Monday, 20 December 2010

My Top Ten Teen Moments

Winter is here and I don’t like it. Those of you who did me the honour of reading last week’s blog post will know I spent the first 4 years of my life in Singapore. I still maintain this is why I have such low tolerance to the cold.
People often ask, do we have snow in Greece? Oh yes, is my answer. While not much will fall on Corfu {apart from the northern mountains}, just across the narrow stretch of Ionian sea, the mainland mountain ranges resemble a winter wonderland. Greece is more than sun-kissed islands. The terrain is mountainous, with some of the last remaining virgin forests in Europe. Anyone who watched the devastating fires of 2008 will attest to this and understand why the fires were such a tragedy for the country. Anyway, I digress……
Last week I shared with you my top ten childhood moments and, as promised, this week I will attempt to list my top ten teen moments. When I got to thinking about this, I realized I had bitten off more than I had bargained for. The reason – my teen years were not always that great. Age 13, my family hit some rough times. My father, in an attempt to better our lives, made some decisions that ultimately resulted in a vast change of life style for us all and a complete upheaval from all we knew and loved, a fact which contributed to my mother having a breakdown. Suddenly, I was forced to grow up and become the buffer between harsh reality and my younger sisters’ childlike confusion. Looking back on it now, as a parent myself, I do not blame my parents. I have learned from experience, as parents we are human and thus all make mistakes. We are not infallible. To cut a long story short, we left Glasgow to try and make a life in France. It didn’t work out. The UK was not yet a member of the EU and it was tough to find work. After 6 months, we left the continent, ending up in Huntingdon, Cambs and this is where I remained til I married my first husband {oh how Liz Taylor} at age 20. Anyway, life was not all bad and I did experience many high moments. Here is my list…

1} Glasgow age 13 – singing a duet with my best friend, Allison, at my brother’s wedding. We really thought we were the bees’ knees - a female Simon and Garfunkel. I remember it to this day. There we were, up in the balcony, decked out in our best long frocks, minister announcing us, congregation as serious as hell and what did we do? We broke down at verse two of Morning has Broken and collapsed into giggles. My sister-in-law hasn’t forgiven me to this day.

2} Writing my first piece of descriptive prose for an English assignment. My teacher read it out in class and it was then I realized I just may have a talent for this writing lark.

3} No man’s land Age 13 – driving to France with sisters and parents. The whole trip was a blast. Exciting for us. France is a beautiful country. The most memorable day was stopping over in Fontainebleau. We stayed in a very old hotel, across the road from the palace and slept in the same room as one of Napoleon’s artists. It was amazing. In the morning, we breakfasted in a beautiful walled garden. I can still taste the aromatic bowls of steaming cafĂ© au lait and the melt-in-your-mouth freshly baked croissant.

4} Spain – age 13. My first sight and smell of the Mediterranean Sea, golden sands and warm, balmy evenings strolling along Cambrils pier, sharing a plate of fresh sardines with my parents, French uncle and my beloved Grandmother. For me, it was a dream come true.

5}Spain – age 13. Taking my grandmother to the local Spanish fiesta. It was wonderful. We danced and drank sangria and she wore my big sombrero.

6 {a, b and c} Huntingdon, UK – fast forward to age 15. New life, new school, new friends – and falling in love with Donny Osmond. I have made this a 3-part answer because Donny was the root of three most memorable episodes
a} After a bout of tears and tantrums, when my mother refused to allow me to camp out on the streets of London overnight in order to secure a ticket to the Osmonds concert, I set off the next fine morning with my friends, resplendent in our Osmond badge encrusted coats and Donny caps for London. Of course, being 12 hours too late, there weren’t any tickets left. A riot quickly followed. Thousands of disgruntled teenage girls went crazy. Looking back on it now, I sort of feel sorry for the police. In our 70’s wedges, we all got a few lethal shin kicks in. Still ended up with no tickets but great fun nevertheless.
b} Heathrow airport. Joining thousands of other screaming, hysterical Osmond fans, I waited with my friends for the boys’ plane to arrive. When it did, I clambered up to stand on the 5in wooden railing of the viewing terrace wall. To this day, I can feel it bending under the weight of too many of us. I later found out that another section of the wall had collapsed and several fans were hurt. Of course, guess whose mother rung the airport and asked if Viviane was ok? Very emotional time but an experience. Kids are no fun these days.
c} Well what do you know? Fighting police again. This time in Glasgow. My friend and I followed the group up there, found out where they were staying and proceeded to follow their trail around the city. Finally found the right hotel and proceeded to scream our heads off. The boys obviously approved because they threw little notes to us from their window. When they finally left the hotel, I got within inches of the limo – only by shoving and kicking a policeman’s shins. I remember I knocked off his hat. He retaliated by shoving me back til I fell and landed on my arse in a puddle. Police brutality or what!

7} Glasgow – age 16. Visiting my elder sister and her husband in the city of my childhood. By then I had ditched Donny and discovered the joy of the electric guitar. Status Quo {the metal head starter pack} were paying at the Apollo. I desperately wanted to go but no one would go with me. So – I went on my own; the only female amongst 4,000 denim jacketed, tattooed longhaired guys all air-guitaring as if their lives depended on it. What could I do? I joined in, of course. One of the greatest experiences of my life.

8} Huntingdon – age 16. I became the proud owner of my first Afghan Hound, beginning a love story that has lasted until this day. Her name was Tara, a two-year-old dark blue brindle rescue bitch and she was the founder member of my subsequent household of this elegant and fascinating breed. Only one downside. My steady boyfriend was insanely jealous. Men are weird.

9} Huntingdon – age 16. Start of Sixth Form College. Two years of fun {and hard work} followed. It was here I learned so much from two of my teachers who, to this day, I thank for sharing their knowledge, for their patience and for their genuine interest in their pupils. Their lessons were a revelation. I have no idea if these two men are still alive today but where ever they may be, Mr. Daniels and Mr. Hurst, I salute you.

10} Huntingdon – age 17. A level year. Oh the stress, the angst but I did it. I passed with the grades I needed and set off for Sheffield University. Time for the next stage in my life – or so I thought but that is for another day…….

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this tiny peek into my teen life. I look forward to reading yours. Take care and a merry Christmas to you all.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

Top Ten Childhood Moments.

A nearly merry Christmas to you all. Corfu is doing its usual so-you-think-you-have-the-weather-sussed thingie. Yesterday it was mild and probably in the 20's. Not quite festive mood weather but it beats freezing.My tree is up - thank goodness.I know some folk get a real kick out of decorating their tree but, while I do enjoy it,I do get stressed. It's the Virgo thing. I want perfection.
And so this is Christmas, as the wise and great but, sadly, late John Lennon said and what have we done? It got me thinking back to my childhood. After all, Christmas is about children and the birth of one very special child. As I lay in bed last night, I scrolled through my vast collection of childhood memories. Some happy, some sad but mostly zany. I was an eccentric child from the day I was born - or so my mother tells me. "You are a non-conformist" I heard this from her most of my life.
Now married, with two grown up kids of my own, I believe I still am. But that is for another time, another blog. Today I thought it would be fun to put together my top ten list of my childhood escapedes and dreams.

1}Reading UK. Age...not sure but I was still a baby. All I remember is waking up in my cot and seeing this huge plastic monster grinning down at me. She was called Bella. Bella my arse; more like Chukky. I have hated dolls ever since. From that day, my toy box was filled with guns, cowboy hats and airfix models.

2}Singapore. Age 3 Running away, with Gary and David, the five year old twins from down the street. At this time in my life, I was living in Singapore. My father was in the army and we had a Chinese maid called Pok. I remember hiding in the twins' room. We locked the door and threw the key out the window while Pok stood outside screaming Missie Missie!. My poor brother had to climb up on to the balcony.

3} Age 3. Still in Singapore. Going butterfly hunting with my elder brother in the jungle. I was barefoot and scantily clad in a pair of white undies that always managed to end up somewhere around my knees. I wasn't known as droopy draws for nothing. I love my big brother. He was my hero and partner in crime. His favourite trick was to wait until all of poor Pok's weekly wash was dry and then spray it down with the garden hose. But I digress. Back to the butterfly chase. He could never understand why his collection didn't grow. As fast as he put them in the tin, I let them go.I have remained a staunch animal rights activist ever since.

4}Age 4 Singapore. Jumping off the top diving board at Changi swimming pool only to find my rubber ring had burst. Luckily for me, older brother saw me floundering and saved me. Later on, when I pissed him off, he used to say it was the biggest mistake of his life.

5} Age 6 Glasgow. Climbing my first tree, much to my mother's great fear. She so desperately wanted me to be princess in a pink dress. I just wanted to be a boy. From there, I progressed to running along 12 foot high walls and jumping from buliding to building. When I think of it now, I feel sick at the thought of the danger I put myself in. Those back garden walls were Victorian and far from stable.

A word about Glasgow. I grew up in this wonderful city. I lived in an area called Hillhead. A place full of beautiful parks, museums and art galleries. It became my adventure play ground. 20 minute bus ride and you are in the countryside. Stunning scenery, lovely people and great food. I had the time of my life.

6}Age 8. Glasgow. Reading my first Enid Blyton Famous Five book. My world changed. I now KNEW I wanted to be a boy. I wanted to be George. I became George. Out went the frocks and in came the blue shorts, welly boots and t.shirts. I formed my own little gang and we lived out our own adventures in my back yard well into the long northern summer evenings. And yes - I got into a few scraps. I loved fisti cuff fighting, always trying to prove I was as good as any boy on the block. I did have one dilemna though. I was madly in love with Manilito from the High Chaperal. I was going to marry him but didn't I have to be a girl for that?

7}Glasgow. Age 9. Discovering Santa Claus did not exist. I was gutted and also furious with my parents for making a fool out of me for all those years.On the plus side, I received my first 'big' bike. It was blue and gold and I adored it. Again, I flirted with danger. Telling my mother I was just cycling around the corner to my friend's house, I would whizz off to the clyde tunnel and cycle under the river to the other side of the city.

8}Glasgow Age 9 .I discovered my passion for horses. Blame Champion the Wonder Horse. I was desperate for my own pony but I understood it was never going to happen. I did, however, save my pocket money and enrol for weekly riding lessons. First time I got on a horse, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. During the week I practised perfecting my mount and dismount. Resplendent in my Oxfam jodhpurs and hard hat, I tacked up the back yard railings and rose off into the sunset - much to the bewilderment of the neighbours who finally thought that 'mad, half-foreign girl from upstairs has lost the plot". Not content at this, I turned my spacehopper into a trusty steed named Thunder and set up spacehopper gymkhanas in the garden. Lucky my parents couldn't afford therapy because I am sure I would have been in it.

9}Glasgow. Age ten. Joined the Girl Guides and discovered the performing arts. Actually, I had always been a bit of an actress, a fact to which my long-suffering family will attest but under the inspiring guidence of our wonderful pack leader, our little troop put on numerous plays and pantomines for the local community. We were all crap at the usual friend to whatever badge stuff but we could all belt out a tune. Highlight of my career? Playing Buttons in our version of Cinderella, and so excited because Adrian Laine, the boy from school on who I'd had a major crush since year 4 was coming to watch me. Unfortunately, he feel instantly in love with the girl with long blonde hair who was playing the part of Cinderella. Teach me to cut off all my locks.

10}Glasgow. Age 11. My final year at Primary school. Encouraged by my teacher,I put myself in for the Glasgow High School for Girls entrance exam - and got in! This was the year when I truly did discover boys and thought, perhaps, it was time to ditch the George image. I think it was playing postman's knock in my living room closet that did it. Kissing boys was much more fun than punching their lights out.
To be continued.....

Next week... My ten top Teen moments.

Ok, your turn now. Would you like to share your top ten childhood moments?


Saturday, 27 November 2010

What is love part one and two.

Evening to you all from a chilly Corfu. I think winter is finally upon us. Last week, the island was lashed by storms and some of the heaviest rainfall in years, resulting in damage to many properties. Thank goodness the internet didn’t go down in my area. What a case of sacre bleu that would be.
Christmas is approaching fast but I am resisting putting up my tree just yet otherwise, come Christmas day, we are all already sick of the decorations. Corfu at Christmas time is pretty nice. The town’s tree-lined avenues are lit up by tiny white lights; simple but so effective.
So- on to today’s ramble. I must confess, this week I am cheating. I am going to repost a couple of discussions I posted back in 2008, originally on Myspace. My reason for reposting? To share with my new blog followers and fellow writers my insight into that mysterious thing called love. After all, isn't it what makes the world go around? So here goes and I look forward to your feed back....


What is love part one

What is love? An easy enough question. Then again, maybe not. First off, love is a word. It defines an emotion, a state of mind. What makes one person's emotion any less or more than another's? What is true love as opposed to infatuation, crush, obsession? To me there should be no difference. Love is a feeling, a spiritual connection with someone or something, be he/she/it be known to us personally or not.
Why do I bring this up? Yesterday, I read on a posting {doesn't matter where or who} that this person felt sad because no one close to her could understand her 'love' for a certain singer who she admired. I can imagine the snorts of disbelief, the 'aren't you a little old to be having crushes?' 'Why are you wasting energy on someone you will never hope to meet and if if you did, he's Gay.'
My answer to these scoffing, cynical folk is - and so what if she doesn't ever meet him? Does that make her feelings any less real? As for wasted emotion, emotion - especially of love - is never wasted. It is what makes us human and what keeps us alive. It is better to give than receive, to love is more important than to be loved. It is what is in your heart that is important. The sense of euphoria, the joy, the laughter of the person who prompted this blog is experiencing is just as real and intense than if this object of her desire was known to her.
Love is a feeling, nothing tangible that we can grasp on to and label. I am no big fan of opera but when I hear Pavarotti sing Nessun Dorma I want to cry. At that moment I am in love; with his voice, the music. He moves me into a state of high emotion. When I watch Russell Crowe deliver his final speech in Gladiator, I weep for this imaginary character of Maximus and for all he has suffered. I feel as if my heart is being ripped from my chest. At that moment I love him. I want to kill all those who have hurt him. Is this emotion wasted? No and if anyone of you out there cannot grasp what I am saying then I truly feel sorry for you.

Love part two

Someone once sang - Love is a drug. Pop quizzers amongst you will know it was the suave, sexy Bryan Ferry. Mr.Ferry was so right. For those of you out there, caught up in the whirlwind of fresh, sweet new love, you will know what I am talking about. For those who are settled in a relationship - albeit husband/wife/lover - I want to take you on a journey, a voyage into those first golden days; of halcyon days of a relationship. Isn't the rush incredible? That liquid warmth seeping into your blood, surging through your veins,powering its way to take a grip on your heart,squeezing all sanity from what you believed to be your rational, logical oh so controlled thought. Oh how arrogant.Just a look, one smile, a simple touch and your world explodes into brilliance, shattering your ice shield of reserve. You can barely speak, words that usually come so easily to your quicksilver, all too often caustic tongue freeze in your throat. The world around you fades into insignificance. Senses are heightened, You are floating, his/her words caress your ear, a symphony of pleasure, eyes devour you, until your stomach is doing more back-flips than Comeneci. Euphoria! Food of the Gods! Yes indeed, love is a most powerful mind-altering drug.
But then - the come-down. Can there be such raw, gut-wrenching pain? Your stomach churns, heart pulls and tugs inside your chest, lungs ready to explode from repressed sobs because - hey- you are an adult. You cannot allow people to see you weak, emotional - oh so vulnerable.
This unbearable sense of total dejection has many causes. A failed relationship, betrayal. A love you now know to be futile because as much as he/she still cares for you as a person, you know it is over. Your fingers ache to touch him/her, to draw him/her back into your arms and let free what is in your heart. So what do you do? You swallow your pain and continue giving him/her what they have come to love about you; your undivided loyalty, your love, understanding and support as a friend. A shoulder to cry on when their life is not going well. when he/she is down and lonely. You bite down hard on your lip and smile as he/she confides in you about their love, their real love, a new love to which you take second place. You cover up your incredible hurt and envy (you are human} with humour. You give all the right answers, offer up calm, adult advice by the bucket-load but really all you want to do is childishly kick sand in your 'rival's' eye.
So,what is the cure? Go cold turkey? Walk away from what is an emotional whirlpool? Feasable - if you are sensible, strong but no. You are too heavily under the influence of the 'drug' and, as with all addicts, the desire to quit must come from within and let's face it, who of you out there are strong enough to walk away? You are so bound by the barbed claws of your addiction, one drop of their affection is enough to send you soaring back up to dizzy heights? How can you walk away when each minute, hour you are with him/her is sheer heaven? Is it enough to sustain you through night's lonely, cruel hours as you toss and turn, consumed by longing, despising yourself for your weakness? It has to be because, as much as you rationalise, as many times as you tell yourself there is no hope, one tiny mutant cell in your brain continues to grow, spreading to your soul and heart which, in turn, cling fearlessly to a gossamer thread. A thread called....hope. Hope the love that was once so magical, can be rekindled.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Brilliant Response.

My blogs of late have managed to provoke quite a but of discussion. I am sure my dear friend and critique partner Christine London will not mind if I post her enlightening response....take it away , Chris

I hope we never figure it out because it is as personal as the individual. Some of us require absolute attention from our beloved. Others find seperate holidays and weeks apart the glue of relational longevity. Some define monogamy in purely physical terms and are not bothered by their partner spending time with members of the opposite sex. Others are more jealous by the shared laughs and smiles than walking in on a tumble in the sheets.

In general our society traditionally defines infidelity by the sex act, but why should society have a say in the our individual hearts and minds? If nothing else good comes from our over exposure to the exponentially growing amount of information produced by mankind, perhaps the fact that we all have our own individual needs and feeling should be central. Freedom should no longer be limited to democractic politics or choice of job/place of residence and religion. Freedom, should be choice of the way we live in our relationships as well. Societal boundries are being pushied and challenged daily as we grow into the future.

Change is always messy, so to, meaningful relationships. It is through the give and take of relationship that each of us must decide with what we are comfortable. Whether it be open marriage or tradtional coupling where no appreciable contact is desirable with members of the opposite sex that are not the spouse--it should be the sum of the hearts and minds of the individuals involved. Messy? Sure. But anything worth negotiating is.

Now all we have to do is be ever vigilant to protect each person's right to make those choices and get our corporate noses out of other people's decisions. Love is good. Love is never wasted. It should always be respected in any healthy form which it manifests.


* ·

14 hours ago

Sunday, 14 November 2010


“The way I see it, marriage is a contract; a contract with which two people promise to love, honour and at least try to remain faithful. Pavlos broke the contract which means…” She spat out a shell. “In my humble opinion, it’s now null and void.” Fragile Dreams

Lepon – as we say in Greece, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What is cheating exactly? Ok – someone sleeps with someone else. By today’s moral criteria, that is considered betrayal but what about mind cheating? Hands up out there who have ever cheated on their partner mentally? Is harboring lustful designs on someone other than your spouse/partner just as wrong as going through with the physical act? I hasten to add, I am not talking about drooling over Brad/Gerry/Enrique but, rather, somebody one could have access to if they put their mind to it. Ask yourself the question – do you feel guilty about these thoughts? If yes then, no, it’s not so innocent.
Why is the emphasis always on sex – or full-on sex? A simple kiss, a hug, a stroking of the hand, anything vaguely intimate – is that not cheating? Sharing a clandestine glass of wine – is that not betrayal? Do we convince ourselves because full consummation does not take place we are not hurting anyone? What constitutes a relationship? I do find it rather ironic that in modern day thinking, you are not in a relationship unless you are sleeping together. So even if you spent time together, laugh, kiss, hug, joke, generally enjoy the company of someone, you do not have a ‘real’ relationship because you are not doing the deed. It does make me titter when I hear people gloss over their actions with…oh, but we haven’t gone the whole way. Hey, dear, you have committed more sexual acts than found in the Karma Sutra so, in my book, that is cheating. Do not try and justify you actions.
It would seem this topic of infidelity which I opened up last week has invited vigorous discussion. My dear friend and critique partner asks the question – is man really meant to be monogamous. She asks...…What precludes loving more than one man (or woman) not only in a lifetime, but concurrently? What indeed? Who decided the rules? Dare I suggest man-made religion? We often hear…he /she is the love of my life…my soulmate. Granted, we may believe this at the time. We see our present partner through those too-oft deceptive rose-coloured specs but how can we be sure? It’s a vast world out there, filled with, perhaps, a barrel full of potential soul mates. I believe the problem we face is no two people view this matter in the same light and I think it all comes back to the green-eyed monster, jealousy. No one wants to share a loved-one, no matter how much the “errant” partner will tell you it can be done. Which brings us back to physical v emotional infidelity. Will we ever figure out this game of love? Thoughts please…..


Saturday, 6 November 2010


Good afternoon from - yes- sunny Corfu. Once again, mother nature has had the last laugh. Winter clohes are packed away, quilts laid out on beds and oil in tanks ready to turn on that cental heating. Suckers! Summer is back! 28 degrees , today, and perfect skies.If it remains so, I am off to the beach tomorrow. So - on to todays little word/phrase......


It didn’t mean anything, honey. It’s you I love.

Before you all scoff, let’s consider this more carefully. Can it be possibly true? When men stray, does it necessarily mean they no longer love their partner and if, indeed, they claim to love them, how can they stray in the first place? Are men really so different than women? Is it possible for them to detach the emotional from the physical?
Before I continue with today’s discussion, let me say for the record, I am in no way defending the cheat. I, as those who know me will testify, would be the first to be devastated if a man I loved cheated on me. I am an extremely jealous person. I see betrayal every way I turn but….. and now you can throw stones…. For me, the ultimate betrayal would be if my partner/ loved one turned to another for companionship. It would be the thought of them sitting, laughing, talking – sharing together that I would find intolerable. Let’s face it; sex is sex. Anyone can do it – and men usually can with brain and heart detached but the emotional bond that lies between a couple, if that is broken, for me, that is where the biggest hurt lies.
So why have I chosen this topic for today? Let’s say it ties in well with my soon-to-be released contemporary romance, Fragile Dreams. Ellie Rouva is married to a serial cheat. After ten years, she no longer cares. When my dear friend and critique partner read through my first draft, she commented that I had made Ellie’s husband too much of a cliqued bad guy. I needed to somehow humanize him. In a conversation Ellie shares with a young confidante, he asks her the million-dollar question “why did you marry him?”
Basically, Ellie says she saw what see wanted to see. She allowed herself to be seduced by the glamour of his position and the pull of the island. She conjured up a false image of the man. He did not change but Ellie did. In another scene, Ellie confronts her husband, accusing him of never loving her. His answer?
“The other women meant nothing. Everything I did…It was to provoke a reaction from you. You were always so controlled; so cold. You never showed me affection. Every time I tried to touch you, you pushed me away.”

My mother once told me…there are worse things men can do to you than sleep with someone else. Believe me, she has a point: emotional torture, mental bullying, or a man who drinks, gambles, who refuses to work and support his family. Worse – an unsupportive father. But it does seem to be the sexual infidelity that evokes strong reaction in most. Before I go on, I would like to say I am not talking about a man who goes off and embarks on a full-blown affair. At the end of the day, we cannot control with whom and when we will fall in or out of love. Most men, I am sure, genuinely do not want to hurt anyone but what if they simply married the wrong person? What if they have connected with someone much more suited to their emotional needs? Perhaps the women they married and fell in love with has changed and, again, before I have the women’s lib breathing down my neck, I think we need to face a hard truth, here. More times than not, it is the woman who has changed – or rather our tolerance of the man we married has lessened. We notice faults that have always been there but in the throes of the fairy tale romance after which we hunger, we conveniently ignore them. We become caught up in our role of housewife, perfect mother. Often, our children become the centre of our universe and, as bizarre as it may seem to we women, men can become jealous. They feel left out from that special mother/child relationship. Men can be like petulant children. Does this give them right to seek solace elsewhere? After all, many, many husbands do not go out and sleep with the nearest bimbo because their wife is too tired or too involved with day to day running of the home to understand them. No – it does not. I am not condoning such behavior, merely trying to understand.
Now, this is where old school got it right, I believe. The professional mistress – nothing to do with a man’s love for his wife or family. But in today’s modern society, we want retribution. Ultimatums are issued. Decisions made without careful consideration. “Pack your bags and leave. Go to her…your cheap little whore.” Ladies – most times your man had no intention of leaving you for her. You forced his hand. Let’s face it, guys. You love your comfort zone. Ok – if you are a young couple, no kids involved, do as you please. Rush off to the divorce courts but, if children are involved, you owe it to them to try and work out your differences. It may sound, here, as if I am placing the entire onus on the woman. Maybe I am. Let’s face it, girls. We are the superior gender. We think with our brains, not our wil…. If you get my meaning.
My uncle once told me, men are weak; women are by far the much stronger sex. We are mothers and, as such, should be put on a pedestal. I am not sure if I agree entirely but I think I understand what he was trying to say. Men follow their baser instincts. Love, for them, can be separated from sex. For most women, this is not the case. Probably why, when the shoe is on the other foot, a man will be destroyed. He understands, for a woman to cheat {again, I generalize} there has to be emotional involvement. In time, I believe, a woman can forgive and move on, forgive the infidelity. A man – he may say he does but he never recovers nor does he forget. Food for thought? I would love to hear you opinions.

Next week…. It was only a joke…..


Saturday, 30 October 2010

Yet Another Word: GRIEF

Good morning happy readers.

Yes, another week has passed on this glorious island and – yes, once again – it rained for most of it.
So what have I achieved this week? Mmm – well {fanfare trumpets} I managed to complete a couple of chapters on w.i.p. No mean feat given my present state of mind. Taking the plunge, I sat down one afternoon and, allowing for breaks for the Young and the Restless, I read through all that I had written this summer. I decided I wasn’t such a bad writer after all and my tale was worth saving.
I also achieved another different but equally daunting task this week. Since the death of Michael Jackson, I have not been able to watch this great performer, although a kind friend of mine presented me with ‘This is It’ for my birthday. In a way, it was in remembrance of another tragedy that spurred me on to taking the plunge.
28th October, 2010. Oxi Day - the National Greek holiday, celebrating the day when the Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas quite vehemently said ‘oxi’ {no} to the axis forces of WW2. Cheeky buggers that Hitler and his fat buddy Mussolini - wanting to march into Greece and set up ‘strategic’ bases. On the morning of October 28, the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting 'oxi'. From 1942, this day has been celebrated.
But…this day, for myself and many friends here in Corfu, has come to be remembered for a tragedy much closer to home. On this day, 2009, we lost a dear friend; a woman in her prime who, for reasons known only to the powers above, died of an aneurysm. I suppose numb is the only term that springs to mine. Our little community was in shock. We still are. It’s so hard to believe this vibrant mother of two has left us. It makes no sense. But back to Michael….
Perhaps many of you are thinking… how can she compare the death of a close friend to that of a man she did not know? This question leads me nicely into today’s word : Grief.
What is grief, exactly? I am not sure I have the answer – except to say, there is no wrong or right way to grieve nor should there be a scale of grieving.
In the case of MJ, I believe the world saw grieving on a mass scale for several reasons. Personally, I not only mourned the passing of an amazing talent; a man who had been poised to, once more, take the world by storm, by also, but, simmering inside of me was a deep anger. I feel very strongly that this was a man very wronged by the world. He was publically hung, drawn and quartered in the press and ridiculed for, yes, I admit, his oft-strange behaviour. As for his innocence or guilt, I am not getting caught up in that argument. Suffice to say, I have my views and no one will change them. My point is, he was tried and found guilty by an a scavenger press, a press aided and abetted by a salivating public, hungry for scandal with no thought as to how their actions were affecting this man. So what – he’s rich, famous, he deserves it. Who deserves that? Does his wealth make him any less of a human being? Did he not deserve the respect of privacy and compassion we all take for granted? In my mind, what happened to MJ was akin to a public flaying. The humiliation and strain, I believe, caused him to step over that fine line between sanity and total despair. And this is why, I believe, the world-wide grief that manifested after, was a reaction to collective guilt. Somehow – somewhere, the world knew it had contributed to this man’s downfall; a man who only wanted to share his amazing gifts with the world.
Grief – guilt; how they are so often bound together. How many times have we lost a loved one, only to ask ourselves, shoulda, coulda? This year, I have watched many of my friends try to cope with the loss of a parent. I see the same pain every time. Why didn’t I do more? I couldn’t be with them at the end. Unfortunately, this is another down side to living far across the waters from or family. It isn’t always possible for us to be there for them. Work, kids, family responsibilities get in the way. Of course, people understand but it doesn’t erase the guilt. I know this. I lost my sister in 1987. I never made it home in time to say goodbye. Did I feel guilt? You bet I did. Did I grieve? I did – I still do but quietly. I do not openly sob as I did for MJ of Freddy Mercury. Not because, I feel in any way that their death is more important to me. I believe, in fact, it to be the contrary. Sometimes a death so close to home leaves us feeling so bereft we bury our grief. It is too painful to grieve. Perhaps this is why we need the public show of emotion we give to MJ, Diane, Freddy, the Pope – Mufasa even. It is a safety valve that allows all the suppressed emotions we bury to come to the surface; emotions, otherwise, too painful to conjure up. Is this making sense to you all? I hope so.
So, where am I going with this? I think the point I am trying to make is, please do not judge anyone. We all grieve in different ways and for different reasons. Many people need the ritual of funerals and grave visiting. It helps them in the healing process. Personally, I don’t feel the need for this but I understand others that do. Others may refuse to attend and not shed a tear. We cannot possibly know what is going on in their hearts.
Don’t be so quick to scoff at those that do weep for celebrities or for the death of a much-loved pet. This could be their way of dealing with personal grief.
Next week – I will try to find a happier word to dissect. Until then, may the force be with you and live long and prosper.


PS: I didn't cry, watching Michael. I was too fascinated. To what him at work was amazing. Such a perfectionist.

Saturday, 23 October 2010


Welcome, happy campers.

And, yes, another week has passed me by and still my muse eludes me. On a positive note, I have completed another round of edits on Written in Stone and managed to get a week’s worth of washing finally dry. Oh, I can just see the bored eye-rolling going on and the internal ‘whatevers’. Hey – this was no mean feat. Have you ever tried drying a week’s supply of heavy/thrash/death metal t-shirts? {My son’s - not mine and you can imagine the faces of the passer bye. I swear they make the sign of the cross as they gaze up in stupefaction at my washing line}.
Back to the rain. This beautiful island of mine was under siege to a series of tempestuous storms, worthy of a Cecil B De Mille movie: forked lightening, streets awash with monsoon rains, 2-inch hailstones rain all washed down with a 4, 5-magnitude earthquake. Kinda hard to type when your pc screen is waving from side to side {and, no, it wasn’t the gin – must get more of that in, actually}.

So time to get down to business. Continuing last week’s theme of misused words in relation to that great human burden called love, I thought, today, I would focus on the term, heart-broken.
Someone once told me they find me remarkable. They cannot understand how I have faced such difficult times in my life, dealing with them in a stoic way, and yet, I go to pieces over a trifling, relatively unimportant matter – such as….well, you can guess the rest. For those who do not know me, my friend was referring to my two-times battle with a potentially life-threatening disease and the discomfort and humiliation the subsequent treatment entailed. While I am not saying it was easy, I find the physical pain in no way can compare to damaging of one’s heart. Our body, at the end of the day, is God’s protective shell for our soul; the essence that makes us who we are. When this is damaged, the pain can be far greater than any physical trauma. So – my well-meaning friend – unimportant? I think not.

From thesaurus: inconsolable, grief-stricken, lovesick, crushed, wretched
My heart is breaking; he /she broke my heart blah blah.

I don’t know about you lot out there but, really, what an ineffectual term. To me, a break defines something quick – intensely painful, yes but does it really describe the angst?
I doubt there is anyone who has not experienced the incredible pain that accompanies the end of a relationship. And if you deny it – you are either lying or are a robot. Again, I am not just talking about love between lovers. {As a good friend of mine once said, sex is ok but – hey – what do you do for the next 22 hours?}. The loss of a dear friend can be just as painful.
Ever cut your figure on a serrated knife? The tiniest of cuts. In the beginning, it bleeds a little but the bleeding soon stops. You think it’s ok, not too deep but it throbs for hours. For me, the pain of losing someone pretty much follows this pattern. In the beginning, there is an ouch. I’ll be ok, you tell yourself but as the hours drag by {and boy, don’t they drag} you realize there is this rather painful hole somewhere in the middle of your chest. The tiny cut becomes a full-blown gash as that serrated knife of rejection is twisted and turned, slowly but surely gouging out another part of you. Your heart is being torn and shredding into a thousand little festering pieces. You wonder - will it ever heal? The damage is too great, the pain too much to bear. The tears you cried in the beginning dry up, leaving in their wake, a burning rawness at the back of your throat. Your head swims with unanswered questions; why, when, because of? Drowning in a sea of misery and masochism, you relive the good times which only serves to increase the incredible sense of loss. It’s like scratching and picking at a scab trying to form over the wound. A temporary release from the itch but, nevertheless, futile. You cannot let it go.


I feel as if I have been kicked in the stomach,
Oh God, yes – now here is one term that is spot on. Rejection, break-up. It’s like someone stuck in their hand and twisted your insides until you real sick and I mean actually nauseous. Your body grows cold, head pounds and you shiver. The thought of food makes you want to vomit. There is pain, there. Real, physical pain.
Of course, time can be a great healer and, the human spirit is resilient. Gradually the pain will fade. Not gone – never gone but buried deep, to be resurrected by a memory, a song, a moment. Some folk never truly get over a loss. People can and often do die of a broken heart. Don’t dismiss it and whatever you do, do not make light of someone else’s suffering. It may seem trivial to you but – hey – wait til it hits you. Then you will know. You will realize….
I wonder if this is why so many of us write romance. In our imaginary worlds can we vent the emotions we are too wary of sharing with friends and family? And, of course, in our worlds, we do get to control the outcome.
Until next week, folks, I leave you with a little ditty. Not my words, I hasten to add.

Enjoy your weekend.


Days have come and gone
Since you were here
Nights are twice as long
Without you near
Pictures on my mind
Stand out so clear
No matter where I am
Or what I do
My dear friend,
All I see is you
Everyday I find
You're on my mind
I close my eyes
But I'm not blind
I see you still.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Three Little Words

– summer is over. My work as receptionist extraordinaire is done. How do I feel? Pretty much out of sorts. It’s a strange thing, this season business. For all of you who live on an island, you will understand where I am coming from. For those who live relatively ‘normal’ lives, let me explain.
Our year is divided into two; winter: endless days of damp and torrential rain, log fires and cozy night in with dull TV. Summer – a time of sweltering days, balmy nights and cold beers with friends. Did I mention the grueling months of working within the tourist industry? Most of my friends do, in some capacity or other: repping, hotel work, airport work, car hire. It can be fun and certainly never dull. What it is is stressful. We work long hours with a hundred and one problems to deal with.
I used to be a holiday representative but, now, I am employed as a hotel reception in a small, family run business. I call it repping in one place. Our guests are mainly Greeks from the mainland and a few Serbs.
For the most part I enjoy it but after a few days, I find myself becoming institutionalized. Four months with no day off tends to have this effect. I find all the promises I made at the beginning of the season go out the window. I won’t neglect my writing, I will write a blog on a regular basis, I will cook great meals and stay on top of things. Sadly, it never works out. My mind is consumed with hotel problems. My literary brain cells go into hibernation. I promise myself…tomorrow, tomorrow. Tomorrow never seems to come.
This summer, I started off well, brimming with enthusiasm for a new story line I had. In the quiet hours of the afternoon shift, I managed to get down more than half of the tale. And then…brain shut down. Real life kicked in and then some. Suffice to say, I became distracted. Reality was suddenly more interesting than my imaginary romance but that is another tale. As the weeks turned into months, writer Viv was a faint memory.
And now? Summer is gone and where do I find myself? As I said at the beginning of this post, out of sorts, a little like an inmate released from a prison sentence. I am trying to find my muse; it’s around somewhere. The fact that I am attempting to write this blog is progress but, of course, I am rambling, as usual. The blog is supposed to be about those famous {or infamous} three little words.

I love you. I love you. My question is…but do you? Do you really?
In these times of new age, touchy feely claptrap, the words, I love you, are used too often, so indiscriminately and with little thought behind their meaning. When someone tells you he/she loves you – be it as a lover or a friend – they ought to realize this declaration carries a lot of responsibility. At least it should – especially if they know the recipient of their supposed affection really cares for them. As I said, it is an expression bantered around too lightly. What does it mean – I love you? I know what it should mean. It means you will never willingly hurt the person you love. You will never lie to them, deceive them or lead them on to expect more than you are capable of giving. It means wanting to be with them as much as your time allows. It doesn’t mean playing games or trying or be cool to play hard to get. Above all, it should stand for honesty and loyalty. I reiterate, I am not only discussing romantic love, here. I believe the same rules apply in friendship – another much- misappropriated term. My best friend. We are friends. Are we? Are we really – or are we acquaintances that get together once in a while. Can I depend on you in times of personal crisis? Will you always be there for me and be sensitive to my feelings as I am to yours?
I am fortunate to have what I consider one true best friend who meets all of the above and the funny thing is, I have not known this person as long as those who I used to consider my ‘best’ friends but , from day one, there was an inexplicable connection. This friend taught me the meaning of real friendship. That’s not to say all is always roses between us. We argue and bicker like an old married couple but I know said friend is always there for me. This friend truly does love me and I return the compliment. It’s a wonderful feeling.
So, that’s it for this Saturday. I am quite proud of myself for getting this blog out. Next week, I will be discussing what it truly means to be broken hearted. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Anyone for Tennis and I need inspiration.

So I await , with bated breath, the rematch between Rafa and Soderling. May the best man win...and long as it is Nadal.
So what's been happening this week?
Took second swim of the season, only to nearly die of heart attack when I thought I was being pursued by a shark. I never hit shore so fast. [da du...da du...dadadadadadad}.Turns out it was only a dolphin and now I am regretting my hasty flight. 25 years on Corfu and it's the first time I have seen one so close, although I know they are always out there. Poor thing. I think my friends and I scared him off.
This week saw the start of yet another diet. I have come to realise food is what makes one put on weight so best not eat any. Gin, on the other hand, served with slim-line tonic, is ok.It sort of takes the edge off starvation. I am not a drinker, I hasten to add. In fact my capacity for alcohol is so low I have become somewhat of a joke amongst my wine-swilling friends.
Went to see Sex and the City. Sorry, but I wouldn't stay in that hotel if you paid me. And is it me or did anyone else want to seriously slap Carrie Bradshaw? Bring on Robin Hood and Mr. Crow.
Oh - and wasn't the Eurovision Song Contest fun? it's worth it for the outfits. Greece did ok but poor old UK. Here's an idea, you Brit organisers. Next year, send George Michael or Robbie Williams.
In my parallel author world,I am suffering a huge dilemna. My hands and brain matter is itching to get to work on a new wip but I have about five projects spinning around in my head and don't know which one to go for. I really envy authors that just go for it. I need inspiration. A lot of times, a song will inspire me, plant the seed, so to speak. It may be one simple lyric, the depth of emotion behind the singer's delivery. My first pubbed novel, Letting Go, was inspired by such a song, 'Mine' a song from the first Savage Garden album. Even now I cry when I listen to Darren Hayes emotional lyrics. The sentiment behind the song helped me shape the character of Daniel.
Sometimes inspiration comes to me in a dream but all I seem to dream about these days are planes taking off between high rise buildings and crashing back down? Any dream intepreters out there?
Lying on a beach. listening to the gentle rolling of surf works. I am lulled into a dream-state, where I can imagine all sorts of.... ok, best not go there. Signing out. Think I'll go to the beach.


Saturday, 29 May 2010


And another week bites the dust. It's been hot. Thursday afternoon heralded the official Viviane Brentanos First Swim of the Season. It was wonderful. My daughter and I crossed the island to my favourite beach, Ag Gordis {much of the inspiration for both Dreamweek and Fragile Dreams}. That first plunge into the as yet cool water was shocking but after a few strokes so exhilarating. Floating on my back, staring across the beautiful back-drop of cypress and olive clad mountains, I understood why I chose to live here. Greece may be in financial dire straits, we are all having to tighten our belts but there is no where else I would rather be.
It's 25 years since I left Britain and came to this island. I may be British born but my heart and mind is now Greek. Greece is more than a country. It's a state of mind. It becomes one's soul - a passion.
So, as a red-gold sun shone down from a Cerulean sky, dusting my pale winter skin with its tender warmth, I looked out across the glittering azure sea and my love for this island re-kindled.
Which leads me in nicely to my ramble of the week. The underdog. Ever since I can remember, I have always routed for the underdog in movies and novels. I cried when King Kong died.{ok big underdog but he was so mistreated} I even wept for the shark in Jaws. Hey, it's the sea. Sharks swim in it. And who amongst you saw through Darth Vader's scary mask to the tortured soul beneath? I did. Oh God - she's on happy pills, I hear you all sigh. I wish: gotta be cheaper than Gin. I digress.
Ah yes - the underdog. People ask {usually my family back in UK who cannot understand my loyalty} why is it I am so passionate in my defense of Greece? It's simple. Greece, in population, is a little country but its heart, soul, culture, intelligence is huge.
I don't think people mean to be ignorant. I blame the lack of proper education. I remember, when I first came to Corfu, I truly believed that Britain was the greatest country on this planet. I realize all believe this of their own country and, don't misunderstand me, it is good to be patriotic but not by maligning others.
What I hate is this inherent aura of superiority that most Brits wear - again, I add, through ignorance. We are taught that Britannia still rules the waves. There is still a vast cultural divide between Old Albion and the European mainland - especially with the Southern countries. It's the scoffing, the tittering into hands, the sarcastic supposedly witty barbs that really offend me.
Greece has given the world so much; democracy, culture, literature, a wealth of history. Yes, that was a long time ago but the spirit that was Ancient and Classical Greece, I believe, still lives on in the hearts of the modern day Hellenes. They are a proud race. They have suffered a great deal in this past century; two world wars in which they fought hard and valiantly on the side of the allies , civil war in from which scars are still healing, oppression under the thumb of a dictator and now fighting to recover after too many long years of government corruption but they will pull through. Forgive them if the odds have been stacked against them. Greeks can be their own worst enemy. Greeks may argue amongst themselves but God help any outsider who attacks them. They will close ranks so fast you will be left reeling.
Their spirit is second to none. Who can forget their amazing sporting successes? The 2004 Euro soccer championship which, against all odds, they won. And not because they were technically the best team but through sheer guts and will-power. Greeks are also stoic. They know such a victory may never happen again. Were the Gods on their side that year? Who knows but they did it. That's all that matters to them and no one can take that away from them.
2004 was also the year Athens hosted the Olympic Games. Once again, the foreign press seemed hell bent on maligning Greece. They would never be ready, the games would be a shambles, and security was lax blah blah. The negativity was unbelievable. To say it made my blood boil would be an understatement. All I can say is...he who laughs last... Athens showed the world. The games were a spectacular success and the press was left with egg all over their faces but they are at it again.
Irresponsible journalism apparently is now the accepted norm. According to the dear old BBC and CNN, Athens is a war-zone; Greece is not safe for tourists. Oh my goodness - how daft is that? The recent protests in the capital took place within one square. Live in the city carried on as normal. Greece depends heavily on its tourist industry for its survival. All I ask is that the so-called journalists out there get there facts straight. How about a little research?
So have I finished my ramble? I think so. I am sure I could site many other examples of ‘bullying’ tactics but I think I have made my point. All I ask is for a little respect and understanding for Greece - the underdog with the heart and soul of a lion. See you all next week and I leave you with this link. The heart of a nation


Saturday, 22 May 2010



It seems only yesterday I was hanging up my receptionist’s uniform for a life of baggy house clothes and endless hours of sitting at my pc – with a couple of housewifely duties thrown in for good measure. {Well, got to keep the troops happy, I suppose.}
Summer is just around the corner – at least it is supposed to be. If volcanic ash disruption is not enough to tax the poor, weary travelers, this week the tourists were met by torrential rain and Cecil B De Mille thunderstorms. And let’s not forget the reams of irresponsible reporting from supposedly esteemed news agencies. CNN, BBC…shame on you. Greece is not a country in chaos. The streets of Athens are not running amok with anarchists and violence.
For us Corfiots, our summer life is so different from our winter. The majority of folk, here, are employed seasonally. Working in the tourist industry means long hours, often seven days a week…. and for not much financial reward. It is, however, a time for long, balmy evenings relaxing on the veranda or down at our favourite coffee shop, sipping on ice-cold beer or chilled wine. There is something about hot days and sultry nights that brings out the muse in me. This is the time when I get creative, when I feel ‘romantic’. It’s when I fall in ‘love’ with male character.
I am old-school. I love to feel pen and paper in hand. It makes my work seem more personal. Somehow, when I transfer to pc, I detach. My ‘art’ then becomes ‘craft’ as I get down to the nitty-gritty of editing, formatting, subbing etc.
In the quiet afternoon shift behind my hotel reception desk, I sit, writing pad on my knee, one eye trained on the entrance lest my boss arrive and wonder why he’s paying me to write ‘malakie-es’ {Greek for….best you don’t know}. The pages are a mass of scribble that would challenge the Rosetta stone but it is my baby or as Golem would say…my precious. I am possessive, totally immersed in my story. Believe me, I have tried many times to write straight on to pc but I cannot. The words do not come.
Now – fast forward to October. Novel finished and a stack of coffee-stained, ink-smudged A4 waits on my desk, begging to be transferred into something resembling a legible WIP. Stage two begins….. To be continued.

Sunday, 11 April 2010


This topic recently came to the fore on one of my web groups. Do movies do justice to the novel from hence they sprung? Does the modern generation prefer the visual masterpiece of…e.g. Lord of the Rings, Alice in Wonderland and so on as opposed to sitting down and wading through what is now sadly considered by many as long-winded unnecessary prose? God help us all, if this is the case.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore movie versions of the great classics. Let’s take Tolkien’s epic as an example.

Lord of the Rings; While I except that it may not be considered as great as the book {and why should it be} for me, it has to be set aside on its own and allowed to be judged as a movie - where, in my humble opinion, it is one of the greatest movies of all time.{closely followed by Gladiator} Characterization, acting, depth of emotion, photography, blah...I could go on all day. Would Tolkien have liked it? Probably not. After all, Middle Earth was his creation, his genius. If I had penned anything half as outstanding, I would die a happy woman and probably as possessive as hell with my manuscript. However, yes, the movie was a cinematic masterpiece but should the youth of today not be encouraged to read the Tolkien’s literary vision? Goodness me, children are no longer familiar with the classic fairy tales, preferring, instead to wait for Disney’s or Pixar’s next d.v.d offering. {No offence – I love Disney}. My point is – everything these days is about instant fix and this seems to be the trend in modern publishing – especially in the romance field

While I understand the desire of the 'modern' reader wanting to 'cut to the chase' as such, {I often included} who amongst us have not immersed ourselves in realms of beautiful prose, simply's beautiful. It is rather ironic to think that, in these times, the great romance writer, Shakespeare may not have found a home for his great works - as would be the case for Dickens, Austen {the original kick –ass chick litter} Now wouldn't that be a huge loss to mankind.

I believe writing can be likened to art and photography. We all love our digital cameras and camera phones for quick fixes but do we not sigh in awe and wonder when studying the great masters; De Vinci's Mona Lisa, Monet's water-lilies? Sure, we can pick up a couple of postcard copies but where is the depth and compassion behind each stroke? It is the same with prose. A well-written albeit long passage can be so beautiful that it draws us in and takes our breath away. I believe we must give the modern reader more credit and refrain from telling them what they want to read. I hear so much, these days, about limited attention span - both for adults and children - but which came first? The Chicken or the egg?

Love to hear your thoughts.


Tuesday, 30 March 2010

.There is no balance of power in love

....................There is no balance of power in love

I posted this comment on Facebook to see what kind of response I received. None, so far, so I decided to turn it into a blog.

My 19 yr old daughter asked me what I meant buy it. Good question. I have a theory, one you may not all agree with.

Who remembers the game of love? Shall I call first…do I wait for him/her to ring first? Will I appear weak if I show how much I care? Ok, so that’s the practical but what about the depth of feeling, the balance of power?

Who can recall having a boyfriend/girlfriend who worshiped the ground we walked on? And who can truthfully raise their hand and say that, on some level, they didn’t abuse that power? Wasn’t it great, knowing that they hung on our every word, gave in to each whim? Did we know we were doing it? It’s so good to feel the security of being in control. We held the power. But what happens when the balance of power shifts, when the love we took for granted wanes – or even disappears forever? The rules of engagement change. We them become the weak, clinging in our desire to rekindle that once unfailing devotion. Bur when does it all become too much?

There was a line in a movie I watched last night. It read – The greatest truth of all is that love never lasts. Is this true? People become bored with each other, critical of one’s partner’s faults…I could go on and on but surely if it really is true love then such irritations or glitches can be worked through. Or – do we only feel ‘true’ love when we believe we have the undivided attention and devotion of our partner/husband/suitor?

Woman fall out of love with their partner because they snore, don’t take out the rubbish etc while others declare their dying love even as the man of their dreams is taking away their personal freedom or – worst – slapping them around. Can some of us love unconditionally? I have a friend who recently bemoaned the fact that she has been in love for the past few years; a deep love on so many levels that she has never experienced before, but now she has reached the stage where she ‘hates’ him because she loves him so much. She feels she has lost the ‘balance of power’. She feels that she wants to wound him because he makes her so vulnerable.

This response is common. Indeed, a characters from my w.i.p is one such person. He is a serial cheater. We begin by stereo-typing him; macho, selfish blah blah but somewhere into the story, he admits to his wife that his behaviour was prompted by her coldness. He realized she had fallen out of love with him. He had lost the balance of power and wanted to provoke a reaction, rekindle her ‘love.’ “B***”. I hear you all cry but, believe me, it happens. It is human nature to lash out at the ones we love because we hate them; because they don’t love us as we want them to. Love can indeed be selfish.

Before I am accused of cynicism, let me say that I do know of many successful marriages. Note I say successful and not necessarily fair because – and we are back to the word balance. I strongly believe one within every relationship, one partner loves a little more deeply than the other; one will make more sacrifices for the sake of the greater good of the relationship. Perhaps this is just how it is meant to be.