Bring to a gentle Simmer, then stir…

I’ve always happily followed the belief, it’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it. However now, it’s not what you do with it, but how often you get it out. Are you folks still with me?

You will not be surprised to hear that Guido wasn’t too pleased with me when I once divulged on this blog that we routinely had sex twice on a Saturday and every other Tuesday afternoon – especially if it happened to be raining. So in the – how often you get it out stakes – I’d always thought my husband and I were having more of it than the London average. But not so, according to an article I read by a sex therapist published in The Times.

According to The Dr, as I’m now affectionately calling him, you don’t have to go the whole nine yards, instead just simply get each other worked up a bit sexually on a daily basis. This regular toe dip in the shallow waters of arousal feels good and gets you going. Didn’t you know the most sexually satisfied couples amongst us get a buzz this way every day? But instead of a full on screw-a-thon they gaze, they touch, they sniff. I have to say this does sound less exhausting and time consuming, especially if it’s raining.

As you know I like to bring readers hot news on, well, getting hot, so The Dr calls this latest craze SimmeringIn reality I’d call this “getting all steamed up”. More of that, below. So naturally in the interests of modern science I decided to warm things up a bit myself on Sunday morning. But more of that, also below.

In the cafe kitchen yesterday I found Guido contentedly frying three eggs sunny side up. All four of them were a pleasing sight and whilst I do like to sniff a fried egg when I can, I decided to make my first “Simmer” move whilst I had the chance. I snuck up when Guido least expected it and sniffed him wildly around the neck. What can I tell you about that other than to say there was the faint whiff of Givenchy For Gentlemen and extra virgin olive oil.

“What the hell are you doing?” he asked flinching whilst simultaneously catapulting his spatula high into the air.

The Dr never said anything about catapulting. I had to think on my feet. What, I thought, would Zac Ephron do? I suddenly realised I’d sniffed before I’d touched or gazed so decided to do everything in reverse order. I stared deeply into Guido’s eyes fluttering my eye lashes. Then I reached out and took a firm hold of him. Nothing seemed be going hard other than his yolks. This was extremely disappointing. Nothing simmered.

The Dr says, by all means Simmer by text. I thought this was a terrific idea so later I sent Guido this to his mobile.

“Every time I think of you I get all hot under the collar…”

The three dots were crucial in my opinion.

Then I got this zapped back from Guido.


Today is now Monday. I’ve been Simmering for almost two days solid. And in the interests of modern science I can’t tell you how pleased I am tomorrow is Tuesday.

I just hope it’s raining VERY hard.

I won’t have what he’s having

I think it was Shirley Conrad who once said “life’s too short to stuff a mushroom” but if someone bakes one then I’m happy to eat it. Especially if it’s got crushed garlic, chopped parsley, smoked ham and a topping of crispy breadcrumbs.

“Hey, snap out of it,” said my friend Marc clicking his fingers impatiently. I met him for lunch yesterday at The Spanish Onion. There were no mushrooms on the Specials Board and I was getting the distinct impression that, whilst life may not be too short, he was definitely measuring it.

For some strange reason he was wearing sunglasses (indoors) despite the fact it was dull outside. Worryingly, since we last hooked up, he’s also become a devotee of Wellness. Something of a craze round these parts. I don’t know about you but as far as I’m concerned, wellbeing, isn’t about an extreme lifestyle choice. It’s about not getting sick.

“I’m having on average 7 hours and 36 minutes sleep – I’m timing it,” he said. “When I wake up I immediately turn on the infrared light at the end of my bed and meditate. It helps focus my mind for the day ahead. I shower using only organic products. You do know shampoos and gels are totally toxic? Then I weigh myself and use a litmus strip to test my urine pH levels.”

Goodness, I thought, no time for Cheerios then?

“I take shots of activated charcoal or an isotonic supplement. The latter comes from plankton. That way I stay hydrated. Oh, and by the way I’ve converted to vegetarianism. It’s been scientifically proven that when an animal is killed the cortisol they release into their bodies ends up flowing into yours. However, I’m finding eggs a colonic challenge.” I guessed an omelette for lunch was out.

Apart from the words – it helps keep me hydrated – I didn’t have a clue what Marc was talking about. But I couldn’t help wonder when was the last time he had decent sex. No wonder he was still single.

“So, Greta Garbo, what’s with the sunglasses in January?” I asked.

”They’re a blue light block – it cuts out negative junk,” he said. “Did we high five? I like to share magnetic energy.” He raised a flat palm so naturally I slapped it. Afterwards I could feel a slight tingling but no magnetism. I suppose I should’ve been grateful he wasn’t asking me to take a piss on a colour chart.

This kind of wellness sounded torture to me. I’m all for feeling fit and happy but why does the journey there have to be so monastic? What next, laying on a bed of nails? By all means I’ll cut my cholesterol and even shed a few pounds in the process. Hell, I’ll try not to drink so much alcohol too (ok let’s not get carried away folks), but where’s the joy? The peanut butter? The custard? The immoral thoughts of bearded men with no clothes on?

Later when Guido and I were in bed I asked him if he thought life was too short to appreciate a good mushroom.

”Not if it’s got crushed garlic, chopped parsley, smoked ham and a topping of crispy breadcrumbs.”

Which just goes to show my husband and I know what we like stuffed. And I feel perfectly fine telling you that.


I wrote the following post – Imaginary Friends – back in November 2015. I’ve reposted it in loving memory of our friend, Ted, who read this blog avidly. We lost him on Christmas Day.

Last night, after the café closed, our gay friends Gary and Ted came around.  It was their monthly pilgrimage to The Spanish Onion to play poker.  I don’t know why Guido and I bother.  We might as well open our wallets at the front door and just hand them all our cash.  Not surprisingly, after a few drinks, the conversation drifted to my high school reunion trauma. As it turned out Gary and Ted had a couple of revelations of their own to reveal.

“I think you were very honest,” said Ted sucking an olive, “and brave too.”  He threw a card and drank some wine.  “I’ll raise you.”

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken,” said Gary profoundly staring at his cards.  “Though Ted hasn’t always followed that advice,” he sniffed, “you don’t know about Mary, do you?”  He threw a card too.  “I’ll see you and raise you.”

“Ah lovely, funny, sweet, silly Mary,” said Ted.  He lifted his glass and made a toast.  “To the woman I used to go out with.”  He chewed a macadamia.

“Mary?” I said.  “The woman, you used to go out with?”

“Mary dated a gay man?” said Guido.  “What was she, headless?  I’ll see you and raise you.”

It turns out that before Ted was, well, out, and before he married Gary, he had an imaginary girlfriend. Mary cooked cordon bleu, spoke fluent Cantonese, and played the oboe.  She was quite a catch.  It’s just a pity she hadn’t actually existed and Ted wasn’t straight otherwise I reckon they would’ve been perfect for one another.  The helpful thing about Mary was that she also had an irrational fear of crowds, so didn’t get out that much and none of Ted’s friends ever got to meet her. That was convenient.  I have to say I thought the oboe was a terrific touch.

“I didn’t care if people knew I was gay, but I did care if they thought I was sad and single,” said Gary.  So Gary’s imaginary boyfriend was named Eric.  Apparently he was quite a looker.  They pumped iron together at the gym.  That is unless Gary did actually happen to be at the gym, in which case he told people Eric was an eye surgeon and was busy mending someone’s detached retina.

“When I was a little boy I had an imaginary friend,” said Guido staring into space, “his name was Jose R. Sanchez.”

“Well I didn’t see that one coming,” I said raising my eyebrows.  “Your imaginary friend had a middle name?” I asked.

“Yes, but I have no idea what it was,” said Guido. “Gimmie a break, I was only six years old.”

Just for the record I’ve never had imaginary friends.  And frankly I was beginning to feel left out.

“Perhaps Mary and Eric could adopt Jose R. Sanchez and then live an incredibly happy imaginary life together,” I said.

Later that night I lay in bed next to Guido.  I couldn’t help but think about Jose R. Sanchez.  I imagined what sort of life he might have had and whether he would have grown up to be incredibly hairy.  I wondered if he might have a man bun.  I wondered if he would cook a decent risotto and whether he’d be partial to acrobatic sex.

I reached the sad conclusion these were yet more mysteries on which I can give you no further details. But please feel free to make one up.