Adventures Part 13: Summer??!!???

May 22, 2010 at 8:58 am (Dilators, Exercise, growing vegetables and herbs, health, Humor, Making the most of your time, relationships, resolutions, Summer, Things to do before you're 30, Vaginismus, Vegetables) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I’m afraid to write it in case it disappears again, but I think it might be summer 🙂   I’ve spent the morning in the garden for the first time this year. I had breakfast outside, the washing drying in the sun and I had to water the vegetables, which are growing like mad! We’ll soon have our own veggies for dinner!!! Yummy! They’re playing summer songs on the radio and I’m planning a looonnnggg walk for later on. Wonder Boy is off running in preparation for the marathon, which is coming up in a couple of weeks. I’ll have to get my pom-poms ready to cheer him over the finish line!

What’s all this positivity you might ask???? Aren’t I usually quite depressing????? The answer might be yes, but this week things are good. My star chart seems to be working. Ticking things off one-by-one and knowing that I’ll have a reward at the end seems to be working. I haven’t noticed any improvement with the dilators, but I have used them everyday for the last 9 days (I’m back to the 2nd one again). I’m just focusing on using it everyday and then, hopefully, one day it’ll be easy.

And the treat I’m looking forward to today??? Well, Wonder Boy’s nephews are coming to stay tonight and we’re going to get pizza and watch football! They might even persuade me to go zip-wiring in the park tomorrow if it’s still sunny. They find it very funny to watch me cling on for dear life while they push me across!

So, I’m ending this entry feeling positive  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 

Oh, and if anyone has any advice on how to recover coriander or how to grow pepper plants, your comments are very welcome!


Permalink 2 Comments

Part 10: Tick, Tick, Tick…….!

April 12, 2010 at 7:40 pm (Changing jobs, cholesterol, Dilators, EFL, health, Humor, Making the most of your time, relationships, resolutions, sexual dysfunction, Teaching, TEFL, Things to do before you're 30, Travel, Vaginismus) (, , , , , , , , , )

Aarrghh!!! I’ve less than half a year to go! OMG  🙂  The clock is ticking and my deadline is fast approaching. I’ve just re-read my list and freaked out. What a difference 6 weeks makes. When I wrote it, It felt as if I’d loads of time to get through everything, but now……..

Wonder Boy and I have been busy travelling again (at least that resolution has been completely ticked and ticked and ticked off the list!) We went to Morocco at the end of last month and had a great time. We did a lot of lazing around. It was Wonder Boy’s first visit to North Africa and I didn’t want to scare him off the place as it’s an area I really like and want to go back to! My plan nearly failed though cos as soon as we got into the taxi from the airport, Wonder Boy nearly had a heart attack! The taxi driver paid no attention to the road, lanes or other cars as he welcomed us to his country 🙂

However, once we’d checked into our hotel, eaten a lovely dinner and walked along the beach, things were looking better! We based ourselves in Agadir and then travelled to Taroudannt and Tiout. We spent the first couple of days going between the beach and the pool. Seeing as Wonder Boy’s training for a marathon he had to find suitable running routes and suitable running times! So those few days were the settling in period. Then we started to venture out into the city. Because most of the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1960, the architecture of what is now the medina is that terrible 1960’s style that could be anywhere. There are no lovely terracotta walls and tiny streets. I did find the most adorable kitten near the mosque though – it was the highlight of the holiday and I wanted to bring it home J We visited the little museum and found the football stadium. We walked everywhere, so we knew the place pretty well by the end of the trip.

The souk is a fine example of what a market should be though. It’s huge – 7 km² if I remember correctly! Of course we were taken off by a guy who had to bring us to his friends’ spice shop cos “he’s only here today. You are lucky!” We drank our tea, had a chat and bought some spices. Then we raced around the rest of it trying to avoid being sold hens (I mean really-what would we do with hens!!), jackets, teapots, tagines……. It was a bit hassled, but at least you see Moroccans going about their daily business. There are plenty of tourist souks near the modern marina, but they’re over-priced!

When we finally got out of the city we got to see some of the typical images of Morocco! Orange and olive trees, goats up trees, little farms, bizarre villages at the side of the road with massive Coca Cola signs and meat hanging up next to tyres and spare mechanical parts! In Taroudannt we found our lovely terracotta walls and wandered around the souk inspecting the traditional jewellery, teapot, fabric and TV/satellite dish shops! Next we went onto Tiout a little further into the mountains. We checked out the Kasbah where Ali Baba was filmed. A local kid, Hamid, insisted on taking us on a donkey ride to the wadi and he filled Wonder Boy in on all the football scores from the previous night while we were there! It was really pretty there with lots of brightly coloured flowers.

And so now we’re back to a much colder and tagine deprived (although that might be a good thing!)  reality! I think I’ve mentally resigned myself to the fact that I’ll still have the same job by the time my birthday comes around. I’m not even looking for anything else anymore and I’m enjoying work much more as a result. Last week the theme of the book was travel and things to do before you die. I put the following up on the board:

1. travel around the world

2. retire by 55

3. do a parachute jump

4. buy a house somewhere sunny and near a beach

5. write a travel book

My class pointed out to me that if I write a best-selling book, all the rest will fall into place. It got me thinking about how I’ve always had ideas in my head for books. Writing this has helped me start writing ideas down, so maybe I can stay teaching and write a best-seller in my spare time! Then I’ll get rich, travel around the world, buy a house somewhere nice and, of course, retire early!!! I like the way my class thinks! 😀

So, the job will be a non-ticked off item, but, let’s face it, it’s only disguising the real reason why I have resolutions. The most important resolution that needs to be carried through is to have sex. I am FINALLY seeing some progress with using the dilators. I’ve continued to start off using the smallest one for a few minutes before moving onto the second one. But, tomorrow I think I can start off with the second one. I realised the other day that using the smallest one now is pointless! How cool is that?!?!?!?!? I was actually lying there thinking “this is silly, I can’t even feel it!” A few months ago a small finger caused me a lot of discomfort and now I’m discarding small dilators! YAY!!! 😀 I imagine Wonder Boy is mentally counting down the days 😉

I won’t bore you anymore – I know this was a long entry, but then again, I hadn’t written for a while! If you’re still reading it, thanks for sticking with it!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Part 8: The List!

March 2, 2010 at 7:34 pm (Changing jobs, cholesterol, diets, Dilators, EFL, health, Humor, Making the most of your time, relationships, resolutions, Teaching, TEFL, Things to do before you're 30, Travel, Vaginismus) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It has been pointed out to me that almost 6 months into my year I haven’t actually given you a full list of my resolutions. So, here they are and a few comments on how they’re going!

1: Save some money.

I did put some money in the bank and changed my account so I’m getting a better return. I still need to save more, but for now I can tick that one off the list!

 2: See new places

I can tick that one off too! We’ve been to Barcelona, we’re going to Morocco at the end of the month and I’m sure we’ll plan something for later in the year.

 3: Find a new job

This one isn’t even near to being ticked off. For now I have to be happy that I have a job and one that I like (even if I don’t like the place). There is absolutely nothing else out there at the moment for a person who doesn’t really know what she wants to do!

 4: Get fit and healthy

This one is a work in progress. I’ve started keeping my food diary, started cutting out junk food and I’ve stepped up my exercise programme. I should see an improvement soon, right?!?!?!? However, boxes of chocolates and cold weather make it hard! 🙂

 5: Have sex!

Again, this is another work in progress!!!! I’m doing my dilators regularly and I know there’s a little progress, but I want more! I’m still using the first one, but itching to get onto the second one. I try it every now and then. I tried it today and I got it further in than before, but it hurts…….a lot.

I’m the kind of person who needs to see changes quickly or else I give up! Right now between a health kick, job search and dilators, I’m not seeing enough changes and the idea of giving up is right there. So, this needs a lot more work.

 6: Go back to Italy

This one isn’t a major one and could be done next year too! This is a country that I used to fly backwards and forwards to, where I used to live and work, but I haven’t been there for nearly 7 years. My friends there have all got married and most of them have kids now who I’ve never seen. I’d like to go and visit everyone.

 7: Make travel plans

We’ve discussed and thought about this a lot too. We think we might have a kinda plan, but we’re waiting for confirmation. So, this one is half ticked off!!!

 8: Get a tattoo

I’m waiting until the vaginismus is gone before I get this. I’ve wanted a snake tattoo on my foot since I was about 13. I’ve more-or-less settled on a design. Now all I need is the courage!

 9: Wear a designer dress on my birthday

This one speaks for itself and obviously won’t be ticked off for another 6 months!

 There are the resolutions. Don’t ask me why I stopped at 9 instead of 10 cos I’ve no idea. Looking at them now I can see I’m not doing too badly, but some of the big ones are hard.

Permalink 1 Comment

Part 6: To Pancake or not to Pancake…….That is the Question?!?!?!?!?

February 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm (cholesterol, diets, Dilators, EFL, health, Humor, pancakes, relationships, resolutions, Things to do before you're 30, Travel, Vaginismus) (, , , , )

There’s nothing like the doctor telling you you’re going to have a heart attack by the time you’re 36 to give you the kick up the ass you needed to make your life healthier. That’s the conversation I had with my doctor on Friday when he called to give me my cholesterol test results!!! My options: seriously clean up my act or go on medication for life. Seeing as I really don’t like the idea of the 2nd option, it looks like I’m going to have to start exercising and give up some of my favourite food. Which leads me onto resolution 7: get fit and healthy before my birthday.

Luckily the time of year is in my favour. We’re coming up to Easter and Lent starts tomorrow – I’m not religious, but it’s a good excuse to cut some things out. Spring is here and the days are getting longer, so it’s easier to get out and about after work. And, Wonder Boy has decided he’s going to do a marathon this year and is out training every second day, so I have a running partner if I want one. Now…I’m NOT going to run a marathon. In fact I hate running. However, I can’t eat dinner until he comes back and has a shower so I might as well get out there while he’s out. Another thing that helps is that our gym which was closed for refurbishment reopened this week and they gave us a month’s free membership for not leaving them while they were closed! So I really have no excuse.

In our aim to get out more we’ve recently had a busy social life. This involved parties with friends, big dinners with family and trips to restaurants. People coming to stay brought more food and drink and led to me being lazy and entertaining. Playing the Wii fit has been the extent of my exercise recently.  🙂  I do hold the ski jump record though – something I’ve been reminding Wonder Boy of this week as we watched the Olympic games!!!! He sighed and rolled his eyes each time I said “I can jump 189m when I do the ski jump on the Wii!!!”

So, now it’s time to start on a new resolution. As for the others……………… the dilator work is going well and I think I might be able to move onto number 2 at the weekend, we have made plans to travel to Morocco next month and we’re working on our longer travel plans. I’m still keeping an eye out for another job, but for the moment I’m happy to be working and planning holidays! Wonder Boy has just arrived in with pancakes and chocolate – yummy, yummy!  🙂   I guess my health kick starts tomorrow!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Part 5: And the Next Step is…….??????

February 1, 2010 at 9:04 pm (Changing jobs, Dilators, EFL, Humor, relationships, resolutions, Teaching, TEFL, Things to do before you're 30, Travel, Vaginismus) (, , , , , , , )

So far I’ve been concentrating on what I thought was the hardest resolution-the one I thought would need the most time to achieve. However, I’ve now realised that I only have 8 months to work on 2 other important ones. Resolution 5: Change job and Resolution 6: Make some serious travel plans.

I’ll start with number 5, the job. I’ve been teaching English as a foreign language for nearly 8 years now and I did not expect to be doing it for 8 years. I did the course so I could travel. I had studied Italian and English at university and I wanted to live there for a while. The easiest way to do that was to do a TEFL course. So I did it, found a job and off I went. When I came home, the school where I had done my course were looking for teachers. I was 22 and the money was good, so I took it and 7 years later, here I am……..still in the same place! When I started off a former colleague told me that 10 years is the shelf-life of an EFL teacher. I reckon I’m reaching my best before date a little sooner than that!

It’s not that I don’t like teaching, it’s just it’s not where I saw myself ending up-not that I know where I thought I’d end up either! I suppose it was always going to be teaching of some sort. When I was 5 I taught my brother (who was 3) how to recite and write the alphabet. He could spell before he went to school. He has gone on to become quite successful in his field and has an excellent job. I take some of the credit for that!!!!! I had a brief fling with wanting to be a model and a fashion designer, but that ended when I was about 13 and then it went back to teaching, but I didn’t know what kind. So, I played it safe and did a general degree which could let me get into any type of teaching.

I have tried to change my job.  Two years ago I started doing a course at night on teaching children with special needs. I’ve applied for countless jobs in this area since, but the only joy I have had is a letter saying “you have been unsuccessful this time, but we’ll keep your CV on file.” Yah, thanks! Little things like a mortgage, bills and that horrible “R” word that’s been taking over the economic world haven’t helped things. So, it looks like the best options would be to totally change career. But to do what???? And in the meantime, while I’m figuring it out, bills need to be paid, so giving up work isn’t an option. But, to change career means going back to study, which means not working………. You see where this circular thought pattern is going and, seeing as I analyse everything in this way, you can see how I accidentally ended up staying working in the same place for so long.  And I’m likely to be asking the same questions in another 5 years unless I really stick to the resolution and find something before September. The chances of that happening?!?!?!?!? I’ll let you know! 🙂

So that’s work. Now the travel plans. Wonder Boy and I have a mad notion that we’re going to travel around the world. It’s going to be easy to find someone to live in our house while we’re gone (covering the mortgage and maybe even making some money of course!) We’re going to have enough money saved to be able to travel comfortably through India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and The US (stopping off on some nice Pacific islands along the way) for 12 months. And finally, we’ll be able to walk back into the jobs we left. Can anyone see a flaw in this plan?!?!?! You can??? Please don’t point it out and shatter my fantasy!

Wonder Boy’s job means we can’t go anywhere for another 18 months anyway. (Which brings me back to the work situation-is it worth changing jobs if we’re going to go away? Or should I just leave, re-train, travel and then look for a job? But we’ve been through this thought pattern already!) Anyhow, we’ve been making some short-term travel plans to fill my need to see the world a little. A long look needs to be taken at things soon and a nice little plan made to see us through.

So there are the ramblings for the moment. The dilator update is that they’re still going well. I tried to run before I could walk and use the next size up over the weekend, but OUCH!!! The dancing update is that it’s Monday night and I’m at home typing this………………I don’t need to say any more!

Permalink 1 Comment

part 4: Dilator Delight and Dancing Disaster!!!!!

January 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm (Dilators, Humor, relationships, resolutions, sexual dysfunction, Vaginismus) (, , )

How glad I am that this is the title of this part and not the other way around as it so easily could have been! I didn’t want to write this too soon in case I jinxed what was happening, but I figure 10 days in I can.

I’ll start with the dilators and leave the dancing until later. I had to psyche myself up to use them. They’d been in the house more than a week before I started. I’d read everything I needed to know about them and armed with a mind-boggling amount of information off I went. I’d looked at this set of dilators with the gynaecologist, and she had pointed out how she’d been able to examine me and the smallest one was more–or–less the size of her finger. So, I was pretty confident.

It was a Saturday so I’d plenty of free time. I had a relaxing bath (as suggested on many websites), I warmed the dilator, I had relaxing music on and I was in what is supposed to be the best position on the bed. Seeing as it was just a couple of weeks after Christmas, lying with my legs in the air, looking down at what looked like 5 stomachs turned out not to be the best position! (I really have to work on my losing weight resolution!)  I couldn’t see what I was doing and when I did get the dilator in, it felt like just the tip had gone in. It hurt so much, I had to take it out. I was NOT happy. L Wonder Boy was waiting to find out how it was going and I told him the news. He said he’d sort out the situation. Later that night I was in a better position and Wonder Boy went to work. I felt the pain again and after about 30 seconds I told him to take it out. It turns out it was in much further than I thought, so I was happier with that. Wonder Boy on the other hand was traumatised by my facial expressions, saying that if he didn’t love me, he’d be outta there!!!!

Over the next few days things got better, ending up last Saturday with me being able to leave it in for about 8 minutes and do about 3 minutes of stretches. It almost lead me to believe I could move up to dilator number 2…….. almost………. I’m not going to get ahead of myself. I took a break yesterday and I hope it’ll be just as easy to do it today.

So that’s the good news! Now onto the dancing! Off we went last Monday to our class. It was a drop-in class to see if we liked it or not. We did the warm up in front of mirrors, which was very distracting and learned our steps – all 5 of them! Then the men and women were divided. I managed to lose Wonder Boy to a leggy blonde and ended up dancing with a guy twice my height! Talk about awkward! We kept rotating so I did eventually get to dance with him just as the class was ending. We had kinda got the hang of the 5 steps, but I really wouldn’t let us out on the dance floor! We tried practising during the week, but we’ve managed to forget all the steps now.

Anyhow, tonight was supposed to be dancing night, but instead I’m sitting by the fire writing this. Work ran over and then we had to eat and there’s traffic………………..! You can see we’re great at making excuses!

Hopefully next time I’ll have made some more progress with the dilators and the dancing!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Part 3: Barca and Beyond!

January 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm (Humor, relationships, resolutions, sexual dysfunction, Things to do before you're 30, Travel, Vaginismus) (, , , , )

As I look at the Christmas tree for the last night the “whoo-hoo” feeling I had in the last installment has well and truly worn off-as I predicted! We arrived back from sunny Barcelona to a freezing house with no water. I sent Wonder Boy up to the attic to investigate and he reported back that the pipes had frozen. I was NOT a happy camper. So now we’re in Arctic conditions, I have time to reflect on the last two weeks.

Christmas was lovely and Santa was very good to me! The over-indulgences of a Christmas at home and New Year eating tapas and drinking copious amounts of mojitos in Barcelona are playing havoc with resolution number 4: Get fit and tone up. So, as soon as all the Christmas food is gone, I’ll do something about that……I promise!!! I just have to finish the chocolate snowmen! I’m useless at sticking to conventional exercise, so we thought we’d try something fun for me. We came up with salsa dancing. Monday night will be our first one-I wouldn’t like to be watching us! 😉

Barcelona was great, such a fun city. It was warm too and we didn’t need coats for the first 2 days. We lost ourselves in a maze of tiny streets, markets, squares, churches and parks, all the time looking up so that we wouldn’t miss something on the corner of a building or a balcony. There is so much to do and to see, so we’re already planning another trip back there, but not this year.

In the evenings we wandered around dropping into random bars and restaurants which resulted in very drunk and late nights……which in turn resulted in lots of fooling around! 🙂  I know you’re not supposed to mess around while drunk cos it’s not “real”, but sometimes I just need to have some fun too. It shouldn’t always be about exercises and progress. So, Wonder Boy had a great holiday! I have some memories of pain, but mostly ones of pleasure.

So, now we’re holed up in the ice with no water or heating. I guess we’ve nothing better to do than experiment with dilators……….!!!!!!!! And salsa dance!!!!!!  That’ll keep the temperature up!

Join me next time to find out how VGirl and Wondergirl get on with dilators and latin music!

Permalink 1 Comment

Part 2…..The Doctor’s Visit!

December 22, 2009 at 9:25 pm (Humor, relationships, resolutions, sexual dysfunction, Things to do before you're 30, Travel, Vaginismus)

Well, D-Day arrived and I opened the curtains to a white, frosty and icy world. I was quite nervous so I went for a run and displayed my fabulous balancing skills sliding down a hill! Then I went off to the gynaecologist, primped and preened as if I was going on a hot date! 😉

What is it about doctor’s surgeries??? They are out to make you feel as uncomfortable as possible. I was waiting in an examining room on my own for about 20 minutes, freaking out about my parking disc running out, before I was called in. Once I was in with her, we discussed the bike accident that I had when I was a child. She definitely thought that this was part of the problem and suggested examining me under anaesthetic. At this stage the fact that I had made it this far and was actually talking to someone about it was completely overwhelming and the tears started flowing. I knew that I had come a long way since I’d found out about vaginismus for the 1st time and I really didn’t want to go under anaesthetic to be examined.

I told her this and she just kept repeating that I was in control and that if I wanted her to examine me, she would. So, gritting my teeth, I got ready to be examined. It was one of the worst things I’ve had to do and I was so close to telling her to stop, but I knew I had to let her do it. My poor nails bore the brunt of it though and there’s no amount of nail varnish will make them look nice for Christmas! She said that everything was fine and there were no internal problems, but that the entrance is tighter than it should be and that it wasn’t rare. I was really puzzled…. If it isn’t rare and the accident I had was a “typical straddle accident”, how come I don’t know anyone else with these problems??????

So, I floated out of her office with a set of dilators to try out, once again kicking myself for not doing something about this years ago! I couldn’t wait to get home to tell Wonder Boy!!

This brings me onto resolution number 3: See new places and do new things. In order to celebrate, Wonder Boy and I decided to go away from here after Christmas. So, we’re going to ring in the New Year in Barcelona where hopefully the rhythm will go and get us and we’ll fiesta it up!

And so I leave you at the end of this part feeling like “whoo-hoo”! It’s coming up to Christmas (my favourite time) and everything is all sparkly and white! I’m under no illusion though-I’m sure when Christmas is over and we’re back to work after a lovely trip to Barcelona, when the world is looking less sparkly, more gray and wet, when I’m getting frustrated with the dilators, I’ll be feeling more “uh-uh”! At least I’m ahead of everyone when it comes to making resolutions and I’m safe in the knowledge that I’ve already kept some of them!

So, stay tuned to find out how Wonder Boy and I get on trying to “hablar espangnol”!!!!!!!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Adventures of a 29 Year Old Virgin………Who’s not that Innocent!!!!!!

December 13, 2009 at 1:41 pm (baby steps, health, Humor, relationships, resolutions, sexual dysfunction, Things to do before you're 30, Vaginismus) ()

I don’t make new years resolutions in January, I make them for the start of my year in September. So I found myself in September this year in a bit of a panic. I turned 29 and the numbers 3 and 0 are looming ahead of me! There is so much I want to do before the age of 30, I actually have to keep the resolutions I made that night. To make me do that, I’ve decided to keep a record of everything.

As a person who loves to make lists, I know the importance of writing some easily achievable goals. These can be crossed off quickly, making you feel pro-active! This leads me to resolution number 1: Save some money. Last week I rooted out my savings account number and lodged $50! Then I happily ticked that off the list. Feeling pleased with myself, I decided to tackle another one, one that I suspect will need a bit more work and deals with the title of this story.

Now, some of you might look at this story and feel sorry for me. Maybe you’re thinking “Oh, the poor girl is 29 and has never had a boyfriend.” Maybe this is why you think I am panicking. This is not the case. I have been going out with a great guy, for the remainder of these adventures I’m going to call him Wonder Boy, for 8 years – and he isn’t the only one I’ve had! We have a house and are perfectly happy together except for one little thing – we’ve never actually had proper sex. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting my kicks as much as the next hot-blooded girl (hence the “not so innocent” subtitle!!!!)- but after 8 years, we’re running out of positions and games. We need to take it up a notch.

So now you might be thinking we’re extremely religious and we should just get married. Again, this is not the case. I’ll put you out of your misery and explain what the problem is. I have a condition called vaginismus. This is an involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles when penetration is about to occur. This can be any type of penetration – tampon, medical utensils and, of course, Wonder Boy! This can be incredibly frustrating. We get ourselves in the mood and the next thing there’s an alarm in my head screaming Danger, Danger! I cross my legs and kick poor Wonder Boy away.

Clearly there’s something else going on here. I’ve never been abused or exposed to sexual violence, so it’s not that. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I’ve come up with 2 possibilities. I had an accident with a bike when I was 5. I cycled down a step – you know where this is going! I went up in the air and the bike went up in the air and then we both crashed to the ground. Saddle met body – OUCH! I went to hospital. I have some painful memories and lots of medical utensils were used. Possibility number 2 is an insane teacher I had in primary school who scared us all half to death. She told us we’d all go to Hell if we got pregnant before we were married. Put these two things together and you get an irrational fear and fight or flight syndrome. It’s poor Wonder Boy who bears the brunt of this fear.

Last month I decided it was time to start on resolution number 2: Lose virginity by September 2010. I went to my doctor and told him everything. He gave me a talking to for not going to him sooner and put me in contact with a consultant. I made an appointment for Monday week. This is a massive step for me. I’ve known about this condition for 5 years and in the space of 2 weeks I had told people and made a doctor’s appointment – whew! So what lies next in my adventures??? You’ll have to check back here and see! I’ll keep you posted…..I promise!

Permalink 4 Comments