The Divine Nine of…Kissing xxx

I don’t know about you but I LOVE to kiss… a good auld snog… a  smooch… a hot and heavy session to get the engine purring so to speak!  At this point, I’ve honed my skills and after many hours slobbering my reflection in the mirror – I’m an expert!! 😀 Seriously though, I’ve  kissed select varieties of people and suffice to say – I think I may have  encountered someone from every possible style!  From the Jaw-breaker to the Sponge, from Woody Wood Pecker to Hoover-face… been there – locked lips with them!  And yes… there were lots of them… and yes… I had a whole lot of fun over the years in my kissing escapades… all in the name of adventure and fun!  And for the most part, it was so much damn FUN!!! There were times though, when a little guidance would have gone a LONG,  LONG, LONG way… for both me and my friends!

Hence, this version of the Divine Nine:

 1.  Never… and I mean NEVER approach your partner in this fashion.imagesML3DE4JZ

You may find as you get closer… closing your eyes…  anticipating connection that you end up just  falling on your face, as they have seen what’s coming and done a runner!!!

 2.  Drooling is cute on a baby – Drooling is NOT cute on an adult.
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Kissing someone with drippy, drooly, soppy lips is actually quite gross and  can be a little bit like kissing a piece of liver! (I stress that I do NOT  know this from experience – I admit to speculation here; albeit educated conjecture!)  Would you like that sensation on your lips??  I think not –  don’t inflict it on others…not a good start!!!

3.  Kissing is about intimacy and connection – it is NOT CPR!
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Remember… the person that you are about to connect with in a very intimate way is awake and breathing.  And if they are not – this list isn’t for you!  You need to seek professional help elsewhere… GO!!!  A kiss is when lips softly touch… not when your mouth completely encompasses theirs along with their nose and you become their sole supply of oxygen!!!

4.  Keep a stash of mints/citrus on your person in anticipation of THE MOMENT!untitled (18)

Think about it… the last thing YOU would want is to have to suck face with someone who smells (and subsequently may taste) like a cat’s arse!!  So be considerate and ensure that you’re not the one inflicting that on any other poor being!  No-one deserves that… For Gawd’s Sake!!! Will someone please think of the KISSES!!??

 

 

5.  French Kissing doesn’t only happen in the USA…lemme tell ya Debbie Harry!!

When it comes to tongue… the strict rule you must images03LZU0REremember – LESS IS MORE!!

Start out tentatively… pretend your tongue is a little mouse and it’s exploring an unknown cave knowing there’s a mousetrap in there somewhere!!!  Stay around the entrance…it’s safe there!!  No-one’s Potholing here and remember going deep leaves you open to catching Leptospirosis!!! (when caving that is … not Kissing!)  Going too deep while kissing can lead to a number of  possible outcomes: gagging (which we all know is not the desired effect here!), backing away slowly (again, not a desired effect), knocking someone’s filling out (could be costly) or straight up a big turn off!  So reign that big boy in & play it safe!

6.  The Ears – Do I or Don’t I???

tangled tongue earThis is Marmite … either you love it or hate it!  It’s a really personal preference and I would absolutely advise against throwing caution to the wind and just going for it without checking with the owner of said ears before your dive in!  It can be a huge turn off…like shivers down the spine, knee-jerk-kick-in-the-ass-slap-in-the-face reaction!!

 

7.  The Neck…and other erogenous zonesneck kissing

And for those not familiar with the phrase – I’m not talking about a time zone half way round the world!!  The neck is a world of wonder for those who have sexy sensitive skin there – if this is the case with you and your partner; kiss, lick, suck, nuzzle, graze, trail, caress and nibble your way to ecstasy.  They’ll be breathless and putty in your hands.  On the other hand, if they have tickly sensitive skin there, you’ll get head butted from various love biteangles and may even need medical intervention so best to proceed cautiously!

P.S.  On the subject of Sucking necks – A hickey from Kenickie is all well and good for Rizzo (LOVE her!) but let’s face it… toothpaste really doesn’t cover them up!!  Just DON’T GO THERE!!!  or at the very least… do it where you don’t have to cover it up!

 

8.  Biting – lips…skin…people in general!

We’ve all fancied someone so much that we’ve literally wanted to take a bite out of Lip bitingthem Right?… like Chomp! They are so delicious!  You know what I mean!?? … Don’t you?? OH…OK… well, of course – you should never act on that desire… that would be… ahem… cannibalism!  But nibbling and using your teeth to graze sensitive skin can be very erotic and sensual.   Just be aware that some are more sensitive than others and some have a lower pain threshold too!  So don’t just go right in there and snap your jaws onto a juicy bottom lip … or clamp your knashers on your partners poor unsuspecting nipple!!  Start gentle and feel your way to their limitations!

 

And finally 9.  Who you’re kissing

The truth of the matter is that no-one else really gives a shit who you are kissing so just make sure that whoever it is deserves your lips.

 

Hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I did writing them!

Helena x

 

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The Sorry Syndrome

When it comes to the apology game, I’ve been hit with a double whammy!! The first comes simply with being Irish.  So many of us carry that ingrained necessity to constantly appear humble which has often translated into every second phrase being ‘Sorry’ or ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘Sorry but…’ when other words or phrases are actually more appropriate like ‘Excuse me’ or indeed no utterance at all.  Sometimes superfluous mutterings are better left unsaid.  But that’s not our way – we Irish, tend to talk and have mastered the art of conversation; while also acquiring the delicate articulation of the mea culpa.

My second whammy is that I’m a woman…Sorry but it’s true! (see what I did there!).  And I lied…I’m not one bit sorry.  The thing is that as girls, as teenagers, as women in this country of ours – we have been programmed to apologise for so much…for having an appetite, for talking, for talking softly, for talking loudly, for laughing loudly, wearing imagesHQP6MVHW.jpgclothes that WE like, for having hairy legs or hairy lips or hairy pits, for farting, for burping, for pooing, for drinking, for liking beer, for smoking, for liking whiskey, for working, for liking working, for sex, for liking sex, for loving sex, for wanting sex, for wanting more sex, for wanting no sex, for having brains, for having opinions … I could go on for quite some time here.  If you have never thought about it… take a moment and consider it.  I’ll find it hard to believe if you tell me that as a woman, you’ve never felt you had to make an apology or excuse in some shape or form for at least one of the above… that you’ve never opted out of wearing that sleeveless top just because you hadn’t got around to shaving under your arms last night – that in itself is an apology & we’ve all done it; we’ve all let that judgement, that societal bullshit make a decision for us instead of saying ‘So Fucking What!’  Show love, respect, confidence and care for yourself in the words you use to yourself and about yourself.

When I went to live in NY all those years ago (don’t make me say how many! :-D) I practically apologised for my own existence on an ongoing imagesbasis.  It was ridiculous and I didn’t even realise it until one of my flat mates pointed it out to me.  I was shocked at the time but I’ve never forgotten it and I’m so glad she did (Thank you Owl! X).  It took a long time to really break the cycle but I do not apologise now unless I am genuinely sorry for something that I need to apologise for.  Thankfully, that doesn’t happen too often as I try to live by the ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated’ mantra.  My point in this whole post is … I’m NOT sorry…not now and never again and I hope if you identify with any of this that you’re not sorry either!

Unless this Government makes me sorry to be Irish by continuing to ignore the autonomy and the rights of Women in this State… but that’s another post altogether…

Laters for more rambling musings 🙂

Helena x

 

Back in the Game :-)

 

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Well, I’m happy to say that I’m back to writing again and I’m working to a better schedule now too.  More food posts, more random posts and of course, more topical stuff too…whatever gets my blood boiling or makes me laugh uncontrollably!  Tune in tomorrow for the first of many!

And please LIKE my page…if you like it… and COMMENT if you feel so inclined! 🙂

Laters!

Helena x

 

I don’t bite… Quick Update

This is long overdue – sorry, it’s taken a while but a few thing going on and wanting a little time to consider it became a longer time!  Anyway, here is the outcome as it stands for those wondering what happened in the end.

I spoke with the Head of Security (as I had mentioned) and he was a very pleasant man who assured me regarding the training of the Security staff and there being above average numbers in the premises in question.  All of this I had no reason to question and as mentioned previously, he was very respectful, pleasant and professional.  He offered to meet me and show me the documentation in regards to their training etc. however, I decided that I did not wish to take up any more of this gentleman’s time.  He was very prompt in his response to me and could not have been more helpful.  I still had not received any contact from The Palace themselves.

After posting my blog entry  “I don’t bite, you know… unless it’s called for.”  I forwarded a copy to the premises via email and then received a call and voice mail asking me to call back.  I did so and got speaking to the General Manager who informed me that he had tried to call me before but there was no answer but didn’t like leaving voice messages.  Anyway, he started with what I thought was an apology about what had happened that night however, it turned into an apology that he still had to listen to a problem that, as far as he was concerned, was sorted on the night.  He stated that both himself and the Assistant Manager are ‘hands-on’ and are always available to ensure things run smoothly in the premises.  He was there that night and remembered the group in question and was involved with dealing with them.  I said to him that I didn’t know what the issue was that necessitated Security being involved on a large scale however I was surprised that they were allowed to stay – he stated that they always try to talk things down and I can respect that.  We talked and went through the details of the night and he mentioned being able to check the CCTV cameras in a manner that quite frankly seemed to throw doubt on whether what I was saying actually happened or not.  I again referred to the bar staff asking if we were ok on a number of occasions, I referred to approaching a member of security and asking for help which never transpired and I ended with a plea to indeed examine the CCTV cameras and observe exactly what I had just told him.  He then said that he couldn’t take my word for it, he would have to talk to the Security Staff.

At this point, I felt completely disregarded as a customer who had a negative experience, as a woman who was touched without consent in this premises under this persons watch,  as a woman telling the truth but couldn’t be accepted as such.

In short, there is no resolution to this incident because like so many other incidents in so many other circumstances, this was brushed aside with a closing joking comment of “Sure you’ll buy me a drink the next time you’re in, won’t ya… that is, if ya don’t boycott the place!”

Buy your own bloody drink.

Helena

 

“I don’t bite, you know… unless it’s called for.”

Audrey Hepburn to Cary Grant, Charade (1963)
Well…this is one occasion where I must bare my teeth!! It was Saturday night – my friend Carmel and I hadn’t been out together since before Christmas as we both had a lot of stuff going on.  It was a toss up between heading into Dublin or for a change, going for a drink in Navan which is a little closer to me and it would work out considerably more budget friendly.  We opted for that and I cooked a yummy coconut, mango and chicken curry for dinner (even if I do say so myself 🙂 recipe to follow at another time).  Anyhow, the time we headed out it was around 9.40pm and we opted for a popular spot which has a Piano bar that stays open late.
When we got in there, it wasn’t too busy so we were able to get two seats at the bar by one of the narrow stain glass window partition that sections off the long bar.  We sat facing the bar, slightly toward each other, chatting and laughing our asses off as we sipped our drinks.  It started out as a really enjoyable night.  We didn’t make it to the end of our first drink before a large group of men (a stag from Kilkenny of about 15 altogether), pretty well seasoned, descended upon us.  I do not use that phrase lightly, they literally ‘descended’ upon us.  We were suddenly squashed against the bar in our chairs – It was like we were the centre of gravity and they couldn’t physically move away.  Now, don’t misunderstand me – when I say this I don’t mean it in a narcissistic way.  I actually mean it in a claustrophobic, freak us out way… in the ultimate ‘Get off me Man!!!’ way.
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It started out as a bit of banter and a bit of chat and you know what…that’s grand!  Who doesn’t like good auld joke and a laugh when you’re out for the night?  Then there was a hand on the shoulder…then this progressed to an arm around the shoulders….with the hand reaching down curiously close to my breast.  (Yes…they’re great boobs but they’re mine…no access to the uninvited – thank you!)  There were hands anonymously running through my hair and my friends too.  With each shrug off, the arms and hands returned with a vengeance.  On both of us.  I started out politely and clearly stated “Now Lads, you have to move back, stand away from us and put your hands in your pockets – that’s enough.  No more” This initially got two brothers to back off slightly (as in 6 inches or so).  They moved to one side and in sidled a few more.  This continued and escalated to hands moving down to grab our arses and bodies literally pushed up right against us (and no – it wasn’t that full in the place).  Getting up to go to the toilet was like taking your life in your hands – I actually had to use my chair to push my way through the men and make my way out.  My friend stood up, turned around and told them in no uncertain terms, to take their hands off her, not to touch her again, to get back from her and to leave her alone (with a few necessary F**ks thrown in for effect).  This was necessary twice within 10 minutes when the behaviour just kept repeating itself and then I had to follow that with a similar repeat warning of my own.  At this point, there were a number of Security talking to some of the men and things got very intense.  I’ll be honest, I was hoping they were all going to be chucked out.  I don’t know the reason that Security were involved and after a few minutes, they all seemed to relax.  Some of the Security moved away however, one of the men seemed to move to strike a Security man and some of the men were escorted outside.
untitled (5)I don’t lose my cool very often – I’m very much a ‘catch more flies with honey’ type woman however, I was fecking furious by this point because the other men remaining started again.  I got up out of my seat, walked to the closest Security Man and explained how we had been subjected to completely inappropriate touching by these men throughout the night and despite being asked numerous times to stop – they wouldn’t.  I asked him if they could please do something about it.  He said he would talk to the men straight away.  In that time, my friend also spoke to one of the bar staff who asked if she was ok – my friend replied that she was not and she said how she found the actions of the men to be completely out of order.  The bar tender said she would speak to the Security straight away – which she seemed to do, the same guy I spoke with – he was back at his post a couple of moments later however, not having spoken to the men, despite both our requests.  From that moment onward, the Security Man watched us with a hawk eye’s which, as you can imagine, was a little uncomfortable and then down the bar, the remainder of the group stood staring up at us until the end of their night.

Can anyone tell me when it was decided that if you talk to someone in a pub or club, that it entitles you to touch them in any manner whatsoever?  Or indeed, you don’t need to talk to them at all.  At another point in the night, I watched as a different man altogether came to the bar and slipped his arm right around Carmel’s waist – she simply removed it – to which he immediately apologised and said ‘Oh Sorry, I’m just going to the bar’.  WTF??  I, personally, would never approach a bar to get a drink and slip my arm around a woman or a man under that pretext.  Is there a preconceived notion of ownership over women?  What does it take for No to mean NO?  Is it actually too much to ask for the simple concept of personal space to be acknowledged, respected and maintained?  I know that alcohol was involved in the circumstances on Saturday and as an element, is not usually conducive to positive experiences in such circumstances.  But I have to also point out that alcohol does not cause men to think or act like brainless, misogynistic assholes – those have to be characteristics already intrinsic to the person in the first place.  Out of that whole group of men, there was one man who sincerely apologised for the behaviour of some of the others.  1 in 15 with a conscience appears to be a pretty sad and scary statistic.  According to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre,  sexual assault occurs where a person is subjected to a sexual act (sexual touching or penetration) without his or her consent.Whether or not physical force is used, sexual assault is an act of violence.  It is a profound physical and personal violation of the individual.  Research shows that the primary motivation in sexual assault is the meeting of the perpetrator’s non-sexual needs for power and domination and their expression of anger, rather than their sexual gratification.

The other issue is the establishment where this occurred and their responsibility to their customers.  We were in a very visible position at the bar and we were asked if we were ok by the bar staff so that says to me that they were aware that we were in a compromised and uncomfortable position.  Yet no action was taken to offer us any assistance and despite our request for help – nothing was done.  We were watched by a Security Man for the last part of our evening but I’ll be honest, that was just plain uncomfortable.  And when it came to leaving, I was more uncomfortable because I didn’t want to meet any of them outside.  I’m no wallflower, I’m well able to look after myself but I’m no idiot either.  Two women versus a large group of alcohol fuelled men with ever so slightly bruised egos does not compute.  We headed out onto the street to hail a taxi ourselves with no more security on the lookout.
I contacted the bar in the days that followed by email describing exactly what had happened and how both my friend and I were treated and made to feel as a result of this.  Within 24 hours, I received a call from the Director of the Security firm that provides the staff for the venue.  He was a very professional man who also deals with the training for the organisation.  He sincerely apologised the for the experience we had on the night and we are due to meet in the coming days to have a chat about the relative training that is provided to his staff.  I will update you on that progress and to be honest, if my gut feeling is correct and given his reaction to the events of that night – this is an issue that he takes very seriously both on a professional and personal level.
What I am disappointed with, however, is that I have not received any contact from the venue themselves.  Not even an acknowledgement to my email.  This is not only bad form and let’s face it, unprofessional – it speaks volumes about this establishments attitude to a very serious and pertinent issue that is ongoing for women.
Hopefully, I’ll update you with more soon.
In the meantime, this is my outfit for next weekend! 😀
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Helena xxx

The Bank has a veto…but we have no choice

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Here’s an update on my Circuit Training post… and the beat goes on…

The decision came back last week from our bank on our mortgage proposal that we submitted through the IMHO – the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation.  We’ve been given a test period of three months where we have to pay the equivalent of our full mortgage payment after which time they’ll consider the long term solution.  It appears there was no consideration to the submitted plan and it also appears that they consider the fact that my husband went from a salary of close to 50K per year down to the Invalidity Pension to still keep us within the ‘affordability’ range.  The Bank rang to ensure I received the Test period letter and the person I spoke with from the legal section in the Bank went through the conditions.  The full amount must be paid within each month, if this doesn’t happen then I “…better have a solicitor, cos it’s going straight back to court…”.  I asked whether they had considered the plan and whether the change in income was a real consideration.  She responded that if I provided that information, then they must have.  I don’t mind telling you, I was completely gutted…to the point of tears at my desk in work.  This person telling me what I had to do to keep the only home my kids have known had no idea who I was, what my case was, why I was in these circumstances.  It was the coldest and most heartless conversation I have had with any one…ever.  I hung up unable to utter another word.

I contacted our rep in the IMHO and I have to admit that they were not in the slightest bit useful.  I explained the Test period letter and the amounts we have been told to pay and they said ok well you just have to cut back and make the payments.  In utter disbelief I pleaded with him asking whether we could appeal the Banks decision.  He said that an appeal in these circumstances only work if we have new information to add or if there’s been a significant change in circumstances.  He said that to appeal would just be saying to the Bank that we don’t accept their ‘proposal’ and we would be back to the courts.  Yet again, I was reduced to tears.  Tears of frustration and fear and anger.  He was quiet and he said to take some time to consider things.  I replied “Consider what?  We have no choice” and for the second time in one day, I hung up on someone.

I know we’re not alone in this trap.  There are other people out there who have been treated the same, are being treated the same.  And it’s wrong.  We don’t want to abandon our responsibilities, we want to work out a solution.  This doesn’t happen when you don’t actually have any say in the negotiations, when you have no voice.  And just so you know, I don’t cry over things I can’t control.  I put those things down to life sorting out the shit from the silver and I know there’s better to come.  My tears are for my family and the distress this could bring upon them – the real people who are affected by the arbitrary decisions of a financial institution.

So… tomorrow I go down the ISI – the Insolvency Service Ireland route.  There has to be more … there has to be options.

I will not be backed into a corner.

Stay tuned.

 

 

This is my workspace… That is your workspace…

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Just to clarify, the following experience happened early in my working career (and I started working at 14 years old!) many, many moons ago.

What would you do if …

…you were in work one day, busy as usual, then break comes and you decide to pop out to the shop. You walk out to the lift, step in and just before the doors close, your supervisor pops in. It’s just the two of you but at that moment you think nothing of it. The doors slide closed and before you could say ‘how’s it goin?’ – He moves right up against you, pushing you back against the back of the lift and tries to kiss you. It’s only a matter of seconds but it feels like forever as you raise your hands to his chest to push him off you, the lift doors ping, he smirks, moves away and is gone.

What would you do?

Let me clarify a couple of points… I was married, he was married, we were working in a small department of close knit people in a great company. There had been absolutely zero expression of interest in any way whatsoever on my part and if there was any on his, I never picked up on it. What did I do? Nothing. Except walk out of the lift, out of the building, around the corner and I retched over and over again. I was not very confident at that point in my life and I felt completely compromised. Because the team as a whole was so inter-reliant, I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone else about it so I stayed quiet. I spent a significant amount of energy ensuring that I avoided eye contact with him, where possible that I did not spend time in his company alone. However, he was my next in line Supervisor so he flexed that muscle and used that to manipulate time for a ‘meeting’. He sat beside me, so close his right thigh was up against my left thigh and his arm was constantly rubbing off mine. I just kept shifting my chair and he in turn did the same. He brought no paperwork to the meeting and when I asked the reason for the meeting, he just smiled and said that he wanted to catch up and have a chat. I gave him a run down on my work and where things stood in my brief but he just brushed it off and asked how I was and how were things at home. He asked was there anything he could help me with and he started rubbing my arm with his hand. I told him no, there was nothing he could help me with and I moved away again. He then started to talk about my attitude to my work and that my enthusiasm could do with improving. He said he wouldn’t like to see it affecting my Annual Review. I was speechless. He told me to think about it and he left the room.

And still I told no-one. I felt it would be considered my fault. I did not want to disrupt the status quo of the team. For some inexplicable reason, in hindsight, I didn’t know if I would be believed! I was intimidated by his qualifications, his manner, his personality and his veiled threats. In my position, my compromised anxiety filled terrified position, I could not see past his influence. That’s the thing with fear – it clouds your vision until you can’t make out the shadows from reality. I started to miss days in work more and I withdrew from my other work colleagues. Comments like ‘You were laughing too loud at lunchtime in the Canteen – keep it down’ and ‘Wear that top again tomorrow, when you lean forward I can see your breasts’ compounded my feelings of inadequacy. Then, out of the blue, he announced he was leaving. I didn’t actually believe it until the day he walked out the door. Needless to say, that’s one leaving drinks I did not attend.

So What would you do? Not what I did, I hope. Now my reactions would be completely different from the very first moment.

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But if, like me, you have the misfortune to cross paths with a person of this ilk and you’re not sure what to do – these are just a few pointers I wish I had realised/known back then:

  1. No-one in the World is better than YOU.
  2. Don’t think about everyone else and how they’ll react or be effected. Think about YOU and how you are reacting and how it is effecting YOU.
  3. Turn away…Walk away…Call for help…Walk straight to a Managers Office and tell them…Walk straight to HR and tell them. It’s easier to act immediately rather than later, when your unreasonable arguments seep in to your brain.
  4. Yes, unfortunately this can happen, even in 2016 and Yes – it could happen to you. Don’t doubt yourself. TALK to someone…anyone to start with. Then talk to someone in HR in confidence.
  5. Read the Dignity in the Workplace Policy issued through the HSE Dignity at Work Policy so that you are informed and aware of your rights.
  6. Every employer should have a policy & procedures to prevent and deal with harassment at work and it should clearly set out what is unacceptable behaviour at work. All employees must be made aware of the grievance or complaints procedure in place. The Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work gives practical guidance to employers and employees to put procedures in place to deal with sexual harassment and harassment at work.
  7. Remember – no matter what a persons job is; whether it’s CEO or Teacher or Director or Doctor – that is only a role they hold. First and foremost – they are just a person. Nothing more…Nothing less. Do not be intimidated by a person…remember No.1
  8. Someone else’s words only hold the power that we are willing to give them. Again…remember No.1

I hope this might help you out – we are all entitled to Dignity at Work and in life.

Chat soon… Helena x