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Gurmeet Mattu

Copyright 2010 © Gurmeet Mattu

The author asserts the moral right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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Annie/Thursday, 13th April

We should have done this ages ago. It just makes so much sense. But of course Mr I-Know-Everything wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Now, maybe, he’ll see that dealing with problems is better than hiding them.

I intend keeping this diary religiously. Fiona feels that the reason a lot of these therapies fail is because people don’t apply themselves properly. It takes effort to achieve results, so you won’t see any slacking from me. I will write something, if only rubbish, on these pages every day. I used to keep a diary when I was in my teens on an off-and-on basis. Admittedly it was more off than on, but my life was so full then. I had so much to write about and not enough time to do it. Now, it’s possible, that the reverse will apply. Came home from work, fed the men, stuck a washing on, watched TV, went to bed. Fiona says she doesn’t mind us putting in the minutiae of our lives, that it can be cathartic. Dickhead probably doesn’t know what that means. But I can understand where she’s coming from. I want to put my life into some sort of context, especially with regard to the hopes and ambitions I once had. Who am I? Where am I going?

Mr Wilson, no doubt, will spew his sexual fantasies onto his diary pages in the first few days and then clam up like the repressed git he is.

But I think Fiona will keep the rod to his back. I admire her, she seems like a strong person. I’ll need to thank Kate for recommending her. Kate! Who would have imagined her ever needing a sexual counsellor? Who would have imagined us? Annie and Phil, the perfect couple, if they only knew.

Not that there’s anything massively wrong with our relationship or anything. I love him, and he loves me. I think.

I’ll need to think of a filename to save this under in case Roddy finds it. Either that or get him his own computer, but money’s a bit tight just now. I know! I’ll call the file ‘Homework’, he’ll avoid that like the plague!

Anyway, this is meant to be a sex diary. Despite a lengthy session with Fiona yesterday (and some excellent words of advice from her) Mr and Mrs Wilson did not have anything remotely like sex last night.

Annie/Friday, 14th April

No sex last night either. We had a bit of a kiss and a cuddle in bed, but just when I thought he was up for it, he turned over and fell asleep.

I said, “I think we should talk about this, Phil”, and he said, “Uuunhuhh”, which is unusual as he can usually only manage words of one syllable.


Work is crap just now. Veronica, our Head Teacher, has it in for me. She thinks I don’t maintain enough

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discipline. What does she know? When was the last time she was in a classroom? The only way to maintain any kind of relationship with your pupils is with a sense of give and take. I have a good relationship with my kids. They respect me. Okay, maybe I let them be a bit familiar at times, but Veronica would have me flogging them on a regular basis. Maybe teachers should be made to retire at 40, because by that time they’re so divorced from their own childhood they can’t possibly relate. What am I talking about? Setting myself up for retirement in four years time. If only.

But at least I know something about the kids’ music and fashion and stuff. I understand Veronica, being a Buddy Holly fan, thinks she’s ‘with it’. I’ll have to ration Roddy’s computer time. Not only is he addling his brain with shoot-’em-ups, he’s not giving me much of a chance to get this diary down. And if I’m struggling, it just gives Phil an excuse to avoid it altogether.

I know the diary is meant to be voluntary, but it doesn’t hurt to give the lazy bugger a prod now and again. I wonder if he’s actually written anything yet, or does he just come through here, log on to the net and surf for porn. I wouldn’t mind so much if it turned him on and I got a result out of it, but nothing so far. Mind you, he’s such a dozy git he probably can’t even find the porn sites. I’ll do some research tomorrow and put some addresses in his Favourites. It may be playing with fire, but I’m desperate for a heat.

P.S. Fly buggers just told me he’s writing his diary on his work’s laptop.

Not that I was going to look or anything.

Phil/Friday, 14th April

Ha bloody ha! A sex diary? As if I haven’t got enough to do all day. It’s all right for Annie, she can ponce about at the school and scribble at her desk when she’s told the kids to get their heads down. But I’m in a job where the bosses don’t appreciate you finding your inner-self on their time. Plus which, if any of the guys saw me punching my laptop at lunchtime they’d think I was sucking in with the company, and if I told them what I was really doing I’d be a laughing stock, which is something you can make at home with an Oxo cube and a joke book.

But, just to please Annie and prove that I do care about our relationship I’ll go along with this nonsense.

The bold Fiona Buchan says, “It doesn’t matter who reads the diary, what matters is that you write it.” But writing stuff that nobody’s going to read smacks to me of masturbation, and I haven’t had a wank since ... oh

.... 9.30 this morning.

Anyway, I’m making a broad declaration right now, if only to myself, I do NOT have a problem in the trouser department!

Phil/Saturday, 15th April

Annie brought a book back from school - Hints & Tips on Keeping a Diary or Journal. Is she trying to tell me

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Seems I’m to write stuff as if somebody will read it, including my thought processes and reasoning etc., as this helps clarify things. If Fiona Buchan thinks she’s going to turn my personal musings into a research paper or thesis she’s got another think coming. Once this farce is over every file is getting deleted. Hold on, I’m sure I read that the FBI can recover deleted files. Okay, once this is over I’m throwing this laptop in the bin. Then I’ll burn it. Then I’ll bury the ashes. Then I’ll tell the company it was stolen.

Okay, here goes.

What this therapy lark is all about is me being tired. Nothing more complicated than that. Annie doesn’t seem to realise that I’m not a teenager anymore. Or that I have a very physically demanding job, which she doesn’t.

I’m up and down ladders and scaffolding all day, frequently lifting heavy bits of kit. When I get home I’m wasted. All I want to do is kick off my shoes and put my feet up. And, yes, sometimes when it gets to the bedroom stakes I’m too tired for nooky now and again, and anybody with any sense of justice would understand that.

Apart from the tiredness I’m perfectly fine and healthy. All my parts are in perfect working order. I still behave like all the other guys and ogle passing girls. I whistle and make lewd comments, fulfilling my role as a sexual predator.

There is no connection or comparison between that and Annie’s complaints.

Whistling requires little physical exertion, whereas what she expects of me requires a great deal, especially if you’re doing it right with all the bells and whistles, special effects and in 3D. I don’t love the girls I leer at. I don’t want to marry them. I don’t even want to have sex with them. But I do love Annie, I did marry her, and I do want to have sex with her.

I’ve tried to explain this to her, but she usually responds by saying I shouldn’t be tired at weekends then, and why don’t we have a little orgy to ourselves. Because I take a drink to relax at the weekends, I say, and of course that’s the start of another barney about my excess drinking. Do you deal with alcohol abuse, Ms Buchan, or are your interests exclusively in the nether regions?

So, bottom line. I work hard to give my wife and son a decent life. I don’t like grief. What’s so wrong with that?

Annie/Sunday 16th April

No time for a diary entry yesterday, I’m afraid, because Roddy was in one of his states. Still complaining about a sore tummy, and didn’t even want to go to football. I think I’ll need to take him to the doctor for a check-up.

I just hope this isn’t some kind of symptom he’s displaying as a result of watching his parents row. Dr Adams

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is a fine man and a good quack, but he’s known all my family far too long for me to admit any troubles to him.

On the sexual front we have had no advances from Mr Wilson, and any I have made have been rebuffed. On Friday, I admit, he was tired and so was I, it’d been a long week at school. So we went to bed early - to sleep.

Yesterday was difficult, of course, with Roddy being in all day, but Phil started drinking at lunchtime and collapsed into bed shortly after he’d had his dinner around 8.30. He spent the day watching TV till his pals,Willie and Al, turned up, and then proceeded to listen to David Bowie albums at a ferocious volume while playing poker. It is hard to feel romantically inclined towards a man who plays along to Panic In Detroit on air guitar in front of people I regard as relative strangers.

Why does he mix with these people?


Annie and Phil are a nice, intelligent, couple, in their late 30s, married for sixteen years, who are experiencing some relatively minor problems. Annie believes Phil has lost interest in her sexually and their frequency of intercourse has certainly decreased in the past year. Annie also believes that Phil has difficulty gaining and maintaining an erection, though Phil denies this.

They have begun keeping diaries logging libidinous activity, on my recommendation, and hopefully this will make them more aware of where their problems stem from.

However I am moving to intervention at an early stage because I believe their problems can be quickly solved with a confrontational approach. As they were childhood sweethearts I am therefore imposing enforced celibacy for a very limited period. This is a variation on Hoerdigger’s ‘Beyond The Beast’ Therapy, and I fully believe that within a few days they will be, in the vernacular, ‘gagging for it’.


Annie/Monday, 17th April

Is the woman mad?

I argued for weeks with Phil. I finally took us both to the doctor’s for a general check-up. We’re fine for our age. Then I argued for more weeks before he’d agree to go and see Fiona with me. And now she tells us she wants us to stop making love? Listen, idiot, we’re not screwing anyway, that’s why we consulted you.

I’m not daft. I know this could be some kind of ‘forbidden fruit’ theory, hoping that Phil will jump my bones once he knows he’s not supposed to, but she doesn’t know Phil. This just gives him an excuse to fall asleep.

And snore. And fart.

What happens to a man’s intestinal tract once he’s married? During even a long and protracted courtship it is the very pinnacle of decency and gentility. The minute the keys of the marital home are turned, his guts turn putrid.

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I’m digressing. The fact of the matter is that Phil, being an obstreperous bastard, will not perform according to Fiona’s dictate, and I will remain unshagged. With regard to manual stimulation being sanctioned, I have no interest in having Phil rubbing my fanny for half the night searching for an elusive orgasm. I’m better at it myself, and he knows it, which is why he doesn’t bother.

I will repair to the bath before bed tonight and give myself a damn good soapy seeing-to, and then I can turn over and fall asleep exhausted. Tomorrow I will phone Fiona and speak to her privately.

Phil/Monday, 17th April

Well, that was a turn up for the books. At our meeting this evening Old Fifi told us to stop doing it altogether.

I knew it would come to this, what does an old boot like Fifi know about sex? Let’s face it, with a coupon and a body like hers the last time she got laid was when the bow and arrow was a secret weapon.

Anyway, she’s given us a sheet of paper with a list of do’s and don’ts. We are allowed to kiss, including tongues, I may add; and we are allowed to sleep in the same bed. Manual petting is permitted, but there is to be no oral/genital or genital to genital contact. ‘Genital to genital contact’? That’s called shagging, you daft bugger, even kids know that, so why not just say it. ‘Cause then you wouldn’t be able to charge exorbitant fees, isn’t that right, Ms Mind-Fucker?

Anyway, Annie’s usually quite happy with just a kiss and a cuddle, so there’ll be no problems there. But what if there’s a mad rush of blood to Willie-Boy’s head? It’s going to take more than a piece of paper to stop him enjoying his conjugal rights, and I’m sure every court in the land would support me on that one. Especially if the judge’s a man.

This could be an interesting night.

Annie/Tuesday, 18th April

Fiona’s celibacy dictum seems to have the blessing of the fates. Roddy wanted to come into our bed as he had a sore tummy, so Phil went through to Roddy’s room. Phil didn’t have my trim, sensuous body to tempt him, much to his relief, no doubt, and I got a full night of Roddy’s elbows and knees. But he felt fine this morning and went off to school.

Half day at work, so had long lunch with Kate. Wanted to talk to her before complaining to Fiona. Kate says this ‘Beyond The Beast’ therapy is frightfully effective. The ‘forbidden fruit’ bit is so obvious to us, but men just don’t understand it because they’re such babies. It doesn’t take much to get them to revert to their teenage years of groping, fumbling, and desperation.

“Expect a permanent stiffy and premature ejaculation!” Kate announced proudly, which was a bit awkward as

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we were just being served our soup at that very moment. It was only a pub lunch but I could swear the barman reddened.

Kate then went on to reel off some anti-man one-liners she’s obviously been saving up.

Here are the ones I remember -

Men are like lava lamps - fun to look at, but not all that bright!

Men are like snowstorms - you never know when they’re coming, how many inches you’ll get, or how long they’ll last!

Men are like cement - after getting laid, they take a long time to get hard!

I laughed like a drain. Kate is in charge of herself, no doubt about it, and it’s all down to Fiona, so I’ve got to give her some trust.

Kate has found her G-Spot.

Phil/Tuesday, 18th April

Well, young Roddy threw a spaniel in the works by deciding to have a sore gut and wanting to sleep with his mammy, so I was demoted to his room.

Considered indulging myself in some manual petting on a solo basis (permitted by Frau Fuhrer Buchan as far as I know) but decided it wouldn’t really be right in the kid’s bed.

Had a very strange dream, and I want to get it down on paper before it flees from memory.

There was a girl I fancied at primary school, Sheena Gray. She had orangey brown hair, a hint of freckles on her cheeks and an upturned nose. We were 10 years old and it was first love time, frantically trying to be with each other, but denying it to all our mates to avoid a slagging. I desperately wanted to do something to her, but I wasn’t quite sure what. I haven’t thought about her or seen her in over 25 years, since my dad moved us away from Knightswood.

I don’t know what brought her to mind, maybe it was sleeping in Roddy’s bed, we’d have been about his age.

Anyway, she wasn’t a kid anymore, but a full-blown woman, walking down the street. I was driving past, saw her, and slammed on the anchors. I jumped out of the car and walked up to her. She cocked her head to one side a little and lifted an eyebrow, just like she used to when I tried to get her into the garden shed.

“Sheena?” I asked, and she nodded slowly.

“It’s me, Phil.” I was practically jumping up and down.


“Phil Wilson. I was at school with you. Primary school. Knightswood. Didn’t have a moustache then”

She nodded slowly again, I could see her eyes racing back to the time. She’d grown into a stunner with long legs and a lazy smile. In reality she was just that slice above pretty, but a woman who knows she’s got it, and

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all the more horn-provoking because of it.

Now her face broke into the lazy smile. “I remember you, you used to try and kiss me all the time.”

I grabbed her hand. “Yeah, and sometimes you used to let me.”

She laughed and pulled me towards her. “You’ll be wanting a shag then?”

That’s it. That’s all there was to it. Nothing happened. I woke up. But it was something sexual and I’ve dutifully noted it down.

I had an erection that was harder than the Chinese alphabet.

Annie/Wednesday, 19th April

Phil is a pig.

I wrote that first thing this morning. I’ve calmed down now.

I phoned Fiona this afternoon, just for some reassurance. Seems I’ve been playing this totally wrong. I shouldn’t be encouraging Phil, I should be playing the ice-maiden. We’re supposed to revert to our teenage years, yes, but I’m supposed to be guarding my precious virginity and fighting him off, not defying him to get more finger in. What Fiona doesn’t know is that it never happened in reality.

From the moment I decided Phil was the one, I have offered him no resistance at all. Yes, I’ve snogged a few guys over the years, and played a bit of touchy feely, but Phil’s the only one I’ve done the full dirty deed with.

I probably stand out like a mutant in this day and age, but that’s the way it is.

So, if Phil does get the horn through denial, and I then start fending him off, the poor bugger’s going to be even more confused than before, and the chances of him achieving a solid erection, like he used to, fall to zero.

I didn’t tell Fiona this, which I suppose was wrong of me. I didn’t want to be stigmatised as a woman who’d never slept around.

So, what do I do tonight? There are several options-

(a) We both turn away from each other and fall asleep, like any ordinary night.

(b) Phil’s horny and comes on to me and I play along. (Throwing Fiona’s therapy out of the window.) (c) Phil’s horny and comes on to me and I knock him back, denting his confidence totally.

(d) I am horny and come on to Phil and he knocks me back. (Is he just obeying Fiona’s instructions or does he no longer love me, as I have suspected for some time?) This doesn’t bear thinking about.

Just thinking it is terrible, but I hope Roddy’s got a sore tummy tonight.

Phil/Wednesday, 19th April

Jesus Christ Almighty, now she wants me to try and find her G-Spot.

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This was last night, lying in bed. I told her I was a construction manager, not an explorer, but she didn’t seem to find that particularly funny.

“It’s okay,” she said, playing the wee coquette, “It’s only manual exploration. Fiona will allow it.”

“So I’ve heard. Is she not going out with a vet?”

“Not up there, silly. There.”

She was leading my hand astray.

“Listen, Annie, this is stupid.”

Her cute little face turned to fire. “No it’s not. You just don’t want me investigating my sexuality.”

I turned away from her. “I’m done with investigating. Exploring is for wee boys. Anyway, I’m knackered.”

She hauled me back round again. “You’ve got the stamina and the perseverance of a sloth.”

“I’d check with David Attenborough before I made statements like that. There’s an entire species there you could be denigrating.”

She smiled at that and snuggled into my chest. “Just try for a little while.”

I started exploring again. “How will we know ...?”

“Oh, I’ll know. Kate said ....”

“Bloody Kate! Can the woman not take up knitting or something.

One minute it’s find the bloody clitoris, then it’s find the greater spotted female orgasm.”

Through little grunting sounds she said, “Well you did eventually, didn’t you. A bit to the right please.”

I manfully probed away for another few minutes. “My finger’s getting sore. Are you sure this thing actually exists? I’m sure I read somewhere ....”

“Quiet!” she barked. “There! Harder!”

“Listen, could you not find it yourself, and sort of give me general directions. It would save a hell of a lot of time.”

Her breath was coming in little short bursts. “Can’t. Finger’s too short. Keep going.”

Pains were shooting up my forearm. “My hand’s going numb.”

With my free hand I prised her thighs apart and pulled my damaged hand away from her.

“No!” she wailed, grabbing for it back. “I was almost there, I’m sure of it. Something was happening.”

“Aye, my hand was going to drop off through lack of blood. Listen, don’t fret it, we’ll try again sometime.

Your birthday maybe.”

Annie/Thursday 20th April

Roddy didn’t have a tummy ache last night but there wasn’t a problem. We just said ‘good night’ to each other, ever so politely, turned over and went to sleep. Well, I did, I have a vague recollection of Phil taking an age to settle.

Roddy decided to have his sore stomach this morning instead, so I made a doctor’s appointment for the

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afternoon. Dr Adams poked around Roddy’s middle, which Roddy found ticklish, and announced that he couldn’t find anything wrong. Fancy!

He will make a consultant’s appointment at the Western.

Roddy is concerned that hospital visits may interfere with the hectic social life he has planned for the summer.

I assured him that by the time he reached the top of the Western’s waiting list he would be 83 years old and wouldn’t have much of a social life left.

Phil has been in a strange mood since he came home from work. I keep catching him looking at me. Is this guilt? If I deprive him will he fly into someone else’s arms? Or was he flying into someone else’s arms previously, which is why he was depriving me?

Who is this someone else?

Phil/Thursday, 20th April

Strange reaction from Shorty last night. No kisses, no cuddles, nothing. From searching for the G-Spot to total zilch. Is this hormonal or just female perversity?

We were talking about wives at work and MacDonald said he’d fancied Annie something rotten for years. All the other guys chimed in and said, yeah, Annie was a bit of all right.

Not to get too big-headed, because various other wives got the thumbs up, but I do believe I’ve got the tastiest missus out of the whole gang of us.

The less attractive wives weren’t mentioned, out of a sense of gallantry, but I’m sure their husbands got the message, poor bastards.

There’s more to love than looks, boys!

Spent a lot of the evening looking at Annie. Fair enough, she’s no supermodel. She’s petite, with short black hair. She wears specs, has bouncy little tits and a perfect bum.

I like her.

Annie/Friday, 21st April

Had a nice cuddling session last night. Almost as if Phil really believed in what we were doing. He was really attentive, cuddled up to me spoon fashion, kissed the back of my neck and worked some magic on my various bits with his fingers. He was very erect behind me and I could feel him thrusting at my bottom, which added to my excitement, but once I’d finished and turned round to help him, it sort of faded away. A sort of Lone Ranger deal, where you save the town and then gallop off without accepting any thanks.

Come to think of it, he felt more like Silver than the Lone Ranger actually.

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Major embarrassment of the day - started bubbling in class. Not too bad, because I managed to muffle it behind a tissue with a pretend sneeze. We were doing Shakespeare’s Sonnets which have a tendency to set me off.

Tommy Carter was reading -

‘When my love swears that she is made of truth,

I do believe her, though I know she lies,

That she might think me some untutor’d youth,

Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.’

Tommy’s a good-looking lad with a strong reading voice. He should take up acting. I’ve never seen him turn up at any of my drama club’s gritty productions. I’ll talk to him. Maybe have a word with careers guidance as well, hate to see talent going to waste.

Annie/Saturday, 22nd April

Pig-face got drunk last night. Came home staggering and giggling away to himself. Has spent the entire day lying on the couch moaning and drinking irn-bru. A fine example to set our son. If he won’t bother I don’t see why I should.

Phil/Saturday, 22nd April

Writing this on a bus on Sunday morning. Have to go and pick up the car after a bevvy session with the guys on Friday night. Hope I can remember where I left it.

What a hoot of a night. MacDonald had had lunch with one of the contractors, so was a few paces ahead of the rest of us. At one point he cornered me at the bar and started on about Annie again. I was trying to tell him to sober up when he stopped me in my tracks.

“It’s her arse,” he said, “ I adore it. Worship it.”

I was going to get ratty with him, when I noticed there was a single tear coursing down his cheek. Now I felt sorry for him, his was one of the wives who didn’t rate a mention yesterday.

“Oh aye,” I said, “Worship it?”

He nodded eagerly. “Aye. It’s perfect. It is the epitome of the female posterior. The best tush in town.”

I shrugged nonchalantly. “Ah, it’s not bad.”

Charlie Webster, who was leaning over us to get to his drink, heard me. “Annie’s arse? Who are you kidding, it’s a work of art. You’re a lucky bastard, Wilson.”

“It’s only a bloody bum,” I said desperately.

“A bum? A bum?” MacDonald had grabbed my shoulders. “How can you say that? I’m telling you, it’s beautiful, and I worship it.”

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“Me too,” Webster added.

“Aye, but I was first,” MacDonald argued, “I am the first disciple of Annie’s arse.”

“Hey, hold on, I’m her husband.”

“True. You are in possession of the holy grail, so to speak. And we’ve no argument with you on that score.

As long as you don’t mind us adoring, admiring and worshipping it ... from a distance, of course.”

The rest of the guys had gathered round us now and were nodding in agreement.

“It’s like a religion, Phil,” Wee John said, “And you’re the Pope.”

“Here, that’s a bit sacrilegious. I’m not a very good Christian, but I know my commandments - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife’s ass.”

“But I’m not your neighbour. I live in Rutherglen.”

“Oh well, that’s okay then.”

Anyway, that’s how the night started, and it only got worse after that. If Annie ever finds out, she’ll kill me.


Annie and Phil have not had a good week. Diary writing seems to have hit an impasse at the weekend as a War of Silence ensued. Phil’s binge drinking is obviously a factor, though not a primary one I suspect.

On reflection the Beyond the Beast therapy does not seem to be right for them. I had hoped the challenge would help them to re-engage, but the reverse seems to have happened.

With a view to encouraging them to explore new areas of sexuality together, and therefore re-ignite a sexual spark, I have given them some literature which I hope they find stimulating both erogenously and intellectually.

Phil seems to be taking the process more seriously now. He was very attentive during the session and didn’t feel the need to punctuate the conversation with rude remarks. This may be due to the bollocking Annie gave him for his inebriated behaviour.


Annie/Monday, 24th April

Phil seems to have partially emerged from his Neanderthal period and I hope we can now proceed on a more civilised basis.

Fiona has given us some books and magazines to look at (which I’m going to have to keep well-hidden from Roddy). Again, I’m not too convinced by this. Phil has no difficulty in looking at dirty books, magazines, pictures, videos etc. His problem lies in doing something about it, vis a vis me!

Still, if we share our perusal of these manuals in the comfort and privacy of our own bed, perhaps we can both get turned on enough to benefit. In any case, I hope this will only be the fire that lights his touchpaper. The thought of basing my future sex-life solely on Phil getting turned on by strumpets displaying their sordid wares makes me want to throw up.

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This is me that was trying to encourage him to look up porn on the web. It’s no wonder he’s confused. I’m confused.

Fiona also said she wants us to be generally more adventurous. This worries me.

Phil/Monday, 24th April

Hey, she’s not a bad old stick, Fiona. Gave us a pile of dirty books to bring home. At least I can now see some tangible benefits from the fortunes we’re paying her. If they’re any good I might take out a subscription.

The thought of reading them with Shorty isn’t too appealing, because I know what her reaction will be. If she’s not criticising some poor girl for having nail polish and shoes that don’t match, she’ll be having a go at them for being dirty trollops.

It’s a small step from there to feminism and human dignity, and me having no respect for individuals in general and women in particular. We’ve played this game before. I then say, ‘These women are exhibitionists. It’s a medical condition, and you’re impinging on their human rights by not allowing them to display themselves in the scud and fulfil themselves as human beings.’

This, of course, is red rag to a bull. She thinks I’m trying to be funny about a very serious subject and I get a lecture on exploitation. I counter that if that’s exploitation then I’ll have a large dose of it. Give me a couple of grand to get my kit off and wiggle Willie-Boy about. This gets a dismissive snort and I’ll fall asleep worrying that Annie’s not really happy with Willie-Boy’s general dimensions.

Be clever, Phil, you can see it coming, so let’s not go down that road. Agree with her!

Annie/Tuesday, 25th April

I think I have to detail last night’s activities quite precisely because they were so weird. Roddy went off to bed as normal about nine and we sat about watching television till 11.30. The bag of books had been lying in the hall untouched since we came home. I don’t think either of us was very sure of how to proceed. Were we to flick through them casually at our own pace, or follow a schedule covering a certain number of pages each night? As a teacher I would have recommended the second methodology, but Phil has such a horror of programmed learning that I was quite prepared to follow his lead.

I must have been in the loo when Phil brought the books through, because the bag was lying on my bedside table and Phil was already peering at a fairly thick volume. He looked up as I climbed into bed and said quite seriously, “Did you know that if you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee?”


He nodded enthusiastically. “I don’t know what it’s got to do with sex, but it’s in this book.”

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I checked, and he wasn’t kidding.

“What kind of book is this?”

He flicked to the cover.

“A Book of Bizarre Facts. Is this Fiona’s comment on our sex life?”

“You still headed straight for it. We’re supposed to be learning sexual techniques.”

He arched his eyebrows in a pale impression of Groucho Marx. “Says here the tongue is, pound for pound, the strongest muscle in the human body.”

“Oooh, now you’re talking my kind of language.”

He licked his lips. “That’s me, the cunningest linguist in town.”

“Yes, dear, I’ve never had any complaints on that score. You could lick pussy for Scotland.”

He referred back to the book. “Also, it’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open, you can’t kill yourself by holding your breath and polar bears are left handed.”

“Fascinating. But is this helping us sexually?”

“No. Sorry.” He pushed the book away and I pulled another from the bag. It was very basic and dry. Line drawings of flaccid penises and ovaries.

Phil made a face. “Naah, does nothing for me.”


I pulled out another book, an academic study on why India, a country that had produced the Kama Sutra, had become so prudish, even barring kissing in movies. Was this down to Muslim invasions or British Victorian influence?

Interesting but not stimulating.

“Fiona’s got a strange taste in erotica,” Phil said, “Next up it’ll be the Haynes Ford Escort manual.”

“Is that a sexual position?” I asked.

Phil grinned. “Interesting concept. Sexual positions according to brands and models of motor vehicles.”

I yawned and Phil took the opportunity to shove the books off the bed. He turned out the light and kissed my forehead, then the tip of my nose, and then my lips. We made love in a Renault Megane kind of way.

Phil/Tuesday, 25th April

Well, that was a waste of time. Fiona’s books were what you’d get if Mills & Boon did technical manuals.

More importantly, today my dream came true!

Well, almost.

I was driving downArgyle Street this afternoon when I saw this woman at the bus-stop, and I swear she was exactly like in my dream - Sheena Gray.

I parked the car, double-quick, and ran back to the bus-stop. Luckily there was no-one else there, because when I got up to her, I realised I felt like a right prat. What was I meant to say to her?

I stood at the stop, glancing around casually, and she turned at one point and looked right through me. I realised I’d have to do something pretty fast, or her bus would come and I’d be left standing there like an utter prick.

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Finally, I gathered together the small amount of courage I’ve got left after 15 years of marriage and cleared my throat noisily.

“Ehh, excuse me. Your name wouldn’t happen to be Sheena Gray would it?”

She shook her head and said, “No.”

I shrugged, smiled weakly, and was turning to walk away when she added, “But it used to be.”

Would you believe it - Sheena Gray! After 25 years!

Well, it’s Sheena Burns now, because she’s married to some fella, Arthur or something, who works in computers in East Kilbride. We were having a right good gab when her bus came, but I said bugger it, took an unscheduled half-day and gave her a run up the road. She’s still a sweetheart, full of fun, laughs all the time, and we're going to have lunch tomorrow and talk about the old times, looking forward to it.

Annie/Wednesday, 26th April

Uh uh, big problems at work today. I invited Tommy Carter to the Drama Club after school. Not a good move.

We were doing Shaw’s The Devil’s Disciple and I wanted him to read for Dick Dudgeon. I thought he had the touch of devilishness about him which Dick requires, and I was proved only too right.

He picked up on the character right away and, though he had difficulty holding the accent, I was well pleased with him and secretly pleased with myself for unearthing this rare talent.

After the reading was over I gave everybody their notes and called it quits for the night. We’re not doing the production till end of term, so we’ve plenty of time for rehearsals. Everybody drifted off, apart from Tommy, who helped me by collecting the scripts. He asked me how I thought he’d done, though I’d already heaped praise on him during the notes.

“You have a talent, Tommy,” I confirmed, “But what you do with it is up to you. If you decide to take up acting as a career there’s a long road ahead of you, and lots of hard work.”

He gave a little moue, a la Bruce Willis, and said, “I can do it. I want to do it.”

“So why didn’t you come to the Drama Club in first year, instead of waiting so long? You could have had four years of experience under your belt by now.”

“I had to wait ... for you to notice me.”

He was looking me right in the eye, which I found quite disconcerting.

“Don’t blame it on me, Tommy, you’ve not always been in my class for me to notice you.”

I started stacking the scripts in the cupboard as he passed them to me.

“I thought it would be boring. Shakespeare and stuff, like we do in class....”

“We do Shakespeare in Drama Club. Quite often actually. I’m not offering classic training here, but if you can master a bit of iambic pentameter, you’ll have no fears doing the stuff they churn out nowadays.”

He passed me the last script and his hand lingered against mine. “Thanks for taking an interest, Miss, I really appreciate it.”

He winked at me, picked up his bag, and left.

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He winked at me!!!!

Call me a paranoid old bag, but I think a certain Master Carter has a crush on his English teacher.

Phil/Wednesday, 26th April

Problem. Sheena phoned me on my mobile to cancel our lunch date. She’s afraid Arthur will find out and it seems he’s the jealous type. I don’t know why she’s so bothered, this is totally innocent, just two old pals having a gab. I’d have no problems telling Annie, though I haven’t yet.

Sheena opened up a bit and told me she was having problems with Arthur. Seems he knocks her about now and again. No punches, just pushing and shoving, but she’s scared. I was furious and told her I’d go down and sort him out, but she said that would just make things worse. I offered her the services of a couple of brickies from one of the sites. When it comes to scaring people, these guys could give Dracula lessons. She laughed at that, but said it wouldn’t work.

“So, is that it?” I asked, “We bump into each other after all these years and then just disappear from each other’s lives again?”

“What were you expecting?” Her voice was soft, confidential.

“I don’t know. Talking. Remembering how daft we were when we were kids. Just a bit of fun.”

“You have a wife and child. I have a husband and two children. That makes it very difficult.”

“Hey, can people not just be pals any more?”

“Of course they can. But ....”

And it struck me like a bolt of lightning - Sheena was up for it!

“Listen, Sheena, I’m not chasing you. I’ve no intention of having a fling with you or anything like that. You can forget it.”


And she hung up on me.

I wanted to explain to her, but I hadn’t taken her number, didn’t want to seem pushy, gave her mine.

It’s good for the ego, knowing somebody fancies you, but a lucky escape methinks.

Big Phil called me into his office later. He’s actually shorter than me, but he’s rounder and he’s the boss, which is why he’s Big. Told me the rest of the guys were getting a bonus this month and I wasn’t. I didn’t have to ask him why. He’s just having his little bit of revenge because of last year.

Like he said, “What am I supposed to give you, a disloyalty bonus?”

Annie/Thursday, 27th April

Fiona came round to our house this morning and totally threw me. I thought she was spying on us, or had come to check on our progress or something. I had a notion to check her for stopwatches and theodolites. Turns out she’d given us the wrong bag of books and had come to swap them. Phil was a bit distraught at losing his Bizarre Facts book and made a great issue of noting the title, author, publisher and ISBN number before he

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handed it over. As if he’s going to walk into a shop and buy a book!

Fiona also gave us both a list of sexual scenarios we should explore. I read it on the way to work when I’d stopped at the lights. It was so shocking that I stalled the car when the lights changed. Does she seriously expect us to get up to these shenanigans? Some of it is bizarre, some of it is repulsive, and at least half of it is disgusting.

I’m going to type it in here because I have to destroy the evidence in case Roddy finds it.


(1) Sex Toys. Try vibrators, dildoes, love balls.

(2) Make love in other parts of the house, away from the bedroom. Try the kitchen, hall, bathroom.

(3) Watch yourself making love in mirrors. Use a video camera if you have one.

(4) Make love outdoors or in the car. Enjoy the sense of danger at the possibility that you might get caught.

(5) Gender swap. Wear each other’s clothes. Let the female partner be the aggressor. Experiment with a strap-on dildo.

(6) Spontaneous oral sex. To be performed when your partner least expects it.

(7) Anal sex. Does not have to include penetration if this is too painful, but the anus is rich in nerve endings.

(8) Bondage. Many people find the thought of being powerless to resist during a sexual session a massive turn-on.

(9) Sado-masochism. This can range from mild chastisement, in the form of a hand slapping buttocks, to whips, paddles and canes.

(10) Latex/Rubber/Leather. Many people find these give a sensuous tactile experience and are also visually stimulating.

(11) Voyeurism. Would you like other people to watch you making love? Would you like to watch other couples making love?

(12) Partner swapping. Not a way to have extra-marital sexual affairs, but a life-enhancing way to share and enjoy your partner’s pleasure with other lovers.

No, thank you very much.

Phil/Thursday, 27th April

Lay in bed last night and thought about the Sheena situation. Maybe I’d been misreading her. What if she wasn’t up for it and I was just making my own randy assumptions. And then I’d gone and insulted her big style which is why she hung up on me. How much of an utter clown could I possibly be?

And there was next to no chance of just casually bumping into her again, and if I did, what would I say?

“Sorry, but I’m a dickhead, can we start again.”

But if I was so enamoured of her, why had I shied away like a startled virgin the minute I thought she was coming on to me? Because I wouldn’t take her on, would I, even if she had grown into a goodlooking, full-blooded woman. Having her as a wee fantasy was fine, but I wasn’t having her threaten me and Annie.

That was sacred.

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And she had a man and kids too, even if Arthur did sound like an utter wank. Why did she stay with him? I could never understand that one. But I did want to see her. I did want to talk to her. I did want to reminisce with her.

Or did I just want to flirt with her?

Playing that safe game that married men do. I thought I was past that.

Annie must have noticed from my breathing that I wasn’t sleeping. “You okay, Phil?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just thinking.”

“What about?”

“Oh, nothing. Just what an asshole I am.”

She propped herself up on an elbow and looked down at me. “What a lucky woman I am then. I’ve got two arseholes, and I never considered myself a social climber.”

"Maybe we could put you on show in a carnival or something. Make some money from it.”

We started kissing and soon she climbed on top of me and stretched out. One of the benefits of a petite wife.

We weren’t really fucking, just moving gently, and I think we both fell asleep at roughly the same time.

When I awoke she was still on top of me, her chin resting on her arms folded across my chest.

“You are a very uncomfortable person to sleep on top of,” she complained.

I nodded compliantly and tried to regain the use of my bodily parts.

Eva Braun came by with some different books this morning. Seems she’d made a cock-up. There was also a list of perversions or something she wanted us to read. I’ll have a look at it tomorrow.

Left it in the car in the rush to work.

Annie/Friday, 28th April

Spent the day avoiding Tommy Carter. He left a note in the staffroom saying he thinks he needs individual acting tuition as he’s taken it up so late in the day.

Yes Tommy, I know what kind of tuition you’re looking for, and I’m not qualified to give it.

Maybe I should point him in Fiona’s direction!

I’m sure she could deal with an over-sexed fifteen-year-old. Probably specialises in them!

Stroke of genius! I still haven’t cast Judith yet. I’ll get a stunner from 5B to play her. Sharon Chambers maybe, that should get young Carter’s thoughts off moi. She has legs giraffes would kill for, never mind shortarsed me. Oh God, I’m ending up as the school matchmaker!

I’m dreading having to deal with Fiona’s latest erotic contribution with Phil. What if he’s up for all this mad perversion? Maybe that’s why he’s been having so much difficulty lately. I’m not exciting enough for him!

I’m boring!

God, I knew it for long enough, within myself, I just didn’t think anybody else had noticed. Do people really go about watching themselves in the mirror while they shove electrical goods up their bottoms? Does old Mrs

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McGillicuddy down at the bakery dress in latex of a Saturday night? Are the Andersons swapping with the Finlays? Now there’s a thought, Joe Anderson with Monica Finlay! Is the racket from next door down to Lisa whipping Ally with a cat o’ nine tails?

Am I the only sane person left on planet Earth?

Have to stop now and pack Roddy some clothes. He’s going over to his Gran’s for the weekend.

Phil/Friday, 28th April

Bloody hell, she’s got some imagination our Fiona. From the sound of this I’m meant to dress up in Annie’s clothes, while she slaps my arse and shags me with a strap-on dildo, with the neighbours watching.

Only one problem - Annie’s kit would never fit me.

She will, of course, blow her top at this. Annie is a very sexy person, but in a quiet introverted way. Dragging us off to a sex therapist was not down to her being sex-mad, but because she thought there was something physically wrong with me. She was worried about my health, and wanted me fixed up. And now it’s all blown up in her face.

Of course I could be quite wrong about this - I’ve heard that women can be quite crude when discussing sexual matters amongst each other, and only play the little innocent to their menfolk. This way lies paranoia.

But never fear, Commander Phil, your dashing hero has come up with a plan that will appeal to all of Annie’s finer instincts, and also pander to Fiona’s base demands.

For a guy who toils on building sites I can be touched with genius at times!

Annie/Saturday, 29th April

Phil is such a sweetheart! With Roddy at his Gran’s he’s decided we should go away for the weekend oursleves.

And you’ll never guess where! A caravan-site on the coast in Dumfries!

Not impressed?

Well, when Phil and I were just going out together, in our teens, this is where we spent our first holiday together.

We were skint and we didn’t need sunshine abroad, just each other. It was grrreat fun!

Phil was living with his Mum and Dad and I was living with mine and up to then we’d never really had quality time alone together. It was always furtive grapplings at parties or in pals’ bedsits, cops shining their torches into cars with a knowing grin.

But the caravan was our own little house for an entire fortnight and we really got to know each other. Apart from the sex, which seemed to occur at a frequency not seen since Don Juan, we discovered each other’s little quirks. Well, I discovered Phil’s and quickly ironed them out. I, of course, didn’t have any, because I was perfect. I was going to be a teacher and educate the children of tomorrow in how to build a better world.

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But we walked for hours on the beach and froze in the sea and cooked dinner and drank beer and laughed like demented hyenas. I think that’s when I really fell in love with Phil. He just seemed so ...complete. He didn’t laugh at me for wanting to save the world, because he understood. And he had dreams too, he wasn’t just going into construction because it was a job. His ambitions weren’t as altruistic as mine, but he had a drive to achieve which I never saw in a lot of other guys.

And he made me laugh. God, how he made me laugh. Lately I’ve found his constant joking to be annoying, as if he hides away from life and responsibility with a gag, leaving me to deal with the realities, but I hope I can learn to laugh again this weekend.

I’m writing this on his laptop, which he’s brought with him. He usually doesn’t let me anywhere near it. We’ve only just arrived at the caravan and unpacked. I’m searching his hard drive and can’t find anything that could possibly be his diary.

He has an idiot grin on his face, because he knows I’m looking. Now he’s pulling a memory stick from the pocket of his shirt and kissing it. Men can be so childish.

Phil/Saturday, 29th April

Ha ha! I knew Annie would go for this big style, the little romantic fool. Little does she know my secret masterplan, which will unfold tomorrow after I’ve softened her up a little more.

But it’s nice to see her relaxed and happy because she’s been so tense recently. Annie is one of life’s heroes, who will take on anybody and everybody’s woes and try to deal with them. Meanwhile, inside, she’s crippling herself. She’s worried about Roddy’s continuing sore gut. Is it real or psychosomatic? A problem either way.

She’s not happy at work, that’s obvious. Maybe she should change schools. Or even jobs.

And then there’s us. It’s almost as if Annie wants to create a problem there, where one doesn’t really exist.

I’m there for her and she’s there for me, that’s our deal, and nothing’s changed that. We have a good kid, a nice house, jobs, the mortgage gets paid, what else is there? Only Annie could reach a mid-life crisis at 36, everybody

else would wait till they were decently into their forties.

Anyway, she’s getting the full treatment today, pampered out of her skull. First off we’ll go for a long walk on the beach and get suitably chilled in the seasonal gale. Then there’s a takeaway curry and two bottles of Merlot in the boot of the car. Microwave and corkscrew available in the caravan, I checked that when I booked it.

The wench and I shall feast on chicken jalfrezi aloo ghobi, and tandoori naan, washed down with copious amounts of Australian and then I shall lay her down on one of these ridiculously small bunks and massage her

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cares away.

Can’t say fairer than that.

Annie/Sunday, 30th April

Yesterday was wonderful and today was a disaster and I don’t want to think about it.

Have to get to bed for some sleep as we’re up early in the morning to get back up to Glasgow.

Phil/Sunday, 30th April

Not a great day in the annals of Phil Wilson, debonair man about town and stand-up idiot.

But let me start at the beginning. The masterplan was set out thus - Annie and I would go for a long walk in the country, an excursion she couldn’t possibly refuse due to her romantic nature.

When we reached a suitably secluded spot we’d settle down for a picnic, following which I would suggest to her that we indulge in some al fresco sex, as suggested by Fifi. Annie would be outraged and horrified at the very thought, at which point I would jump in and say, “Well, if we’re not going to follow the woman’s instructions, what’s the point in paying her lots of money to deal with problems we don’t have.”

Annie would see the sense in this and would phone Fiona tomorrow morning and tell her that we no longer required her services. Life would get back to normal and everybody would be happy. (Apart from Fiona, who’d be a few quid down on the deal, but let’s not try and sort out everybody’s problems with the one masterplan, there is a limit.)

What actually happened is that we went for the walk, ate the picnic, and I slipped my arm round Annie. She snuggled into me and we kissed. I was just working my hand under her jumper when she broke away from me and said, “It’s a bit cold, but how about a quickie, right here?”

Well, you could have knocked me down with a small bulldozer!

Annie likes her comfort. She hasn’t shagged on premises that don’t have central heating for 10 years. The floor is out. Couches are out. Standing up in the shower was attempted, but proved too slippery. And now here she was, pulling her jumper and bra up and fumbling with the stud of her jeans in a ditch in Dumfriesshire.

“It is cold,” I agreed quickly, “too cold.”

She smiled hungrily. “Don’t you worry, boy, I’ll warm you up.”

She worked her own jeans and pants down to her knees and then started on mine.

We were in a little hollow at the corner of a field and as I looked around desperately for help I noticed a ewe standing above us looking ... well, sheepishly .... down at us.

“Oh god, an audience!” I said, “I’ll have to get rid of the bugger.”

“Leave her!” Annie announced triumphantly, pulling my jockeys down,

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“If we let her watch, we can say we’ve covered exhibitionism as well?”

Things were getting out of hand. I fought Annie off and scrambled up the bank of the hollow towards the stupid-looking sheep. I was waving my hands and shouting, my trousers and pants at my knees, and the sheep wasn’t paying a blind bit of notice. As I got closer to it I noticed it was really foul-smelling, but I took my life in my hands and started shoving it away from us, considering whether to yell “Mint Sauce!” as some kind of threat.

And then I heard a voice. An angry farmer-type voice. Approaching at a great rate of knots, and waving a stick in the air.

“What are you doing?” the old duffer was shouting, “Get off my sheep, you filthy pervert!”

“No no,” I explained frantically, “It’s not like’s my wife ...”

I turned to Annie for support, and found that my beloved spouse - loving and caring human-being that she is

- had legged it.


A very fraught meeting with the Wilsons today. I understand they had a difficult weekend and Phil, especially, was extremely negative. Annie, too, was unsupportive, which I found surprising, but she justified this by telling me she had been shocked by the list of sexual scenarios I had left with her. I told her that these were only a very rough game-plan and I didn’t expect them to follow all or even any of them. The point of the exercise was to open their minds to diversity and therefore empower their sexuality. Phil commented that he thought I was talking out of my arse.

Annie now became more reasonable and promised to look at the scenarios once again with a more open mind.

I reinforced the fact that the practice imposed no moral standards within any of our therapies, and that these were the sole responsibility of the

client. We wanted the client to feel comfortable with all procedures but that sometimes, to achieve results, it was necessary to climb out of the comfort zone. Phil said this was horseshit, and I suspect he may have a scatological fixation.

He further tested my position by declaring that he would no longer keep a diary as he did not have enough time due to work commitments. I reminded him that keeping a diary was not mandatory.

He then said he would no longer attend our weekly sessions as he thought they were a waste of time. I reminded him that they had already contracted for the sessions and would have to pay for them.

This did not please him.

At this point I adopted a conciliatory approach and urged him to continue for Annie’s sake. He agreed, but I am sure he was muttering profanities under his breath as they left. Excellent progress.


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Annie/Monday, 1st May

Driving back up this morning, a day at work, and a session with Fiona, have taken their toll. I am exhausted.

Phil has been his usual pig-headed self and spent the entire session riling Fiona. Doesn’t he appreciate that the woman is trying to help us?

I think our basic problem is lack of communication. Tomorrow I will sit Phil down and go through Fiona’s list with him. If we can get him past the schoolboy reactions we might actually achieve something.

Annie/Tuesday, 2nd May

Oh my, what a sheltered life I’ve led. After Roddy sauntered off to bed, Phil and I went through a ‘marital-aids’

catalogue that Fiona included with her last lot of literature. I’m afraid I’d come over all prudish with Fiona at the last meet and I was determined to be much more 21st century when dealing with these sex-aids. I’d expected a few vibrators or things which help to ‘relax’ you, but it seems blatancy is the order of the day.

Phil was absolutely no help, merely grunting non-committally as I rhymed off the list of obscene instruments of torture.

First in the catalogue came clothing or rather, a lack of it.

“What is the purpose of a pair of knickers without a gusset?” I asked Phil.

“I dunno,” he shrugged. “Impromptu sex?”

“Why bother wearing them at all then?”

He muttered something about being incontinent, a line I didn’t pursue.

Apart from these slashed knickers, there were crotchless tights, peep-hole bras and sundry other flimsy items which seemed designed to ensure that the wearer would catch double-pneumonia. Admittedly also pictured was a feather boa, but it seemed an inadequate defence against the ravages of a Scottish winter.

“Nothing there catch your eye?” Phil asked almost innocently.

“No, how about you?”

“Naah, the satin basque and matching thong wouldn’t fit me.”

I grinned triumphantly. “There is a men’s section.”

He eased back. “Naah.”

I flicked the page. “Posing pouches. Latex. Wet-look. See-through. Leather. Animal-print.”

He leaned over to look. “That one’s got a black willy hanging from it!”

“That’s the African Prince solid rubber dildo attachment. Available in Enormous and Even Bigger.”

“That’s just silly.”

“As silly as the satin maid’s outfit you were ogling.”

He sniffed. “Tell you what. You order me something, and I’ll order you something. It’ll be more of a surprise that way.”

“And we’ll both end up with things we absolutely hate. Let’s move on.”

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The next section of the catalogue was devoted to a variation on paper-clips which were described as nipple-thrillers. They were shaped like little insects and animals and cartoon characters.

“My nipples remain unthrilled,” Phil said sadly, and I tended to agree.

We now came to vibrators and here I thought we had some measure of expertise, because we had once owned one. Phil had bought this bright pink torpedo in Spain when we were on holiday years ago. It did not induce spine-tingling orgasms in me, but made a horrendous noise, tickled me and made me laugh uncontrollably.

This may have been down to Phil’s driving of the wretched thing, and I always meant to have a go at it myself in a quiet moment, but eventually the thing stopped working altogether and was discreetly thrown out in a brown paper bag.

This season’s models were much more sophisticated, and seemingly designed for not only sexual pleasure but also pot-holing, scuba-diving and other outdoor pursuits.

I mean, what other reason can there be for putting a torch inside the damn things, as well as making them waterproof, to two fathoms no less. The amount of ingenuity that goes into these things is mind-boggling.

Which genius thought up the thruster which moves up and down as well as vibrates? The multi-speed control box? The separate clitoral stimulator? The pocket-sized for the woman on the move? The one with a little bend at the top, that claims to be a G-Spot seeker? The ejaculator? The jelly feel? And in every colour of the rainbow to boot, with sizes to fit lady mice right p to ones that would scare the pants off Mrs Elephant. If this amount of brain power was applied to world poverty we’d achieve nirvana in 30 seconds flat.

I ordered six. Various types.

Phil/Tuesday, 2nd May

Sheena phoned me again and apologised for hanging up. Said she’d like to reschedule that lunch date if I was still up for it. Of course I was! We’re meeting at Dino’s tomorrow. But Sheena didn’t say why she’d hung up.

Had I got it right in thinking she was coming on to me, or had I really offended her? But she had phoned back and seemed as cheery as ever. I feel like I’m sixteen years old again, palpitations and everything. Annie never put me through as much shit as this, and I was in love with her. I’m only meeting Sheena as a pal.

Annie/Wednesday, 3rd May

Tommy Carter has sent me a bunch of flowers. I’m assuming it’s him, because Phil wouldn’t. That and the accompanying card which bears another of Shakespeare’s sonnets, in a hand contriving to be masculine and adult.

Bad choice though, I reckon No XX to be one of Shakey’s most blatant homo-erotic efforts ..

A woman’s face with Nature’s own hand painted

Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;

A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted

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With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion;

etc etc.

Should I warn young Tommy? No, it’s not on the syllabus, and poetry might work on some naive young thing.

Luckily the flowers were taken into the school office and not brought up to my class. I told everybody they were from Phil, because we’d had a tiff. I can’t have the rest of the staff suspecting one of the kids has a crush on me. It’s not career-threatening, unless you take advantage, but you come in for some ferocious ribbing.

I must deal with the Tommy situation soon, roll on the next rehearsal so I can launch the deadly Sharon at him.

I threw the flowers away on the way home, last thing I need is a jealous tantrum from Phil.

Phil/Wednesday, 3rd May

Had lunch with Sheena and resolved all our problems.

Well, she admitted she had been very flattered by my attentions, and was up for an affair but had been quite put out by my rejection. When she thought about it, however, she realised I was right, and that no good could come of it.

She told me she was bored, and wanted some excitement in her life. I don’t know now if the story about Arthur knocking her about was true or not. She’s a complex person, not the little girl I remember. We talked about Annie a lot, though I never mentioned the shit about Fiona and the diaries. I suggested she meet Annie, but she didn’t seem too keen. Said I couldn’t be her little secret if she met my wife, but she did say Annie was a very lucky girl. She knows how to boost a guy’s ego, but she’s also, possibly, the most dangerous woman I’ve ever met.

I was in two minds whether to walk away and call it quits, but something kept pulling me back. Sheena said she’d settle for being my pal, but I had to flirt with her outrageously anyway, by way of compensation. Seems like a fair deal .. if Annie doesn’t find out.

Annie/Thursday, 4th May

Roddy and I had a long talk this evening.

I still don’t know if he’s playing up with this sore tummy thing, though his reluctance to have it checked up seems to point in that direction. But he is very aware that there is a problem between Phil and I. He kept asking what was wrong and, of course, I couldn’t tell him the specifics, just that we were having some minor problems.

He said that he knew it wasn’t just our usual little arguments because when we had them, Dad would always have a daft smile on his face while he was stomping about and raving. Then he would finally admit he was wrong, get down on his knees and beg my forgiveness, and then tickle me till I granted it. Roddy says he always

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found this very funny. In my day we regarded our parents as providers, comforters and sources of wisdom; today’s kids seem to think of the older generation as a source of entertainment.

I emphasised that there wasn’t anything seriously wrong but he finds it hard to believe this. Not surprising when half the kids in his school are with single parents or second partners. I could see that this possibility scared the little guy and my heart went out to him. I have to speak to Phil and get us back to the fun couple we once were, even f it’s only putting on a front for Roddy. A sham maybe, but what else can we do?

Phil/Thursday, 4th May

Bad day at work. Big Phil wants to send me out to Devil’s Island - the site in Dumbarton. I’ve already paid my dues there, sorted out all the problems and handed it over with a clean bill of health to MacDonald. Now it’s getting handed back to me.

MacDonald says it wasn’t his doing and I believe him. Nobody wants Dumbarton, what with the problems, but everybody was game to take a share of the workload. I chinned Big Phil about it and he said it could be my path to redemption, get me back on an even footing with the company. But he’s just playing the pious little git. He can’t afford to get rid of me, but he doesn’t really want me here. Maybe I should be looking for another job, but I know the little bastard’s put the word out. He’s got me by the balls and now he’s squeezing. I think I’ll phone my Mum and tell her I’m ready to come home now.

Annie/Friday, 5th May

Is the man totally insane?

All I asked him to do was to play along in front of Roddy and he flew into the mother of all rages. Claimed that there was no problem, that I was causing a problem, and that any effect on Roddy was entirely down to me. And when I begged to differ, he cast up that it was my idea to go to a sex therapist, because I had been dissatisfied with our sex life. I, of course, had to admit to this, but added that I was looking to strengthen our relationship, not weaken it, by taking pre-emptive action against a potential problem.

We then had the speech about his mum and dad never needing a therapist and they’d been married for over 40

years, and quickly to the root of his problem in accusing me of being middle-class, a snob, a proto-intellectual (though he didn’t use that particular prefix), and ashamed of my roots. He was proud to be working class, he was proud to wear wellington boots on building sites, he was proud to get drunk with the boys on a Friday night.

I asked if he’d rather I worked in a chip-shop and the swine said no, he preferred kebabs, he’d have a word with Stavros down the road. His words reverberate yet, and the only surprise is that he wasn’t drunk when he was saying them, like he usually is.

But after his explosion he didn’t stomp off to the pub as usual. Stayed ina nd played games on the computer

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with Roddy.

Phil/Friday, 5th May

God, I hate that site. There are idiots there that would make a grown man weep and despair for humanity. The guys on the tools are all right for a change, and just want to get on with the job. They’re champing at the bit to hit their deadline and get off on holiday, but there’s a new council guy there who seems to feel he owns half the town. And has a time-share in the other half.

MacDonald obviously hadn’t done me any favours, because his first words to me were, “Oh, that Wilson”. He bitched all day and I decided to take him for a pint to try and build some kind of relationship with him. But there was no holding this fella back; according to him everybody in the building trade was a cowboy; we would come in on schedule and on budget or he’d have something to say about it; and is that the best car your company could give you? There was no stopping him.

So I let him finish his beer and gave him a Phil Special. Asked him if he was thinking of getting married.

He said he was married.

I said, “Oh, did your hand get sore?”

That baffled him. Then I asked him if he knew why the Council Officer crossed the road.

He was wary, not as stupid as he looked, so I told him it was because he’d heard the chicken was a slut.

Left him standing there with his jaw at his knees and headed home, where Annie’s just given me major grief about Roddy, like it was all my fault.

Welcome to the weekend, my man.

Annie/Saturday, 6th May

A serious chill in the air around Chez Wilson this morning. Roddy went off to football practice and I could see Phil winding himself up to go off to the pub on a bender.

In the past I’ve always just let him go, because I thought it was good for him to let off steam, but the thought of his drunken return with the noise and disruption made me feel ill. Then, of course, there would be tomorrow with all the aches and agonies of a man who drinks like he still has the recovery powers of ten years ago.

I just couldn’t face it and decided to grab the bull by the horns.

“Phil,” I asked him, “Do you intend going to the pub and getting drunk? Because I don’t think it’s a very good idea.”

He told me to fuck off.

In years gone by this would have reduced me to tears and ended the conversation but now, empowered by Fiona, I struck back.

“No, dear, you fuck off.”

He gave me a look which I thought at first was bafflement, but which I now realise was just defiance.

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“Okay, I’ll fuck off to the pub.”

I was never very good with swear words and should never have taken him on at that level.

“If you have problems, Phil, going to the pub will not solve them.”

He smirked. “I am aware of that, my little treasure. I do not go to the pub to have my problems solved, I go to have my problems professionally forgotten. It’s a skill the brewer, the distiller and the publican have mastered between them over the centuries, and who am I to deny them their art?”

I hate it when he does that, mocking what he thinks is my pretension, and at the same time showing that he’s not as shallow as he pretends to be.

“Wouldn’t it be wiser to confront whatever problems you may have? To try and solve them?”

He gave a little grunt. “Yeah, Miss Philanthropy. And what about the brewer, the distiller and the publican?

Do they have no rights to a decent life? Must I condemn them to poverty? Think of their families! Think of the entire industry you would destroy with your selfish attitude!”

I admit I stamped my foot, a habit I thought I’d grown out of years ago.

“Enough, Phil! Stop messing about. Tell me what’s wrong.”

We’d been standing in the hall, him hovering near his jacket on the peg. Now he wheeled round and parked himself on the stairs.

“The problem is,” he spat, “That I don’t know what the problem is.”

“What do you mean?” I sounded shrill.

“What do I mean?” He was roaring now. “I mean what the fuck is going on in my life? Why is my wife dragging me off to see sex therapists? Why does she want me to tell lies to my son? If she’s not happy with me, why doesn’t she just tell me, and I’ll go away.”

I roared right back. “Because there are two of us in this relationship. We’re supposed to care about each other and help each other, and you don’t tell me what’s bugging you. Everything’s a joke to you. And when the joking doesn’t work, there’s always drinking. You are so stereotypically the West of Scotland male they should put you on posters in the street with a health warning.”

The bastard then raised an eyebrow and smiled, “Is there money in it?”

I stomped off to the kitchen and had a bubble. He buggered off to the pub.

Phil/Saturday, 6th May

Ding dong with Annie this morning but not a big problem, I think we were due one and it’s probably good to blow the cobwebs away now and again. Went down to the pub to meet the boys and the promise of a relaxing afternoon of jolly banter.

Willie and Al were in good form. They’re on the tools and don’t hold it against me that I wear a suit to work.

I know this because they only bring it up once an hour by calling me a lazy bastard who would collapse with a heart attack at the prospect of an honest day’s hard graft.

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There was a new barmaid on, big redhead called Wendy, and Al was immediately smitten, but he does tend to respond that way to anything with a pulse. He’s divorced and available, so Willie and I tend to give him as much encouragement as we can.

We were propping the bar and after a few beers he decided to make his moves. Bad mistake, as the Wendy one seemed to have a black belt in repartee.

He started off with the classic, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”

And she replied with, “Maybe, I used to be the receptionist in the VD clinic.”

This dampened his ardour for a little while, but Willie and I were quick to point out that a lassie with wit like that was worth her weight in gold.

We fired a few more pints of courage into him and he tried a subtler approach. “My name’s Al,” he said.

“My name’s on my front door,” she replied.

“And where would that be?”

“On the front of my house, where do you keep yours?”

Al retreated, a little wounded, and Willie and I consoled him with the fact that he had to expect some kind of fight from a redhead.

I’ll say this for Al, he’s game.

He asked her if she worked in the bar full-time or if she had another job.

She told him she was a female impersonator.

This continued for several blissful hours, as Wendy ripped Al to shreds. There is nothing more joyful than somebody else being the victim.

As we were leaving she came round from the bar, gave Al a peck on the cheek and said, “Sorry, honey, I’m just not your type ..”

Al gave a wistful nod.

“..I’m not inflatable.”

Annie/Sunday, 7th May

A change of tactic from Phil. He didn’t return blazing drunk last night, and he took Roddy off to Loch Lomond this morning as the weather’s improved big-style. He did not, however, take the car. I’m not sure whether this proves he was drunker than I thought he was, or whether he’s just trying to prove he’s responsible. Either way, I enjoyed my day of peace and quiet.

Felt the need for some boosting, so phoned Kate and invited her over for coffee. She’s such a pet and can always be relied on to lift my spirits. I’ve known her since we were at teacher-training college together and we’ve been pals ever since, even though she didn’t follow through with the career and went into journalism instead. Now she’s features editor of a local freesheet and gets to meet football players and TV stars. She also claims to have to sleep with ten businessmen a week to get enough advertising to keep the paper afloat, but I think she’s exaggerating. It’s probably only five or six!

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A couple of hours with Kate is like a holiday to me, because she’s so full of fun and life and gossip. Plus revelations about her own personal life could keep the paper in copy for months. Her wit and wisdom are legendary and I just wish I had half the hair-trigger mind she has. She comes away with things like, “What did they go back to before they had drawing boards?” and “Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?”

She’s priceless, and encouraged me again to stick with Fiona’s regime. Phil’s current behaviour she put down to teething troubles as he adjusted.

I live in hope.


A much better meeting today. Phil attended and admits he has continued to keep his diary. They also seem to be making positive moves to enhance their sex-life by ordering items from the catalogue I supplied. Annie was loath to tell me which ones, but I’m sure this shyness will disappear once she starts using them. I encouraged them both to continue and emphasised that the effort they put in now would be rewarded in the long-term.

I also suggested another possible therapy, offering myself as a surrogate partner to precisely identify Phil’s problems. This would confirm whether they were directly related to his relationship with Annie. Phil declined my offer, though I told him there would be no extra charge. I feel we have reached a small watershed, and the next few weeks will be crucial.


Annie/Monday, 8th May

Ooh, I have had a frivolous day!

This was the day I was going to launch the legendary Sharon Chambers at the unsuspecting Tommy Carter, only things didn’t turn out quite as I’d planned.

For one thing, Sharon, apart from being the nearest thing we have to a school bicycle in these post-modern times, turns out to be a fair actress and gave Tommy a run for his money. In my devious mind I’d imagined her to be quite poor and needing of Tommy’s support, but she matched him for nuance and delivery with not a touch of nerves.

She is incredibly popular, even with the other girls, and it’s a bookish sort that come to the Drama Club, but within ten minutes it seemed as if she’s been best mates with them all for years. Throughout the session I kept working scenes with Tommy and Sharon together, but even I could see that there was no smoke, and therefore no flame. In a last desperate attempt I sent them off together to get the whole company crisps and cokes. I told them it was a reward for all their hard work, but I just hope they don’t see it as a regular thing, because it’s

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coming out of my pocket.

But even this didn’t get Tommy smitten and the end of the rehearsal saw he and I alone together, clearing up scripts again. Which is when he told me he knew what I was up to.

“Up to?” I said innocently, because when it comes to acting, I could show these kids a thing or two, I’ve been married fifteen years.

“Sharon Chambers has never been interested in acting,” he said, “And she told me when we were down at the shops that you practically forced her to turn up. You’re trying to use her as a shield.”

His intuition was shocking, but I kept my composure.