Thursday 30 April 2015

Ongoing Adventures in Online Dating Part 4 - Look Who's Stalking

The now-obligatory slightly disturbing sexy sea life picture that you have come to expect with these Online Dating posts.
This is the first Google image result you get if you type in "Sexy Whale", I'm no marine biologist, but I'm pretty sure neither of the individuals involved in this triste are actual whales.
The internet's a bloody marvellous thing, isn't it? And not just because of the easy access to porn and hilarious cat memes. So many day to day tasks can now be done easily online. Checking bank statements, renewing road tax, registering to vote and, of course, stalking. Especially stalking. Without the world wide web, if you wanted to stalk someone, you'd have to actually leave the house, possibly get on a train and invest some actual time and effort. Now it's all there at the click of a button.

I have dabbled in old-school stalking, mind you. Back in the 1980s, my young teenage self and my young teenage friends would spend significant amounts of our school holidays casually walking past the houses of boys that we fancied. Then turning round at the end of the road and casually strolling past, again. Repeatedly. While giggling and saying things like "Do you think that's his bedroom? I reckon it is. I reckon those are the sort of curtains he'd have."

You young people who grew up with the internet, don't ever pay any attention to pre-internet types who tell you that life was better when "we made our own entertainment". It wasn't. The entertainment that we made for ourselves was rubbish.

Of course we did all dress like this at the time. 
Now that I'm dating in the Social Media-saturated twenty-first century, it's easier for me to stalk someone than not to stalk them, quite frankly. If I'm curious about you, if I fancy you, if we've just started dating, if we had a thing and now we don't have a thing anymore... well, everything you've written about yourself online is fair game as far as I'm concerned. Not that it probably counts as stalking if the stalkee is voluntarily sharing the information in the first place. I tend to tell people about this blog at a fairly early stage in communication. Because clearly I think it's important that people can read about my masturbation habits and clinical depression, before we've even had a drink together.

Of course, everyone has different reasons for stalking. At one end of the stalking scale, you have mild curiosity and at the other there's bunny-boiling homicidal fruitcakery. (Deniers of Unrequited Feelings being in the middle somewhere.) Not that I think anyone sets out to become a rampaging bunny-boiler. I imagine, you think you have it under control, you make a few unfortunate life choices and before you know it, you're trying to stab Michael Douglas with a kitchen knife and making a mess of his shower curtains.

There are certain points in your life when you need to step back and think "Is this the best way to handle the situation?"
And also "Should I have put a bra on?"

Online Dating sites provide excellent stalking opportunities.  The much-mentioned eighty million personal questions that OKCupid allows its users to answer about themselves are fascinating enough insights into someone's personality even if you don't know them in the real world. Even more fascinating if you do.

And if you do find yourself inhabiting the Unrequited Feelings Denying bit of the Stalking spectrum, then OKCupid must be an absolute godsend. Because not only does OKCupid show your compatibility with someone as a percentage, it also allows you to change the answers you've previously given to questions.

I can change! I can start caring more about leg hair removal! And God!
So say there's a chap that you know is totally into you even though he split up with you three years ago and told you never to contact him again after you sent him pictures of the shrine you'd created in your spare bedroom. Well, using OKCupid, you can convince him of your suitability for one another using cold hard statistics. You simply go through all your answers which aren't compatible with the answers he gave and change your answers until you hit 100% compatibility. Then you message him about the results (every five minutes for nine months if need be) and then you both run away together to live in a cottage in the country where you neither of you will ever need to interact with another person again because your lives will be completely perfect.

Although some men need a little more persuasion than others.
I am, just to be clear, definitely nearer the 'idle curiosity' end of things in my stalking habits. And as a handy bit of advice, if you do decide to go stalking friends, colleagues, exes and French television celebrities on OKCupid, they can completely see that you've just done that. (Unless you pay extra which is what proper stalkers probably do.)

And you can't even use the "Oh, my friends and I were just popping into town. I didn't know you lived here" excuse that my 1980s teenage self had in reserve during those long summer afternoons of hanging around suburban housing estates. (Not that we ever saw the boys in question. Did they know we were outside? Were they cowering inside until we went away? More likely they were just off playing football or - given the type of boys that I used to fancy- 'Dungeons and Dragons' somewhere.)

Debretts Guide to Etiquette isn't providing me with any direct advice about the best ways to avoid freaking people out when stalking them on dating sites (although, wonderfully, it does provide plenty of sensible advice regarding social networking). I think you have to acknowledge what you're up to though. A quick note to say "Hello! Don't mind me, I was was stalking you, there. Hope you're well. How's your daughter's rabbit?"

Because good manners are important and being polite to one's stalkees is a factor in determining whether you're a benign idly curious stalker or a disturbingly unhinged one. That and whether you're savagely offing their children's pets, of course.

Don't give me that look, Flopsy. You and I both know this is the only way to make him realise how much he loves me.

Saturday 25 April 2015

Saturday Spanking - “I want that butt to be higher.”

I wonder why Saturday Spankings Man doesn't use those GIANT SPOONS that are hovering nearby.
They'd get the job done awesomely.
Happy Saturday Spank Day!

Season 3 of Corbin's Bend is here! The tireless Thianna D is once again asserting herself as Number 1 Corbin's Bend Lady by providing the story that will kickstart the brand, shiny new season of books about everyone's favourite Spanking-Specific Housing Co-operative.

His Damsel in Distress is available from all the very best booksellers. I have just bought my copy. I am so looking forward to reading it. I feel like it's a thing that everybody should be into. Like how people talk about Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones in the kitchen at work. I should be able to say "And there's a new Corbin's Bend book out!" and co-workers would be "I know! I've finished it already but I'm not going to spoil the ending for you."

So, given that I'm all Corbin's Bend-y right now, have a snippet from my own contribution to the series, East End Girl.  Although Kirsty and Logan have enjoyed all manner of fun, sexy spankings, Kirsty is about to receive her first purely disciplinary spanking.

You know that voice that's saying "You should buy this book RIGHT NOW"?
Listen to that voice.

“Take off your jeans and panties and lie down on the bed,” he said. 
She did as she was told, fumbling with her zipper in her nervousness, then she lay face down in the center of the bed with her smooth creamy-colored butt presented to him. Logan stood at the side of the bed. “Scoot this way a bit,” he said. Kirsty complied, awkwardly maneuvering herself to the edge of the bed where Logan would have easier access to her. 
He looked at her lying prostrate and then took a couple of pillows from the top of the bed. He passed them to Kirsty. “Put these underneath your pelvis,” he instructed. “I want that butt to be higher.”

Check out the rest of the Saturday Spankers!

Sunday 19 April 2015

Ongoing Adventures in Online Dating Part 3 - The Timewaster's Timewaster

For some reason, it has now become necessary to include some kind of  'sexy sea creature' image with these dating posts.
 That doesn't excuse this image, though. Nothing excuses this. I'm really, really sorry
The other day, via OKCupid,  I was propositioned by a French television presenter who wanted me to give him oral sex. He has a thirteen inch penis, apparently. Which is nice.

It's a little strange that a successful, attractive celebrity with his own Wikipedia page should be propositioning Englishwomen in such an indiscriminate manner. Stranger still that he is pretending to be a 37 year old man from London. I get that he might want to hide his identity but then, you know, using a bunch of easily googlable media images was probably a misstep.

I suppose it's also possible that it was a random internet weirdo who nicked a bunch of pictures of an attractive black man off the internet with which to furnish his profile but I'm choosing to believe that it actually was the celebrity in question. And the reason he chose not to respond to my message where I included a link to the news article containing his profile picture, is because he's really really shy.

If any of Harry Roselmack's lawyers are reading this, I would like to make it clear that I don't really think that Mr Roselmack is asking ladies to perform sexual favours via OKCupid.
Although, I am making no comment about the length of the gentleman's penis.
You get, I've found, a lot of really, really odd messages when you subscribe to a dating site. Or I do, anyway. I got a bit over excited answering all the OKCupid  questions and may have made myself sound a little bit slutty in the process. (I'm not saying any of it is wrong exactly, but it's probably not the impression I should be giving to strangers on the internet.) I have removed the bit that says I might be interested in 'casual sex' now. When I ticked that box, my reasoning was that I would be potentially up for having a sex-based relationship with someone I liked but with whom I knew I had no future. I believe that others may have interpreted it as "prepared to have immediate and indiscriminate sex with any chancer who sends a six word badly spelled introductory message",

I didn't update the 'casual sex' bit as quickly as you might expect because, to be honest, I found a lot of the messages I received rather amusing. To begin with, I took a firm line in not responding to the chancers, obvious fakes and timeswasters. 'Life's too short," I reasoned to myself. But then I changed my mind entirely and decided that there was fun to be had being the Timewaster's Timewaster. Life's  never too short to amuse oneself by taking the piss out of wrongmos on the internet.

Despite having specified thirty as the minimum age as far as potential suitors go, I am contacted by a lot of - supposed - people who are - supposedly - far younger than that. Are they for real? Is it a Nigerian-Prince-Type scam or some kind of viral marketing campaign? I can't believe that eighteen year olds are regularly trying to hook up with fat forty-something year olds via the internet. It's a long time since I was eighteen but I definitely recall that there was a lot of sex freely available back then. Teenagers should be seducing one another via the traditional  methods of getting rat-arsed and woozily colliding faces in the student bar.

Other methods of seduction are available.
The first eighteen year old who contacted me was from my my terribly middle-class home town. We produce nice, well-mannered teenagers round these parts. The lad in question initially suggested getting together for some casual sex, politely appending the suggestion with "I'm going out on a limb here but I think we would both enjoy it." He then followed up his original message saying "If you don't just want a sexual relationship, I can tell you a little more about myself." I wonder exactly he had in mind in terms of a not-just-sexual-relationship? Going to the cinema together, perhaps? Meeting one another's families? I responded basically saying "Oh bless you, aren't you sweet?" and wishing him all the best in his future endeavours. He didn't get back to me presumably because (a) he had other middle aged women to politely proposition and (b) if he wanted to be patronised that badly, he could hang out with his mum.

They keep coming though. Dozens of shirtless, hairless teenagers 'wanting to play' with an older woman. Judging by their photos, I suspect in some cases 'playing' might involve spending an evening helping them construct their Lego Wookiee gunship.

OKCupid provides a percentage level of compatibility with other subscribers based on the millions of questions you've answered. When I've been messaged by someone with whom I have an incredibly low compatibility score, I quite like checking out the answers to the questions in their profile in order to see quite how fundamentally unsuited we are. Oh, you're really into guns and hunting? And you thought the vegetarian hippy looked like a good match?

The guy who answered the question "Is a woman who's slept with a hundred men a bad person?" with 'Yes' isn't necessarily an arsehole. A hundred people is a lot of people to have sex with, I'll give you that . More than a weekend's worth certainly.

But when the same guy answers the question "Is a man who's slept with a hundred women a bad person?" with 'no', well it turns out he actually is an arsehole after all. One who needs a stern talking-to about gender equality and precisely which century we're currently living in.

My responses are the second ones in each case. I am fairly relaxed about hypothetical triple digit shaggers.
One subscriber answered 'yes' to the question "Do you think homosexuality is a sin?" and then sent a "hey u r sexy" message to me, presumably without having given my profile even the most cursory glance or registering that I am interested in meeting both men and women. Or perhaps he was looking to cure me of my sinful bisexual urges.

Of course, people who just scattergun the same banal message to hundreds of people whose profiles they have barely glanced over are par for the course on internet dating sites. Occasionally you want to give them points for trying. One potential suitor introduced himself by saying simply "Fancy sitting on my face tonight?" I replied asking if that particular tactic had ever worked. "Want to be the first?" he responded. Ha, nice try. It's clearly a no but I kind of admire his optimism.

The most startlingly direct approach came from someone whose profile picture was a close-up photo of her genitalia. The picture was changed shortly afterwards to a more standard non-naked non-genitalia based profile picture. Somebody probably had a word. Although I like to think that she had created her profile in a hurry from a phone and was completely oblivious that she had attached entirely the wrong photo by accident. Because who hasn't had that cold thud of dread in the pit of their stomach upon realising that they've shared a picture of their intimate lady garden with tens of thousands of strangers? We've all been there.

Some messages are a bit baffling. "You look pleasant" was a masterwork of faint praise. And while the guy who wrote "A heart has a million stories and i would like to know yours" clearly spent a bit longer on his copy 'n' paste introductory message than some other people, he rather gave himself away by sending the exact same message to me three times. Top marks for WTFery go to the chap whose introductory message simply said "U look like a murderer lol".

I didn't even respond to that one. It's all very well deciding to be the timewaster's timewaster. But sometimes the timewasters on OKCupid can leave one a bit speechless.

Saturday 11 April 2015

Saturday Spanking - "He had no idea what had possessed him to spank her"

Still don't know what I'm going on about? Check out the Saturday Spankings blog here.

It's Saturday Spankurday! I have been horribly absent from the whole SatSpanks scene recently. Not because I don't love you all fellow Satspankers but because I have been distracted by a bunch of non-Etta Stark projects I've been involved with. Plus I'm not actively pimping any books at the moment.

Although the 'not actively pimping any books' thing means I'm free to choose whichever of my books I really wish more people would read. That would be Lord Westbrook's Muse. I've described it as a sort-of-sequel to Lady Westbrook's Discovery but you don't need to have read that one first. It's got everything you could possibly want in a book! Presuming everything you want includes stuffy Lords, mysterious women, nineteenth century women's rights, the Rational Dress movement, evil uncles, drunkenness, bad decisions, confrontations at gunpoint and happily ever afters. And spanking, obviously. Tons and tons of spanking, In fact, if you don't want all those things, there's probably no hope for you.

Our hero, Lord Robert Westbrook spent the previous evening soundly spanking and then making love to his mother's house guest, Cass. He's feeling pretty good about it.

Robert woke the next morning feeling wonderful. He could not remember the last time he had slept so well.

Was it because of the time he had spent yesterday with Miss Glen? He rather thought it was. He had no idea what had possessed him to spank her the way he did. Well, clearly she had put the idea into his head but making her bend over the bed while he administered a spanking to her bare backside was clearly outrageous behaviour. He had shocked himself by doing it. 
When he had concluded the spanking, his senses had come back to him. He looked at the girl bent over in front of him – practically a stranger, a houseguest of his mother’s for goodness sake and wondered what on earth he had done. When she had turned to face him from her prostrate position over the footboard, he had expected to see retribution in her eyes. Or fear. Instead her eyes were unmistakably full of pure lust.

"Full of pure lust" Yup, good work book cover model.

Check out the rest of the awesome Saturday Spankings contributors below:

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Ongoing Adventures in Online Dating Part 2 - The Shoe Test

In response to the last post and its disturbing 'Sexy Dolphin' picture, fellow spanky author Morganna Williams said: "Please post a follow up...and be sure to Google some other sexy sea creature just for grins!". Well here you go, Morganna, I couldn't find anything QUITE as creepy as the picture of a dolphin with tits and minge, but have a picture of naked Helena Bonham Carter getting intimate with a tuna, instead. If anyone is offended by this image, please bear in mind that it is ALL MORGANNA WILLIAMS' FAULT. Take it up with her.

As I mentioned the other day, I have recently been dabbling in Online Dating. Success has been... varied. It's an ongoing project. I'm learning as I go and one of the things I have learnt is just how very short a 'date' can be when it needs to. Bollocks to sticking around out of any sense of politeness. Sometimes you just need to neck your drink as quickly as possible, make your half-hearted excuses and get the fuck out. And, yes, I'm looking at you three, Weird-Smelling-Bloke, Almost-Certainly-A-Racist-Bloke and Doing-Some-Kind-Of-PUA-Negging-Bullshit-Bloke.

Click for the full thing
It's surprisingly difficult to gauge people's Not-Being-A-Fucking-Weirdo credentials by email sometimes. And even when they're not being an out-and-out weirdo, lots of people who seem to have potential can be terribly disappointing when you meet them in person. (Including me, I have absolutely no doubt.)

And one of the things that is consistently disappointing are the shoes. Once men reach a certain age they seem to have absolutely horrible taste in footwear. Young men don't seem to have a problem in this regard. Unfortunately I don't think that dating twenty somethings is an option. It'd freak the fuck out of my teenage daughter for one thing.

I don't know what it is about middle-aged men and their terrible shoes. I suspect it's just part of a larger terrible casual dress sense issue. These are men who wear suits in the office all week and then struggle when it comes to donning anything non-suit- related. This leads to well-meaning gentlemen pairing formal shoes with camo trousers and other horribly eye-watering attempts at 'casual'. It's like that time during the 1993 Conservative party conference when all the party members had to dress down. They didn't have a clue. It was all mismatched workwear and horrible, horrible jumpers.

Despite all my increasingly desperate googling, I can't find the Conservative-Party-In-Horrible-Casualwear photo that I am thinking of. So enjoy this picture of a random gentleman in a knitted poinsettia waistcoat instead.
Maybe I shouldn't even bother with small talk on future dates. I'll introduce the Shoe Test instead, I'll walk in, assess the footwear and decide the outcome of the date from there. If he's wearing elasticated loafers I'm fucking the fuck off.

It's not a foolproof method, admittedly, I absolutely know from previous experience a wearer of terrible footwear can be a wonderfully considerate and considerably sadistic lover. And  I'm not claiming to be any kind of Acceptable Dress Yardstick myself, you understand. The look I'm rocking at this precise moment could probably best be summed up as 'Middle-aged Sixth Form Student', It's one of a number of looks I go for, others include 'Hippy librarian' and 'half-hearted Goth'.

If you type 'Middle-aged Goth' into Google Images, this is one of the pictures you get.
I love this picture to a ridiculous degree.
I am going to print it out, put it in a picture frame in my living room and pretend we're all related.
If you are either of the people in this picture, get in touch. In fact, come round for Christmas dinner.
I suspect that my refusal to grow up is a large part of the problem. I am surprised by how old a lot of my dates are. Obviously I know they're fifty or whatever from the website. But have you ever met a fifty-something year old? They're like actual proper grown-ups. As are most people, apparently. I haven't got my head round the fact that the guys who are interested in me these days look like I expect my friends' dads to look. I might bang on about being in my forties all the time but I don't feel any different to how I did when I was eighteen.

It's been a long time since I was last dating. It's a voyage of self discovery. And one of the things that I'm discovering about myself is "Fucking hell, you're unbelievably bloody picky for an annoying, fat, middle-aged woman with no redeeming features beyond decent cooking skills and sky-high kinkiness." Well, yes. Yes I am. I'm happy we're all in agreement about that.

I'm not sure about introducing the Shoe Test as a formal procedure. The last gentleman that I, um, entertained would be the only person to pass the Shoe Test so far. Unfortunately he didn't pass the Being-Particularly-Keen-To-See-Me-Again test or the Being-Single test*. Bloody nice boots though.

As I have mentioned before, I don't really know what I'm after here. I suspect shoes may not be the most important thing in a relationship, but quite frankly I wouldn't know. Perhaps these things will become more apparent with time. Onward and upward. Best foot forward.

* I feel like I should clarify that the gentleman in question was in a polyamorous relationship that I already knew about. I didn't mean to imply that there was any underhandedness on his part regarding his lack of single status.

Monday 6 April 2015

Ongoing Adventures in Online Dating Part 1* - OKCupid

*Unlike last week's post, there will actually be a follow-up to this one.

I have been dabbling in the world of Online Dating on and off since the beginning of the year. Originally I subscribed to Guardian Soulmates because The Guardian is very much the newspaper of the leftwing hippy liberal and I thought I would find it easier to connect to my people there.

This week, though, I signed up with OKCupid and I strongly advise you all to do the same. Even if you're not actively looking to start dating. Even if you're in a committed monogamous relationship. Join up anyway! Purely for the pleasure of answering the site's hundreds and hundreds of random, eclectic - and often barking mad - questions.

Everyone loves answering surveys, don't they? Particularly ones which ask you how you feel about spanking and scuba diving and whether you would be prepared to 'squeal like a dolphin' in bed if your partner requested it. Well, yeah, obviously. In fact I'm a little put out that no-one's asked me to do it so far in my life. Is squealing like dolphins what all the cool kids are doing during sex these days?

Um yeah. Not sure googling "Sexy dolphin" was one of my cleverest ideas ever.
Some of the questions are downright disturbing. "Would you ever film a sexual encounter without your partner knowing?" for example. You know I think there are probably laws against that. Even worse is this one:

I'm definitely sure there are laws against that one. In the process of answering the questions, you pick not only your own answer but those you are happy to accept in a  potential partner. So it's reassuring to know that one can weed out any potential suitors who are happy to commit sexual assault if they think they can get away with it.

Some of the questions will also help you filter out any racists from your matches. I think I can categorically state that anyone who cheerfully answers 'yes' to "Is interracial marriage a bad idea?" or "Do you think there is a statistical correlation between race and intelligence?" probably isn't the right person for me. Of course, the flipside of this is that OKCupid is providing a means for racists to connect with one another. I'm not sure I condone this. Surely racists should be looking for love on their own dedicated dating sites,, maybe, or

There are hundreds and hundreds of questions you can answer split into six categories: Ethics, Sex, Religion, Lifestyle, Dating and 'Other'. I have spent hours answering them like a mad bastard these last few days. It gets a bit addictive after a while. Either that or I think if I answer enough of them I can going to unlock OKCupid's Hidden Content and Secret Underwater Level.

The really exciting part, is that once you've answered some questions, OKCupid maps out your personality in graph form! Don't tell me you don't want to see your personality traits mapped out in a bar chart.

Below are all the characteristics that I probably have more of than the average person, apparently.

Well, it's good to have it confirmed that I might be significantly more kinky than the average person. I had suspected something of the sort. I wish they'd put percentage points on it though. I like to put a figure on exactly how much more kinky I am than other people.

Gratifyingly, the personality trait which apparently defines me the most is independence. Yeah, I'll take that. I'm an independent woman, Bought the house I live in, you know. And the shoes on my feet - I bought them. I depend on me.

Yes I do like to consider myself a 'honey making money'. Thanks for checking, Destiny's Child.

I feel that 'Scientific' may be somewhat over-represented in that list due to the fact that the site (and its questions) are American and there are a surprising number (to a Brit at least) of questions about Creationism and Intelligent Design. I probably gained a few Science points simply by 'believing' in dinosaurs. So I think I am 'scientific' in the sense of not being religious rather than knowing how anything works or being able to name more than 4 elements off the periodic table.

Also, please note I am MORE COOL. Not massively more cool but more cool enough. I will get the t-shirt printed forthwith.

Me, yesterday.
Of course MORE than average personality statistics are no use at all without the LESS than average ones. Mine being the following:

I was a little surprised that 'Optimistic' made it onto the 'Less' list (if only by a smidge). I consider myself an optimistic person. I think this might be a cultural thing. I come from a culture steeped in moaning - frequently depicted in literature from Eeyore to Marvin the Paranoid Android. From where I'm sitting, I'm all about the optimism. Maybe not so much to you positive-thinking Americans. No matter. Ever-so-slightly pessimistic is probably just the right amount of optimistic.

'Less Pure' is clearly a slightly more polite way of saying 'More Slutty'. I am going to let that one pass without comment, I think.

The OKCupid algorithm has highlighted a couple of personality shortcomings that are a little bit awkward. That I am apparently both 'less romantic' and 'less love-driven' than your average woman on the street. I am not saying that isn't  true, I am a cynical, unsentimental curmudgeon when it comes to matters of the heart. I am not sure it's something I want potential dates to know about me, though. I don't think I want any person I meet up with to get the wrong impression of what I want from a relationship. Not that I have any idea what I want from a relationship, mind you, but I'm fairly certain that I'm not just after acquiring notches in the bedpost here,

Come to think of it, I'm not sure that admitting to be 'less romantic' here is the most sensible idea either. It is possible that my readership might consider that as a romance writer, I have some experience of what I'm writing about. Although if that's the case then it seems a little unfair romance writers should be expected to have more experience of their subject matter than other genre fiction writers. If I were writing sci-fi, no-one would expect me to have been into space. Having killed a man isn't considered a prerequisite for writing thrillers. And even if my wizened old soul isn't totally stuffed full of hearts and flowers, it doesn't mean that I am completely unromantic.

In fact, in one of the OKCupid questions, I said I would be OK if someone farted during oral sex. Seriously, you don't get any more romantic than that.

Sunday 5 April 2015

Happy Easter!

Given that I've acknowledged every other significant holiday since starting this blog, I don't want Easter to feel left out. But seriously, who cares about Easter? It's such a poor second to Christmas. A couple of days off work but then it pretty much passes without comment.

Nobody's complaining that Easter seems to start earlier and earlier each year or banging on about companies sticking Easter adverts on the television for months beforehand or shops decking their shopfronts out in bonnets and daffodils from mid-February onwards.

I do acknowledge that there might be somewhat more significance than copious amounts of chocolate and a long weekend for Christians. I am, as I've mentioned before, a godless Heathen. One thing I particularly like about Easter is how its Pagan and Christian roots seem to exist together harmoniously. The name of the festival is taken from the Pagan Goddess Eostre who is responsible for so much of what we consider to be an essential part of the Easter holiday - rabbits, spring flowers, three-for-two deals on Cadbury's Creme Eggs, that sort of thing. 

Also bird boxes, storks and smacking flying babies in the face.
It's the reason I have no time for Misunderstanding-What-Political-Correctness-Actually-Means idiots who occasionally suggest that 'Christmas' be rebranded something a little less Jesus-centric like 'Winterval'. We use the Christian name for Christmas and the Pagan name for Easter. It seems eminently fair. And regardless of whether you're a Christian or a Mother Nature worshipping hippy, everyone can agree that this is the festival of new life and rebirth.
And Cadbury's Creme Eggs, obviously.
So I hope you are all having wonderful Easter weekends. Although, a quick look at Wikipedia suggests that you lot on the other side of the Atlantic don't actually have Easter Monday as a public holiday. No Boxing Day AND no Easter Monday? Sucks to be you, Americans. I know you have other holidays that we Brits don't (that one where you celebrate when Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum saved the planet from aliens, for example) but I'm worried you don't have any that give you more than one day off at a time. Even Thanksgiving always takes place on a Thursday. A Thursday. What use is that to anyone?

Tell you what, you sort your bank holidays out and I'll consider moving over there. Probably to New York because I continually get lost finding my way about - even in the town that I've lived in since I was four. The numbered grid system of New York was the most amazing thing ever. It's like when the characters in Corbin's Bend books find a community that accommodates their spanking lifestyle. In New York, I felt I found a place that understood my absolute lack of any kind of sense of direction whatsoever.

I promise I won't even bring any Highly Illegal Kinder Eggs when I come.
Have wonderful, amazing, chocolate-y and hopefully spanky Easters, all of you. And to those of you whose Governments give you the day off work tomorrow, enjoy your lie-in.