Tag Archive: love

The Dot Spot

The Dot Spot by Dorothy Black

dot spot

This book is bylined as ‘Adventures in love and sex’ and while it is that, it is so much more. It really is adventures in you; adventures and voyages.

Ms Black is a sex columnist who finally, thank everything you believe in, decided to write a book.
“A sex columnist?” I hear you say, shocked and slightly titillated (if you were honest).
“We don’t really need another book about all that!”

Oh yes we do. And this is the book we need. This is the book every single woman needs, and probably quite a few men too. It’s the big sister we never had, even if we had a big sister. It’s the friend we can trust who knows more than we do but never makes us feel stupid. It’s the slightly crazy aunt we adore because she makes it okay to say stuff and ask questions, and she tells us the truth.

Because this book is not just about sex and what to do, how to do it and where to find people to do it with. It’s about finding out who you are, what you really truly want and need, and then being empowered enough to go ask for it.

It is chocful of information and opinion as well as experience. Ms Black is not some expert tut tutting at you for not knowing stuff, but rather your mate sitting around a dinner table admitting what she didn’t know and telling you how she gained the knowledge. She shows you the way, she doesn’t drag you down the path.

One of the many things I took from this book is the idea that we should stop speaking of our sex lives as though they are separate from our actual lives. As Ms Black says, it’s your life and how you choose to express yourself sexually. They are not separate things, one of which is active at a time. If one aspect of our lives is not healthy, you can be sure all aspects will be affected.

Ms Black takes women’s sexuality out of the basement cupboard of shame and has created a space where women, and men, can learn, grow and develop as rounded, satisfied sexual being. She simply and succinctly reminds us that we are going to be sexual creatures, and be sexually active – we may as well do it the right way for each of us. It’s too fundamental an aspect of life to screw up really.

The line ‘We do the best we can with what we have’ is used in this book more than once. There is no judgement is what anyone chooses to do, but what Ms Black is doing here is making sure that we all have more, know more, believe more, so that we can better make decisions about what we do.

And that has to be a good thing for the whole world.

The only problem I have with this book is that I didn’t have it as a 20 year old when I set off into the sexual wonderland. I made so many crappy decisions and did so many stupid things because I just didn’t know. Every single responsible loving mother who can admit their daughter will be a sexual being one day should get this book for her. In fact, every woman should read this book and then pass it on to the men they love, be they brothers, lovers, or friends.

Life changing, liberating and empowering – a wonderful book.

I am finding it quite interesting to notice what it is i find that makes me happy every day, to look at what each image represents beyond what it actually is

So day 14 is this photo


it’s a lentil salad. it is a lovely salad indeed, but alone is not a moment of happiness worth recording necessarily.

what it is is one of sixty meals my less than a year old company sent out yesterday. we have gone from 2 weekly menu clients to 23 just since January.

what it is is a salad we made for only one person because she is a vegetarian and requests extra meals every week outside of our menu. so we make them for her, to her dietary specifications.

what it is is a salad for a customer who has already referred other customers to us. they placed their first order this morning

what it is is a salad photographed on top of a freezer filled with our home-made stock, and roasted tomato sauce and pasta and all the other real food we make and use in our business. we started out with the idea of using as little processed stuff as we could, and we are sticking to that decision.

what it is is a salad that shows how far we have come and how far we can still go

a good salad may make you happy, but a salad with that backstory is a #100happydays moment

Shit got real

My mother is ill. She has been for a while. The idea that she is dying has been floating about for about 6 months. My brother and I joke that she shouldn’t buy green bananas.


She has fucked lung disease and the blood thinners she is on for the clots made her brain bleed. I was in New York on holiday and my brother had to make hard decisions about brain surgery and anaesthetic risks. He did and she survived but the half-bald head she emerged with was not the only change.

The lack of blood thinners to keep her blood in their vessels is also keeping the oxygen out of her blood. So another decision has to be made regarding which risk is greater. Which side effect worse.

I saw her yesterday

She is yellow

It took 15 minutes for her to walk 30 metres.

She is 68 not 98

She is not old

She is dying


My mother really is dying and green banana jokes are not funny any more


How do we do this? All of us?

Good Night, Mr Tom

Good Night, Mr Tom

Michelle Magorian

I read this book because one of my best ever friends told me it was her fav book of all time. she may have been exaggerating as anyone who reads as much as she does is unlikely to have an absolute best book. It would be like having a favourite child – easy when you have one, not so easy when you have hundreds.

And I have to thank her – cos I probably would never have found this book on my own.

This book I would put alongside The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – don’t let the ease of reading or gentle story-telling technique lure you into believing it is a simple, gentle story.

Good Night, Mr Tom is, I think, a very sad story even though it has a happy ending, all things considered. It may be fiction but it is probably the almost true story of many of the children evacuated from London to the country during WWII.

The characters are pretty thin really, but it doesn’t matter. because they do not need to be deep and rounded to tell the story. The story is not about them but about emotions and love and hope. and sadness – lots of sadness all over the place.

Abused little Willie arrives in the countryside in winter with canvas plimsols, a thin jersey and sewn into his underwear – if that does not get you wanting to wrap your arms around the mite then you are not really human. Grumpy Mr Tom gets him dropped at his front door and so begins a beautiful love story which rescues both of these souls from a really crap future. But of course nothing is as simple as it could be and twists and turns do flesh the story out somewhat.

I did like this little book – and Zach haunts me a little.

i love you

Why do we say these three little words to people?

Really why?

Deeply, in our most honest of places – why?


We tell our children because we want them to feel safe and valued and important. We want them to know they matter to us. But why do we tell lovers we love them? What do we expect it to mean? Does ‘I love you’ ever really just mean that I am telling you how I feel? Or does it always come with a …… after it?


I think we tell people we love them so that they will treat our hearts carefully, so they will care back for us. I think someone loving you is a huge responsibility. As soon as you know someone loves you, you have to treat them better; you hold their hearts in your hands.

Too often ‘I love you’ is a power thing.

Too often ‘I love you’ is a demand.

Too often ‘I love you’ is an excuse.

Love, as Oprah said, is not an emotion, it is a series of events. It is a verb, not a noun. It is an action, many little actions, not a statement.

And much too often, ‘I love you’ is about me, and what I feel, and not you.


I prefer ‘You are loved.’

my mother

Loving one’s mother is compulsory. I think some serious shit has to go down for love directed at a mother to be destroyed.

Liking one’s mother is not as easy or even as compulsory. My mother always gave us space to not like her; and trust me, at some stages of my life I used that space up to the max.

I have discovered a new emotion towards my mother; one I think many modern women struggle to feel towards their mothers, simply because who their mothers are is so different from who they are.


For so many of my peers, our mothers are worlds apart from us. I know many women my mother’s age who were wives and mothers only their whole lives. They raised children and cleaned house; were dutiful and companionable wives and supportive daughters. They looked after their aged parents and went on brief holidays once the kids had left home.

I am not knocking this as a life choice at all. What I do think though, is that for women of my generation; the achievers, the liberated, the free – it is very hard to understand and respect that kind of choice, that kind of life. I know that I would find it very hard to relate to my mother if those had been her life choices for her entire life. I would have no idea what to speak to her about as I create a career for myself.  I would be not able to discuss with her the decision I face in the life I have chosen had hers been as different from mine as it could have been. We simply would have been too different as women and people.


But I am lucky because my mom has made respecting her so much easier for me.


She is so much of what I aspired to be. She is brave and forthright, committed and interested. I watched her this last while doing something I know she struggled to do. I watched her take a deep breath and listened to her voice quiver and catch as she calmed herself down. And I recognised all the signs of discomfort cos they are exactly the same as mine.

But she did it.

She steeled herself and she did it.

My mother’s education places her in a certain social and academic echelon. But her knowledge and her willingness to share it is what places her in a space of respect.

When I am big I am gonna be just like her – only taller


It is so unbelievably good to be home. I left on the 23rd of July and, barring a short stop with a pile of people, have not been home since.

I have lived in lots of places and in lots of circumstances. I have made a home for myself in an upstairs room in a mansion; in a closet sized hole in London; in a hotel room in Tanzania; in a loft in Mile End; in hostels and boarding houses; alone and in groups; in good  times and bad. I am good at making a home, but i seldom have much attachment to the home.

I move, i wander, i flit.


But this home feels like i where i need to be. And it is where i want to be.

It smells like me; a mixture of perfume, deodorant and cooking.
It feels like me; soft and warm and comfortable with all sorts of interesting bits and pieces lurking in the corners
It looks like me; generous and abundant, nestling in a flourishing garden, surrounded by growth and promise
It sounds like me; silent with loud splashes and random splurges
It tastes like me; toothpaste and garlic in equal measure

  I love my home
It envelopes me and makes me feel safe

 I am SO glad to be home!