A nice lukewarm cup of tea

Like most Mums, I’ve grown to prefer my tea lukewarm, because when The Boy was tiny the chances of enjoying a nice hot brew were pretty remote.

I am now coming to see that I would quite like my love life to be lukewarm too, please.

Darling Pirate, the chances of you reading this are about as remote as the mother of a newborn enjoying a mug of hot tea, but just in case:

This hot and cold thing? Tedious. Utterly tedious. I get that you’re scared of commitment, I get that you aren’t used to letting girls in, I get that I’m pretty full on and that this must be particularly uncomfortable for a boy like you, and I get that I have responsibilities and you pride yourself on your spontaneous lifestyle. I know why you’re doing what you’re doing, I honestly do. But it’s  really fucking boring.

You draw me in, then back away. I ask for more, you push me away. I push you away, you draw me back in. We’re not working together here, are we? We’re a sodding Pushmepullyou, stubbornly heading in different directions.

Why were you such a dickhead on the phone tonight? Why are you so inconsistent? This morning, I was a ‘beautiful girl’, tonight I am an inconvenience – particularly galling as I called to give you news about the website me and my friend are creating for you. You’re getting all of my time and knowledge for free when it’s charged out at a rather random £122 an hour professionally. Fuck you. Do it yourself, wanker.

Why do you make me so angry? Why is this all such fucking hard work for so little reward?

And why the fuck do you have to be so pretty, so charming, so sexy?

I love the hot. You excite and intrigue me. But the cold is unacceptable. Knowingly or not, you are a cold, cruel man. And even though my self-esteem is a little absent right now, I can see I deserve better.

So yes. I’ll sacrifice the highs if it means we can lose the lows. Give me comfortable, safe, snuggly, uneventful, reassuring, predictable and stable. Can you do lukewarm loving, pirate boy?


The second date

Finally! The Pirate and I went on our second date on Saturday night.

Well, if we’re counting in the traditional manner, it was probably the 30th or so date. But as none of the others seem to have moved our relationship forwards at all – our sex life, yes, the mushy stuff, no – they all count as one long, tedious first date.

But Saturday – Saturday was definitely a second date. How can I tell?

  • He kissed me properly when he arrived at my house. With a teeny bit of tongue. Respectful, discreet, but definitely there.
  • He told me I looked nice. Twice.
  • He held my hand in the taxi on the way to the restaurant. Heady stuff.
  • At the end of the meal, he went downstairs for a cigarette while I went to the loo, and he kissed me before he left. And then again when I went down to meet him. Yes. Kisses in public. This is getting serious, people. Start choosing your hats…
  • We went to a champagne bar, got drunk, and stared meaningfully into each other’s eyes. He didn’t run away, or cry, or run away crying.
  • I was my normal, tactile, personal-space-invading self and he seemed comfortable. Or at least resigned to his fate.
  • When I spilled Mojito on my boobs, he told me he’d lick it off later. Flirting! Innocent or sexual, this has never happened before. I didn’t know he’d even noticed my boobs – and anyone reading who has actually met me will appreciate the enormity of this, what with the enormity of my boobs.
  • We went back to mine and listened to music – he played me a lot of Steeleye Span, which was odd – and then we were too tired and drunk to have sex, and fell asleep in a snuggly tangled heap of limbs.

There. That’s a second date, right? Maybe even a third, actually. Would I expect public displays of affection on date two? Perhaps not. Shit – we might actually have had our third date. Imagine that!

He also told me about another of his exes. I do like hearing about The Pirate’s exes. Nothing like finding out about the ex-child actress (turned porn star, as one of my friend’s Googling uncovered), or the model, or the rich one he shared a suite at the Ritz with, or the one he planned to have a baby with (called Scrumper – he may have been taking the piss…), to make me feel like a particularly dumpy, fat, unattractive, unsophisticated oaf.

Saturday night’s ex: the tall, lithe, leggy Italian brunette, daughter of local Mafia boss. He spent a year living with her out in Italy. Awesome! Because of her family connections, they didn’t have to pay for any of their meals, got the best rooms in hotels and got sent gifts all the time. Fabulous! No really, tell me more about the dolce vita, arsehole.

I did ask him why on earth he’d split up with her. I mean, *I* wanted to go out with her. Did I mention how tall and leggy she was, or how long her chestnut hair was? I mean, obviously not as many times as he did, but really – she sounds like a catch. Why let that go?

(Huge pause) “I started not to like her any more. We fell out of lov- no, love is too strong. I didn’t love her. I stopped liking her.”

I asked why, he evaded in that unique Pirate way that is utterly infuriating. But see me learn! Last time he evaded majorly on an ex, I prodded. This time? Keep it zipped, lady. Keep it zipped.

I do wonder sometimes how our little romance will be recounted to his future conquests.

“I was seeing this girl from Derbyshire – quite pretty, big tits, HUGE arse, said ‘dinner and tea’ not ‘lunch and dinner’ – and we went clamming…” And that’s not a euphemism. On a beach in the rain, pouring salt down little holes in the sand. Clamming.

There will be no Ritz or glamorous jobs or tales of cocaine decadence and airport cavity searches; no mob connections or false nails and highlights and designer handbags. Instead, there will be big knickers (oh! I forgot to mention the control pants on our first date! Hysterically funny looking back, painfully embarrassing at the time), geeky glasses, welly boots, cellulite, sunburn, bras with three hooks, ankle length dressing gowns, neurotic angsty emails…

I must be really good in bed.

 


Jeanius (ha ha ha…)

I am not a fashion or beauty blogger, and have no desire to be. Nor am I a blogger of such stature or following that anyone really listens to what I say or recommend. But I AM a girl, and when we discover a product or garment that is life-changingly amazing, we are hard-wired to tell other girls about it, possibly with squeals and girly handflaps for emphasis. (Though I suppose some girls wouldn’t – they’d keep their discoveries smugly and selfishly to themselves, so no-one else feels the benefit. I am not one of those girls…)

So in this blog entry, rather than self-indulgent angsting about The Pirate, I am going to share my two newest and shiniest life-enhancing things: Levi’s Curve jeans, and L’Occitane Immortelle Divine.

First up, the jeans. I hate shopping for jeans. HATE IT. It is never, ever a satisfying experience. There are so many ways a pair of jeans can let you down – right leg length but wrong denim wash, fits on the hips but gapes at the waist, too much Lycra, not enough Lycra… So when I ripped my favourite skinny jeans on a door handle and discovered that they are no longer available to buy, I felt very depressed indeed. I was going to have to go Jeans Shopping. Ugh. Shoot me.

But happily, I did some online research first and discovered Levi’s Curve. Oh my word. A pair of jeans that takes into account your hip to waist ratio? No more gaping at the waist? Really?!

Yes, really. They are awesome. I went into the Levi’s shop, a lovely lady measured me (you can measure yourself online) and declared me a 32 Bold – the jeans come in waist sizes 25 – 34, each with a different Curve rating. Slight, for boyishly slender or straight-up-and-down types, Demi, for averagely proportioned women, and Bold for women with a very defined waist compared to their hips. I want to say ‘hourglass’ here but that sounds like I’m bigging up my own figure. I could go for ‘binbag tied in the middle’, I guess. More honest. Their website also lists Supreme Curve, but I didn’t see any evidence of those in-store.

Anyway, a 32 Bold I was, but I ended up leaving with two pairs of 32 Demis as, while the Bolds did fit me, they felt a bit restrictive on the waist. Given I spend all day sat on my arse behind a desk (no wonder it’s so fat…), comfort is a big factor in all purchases.

My new jeans are comfortable, flattering, the perfect denim and they FIT. These aren’t the cheapest jeans in the world – my skinnies were £75, my straight legs £80 – but given I wear jeans pretty much every day, I can very easily justify the expense.

I left the shop floating on a cloud of happiness, and immediately called The Pirate to share my glee. He actually did quite a good job of pretending he understood/gave a shit. Nice work.

Levi’s, I salute you.

Next up, L’Occitane Immortelle Divine. I went in to the shop to buy a gift for a friend, and there was a tester pot of the Immortelle Divine face cream by the till, so while I paid, I tried a dab on the back of my hand.

Said hand took on a lovely plump, dewy glow. Which was still there 7 hours later. Hmmm.

I went back this weekend and investigated the range properly, and somehow left the store with the face cream, the eye cream and the serum.  Yes, the prices are absolutely horrific. Obscene. Could feed a family in Africa for 17 years etc etc… But having just been able to clear all of my debt, I now have disposable income. And horrific, spotty, tired, grey, wrinkling skin from the traumas of the last year. I have earned the right to indulgent beauty products, yes? Yes.

And oh my, what beauty products they are. My skin looks amazing, right from the first application. I think the lady said it was something to do with the Myrtle in the products. I don’t know. I wasn’t really listening. I was transfixed by the radiant luminosity of my own face. Vain, moi? Hell yes. My skin has always been one of my finest features. It’s been a real bitch watching it go downhill.

I had a date with The Pirate on Saturday night. I wanted a new outfit to wear but couldn’t find anything I liked in the shops. Good glowy even skin went a long way to making me feel a bit special. And he told me I looked nice! (Second time ever!) I’m putting it down to the L’Occitane to further justify the expense, though the chances of a boy noticing the quality of your skin are pretty much nil I suspect.

So yes. These are the gifts I bestow on any female readers: good denim and good skin. Two basic human rights, I reckon…


Let’s hear it for sexy mothers

Here’s a thing: Mums have sex. Yes, yes we do. And not all of us are only having vanilla sex under extreme duress, because we feel we ‘owe’ our husbands or because it’s their birthday or their team lost or whatever. Mums have sex, and – gasp! – lots of us enjoy it.

I shared my blog with a super-blogger whose writing I really admire and whose opinion I respect, and she (very kindly) said that she likes it – it’s like an ‘anti-mummy blog’. Which on one level I suppose it is, in that it is written by a mother who doesn’t define herself by her offspring.

I love The Boy to pieces. He is my number one priority, my most precious thing, the most amazing creature on the planet. I could write another blog under another name, and fill it with Play-doh and Moonsand and heuristic play and attachment parenting, and the way he calls helicopters ‘hoppycopters’, and… Well, you get the picture. I am a mother, and I try to be a good one.

But at the same time, I am so much more than ‘mummy’.  I am a woman, rediscovering her sexuality after years and years and – seriously – YEARS of sleeping with the same man. I’m doing it safely, I’m keeping my family life and my sex life separate – The Pirate has never met The Boy, and let’s face it, probably never will – and I’m bloody enjoying it.

My sexual reawakening hasn’t happened by choice – it’s one of the happier outcomes of having a bastard for an ex-husband – but I know plenty of women inside long-term relationships and marriages that enjoy sex too. I’m a member of a closed online forum for women, most of whom have children, and you’re just as likely to find conversations about glass dildos and exactly, explicitly, draw-me-a-picture how do you have sex standing up? (something I’ve never mastered), as you are threads about baby-led weaning and what to do in the summer holidays.

So yes. Mums have sex.  OK, we might slow down a bit in the immediate aftermath of the birth. It did take me some time to come to terms with the scar from the episiotomy, and to see my boobs as anything other than lunch. It took longer still for The Boy to start sleeping long enough and reliably enough to find the time and energy for any bedroom action. But it all comes back. I am the same woman I was before I gave birth – maybe a little bit bolder, actually, since there’s nothing like lying back for 35 minutes while a man wearing a head torch(!) sits between your knees with a needle and thread, to make you feel totally and utterly unashamed of your body and its ickier functions.

And setting aside the frankly uncomfortable fact that it means our own mothers could well be filthy whores, why shouldn’t we Mums enjoy sex? Nurturing and nastiness need not be mutually exclusive. It could be argued they’re two sides of the same coin, in fact. By day, I make organic pasta sauce with at least 3 hidden vegetables in it. By night, I make The Pirate bite the pillow using only the very tip of my tongue. And, for now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Fifty first dates

I like first dates. Or rather, I used to.

I mean, they’re obviously tummy-turningly scary, what with the pressure to be skinny and fascinating and pretty and witty and all that.

And there is, of course, the chance that it will all go horribly wrong; that you’ll realise in the first 2 minutes that it’s simply never going to happen – cue at least 28 minutes of polite tedium before you can reasonably make your excuses and run.

But setting all this aside, first dates can rock. Long lingering glances, ‘accidental’ finger brushes, deliberate arm touches, gentle teasing, that moment when you know you’re going to kiss, it’s just a question of who makes the move, and your nose goes all tingly from all the electricity in the air. Oh yes. I do like a first date.

My first first date with The Pirate was a stroll around a lake on Good Friday. We both took our dogs – a good thing, since what kind of idiot agrees to meet a stranger at an isolated beauty spot? Oh yes. That would be me. The furry chaperones gave the whole thing a flimsy veneer of safety – my dog is ‘bark worse than bite’ personified, and his is a stringy, scrawny streak of greasy grey fur. Neither would be a particularly good defender of a girl’s honour, much less her life.

I wasn’t happy with what I was wearing. A long navy and white maxi dress, red necklace and white cardigan. Nautical in my head, more than a bit Lady Di in reality. So I drove to the reservoir in a state of mild peril, which  stepped up a notch when I saw him waiting for me by the edge of the water. He had his back to me, looking out at the boats. And he was thin. Properly thin. I am probably not as revoltingly fat as I am in my head, but still. He broke my golden rule: never, ever sleep with a man whose thighs are thinner than yours.

I considered tiptoeing quietly backwards to my car and pretending the whole thing had never happened, when he turned round and saw me. Oh bollocks. Hi…

So we walked and talked. Went to a pub. Talked some more. Walked back to our cars, with seconds to spare before they locked the car park. It was lovely – the conversation flowed, it was a beautiful evening, our dogs got on well. But there was no flirting. No touching. No long lingering glances. I fully expected us to shake hands manfully – perhaps with a hearty back slap for good measure – and drive our separate ways home.

“So, would you like to go for some fish and chips in Matlock Bath?”

I wasn’t expecting that… I love Matlock Bath. The seaside! But without sea! Very awesome. So we had supper, and then a couple of drinks at a pub, and it was all very platonic and pleasant, and we walked back to our cars and again, I was expecting the back slapping, hand shaking thing. But no. He’s lingering. He should have got into his car, but he’s lingering.

And look, I’m lingering too. Are we having a moment? Does he… does he want to kiss me? No… He’s barely looked at me all night… But he’s looking at me now. In that way? Oh god, I have no idea. I haven’t done this for so long. I am buggered if I’m making the first move. I may have read this all wrong… I am not kissing him. He’s going to have to kiss me. Preferably sooner rather than later. It’s fucking freezing out here – glad I wore the Lady Di cardigan now. OK. This is getting awkward. The tension. All these long sideways glances followed by coy smiles down at our feet? They’re a bit too Dawson’s Creek for 2 people in their 30s. What the- ? Oh – he’s kissing me. Wow.

Yeah. In the end he just grabbed me and pulled me in. And things became less Dawson’s Creek and more late night Hollyoaks special. Just thinking about the security camera footage makes me feel all cringey, like a slug that’s had salt poured on it, curling in on itself. I didn’t make out in car parks in my teens. Turns out I’m a late starter. It was frantic, desperate… Not kissing. Nothing as chaste as that. Snogging is the only word for it. And OK, yes, with dry humping for added tackiness.

“You know, you could invite me back to yours for coffee…” he mutters in my ear as he grinds against my thigh (my god, I am a classy lady. Nothing Lady Di about me at all…)

“I could – but I’m not going to,” I reply.

Half an hour later. I can’t feel my feet or my hands, my chin is raw from his stubble and I swear there is a dogger watching us from the bushes – I keep hearing shuffling noises…

I pull away from him and we stare at each other, slightly breathless. “Are you a good man?”

“What?”

“I’m absolutely fucking freezing – like, to the marrow, can’t imagine ever feeling my toes again freezing. I don’t care what you say, there is definitely someone behind that bush over there, watching us and wanking. Half of me wants to invite you back to mine and the other half thinks it’s the stupidest idea I’ve had since agreeing to meet you at an isolated beauty spot, so help me out: are you a good man?”

“I like to think so. I don’t think I’ve ever deliberately hurt anyone.”

“Good enough. I live about 20 minutes away. Follow me…”

And so he came back to mine. When he pulled up on my drive, he got out of his car and said:

“I’ve been thinking on the drive over here. It’s alright asking if I’m a good man, but are you a good woman? Are you going to tie me up and do horrible things to me?”

“Only if you’re a very good boy…”

So he came in, and we drank hot chocolate and thawed out, and had very good, very energetic, very bruisey, scratchy, bitey sex. Four times. The things those poor dogs saw…

And I woke up in the morning and giggled aloud at my own audacity. Look at his gorgeous curls spread out on my pillow! Look! See how brown he is against the crisp white of my sheets! I slept with a gorgeous man and he didn’t seem bothered about my thighs! And I kicked him out of bed because I had plans with my best girlfriend for the weekend, and I didn’t imagine I’d ever see him again, and that was just fine with me. I’d had very good sex with an extremely handsome man after a very nice evening.

And then the texts started, and then he ended up coming over to mine for lunch the next day, and then for drinks two days after that, and we fell into dating.

But here’s the thing. EVERY SINGLE DATE IS LIKE THE FIRST ONE. Platonic and pleasant, slightly awkward and off-kilter.

This man has gone down on me while I have my period. He’s gone down on me while I’ve read aloud from Lolita. He’s gone down on me and wiped my juices all over his face in a disturbingly sexy, animalistic way. We’ve had anal sex, I have licked his arsehole, he’s come in my ear and hair. We’ve been away together twice, I’ve heard him poo through a hotel room wall (I went downstairs in the restaurant loo, obviously). We are not strangers.

Yet every time I see him, it’s like starting again. The first date thing is getting old now. It’s not thrilling when you’ve been doing it for 4 months. It’s confusing. He came over last night and it wasn’t until we went to bed that you’d have known we’d ever met before.

Sex aside, he is gorgeously affectionate in bed. Full of hugs and strokes. I woke at some point during the night to find him curling around my back, uncurling my fingers to hold my hand with one of his hands, cupping my breast with his other. And later, we’re facing each other and he grabs the back of my head, gently pulls me in so we’re forehead to forehead and holds me there by a loose handful of my hair as we drift back to sleep. (Three amazing things about him: he doesn’t get hot in bed and happily, actively snuggles all night, he doesn’t get morning breath and we can somehow lie face to face without feeling like we’re breathing in each other’s horrible stale air, and he smells absolutely divine. I can’t tell you how good he smells. It is intoxicating. I am thoroughly looking forward to going to bed tonight and lying on ‘his’ pillow. Not in a lovesick way. More like a coke addict, desperately snorting him up. I’ve mentioned going Annie Wilkes on his ass previously. Screw that. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is where it’s at…)

He is demonstrative and affectionate in bed, and totally platonic out of it. We talk on the phone like best buds. We meet up and we’re best pals. He did say before we first met that he was looking for a best friend. I thought he meant it in a soul-matey kind of way. Not literally. I am firmly in ‘friends with benefits’ camp, stuck in an endless loop of awkward first dates. God help me…


A significant day

It’s my wedding anniversary today, and guess what? I couldn’t give a flying fuck.

I didn’t realise until gone lunchtime, I couldn’t tell you how long I’ve been married, and it all feels like a lucky escape, quite frankly – OK, so I’m a lonely, miserable bitch at the moment, but god I’ve learned a lot in the last year, about myself and relationships.

On the downside, it seems I’m a neurotic, insecure, anxious mess – a total and utter nightmare to date. But on the plus side, men seem to want to date me in spite of this. Look at The Pirate. The amount of angsty texts and emails the poor man has had from me, the accusations I’ve made… Patience of a saint. Either that, or he doesn’t read them, like the letter Rachel wrote Ross after their Break. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

The best, most varied sex of my life has happened outside of my marriage. The 28-year old boy had the most amazingly talented hands. Ah, those fingers… And The Pirate – well, I’ll save it for another entry since there’s more than enough content, but let’s just say horizons have been broadened and inhibitions shed. He’s pure filth.

I’m learning as I go along what I want from my next relationship. I fell into my marriage – childhood sweethearts who mistook a shared past with a common future. Next time, I’ll choose, and choose well.

So yes. Happy anniversary to me. I escaped…


Rumours: where two griefs collide

My Dad died in June. I could pussyfoot around the subject, introduce it delicately, but I am neither a pussyfooter nor especially delicate. My Dad died in June, unexpectedly, aged just 68, and it hurts like you wouldn’t believe.

Or maybe you would, but the ferocity of the grief certainly surprised me. I mean, obviously if I thought about it, which I didn’t much before he died, I expected losing a parent would hurt. But somewhat naively, I imagined it would be a ramped up version of the other griefs I’ve felt.  Like when my Nan died perhaps, only 10 times worse.

I know better now. Losing a parent is nothing like losing a grandparent. That’s like comparing frogs with tambourines. It feels like I’ve lost my core, my sense of who I am and why I’m here. It’s so much more than the absence of the person, so much more than simply missing him dreadfully.

I feel anchorless, adrift, like a chair with three legs – sort of functional if I carry myself carefully, but lean a certain way and I’m flat on my backside. Like getting out of the car, opening the boot to unload the Sainsbury’s shopping and seeing my neighbour wearing a fleece a bit like one Dad wore, and finding myself in floods of silent tears. It catches you off guard, throws you off balance.

Dad was a musician. Which means, as well as leaving my brother and I more guitars and harmonicas than we’ll ever know what to do with, he also left an epic CD collection. So last night, I chose three albums that remind me of my childhood from the box I’ve taken from Dad’s house: a Bonnie Raitt album, a Mary Chapin Carpenter album, and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.

Dad and I would listen to Bonnie and Mary on our long trips down to Plymouth every year.  I’d sit in the front seat of his Ford Capri, bare thighs stuck to the pleather, bare feet up on the dashboard, singing my little heart out.

Fleetwood Mac was a more grown-up affair – I was a teenager when he lent me his copy of Rumours, and it was the same copy that I played last night.

I was sitting doing a bit of work. The album was background music. The familiar melodies were comforting, Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar a particular joy on Never Going Back Again. It was a pleasantly nostalgic experience – until track 5.

“Loving you isn’t the right thing to do…”

My ears prick up and I start actually listening to the words.

“How can I ever change things that I feel?”

Exactly, Lindsey, exactly – how can I, huh? How can I possibly do that?

“If I could, baby I’d give you my world
How can I, when you won’t take it from me?”

Yes! That’s the very heart of the problem, the nub, the centre of it all. I am indeed offering him my world, for what it’s worth, and the stupid feckless fecking Pirate won’t fecking well take it, the ungrateful fecker.

And this is where two griefs collided. One man tragically absent, one comically present. So I started the album from scratch and properly listened, and of course Rumours is about more than the melodies, the harmonies, the drumming and the guitars.

It’s one of the best break-up albums ever written. Every song is about a complicated, doomed love affair. Every song could have been written for me. And then I remembered why Dad had lent it to me in the first place. I’d broken up with a boyfriend and he thought it might help.

So I sat listening to it on a loop, nodding sagely along to the lyrics like the heartsick puppy I am (how do the Mac know just how I’m feeling? HOW?! Surely I am the first person ever to feel the agony of doomed love?!). The soul-wrenching sobs began properly during Songbird:

“And I wish you all the love in the world
But most of all, I wish it from myself…”

I posted this as a Facebook status update in June, the day before I last saw my Dad. He liked it. I logged into my account and had a look. Yes. He still likes it, even though he’s gone. This set me off on a hunt for all of the interactions between me and Dad on Facebook.

Yes. Think twice before moaning about a friend or relative’s workaday, ploddy status updates. Every word is nectar when they’re gone, and Facebook becomes a kind of digital amber, perfectly preserving mundane memories forever. Which reminded me that I hadn’t deleted his last answerphone message from my phone. Yes, it’s still there. He sounds old, and tired. Oh Daddy… When did that happen? Why the fuck did you have to go now?

So I sat and cried my heart out last night, for my Dad and for myself. It was tremendously cathartic – and inspirational. A certain stalkerish air came over me during Silver Springs:

“Time casts a spell on you, but you won’t forget me
I know I could have loved you, but you would not let me
I’ll follow you down til’ the sound of my voice will haunt you
You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you”

I could go all Annie Wilkes on The Pirate’s ass! Yes!

And today? Today I’ve lost the urge to break his ankles and am trying very hard not to email The Pirate a link to Go Your Own Way:

“If I could, baby I’d give you my world
Open up, everything’s waiting for you.”

Trouble is, he knows my world comes complete with a nearly 3-year old, a neurotic terrier, 2 greedy guinea pigs and an ex-husband whose capacity for utterly twattish behaviour is apparently limitless – just when you think setting a date to marry his next wife before divorcing this one is as twatty as it gets, he tells you he’s going to instigate bankruptcy proceedings, leaving the Official Receiver free to claim the half of the house he has given me.

It is entirely possibly, then, and perhaps even likely, that offering The Pirate my world is less of a romantic gesture than Fleetwood Mac intended. In fact, it could conceivably be seen as some kind of punishment. Oh bollocks.