Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Friday, November 25, 2005

Le Pompiere

So the Fireman.

Monsieur Le Pompiere.

Was polite and handsome and charming and a gentleman.

And bought me drinks and laughed at my jokes and complimented me on my coats, my boots, my hair, my smile.

And we talked and talked, and drank and drank. And he made excuses to touch my hands, my arms, my elbow when he spoke.

And there was kissing, and I did stay over as I missed my last tube but it was all good clean fun. And as I am a good girl, I only misbehaved a teensy tiny bit.

And I slept in his London Fire Brigade t-shirt which I got to keep.

And later that day there was a text, and then when I got back from Edinburgh there was another flurry of flirty texts and then...


Until yesterday. With a text conversation that does not make sense, basically saying yes he'd like to see me but... " working nights until Tuesday, rugby Wednesday then away in Egypt 'til the 13th. Saturday may be a possibility?"

As it is, my Saturday night is already booked up and has been for some time. So I text back to say "I'm sorry I can't do Saturday after all but perhaps Wednesday after the game or shall we leave it for the moment?"

Which I think is fair, non?

I mean, I do like him. And I do want to see him. But I'm not about to chase him round the houses.

Silence again.

But perhaps he's sleeping. Or tired. Or working. Or putting out burning buildings. Or pouting. Or just couldn't give a rat's arse either way.

If he likes me, he knows where to find me.

And to be frank, if he's not pounding down the door to see me, well... it's a shame but I'm not going to sit around twiddling my thumbs.

But at least I got the t-shirt.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Losing words

I think I've lost my words.

The last few days have gone past in a blur, a haze of whisky, red wine, vodka, tears and laughter.

I know I arrived in Edinburgh very early Sunday am, amazed again at how beautiful the city was. I know there was too much whisky and too much wine, that there were tears shed, and laughter. Stories told, memories rehashed, raised voices and hushed whispers.

And I know on Monday, I said a few words and managed to get through 'Do not go gentle into that good night' without breaking my voice. And I know I said something that made people laugh.

But there are holes in most everything, a lack of sleep and emotion finally taking its toll.

I've lost my words. But they'll be back.

Friday, November 18, 2005


I took a call yesterday from one of my dearest friend's sister.

I think I knew, as soon as I heard her voice but somehow her words and my brain got all muddled up and it was only the choke in her voice that made me realise it was true.

And, I, on the other line couldn't say anything, I could just hold the phone so tightly in my hand that I thought it would break before I felt anything but an icy cold numbness. My heart stopped for a moment. I didn't breathe, I couldn't. I stood there shaking, holding the phone and wanting her words to stop coming.

There is no way to prepare for grief. There is no way to prepare for something you knew was coming but you weren't expecting on a cold Thursday afternoon. There were another 5 years at least for him, another 5 years for my beautiful friend to hold onto her soulmate. There were supposed to be more days, more years, more memories, more laughter.

Not this.

Sobbing in the 4th floor toilets as if my heart would break. I haven't cried for months, not like this. And I can't differentiate my grief, but what does it matter.

She has no regrets, my friend. She knew she was on borrowed time with him, her love. She says she thought they had more time. But she spent every day with him as if it were their last, there was never a day when they didn't laugh, never a day when she didn't tell him how much she loved him.

And Sunday I'll fly to Edinburgh, and on Monday we will all celebrate the life of an amazing man and I will read a poem and remember him. Give thanks to someone who brought love, and joy to one of my dearest friends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A little advice

Clearing out my email inbox the other day, and came across an email from my sister, The Gorgeous. Written at a time when I was at a particularly low point and having a hard time finding a job that was just *so*.

At the end she signed off with this

*You are here with purpose, you have sacred gifts and may you let them shine as brightly as intended.*

It's nice to have a little advice like that to brighten up a grey day.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Dal ati! Daliwch ati!

Apologies for the rambling, I'm tired after a busy weekend (hangovers get worse as you get older...) seeing old friends and making new, it's Monday and with it comes all of Monday things and a lack of inspiration. Instead of my own words here's one of my favourite poems, it's early Dylan Thomas and I've always gone back to it after every break up I've ever had.

My parents took pride in their Welshness, I was brought up with Shirley Bassey (let me tell you, my mother, an ex ballerina with the Royal Ballet can still do a fabuous rendition of Big Spender) and Tom Jones, my summers were spent in the Valleys of Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire exploring castles and climbing mountains and every March 1st The Gorgeous and I were sent off with daffodils on our lapels for St David's Day.

So it was no wonder that when my modryb and ewthyr took me out to Laugharne when I was 13, the romantic and naive in me saw a kindred spirit. A drunken tortured soak, who fell in love with words, and with whom I have been half in love with ever since.

Mwynhau, cariad.

You Shall not Despair
You shall not despair
Because I have forsaken you
Or cast your love aside;
There is a greater love than mine
Which can comfort you
And touch you with softer hands.
I am no longer
Friendly and beautiful to you;
Your body cannot gladden me,
Nor the splendor of your dark hair,
But I do not humiliate you;
You shall be taken sweetly again
And soothed with slow tears;
You shall be loved enough.

Come on Baby, Light My Fire

The game, it appears, is back on.

Roll on Friday.

And thank London Fire Brigade for sparing one of theirs to take me for drinks this week.

All 6ft 2 of him.

Thank you thank you thank you...

I have a thing, you see, for firemen.
And cowboys. (...but more of that later)

So last week, at the bar, a voice behind me *You must be Canadian* and a somewhat lopsided grin.

I am indeed.

Very impressed in his correct placement of my nomadic accent.

And a fireman.

The game has just gotten a whole lot more exciting.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Out of the game?!

I haven't felt properly lonely in a very long time, far from it. Even though there are days when I'd rather be wrapped up in the arms of my lover and I sometimes think about that picture perfectness of me and my lover, a bottle of wine and the sunset on Parliament Hill, right now that lover doesn't seem to be in my life.

And I really don't seem to be missing him too much.

I cherish my weekend mornings, my only concern more the fact that I have to leave the comfort of my bed to get the coffee and the papers myself. I cherish the time I have to me, the freedom to see friends at the drop of a hat, to make Saturday night plans at 5pm or 8pm, to lose an entire day reading, to come home after impromptu drinks without having to check in.

I'm exhausted with the game, the whole not getting past the 3rd date stage (which granted is usually a combination of my incredibly high standards and the fact that no man is really that barmy, nor brave enough to continue dating me for long). I'm not interested in half heartedly pursuing, I lack the energy, the enthusiasm or the will. There was someone last May whom I started down a strange path of random and inappropriate snogging (managing, however, to collate some decent blogging material about it which will eventually find its way here) but in the end, it was never going to be much more than that.

His new girlfriend closed that deal a few weeks back, leaving me with my battered pride and a lesson hard learned.

The Swiss alluded that I had taken myself out of the game the other day, and perhaps I have. He asked when the last time I had gone up to a man in a bar, started a conversation, or tendered for a date and I really don't know. I cannot recall when the last time I met, or even saw someone, I fancied really taking a chance on outside of my current situation.
I know in my heart that it's not worth dating someone you know to be a dead end, hence my last 1 hr 20 minute date on the weekend. It's a vicious circle but I know I'm not prepared to go those 8 rounds to end up back on the floor again.

But in that same breath, how are you to know whether you're wasting your time unless you do get yourself out there, turn on the sass, and date again?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Saturday morning text

Saturday morning text message.

*Still fancy that drink tonight?*

Fuzzy headed and bleary eyed, I can only assume from the pounding in my head that this is going to be the start of a beautifully painful hangover.

I don't recognise the number.

*What drink?*

A quick scan of my broken memory. Remembering a lovely smile and random chit chat at the bar.
Ah yes. The tall man. Ad manager at ITV. Or ITN. Or channel four. Or five. Or was it the BBC?

*The Vine. Tonight?*

Ah yes. Andrew? Aaron? I can't quite place him. Adrian? Anthony? At least there'll be conversation. Skimming back, I remember him laughing at my jokes. We could only have been talking for a few minutes, surely? Time, however, has a sneaky way of passing when a bit tipsy.

So I agree.

Although it's a Saturday night. And Saturday night is never ever date night. Saturdays are cocktails with the girls, or long boozy dinner party nights. But I found myself in a situation where all my friends seemed to be elsewhere and the Saturday night slot was free.

Now, I can appreciate that some men just don't make an effort to go to work, to go to the pub with their mates and that's fine. I'm really not that materialistic; I choose to dress they way I do because I like it, and just because I choose to wear skirts and dresses 95% of the time that doesn't mean to say that I expect my men to be immaculate all the time as well. I do like a man in jeans and a shirt, I do like a man with stubble and slightly unkempt hair; and contrary to popular belief trainers really do not offend me.

What does put me slightly off, however, is if a man makes no effort whatsoever on the first *date*.
Even if it is just drinks.

And so 8:15, off I trot. Denim skirt, brown boots, nothing too la la, nothing too risque... although I have worn my new matching underwear.

Just in case.

First impressions are made within the first few moments, so surely you want to at least try to make it a good one? A grubby fleece, creased chinos and a pair of the filthiest trainers I have seen (and I live with 3 men) go a long way to telling me a few things.
One is that pride of appearance outside of the office is sincerely lacking. Another is that he doesn't think I'm worth the few seconds it would take to run an iron over his trousers.

And so to drinks. Diet coke for him. *I'm driving...* which always puts me on edge. I'll have to be careful and not drink too much, ramble incoherently, think I am revered dating guru where clearly I am not.

White wine for me, because I'm in that sort of mood. And onto conversation.

Within minutes I know I'm on a date with North London's Dullest Man. I don't remember him being this dull, granted I don't remember much about him but surely surely I wouldn't have handed out my number if his conversation last night had bordered on the painfully boring? Or maybe he was fuelled by alcohol and enough spirit could transform him into a witty, well dressed, charismatically charming man in a way that Diet Coke couldn't?

I lasted an hour. An hour of listening to a monotonous droning on the specialisms of grouting. The painstaking detail of the choosing of his new bathroom. The colour choice of his new kitchen. But before he could get into hardwood vs laminate, I refused his offer of another drink, smiled sweetly, thanked him, said I was late meeting a friend, was nice to meet him.

And hot footed my new underwear out of there.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I have a





of a hangover today.

I know I shouldn't have.

I mean, I should have just said no and not ordered those shots of sambucca, waving money over my head and encouraging that huddle of hard core drinkers at the bar(although technically not my money at all... sorry sweetie, I will pay you back. Promise!)

I know that when 2am found me in Chinatown, ordering dim sun from tired bow tied waiters at the Dragon Inn and being part of that hazy, drunken early am Soho'ness, that I should have just gone home after the bar shut and crawled into bed.
The turnip paste and pak choi was too much of a temptation.

And I am concerned that I have acupuncture with the Dishy Doc this afternoon, and am now worrying that perhaps acupuncture and hangovers do not go well together; the waves of death and the shakes are not going to help matters.

And what happens if the Dishy Doc inserts his needles and as my body is all sambuccafruliapplevodkasodamojitos, I spontaneously combust, leaving nothing of me but my fabulous earrings?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Google Schmoogle

I am an avid Googler and I will admit to a sneaky little Google on any man I'm about to date. I don't see it as being a stalker as some of my less Googling friends do.

It is more a sort of security measure.

A girl can never be too careful these days, and I'd prefer to know if he's a psychotic axe wielding murderer.
Or spends his days posting on some wanky S & M site.
Or if he incites racial hatred. Or is homophobic. Or bigoted.
Or secretly married, gay or a philandering toerag.

A brief glance through the posts can tell you loads. I don't have the time nor the inclination to read all the results. Just a quick sneaky peek. Not stalker like behaviour at all, is it?

I've even got the hand signs for Googling, a sort of aerial typing action with both hands. Like air guitar, but with a keyboard.

On Saturday talking to a friend about oh, something I can't quite recall at this moment.
So I turn to him and say

"You can always, you know… "

Cue hand gesticulation.

He quite rightly looked blank; as I also have a habit of not completely finishing sentences instead letting the words trail off in the vain hope you've caught enough of the conversation to either guess what I'm about to say or finish the sentence for me.

He blinks at me. Expecting a finish.

"...Google!" I say finally.

So when my gorgeous friend Kenny, all bright eyed says he has the most fabulous man for me, my first instinct is of course to sneak a little Google. Which I would do, but Kenny has set me a dare.

Dared me *not* to Google him.

And here I am at work, fingers poised over keyboard. I know his name. I know he's an actor. And I know what West End play he has just finished.

It is so overwhelmingly tempting... I almost can't stand it.