Saturday 1 October 2016

The Midnight Geese

Pre Publication Teaser

Just heard from my Editor to say that 'Release Day' is coming! So as I am going to be away for the next week, I thought I would let you have a little taster. 

I also want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved, from my Editor to my good friends who have either read parts of the book before, or helped me out with beta reading or constructive criticism along the way. THANK YOU ALL!

It is to be released on both Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. I do hope you will be interested enough to want to read it, and may I ask you to spare a minute or two to write a review? I would be so very grateful.

"I leave the car in the yard at the back of the farmhouse, and stagger round to the duck pond with the goose in a sack. The gander honks non stop when I take her away.

I waste no time setting her gently down on the ground at the side of the pond and untying the sack, before tipping her out on to the grass. She comes out with a rush and scrambles straight down the bank into the water, voicing her indignation at such treatment. The gander hears her and his honks get louder. The hens have their heads in the air and are rushing around cackling, and looking unsettled and apprehensive of this newcomer who is destroying their peace.

I go and retrieve the gander. He is much heavier than the goose. I get a little too close to the edge of the pond, and I nearly end up slipping down the bank and joining the goose for a quick swim. Luckily I regain my balance and hurriedly untie the sack and upend it. The gander comes out, spreads his wings and honks right in my ear. I grab the empty sack and shush him firmly into the pond, where he swims several circles around the goose, still honking at the top of his lungs.

I stand and watch them for a while, getting my breath back. They love the water. They spend quite a  while swimming around, dipping their heads in and washing themselves thoroughly, before swimming to the far end of the pond to investigate their new home. The hens have settled down a bit, although they are still very curious, and their heads continue to be held high as they wonder what these strange, large, white creatures are.

I gather up the sacks and return to the yard, where I throw them into one of the outbuildings.

Mission accomplished, I think to myself. Now all I have to do is break it to Dan that I've been off and acquired a couple of very large geese."

I wonder what will happen to Ami? Don't you?


Friday 23 September 2016

This Wonderful Spanky Life!

Yesterday was the Equinox, and now the nights will be longer than the days. Our beautiful, long, hot summer is at a close. Today is warm and sunny with a brilliantly clear blue sky, so we are still "living easy", but by 7.30 in the evening, it is dark. 

The best thing that happened to me this summer was meeting up with a whole cluster of my blogging girl friends. It still brings tears to my eyes that over the years I have made such very good friends via the blogs. These are special friendships, that take time and effort to establish but a nicer bunch of women I couldn't hope to meet.

The high spot was meeting a dear friend who travelled all the way from the other side of the pond. In fact, it was this friend who arranged the entire meeting - wonderful venue and all! Our own dear Ella!

As you can imagine, we all talked ourselves hoarse! We all felt as if we had known each other forever. You can probably guess that some extraordinarily interesting gifts were exchanged! Here is a selection.

Jaye Peaches gave us all a copy of her latest book. It is brilliant! Jaye is such a clever writer! (And it turns out we came from the same village as children! - you cannot imagine what a coincidence that is. I wonder what the odds on that happening are?) If you've not read any of her books, I can recommend them.

Ella and Sam stayed with us for a while. It was SO NICE! We all got on wonderfully! She even made us some of her special burritos, and our son gave them 11 out of 10!

Dan had a wonderful time when we were alone, trying out those new implements. The wooden spoon has my name on the other side! (A personalised spanky spoon!) I don't care for wooden spoons. They are very unforgiving. But although they are less rigid, I think the silicon implements are the worst. Guess which one Dan liked best? Yes. The large lilac coloured spatula! To be honest, I think I liked that best too. It lights the kind of fire you can feel for a very long time afterwards! (Thank you, Ronnie, dear!)

However, Dan said he still likes our wooden paddle with the holes in it best of all. If he has to choose an implement, that is the one he goes for. I threatened to look for more of them when we are next on our travels! I know for certain they would go to good homes.

Now for my other exciting bit of news I want to share with you. My new book, Ami and the Midnight Geese, will shortly be out on Amazon.

Some of you might already have read it on Bethany's Woodshed. Bethany wanted to combine my first book with my new story, so you may have read the first part before, but I can assure you that the second part is the Ami you know and love to laugh at, in full force! I hope you will also be able to guess who the couple are who are written into the latter part of the book. I always promised that if I got the chance I would write her into a story!

I am beginning to get used to my laptop, but I need to set up lots of stuff on it that I had to hand on my old computer, and the flat keyboard and lack of mouse are driving me insane. However, I will get to grips with it all, no doubt. Any hints on laptops would be welcome!

See you later Alligators!


Thursday 21 July 2016

Sexy Spankings? Oh Yes!

Spanking word cloud concept - csp33924869

It feels good to be back. Hopefully for a little longer this time. LOL! And a huge thank you to Minelle for explaining to everyone that I would be absent for a while, and to all my other blogland friends who have kept me positive these past couple of months. Dan still has ongoing health issues, and had a cardiogram today - still trying to find out what exactly the cyst is that has appeared in his chest very near to his heart. This was detected during procedures for entirely other stuff, and we were, for a time, scared witless. However, the Consultant feels 99% sure it is non-malignant, so we are keeping our fingers, and everything else, crossed.

For this reason, I need to write a lighthearted post, and it occurs to me that I have often been asked to talk about our "sexy spankings" and explain, or try to, how these seem to have completely taken over our lives.

I would also like to thank Ella, who has made the pictures possible! We still have computer problems, but I think at long last my moaning is beginning to make an impression!


I'm not sure where to begin exactly, but I will say that we both have a much more laid back approach to spanking these days, than when we started out. We are less frenetic, less uptight. It's a part of our lives. It feels as natural as eating, drinking or sleeping. It's an integral part of us.

What we hadn't realised at the start, was how important it would become to the both of us. If you had told us about it ten years' ago, we would have laughed like drains and said "How crazy." I don't think we, and Dan especially, had any idea how it would affect us - our marriage, our relationship, the depth of our feelings, and how we would respond to each other.

In a way, we reinvented our relationship. Our marriage was mostly good, apart from some distancing from time to time, but TTWD has caused us to rewrite the rules. In an easy way. With no holds barred.

To put a finer point on it, we feel more sexy now, at our ages, than at any time in our lives perhaps excepting the very early years of our marriage, and even then, we were like babes, we had no experience, and no idea how to acquire it.

When I read 50 Shades (don't cringe!!) I discovered a me that I hadn't known existed. I can categorically state, that if it wasn't for that book, I would never had dared to venture to do, and suggest stuff to Dan, that we now take for granted, and I would certainly never have thought of typing the word "Spanking" into Google!!

I am not going to discuss how we started out, as it is all here amongst my old posts, the good, the bad and the ugly! (Apart from some posts I had to take down due to horrible "trolls" who wouldn't leave me alone!)

We tend to have our spanking sessions more in the mornings. Alas, we are no longer spring chickens, and even Dan admits that it is the mornings when he feels more perky. LOL! Now we are both retired, we can take our time. And believe me, we do. The times his 88 year old mother has rung up at 10am and we are happily in the middle of something. Good grief! It is so pleasurable not having to get up at 5.30 in the morning!

I love to have my body stroked. I will literally purr. It is the best thing ever. 

Sometimes he will pull me over his lap and run a finger up and down my spine. I go into ecstasy like a cat. I can get sexily feisty, or writhe happily ensuring he has easy access to my bottom. (The writhing also does great things for him. This wonderful dynamic!) Sometimes he will use one implement, sometimes several, sometimes just his hand. (Believe me, that can feel like a chunk of wood!)


It matters not. Sometimes he will give me a good warm up, and sometimes he will go straight into some high powered swats. Gone is the Dan who was nervous of bruising, although I have to say that he is very careful of my spine, and now he has discovered the art of spanking the tops of thighs, he tends to go lower rather than higher. 

He likes to make it sting! He likes to spank the same spot over and over. He likes to stretch the skin with one hand, and spank, using an implement, on the taut surface of my bottom or thighs. 

It starts out feeling like love pats. It ends burning like I've been stung by a swarm of hornets. 

Sometimes he pauses and rubs, sometimes it feels like a metronome. Swat, swat, swat, swat.

He has learned to hold me in place. I will often try to "swim" forward, but now if I manage it, I get hauled back. Occasionally he will grab my hair, but that is more often during sex.

He will play games, like "Guess the Tune". He will tease me and joke. Sometimes he will spank during sex itself, and that can be amazing.

If I go too long without a spanking, I can feel myself slide downhill. All the joy goes. I feel sluggish and uncooperative. I get sassy and argumentative. I become indifferent and start to distance.

Dan knows, just by my physical responses to his touch, when I am beginning to slide. I am instructed to tell him, if he hasn't already realised it for himself, and to ask to be spanked. (Sometimes these spankings are not so nice.)

Spanking, for me at least, has become like a drug. Fortunately it cannot harm any one else, and it is free to participate in - but I get a high from it nevertheless. Neither of us foresaw how much closer it would bring us, nor how much we would come to love it.

Sex after a spanking can be as different as the spanking itself. It can be slow and tender, each wishing to give to the other. Or it can be like a lion with his lioness. Neither wanting to give an inch. There is nothing a woman likes better than a strong man who is determined to have his way. LOL!

After a good, sexy spanking session, I am like the cat who has had the cream!

It's so strange, we always feel like a full English breakfast! Snort! (I even enjoy sitting on our wooden kitchen chairs!)

I smile for the rest of the day!

Thursday 19 May 2016

Be Careful What You Wish For

Recently I have been reading some blogs, and even managed to comment on one or two of them. I am missing having my own office, and missing having my own computer even more. My i-Pad is brilliant, but sometimes freezes, or simply refuses to write what I want it to write when trying to comment, and to try to write a blog post is nigh impossible.

Please be patient with me. We have a year of alterations/building work/trying to stay sane ahead of us. LOL! Hopefully I will be able to resolve the computer crisis, but Dan seems to glue himself to his computer as if it is the last one on earth!

So. It was interesting to read that one or two people around blogland (we all know who they are) have suddenly discovered that their husbands have a boiling point. A point that cannot be passed. A point that you ignore at your peril - or at the peril of your rear end. Ha! I could've told you that. (Giggle!)

I have the most patient stubborn of husbands. He will never be pushed into anything. He allows me the longest leash imaginable. There are times when even I think I am pushing my luck. There are times when I just long for a reaction. 

And do I get it? Nah!

Then there are times when the reaction I get is not at all what I imagined. (Narrowing of eyes here.) I am happily minding my own business, getting on with housewifely tasks, quietly holding forth on day to day matters, and I am suddenly and rudely, with no warning whatsoever, upended over the kitchen table, and hammered into submission.

Well, not quite like that. But you get the overall gist.

As it happens, I was green with envy reading about our Sunny's little episode, and yes, I did snarl a bit to myself (but not out loud, and not at that particular time), but I never expected my nice quiet husband would suddenly take it upon himself to expose my rear to the world at large.

I admit, looking back, that we had had a difficult week. I was not on my best behaviour. (Not my worst either!) 

It happened that I was washing up the breakfast dishes in the sink. 

Image result for washing up dishes

I was not happy about doing this, because Dan is the world's greatest avoider of dishwashing (and/or drying) and I felt put-upon. (Yet quite frankly, if I let him wash the dishes I have to re-do them all because he leaves little specks and bits on them.) So I was having a moan. Out loud.

Dan was upon me like a whirlwind. For a minute I had highest hopes that he was going to ravish me on the spot, using the kitchen table as a prop. But no. Instead he gave me a number of stinging swats with his hand, and informed me that there would be more later.

All I could think about at the time was the fact that we have a fairly large window in our kitchen, and it looks directly out on to the street, and people are ALWAYS walking past. Especially at that time of the morning. 

Invariably I wave at them, and they wave back. (Giggle) If they had looked in the window at that point they would have been witness to an extremely fed up Dan working off a little energy in the spanking department. 

I was mortified. 

He couldn't care less.

He said he had had enough of my attitude and I had poked the bear far too much. He wasn't allowing it to continue, and I could look forward to a 'proper' spanking later.

'Later' turned out to be the next morning. I had forgotten all about it. I was sitting up in bed, leaning back against several pillows, and reading my Kindle whilst having a bit of a one-way conversation.

He was lying with his eyes closed, replying monosyllablically (is that a word?) and ignoring the lovely hot mug of tea I had brought him.

But then!

I made a move to get up, and he was up and on me like a mongoose after a snake.

"No you don't" I was told firmly. "You just go get an implement. It's time to pay the piper."

(I always move like a slug in such circumstances. I have found it to be the best reaction. Then I hesitate and make excuses that I can't decide which implement to choose.)

"Any damn implement!" Dan barked at me. "Just get a move on."

I minced back to bed with the leather paddle. Dan was by now sitting propped up on the very pillows I had been reclining on earlier. His eyebrows were in a straight line and he looked rather fierce.


I started to scramble over his lap, but was stopped. 

"Aren't you forgetting something?" he asked.

I affected an air of nonchalance. "I don't think so."

"Take them off, Ami."

I am not allowed to remain covered when I am spanked. I know this, but it doesn't stop me wanting to get away with it. I did, however, take my time removing my robe and my knickers, which I had slipped on to go downstairs. (You never know when burglars might strike. And if they do, I don't want to be caught without underwear.)

I lay gingerly over his lap. The wrong way round. (He is still using his left hand. He is having an MRI next week as the doctors think he has collapsed some discs in his back.)

Within seconds a salvo of spanks attacks my bottom. I hardly have time to draw breath. No warm up for me. No delightful "Guess this tune." No starting slowly and building up the heat and allowing my pain threshold to build up with it. Just a sustained, rapid fire first one side and then the other. First one spot and then another. Moving around. Hammering the same spot. Then the dreaded 'double-buttock' swats that attack my sit spots and upper thighs. (Dan discovered the upper thighs relatively recently and can't seem to forget them! I hate being spanked on my thighs more than anything else in the world. I think.)

"The colour's looking good. Nice shade of hot red."

"For heaven's sake have a pause. Everybody else's husbands always pause between volleys."

"I am not everybody else's husbands, and I am not playing around today. You have been needing this for a long time and now I am happy to 'adjust your attitude'. I just wish I could use the same amount of force with my left hand that I do with my right."

I didn't like to tell him that it was far, far harder with his left. I just squawked as loudly as I dared, bearing in mind the windows were open and all the churchgoers would hear. (We live opposite a church and it was nearly time for a service.)

I didn't actually cry, but I came very close. A couple of times he chose to stop and have a quick word in my shell-like, but he then continued with renewed vigour.

Oh, it was ouchy! Oh, it was a 'carry a cushion around with you morning'! Oh, I wished I had an air vent to stand over like Marilyn Monroe. 

Oh, I had crescent shaped bruises for the next three days. (Something I haven't had for a very long time!)

But did I deserve it? Oh, yes.

Will I remember it! Oh, yes.

Did we have absolutely mind-blowingly incredible sex afterwards? Oh, yes!

Just remember. Be careful what you wish for.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

When the Going Gets Tough

Our house move is very nearly complete. Just one final legal document left, which will be signed in a week's time.

To say it has all been an unmitigated nightmare, would be understating the facts. Were I to write about our move, which has taken a year and a half from beginning to end, I would have about three volumes! It has, temporarily at least, taken years off our lives, and we are both very under-par. Even as I write, we are awaiting the results of Dan's latest MRI scan. This is a bi-annual event since his cancer was first diagnosed, and whilst we are relieved that he is being so well monitored, it is a time fraught with apprehension. Especially as he seems to have so much lower backache at the moment, although we suspect it is more due to all the unaccustomed heavy lifting than anything else. At least we hope so.

I remember when we first began TTWD, I used to wonder how people coped with life's little difficulties. How they managed to balance dealing with stressful events, while maintaining their chosen lifestyle.


I know that everyone deals with these things in their own ways - ways that fit in with their lives - ways which suit them as a couple. But I thought I might write a little about how we have coped, in order that anyone else encountering these bumps in the road can see that we are way from perfect, and that every now and again we have a falling apart, just like the rest of the population.

What I have discovered, is that I am a very emotional sort of person. I can cry for England, at the drop of a hat. I don't particularly mean to, and I don't particularly want to, but it is just a part of my make-up. I am not the type to bottle up my feelings. I let them show. 

You can read my face quite easily on most occasions - unless I have a particularly irritating salesman trying to sell me something at a price far in excess of what I think it is worth - then I develop what Dan refers to as my 'poker face'.

I laugh out loud on a regular basis. Very loud. I smile a lot. I see positives even when surrounded by negatives. I have a wicked sense of humour. But the flip side is that I am equally unable to keep those tears to myself, and when accompanied by shouting, they do not go down well with Dan.

Over the years he has become adept at handling my outbursts. He knows, for example, whether a situation is serious enough to warrant a proper crying jag, or not. There have been several proper crying jags this past year and a half, I can assure you, but probably twice the number of tearful and snappy episodes, which don't really help anybody.

So how does Dan deal with me since we started our journey of TTWD? (He walks a fine line, I can tell you.) Frankly, he is nothing short of a hero in my humble estimation. Life with Ami is never dull! 

We have relaxed into our brand of TTWD a bit like you would relax into a soothing bubble bath. 

Image result for bathing with flower petals

You know that "Ah!" moment when you slide gently down into the warm water and fragrant foam with lots of little flower petals floating around you and the steam rising steadily, all your aches and twinges melting away?

At the start it was a case of learning how to do it. Nothing came naturally. Each step forward was gained by studied repetition, and a bit of trial and error. If something didn't suit, we would try something else. It took quite a while to 'lie back and let go'. We even had a regular 'spanking morning' - and we stuck to it. 

Dan took a lot of convincing. Spanking wasn't something he was initially happy about. But he stuck manfully at it - with a little pushing from me. (The times I was told not to lead! Well, I have a message for those out there who told me that - without my initial 'suggestions' and 'engineered encouragement', I wouldn't be here now, chatting away, and without them I wouldn't have made the good friends I have made since blogging.) Because eventually something amazing happened. Dan took over. 

He pushed me back into the support role, and took over the steering of the ship.

I have noticed that as time goes by, I lean on him more and more. I not only actively ask his opinion, but I genuinely listen to what he has to say. I no longer sweep him aside and disregard any options he lays before me. I give his suggestions consideration. Then if I decide to go my own way, I explain to him why I am doing it. It makes life so much calmer and more harmonious.

One of the snags of going through a time of stress is that TTWD can become severely affected. In your head you want to spank/be spanked, but exhaustion overtakes you both. Sleep is more important. Spontaneity goes out the window. Even everyday swats disappear into the mists. All you can think about is getting through the day.

On the whole Dan has been pretty good, but I have noticed that spanking has become less frequent in the Starsong household. However, this is where Dan's HOHiness comes into its own. When he does spank, he has this tendency to spank longer and harder under the misguided apprehension that I need it. Pfffft! 

These are some small snippets of recent spanking conversations:

"Because it's Sunday, we're going to play 'Name the hymn'" he informs me. "If you get it wrong I will spank you till you get it right."

"Why do you always spank so fast?" I ask. "Other wives maybe get ten, or twenty hard spanks, but they get pauses, and little rubs in between."

"I prefer to spank hard and fast," I am told firmly, though after twenty or so he does pause, rub and make jokes about how the colour red suits me. Then barely pausing for breath he starts up again. 

...I begin to sniffle - "Let it out, let it out. That's right. You know you'll feel better if you do."

"Ow! Dan! Ow!"

"Fetch me the big nipper, Ami. I like it best of all. It always has the desired effect." Spank, spank spank. "I love the aerodynamics of the little holes. That man on the market certainly knew what he was selling, didn't he?"


"Well, Dan, enjoy it while you can. I'm going to burn the bloody thing on the fire!"

"Yes! Thighs are definitely the thing! I certainly get a reaction from you! Do you remember how teachers used to swipe across your thighs years ago?" I can almost see Dan's wolfish grin. He laughs. "They go very red, very quickly." 

I am almost throwing myself off his lap.

"Beethoven's Fifth must've been made for husbands who spank."

"Get over the footboard, Ami, I am completely fed up with this attitude of yours." Whack, whack, whack. "Don't you dare clench." Several sharp swats on the tops of my thighs - I try to stand up and am pressed firmly back in place. "You can be such a bitch sometimes. I love you and I won't have it." Whack, whack, whack.

"I think it's time I spanked you, don't you? You are getting way above yourself. Get an implement. Your choice."


It will be a good thing to get back to normal. We are steadily sorting out boxes and finding places for our stuff. But we have sent so much to charity shops and even donated quite an amount of furniture to the local children's hospice to put in their monthly sales. I wish we had decluttered years ago! 

We are having our kitchen refurbished and a wall knocked down, plus an Aga fitted. So the heart of the home is at present like negotiating a minefield. It will take time as we are having our kitchen units made to fit, but hopefully it will be finished by the summer.

We also have plans in to knock down the existing garage, and build a master suite, plus have a new garage and some decking. But that will take longer. We live in what is called 'a conservation area', right in the middle of a village, so the planners are hot on any alterations or new build. Our existing bedroom is perfectly adequate so we have no need to rush. It's important to get things right as no doubt this will be our 'lasting abode'. After all the problems we encountered with this move, neither of us want to move again in a hurry!

I no longer have an office, just an antique bureau. I will probably get some sort of laptop eventually, but am managing with Dan's computer and my iPad. However, I have tried several times to write a post using the iPad and not been successful, so forgive me for being rather spasmodic. I am completely unable to insert any pictures using my iPad. I carefully saved a load of images but it solidly refuses to transfer them across to my blog. If anyone knows how to assist, you would be a star. Otherwise I will persevere with Dan's and I truly hope to get back to normal as soon as I can.


I would like to thank those people who have emailed me over the past year and a half. I have had some lovely emails from complete strangers, and I am so glad you enjoy my blog. I will always do my best to answer your emails.

Finally, my new book, The Midnight Geese by Sarah Coltman, is making its way through publishing at the moment. I will let you all know when it is ready to make its appearance. Moving is definitely not conducive to writing books.

Until next time....many hugs. 

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Ella's Winter Meme

I always love a good meme, so....

1  You have to leave your house because of a disaster. All the people and pets you love are safe. If you could choose just one item to carry out, what would it be?

Am I allowed just one, or ALL my photo albums? And what about my flash drives? How awful to have to leave your house and know that all those precious memories are left behind. If I had to choose just one, it would be an album containing photos of the children when they were babies.

2  Tell us about a book or series of books you loved as a child.

Everything I did as a child had to do with horses and riding them. I even cantered home the mile from school each day till I was about ten, jumping the water runnels as if they were huge cross-country jumps. My favourite series of books were written by the Pullein-Thompson sisters, and were all about ponies and the children who owned them. I never actually owned my own horse till I was 32, but I was very fortunate as a child to have friends who had ponies I could ride.

3  Name one item of clothing that you love for your spouse to wear.

I love Dan in a suit, especially a dinner suit with a black bow-tie that he has undone so it just hangs around his neck. So sexy.

4  Is there a lullaby your mum or dad sang to you that you also sang to your child?

My dad used to sing me a song about a little cat that got into mischief. But it was all in Polish and although I remember it, I can't spell in Polish. I often sang it to my kids when they were babies.

5  Tell about the fanciest restaurant at which you have ever dined.

I've eaten in many fancy restaurants, and can either take them or leave them. They are often far too pricey or the food is so nouvelle cuisine that you end up starving. But I can recall a special dinner at a Polo match that a certain prince attended. I don't remember too much about the food as like every other woman there, I was hanging on his every word and watching every movement. I think the food was good...

6  Tell us about any phobias you have. What else are you scared of?

The only real phobia I have is spiders. I just cannot bear them. I've had many a "spider" incident, and always hope when we are on our travels that the spiders will stay hidden away. I got marooned on a sunbed once due to a very large spider catching and consuming a reasonably large crab in front of my eyes! I also dislike heights as viewed from the tops of buildings. I'm not so bad on hillsides, although I did crash once when skiing, due to looking over the edge at the sheer drop.

7  Is there something old from a family member that you treasure?

I have a few items that have been passed down from generation to generation in our family, and I like to use them or place them where I can enjoy them. However, they can never replace the people who have gone from my life whose memories I cherish above all else.

8  If there is reading material in your bathroom, what magazines or books could be found?

Usually there are magazines or travel books, but at the moment we are packing in order to move, so if you want to read something you will have to read the labels on the jars of pots and potions.

9  Tell us about your dearest childhood friend. Besides the typical outdoor stuff?

I have a very good friend I have had since the age of two years old. It was her ponies I rode during childhood; we went to school together; we went to discos together; we met our future husbands within a few months of each other; we are godmothers to each other's eldest children. She lives a few hundred miles away and we only get together occasionally, but we are just like sisters.

10  Is there a household task that belongs to your husband?

Depends what you mean by "household task". He chops the wood and brings the logs in, and lights the fires. He looks after the septic tank and sorts it out if it needs rodding. He sees the cars are washed and that they are full of fuel and regularly serviced. He is always happy to help, but "household tasks" per se are not really his domain.

11  Have you ever smoked pot? How old were you the first time? Do you still enjoy?

I belonged to the flower power generation, so I probably did. We smoked some weird stuff in those days. But I never smoked it intentionally to get a high. I can get high just on fresh air, lots of laughter and good times with friends. I have no need for drugs other than those that keep me alive. I do, however, enjoy a good gin and tonic, and the occasional cocktail.

12  If it is cold, what do you wear to bed?

I have a couple of t-shirt style nighties, but I take a hot water bottle to bed if it is that cold. I don't take long to warm up - it's mostly to keep my feet warm, and Dan pinches it as soon as he comes to bed. Usually I sleep au naturelle.

13  How old were you when you lost your virginity? Share any story with which you are comfortable.

I was twenty. I remember it well because in those days there was no co-habiting in case the neighbours informed the parents. Dan took me away to the Cotswolds for a romantic weekend and we stayed in a wonderful old coaching inn. It just didn't happen. I clammed up and it didn't matter how many times Dan tried, it was hopeless. When he finally brought me home after our weekend it was late in the evening and my parents were out. He said he wasn't going home until he succeeded. He finally managed it but that first time wasn't the pleasant experience I had been led to believe. Thank goodness things improved thereafter!

14  Think of something you did as a kid about which you were glad your parents never found out. If you were a perfect child, you may just respond with "Perfect".

Where do I begin? I broke someone's window; I used to scrump apples from other people's gardens on my walk home from school; together with some naughty friends I would ring people's doorbells then run away; I dyed my hair bright pink when I was about eleven; a friend and I tried every single one of about fifty "miniatures" of whisky her dad had collected on his frequent flights to and from Africa (heaven knows how we didn't die of alcohol poisoning!). I could go on and on!

16   Boob question - Think Goldilocks and the 3 Bears.

Do you think your boobs are:

a)  too big
b)  too small
c)  just right
d) "All of the above" is not a valid answer

I am fine with the size of my boobs, but I do so wish they wouldn't end up under my armpits, which they do without bones in my bra!

Thanks for reading, and thanks, Ella, for such a mixture of questions.