Guy Mark Tibbert supports NSF

The Lure Of The Lash

The following pages are a rather "hotchpotch" affair, I claim no literary skills whatsoever, it might however prove to be an interesting read to find out how someone first became interested in flogging while still at school, through to the present day. If however you have no interest in flogging, it’ll bore the pants of you.

There are places where I have cheated a bit - and cut -n- pasted a section I have already written to someone in an email, it saved re-typing the whole thing again. As a result, tense may change and seem disjointed, a writer I am not :)

The following account is not embellished with bits of fantasy - LOL otherwise it would be a book -so don't expect anything too "off the wall", it's just a little bit of my life in print. Memory is fuzzy in some places, but essentially, what is here happened.

It is difficult to say exactly when my interest in back flogging began but it would have been somewhere around the age of eight or nine at the latest because I was still in "J1" at Edith Weston school. I had come home as usual, eaten dinner and the family was watching this old war / pirate film. The details of which have long since faded from memory - all except for one part.

There was a flogging scene which rivetted me to the chair. I doubt the scene was on the screen for more than a minute or so, but during that time I paid more attention to the television than I had ever done so before. Here was a guy, strapped to part of the ship and another guy was beating his bare back with a “multi-tailed whip”. Wow!

I am guessing this must have been the first time I had seen such a thing because I found it hard to think of very much else for the next few days. Above all, two questions kept coming to my mind.

Firstly, why did schoolboys like me, risk the cane on their arse when men "got away" with being hit on their backs. The second thought, of course, was "I wonder what it feels like".

Thankfully, I found the idea of discussing such things with my parents might be potentially awkward, I am sure it would have fazed them to know that their son who was still wearing sodding shorts (a school rule) wanted his back whipped - or beaten with a belt at the very least.

I suppose I need to add here that having been kicked in the back when sitting down on the playing field, I had already sussed that my back did not object to fairly strong sensations - I liked "thud" even then, I just hadn't really been aware of things like floggings / whippings other than in the most vague sense.

Lets face it, I didn’t even know a “multi-tailed whip” was called a “Cat”!

If someone has mentioned “being hit with a cat”, I would have had visions of a four legged purring device being propelled through the air towards someone.

Of course, for safety reasons I would never willingly accept a kick in the back now, but there is a world of difference between the power of a kick from someone in the same junior class as you at school and that of a powerful adult.

Now despite being a fairly resourceful child in many ways, I could not think (and I tried quite hard) of a way to get someone to flog me. In the end the best solution I could find was to enlist the help of a lad at school (Tim Mason) who seemed to occasionally get pissed off when being wound-up.

He once commented to me that he felt like hitting someone, I suggested that in exchange for 10p, he could have three punches on my back. To further sweeten the deal, if he could do it hard enough for me not to take all three, he got his 10p back and 50p as a bonus. He seemed a bit puzzled but once he knew I was serious, he was happy enough with the idea.

This worked well for both of us and, much as I quite liked Tim, I used to hope that someone would annoy him so he would track me down at playtime / lunchtime for the "three for 10p" deal. A few times I remember letting him "win" by only taking two and handing him his 10p and 50p of my own back -on the basis that if he never won, he might lose interest. Besides armed with 60p, he could now splash out a bit more. As I said, reasonably resourceful and intuitive even then.

As a funny aside, one break/lunch, Tim had just delivered quite an effective punch as Miss Woods (deputy head and dragon of the “top class” - J4) walked around the corner. Having seen it, she ordered him off to the headmaster’s office until I piped up with “It’s ok Miss Woods, I said he could”. She gave me a most curious look, told me I was a “peculiar boy” and walked off, leaving us both behind, quaking.

Well time moved on and I changed schools, still nothing more challenging had happened - and wasn't going to for a very long time - during my time at Stamford School however, I found that if you wound someone up in the changing room and then turned your bare back on them, there was a pretty good chance they would either slap your back as hard as possible or towel flick it. If you were really lucky, a few punches might be thrown in for good measure. A peculiar boy indeed.

Not exactly ideal or intense - but it provided a nice little lift to the day. The only problem I had with that, was being actually quite a nice natured kid, I found it difficult to even "half-wind" someone up unless they had rattled me earlier.

Nothing much more really happened for quite a period, I was never given corporal punishment at home, nor did I ever receive it at school - although the constant threat of the cane was present at all the schools I went to except the VIth form.

Had we lived in different times and the cane / belt had been administered to the back instead of the arse, I am certain that I would have tried to be "seen" as an obnoxious child - in reality I was a fairly social and easy going one. Lazy as buggery but actually quite civilised.

Hopefully not too much has changed.

I am guessing I was about 13 - 14 when I first hit on the bloody obvious - make a little whip that could be thrown around the sides or over the shoulder to land on my back. Success! This however created new problems. Firstly, what if my parents found the whip?

Solution was easy enough, I have had an interest in electronics since I was very young, so a few lengths of cable tied together was just a useful way of "keeping it neat and tidy", I deliberately left small oddments of bundled-together wire around (which would be useless as a whip) to let them see this was how I kept my wires in order.

Had they found the lengths of 3 core 3A cable tied together the only slight clue would have been they were all the same length! The second problem was harder to deal with. Bruises!

It was not long after I had made this little "makeshift whip", that I was home alone, the rest of the family were out. Privacy! I started fairly slowly as usual and then built up a little more power, after a while I was using somewhat more power than normal and the sensations were amazing. Result being that I kept on going for a fair while.

After I had decided enough was enough, I went to the bathroom and used the shaving mirror and cabinet mirror to have a decent look at my back, not really expecting anything other than the usual minor reddish marks. Wrong!

It looked as though I had been beaten fairly heavily, bruising and welting went from around the base of my shoulder blades, to a couple or so inches above my waist in more or less a straight line, tapering a little from top to bottom. Oh shit.

Now this presented two problems. Firstly, if I wanted a drink in the evening after showering and going to bed, I just use to traipse downstairs wearing just pants - and secondly - I had PE at school in two days time. In PE, "shirts -v- skins" was how the teams were split up - and the changing room might also have been very tricky to - with a lot of very difficult to answer questions from my peers.  Answers that would have gone something like: “No, my parents didn’t do it”, “No, no-one else did it”, “Oh if you must know I quite like whipping my back with bits of wire. Happy now?” Hmmm!

First problem was not too difficult, the next few days I just kept moaning about the house being cold (centrally heated and usually too warm for most people's comfort) and wore a Tshirt even in bed. Parents assumed I had a "chill" and when a few days later I "felt better" everyone was happy.

As an aside, I suppose this was the only part of my "unusual interest" that gave me trouble then - and does now. The need to deceive people I love in order to protect them from knowing something they would almost certainly not understand, no matter how hard they tried.

PE was a close call. There was NO way I could risk a 50% chance of being a "shirt or skin", the questions that might have been asked didn't bear thinking about. Only safe option was to skive off. I hated PE anyway, so that in itself was no sacrifice.

Not easy though at Stamford School, as although the register was only taken once a day, I was invariably there. I think in five years I may have missed two days due to bad weather, making the journey to school unsafe / impossible. As a result, my absence would be noticed. In the end, I decided that the best option was to skive off PE anyway, and go to the "Baytree" for Earl Grey and a slice of cake.

I was, of course, hauled over the coals for absconding PE - but I explained as plausibly as I could that I had felt nauseous and thought a hot cup of tea might make me feel better. It wasn't believed of course and I received 60 dates (I think) on “ordinary paper” for missing PE, luckily, no note home to parents though.

(Minor aside: At Stamford School instead of being given "lines", we were given "dates", in junior school, this would consist of copying the heading from a date sheet so you ended up with things like "1066 -Battle of Hasting" -short dates.

In senior school however there was then about a paragraph of additional material which had to be written as well - long dates. If the dates were to be done on “blue paper”, you had to get this from your housemaster (another bollocking), if it was on “ordinary paper”, he didn’t need to know.)

After the close call, I tended to be much more careful of both the intensity and timing of my new interest. Once or twice over the coming months/years I was asked about the odd mark on my back, but this would be due to "going over handlebars on bike, falling down side of grass bank, coming off go-cart etc". I'm not sure if my answers were convincing but certainly no-one seemed to suggest it was a deliberate wound/mark that I had inflicted upon myself.

This happened fairly infrequently as I had taken to wearing a T-shirt as well as boxers/pants when "undressed", even if my back was unmarked. The logic being that if this became the “norm”, it would not be queried, whereas suddenly donning a T-shirt in August might have aroused curiosity. It worked.

There was one more close call that I can remember - and I cannot recall exactly how old I was at the time. Anyway, I had given my back a decent session with a belt for a change and for some stupid reason had forgotten that we were going swimming at the weekend. (Used to go to the swimming pool some Sundays at RAF North Luffenham as the pool was open to the public back then)

I always had to be careful in summer the family had a swimming pool which we often enjoyed, but in winter it was too cold ever with the heater on - so it was not used - other than the traditional “Hallowe’en party swim at midnight” which people used to pay me handsomely to do for their amusement!  Bloody cold but I could swim a 30' length in a few seconds (with a dive start) so it was worth it.

So, it being winter - or cold anyway - I had thought nothing of it, however this Saturday evening, the marks were still clear albeit fairly "blurry" and the family were going to be swimming just before lunch tomorrow. I cannot recall if this was a “surprise” or if I had simply forgotten, not terribly important though I guess.

What to do?  In the end, I used the "feel cold" ruse again and took a *HOT* water bottle to bed and "accidentally" lay against it in my "sleep" for a while - in actual fact the extra redness had mostly gone by morning so I had to refill the bottle again before the family awoke.

I explained “what I had done” and complained of being a bit sore in the morning (felt fine), back looked quite red, I was asked if I felt "ok", "yes", I confirmed. I was then duly informed that I was a prat (or similar) for not using a water bottle cover - and nothing more was said. They toddled off and I stayed at home. While the rest of the family enjoyed their swimming, I enjoyed another little whackabout.

For some curious reason, after I had left school, I seemed to lose most of my interest in flogging, the wire whip had not been used for a long time and it was only when I would accidentally catch / scrape my back on something, that I would think "oh, that was nice". I’m really not quite sure what caused the decrease in interest, but it remained at a fairly low level for some time.

I guess mostly I wanted to see if I could handle someone else doing the flogging rather than just DIY. Not sure, but I guess it seemed a bit “empty” when done to myself - a little bit like having a wank now, it’s ok, it eases the desire - but it all seems a bit hollow and insubstantial afterwards. It eases the craving but does not really satisfy it. A little bit like smoking a Marlborough Light when you want a nicotine rush!

I did learn one nice little technique when living at home with the folks for “pre-sensitising” my back a little though so it was easier to get the benefit from DIY when your stroke-power is a bit limited.  The wonders of carpets!  Let me explain.

Although most of the house had rather nice carpets, the kitchen had these industrial grade carpet tiles, sort of a nylon / polypropylene synthetic mixture. Crap for comfort, ideal for hard wearing surfaces - and absolutely ideal for carpet burns!

The only slight downside was it was difficult to get a very even effect. Shoulder blades almost always got way more than their fair share and the uppermost part of the upper back. Hard but not impossible to do middle back and almost impossible to do lower back (arse got in the way you see)

You lay on your bare back, knees bent, feet against the wall and just push back as hard as you can, while trying to keep as much weight on your back rather than your arse. Do that a few times and you would be amazed at how much effect it has. My bedroom carpet used to work but not as well as the kitchen tiles - then when my bedroom carpet was renewed it was virtually impossible to get anything other than a “nice stroking” sensation. The wonders of wool :(

It’s interesting, I had forgotten about the carpet-tile trick until chatting to a friend (Bob) online about are formative years and what we used to try and do. It all came flooding back. Parent go out, shirt comes off, down to the kitchen, return upstairs with a glowing red back.

Time passes, I leave home, move a couple of times and finally buy somewhere in Northamptonshire - UK. Other than making various other implements to try on myself when my interest started to resume, very little happened.

Strange, that now there was basically no risk of having my marks seen, I didn't take advantage of the situation and play a lot more. Was it the risk element I missed? I don't think so, as the odd time it was an issue, it was more of a chore than a thrill to find a way around the problem.

Perhaps I just go through phases - am I in one now ?

Around mid 2003, I went with a friend to some folks (relatives of his) near Aylesbury, without giving too much detail away, there are now five guys and one lass in the house, two guys in their late teen / early twenties, a guy in his late twenties and myself and one other chap in our thirties - the lass also in her thirties.

After a fair amount of drinking and chatting, someone brought this cane through from the kitchen (someone had been potting up some plants) and landed a thwack on an un-expecting arse - with the somewhat predictable shout,  indignant cussing - and desire for revenge

The result of this was myself, the youngest lad and the lass watching the other three whacking each other to see who could handle the most. Several canes ended up being broken and a lot of cursing went on, alternating between stoic silence.

For some odd reason, I felt ashamed at wanting to join in - and so sat with a feigned "bemused" expression on my face. The truth of my feelings however were far from bemusement, it was envy. Pure and simple. I wanted to have a go too.

It was only at the end when someone observed that neither I, nor the younger lad (19) had tried taking a whack that I felt I might be able to “give myself an excuse to join in” - so as not to be seen as “above the fun and the horseplay”. The younger lad said he didn't mind whacking someone, so I offered to be the one to be whacked.

I was asked where I wanted it (no prizes for guessing), but he was not happy about caning me on the back - I suggested he could make me a cup of tea afterwards if he felt bad about it, but he just went and made me one anyway! Decent lad at heart.

Result, through being too shy, I missed out on what could have been quite an exciting experience for me. I have been back there since but as with so many things "the moment had passed".

In April 2004, I went to visit a friend in Scotland, a very close friend of many years standing. He is one of very few people I feel I can discuss anything that comes to mind, we can have sane conversations about subjects others would make judgements on, or feel to be too controversial. I had toyed with the idea of discussing my curiosity with him again, having mentioned it once - almost as a joke - very many years ago.

If I recall, back then, he was living in London and I was living in the Midlands. He had journeyed up to visit me and spend a few days - as usual, we had chatted about many things and we had started discussing a mutual friend who had developed a liking for very hard sex.

The subject moved a little to CP/SM and I commented that I had often wondered what it might feel like to take a few strokes over the back. My friend seemed a little surprised - but not fazed - and offered to give me a go with a belt. To this day I am not quite sure why I declined the offer, and of course I regretted it after he had gone home.

Another moment had passed.

As an aside, I find through life that I have hardly ever regretted something I have done or tried to do - but the regrets I have for missed opportunities are legion.

So anyway, here we are in Scotland, overcast, bleak and generally grotty, we had decided to do a little tidying of the garden and in doing so, I had spotted a collection of canes and sticks - and started to idly wonder what they might feel like if used on a nervous but willing back.

I cannot recall exactly what I said - but he sussed I was re-opening a conversation from way back. He offered to use a riding crop on me later if I wished to see what it was like. Sounded good to me.

That evening however - and indeed the rest of the holiday, the subject was only discussed a couple more times - and each time, we meant to do it “later”. In the end, I felt possibly that my friend may have had a partial change of heart. I decided, wrongly perhaps, that it would be best not to bring the topic up again whilst there.

If I was right about his concerns, then it would bring undue and unfair pressure to bear - which isn’t really my style.

Pleasingly, he was able to return with me to stay for a time at my house in Northamptonshire. During the drive home - and with the riding crop now hundreds of miles behind us, I mentioned the subject for a final time - and he apologised for having forgotten - and told me I should have reminded him.

I felt though - perhaps wrongly, that he might not object if the subject did not arise again. It’s true, I sometimes get these hunches wrong - but in general I have come to trust them. The subject was not discussed further for the duration of the stay.

All this re-surge of interest on my part however had to find an outlet and after my friend had returned North, I decided to make a renewed effort to find out what this was about, by the end of May, beginning of June all my old interest in the subject (from when I was a mere whipper-snapper) had returned.

I started to get into the idea of having someone give me a decent workout I wanted to know what I could handle, where my limits where and how much I could push them. Around May/June 2004, I ended up stumbling into the CP/spanking room on gaydar and after asking a few questions, found myself chatting to a very decent guy, “Alex”  (For reasons of our cretinous laws, I will not use his real name)

Relatively little time passed and then the day before I had to appear in court (civil matter, not criminal!)  He was free to travel up to the Midlands. We had talked for a while about safety aspects (I wanted to feel a rattan cane as well as cats and floggers on my back) and then agreed a few things no "roleplay", just straight forward male 2 male beating, a few fag breaks and conversation.

I also had the impression from something on his profile and things he had said that it might just be possible that he had some hemp rope about the place. I asked him if he had - as I wanted to try and make a rope cat. He said yes and said he would try to bring me a length suitable for the purpose.

As the time approached it was a VERY strange feeling, a small part of me wanted him to cancel, last minute nerves I guess, "could I handle a beating from someone instead of my own - trusted -  arm”, ”what if I didn't like it - would he feel the journey was wasted (170 miles round trip!)”, “would he respect limits - and what might happen if he didn’t”?  

Having said all of that, the main feeling was one of extreme excitement, anticipation and a serious yearning to get my shirt off and put my back in the hands of someone else, leaving it to them to decide what to use, how hard to use it and encourage me to push my limits.

The phone rang, it was him! A little delayed but now about 100 yards away from the house, could I guide him in. I could almost hear my heart beating, it was actually going to happen, after 30 years of wondering, now I could get to be the guy on that bloody ship - or at least a beginners version of it.

He parked up and took out this large golfbag, the one he had told me he carried all his implements in discreetly. I gave him a whirlwind tour of the house to see which room best to use, the music room (soundproofed cellar) or the master bedroom. The cellar is ruled out as the ceilings are too low, the bedroom however will do fine.

Now time to have a coffee and for me to spend 20 minutes turning a few feet of hemp rope into a crude catofnine. It’s hard to do with your fingers trembling with anticipation but I managed a moderate effort as we talked about his journey and various other topics.

He asked me what made me want to be flogged, if I wanted any sort of role-play - I didn’t - and what we both thought of the World in general.

If someone had been listening in to most of the conversation they would have thought we were old friends catching up on lost time, not two “near strangers” - as we were then - getting ready to do a flogging scene for two or three hours.

We went upstairs and he unpacked his golfbag. A flogger, two or three leather paddles of varying gauges, a thick tawse and then about half a dozen different canes, from "friendly" to borstalspec. A sudden though occurred, "was I certifiably mad or could I get off on a technicality somewhere"?

Alex then explained the importance of a warmup and proceeded to use the leather flogger, repeatedly checking with me that I was ok, each time I confirmed I was fine, the strokes got a little harder until after a while, he was using it with a fair amount of power. “Suitably leathere--up” he then asked what I would like to try next.

Decisions decisions. I think I tried the leather paddles next, they were deceptive to me, I though something as wide (about three inches) would not be able to produce any sting at all, only thud. Not so!!

As before he kept checking I was ok before increasing the power of the swing, I found it hardest to take over the shoulder blades and relatively easy "mid back". We carried on with this for a while until he stopped and commented that my back was getting in a bit of a mess.

I looked in the mirror - wow! The flogger had leathered up the skin well but the paddles had made their marks as rectangular shaped bruises with the occasional welted edge. Quite attractive in a twisted sort of way I thought.

I am still trying to puzzle out *quite* what the full attraction to me about this is, I can make a few guesses - see later on - but for the life of me, I am only too aware of how strange this must seem to most folks - and yet how amazing it feels to me.

We took two or three breaks / cig / coffee / photo opportunity etc, but over the next hour or so, I felt the cane and tawse. The canes were difficult for me to take at first, the after effect was fine but the first half-second or so on impact, exceeded my "voluntary" threshold, particularly the heavier ones. After that, just wonderful.

The exception to this was if the cane was used around the middle of my back as opposed to nearer the upper back (being careful to avoid the shoulder blades for heavier strokes). Here for some reason, even the initial impact was quite manageable, possibly because Alex had eased up on the power, I’m not sure.

The tawse was used all over (except lower back), and also took a little while for me to decide I quite liked it. Curious, once I knew what I should expect to feel, the sensation was much easier to process than before.

We had also adopted a new way for us to carry on, either in silence or chatting about things - not totally unrelated topics you understand, just not purely about the actual beating in progress. The idea was that if my thumb was up, I was ok, and there was no need to ask.

This was especially useful when laying down to be flogged or caned as I found the sensation could get so relaxing, I would not really hear his question. More than once, the session worked so well, that I even lost track of holding my thumb up - at which Alex then noticed and brought the session to an immediate halt.

Although the pauses were unwanted - and just a result of me losing track of my single “task”, it greatly increased my trust for both his concern and vigilance. The one thing I needed - especially for my first flogging - was someone I could quickly learn to trust. This guy won me over. Accurate, sane and safe. Result!

I think we took another break around then for a fag, drink and chat, I was also relieved to find that he seemed to be happy with the way the session was going - my biggest concern was that I would not be able to take enough for him to feel the long drive here and back was worthwhile. He's a good fellow, not right to let him down.

When we resumed, it was time to test both the hemp cat and a wire cat I had made. The hemp cat seemed to swish quite well but didn't really "do much", we decided to soak it in water for a while to see if this would improve things, and tied a few extra knots in to see if it would add anything to the feel.

While the hemp cat soaked, we had a go with the wire one, nothing fancy, just nine strands of 1 or 1.5mm PVC cable, bound into a handle at the end, with three knots on each tail. That one worked quite well. Even fairly easy going strokes were easily felt, harder strokes were getting to the stage of reaching my limit again if on shoulder blades, and "well on the way" if used on the middle of the back.

I think we then had another session with the tawse, paddles and canes, some with me standing, some kneeling and some laying down - my favourite position I think. The contrast of the comfortable warmth and softness of the duvet contrasting with the fairly harsh - but utterly captivating sensations across my back. Wonderful.

The hemp cat was brought through, even when "wrung out" it was still soaked and although it felt much better, the spray of water going everywhere along with bits of hemp flying in all direction brought on a giggling fit. Both found it funny which was good, injected a spot of realism to the situation, what the bloody hell are we doing!!?

Well, having fun basically, so laughing over for the time being, it was back on with a good few more strokes of both the hemp cat and the wire cat. I know that I did not receive anywhere near as hard as he could have inflicted - certainly with the wire cat - but I also felt that he hadn’t gone too easy on me - he had helped me find where my limits were then - and enabled me to challenge myself to push them just a little.

We decided then, that it was time to call it a day, I had a very early start and as it was now gone 11pm, he needed to get back to London sooner rather than later for a horribly early start to his day. I thanked him, helped him pack his implements away and then we both confirmed with the other that we were both more than pleased with how the session had gone - and that a repeat session was certainly on the cards.

After he left, I took the digital photos from the camera and e-mailed him a copy, just so he could have another look at his handy-work. It took me a little time to “come down” and then I showered and went to bed.

As an aside (I do like asides), isn't showering after a good session wonderful - you can get to feel all those sensitive bits just by using a powerful jet of water and a slightly warmer than usual temperature setting. Truly wonderful sensations. Even something as mundane as towelling yourself dry becomes fun after a flogging.

Remembering that I needed to let my back have a cool down instead of winding it up a bit more was a frustration I would have liked to forget, but decided to be sensible (ok, my definition of sensible) and towel dry gently and then try to get some sleep.

The skin felt taught and when I pushed hard against the sheets as I went to bed, I could feel various parts of my back remind me they had been recently whacked with some enthusiasm. Even during the flogging - but especially now, the sense of total and complete relaxation and "freedom" was indescribable. NEVER in my life can I recall having felt so relaxed and at peace with myself and my situation. Satiated.

Amazingly skilled, Alex. Although he took me to the point where several parts of the back had blood just under the surface he did not nick the skin once. So no messy sheets in the morning. Checked the mirror, WOW, some of the intense redness had faded a little but it looked as though I had just been, err, well, beaten and flogged the night before I guess!

Without boring you with the minutia, court was tedious and at times embarrassing - my Internet pages having been printed out apart from anything else, however each time I felt I was getting stressed, I just tensed myself a little so the shirt pulled taught across my back, the sensation - although greatly muted, was just enough to trigger memories of the night before and make me feel wonderfully relaxed.

During the lunch break at court, I telephone my friend in Scotland to update him on the legal drama - and also to appraise him of my previous evening. He didn’t seem too surprised but I detected a note of caution in his voice at news of the latter.

Far to much of a gentleman to stand in judgement but I detected some hidden concern. The concern partly I guess as a result of our mutual friend and how his interest for “very intense” relationships developed - and partly I guess because he knows me well enough to know my compulsive personality.

It was a slightly difficult moment, and we switched back to discussing the trial in progress, the wonders of the British legal system, and when we might next have the chance to catch up in person with one another.

Although our friendship is as solid now as it was before, I think this is a subject he may find difficult to comprehend - which I can appreciate. Hopefully however when I “find my level” and manage to express my thoughts and needs to him clearer, it will be easier for him to understand. At the moment I’m a bit puzzled by it all too, so I am not sure how to explain “what happens next” - until I know myself.
I suspect with me, that once I have tried each of the implements possible - cane, cat, tawse, birch, single tail whip, belt, strap etc - then my need to explore will start to slow down. I will enjoy the occasional session, but not (I hope) be constantly yearning for another flogging as soon as the wounds from before have healed.

In the meantime, I guess the only words of comfort I can offer him, is that I do this because I want to, I enjoy it and no-one makes me do it - or even encourages me to do it. It is my choice and I am in control of when - and if it happens.

To others, it may seem violent and abusive. It is neither of these things, they can only happen without consent.

Here, consent is given - freely - it is something I both desire and relish. There are no victims, just two players, both enjoying different parts of the same game.

So, moving on, it was both with pleasure and regret that I noticed my fast healing process working as well as usual, within four days, hardly a mark other than the odd "cane furrow", by the end of the fifth day I could have taken my shirt off in public and noone would have batted an eyelid.

The regret part was that I felt quite proud of my stripes. The pleasure part of course meant a repeat performance could be handled sooner rather than later. I had already decided that it was best to let all bruises / marks from a previous session heal before doing anything again, I am not keen to end up with anything permanent or actually sustain any "proper" damage. This is done for fun remember ?

Well time passed - but not too much, a month or so later and although it was only going to be a brief visit, Alex was in the area visiting some folks and was able to drop by if I was free. Too bloody right I was free -LOL- if I had been pre-booked for work, a bonk or a day out I would have "become" free.

This time we had a lot less time to play so we decided that the warm-up was going to be cursory and part of the overall session. The flogger was used with fair enthusiasm from the word go and we got going with the canes quite quickly, the effect at the end of the session looked very different from the previous one, the marking almost looking like a bark effect. Very creative is Alex you know.

We had a go with the tawse and paddles but then decided it was time to try something new. I have a belt which has two rows of rivets running the entire length, is about 40mm wide (that's one and a half inches in old money) and about 2mm thick. Folded double and used well, it can leave some really nice marks - two lines of little "holes".

Sadly the little rivet marks only last a few seconds before just becoming a "generally redder area". Pity that. Next time we plan to try it before the warm-up to see if it is clearer.

We played with the hemp cat again, this time I had plaited each of the nine tails, it felt better for me (more thud/sting) but I had buggered the handle up so it was apparently not very easy to use. I suppose it is time for me to buy some decent implements.

I did have a word with a guy who makes whips to do me a custom one, he seemed up for the idea but never confirmed my order. Having spoken to others, it seems that the quality of his workmanship is excellent but his ability to interact with potential customers is not so finely developed.

The custom whip I want is a cat-of-nine tails with the tails coming from a wide flap at the end of the handle, the idea being to be able to keep the tails apart so you do actually end up with 9 lashes instead of a general "clumping" of most of the tails with only one or two delivering any real "zipp".

We tried the wire cat again, and mid way, one of the tails came out, so we then had a cat-of-eight tails. VERY interestingly, just the loss of that one tail made a difference, notably more challenging. Having relayed this information to Alex, he quickly folded a further two tails out of the way and tried that. Hmm, less thud but sting much more noticeable.

After we had stopped for a short time I noticed in the mirror that he had made a little box on me, about 3 inches square just using the very end of the cane. I was quite impressed, both by his accuracy and his artistic whim . We decided that the next session we would have a go at "drawing" a five-bar gate complete with the diagonal bar.

We tried a few decent whacks to the middle of my back at the end which was still (relatively) un-bruised but the welts did not stand out very well. The plan is to try and draw the gate next time before the warm-up and see what it looks like. If it looks good, then put a matching diagonal stripe the other way and then see if we can end up with a symmetrical pattern of strips, horizontals, verticals and diagonals. Could be fun.

Typically, we play for a few minutes, chat for one then carry on. After about 30-60 minutes, have a fag and then get back to the job in hand :) Nothing fixed, just whenever we feel like a break we take one - another advantage of not role-playing and being restrained. That said, the idea of having one restrained flogging is becoming increasingly appealing - or should I say, my boyhood longing returns.

I am not quite mentally ready for this - but I suspect I will know when the time is right. I am fairly sure this will be a one-off, to “conclude my childhood yearnings”, after that, it will be back to the unrestrained whackabout that I enjoy - or just notional restraints that can be quickly removed for a fag break.

Alas, it was a shorter session this time so after a final chat and a coffee, we said our goodbyes and Alex went on to visit his folks. I went to admire his handy-work and bung another few pics down the wire for him to see when he arrived home later. A great shower and a wonderful night’s sleep, deeply relaxed and pleasingly tender.

As an aside:- When I first wrote this, I had a bit that went, “as of the 14th July....” however as I intend to update this from time to time, it seems silly to keep farting about with the dates. So, while I get around to bringing any other “as of today” type statements, don’t be surprised if there appears to be a lot of “add on bits” which have happened later. This is something of a living diary now.

One thing I had yet to experience was a Club/group into such things, and so I decided to visit ClubCP on the next available Saturday, particularly as they were having a "themed evening" - the Birch.

I had always wanted to see what one of those felt like but not yet had the opportunity, the idea of going to a CP Club felt a little strange to me unfamiliar environment etc, but decided to potter along anyway. What made it better still, Alex was going to be there with his “toys”.

Well I arrived at ClubCP and never having been before, I was a little "on edge" seeing quite what it was all about. It seemed a friendly enough crowd though. I arrived there about 8ish I guess and at that stage, there was not really a lot happening other than people milling around, pint in hand. The odd spanking was going on - but no birches to be seen!

After a while, we (I had brought a friend who lives locally, after he had expressed an interest in such things) went upstairs to cool off (warm in there) and have a drink / chat at the bar. We came back down and things were beginning to happen. The music was a bit louder too - to cover the sounds for the benefit of passers-by?

A couple of guys were now being caned on the arse and the odd back flogging was starting to take place, that caught my attention nicely. By luck I wandered over to one of the arches and a guy had just finished receiving a birching. YESSS!!! there are some here after all!

The bircher looked about to see who was next and noticed me looking intrigued at the birch. Having commented that it was the first time I had seen one, he suggested it should be the first time I felt one -seemed like a plan to me.

The first few I think he was quite easy going on me - you could feel it for sure but it felt like a "stingy warm up session". When he started putting some swing into it though, that innocent looking little bundle of twigs is surprisingly powerful. Not enough to make you want him to stop - but definitely surprised at the effect.

I didn't take many, perhaps a dozen or so in total (was hoping to keep my back fairly unmarked for Alex in case we could have a trial run with the “gate design”.

As it happened, my back HAD been marked a fair bit and Alex wasn't caning that evening anyway - so we just finished off with a quick session from a flogger and then just enough strokes of the tawse (I think it was) to make sure I had something to see in the mirror for a few days - he's a good bloke you see, very considerate :)

Interestingly, when it was pointed out that the birch had marked my back, I could feel some of the little grooves it had made. No blood (perhaps a couple of tiny little dots) but it had somehow managed to make little thin lines a couple of mm deep in several places. Much like a lash from a length of cable might make in fact.

Curiously, the following day, those lines were white, not red. Not sure what controls the colour of the lines but I have noticed that thinner implements (wire whip / birch etc) are more likely to go white than a thicker implement.

If they have another session at ClubCP with birches, I would like to bimble down and have a decent session to see what it feels like when you have a good number layed on with some power. I suspect it can give both cats and canes a good run for their money.

If I HAD to try and describe the feeling, the nearest I could describe it to I guess, is that it feels a BIT like a cross between a thin / hard cat which has been made to stop the tails "clumping" together and a caning. Definitely worth experiencing, definitely worth repeating.

A few people asked me at ClubCP if I gave out as well as received, alas I do not. It is very odd (and I am the first to acknowledge this) but although I know when I am receiving it, it is NOT an act of violence - I enjoy the sensation and want it but I still have a massive mental block to inflict anything on anyone else - even if they crave it.

So no, I will take a reasonably heavy session on my own back but could not feel happy even "open hand slapping" someone with any real power. Daft I know, but then how much of any of this makes conventional sense when looked at from a distance?

I was also asked what sort of “scene I was into” at the club - I am not really into roleplay (dad/son, shipmate/boatswain, slave/master etc) I much prefer to just chat in plain English to the guy and deal with the reality, he likes to use belts, cats, straps on guys backs and I like the feeling it gives when he does.

This also means instead of a "safety word", if I want to say "hang on a sec", I say "hang on a sec", likewise, "ease up for a few seconds" or "go for it". Safer, simpler and no possibility of misunderstanding. The only other method we use is the “thumb up” for “keep on going” and a jerking upwards thumb for “bit more enthusiasm please”.

Well on the 31st of July 2004, I decided another visit to ClubCp was in order, sadly Alex was not able to make it but met up with a couple of other folks from the Gaydar CP room. One who was keen to flog me and the other, fortunately who let him borrow his instruments as the other had forgotten to bring his. We chatted for a fair time, both having arrived quite early and both still finding our feet a little. This was my second time there and his first.

Once we had shared a little information about each other - when we first discovered our interests, what we did about it and so on -  we hunted for a quiet little spot. At ClubCP most of the activity is quite open - which is great, but sometimes it is nice to just be “tucked away” a little without folks walking into and out of the play area. We found one of the arches and discussed which flogger to start off with.

One of the things I find so interesting is how different people’s perception of things can be. The fellow who lent us the implements said that flogger 1 was the mildest and flogger 2 was a bit heftier and better for afterwards.

As a result my top being a sporting sort, used flogger 1 for a while and I was thinking that is was ALMOST as powerful as a mild cat, really had a bit of a sting to it when used over the shoulder blades. We then switched to flogger 2 and although it was indeed a lot “thuddier” by comparison it was just like being hit over the back with a thick wet sausage. Not unpleasant but not very challenging at all. We went back to flogger number 1, which although had shorter tails had far fewer and they seemed a little more dense.

Suitably leathered up, it was a question of what to use next, unfortunately we didn’t realise at the time that there were canes at our disposal so I whipped off my belt and we had a few good strokes of that. I’m not a stroke counter, but I know on two or three occasions saying “hows about another dozen or so” so I guess they mounted up a bit.

The bugger of it was though, the rivets in the belt managed to nick the skin, not a problem in itself, they were very superficial (shaving nick sort of thing) BUT of course it meant that it was no longer good practice to use other people’s implements. So we carried on with my belt for a while, the idea being just to avoid the nicks where possible. We finished off for a bit and pottered off to the bar.

Sadly there seemed VERY little back flogging going on that night - although it did seem a lot quieter than the time before in general. I don’t think the St. Andrews cross was used all night other than as a “leaning post”. Bit of a waste really.

We decided that another session was called for - and this was when we realised that (a) we could have used this guys canes and (b) as there were now some nicks, it was no longer safe to do so. As it happens not only have I had vaccinations against Hep’ but also have VERY safe sex. So my blood should be clean, nonetheless, I am the first to champion safer CP/SM - hmm, sounds like an operating system.

Off with the belt again then, curiously having a break of about half an hour and then re-working a fairly well broken-in back alters the sensations substantially - a least at first. I think a bit like taking a shoe off if you have a blister on your heel, if you then start walking again some time afterwards, it is much harder going than if you had just kept on at the time.

The first few really were quite hard to take - but then after about half a dozen, my back had somehow moved into the swing of things again and the more power that was used, the more I sunk into it. The only exception (again) was repeatedly lashing the shoulder blades, I find that gets difficult. It is not so much that you want the session to stop, just that it overpowers the rest of the sensations from the back, so your middle back feels a little bit “un-employed”, both between the shoulder blades and also lower down. Not a nice thing for a friendly back to feel :)

An aside: - The phrase “middle back” is a bit confusing. When I use it, I mean the bit below shoulder blades and above lower back, for others, they mean centrally down the back, from neck to arse almost. We need a new phrase guys - or I need to learn the existing one. One to mean the bit BETWEEN the shoulder blades and the other to mean the area below the shoulder blades and above the “lower back”. Central for “between blades” ?  Hmm, Semantics and back-flogging, an interesting combination.

Having said that, the guy who topped me was accurate (very accurate in fact, not a single wrap), friendly - and by and large - gave an excellent flogging / lashing. Good technique and checked often enough to make sure things were ok. Defiantly up for a repeat session with him next time we meet.

Because (yet again) the sodding train service home had been replaced with a bloody bus, it was over three hours before I finally arrived home, so some of the colour had gone. Still reacted quite nicely to a quick DIY rub with deep heat - just to let me re-feel things for a little while as I dozed off.

An aside -  Incidentally, I do know you should not start a sentence with “because”, nor should you use a comma after an “and”. However (another naughty) I chose to break rules of grammar as and when “it works”. (this in response to no less than four comments about my literary skills to date - I DID say I have none at the beginning!)

I suppose the only “down side” to the belt - in exclusion to the other toys, is that the marks are much more subdued, after a decent session, it can be nice to see what you took across your back. As folks have already pointed out however, some people find that their skin becomes more and more resilient to marking after a time, I think this may be happening to me. I am fascinated to know the biological changes going on here - and why they are not “like that” by default. If you know the answer, please bung me an email.

Well, the 19th of August came around and time for a quick trip off to ClubCP again, this time equipped with some synthetic canes (nylon and delrin) and also a synthetic birch made out of a polyester handle, two 10mm nylon elements, two 6mm nylon elements and two 6mm delrin elements. I took a few canes down for friends but didn’t actually get around to feeling them. The birch however was tried - but we’ll come onto that.

<Aside time again> It is amazing just what you can purchase economically when you buy something for a more mundane purpose than you have intended to use it for. If you want to buy a synthetic cane, expect to pay around £20 / $30 for a delrin one (very dense plastic), however going to RS Components you can buy 1 metre long “plastic stock” for about £1 - £2 a metre. Smooth off both ends, attach a handle and voila, one cane ready for use :)

Spent a while chatting to Alex and a couple of other guys who I have met there before and after a time, someone brought out these rather nicely made flogger/cat. About the size of a flogger lengthwise, but with only about 9 tails and each tail being quite solid it looked (and felt) more like a compact cat. For the first time, I was restrained - wrists only - and this fellow started to use the cat on my back. Now I am not someone who wants an overly long warm-up but was still a bit surprised when he goes from “brushing stroke” to fairly enthused stroke in the space of about 5 lashes. Hmm! Having said that, it felt good - nice and bracing, a bit like being down at the seafront in Brighton as a mini-storm blows by.

Alex then took over for a while and gave a good few strokes before deciding he wanted to use the rivetted belt again. Wonderful feeling that belt, and because I hadn’t been properly warmed up, some nice little tracks were laid down, complete with the little “holes” when the rivets left the skin un-whacked but with deep red outlines.

The bugger kept switching sides though, you just get into a nice rhythm and it stop, you look around at him and he isn’t there - then you just spot him on the other side as the belt lands across your back again. The one thing I am not keen on with the belt when used double is the incredibly loud snap it makes (more as the two bits whack together than belt-on-back I think), if the belt lands high up the back, the sound actually hurts the ears.

After a while we stopped, he went to flog a few other folks and I decided it was time for a pint and a fag. Some time later though he was up for giving the birch a go.

Shirt back off and onto the cross again. This time I had no idea what to expect, I had given myself a few DIY whacks to get an idea on the feel of it, but had no idea what a decent stroke would feel like. Soon did though. He held back a lot of his strength as with less than ideal lighting, he was not sure quite how much effect the tool was having on my back. Even with medium power strokes though, the synthetic birch feels harsher in many ways than a cat. Very high levels of thus but also, if the 6mm rods get there first, very high levels of sting too. So, all in a all, a pretty good bit of kit you might think. Alas, not so.

Alex commented that for a birch, it really needed to be much springier because in its present form it did not feel quite right when swinging it - and as a result the next version (probably being made this evening) will consists of eight 6mm rods, 4 of nylon, 4 or delrin. The 10mm rods will be removed. This should put a lot more spring in to the birch and hopefully also increase the sensations a bit as there will be enough mass to provide thud, but with the “elements / plastic twigs” being spread slightly, should still give plenty of scope for sting too.

As it was, It is a very intense sensation (almost a "burning feeling") but it only last for a second or so before it just turns into a really nice "throbby warm buzz".  If changing the design of it, makes it a bit more challenging to take then the mods will be worth it for me too one thing I have always wanted to experience and so far, never have is the need to sleep on my front for a night because my back is just too tender to sleep on. The closest I got was my first flogging, but even that was just a really good "warm glow" feel in bed.

Mini-update. Birch MK II has been made. 50cm handle of 16mm polyester, with four 45mm twigs and four 55mm twigs. Four each of Nylon 66 and Delrin, both 6mm in diamter. Much springier and certainly when used DIY, every bit as effective as the original version. Just hope it handles a bit better for the top. If not, only thing I can think is to use a shorter handle and longer “twigs”. It will be a little dearer to make but if it handles better it will be worth it.

After the session, it was time for home, on Thursdays from London, at least the “train home” is a train as far as Milton Keynes, thereafter though it’s back to a bloody bus again. The funny part was that I plonked on a little deepheat to "wake things back up a bit" but the stuff pervaded the train and caused a few off glances in my direction. The coach even more so and I had no one sitting for a few few rows behind me. Felt a bit daft with everyone talking loudly about Raljex!  Think I need to find an odour free cream next time.

I thought my luck was in today - The 9th of October 2004 - as I was toying loosely with the idea of pottering off down to ClubCP but a fellow I know had suggested I visit him instead for to try taking a bullwhip. Alas even in a VERY long garage it was still not usable and the garden is a bit overlooked really, so still no idea what a  bullwhipping would be like. It may well be something I try once and decide that it is not “my thing”, problem is, until I try it, I will not know. I did however have quite a pleasant afternoon/evening with a selection of his / my toys.

The most vicious one today funnily enough looked really quite innocent - I have found this before. It was a leather "cat" with four squareish cut tails, each bound to the edge of the handle so they don't "clump" as much. Also at the end of the tail is a little "pointy hood", curious, not seen one quite like that before.

Not too much thud, but a fair amount of sting and the ability to cut fairly easily. Very strange, I doubt the tails were more than about two feet with another foot for the handle, but after just a couple of minutes, they had more than made their mark. what didn't help was being a prat I had "forgotten" I was off for a flogging and used a moisturising shower cream, it makes the skin very soft (makes you wonder how actually!!) and of course it means the flogging has rather more impact than usual - stings more, cuts more.

On reflection I think under the circumstances, I would have liked a little bit longer for a warm up session, it might have stopped it cutting so quickly.

I was hoping that tonight I might have my first "HAVE to sleep on chest night" but despite as much "winding up" as I dare (deep heat / salt) it is just a very pleasant "warm buzzing" again. I think I have found my limit though with regard to one aspect, I don't mind the odd nick / cut but today ended up a bit messy.

I need to point out that we are NOT talking deep cuts or anything that would even cause a tiny scar, we are talking about the sort of “damage” that a 10 year old will have to put up with every time they fall of a skateboard and scrape their knee. Looks messy, ZERO real damage.

Having said all of that though, washing a shirt out and seeing the water in the sink turn red made me feel a bit queasy. Perhaps I should buy some cheap black t-shirts and just chuck em after the journey home.  either that, or stop being so wimpy at the sight of blood.

Well, as keeps happening in this little online journal, time passes and I go to visit some friends in Milton Keynes to take a look at their selection of toys - and WOW do they have a selection. Everything from a wonderfully soft furry flogger that feels so soft you just want to snuggle up with it - to some really quite vicious looking bits of kit.

We also took a ride over to a “tack store” to see what delights they had, I bought a couple of riding crops, and my friends bought some combs for use as sensation giving devices - raked over skin, or even attaching the metal one to a TENS unit or violet wand.

Really pleasant afternoon with them and was with some regret that I realised the time had reached 6pm and was only fair to make my excuses and leave them to sort their meals and have a little time for themselves.  As I am leaving though, I am invited to pop back another time to see what some of the toys *feel* like instead of just what they look like. Sounds like a rather enjoyable day in the not too distant future.

I found something very curious with the riding crops, the long, springy one (which I fully expected to be the more severe is in fact the mildest, and the short stiff one is much more challenging. Alas the short one had a thick rubber loop at the end which split after only a few DIY experimental strokes. So trimmed the ends up, cut them into little arrow ends and they seem to do the job just fine. Nice and lively without being OTT.

Soooo, that’s all my experiences so far, I’m still just a beginner in all of this but find it incredibly stimulating. As for preferences, I am someone who finds a fairly clear distinction between sex and the feelings evoked from being flogged. Although the apprehension before it starts, mind rush / buzz while it is going on, and euphoria when over can be incredibly intense, it is a totally different feeling for me than sex. Possibly as this has to do with my back and not my arse. I'm not quite sure.

This, for me, creates one problem and one benefit.

Problem: Many guys who are into flogging someone, wish to conclude with sex, I would rather not unless the flogger is 1828ish and "my type of guy". Sounds a bit shallow perhaps but it is as much to do with the dynamics of the relationship as anything else.

Benefit: As it is not a sexual thing for me, I am much more open minded about who I will let flog me, 1845 (and that is negotiable), people who are not "typically my type" and so on. Although I am almost exclusively gay for sex, I would not object to a woman flogging me-- providing she was someone I felt comfortable with.

I think my main criteria with someone who wishes to flog, is that they are reasonably sane and capable of holding conversation - and ideally do not require sex - at least immediately afterwards. This is where Alex wins on every count. Accurate, intelligent, fun, no role-play and no sex. Just two guys enjoying a decent flogging session.

So that pretty much brings us up to present day, I am keen to experience a single tail whip but need to find someone who is fairly accurate, has some space suitable to do it - and will not expect too much from my first time. Alex would be my first choice but he cannot accommodate and my house is not suitable - perhaps a “field trip” is in order!

So, lastly, I guess, I ought to try and explain what I get out of it, though that is far from easy to do - as I have not really worked out the psychology behind it myself. As a qualified counsellor I can usually work out my “underlying” thoughts and feelings, motivations and desires - but there is something hidden here. Not sure what yet.

I don’t think it’s about punishment (as in trying to atone for something), I have done many things in my life I am not proud of, but VERY few that I am ashamed of - or have any cause to be. So, although aware of the concept, I think it is unlikely.

There IS a small degree of simple masochism involved, but I have a problem in giving that much weight as for me, the pain is transitory (under a second) before it just feels wonderful. If it doesn’t actually “hurt” it isn’t really “pain” is it?

If I stub my toe on the bed, that hurts and pisses me off, if however someone lashed my back with a belt I am more likely to just smile and carry on chatting to them in the hope that they might be kind enough to do it again.

Alas, this is not normally considered appropriate behaviour in polite circles so such an event has yet to occur - or at least, it has yet to occur with me.

There is a degree of being “proud to be able to take a beating”, but only in a fairly superficial way - like you might be proud you could fart two bars of the national anthem. (No, I can’t before you ask, the pitch goes wrong).

The sexual element is non-existent - or at least I cannot find it. I don’t care if the flogger is young or old, tall or short - and only have a preference with a male because I am a little shy being partly undressed with a woman. Go figure that one. Shy to be topless, but happy enough to let a stranger (first time) flog me.

Intelligence is important to me - partly so they know how to safely flog - and partly because I enjoy stimulating conversation.

Possibly it also balances things, in my work I have no superiors to handle - and - as with my co-director, what I say “goes”. So possibly another aspect of this is letting someone else take control for a while? Power exchange I think it is called.

On chatting with a friend about “self belief” I think one feeling that comes over me after taking a reasonable (?) session is that “if I can handle this, I can handle most things life has to throw at me”. Great theory and one which might have some merit but there are two flaws in giving it too much credit. Firstly, it doesn’t really register as “pain” in the conventional sense - so it isn’t actually “hard to take” and the second is that with me at least, emotional pain (death of someone close for example) nothing really helps brace me for that one unless it has been “on the cards” following an illness etc.

One part I guess that I can identify with is the mental / physical challenge of it all, the adrenalin rush beforehand, the endorphin rush later on, these DO have an appeal but even so, there is still a “missing element”.

I suppose I have a new fear now to deal with though, that I have never had before. I am aware that my personality is a naturally addictive one as I mentioned earlier.

One reason (the main one if the truth is to be told), I have never tried drugs with the exception of the odd joint is the knowledge that if I like something, then I am likely to keep doing it, until I’m given a bloody good reason why I should stop. The reason of course that I am still a smoker. Foolishly I tried it and unfortunately I enjoyed it. QED

I guess I am concerned that I need to keep some sort of control on this, the idea of having bruises on my body “most of the time” is something I find disturbing, partly for the difficulties that would mean with most partners, and partly because I’m really rather keen on swimming - the one sport I am actually quite good at. Came second at Stamford School, not bad out of 800 boys though I say so myself.

The idea of taking my shirt of and fazing adults is bad enough, but the idea of upsetting kids if they see a heavily beaten back is simply not acceptable. Besides, I do not wish flogging to become something I end up “living for” as opposed to enjoying once in a while. I suspect moderation is important here.

So, this is still very much an ongoing adventure for me, one I wish to explore a long way - but to do so in such a way that I can control the adventure - and not let the adventure control me.

<that's all folks, for now at least>  I will happily answer any questions or queries that this might generate, I'm sure you can find my contact details here somewhere.

ONE request, if you wish to post this on your NONCOMMERCIAL site please do, but contrary to the usual request, please do NOT credit my name/contact details. I prefer to chose where (and if) I reveal my identity. Fair enough?    Thanks

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