What I Did With My Summer (aged 43 years and two months)


I have to apologise for not diligently completing my diary over the past few months. There are several reasons for this, the main one being that I’m a lazy S.O.B.. But, if you’ve been checking back here to find out what I’ve been doing, I do want to say I’m sorry that I’ve not been here.

It’s been a summer of change for me here in the UK. In some ways that’s ironic because the weather here hasn’t changed since winter. It’s still cold, raining and generally gloomy. And, now the summer is over, the rain is forecast to continue. But, weather aside—there has been lots of change.

I was interviewed on the radio twice in the last couple of weeks. It used to be that an invitation to talk on the radio would elicit panic of humungous proportions. I’d run round the house like a headless chicken worrying myself senseless. (Well, not exactly like a headless chicken, because I’m not a chicken, don’t have feathers or lay eggs and I do have a head, but I stand by the cliché for describing the way I ran round the house).

I’d fret that I might not be interesting enough, that I’d say something offensive or outrageous, or that I’d discover the microphone picks up some hitherto unnoticed foible in my speech that is an instant source of ridicule the world over.

Swingers: Female ConfidentialA fortnight ago, when Radio Clyde asked me to chat for a few minutes about swinging, I just said, “Sure.” The closest I came to panicking was deciding not to rent a movie that evening, in case the interview went on too long. Last week, when the BBC asked to chat about my most recent book, [Swingers: Female Confidential] I said it was OK, but I told them we would have to pre-record the interview because I was meeting friends for coffee when the live program was happening.

This has also been a summer with some sadness. I lost my father-in-law in late July. When I say I lost him, I don’t mean we went out shopping and I left him outside a shop and then forgot where he was. I mean, sadly, the poor old guy lost his battle with a long term illness. He will be greatly missed.

This has also been the summer where I reached out to the other side of my sexuality. Well, that’s probably overstating the reality. The truth is, I bought a pink shirt. I don’t know if this means I am a more rounded individual in terms of sexual ambiguity. I shall probably find out if I ever wear the shirt. However, I boldly selected the pink shirt from the shelves of a public store, went up to the counter—asked to be served by a male assistant—and bought the garment. I don’t think this means I’ve come out of the closet. But it does mean I’ve hung a pink shirt in there.

I’ve also turned to health foods this summer. Admittedly, because they taste so gross, I quickly turned away. But the truth is I have been eating more healthily. Some people say that this is untrue. I have friends who tell me that it’s not really eating more healthily if I’m just dunking my breakfast Mars bar into yoghurt before I eat it, but I insist that it’s a step in the health food direction. The next thing that is bound to happen is that I’ll be leaving the lettuce on my breakfast Big Mac. I have that momentous event planned for sometime around 2015.

This was also the summer where I quit smoking—six times. In fairness the longest of those times was for about ten hours (which included nine and a half hours sleep). But I have been making the effort and I think it needs mentioning. More than that, I think the effort needs rewarding—possibly with a big cigar, or maybe just a cigarette.

I’ve also been reading this summer—some excellent books by some brilliant authors. Please check out my reviews here on ERWA because some of these titles are not to be missed.

Aside from that I’ve also been chatting with some of the greatest names in erotic fiction. Again, check out my ERWA interviews and discover how some of the world’s raunchiest writers responded to being probed by me (with questions—not in a dirty way). [Ashley’s reviews and interviews are here in Smutters Lounge, and in the Archives]

So, I’ve brought you up to speed with me and my summer. What have you folk being doing?

Ashley Lister
October 2008

“Ashley Lister Submits” © 2008 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

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