Saturday, 29 August 2009

Say Hello Wave Goodbye

There's something about Fridays (apart from it being my favourite day of the week, so much so, that I always call it Happy Friday). It's a day when things happen. This Friday was no different. An email announced the imminent departure of N, our little Aussie ray of sunshine who is returning to Oz with her new husband.

I'm delighted for her of course, but I am really going to miss that smiley face and her totally rubbish jokes. She's one of those people who lights up a room and has the knack of making you feel like you are the most important person in it.

While I was just getting my head around this news, I learnt some great news from Kels. Her hubby who was made redundant 8 months ago, has just landed a consultancy role. What makes her hubby so special is his realness. He's an old style, stand up good guy, who values his life with Kels over everything else. When he couldn't get a job he wanted, he took whatever he could find to make sure the bills still got paid. In short he's the type of 'real deal' guy, who is increasingly rare.

In the process Kels has changed too. She's still a little princess (and a very amusing one at that- pretty, smart blonde, kind hearted and endearingly funny), but she appreciates things much more; her life and the relationship with her husband have been strengthened and seeing her so happy is a real joy.

It is nice to be reminded once in a while, that love doesn't always have to be one massive drama (my lovelife excluded of course in that summation), or complicated by life's obstacles, an entity that ebbs and flows and sometimes disappoints. Sometimes love can be as simple as being there for someone, sticking with them through the tough stuff and loving them all the more for it. Good to see I'm still such an optimistic cow right - Not! - Well not if I'm involved in that relationship anyway!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Taking The Reins !

In the game of love, sometimes long-held rules need to be laid aside to move on. A classic example of this is in the first contact stage.

The wink online has become the easist way to say "Hi. Love the profile and can't quite believe the picture that goes along with it". But what happens when you find yourself duelling with a serial winker?

JWll has winked at me not once, not twice, 8 times. While your average diva might find this sort of e-worship diverting, yours truly is over it. Instead of winking, try talking you idiot I was tempted to reply.

The reason for my tough stance is historic. Every relationship I've ever had has been helped along by me being 'proactive'. It is a skill all women are capable of exhibiting; what can I say I'm an impatient diva, who likes to sprinkle a trail of bed crumbs to help any reluctant suitors on the way to the cookie jar.

With MS, after months of kitchen flirting, I asked him when exactly he was taking me for lunch. With N, I moved my bag off the seat next to me (who says travelling on the bus can't be romantic?) and ensured I looked totally foxy everytime he saw me. Finally, I bumped into him accidentially on purpose, asked his name and closed the deal with his phone number and a date.

After an break-up however, painless ( R I salute you for making me realise that breaking up isn't so hard to do all the time, you miserable dog!), a diva likes to adopt a fresh approach. Mine was to be all aloof and 'interesting'. To stand back and let the bees buzz around me. As this has proved an overriding failure, I have decided to revert to type to move things along.

Instead of me waiting like little Ms Gingham, waiting for that cute country boy to ask her to the barn dance, I am going back to doing the asking or 'helping' it to happen. Unladylike - maybe? Effective, most definitely!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Apologies and Questions

First big apologies to A. I was rather naughty yesterday and 'published' some irresistable (well I thought so anyway) snippets of a email loop online he was involved in. For this, I am truly sorry and have taken the offending material off the blog permanently. Sorry again A and for those of you who missed it - that will teach you not to read me more regularly!

A was as ever chilled about it, telling me I should be more careful which I will be in future and accepting that although I had asked permission to use the material, I should have let him check the context of the usage first. Fortunately, he accepted my apology and I promised him a diet coke as a peace offering (yes, he drinks girlie reduced calorie drinks!)

Just before we draw a veil over things though A, I still think it's weird that the person in question, couldn't simply talk to you face to face as opposed to emailing you about what was bugging them. Clearly they didn't appreciate what an open, straight-talking sometimes sensitive (only on holidays and Madonna's birthday!) guy you are.

Now that harmony has been restored, I have a question what does a diva do with a crate of wine, left by an ex at their home, before the inevitable "I don't think this is working" talk or in the case of R and I, just stop taking each other's calls - the easiest break-up I ever had ! Will have to put my thinking cap on!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

The Dating Coven

When you are writing a blog, not only do you become a great listener and observor of people, you also take note of all your competition.

Reading Stella's Single Girl About Town was like checking in with a bad girl, as she recounted going to a wedding, meeting a sort of ex and ending up drunk, snogging her sort of ex, who having 'finished' with her, asked why "You are attractive. You are fun. So why won't anyone go out with you". This after he'd just pulled her ! Men really can be arses sometimes!

In the Mail On Sunday just for once Liz Jones wasn't prattering on about her serial shagging, much younger ex-husband, or the millionaire who dated her once, and failed to recognise her the next time they bumped into each other, incidentially when he was on a date with a toy girl. Instead Liz told us all about the little puppy she had just brought.

My newspaper trawl was interrupted by a text from A who is spending the day kayaking with M. "I'm with little M. I think he's winning over Huge......" Can't wait for our latte moment tomorrow !

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Syon Park

Sometimes you just have to pack up your rucksack and go. Forget about anything that's bothering you and just take off. One fast train took me to S and R, who drove me onto Syon Park. I walked around the beautiful house and gardens bathed in sunshine. Beyond the conservatory gates, was a mini-garden/courtyard protected by Eros who was 'floating' in the centre of a fountain.

I couldn't stop clicking my camera and I couldn't stop smiling either. The buzz of capturing images, taking time out sitting on the bench beside the fountain and talking nonsense with S and R was just what I needed. There really is more to life than just worrying about what's missing from it. This is something I need to remember more often.

Friday, 21 August 2009

End Of The Week or....Happy Friday As I Like to Call It!

Well it's the end of the week and unfortunately, the end of the absence of HWMBO. He sounded happy enough on the phone yesterday, already in work mode raring to go....guns blazing...I am already dreading next week... argggh!

As A is away in Edinburgh (He's just texted me to say he's landed safetly, loves Scotland and he doesn't miss me and is seeing his ex - The Bear- tonight for dinner) I was forced to have a latte moment alone. I bumped into the Silver Fox.

SF is my last but one, but one, but one boss, famous for telling me that he couldn't promote me, as his existing managers (who all had degrees and lots more experience than me at the time) wouldn't like it. He said it would be like nepotism.

As if! Just for the record, you should only ever play the nepotism card, when the person you are attempting to move up the corporate ladder is patently not up to the job and biologically or by marriage related to you ....I most definitely was up to the job, but not related to SF by marriage or blood.

He congratulated me on my degree and I thanked him for failing to recognise my business potential and motivating my diva idignation to return to school and get a degree! I was rewarded with a weak, sheepish smile and back pedalling protestations about how hard I must have worked to get it.

A voicemail message from L forced me to break the news to her that I wouldn't be coming to her 40th on Saturday. She instantly batted back a "I won't take no for an answer" reponse and of course my heart sank. Sitting in the midst of my married and partnered up friends, complete with their children (who I absolutely adore but always end up sitting with me at any events with formal seat plans) just isn't my idea of a perfect Saturday.

Don't get me wrong I love my friends and their children all, but at christenings, wedding and funerals there are several questions that always seem to be directed at you, if you are the only singleton in the room.

"What about T or C? I'm sure one of them is single!"

"What happened to R? I liked him" (Yes, one of my friends actually liked him!)

"I just can't understand why you are still single" and the big one

"You better get a move on if you want to have some children. The clock's ticking" (Cheers, just what I want to hear!)

The fact that these questions are always directed at me with the empathetic head tilt (can be to the left or right, depending on the preference of the the speaker), a few sympathetic "mmms" or "When I was single" (in between any responses you might manage to give), and " You know there's someone out there for you" ; not forgetting my all time favourite "It will happen when you least expect it, when you're not looking" .

If that really was the case, my disaffected attitude to dating, should have secured me several ex-husbands and innumberable children by now!

Much like a fat friend, who's lost loads of weight and everyone keeps asking them, "How did you do it?", I am increasingly left feeling during and after one of our mega friends and family gatherings, whether just for once, everyone would stop asking me the same questions and treating me like some sort of emotional cripple.

Where will I be on Saturday - who knows, but definitely not at L's birthday. I'm sure she and the crew will get along just fine without moi.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Back To The Future

I had lunch with some old work colleagues, who just happen to be located 10 mins away from my current workplace. I was greeted at my old office by the beaming face of one of my favourites JF, an old school gent with beautiful manners and a genuinely honourable persona, who led me to my old boss M. M was a little bit greyier but otherwise completely unchanged.

What struck me was the smallness of my old workplace. When I arrived there as a very young temp, I was awestruck by the idea of working for an independent publishing house. Phones rung off the hook with deals being made and lost and I felt proud to be working in the midst of grown-ups.

I remembered getting my first very, very small paycheque and being so very proud of myself for making the move from Denim Specialist (folding jeans at the Gap!) to Receptionist/Secretary and ultimatelybecoming theirAssistant Picture and Copy Editor.

In a 'Sliding Doors' moment I wondered what would have happened if I had never left them. Would I be happier, would I be wondering whether there was anything beyond that Georgian four-storey where the publishing house is mind raced with all manner of what ifs.

As I caught up with the news of colleagues past and present I was struck by the ridiculous nature and pathways our lives can take. When I didn't earn a bean, I was in my most creative job and probably the happiest I have ever been, I lived in one room, ate worst then any student, spent most of my downtime clubbing and generally not sleeping (insomnia isn't an issue when you are young, but when you're older it truly becomes a bore!) and was a big fish in a very small pond.

Now I earn a decent salary, own a house that's empty (unless I'm in it), work crazy hours for a global giant for next to no appreciation and my only creativity extends to blogging and my photography. No wonder I am craving emotional substance....something's got to give. All I have to do is figure out is what it is I 'need'.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Too Keen By Half

If I was reliant sorely on my dating exploits to fill this blog with content, the blog would be about the same size of two postage stamps. B37 has surfaced online several times this week, but no contact, clearly he has received a better offer.

Instead of taking it to heart as I used to do, I chalked it up to yet another fickle internet non-connection moment. Fortunately for me and for you for that matter, the complicated love lives of my friends offer me a continuing source of rich blogging pickings, which is a welcome relief from my own love drought.

As you know the most colourful possessor of a complicated lovelife that I can delve into at any given time is A. A is without doubt the hardest, (no pun intended!), love dog I know. His ability to literally snare, chew and spit out men of all shapes, ages and sizes (!), just like his bulldog strut(think John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever and cross that with a Staffordshire Pit Bulldog's little legs) and you have A's walk is becoming legendary !

I have often wished I had his balls (no, scratch that and replace it with... attitude) and sheer self belief that not only is he the sexiest man in the room, but he is also capable of nailing any man he sets his sights on. So if A is such a swordsman, why is he currently experiencing a little blip in his redoubtable form?

The little blip in this case is a very cute, young, sexually-gifted (or so A says)South African called M. After a hot and heavy session a week ago, while A was kicking his heels waiting for H aka HUGE ! to remerge from the drama of a housemove and a stint as a DJ; A thought he had enough of M's pie, to keep him on as an occasional lite returning bedmate.

Unfortunately, M has other ideas and has begun texting A (too much!), calling him (too much!), asking him when they are going to see each other again (too much!) and generally behaving as if A is his boyfriend. "He's too young B" moaned A, to me in the lift enroute to our morning latte moment.

"I mean he's 26, I'm 35 and we are just at you know different points in our lives, but he's so sweet and....enthusastic!" "So how are you planning to break his heart?" I said grinning. "Oh you know, the usual ignore his phone calls, texts make like i've left the country!" At this point reader I must stop my narrative to inform you that when A said this he was joking - or so he says!!) .

"Oh my God, you're going to X him, poor soul! I thought you said he was sweet " "He is, but he asked me if he was going to see me before I went to Edinburgh on Friday, I just saw him yesterday and the day before. It's just too much".

Just complicate things A is also seeing H tonight to see how things are between them as he can 'barely remember what he looks like!' A is such a Drama Queen - they haven't seen each other for two weeks, but have texted. Some of us can't even manage to muster one returned text message A, so just what is your bloody problem?

Which brings me neatly to a question when is keen too keen? Is it me with a one line enquiry - "How was your day?" (sent to PP pm of the day after our one and only date) or is it the puppy dog enquiries, cheeky stream of text messages and declarations of a young buck after a night in the sack with A?

I get the feeling that you just can't win with some people If you're too keen, you are labelled 'too sweet' and 'nice', which nobody ever wants to hear about themselves. If you act nonchalant (as H is with A at the moment), the object of your potential affections doesn't know where they stand. It's good to see a swordsman like A is just as confused as the rest of us sometimes.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Don't Forget To Be Happy

Reading back on some of my entries it's occured to me that I don't seem to be having much fun at the moment. I seem to have forgotten that although my life is nowhere near I want it to be right now, I have to remember that everything could change in an instant and that my happiness is in my hands. At the moment my life seems to revolve around work, friends and my family. I can't remember the last time however, I just kicked back at had some simple, good clean silly fun.

Dancing round my living room with a feather duster for my partner, while doing my weekly housecleaning (which I might add is not a memory, I blitz the house once a week without fail!) has become a thing of the past. As has my dodgy singing in the shower (you haven't lived until you've heard me murder a power ballad or two!),I can't remember the last time one of my neighbours gave me that funny disapproving look that you give to a noisy child.

Today I am beginning to remedy the situation. I've booked a mini break nowhere fancy just Brighton at the end of September. I am taking my camera, my sketch pad and I am going to kick-back back big time. Mariah will be blaring away in the background, I will have my hairbrush in my hands and when the high note comes on "Without You", I will be wailing along with it, not before a spot of bouncing on my bed of course !

Monday, 17 August 2009

Age Ain't Nothing But A Number Or So They Say

The continued absence of HWMBO has made coming to work a joy again and continues to keep my spirits so high, that just thinking about him returning next week was enough to cause a moment of anxiety, that could only be relieved by a tall latte.

My weekend was interrupted only once by the shadow of him, as I queued in the Post Office on Saturday morning, clutching an envelope full of documents requested by him on Friday at 5:45, long after our postman had like Elvis 'left the building'.

On Sunday I checked my dating account - B37 had contacted me to tell me he was on holiday with his children (no I have learnt my lesson and notgone the way of the Hottie again - this one's actually single, possibly emotionally available and hey best case scenario might actually like me and even email me again. God I'm an optimistic cow aren't I?

As well as B37's email were winks and emailes from 15 new men. I say new, judging by the ages of some of them, the last time anything was new for them, the Queen Mother was still on the throne. As I shifted through my 'man pile', I was tickled to find that several men were actually 60 plus, each quite seriously feeling they could take me on.

I've always marvelled at older mens' delusional take on their attractiveness, personified by the numerous 30 somethings and overs, who when their looking for new mates, having already traded in their old ones (you would hope!) always start from the lowerest tweenie starting base.

Any diva looking forward to ending a physical drought of nearly three years, knows that the lucky recipient of her favours, will know no sleep - probably for an indefinite period of time, God help him! Quite frankly, looking at this bunch of old men, young boys and weirdos and thinking about some of my previous playmates, I don't thi1nk any of them could handle me right now!

My online profile states exactly what I am looking for. I rather vainly made some declarations about my 'Mr For The Time Being'. My potential date (I no longer talk in the terms of boyfriends, partners, f...buddies etc as my cynical disbelief in any of the above, is much like a miracle diet or pink elephants - a beautiful thought, but ultimately a fairytale if I'm involved), should possess some of the following qualities:

First a pulse, next a dash of honesty (an urban myth where men are concerned I have found to my cost), openness (that means securing the affections of an honourable man who tells you almost everything, as opposed to whatever he thinks will keep you sweet!). He should be single ( H taught me everything I need to know about that requirement ! c) be funny (I can't be all the time!) d) be wise and dare I say it (particularly after the chubby charms of R’s lovehandles for the whole 2 years we dated), be fit.

I look down at my mortley crew of 'suitors' again and laugh my socks off ! Serves me right for having such a high opinion of myself. Karma really is a sarky bitch with a warped sense of humour, who has her own special way of sending you a message !

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Gym Bunny

While things may be quiet on the romance side (no further contact with B37 - has a really nice profile and sent a lovely mail to me and then.....well what do you think?), my physical transformation continues.

Just finished week six - can run for 22 minutes flat out (a minor miracle for an asmatic fool like myself), cross train and cycle forever and every day feel a little more satisfied about my continuing success. Got back into a pair of chinos I had given up to the land of 'It doesn't fit anymore' and couldn't be happier !

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Little Ms. Popularity

HWMBO's departure on holiday for two whole weeks has lifted the the black cloud that seemed to be permanently located over my head,over the last few months. Instead of HWMBO I am currently looking after a new recruit - a senior member of the the management team, who is a woman and even most unusually for me (I my experience of women bosses has been badddd!) a nice one.

Not only have I been impressed by her clear business know-how and ability to get to grips with the projects she's been parachuted in to join, her likeability and praise of both my work and M's has been a welcome relief after HWMBO's constant putdowns and complaints. The only bad thing about the situation is that it is short-term.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Blind Date

F has been following my dating misadventures way too closely it seems. The result was a my blind date arranged by him on Sunday night. When I say date I use the term very loosely indeed. F called me Friday night and told me all about D. D is 6"2, has salt and pepper hair, hazel green eyes, and " ok body compared to me" (F's words not mine!) and is mega brainy.

I've always been turned on by clever men. There's something about a guy who knows about stuff. you know stuf, every day stuff, stuff that's so specialist that only geeks and other experts know about it. If the clever bugger also happens to be suited and booted or dress like they've stepped out of a Gap advertisement, have a shaved head and maybe wear glasses from time to time, then I'm a goner.

This coupled with his obvious physical attributes, made him a rare find indeed. Once F had stirred in the irresistable news that D was single, having broken up from his long-term partner and was determined to 'enjoy his freedom', and I could be forgiven for thinking that this might turn out to be a good date.

As it was he turned up 10 minutes late. He then proceeded to bitch about his ex and women in general. I finished my drink in double-time and then called F. "Darling I appreciate what you tried to do for me, but next time can you just check that that whoever you might have in mind for me, is just little bit further past the revenge and rebound stage, before you call in reinforcements or me please". I think he may just have got the hint!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Return to the Stag

Sometimes as a writer, you are faced with a reporter's dilemma - to tell or not to tell. R asked me not to recount an incident which happened yesterday, so of course I am going to anyway; purely because it was a golden moment. Sorry R, but admit it you still love me anyway!

After a tough day of multi-tasking graft, the lure of the Stag was too much to resist. By the time I arrived a hour late, TJ, N and R had already secured a table and ensured my favourite full fat tipple of coke was ready and waiting for me.

I hadn't seen R since his tired and emotional confessional about his break-up with Alex. I was delighted to see him restored to his gorgeous self, clad in black v-neck t-shirt and matching trousers. N was on riotious form, talkative, endearing, and of course funny as hell, while and TJ, well TJ was just her normal sarcastic self, which of course is just the way we all love her being - being a super sarky cow!

Our evening was full of the drink and laughter I had been looking forward to. N talked about his holiday home in Italy, taunting us with a picture of his builder's son who was too, too beautiful, prompting equal helpings of envy and lusting from us. R gave an update on his lovelife. He is kind of over Alex, but not quite (they're now f... buddies) and his most recent conquest is a champion ex-athelete. Then R mentioned that he was off to Cornwall with the family.

"How are you getting there?" said TJ "I'm flying" said R. "You're flying?" I said spluttering on my coke. "You're flying" said TJ "By the time you drive to the airport, check-in two hours before you're supposed to fly, actually get on the plane, go to baggage claim, catch a cab and finally arrive where you need to go, it will take you longer than it would have done to go via train or car". "You're flying?" I said again still disbelieving what I heard.

"Who are you flying with?" said TJ barely able to hold back her laughter. "BA " said Rob who by this time was throughly annoyed with all of us. The laughter that followed was too much for him and when N suggested that he fly "Air Majorie" in his best Little Britain Majorie Dawes impression R snapped.

"I've had enough. I'm going on this bloody holiday, with my family and I don't bloody want to and I'm feeling crap and the least you guys could do is just stop taking the piss out of me. I've just had enough and I'm very angry!" With that he got up from the table and flounced outside for a cigarette.

"Looks like he won't be flying Air Majorie after all" said N wickedly.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Hunting High and Low

Getting up at the crack of dawn, even if it's to go on holiday has always left me cold. I love my bed as much as food, my handbags and the blue packet Haribos. Heading towards the station on an overly noisy bus (why do they make the door release alarm so loud?), only the thought of a tall latte was keeping me from curling up quietly into a ball and dropping off to sleep again.

As I crossed the platform to take up my usual spot I saw him.....PP. He caught my eye, clearly saw me, then turned tail and got on the nearest train carriage. I smiled smugly to myself, happy in the knowledge that I'd had the good sense to resist his charms, and not sleep with him on our first and as it turned out only date.

There is no clearly defined etiquette for how to deal with bumping into one date wonders, but I couldn't help thinking his behaviour was at least consistent with his own description of his being " ....a bit coward at dealing with relationship stuff!".

The same connot unfortunately be said of my other cyber suitors. Since rejoining the ranks of virtual Juliets' seeking their Romeos', I have been flabbergasted by the delusions of eligiblilty displayed by some of the men who have contacted me.

The boldness of the dating man is one of the world's great marvels. The rather general assumption that regardless of age, lifestyle, ambition etc that most women are fair game for a crack at, particularly if those women happen to be 'available', dateless and online !

Women waste no time in forensically dissecting mens' online profiles for any clues about their likes and dislikes and possible suitability as boyfriends or indeed husbands. They then torture themselves as to whether their chosen matches are 'in' or 'out' of their dating league and finally they check the preferred age range of their prey.

Two potential suitors have topped my list of "Are you joking, can you seriously see us together you weirdo!". B1 has recently returned to the UK from Australia and was "...Looking for a hot chick to start something casual with, which might turn into something long-term" Lucky me!

B1 so closely resembled a Victorian chain gang convict, complete with tattoos, that following three emails, a request to include me in his contacts and two attempts to 'chat' with me, I had no option but to place him on my blocked contacts blacklist. My decision was sealed by his affirmation that he was "Not as tough as he looks!" Urgh!

WF hailed from Wales and declared that he was unable to load a profile picture, due to him being useless with PC's and that he didn't look like Brad Pitt, but I could do a lot worse. He suggested I could google his business website, where I could 'indulge myself' with seeing a few pictures of him in action, complete with a rubber apron.

Yes, I did say a rubber apron. He said he was willing to come and see me in London (even though he doesn't like London) and rounded things off by telling me I was beautiful. You can guess the rest! His pictures revealed him to be fat, balding and about 60! But apparently in his head, I could do a lot worst ! De.....lusional !!!

It would seem that a woman's profile picture and availability, are enough to embolden some men into believing they truly are God's gift and are the elusive Mr Right to whoever they take a shine to. Notice, I said 'some' men...there are good ones out there, it's just that they're never interested in or are available for me to have a crack at.

** Newcomers to the blog should also read July - Guess Who's Going On A Non-Date and Good Girls Sleep they can get the full SP on PP ! **