I’m having an affair

I am having an affair! After 27 years of married bliss I am now having an affair. My new love is called Ruby (my wife named her!) and she is a scooter. Actually much more than just a scooter, she is a Vespa GTS300.

The Vespa GTS300 came into my life in December 2015. She is bright red in colour, which is spot on because red is the colour of excitement and passion. Passion is what the Vespa brings to the party.

Firstly, I will get the technical specification out of the way – but not with numbers. Numbers are boring.

Top speed. Will cruise all day at the legal limit. ·        

Acceleration. Pulls your arms straight. Eyeballs pushed back in their sockets. Zips past all the boring car drivers. ·       

Power. More than enough. ·        

Safety. Big disc brakes, front and back. ABS and traction control. All steel chassis. Riding feels safe, confident and assured.

Now that the technical stuff is covered, back to the passion. To describe riding a Vespa is not easy. It is an emotional thrill which needs to be experienced. When I drive a car I feel that I am looking out at the scenery from a confined space. On my Vespa I feel that I am part of that scenery.

The exciting rush of riding a true Italian Stallion surges through your veins as you surge through the traffic. Imagine zipping to the front of the queue at a red robot. Imagine being the first to pull away and leave the less fortunate well behind you. Imagine the feeling of the wind and the smell of nature as you cruise through the countryside on a quiet Sunday. Imagine, imagine, imagine…..

The ability to go anywhere, anytime, park easily (usually for free) and really enjoy the journey is a big part of the joy. Knowing that you are riding the best scooter ever made (70 years of Italian engineering excellence is a huge heritage) is an experience to be savoured. Fully automatic, no clutch, no gears just pure riding happiness.

Do I hear you say “But I have never ridden and do not have a bike licence”? No problem, the guys at Vespa will ease you through all of that, in quick time.

As I write this short article it is a beautiful summer Sunday in Durban. My wife has dozed off on the settee. Time to slip out quietly and sneak away with Ruby for an afternoon of passion and thrills. Check out my video, it may tempt you into having an affair!

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Emptiness

Empty bowl

We all grow up with ideas, opinions and prejudices, mostly formed early in our childhood. We continue to modify these concepts as life experiences bombard us. The sum total of all this gives us our belief system, our values (beliefs about what is right or wrong), and our identity (how we see ourselves).

Is this good or bad? It depends how you use it. When you meet someone new you probably form a quick impression of them based on your belief system. What if you get it all wrong? What if you instantly dislike this new person because of the instant judgements you have made about them? The process is very subconscious and difficult for you to control. Maybe this new person is really a very good and decent individual. You could miss out on so much value that could come from knowing them better.

It’s not possible to ignore the subconscious effects of your belief systems. It is, however, worth trying to suspend those beliefs until you know someone better.

Chinese Zen speaks about ‘the empty cup’. Buddhism speaks about ‘the empty bowl’. Perhaps this is the state we should try to achieve. Empty your heart and mind of judgemental belief systems. The results can be amazing.

A state of emptiness is truly a very uplifting state. You will feel relieved and lighter inside.

So live your life from a state of emptiness, it can be very fulfilling!

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Strong Women

Some time ago I started to notice that several women that I knew quite well struggled to maintain a relationship with a boyfriend, or even fiancée. Those same women invariably had strong character traits.
By strong character traits, I mean that they had their own opinions, and had no reservations about voicing them. Surely this is a quality to be admired, and desirable in a girlfriend, fiancée or wife?
Sadly the societies that so many of us live are very patriarchal. Half our population is female and if they cannot take their rightful place in business, in government and every area of civil society, then think about the massive waste of these resources. It is tantamount to sinking a goldmine and then not bothering to dig out the gold. How wasteful is that?
In our patriarchal society, sometimes it seems that strong women are not seen as ideal partners. Why would this be? What does a typical man look for in a female partner? Is he looking for a mother replacement? How often have you heard a man refer to his wife as ‘mommy’? Maybe he wants to be served hand and foot as his sisters and mother may have done before he got married. This may seem like a pleasant and comfortable plan to some men. But life is more than being pampered by a wife. If a wife is submissive to a husband, where is the spark in the relationship? Where are the discussions, sometimes heated discussions, that are so rewarding with a life partner? How can we learn life lessons from a partner if they feel obliged to agree with everything that we say? Where is the growth in our relationship going to come from if there is no conflict and resolution?
A marriage to a weak and submissive wife must be a sterile and empty experience. My own wife is probably the strongest woman I know. I would not want it any other way. If I give her a mouth full of opinionated ideas, she gives me the same back. If I were to give her verbal hell, I know she would give me verbal hell right back (and with a little extra thrown in). I love my wife passionately and wouldn’t want her to be any different. If I wanted a submissive and weak partner then I would have bought a puppy dog. Strong women, please stay strong, you will find a partner that truly deserves you.

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Embarrassed

Emabarassed

It happened in 1971, I was a young single man in my early twenties. I was working as a technician for a company in Yorkshire, England. At the same company we had a lady in our public relations department, a middle aged lady by the name of Priscilla. Priscilla’s persona was the very antithesis to mine, in every way. She was very upper class, well bred with a plummy finishing school accent. She oozed refinement.

Back to the embarrassing part. My lifestyle at the time was simple—go out every night, consume many pints of strong beer, Tetley’s Best Bitter to be precise, and finish the evening with a fiery hot Indian curry. Tetley’s Best Bitter was a flatulence inducing brew. There was even a little ditty written about it…

“Oh the men of Tetley’s brewery

drink all day and fart like fury”

And of course we all know how an Indian curry can produce the strongest of intestinal reactions. So, there I was driving to work in my Mini Cooper, recovering from the previous night’s excess of beer and curry. The weather outside was Arctic.  Minus 5 degrees with a howling blizzard. I stopped at a red light. Alongside me was a bus stop. At the bus stop stood Priscilla. She had dropped off her car for a service and was taking the bus to work. No courtesy lifts in those days. At the very second that I spotted Priscilla I let out a fart of Olympic proportions. Overnight the beer and the curry had conspired to produce something reminiscent of rotten eggs fermented with last week’s boiled cabbage, with the essence of decomposing corpses thrown in for extra effect.

Ordinarily one’s own farts do not offend oneself, only innocent bystanders. But this had me gasping, it was evil personified.

And then the nightmare happened, Priscilla spotted me. With a huge smile she leapt forward, swung open my passenger door and jumped inside.

With her perfect upper-class accent she exclaimed, “Oh Steve how lucky that you came by. Thank you so….” The words stopped. Priscilla’s face contorted into something resembling the agony of a medieval prisoner being burned at the stake. Her eyes watered, her nose scrunched up in disbelief, her lips trembled.  She gasped out a few words. “Oh dear Lord, oh I say…”

My bright crimson face stared dead ahead as I uttered the pathetic apology, “I’m sorry Priscilla.”

What else could I say? Words failed me.

The red light changed to green, I had to drive on, too late for Priscilla to leap out of the car to freedom. In desperation she frantically opened the passenger side window a few inches. Her lips were tightly sealed, her nose angled to the icy blast of air that rushed into the car. It was a battle of two evils—the icy blast or my fart. Believe me, the icy blast was the far more acceptable option.

The drive to work was in total silence. On arrival I went hastily to my own department. Priscilla hurtled to the ladies’ toilet. For the rest of the day I skillfully manoeuvred around the premises to avoid bumping into Priscilla, the poor unfortunate lady whom my bowels had almost destroyed.

Late in the afternoon Priscilla had to visit my department. My supervisor said, “Priscilla, I know that you have to collect your car, should I ask one of my staff to drive you to the garage?”

Priscilla gave me a sideways glance. “No thank you, I think I’ll take the bus.”

Can you beat my experience with your own most embarrassing moment? I challenge you.

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