There are none so blind..

…as those who don’t wish to see.

Y’know as a kid when you didn’t want to hear something you’d stick your fingers in your ears and go “la la la la, can’t hear you!”  I’m starting to think that’s the way most people feel about histamine.  They only hear the bits they want to hear and ignore everything else.

To me, the most important page on my entire blog is the one about the evidence of Histamine in foods, yet it receives the least visitors and has no comments.  Not a single one.   The article proves that there is basically zero evidence on which to base any of the current Low Histamine Food lists and that the histamine content in food is just a guess, and oftentimes not even an educated guess.  It’s very important to know this, particularly if you have HIT and could go into anaphylaxis if you eat too much histamine-rich food.  But it seems no-one cares.  No-one is shocked at the lack of evidence for histamine in food.  And that shocks me more than anything!

In comparison, The Low Histamine Food list page has the most traffic, even though I’ve proven it’s not based on fact or much of anything else.  It seems no-one’s bothered how accurate, or not, the low histamine food lists online are despite the fact their lives could depend on it.

We see what we want to see, especially when we’re desperate.  We see a list of research references at the end of an article and think to ourselves “oh well, it must be based on fact then”, even though we don’t bother to read the research references to find out how old they are, how big the study was, if it was replicated, if it appeared in a peer review journal and was scrutinized.  In other words, whether the research the article is based on is just a theory or whether it’s fact.

All the low histamine diets online tell you should avoid egg white.  Did you know this is based on one single miniscule study done in the 1950s on mice which was never published or scrutinized?   Would you let someone operate on your heart, based on a single research study on mice done just after the Second World War?  No, I thought not.

No food is innately high in histamine.  Histamine is produced during the aging process (eg mature cheese), the production process (eg. yoghurt, vinegar) or during storage and transportation.  The latter is very important.  A banana straight off the tree will be zero histamine.  A month old, brown, soggy banana will be high histamine.  Our food storage and transportation has come on leaps and bounds in the last 60 years.  We now use refridgerated lorries and food often appears in supermarkets within days of being picked or produced which impacts its histamine level.

I wish if nothing else people would take away from my blog the fact that there is no such thing as a Low Histamine Food list.  They don’t exist.  It’s pointless Googling for whether or not Pak Choi is low or high in histamine, cos no-one knows.  No-one knows whether the blackberries I pick off the bush in my garden contain histamine, or are higher in histamine than the blackberries shipped in from Israel for sale in the supermarket.

No-one knows how food affects DAO in the gut.  We can’t even accurately measure DAO in the gut, so how on earth would we know if any food increases or decreases it?  No-one knows if particular foods (eg. lemons) releases histamine stored in mast cells.  And if you read differently online the person or company saying otherwise is either lying, guessing or simply hasn’t done their homework properly.

I know what I’m saying is deeply unpopular.  I know sick people don’t want to hear it.  But we should all know the facts about this stuff.  It’s important.  People following low histamine diets are cutting out all sorts of foods for absolutely no good reason.  Aren’t our lives hard enough without that?  If you don’t believe my research, do your own.  Try and find evidence for the histamine content in foods – real evidence.  Properly conducted up-to-date research published in medical or food Journals.  And you’ll find it’s virtually non-existent.  Just because there’s an app listing foods high in histamine doesn’t mean it’s accurate for heaven’s sake!  And any app which lists foods which liberate histamine from mast cells, or which increases or decreases DAO is wrong, wrong wrong!  Ask the people who produce the app to provide you with the evidence on which they base their information.

Knowing all this, I’ve been re-introducing some foods back into my life which I’ve avoided for the past 3 years.  There is no evidence for baker’s yeast being high in histamine, and I really miss proper bread especially when I’m out and about, so I’ve been eating it in small amounts for a few months now.  I still have my yeast-free bread when at home because I like it, it’s organic and doesn’t contain any of the crap of supermarket bread, however it’s only nice toasted so when out of the house I eat ‘normal’ bread in cafes and for my sanis.  I’m happy to report no effects on my symptoms whatsoever.  None.  Yayyy:-)

I’ve also re-introduced milk chocolate.  I’m careful to use brands without soya of any kind (one of the only foods for which there is proper evidence of high histamine content) and am again happy to report that it has not affected me one iota.  My hormones are ever so grateful – having a menstrual period without chocolate was sheer hell😉

There is not a shred of evidence for the histamine content of fruit or how fruit affects histamine in the body.  Not lemons, not oranges, not strawberries.  No research has been done on it.  So over the summer I intend to try various fruits I’ve been avoiding, one by one, and see how it goes.  Bananas are not purported to be high in histamine, yet they make me brain fogged, so it may be I react badly to some fruits for reasons no-one understands and which has nothing to do with histamine.  Or bananas may be high in histamine.  No-one knows, as they’ve not been tested!

Please, think about what you read online.  Just because 100 people are saying one thing, and 1 person is saying the opposite, doesn’t mean the 1 person is wrong.  Do your homework.  Look at the evidence and make informed choices.

Assumptions

When you blog, your readers make a lot of assumptions about you.  As a blogger, I also make assumptions about my readers.  We make assumptions about everyone we meet – sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong.

There’s a man at my Camera Club who, until 6 months ago, I hadn’t had much to do with.  He’s a pensioner, very quiet (it’s obvious he’s rather shy) and I assumed would be a bit of a boring old duffer who I would have nothing much in common with.  When I threw a hissy fit in December over one of the Club Competitions and threatened to leave, however, he was the one given the task of trying to talk me round as he’s the Competitions Secretary.

He began by emailing me.  We exchanged several long emails and it quickly became clear via the written word he wasn’t the person I expected him to be.  He was eloquent, intelligent, witty, incredibly kind hearted but strong and could stand his ground, patient, kind, wise and we had more in common that I could ever have imagined.  He’s just not good at face-to-face conversation.  We’ve regularly emailed each other ever since and I really enjoy our cyber talks about a whole range of issues – we still barely say 2 words to each other though at Club meetings.

I received a comment on my blog this week, the first line of which stated that “You are wrong” and that “I know you are too busy/sick to study the issue but….” I didn’t read the rest of the comment – I assumed anything after the “but” would be me being told how right this person’s viewpoint was and how wrong my viewpoint was.  The commentor made some big assumptions.  How do they know what I know on any given subject?  How do they know how much time I spend researching online?  They clearly disagree with my opinion, which in their mind makes me wrong but wrong in whose universe?

People new to my blog read posts that were written 3 years ago and assume I’m still in the same confused, baffled, clueless headspace I was back when I was first told I had MCAD and HIT.  They give me all sorts of very well meaning advice, not realizing years have gone by and I’m in a totally different place.

Joe Public assumes a lot about disabled people.  They assume if you use a wheelchair you can’t walk at all, and if they see you walking they assume you’re a fraud.  I’ve had people assume I’m mentally retarded simply because I used a wheelchair.  They assume you’re going to be boring, or needy, or both.  They assume you’re not going to belt them with your crutches if they’re rude😉

People assume a lot about me based on how I look.  I’ve actually had people say to me that they assumed I’d be elegant and a bit snobbish because of my physical appearance (I’m fine boned, hold myself well and have a turned up nose) and were really shocked when I swore and was quite self-depricatingly funny.  People assume if you speak with a northern accent you’re a bit thick, or if you speak with a Scouse accent you’re going to rob their house.

I’ve had people assume I’m a Lesbian because I have short hair and am eternally single.  Or they assume I will fancy their vile brother/workmate/friend who no-one else would touch with a ten foot pole because I’m single and therefore must be desperate.

And the worst part of it all, is that people assume they can voice their assumptions.  There seems to be a trend these days to “tell it like it is”.  To “be real”.  To be “honest”.  “I have a right to tell you you’re wrong goddamnit!”.  Do you?  And am I wrong?  Who decides that?

The skill of how to speak with civility seems to be quickly vanishing.  What happened to tact?  What happened to manners?  What happened to considering other people’s feelings?  What happened to just keeping your big cakehole shut and not being quite so judgemental?  My Mum has a saying I often repeat to myself and it’s this:  “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.  We seem to have lost our way of being respectful in the world and of accepting our differences.

The Blame Game

A friend shared a blog post with me the other day.  It was brilliant, so I’m linking to the post below (I couldn’t find a WordPress share button).

“Big Pharma” & Privilege: Or Why I Wish Allies Would Stop Using This Phrase” by Camilla Laurentine.

Luckily in the UK we aren’t quite as conspiracy-theory driven as our friends over the pond (well, apart from when Princess Diana died!) and if I’m honest we find some of the rhetoric about drugs over there a bit crazy.  I’m with Camilla, the blog post author, on the whole “big pharma” thing.  Drugs have kept my Mum alive for the past 4 years.  They keep my lovely little dog (almost) pain free.  I would personally give my left arm to be able to take proper antacids, painkillers and muscle relaxants, let alone anti-inflammatories, anti-histamines and migraine preventatives.  I face an osteoporosis riddled old age as I can’t tolerate HRT.

My ME went from bearable to I-wouldn’t-put-my-worst-enemy-through-this-nightmare awful after having a holiday vaccination, but it doesn’t make me anti-vaccine.  Vaccines have rid the world of smallpox and almost eradicated german measles, polio, diptheria, tetanus and a range of other killer diseases.  I had the german measles vaccine as a kid, yet still got german measles.  Obviously it was a very potent strain that year and without some protection from the vaccination I was told it would have been so bad I might have died.  Girls in the UK are now being vaccinated against HPV which reduces their chance of getting cervical cancer in the future to almost nil.

I’m sure both drugs and vaccines could be made safer, but let’s not chuck the baby out with the bathwater.  We lived for millennia on herbs and ‘natural’ medicine and it was for the most part ineffective and killed people – there’s a reason drugs were needed and invented.

Again in the UK we’re lucky enough not to regularly face the ridiculous opinion that all physical ailments are caused by unrepressed emotions.  Genetic diseases are determined in the womb, and airborn viruses don’t care how you’re feeling when you breathe them in.  I find this whole notion so ludicrous I can’t even put it into words so thankfully someone as eloquent as Camilla has done it for me.

I watched an episode of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ this week where the girls were nearly all agreeing that the cause of Yolanda Foster’s illness must obviously be her unhappy marriage and that now she’s getting divorced she’ll recover.  Are they out of their tiny minds?!  She was happily married when she succumbed to Lyme Disease – it was the resulting ill-health from Lyme which caused her marriage to disintegrate, as it does for many relationships, not the other bloody way round.  I find it incredible this group of supposedly intelligent women can’t just accept she was infected by Lyme and there is no effective treatment – it’s that simple.

It seems to me we, in the West, are just spoiled.  We think nothing bad should ever happen to us or, should it happen, it should damn well be fixable.  We simply can’t accept that shit happens, it can happen to anyone and it’s no-one’s fault.

 

 

Weekly roundup

Apologies for my roundup being a day late.  I have had quite a week, which culminated in me being totally computer-less for the whole of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  As feared, my old laptop was terminal so I’ve had to fork out for a new one.  I was on Windows 7 and have upgraded to Windows 10, with a super quick processor and hybrid SSD – the fear was that some of my programmes wouldn’t work.  I’d been given some really expensive ones, like Lightroom and Microsoft Office Professional and didn’t have the discs to re-install them, so my brilliant engineer simply cloned my old hard drive onto the new machine, then upgraded to Windows 10.  Very clever and it looks and works exactly like my old laptop so my poorly brain doesn’t have to learn anything new:-)

As a family we’ve had a dreadful week.  My Mum’s youngest brother died out of the blue on Tuesday evening – he had a heart attack while in the shower.  He’s never smoked, didn’t drink, had no health problems, was slim and played loads of golf so got plenty of exercise.  He only retired 4 years ago after working like a demon since he was 15 – it’s just so unfair.  His wife had been with him since she was 14, so as you can imagine she’s bereft and has no idea how she’ll live without him.  I still don’t think it’s sunk in for any of us.

Saturday and Sunday my Camera Club had organized a photography event at a local tourist attraction.  I volunteered to man our exhibition stand for 4 hours on Sat and 3 hours on Sun.  It was too much and I feel dreadful today with a stonking headache.  It didn’t help that I was woken at 3.45am Saturday morning by the farm dog next door barking its head off for over half an hour.  I’d only just got back to sleep when the bloody thing set off again just after 5am.  I was also woken at 5.15am Sunday morning by its howling, all because it’s now warm and I’ve dared to sleep with my bedroom window open.  I’ve been fighting for 4 years with my local Council to get this dog to stop barking at all hours of the day and night with no luck.  My next course of action is a formal complaint about the Council’s usless-ness.  It’s all so exhausting and stressful though :-(  It’s now 3.15pm and I’m typing this in bed with my bedroom window open……..listening to the dog woof its heart out!

My contact lens trial wasn’t a success.  My eyes were too dry for the most moist contact lenses he had.  I need a different type of lens but as yet they don’t make them for astigmatism, so it’s back to my glasses until they do😦

I woke this morning to find I had a flat tyre on the car.  There’s an Upholstery business at the top of my drive opposite my garage and they use tiny little pointed tacks which they messily leave everywhere.  This is the 4th flat I’ve had in 2 years caused by one of their upholstery pins.  On previous occasions the holes have all been fixable, but this time the puncture was too close to the rim so I needed a whole new tyre – the owner had better flippin re-emburse me for it.

The only highlight to my week was an afternoon spent with my Dad in a local bluebell wood.  The flowers weren’t quite fully out but it was still beautiful and the scent was amazing, we even saw a fairy!😉

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Awareness

May is both M.E. Awareness month and Ehlers-Danlos Awareness month (there is no Mast Cell Disease awareness month as far as I know, not yet at any rate).  It’s pointless me trying to raise awareness of these diseases through my blog as it’s read by people who, for the most part, already have or know someone who has these diseases, so I thought I’d share with you what having both M.E. and EDS has taught me.  It is not an awesome or inspirational list, just random stuff not all of which is positive.  But then being incurably sick isn’t a positive thing and anyone who says it is is a big fat liar.

So, here we are in no particular order:

There are worse things than dying.
Being tortured for every second of every day for nearly a decade, with no social, emotional, practical or medical help of any kind was hell on earth.  I totally understand someone with cancer refusing their third round of chemo, even if it might cure them.  There’s only so much suffering a person can take before death is preferable.  I’ve been there and if I thought I had to do a single week of that suffering over again I’d top myself.  Death no longer scares me which is good considering it’s unavoidable.

I am stronger than I ever thought possible.
I survived a shit childhood, emotional abuse, horrendous bullying, poverty, homelessness and abandonment.  I then survived a decade of being bedridden, tortured, neglected, medical abuse, victimization, disbelief and solitary confinement.  I now survive chronic pain, isolation, increasing poverty, continued medical neglect, victimization, disability and disbelief.

Not only did I survive all this, I survived intact.  I still love my world, I have self worth and self esteem, I try not to let anger consume me or direct my actions, I still have huge capacity for empathy, joy and love.  I am not perfect and I like myself despite my imperfections.  For the most part I am kind to myself and accept my bad days, outbursts, crying fits, despair, frustration and anger without judgement – if other people want to judge me I suggest they live a day in my shoes then decide how they’d cope.  I define myself – I do not let my experiences define me or my happiness.

Having said all that you don’t live a life like mine without it affecting you and if I waded through all my emotional baggage I could be in therapy for the rest of my days – thank God I can’t be arsed😉

I don’t sweat the small stuff.
The trivial shite that people in the developed world get hung up on gobsmacks me.  Botox, plastic surgery, obsession with large breasts, perky backsides, false nails, fake tan, weight, cellulite, what car they drive, how big their house is……….get a goddamn life you shallow, self loathing arseholes.

‘Stuff’ does not make you happy.  People do not make you happy.  Being wrinkle free does not mak you happy.  Happiness is a state of mind, it’s a choice.  It stems from humility, gratitude, connection and love of self.  I am grateful to my illnesses and my experiences for teaching me this most important of life’s lessons.

I’ve got to be honest though – if I had a choice of not being sick all these years and being shallow and miserable, or being sick all these years and being happy, I’m fairly sure I’d choose health and misery.

There are worse things than being alone.
I had my first boyfriend when I was 11 and  I wasn’t without a man until I was 30.  I’ve now been single for 18 years, and lived alone for 24 years.  It has its pluses and it has its minuses.  I never thought someone as needy for affection and approval as me would ever manage to be by myself for any length of time.

I never doubted I’d manage practically, as all of the men I’ve dated have been bloody feckless when it came to looking after a home or themselves for the most part.  I also never doubted I’d manage financially, although it’s been and continues to be a huge struggle.  I’m just amazed I have managed to find joy and happiness despite my solitude.

Like I said in my flying solo post, I’d rather be happy alone than unhappy and part of a couple. For any of you out there in miserable relationships life is too fucking short to live under that kind of stress – the only thing worse than being physically sick is being both physically and emotionally sick.

People don’t really care.
It’s a hard one to accept, but if you’re not going to get better most people just lose interest.  For the most part this includes medical staff, shocking as that sounds.  They have finite resources and concentrate those on people they can actually help.

I was angry about this for a very, very long time then I just let it go.  I am incurable.  Worse, for the most part I am untreatable.  This is where acceptance comes in and it’s tough to accept that you’re kind’ve on your own with your pain and suffering and that there’s realistically nothing much anyone can do.

As a child if I fell over I’d go crying to my Mum who would hug me, bathe my knee, put some Germolene and a plaster on and send me back out to play.  In our sub-conscious mind we kind’ve expect this as grown-ups and it comes as a shock to discover not everything is fixable with a cuddle and a bandaid.

It’s also easy to be hard on friends and family for ignoring us or not accepting our limitations, but they’re just people.  They have insecurities, flaws, busy lives.  They can just be downright insensitive, uncaring, judgemental dickheads.  When I was healthy I didn’t give a toss about anyone but myself if I’m honest and certainly wouldn’t have spent any of my precious spare time with a sick person who couldn’t even go out the house or do anything fun.  It isn’t a judgement on them any more than it’s a judgement on you.

Acceptance.
Of all of the above.  So incredibly liberating and enabling and something I was lucky enough to learn fairly early on in my journey.  Acceptance does not mean giving up, far from it – if I’d given up I would never have been diagnosed with EDS or MCAD.   But for me accepting every aspect of my diseases has been crucial to living my life with gusto, peace and joy.  It is what it is.

Insoles update

Shine a light – how hard can it be to just get my damned feet sorted?!  I first got referred to podiatry, and later orthotics, over 3 years ago and still haven’t got a pair of insoles which are right.

I have very high foot arches, but when I stand and bear weight my weak ligaments collapse which makes me flat footed.  This causes both my ankles and knees to roll inwards, rotates my hips and gives me SI joint and lower back pain.  Arch supports help to stop the feet collapsing and theoretically help align the lower body into a more neutral position.

When I first saw podiatry they gave me a pair of SlimFlex insoles with a 3.5 degree arch support but with zero shock absorption or much of anything else:

InsolesThey helped a little but I was still getting bad knee and hip pain.  I wore these for 2 years before seeing another Podiatrist who said they are generally only used for a few weeks to see if they help before a “proper” support is used!

Having obviously lost some faith in Podiatry I decided to pay to see a private Biomechanical specialist, who basically ripped me off.  I thought I was paying for a pair of custom moulded insoles but ended up paying £40 for a pair of off the peg insoles I could have bought myself online for £25:

They had a similar arch support to the SlimFlex but at least were cushioned for shock absorption.  They helped a bit more but I was still getting hip and knee pain and the bad news was the sole of my right foot started to hurt which it had never done before.

Eventually, after 2 years of faffing about, I was referred on the NHS to Orthotics to have a pair of custom insoles made.  I waited 8 weeks for an appointment, then 6 months for the insoles to arrive:

Picture of an orthotic custom made insoleI asked them for the softest ones available, as my skin rubs off at the slightest pressure, and they are very comfortable to wear.  They helped my knee and hip pain immediately.  Sadly they also caused awful SI pain and the pain on the sole of my right foot got so bad I could barely walk on it especially for the first hour in a morning.  The sole of my left foot also became painful.

However, I had to wait nearly 2 months for another Orthotic appointment to see about the new insoles.  He is going to try shaving a bit off the underside and will take some off the heel to hopefully help the SI pain.

As with all things EDS, I seem to cure one problem only to create another in the process.  It’s infuriating!  I know that if I got the right insoles it would help my back and leg pain, but not at the expense of crippling my feet :-/  And should it really have taken 3 years to get to this point?!  This is why I often do absolutely nothing about my symptoms and just live with them – it’s less stressful than actually getting them treated.

Flying Solo

I’m veering off the topic of health in this post because my life isn’t all about being sick.  I deal with all the normal stuff that healthy people do and a quick visit to the hairdresser yesterday to have my new wig trimmed made me think about my love life, or lack thereof.

Not to blow my own trumpet but I was really pretty as a youngster.  I started literally fending men off when I was about 11 and, even though I’m rapidly losing my looks now I’m nearly 50, to an extent I’m still doing it.  I’ve spent the past decade doing up my old cottage and I can honestly say that not a single tradesman has entered my home that hasn’t hit on me – young, old, married, single they’ve all tried their luck.  And to be fair I had a bit of fun with an Aussie plumber who had the sexiest accent in the known universe, but other than that I’ve been single for nearly twenty years (I haven’t been celibate for that long, but that’s another story!😉 ).

It would be an easy thing to assume that my solo status is down to my illness, but it’s not strictly true.  My hairdresser, who is 2 years younger than me, has also been single for twenty years.  She owns her own home, runs a successful business, has 2 lovely grown-up girls (she’s a divorce) but her love life is a wasteland.

We’re both strong, capable, outgoing women.  Like me, Jo is very practical – she made her own solid oak kitchen units from scratch after doing a woodworking course and also makes many of her own clothes.  I’ve renovated my house single-handedly, despite my health, and can spend hours crocheting.  Jo is slim, fit, attractive and trendy and seriously looks 10 years younger than she is.  I’m not bad looking for an old bird, although I no longer have my own hair and have lost a tooth😉

It’s true we live in a remote, sparsely populated area but Jo travels quite a lot having friends in Edinburgh, Manchester and Spain whom she visits regularly so, unlike me, she has the chance to meet diverse people.  We both have a lot going for us.  So why are we alone?

The truth is neither of us can find a man who can offer us more than he takes.  Women in the last 50 years in particular have evolved in a big way.  We’re financially independent.  We run homes and businesses.  We raise children and care for aging parents.  We have hobbies and passions.  We do volunteer work.  We can cook and do DIY.  Let’s face it, there’s not much we can’t do.  And men just haven’t evolved in the same way.  They still want to marry their Mother.  They still want someone to look after their home, provide them with food and clean clothes, raise their kids, put up with their hobbies and then shag them senseless every night.  I can see what marriage holds for them, I just can’t see what marriage would hold for women like Jo and me (and my 10 other single friends).

Women also tend to keep themselves looking good whatever their age.  Middle aged men, on the other hand, often let themselves go but still think they look like they did in their twenties!  I hardly ever see a man over the age of 35 I’m physically attracted to.  I know you’re all going to now say that relationships aren’t just about physical attraction but they absolutely are.  If they weren’t I’d marry one of my female friends.  You have to have sex with your partner at the end of the day and that’s not easy if you don’t fancy them, trust me I’ve tried it.

I often wonder if the men who hit on me realize that I have been hit on for 40 years.  I have heard the same old pick up lines for decades.  I have met the same man, in different skins, my whole life.  I crave for something different.  I have never once, in 40 years of dating, ever been asked what I need out of a relationship – men assume you want what they want, which isn’t the case.

Of course, my health issues add another dimension.  I haven’t met a man who actively engages in my disabled life.  They all just want me to fit in with their life and constantly push me into doing what they want to do, not what’s best for me.

There’s nothing I would like more than to find a lovely man to share my time with but, even if I were healthy, it’s not easy.  You only have to go on Match.com to see there are a LOT of single women out there looking for Mr Right and not finding him.  Single women are usually accused of being “too picky”.  Bollocks to that.  Men need to step up their game, women don’t need to lower their expectations!

I’m sure many of you have wonderful husbands and partners.  I’m jealous.  I have not found one, despite extensive trying over the years.  I’ve found men I’ve loved as people but weren’t attracted to.  I’ve found men I’m attracted to but don’t like as people.  It’s getting the two together which remains elusive and on the very odd occasion I’ve found them they’re either not interested in me, or live in Abu Dharbi 😉

Not many women are openly honest about why they’re not finding partners.  They feel it makes them sound full of themselves to say that men are all much of a muchness and don’t offer them anything they can’t already get for themselves.  We no longer need someone to provide us with a home or to fiddle with the car engine.  We need emotional intimacy, mental stimulation, wit, tenderness and other ‘girlie’ traits – because, and here’s the shocker, we’re girls!   I don’t need someone to buy me jewellery, I need someone to drive my Dad to his CT scan or to walk Bertie when I feel crap.  We don’t want sex every night because men are shit at it.  That doesn’t make us frigid, it makes us women who have different needs to men.  We like cuddling much more than smelly, sweaty, often unfulfilling rumpy pumpy which doesn’t make us abnormal, it makes us girls.  I wish more people were honest about the fact that, on the whole, men and women’s sexual habits aren’t the same instead of blaming women for not wanting sex more.

100 years ago men and women complimented each other – men went out to work, women looked after the home and kids.  But time has moved on.  Women are now able to say what they want and it’s not what our mothers or grand-mothers wanted.  1 in 5 middle aged women are now childless.  It turns out that, given a choice, many women aren’t that maternal myself included.  So if I don’t need a financial provider and I don’t need a Father for my kids, what do I need from a husband?  I need all the things I can’t give myself: hugs, emotional support, someone to talk things over with, someone to stimulate my mind, someone to make me laugh, someone who cares about my problems, practical help, someone to share my enthusiasm and passion for life with.  And someone who asks me what I want in the bedroom, which has much more to do with a connecting of minds than bodies: “men fall in love with their eyes, women fall in love with their ears”.

I don’t give up hope of finding someone to share my life with, though I’m realistic on my chances of finding Mr Right.  I’ve been in some very unfulfilling relationships over the years and one thing’s for sure……….I’d rather be single than part of an unhappy couple.  I’ve never been as lonely single as I was during my marriage.  Having said all that, if you know any handsome, single, middle aged men who aren’t emotionally frigid, don’t want me to go on skiing holidays, aren’t workaholics but are nevertheless financially secure, want to live in the Lake District and aren’t totally fazed by disability shove ’em in my direction😉