Shetland Ponies and Losing Your Virginity

The main reason that Pip and I spend hours upon end getting lost in the British countryside is not to train for our up and coming trek to Nepal, no, the main reason is so we can talk shite for hours on end without bothering too many people.

And we do - who knew two intelligent women could find so much random bollocks to discuss with seriousness and enjoyment.

As we reach the light at the end of our collective dark tunnel and tick off each day until the 21st April, unless you live in Scotland (please don’t get me started on that arbitrary decision made by wee Jimmy Cranky and her cronies), Pip and I are experiencing a sense of giddiness about seeing each other in three dimensions and going for a real walk.

There is the light at the end of the tunnel

I’m not one to be pedantic, (she lied) but that’s not a tunnel.

Until that time, you’ll have to make do with our ramblings about life.

This week, dear reader (I believe we have as many as four now, two of which are not related to Pip), I embarked upon a foray into the heady world of Clubhouse. What is Clubhouse? I hear you ask.

As far as I can tell, it’s an over-hyped new social media platform that involves chatting about how you can become a billionaire by waking up at 5am and listening to Mark Zuckerberg on Clubhouse. Like all these things, it began in someone’s garage in California, or so the blurb would have you believe.

Given the insights gleaned from the American chap that joined in our call yesterday it will grow quickly and then go bust with a huge global pop any minute!

Just in case, it turns out to be the massive next big thing that those who are in the know think it will become, I set up my business’ first Clubhouse Event on Friday to which I invited Pip. It was fun, but won’t change my life or my fortunes, that’s just down to solid hard work.

What it did do though is result in a lengthy Whats App post match review with Pip who, being the ever supportive friend she is, told me I was fabulous darling. Watch out Claudia Winkleman is all I can say.

You are fabulous darling! Do you think I confused the American contingent with my use of the phrase 'fannying about'?

Our post match review took about five seconds before we got onto Shetland Ponies. It turns out that Pip feels she might have been a Shetland Pony in a previous life. We both agreed that she is indeed short with beautifully turned ankles and tiny feet, but that those cute looks hid a darker side of her personality that may result in biting or even a sharp kick if people get too close to her in her paddock.

My hair also gets in my eyes alot..

Pip in a former life

For some reason the word ’paddock’ had us guffawing like a pack of Brownies after twelve bags of Haribos at a midnight feast.

I got banned from Brownies. Its a long story. Oh and while Im admitting things I got banned from, I was also chucked out of Sunday school....

We both felt that I had been some kind of stricken baby giraffe in a former life.

I think I said dyspraxic cougar? I couldn’t find one of those online.

Me in a former life

This got us reminiscing about our youth. I’m not sure how we made the link from paddocks to our youth and I suspect a therapist would have a field day (no pun intended) with this link. We then got onto losing our virginity. It’s not a subject we’ve discussed before and it was illuminating.

We’re are both women of a certain age, now in the silver lined decade of fifty, enjoying the fact that we literally don’t give a fuck about much or care what other people think anymore, so remembering when we had lost our virginity was a bit tricky. It was an awfully long time ago.

Paddocks may have been involved, as were house parties, bottles of cider and a distant memory of it lasting all of thirty seconds and being completely underwhelming. Why do we build these things up in our heads, when in fact they’re a bit of a non event. It’s not as if our marriage prospects are based on being a virgin at the altar anymore, so why the big hype?

I‘ve not come across anyone who popped their cherry surrounded by candles whilst listening to Barry White. If you did, then please let us know. It all seems to have been swift, unimpressive and often in very strange surroundings.

My experience did involve a candle - but not Barry White - who wants to listen to the 'luuurrvvve Walrus' whilst being inexpertly nobbed for the first time? In fact who on earth listens to Barry White at any time!

Early sexual experiences ranged from uncomfortable, cold and embarrassing all the way through to downright dodgy. North Manchester lacked the glamour of rural Wales, (glamour? it was Mid Wales not The Bahamas) affording me the salubrious surroundings of Nevada Roller Rink in Bolton for some sneaky fumblings (it thankfully burned down thus removing all evidence of said fumblings) and the back of Boots in Bury precinct for some heavy petting.

Try spending your teenage years in Benidorm!

It was literally the only thing on your mind at school for years. Who has snogged who, who is still a virgin and who has ‘done it’. Speculation was always rife and the coolometer status of a girl was based on which of the fittest lads she’d snogged or shagged.

Was it? I didnt give a flying bat fuck about other people’s opinions then either.

I had the misfortune of attending no less than two all girls grammar schools (we moved from North to South Manchester when I was 13), both of which were an unhealthy hotbed of teenage girls thrown together all day long with nothing much to do than learn Latin, bake rock cakes attempt algebra and obsess about boys and each other.

I went to a comprehensive in a back water in Wales. I did also do Latin, don't remember it as my best friend and I spent two years getting stoned before the lessons. Our poor Latin Mistress....

The viciousness of teenage girls in this environment cannot be underestimated. My hockey stick phobia lives on even to this day as I recall standing in the middle of a cold, wet, muddy hockey pitch in South Manchester terrified as five spotty and rather aggressive girls ran towards me brandishing their sticks, aiming a very hard ball directly at me. I spent most of my time running away from the ball and the girls which made me even more unpopular.

I played Hockey for the school, my solid little build was more attuned to waving a weapon at opposing schools/teams than flouncing about a netball pitch. I hated netball.

They hated me mainly because I had a north Manchester accent and was tall and skinny. It had nothing at all to do with the fact I was gobby, loud and opinionated.

Needless to say I spent every opportunity I could wagging PE and avoiding such encounters. It put me off PE forever and gave me an unhealthy wariness of all female activities until my mid-forties. Even to this day, I avoid all female business networking groups if I possibly can.

All I can say, is thank god (purposefully lower case as I’m a confirmed atheist) there was no social media back then.

That Bec is indeed a blessing. Sometimes I get a bit of a shiver when I think back to some of those days in Benidorm....

As you get older, you realise that no one cares how or when you lost your virginity. It doesn’t matter anymore and neither does it matter how many sexual partners you’ve had. You‘ve probably lost count by the time you’re fifty anyway. Pip insists that she had meaningful conversations and got to know all her conquests prior to the all important bedroom/paddock part, whereas there’s a certain haziness to my recollections. Probably just as well.

I didn't actually say the conversations were meaningful, just that they happened....

Our conversation came to an abrupt end as Ever Patient Husband walked through the door and we like to walk the dog together of an evening like a proper couple who are pretending to like each other. We returned from our couply walk to our domestic bliss involving Friday night pizza, gin and tonic and some artisan olives whilst Pip had a socially distanced date to prepare for the next day......

It’s a walk not a date.

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