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A voluptuous ram? Don't fancy yours much

PUBLISHED: 10:16 20 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:51 02 July 2010

Stacia Briggs

When I was at school, the distribution of erotic literature (by which I mean garish pictures of unclothed ladies rather than the work of Anais Nin) was by means of an al fresco library, created by persons unknown.

When I was at school, the distribution of erotic literature (by which I mean garish pictures of unclothed ladies rather than the work of Anais Nin) was by means of an al fresco library, created by persons unknown.

Bereft of railway sidings in Old Costessey, a benevolent reader deposited magazines in one of our local woods in a bid to educate the masses about Michelle (32G-24-34) and her naturist chums.

In the woods, there were several tree trunks with appropriate hollows where magazines were left in plastic bags: it was like a top-shelf edition of Enid Blyton's Secret Seven, without the club badges or ginger beer.

Quite who left the magazines in the woods was a subject of mass debate (sorry), but now that I'm a parent, hard-wired to assume all strangers are paedophiles and murderers, I have a dark suspicion that somewhere near the tree trunk was an opportunistic pervert with a Polaroid camera.

If such a person was lurking, they'd have had to contend with a great deal in order to get their kicks: for a start, the tree was on the school's cross country course, meaning death-by-trampling was a real possibility. Secondly, fans of the erotic hunted in unappealing packs, thirdly they carried marker pens to deface all the pictures.

Still, you had to admire the altruism involved in sharing your magazines with an entire school. It was that, or consider the unpalatable truth: that a frustrated man was taking his magazines into the woods for a bit of, um, peace and quiet.

No one wants to see that kind of thing on the Old Costessey Trim Trail.

Frankly, I didn't want to see the Old Costessey Trim Trail at all, but them's your breaks when your high school is right next to a wood.

This week, I was glad to see that the come one, come all equal opportunities ethos regarding pornographic material which was so enjoyed by boys of a certain age back in the late 1980s is still alive and kicking today.

A Canadian woman, Lisa Murphy, has produced an interactive erotic book for the blind, featuring 17 raised images, including a naked woman “in a disco pose” and “a male love robot”.

“There are no books of tactile pictures of nudes for adults,” said Lisa.

“We're breaking new ground. Playboy had an edition with Braille wording, but there are no pictures. The blind have been left out in a culture saturated with sexual images.”

To be fair, producing an edition of Playboy with Braille but no accessible pictures is like taking someone to a Michelin-starred restaurant and telling them they can choose anything they like… from the bottled water menu.

However, I have seen images from the £150 erotic book and have to hope that it looks a whole sight better if you're blind. For a start, one of the women has a totally square head (and she's not the love robot).

Another is “a naked, voluptuous woman dressed as a Satanic ram wearing a long cardboard mask of spires, a beard and an inverted cross” while my favourite shows “a woman posing in snakeskin shoes with a mask on with paper cones for eyes”.

Frankly, I'd imagine that you'd have a far better time feeling the bumps on a Barbie doll than you would running your fingers over the pictures in the book unless your boat is floated at the sight of a Satanic ram.

Barbie may not look like a real woman, more a pneumatic, be-wigged stick insect, but at least she hasn't got a square head, horns or paper cones for eyes.

In my research on the aforementioned book, I stumbled upon another innovation in the same field: a not-for-profit website that offers verbal translations of blue movies.

Translators selflessly plough through pornographic films and then offer a scene-by-scene rundown of the events unfolding/undressing.

Contributors aren't allowed to use fruity words when describing videos, lending the whole translation an oddly clinical feel, a bit like a biology lesson, but with better homework.

On the plus side, the organisation is always on the look out for kind volunteers prepared to wade through reels of badly-acted, limply-plotted nonsense full of silicone implants and moustachioed men.

So if you've always wanted to be a volunteer but can't really be bothered to leave your front room, the ideal opportunity has arisen. All together now: “A plumber has knocked at the door…it's opened by a young lady wearing only a negligee…”

I distinctly remember my maths teachers exact words: get this GCSE and you will never have to look at another fraction in your life, unless you're cutting up a pizza*.

Disregarding the fact that my maths teacher, based on the intelligence I displayed in her lessons (in other words, none whatsoever), clearly thought my future would lie in the fast-food industry, I remember being greatly comforted.

I had no more interest in the number of marbles Patesh had compared to those owned by Ari, or indeed what would happen if Brunhilde took a quarter of Patesh's marbles away in some form of hostile marble coup, than I had in soldering my eyelids together.

In truth, I had far more interest in soldering my eyelids together, because that way at least I wouldn't have to see the fractions staring bleakly up at me from an unintelligible page in the Maths for Halfwits textbook.

Because I was a diligent, exam-obsessed bore at school, I worked as hard as I possibly could and passed my maths GCSE.

Having failed my O level the year before and made literally no mathematical progress whatsoever - unless you count covering my graph book in a picture of Robert Smith from The Cure and piercing my own ear with a compass - it was the first proof I ever collected to illustrate the fact that GCSEs are far easier than O levels.

Let's put it this way: if I've got a maths GCSE grade B, it doesn't say much for anyone who's got an A. I can barely measure up a pair of curtains, let alone bisect a right angle or rouse myself from a coma to contemplate Patesh's marble collection.

But, the fact remains that according to recent figures, I am officially far better than the majority of the population at maths. Pythagorus must be spinning in his grave, or at the very least losing his marbles, especially if Brunhilde's in the vicinity.

This, I have to say, is a complete result: much like passing maths GCSE in the first place.

* My teacher lied. I have two children, both of whom appear to expect me to understand their maths homework. I don't. Thank God for the internet.

As is customary when spring looms, I have had my first disaster with self-tanning lotion.

Keen to avoid looking as if I have wintered under a rock, I applied self-tanner which promised to build up a natural, healthy glow.

From the waist down - thankfully I limited self-tanning to legs alone - I am now a fetching shade of EasyJet orange. My fingers are crossed for poor weather until I can amass enough loofahs to slough off around seven layers of skin.

This time, I have learned my lesson. The self-tanner is in the bin. If 'translucent and unhealthy-looking' isn't in this year, so be it. I haven't got enough time to wait until 'tangerine and stripy' hits the runways.

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