Guest Blog

March 8, 2012 § 113 Comments

A big thank you to Catherine for today’s guest blog:-

I joined the plankton order probably around eight years ago, thinking confidently that it would pass. I left behind numerous devious affairs and also the abusive father of my last child, thinking that the peaceful Italian countryside would provide new and enriching delights. The peaceful Italian countryside very quickly threw up farmhands and bigots, while a brother-in-law kindly reminded me that I have MOTHER OF FOUR CHILDREN branded on my forehead. For whole stretches I lived without touch or warmth.
Originally a sporty lass from a sub-tropical country, I found winters here uselessly long and decided that the only way to unwind my depression would be to dump my kids on a ski slope at the nearby Dolomites and learn to ski. Each winter thus became a triumph of young male ski thighs and glowing fitness, a row of peaks on my plankton graph. Initially, I enjoyed the allure of young 20-somethings, who enjoyed the allure of a red-headed Anglophone. For the first time in my life, I advertised myself as a foreigner and led the sheep into my pasture. Muscled, fresh-faced mountain men like tenors in a choir. At one party I spotted three lads I had Bo-Beeped in one room.
Next, for a couple of winters, I had one main interest. The story evolved in a mischievous drunken way, and proceeded with some pleasurable outdoor and off-season encounters. I made it point to remain friends or mates with the others, and have divine memories of alpine nights, sheer descent the morning after, a rib cracked by that tall bloke who didn’t know his own strength.
Throughout however, I have tried to maintain an interest in men my own age (end 40s), and did enjoy some trysts in this department, but found the gentlemen were watchful and harsh, getting flabby, a little toneless. After my colossal emotions with the fathers of my children, there was no love on the menu.
Lately, this plankton has tired of the young uns, and having kids who are between teen and adulthood makes me want to step away from the self-centredness and thriving of youth. The pickings have suddenly become rare. A certain older and extremely fit man my age is missing a tooth. Why does that absolutely destroy me? And his gestures while generous seem those of a wooden old man. Another seeks to know all about my ex-husband and once made me bob down in his car at night. And the one I truly desire, the one I would love to unwrap and whose smile careers through me every time, well, he is spoken for.
So it’s plankton time in the mountains, which I believe were once an underground sea. The rockpool has dried out, and I am a fossil pressed between cold stones.


§ 113 Responses to Guest Blog

  • fi says:

    I love this. Not only because it is so lyrical and descriptive, but because it paints such an accurate picture of how being single happened to me. There’s no sudden stopping of invitations from men, and no long years of bitterness and rejection, there’s just someone going about their life and enjoying themselves, with the men around her becoming older and less attractive and one day realising that the choice has now become one of the old ruined men or staying single.

  • Lydia says:

    For me that seems a very rich and lovely life, not plankton but higher life form; a life with at least two fathers of your children and love for them and then all those young strong men and lots of sex, a good spread of current interests and lots of hope or indeed a choice to be single which can be just as happy a choice as to be hooked ball and chain to the needs of an older man who wants his socks washed.

    I also recognise the teenage stage but I would say hold on to those relationships. We endured that phase and after university they emerge like swans and return to how you brought them up after that intermediate teenage loathesome phase and in lots of cultures and indeed my own life they can return.

    One reason I like my current interest is his ties to his parent and his children although the fact they are there (just like mine) mean he is unilkely to be current for long.

    We become older aklthough that doesn’t necessarily mean unattractive but so do men. I think it is just part of life to be enjoyed.

  • Leftatforty says:

    Shit Catherine.
    Well written. Utterly depressing.

    • fi says:

      Oh I like to think of Catherine striding through the Italian countryside, hair down, with men glancing at her in admiration as she walks past with a basket over her arm. I’d like to think one day some handsome older man would appear in her town and they’d bump into each other. And if it didn’t happen then she’d have her own cafe where she met her friends, her books, her garden, the sunsets, the countryside and she would be a fond memory to some men. That’s how I’m going to imagine her anyway.

      • RS says:

        Me too Fi. In my mind there’s maybe a tinge of sadness, but just for the way life is for anyone getting older, just the reality that things change and there are different phases and life kind of winds down. Acceptance.

        But I think Catherine has described a lovely and rich existence to this point for sure. Beautiful writing.

  • AMJ says:

    Very beautifully written, Catherine, and so very similar to my own transition from ealy to late forties. God, how we change; how ageing forces us to change.

  • Caz says:

    Really good piece Catherine – well done you for being so adventurous. I met a lovely guy 10 yrs ago – but couldn’t get past the missing tooth. I was upfront and told him – he sorted it and we went out for 7 yrs and had a great relationship. Sometimes it is worth being honest about deal breakers.
    I’m making a bid for freedom at Easter and am doing a house swap to a faraway place for 3 weeks to chill and paint….but my 3 very independent daughters are all now coming…It will be wonderful but I think any heady tropical encounters will be somewhat stifled.

  • rosie says:

    Very well written Catherine, and a reminder that the grass is not always greener. For me, thoughts of the Italian countryside conjure up visions of expensive Tuscan villas with gleaming marble bathrooms and hi-spec kitchens, infinity pools surrounded by glamorous people lounging on elegant outdoor furniture and handsome, tight-trousered young waiters gliding around bearing silver trays overflowing with champagne-heavy crystal flutes. In my dreams!

    And, AMJ, the transition from early to late forties, oh god. I somehow managed to pull a gorgeous hunk in a club (which I wasn’t going to go to because I felt OLD) at 42. At 48 I’d have to be bound, gagged and chloroformed before you’d get me in there.

  • I love the imagery in your writing Catherine. I wish you luck in your quest for a young and spirited older man.

  • T Lover says:

    Yours truly would not be interested in a woman who had children by different fathers and subsequently (or as it seems, contemporaneously) had affairs with umpteen other men – not to mention the penchant for the younger end of the market.

    A friend’s first wife is very keen on the boys – including once her son’s best school friend. Her reward? She is a figure of fun, an easy screw.

    As I am not a farmhand I suppose I will fall now into the bigot draw. An accusation which has a touch of the truths. If men can screw around why not women? And a “sexually liberated” woman has an attraction to some men.

    Not this one. In his dotage Mr Boring here prefers the one man one woman model. How dull.

    The bambinos. What of them? Four children, how many fathers? What do the children know of Mummy’s “activities”?

    I suppose finding a bloke is not like selling a car – you do not have to disclose previous owners and “service” history but if your moan is that you can’t now make a solid relationship with a bloke perhaps you should have thought that one through a while ago. Spilled milk and all that.

    • fi says:

      T Lover – you’re brave. Brace yourself 😀

      • T Lover says:


        Meet me at the Marriage House on the A698 and I’ll marry you.

        Condition: bring a hole to stand in when the photographs are taken – I don’t want us to look as though we are entrants in a Bernie Ecclestone lookalike competition.

        Date: preferably a Saturday in the fishing season.

      • fi says:

        T Lover – even braver! If I wasn’t such an embittered hag I’d be dragging out my suitcase and flinging in my clothing quicker than you could say “don’t let the live one get away” 😀

      • T Lover says:


        No probs. A short course of correction at one of my summer camps for problem women will soon sort you out.

        BTW height remains an issue. Could I put you with the hot wash?

      • fi says:

        Love the idea of a summer camp for Problem Women. Not allowed to graduate until hormones are balanced and a sense of perspective regained. No cats, knitting or weeping allowed. 🙂

      • T Lover says:


        You’ve forgotten feminist politically correct claptrap eliminated and a laughter restoration course. Getting the drift?

      • fi says:

        You know not enough people spend enough time having fun. I don’t know why it’s not given a higher priority in their lives.

      • Mrs T Lover says:


        Having fun should be THE priority in every life.

        Not easy if you are a single Mum working at night in Tesco just to pay the rent.

    • Elle says:

      Correction at a women’s summer camp? Oh dear, I get a whiff of BDSM here. Not my scene, but what ever you’re into, T (does that stand for torture?) lover.

      • Lydia says:

        People should be grateful when they have a simple sexuality.

      • Elle says:

        On the contrary Lydia, those in alternative communities can be more open to women of different ages and sizes. Sadly I’m strictly vanilla but apparently experiences outside the mainstream can be exhilarating and liberating.

  • Margaux says:

    T Lover it’s 2012.
    Does the ‘man has numerous lovers – what a stud! woman has numerous lovers – what a slag!’ really still apply ?

    At our ripe old ages we will all have some relationship and sexual history. It’s sad that women will obviously still be judged by that.

    • T Lover says:


      My goodness, I thought it was 1912.

      I agree with everything you say. But you have missed the point.

      I am in the market for a woman. Here are two pretty much identical women. Both have four children.

      The principal differences are that the first candidate has four children by different fathers and amongst her successes was the crew of the Ark Royal.

      Candidate two has had a long and happy marriage ended only by the death of her husband.

      I am looking for a vanilla, lasting/loving relationship. Which candidate do I choose?

      The other thing that interests me is whether there have been genetic changes which have tended to alter women’s sexual behaviour. If yes what effect on man-woman relationships?

      • Elle says:

        What about the genetic changes which have apparently reduced men’s height relative to women. There’s more little uns about than in my mother & grandmother’s day.

      • T Lover says:


        Careful now. As the holder of the title “World’s Fattest Dwarf” I could be offended.

      • Elle says:

        T Lover, there are several men in Ireland who would make you look tall and slim. I’m 5’5″ in my stockings but still manage to tower over some men here. Alas, the beer they drink doesn’t add vertical height, just horizontal.

      • joules says:

        Elle – if they are bald I find top of the head very useful for holding beer.

        Tucking for cover (difficult at 6 foot and in high heels today).

      • T Lover says:

        Yes Joules.

        Don’t you need a sucker to hold a glass of beer on a bald patch?

        When I thought I was going bald my (estranged) missus used to say it was not a problem, would be useful when she was putting on her lipstick. Could I keep my head still? Bitch.

      • Margaux says:

        T Lover – serious question this ….genetic changes? Interested in what you say but not sure what you mean – Women getting fatter ? taller? hairier?

      • Margaux says:

        PS- too much vanilla can be a little bland after awhile 😉

      • T Lover says:


        I haven’t a clue what I am talking about. This might be the biggest load of bull so don’t throw rotten fruit.

        In the past two or three generations “things” have changed so much. Divorce, re-marriage is more the norm than the exception.

        My perception is/was that it was the blokes who were more likely to wander but that women are now as promiscuous as men. My Mother outlasted my Father by 22 years (widowed at 49) and my Grandmother died 42 years after my Grandfather. With absolute certainty neither gave any hint of pairing with another man. No-one in my parents’ circle was divorced.

        Am I imagining it but are there more aggressive lady drivers about? How many women get out of the car, fill it and go to pay whilst Mr Slob sits in the driver’s seat? Is there an increasing proportion of men staying at home to look after children? An increasing number of women principal breadwinners?

        So what has changed? Is our behaviour governed by our genes or the times in which we live? Or what? Where is it going to end?

      • fi says:

        T Lover – I think this is where Privateman started from. And (may god strike me down) but I’m starting to think some of the contributors are ok. Maybe I’ve turned to the Dark Side?

  • rosie says:

    Elle, I’ve never known what BDSM stands for and google doesn’t throw anything up. Can you enlighten me?

    • T Lover says:


      I too was interested.

      I have just (out of academic interest you understand) typed BDSM and hit the return key. I think you must have mis-spelt BDSM because Wikipedia has just put me right.

      A trip to the newsagents wearing only a spikey collar attached to a leather lead attached to a wife attached to a permenant scowl has never appealled. Each to his own I suppose.

      • Bambi says:

        Would it make any difference if the wife had a permanent smile…? Just wondrin’…

      • T Lover says:


        If you ever met the delightful Mrs T Lover you would know instantly how surreal that question was. People run for cover at the hint of a smile.

  • rosie says:

    Nope, spelt it right and still nothing.

  • As I keep attempting to explain to Ms. Plankton, it’s all in how you choose to see it. IF you want to, you can view your present situtation as being a prized asset and not a liablitity….

    To use your analogy, there do exist people in this world who spend enormous amounts of time and effort looking for fossils. Fossils are very valuable, people spend enormous sums of money to acquire them….

    • Mrs T Lover says:


      Perhaps we could make a few bob here.

      You know someone who spends lots of money acquiring fossils?

      Well, for a commission (I’d split it 50:50 with you) perhaps we could palm off my T Lover. He’s such a bigot. I’d be well rid.


    • Mrs. T.L.- There are websites such as this-

      However, with specific regard to Catherine, believe it or not there do exist some men in this world who have discovered that women who have been in this world longer have now become more experienced and knowledgeable in quite a few different ways, and we actually like that and we prefer to search for those on purpose… …..

    • Elle says:

      Yes indeed. Those who spend inordinate time and effort looking for fossils are known as plankton.

  • rosie says:

    Ah, I know why. I’m in Caffe Nero and they have something called ‘safesearch’ swithced on. How boring.

  • rosie says:

    But it brings up ‘arse’ and ‘front bottom’.

    • RS says:

      Rosie – Bondage/discipline Dominance Submission Masochism

      Go to wikipedia directly for more if it’ll let you!

  • EmGee says:

    Well written piece Catherine, very brave of you to share your past with us. Proving there is no one size fits all when it comes to being plankton.

    • MissM says:

      True it does take all kinds to make a world. For some it sounds like a lovely life, personally I cannot think of much worse than a string of casual sexual encounters. If I were to choose my preferred life it would not be to bed as many men as possible but rather to spend as much time as possible with just one loving man.

  • j24601 says:

    “A certain older and extremely fit man my age is missing a tooth. Why does that absolutely destroy me?”

    Because you are a shallow, vacuous, selfish woman. Just saying.

    • T Lover says:


      Unfair. There are certain things (about women) that turn me right off. No logic. It’s just a personal thing.

      • j24601 says:

        The whole tone of her post supports my assertion.

      • j24601 says:

        Just a bit of background to my comment.

        I once had a two year relationship with a woman who had a severe birth defect, such that one side of her face did not form properly and, amongst other abnormalities, not all visible, she lacked an ear on that side of her face. I loved her, and we are still friends. I delight in the fact that she has 3 beautiful children and an amazing significant other, who I also count a close friend. I guess that her prospects in life would have been greatly diminished if men were as vacuous as some women appear to be.

      • RS says:

        j24601, I’m very glad for your friend’s happy life. But one of your assertions can’t go unchallenged.

        You can’t be serious in saying that men are not vacuous? Really – a man’s never ever ignored a woman as a romantic prospect simply because of a physical characteristic? No man has ever passed over a woman because of her lack of physical attractiveness?

        How about we acknowledge that sometimes, for whatever reason, some people, whether men or women, are turned off by some physical traits and that it may be shallow, but it’s fact.

        Can’t believe I’m agreeing with T Lover but there you have it.

      • j24601 says:

        RS, my comment doesn’t say that men are not vacuous. Neither does it say that my friend’s life is happy; she, like so many of us have to do our best with the hand, however strong or weak, we are dealt in life.

        So, to me, if someone is ‘absolutely destroyed’ by an otherwise ‘extremely fit man’ who lacks a tooth, whilst bragging about slutting it up with males not much older than her children, for whom she sets a poor example, I feel that that is worthy of comment and rebuke.

      • MissM says:

        I have to agree j24601 that “bragging about slutting it up with males not much older than her children” is not setting an admirable example for said children. If a man we also bragging about multiple much younger conquests I would not find that attractive either, so I am not being sexist about it, I just find it an ugly quality in people of either gender.

        As for people being offended by a missing tooth, not so long ago people were quite happy to tell us that holding a knife and fork the wrong way was a deal breaker for them. I found that quite bizarre but then I guess everyone simply has their own individual turn-offs.

    • Lydia says:

      It probably means he;s impoverished and best avoided. People can get empty tooth spaces filled. I wonder who many men on here would genuine go for a second date with a woman who when she opens her mouth has a lot of teeth missing or one over 20 stone (unless they themselves were similarly deficient).

    • T Lover says:

      I can’t eat yoghurt. The thought turns my stomach. Equally, there are certain things about certain women that turn me right off. Not always physical things, personal habits too. It is completely subjective.

      So too are the things that turn me on. Certain physical characteristics are me, others I don’t find attractive at all.

      I don’t know how much of what is written on this blog is fact, fiction or a mix of both. Or whether certain commentators are “real” and express genuine opinions. At one point months back Lydia’s writing style changed suggesting that successive comments had been written by different people.

      So, if it is really true that one missing tooth turns this lady off, I can just about believe it if I accept that here is a woman for whom one (missing) tooth holds the same horror yoghurt has for me. We are not even told which tooth has walked.

      If a woman wants to screw a different bloke every night, that’s her business. If I am looking for a mate with whom to spend my life that woman is never going to be “me”. I would rather eat my own scrotum than pair with a woman like that. That’s my business. I have a friend who admits to being turned on by the thought. That’s his business.

      Looks, physical attraction if you like, play a big part in nature. Isn’t that what evolution is about? But if you watch ducks mating that can be all about a gang bang. Swans mate for life.

      Four children how many fathers? Add screwing around. What effect has that had on her children?

      Is it unkind to refer to a woman with a big sex drive as the village bike? Is it genetically driven? Is it a response to rejection?

      Is it right to pursue a hedonistic lifestyle if it influences/effects four children? No responsibilities towards the children?


      • Bambi says:

        T Lover, have you tried Greek yoghurt with honey? 🙂

        Re this: ‘I don’t know how much of what is written on this blog is fact, fiction or a mix of both. Or whether certain commentators are “real” and express genuine opinions’. Like ‘Mrs T Lover’, perhaps? Who sounds more like a blood relation of TLover than a spouse…..Clever and fun…

      • T Lover says:

        Greek yoghurt with A honey sounds nicer.

        As far as Mrs T Lover is concerned I know perfectly well what is fact and what is fiction.

      • Bambi says:

        I like mine with nuts…. 🙂

      • T Lover says:


        Don’t set me off, I’ll be banned and worse have chores to do that are more important than giggling this Saturday afternoon.

        Remember the Humphrey Littleton/Samantha line about her new Italian boyfriend who was taking her for an icecream? Nothing she liked better than licking the nuts off a large Neapolitan?

      • Bambi says:

        Get thee to thy chores, then, before you incur the wrath of Missus T Lover, who probably still has another 8 hours to run on her Tesco shift….

        Couldn’t disagree with Samantha… 🙂

      • Fr Eugene O'Feugh says:

        Bambi indeed. We had you worked out when you started bragging on here about Australia and checking out the fellas. Barbara O’Flynn you are. We know it. We know everything, I Christened you, Father Flaherty confirmed you, till your spell inside for public indecency with that Italian and an ice cream Father O’Brien took your confession. Hail Marys and Our Fathers have done nothing. When Father Flaherty gets back from that private word with the Bishop he’s going to give you a session with the slipper. Every bloody thing have we tried. That school holiday job on the ice cream van. Change the name to Miss Whippy you did and drove down O’Connell Street playing I’ll be your Bambi tonight. Then Bambi O’Teese the Irish tutti frutti. Woman have you no shame? You with 17 bairns at home and twins on the way.

      • Bambi says:

        j24601, your reply doesn’t address the issue you raise about men not being as vacuous as women.
        In fact, Catherine askes the question ‘why’ the absence of the tooth destroys her. (and, perhaps the word ‘sestroys’ is a little dramatic!) It’s not like she is shouting it proudly from the rooftops – she appears to be questioning that this should be so….I cannot speak for Catherine (wouldn’t dare- she is a million times more articulate than I), but maybe she is not so happy about this herself and would prefer if it wasn’t so…. Which brings us back to the comments of others on this blog – that these sorts of things are illogical and are matters of personal taste. People are not making moral (or amoral) judgments.
        I wonder if Catherine met a man with whom there was chemistry (connection?), might it matter whether he had a tooth missing…maybe, maybe not. I had always thought I would like to marry/love longterm someone who was tall, broad, with brown eyes and dark curly hair. The man I married, loved and lived happily with for many years, was short, slim, blue-eyed, with straight sandy, hair. I was completely attracted to him, because he and I were ‘good’ together – and when I met him, didn’t even consider the stupid illogical ‘list’ I had. But, if the chemistry/connection had not been there, I may very well have used his ‘failure’ to meet my then ‘requirements’ as a reason to decline the opportunity to date him. I know this does not in any way compare with someone who has, say, a physical deformity of a smaller physical ‘flaw’, but maybe it illustrates the effect chemistry can have.
        To look at the question slightly in reverse: not all men or women are necessarily attracted to particularly good-looking members of the opposite sex – inexplicable or illigical, maybe – but amoral? I can’t agree… Vive la différance…

      • Bambi says:

        Oh Lord! My secret is out! Father O’, forgive me my sins!

        In haste – off to the Rotunda to give birth to the twins. I’ll call one of them T Lover, after you…will that gain me salvation…?

      • T Lover says:


        You’ve lost me, sorry.

      • Bambi says:

        Was referring to the Fr. Eugene O’ F post…

      • T Lover says:


        I’m flattered by the thought you would name one of yours T Lover. I hope it’s a boy.

        The Father O’Feugh connection is baffling though. What has that comment to do with me?

      • Bambi says:

        Assuming ’tis you in disguise!

    • Bambi says:

      @ j24601: ‘RS, my comment doesn’t say that men are not vacuous.’

      True. But you do say ‘I guess that her prospects in life would have been greatly diminished if men were as vacuous as some women appear to be’, which suggests that you feel that men are not as vacuous as some women appear to be… Can’t say I agree. There are vacuous men and women everywhere; just as there are men and women everywhere who have personal likes and dislikes, which is not necessarily the same thing as being vacuous.

      Catherine’s wonderful blog is, indeed, worthy of comment (up to 73 as I type – fantastic) – but ‘rebuke’? Which of us knows what effect the ‘abusive’ father of their child (or, indeed, any of the previous relationships) had on Catherine’s subsequent actions? We know nothing of her family background, childhood etc…. We don’t know how discreetly she handled the issue of lovers when it came to her children or how her need for ‘touch and warmth’ – and love, perhaps – may have influenced her behaviour.

      We all respond to life’s challenges in different ways. Fine, Catherine may not be for you, and her course of action may not be one that all women would choose, but I will wait till I am quite perfect myself before I offer any rebuke… or criticise her parenting skills…

      • Jane says:

        well said Bambi!

      • j24601 says:

        Yes indeed. Who can ever really know of these things, therefore, who are we to judge, right? How can we know of: the effects of the abuse of a partner; issues in childhood/background; the need for ’touch and warmth’ – and love, perhaps; or any other influences on our behaviour. But it is perfectly reasonable to deny a poor unfortunate consideration simply because of the absence of a tooth. Bambi, that is morally vacuous.

  • rosie says:

    Really? You haven’t seen this then:

  • june says:

    Fasinating blog Catherine as a lover of Italy found it interesting,.

    T lover dear god talk about double standards, is this really 2012..

    Agree about teeth i have always had a thing about teeth, i fortunately iherited my dads excellent teeth ,he died at 98 with them still intact., and at 64 still have all mine, a much younger friend remarked the other day how good mine were. So its something i always notice about men their teeth and i dont think i could handle the denture removal, so j24601 guess that makes me shallow too.

    • T Lover says:


      Sorry to have upset you with my old fashioned attitude.

      Fascinated by this business of handing down teeth. Yours belonged to your Father. And before that?

      • june says:

        Funny not, god somtimes i can see why im single, men can be so pathetic, i meant as you probably gathered but decided to act like many men normally do, i inherited my dads teeth.

        And as one of my fellow planktons pointed out, how many men would go out with a woman with loads of teeth missing and weighing 20 stone, T lover this is double standards as always with men.

      • Bambi says:

        June, don’t be upset at T Lover’s comment – I don’t think that it was meant as a personal attack on you – it was just poking fun, taking literally the expression you used. I will never again say (as I used to) that I inherited my mother’s cellulite; or, if I do, I will have a private giggle at myself. T Lover’s comment was humorous, it gave a few of us a laugh – that is not a bad thing….

      • Margaux says:

        Sorry, June, but T Lover made me laugh. Playwright Joe Orton ‘inherited’ his mum’s teeth and used them in the original production of Loot as a prop…

      • T Lover says:

        Yes June, I agree.

        I pull. First a French kiss?

        Nah, I’m giving her a dental examination with the tip of my tongue. And then I mental notes: upper dentition, right to left. Tooth#1 wisdom, missing and so on.

        Then I mark the woman on a scale – a complicated formula involving the square root of bodyweight divided by the number of missing teeth.

  • Bambi says:

    Catherine, beautifully written – and what a mixture of the mad and the sad….

    T Lover and Fi – brilliant dialogue – had me in stitches.

    Elle, I am a whole half inch taller than you and living in Ireland, so my condition (heightism) is a constant challenge… I suffer from a bit of toothism too (hanging head in shame)… Loved the ad, Rosie, and am proud to report that I did NOT inherit my father’s teeth…if I had, they would probably be sitting in a glass beside the bed right now as I type….yeuch….

    I think Scott and Lydia would make a great match (once the devoted son and father has been disposed of by Lydia, that is – this out of deference to T Lover’s sensibilities). Those in favour say ‘aye’….

    • joules says:

      Aye. Think she could teach him a thing or two.

      • Bambi says:

        NOt sure that is a good reason for saying ‘aye’, Joules….unless you think Scott could benefit from breing ‘taught’ snobbery….and how to show off….!

        I was thinking along very different lines….

        No matter…

      • Bambi says:

        ‘Being’, not ‘breing’. Typo, sorry.

      • fi says:

        Yes. Scott’s a young lad. He should be out hunting women his own age not hanging about a website full of bitter spinsters. Scott – begone. Unless you’re hoping to pick up tips for seducing the older woman, in which case stay 😉

  • Catherine says:

    Thank you Plankton. Really lovely to read all this banter. Much fun and many truths.

  • Elle says:

    Catherine, I forgot to thank you for your blog. It’s so evocative! I envy you all this even though you don’t have it any more:

    “young male ski thighs and glowing fitness”
    “muscled, fresh-faced mountain men like tenors in a choir”
    “pleasurable outdoor and off-season encounters”

    But you do have this:

    “divine memories of alpine nights, sheer descent the morning after”

    It reminds me of a recent ski trip. The local men are tall and fit as are some of the other men (non Irish and English I hasten to add) who go skiing. Lydia’s daughter’s bankers (see another blog post) sound like a nightmare!

    Catherine, those men made you feel like a goddess for a while, and if you did go a little wild don’t let anyone make you feel guilty because you were a woman and a mother of four. You enjoyed life. You were happy and having a happy mother is better for children than having a miserable mother who lives wihin the strict confines of convention. Any other woman who is offered the same opportunities as you should grab them with both hands because life is short. You may be alone for now, but you have those memories to cherish and nobody can take them from you.

    Thanks again for a lovely uplifting blog.

  • asinusspinasmasticans says:

    Heaven forbid any of you should lose a tooth.

  • Jane says:

    June, have you no sense of humour? I thought T lovers coment was quite amusing, not to be taken so seriously

    • T Lover says:

      June is not amused. Quite right, June. Pulling a woman’s leg (especially in public) is not the thing to do.

      June has then reacted in a stereotypical female way by calling the bloke “pathetic”. Use of the word pathetic to put a blloke down is pretty common.

      It’s just another difference between the sexes.

      Men give and take leg pull much more easily, it is a sign you like someone, you are laughing with them.

      Women think you are laughing at them and don’t like it.

  • Jane says:

    @ asinusspinasmasticans. If you lose a tooth, you hotfoot it to the dentist and get it replaced, surely. In my work life I deal predominantly with Americans and I know it’s a cliche, but they do have good teeth and it makes such a difference

  • Margaux says:

    T Lover – I think we debated on another post? ( forgive my vague plankton memory – ’twas not what it was!).
    I don’t think the changes are genetic – more ‘the times they are a -changing’. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your pov.

    Yes I think divorce / re marriage is more common – because it’s easier to do so. And women can have careers, earn their own money etc. so are not as economically dependent on men.
    eg. My mother stayed in her marriage because she wasn’t qualified to do anything else. She would have been impoverished and stigmatised if she’d left it. So she and my father had a miserable life stuck with each other. No blame on either side – just a mismatch.

    Yes, I have younger friends where the male half stays at home to be the child carer and the female half goes to work. Usually for reasons of redundancy in these economic times. No one amongst the younger couples I know thinks this is odd.
    So – changing times indeed. Just depends whether you think that’s good or bad I guess.

  • How is it that you consider yourself a “Plankton” when you’ve had shags with “Muscled, fresh-faced mountain men” and that “[a]t one party I spotted three lads I had Bo-Beeped in one room.”? I’m assuming here that “Bo-Beeped” is British slang for some sort of sexual activity.

    You are more like a shark! The REAL “plankton” in the dating world are men who don’t literally look like underwear models. They can go years, decades even, without being “Bo-Beeped” by anyone. Cold, heartless and lonely this world is for the real Plankton of dating.

  • paolo says:

    Your children must be so proud.

  • EmGee says:

    Is it just me, or are all of the prudish comments coming from fellas?

    I’ll say it again, it was brave of Catherine to tell her story without sugar coating it, and in the end questioning her own bias toward a certain man’s appearance.

    I hope some of the reactions to this post don’t inhibit some others’ guest blogging.

    • Bambi says:

      Seems so, EmGee.

      Hear hear.

      And hear hear….

    • paolo says:

      I haven’t read the other comments, so I don’t know what other people (male or female) are saying about the woman. All I know is that I’m fairly grossed-out, and I can assure you that my reaction would be the same if the guest blogger were a near-fifty-year-old man (my approximate age) going around serially boinking twenty year-old girls, with four kids (by different fathers) in tow. How many ways can one say it? Yuck, gross, ugh…

      Prudishness, you say? Wow, you and I have a different understanding of the meaning of that word. The only rule I have ever followed is that there are no rules in the bedroom when two (or more) consenting adults are involved. I’m no prude. But if a woman of this one’s advanced age is “bo-peeping” (WTF?) so many near-teenagers in her community that three of her pimply-faced conquests show up at one party, I can pretty much guarantee that her easy availability is now common knowledge among that particular demographic, and probably, soon enough, will be among her children (some if whom are not so distant in age from her conquests), as well. Knowing that your mum is an easy and inglorious rut is not data that many kids want to receive. That’s all I was saying, but somehow you saw it as an opportunity to call me a prude.

      • EmGee says:

        Mid 40s is ‘advanced age’? May as well bury me now then, because I am 6 months from being 50. Practically mummified already.

        And I think your analogy is incorrect, it ought to be a near 50 yr old man with 4 kids in tow, each by a different woman, shouldn’t it? Which suddenly sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Or is he having 4 different women each with a kid, serially boinking all 8 of them at once? Okay, that’s kind of icky.

        “The only rule I have ever followed is that there are no rules in the bedroom when two (or more) consenting adults are involved. ‘

        “Knowing that your mum is an easy and inglorious rut is not data that many kids want to receive.”

        Trouble is, most grown women are mums, and consenting adults -unless by consenting adults, you mean only men and childless women? Oh wait, that would be a ‘rule’.

        I am confused, must be senility setting in.

      • Bambi says:

        Paolo, Just a point of order. I think you mean ‘a near-fifty-year-old man with four kids (by different mothers) boinking twenty-year-old girls’.

        Looks like Catherine did not breach your rules, then. She was (is) a consenting adult, she doesn’t state or suggest that any of her men were under the age of consent, nor that rape was involved. Sorted!

      • Bambi says:

        Ups, sorry. Have just read EmGee’s comment, making some of the same points as I have just done – except more eloquently/subtly.

      • paolo says:

        Of course I meant to say four different mothers, not fathers, and you’re correct in your point that that doesn’t seem quite plausible unless all four mothers gave up custody. On this, I stand corrected.

        On the other — that the mum is a promiscuous cradle-robber who will likely ultimately embarrass and/or psychologically damage her kids — I’ll stand by my point. Obviously, a lot of women view our guest blogger as some kind of sexual hero. I don’t.

      • Bambi says:

        Heroine, even? You seem to have…er….’gender’ issues, Paolo…. 🙂

      • Bambi says:

        Another point of order. There may be as few as two fathers to Catherine’s four children.She does not say that each child has a different father or which, if any of them, might have been husbands/long-term partners or not… Just sayin’.

      • paolo says:

        I was under the impression that the term “heroine” is archaic and sexist, and that the preferred gender-neutral term is “hero.” (Have you noticed how the most self-important and politically correct of Hollywood starlets call themselves “actors” these days, not “actresses”?) In my efforts to not offend anyone, I have apparently brought offense. Apparently easy to do around here.

      • Jane says:

        Oh come off it Paolo, you can’t go round getting all hoity toity about someones morals and slag off the way they live their life, then get precious when you are taken to task. You wanna come and play with the girls and voice your opinion…fine but you’d better learn to roll with the punches sweetie!

      • Bambi says:

        Good God! Are we going to allow self-important Hollywood starlets to govern the English language? Shudder…. Relax, Paolo….I was only getting a rise out of you on that one, though I was serious about some other replies, of course. I am well aware of the actor/actresses thing – and I personally continue to refer to actresses as just that. If the word is still in a reputable dictionary, that is good enough for me, so heroine it is. As it happens, nowhere in the dictionary to which I am referring (Collins) does it refer to ‘hero’ as being anything other than male….

        Jane is right – you need to be prepared for some verbal jousting on this blog. However, valium might afford better protection than a suit of armour, I suggest…!

      • T Lover says:

        Speaking entirely as a bloke, if not an entire bloke having been bullied into a vasectomy I did not want (and now regret), I agree with Paolo. Well, sort of.

        First, I would not want to hurt Catherine’s feelings and would perhaps not have been so blunt.

        Second, I was always honest with the children about sex, both the boy and the girl, and tried to make it seem a natural activity, one they could discuss with me if they wanted without feeling awkward.

        Third, things I did as a matter of course the children did not always follow. For example, if I had a fat Havana whilst away fishing (never at home) it was a habit which disgusted both children. If I stub my toe, the air turns blue. I have never heard my now married boy swear – ever.

        So, it does not always follow that the mother’s lifestyle is copied by the children Sometimes the opposite. They see and reject although that rather assumes (as Paolo says) they do not like what they see in their parent (s).

        What an adult does on his/her own is his/her business. Ditto consenting adults X whatever.

        Subject to this proviso: do not do anything that adversely affects your children or those around you. It is difficult to imagine the lifestyle this lady has pursued will not have affected her children, family or friends in some way even if, as Paolo says, the children may be a tad embarrassed to be associated with their mother if everyone in the locale knows she has been screwed by everyone in the locale.

        And before one of you lot comes the if it’s alright for a bloke it’s alright for a woman line in my view the same rules apply to both sexes despite our genetic predisposition as individuals and sexes to behave in different sexual ways.

        There must be some expert who knows about these things and can give a reasoned explanation?

  • Bambi says:

    PS. 99 comments on this post to date – just making it the 100 by adding this one!

  • Astrid Lowe says:

    Love your writing, Catherine! And amazed by the discussion you created, well done for the stirring…

  • Without realizing it, you were a “cougar” before it was hip to be one!!

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