitarists twang their bellies or is it just my husband?

I do my best to be a supportive wife, really I do. But if you met my husband the thing he’d say to you about me is that I’m extremely honest. I just can’t help myself. I always have to spout the truth in every given situation. It’s like a compulsion. It just spurts right out of me. In that vein, when my husband started jerking his hand around on his full tummy after dinner last night, I erupted. Stop twitching, I said. It looks weird, I said. It looks like you’re having some kind of stroke, I said.

My husband being my husband found the whole discussion hilarious. And it seems I only spurred him on. Suddenly he realized there were endless possibilities of the belly guitar model: my head, my shoulder, my back, the dog’s head. To be fair, the dog seemed to quite like it.

Of course, my husband was greatly encouraged in his antics by our children. The autistic one, loves the ‘ists’ in conversation, especially when he’s being protective, which he regularly is. After a rummage around it was finally agreed between him and his younger sibling that I was being twitch-ist.

Here we go again….

God, I wouldn’t cope in a desert without any food or water for more than a minute. I’m on my third day of just a couple of crackers a day in preparation for my MRT later on this afternoon and I’m a shaky, wobbly mess. The MRT is a follow up to the tests from the last post.
Today I have managed to have a shower and put a wash on. And order some trousers on the internet. Hopefully correctly this time. Yesterday I accidentally ordered two pairs which were exactly the same and in the wrong size. I didn’t even realize my mistake until after check out. When it suddenly occurred to me that the bill was higher than the price of the trousers I wanted, especially considering I had both a voucher for 30% off and another voucher towards the costs. Evidently my brain was on low function mode.

I was also slightly distracted. Partially because as well as having eaten next to nothing (by then only for two days), it was also my lovely daughter’s birthday and she was just pulling up in the car outside. On top of that I was mentally preparing myself for my third dose of bowel emptying medicine in two weeks. I can happily inform you that I managed to convince the doctor to give me a totally different prescription this time. The last one erupted from my stomach in a volcano like manner. As in up the way, and not down the way, like it should. I was left somewhat perturbed about the sheer amount of fluids which rose from my belly, so much so that I questioned Doctor Google and when that didn’t quench my thirst for answers, I poked and prodded my husband awake, dragged him out of bed and showed him the relevant fluids, which I’d talentedly caught, in their entirety in a large bowl (I am pretty much always prepared). I’ll be honest, my husband was not impressed. But he did manage to convince me that I didn’t need to cancel my appointment at the hospital.

I can’t tell you much about the hospital appointment. It is somewhat hazy. I remember arriving and lying down on the comfiest hospital bed known to man, woman or child. I remember having tubes with oxygen pressed into my nose and thinking two things: oxygen smells very nice and really, this should not be up my nose, but up the nose of somebody in India. The next thing I knew I was waking up. Once I seemed a bit together a lovely nurse helped me down from the bed and into a cubicle to get dressed. Then she took me into an office to see my doctor. She also brought me a nice cup of tea, which I didn’t manage to drink, as once the doctor had entered the room, I didn’t want to expose him to my breath by removing my mask. Which was obviously not really thought through, as he’d just shoved cameras down my throat and up my backside and taken biopsies and I definitely hadn’t worn a mask during that time. I can happily tell you, there was no truth serum administered! Phew!! But I can’t really tell you what the doctor said. He kind of breezed in and out and babbled on about more tests and treatment. Hence I will go back there today.

He passed me on to his nurse, who passed me on to his receptionist, who made me an immediate appointment for a lung x-ray. She sat me on a chair and handed me some papers. I waited for a bit and then thought, where are the papers? I looked in my bag, in my jacket pocket, under my chair, on the floor. Then I thought, she must have taken them back off me again. I think I was still rather dazed, and to be fair to myself, I hadn’t even managed to drink my tea. She returned and took me to the x-ray department and then asked me for the papers. I told her blankly that I didn’t have them, which resulted in a bit of toing and froing, somewhat like in a puppet theater – “Oh yes you do!” “Oh no I don’t!”. But in the back of my mind I felt so guilty. I was pretty sure she had given them to me. But I hadn’t moved from the seat, so where on earth could they possibly be? The poor woman ended up leaving me outside the x-ray department while she retraced her steps through the hospital and searched all through reception. The papers had quite magnificently disappeared. Poof! Into thin air. So she had to start all over again, print out brand new papers and deliver them back to me so I could get my chest x-ray. She told me to destroy the papers if I somehow found them on my person. I’ve never found them.

Having a chest x-ray means removing both your top and your bra. Being British I’m well-known for my capabilities in the art of small talk. Seemingly the radiographer was a pretty chatty woman as well, which led to a slightly strange situation. I was standing there, bosom dangling, discussing all and sundry with a complete stranger. I do wonder, what today will bring…

Kate Shrewsday

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