Showing posts from September, 2014

FROM THE '60s to 60s

The story of sex from the ‘60s to the 60s
Published in "The New Millenium Tales"

In the early ‘60s there was a wonderful enlightened gynaecologist who ran an NHS birth coontrol clinic in the East End. Her private practice was in her beautiful Nash Terrace house in Regent’s Park. She was a feminist ahead of her time. This was before the Pill and access to condoms, unthinkable for girls, was furtive and embarrassing for boys, who could not be relied on. She provided sex education, a painless physical examination, the fitting of a diaphragm and the admonition that it should be used every single time one had sex, no matter what the time of the month. She saved countless girls from unwanted pregnancy and instilled sexual confidence and self-esteem.
On the other side of the Park, a posh Harley Street gynaecologist, FRCS no less, with a discreet nursing home in the suburbs, was plying his highly lucrative trade as an expert abortionist, sign here, no questions asked, cash please. A lot…


So I don’t look it and in my head I am half that age. But I feel it in my body, so I’m trying to “Mind the gap”.
Somehow I never thought I’d get this far. When I look back it’s too scary and when I look ahead it’s too scary. So it’s carpe diem, enjoy the now.
After 30 years of practice I am still not convinced that therapy works. The pills work better. If Freud knew what we know today he’d be into neuroscience and what goes on physically in the brain. He was after all a man of science. He would be thrilled with the work of Masters and Johnson who located the source of the female orgasm well and truly in the clitoris. No more penis envy.
If I were doing one of those silly FB quizzes, here are some answers:
If I were a river I’d be the Mississippi
If I were a character in Russian literature I used to be Natasha in “War and Peace” but now I’m Masha in “the Three Sisters”
If I were a song I used to be Martha and the Vandellas “Dancing in the Streets” but now I am Bob Dylan’s “Just like a Woman”


This week's poem is by Alice Walker (African American, born 1944) EXPECT NOTHING
Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.


To decide whether life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question of philosophy,"Albert Camus wrote in his 119-page philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus in 1942. "Everything else … is child’s play; we must first of all answer the question." One of the most famous opening lines of the twentieth century captures one of humanity's most enduring philosophical challenged – the impulse at the heart ofSeneca's meditations on life and Montaigne's timeless essays and Maya Angelou's reflections, and a wealth of human inquiry in between. But Camus, the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature after Rudyard Kipling, addressed it with unparalleled courage of conviction and insight into the irreconcilable longings of the human spirit. In the beautifully titled and beautifully written A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning (public library), historian Robert Zaretsky considers Camus's lifelong quest to shed light…


Writing my book was like a pregnancy, month by month. Publication day was delivery by labour, followed by celebration. But then my baby was taken away and no news given. Disappeared into the murky world of poor publicity and maybe a few book shops. In 6 months I will get some short statistics about my baby and that's it. Probably no money in compensation as there is an advance to be paid back. I shan't be writing another book, apart from a very personal memoir for the record. Like


On a course in Skyros I was asked to write a poem on my retirement. It's called Retreat with 2 meanings: leaving a war zone and finding a safe haven.


She shone like a brilliant star across the infinite dark sky of her lost childhood
She cried a river of tragic tears while she danced to the rhythm of her youth
She ran from the black despair of broken nights, baby safe in her embrace
Found a voice in helping others till they destroyed her with bitter envy
Took up the pen to show she was respected in the world outside.

But now the leaves are weathering on the London trees
Time for her to stand back and rest her weary soul
Time to let her mind wander freely wherever it would go
Time to rest her aching body that need strive no more
Still shining like a brilliant star across the infinite dark sky of her found maturity.  .