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#RNLI The above artwork is available as a print - get yours here

So many emotions unravel from Lust.

What starts with joy will, post-ecstasy, too often end in grief, sadness and - hopefully, at last - pensiveness.

It's a basic human instinct; everybody feels it to varying degrees of control. Monks spend a lifetime trying to suppress it - multiple lives actually, some would claim - while others may have a hard time being even aware of.

I'm no monk.

There I was - surrounded by it. Left and Right, Up and Down. Surrounded by it.

You know the feeling - you see something in your mind's eye and that provokes an unreasonable, and uncontrollable, mundane desire to have it fulfilled.

And worse still - I had someone in tow I wanted to impress.

'Have you ever tried?' I asked, provocatively. 'No. what is it?' 'Looks a bit uninviting at first, I know - but I guarantee you it's sweet inside. Here, smells good too..' 'I'm not sure it's for me. I have never heard of it'

- JOY -

Veiled innocence - a seductor's dream. "I will show her.."

Now, as eager as I was to set it all off, I must confess I hadn't done it for a while. Golly! - it must have been years! I can only hope I haven't lost my ways.

'Open your mouth, and close your eyes. You are 32 - it's about time...' Some things must be said with authority if they are to command trust.

A Prick

She was going to have it. I felt confident! And I always carry a small army knife for such situations. "Always prepared", be my motto.

'OUCH!' I muffled my voice, surprised. This did not start well...

'Is everything OK?' She asked.

'Sure, just keep your eyes closed. No cheating! Stick your tongue out just a bit for me..'

I was getting hurt, and sweating profusely now.. it was painful. But I'm on a mission, and don't want to loose..face.

'Humn.. it's very wet! And sweet! I wasn't expecting this..'

I grinned, victoriously.

'I want more - give me all you got'


"All I got" was going to be too much - and possibly make me bleed at some point. We were surrounded by it! So I have to digress..

Indian figs, also known as Barbary figs, cactus pear, prickly pear, nopal and tuna, is a perennial shrub in some places of the globe - but not as widely known as [the common] fig, for example. They can be consumed fresh and raw but are often made into jams and jellies. And in this area of the world, they grow freely on the streets.

It seems we wandered into a patch of land where it was spreading wildly - and I had to try. If you like organic stuff, this is it!

The catch was that this "fig" is also a cactus so, if you are not careful you will get plenty pricked in the process of collecting and opening it up for consumption. Even with a Swiss army knife.

Of course, wanting to impress someone handling sharp stuff is never a good idea, and my hands were packed with the little sharp, hair-like spikes by now. Try it at home and see for yourself.

After eating a few more and filling a small bag for laters, we decided to go out of the prickly forest and maybe find somewhere we could clean our hands off the stuff.

There's not much going on around here, meaning we ended up in a liquor store - which was lucky as of course we can always drink ourselves numb when everything else fails.

Asking the lady at the till for advice turned us into a laughing stock. Sad face. So we bought a bottle of their finest white port wine, instead.

Desperation saw us washing our hands on a street tap and trying to dry them on my t-shirt. Bonus points were won here as the little pricks were now colonizing my whole body - tip: once it gets into your t shirt, it gets everywhere.


The day wasn't ruined, of course. The wine tasted great, and for a moment made us forget the "discomfort" of having your body itching and aching all over. The view, from the top of the peak we had just trekked, was breath-taking - a beautiful overview of the coast, the blue sea - and love was in the air.

We spent the following days tucked in - in amazing cookery. I mean, these figs are said to be aphrodisiac...


Upon reflection, way more care should have been taken at first. Getting 'pricked' was totally avoidable with a bit of common sense and forethought... but ah, lust! makes your days memorable!



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