Saturday, 1 April 2017

What women want

Apparently, a new study has found that women prefer to split the bill on a first date and would rather calculate who ordered what, than let the man pay for everything

Women in the same survey also revealed that would-be Romeos should avoid discussing the weather or suggest watching a horror film if they want to progress beyond a first date.

The 2,500 women interviewed for the study said that kindness and a sense of humour are the top characteristics they are looking for in men, and that confidence trumps looks every time.

Well, ain't that the truth!

I put this splitting the bill theory to Agony Uncle when we eventually met up for our posh supper.  He poo poo'ed the idea and said he would be most uncomfortable with any woman who sat and calculated the bill in order to split it fairly so that each paid for their own items.  He went on to say, which I know from experience, that as a gentleman, he always picks up the bill on the first date, yet he is often asked by the woman if he expects anything in return for the meal. How rude!

I told him that I even say in my profile that I always offer to split the bill on all dates so that blokes know that I'm not looking for a free lunch, yet I still have little or no interest on the sites.

By the time our own bill arrived, I already had my purse out on the table and it felt perfectly natural to offer cash to Agony Uncle when the waiter presented him with the bill.  Agony Uncle suggested the amount the bill should be rounded up to and I agreed, and passed him my crisp notes. It all felt perfectly comfortable and natural

I told him about my forthcoming meeting with the broker from the introduction agency next week, and he wished me well.  He knows from his own experiences that we have to trawl the sites daily so as not to miss that one Miss or Mr Right when they appear.  His determination has certainly paid off and he has now been with his new lady for 5 months and still cannot believe he has found The One after all these years of searching, but he did let it slip that before he found her, he was on the sites daily, and at all times of the day, including when he should have been working.  Such was his quest to find someone.  I don't think/I hope I am not that desperate.

As we said our goodbyes in the car park, he left me with his usual pearls of wisdom and chastised me for returning the RSVP for my daughter's wedding, in which I advised I would not be taking a guest.  He said a lot could happen in the next 3 months and I should always keep the door open.

It was good to have a morale boost, especially as the sites have gone quiet again.

Tipperary Man must be spending a lot of time in the Quiet Carriage of trains as there has been no more contact from him, after he suggested we postpone our meeting until after the Cheltenham Festival which according to my diary finished 3 weeks ago.

I've heard nothing more from Richard.  I think I lost him when I mentioned clothes shopping for an outfit for a friend's son's wedding last weekend...

The self-confessed idiot whose wife and partner took all his money and properties and who asked for a second chance to rearrange his date with me, and who I forgave, suggesting he used the mobile number I'd given him to let me know when he would like to meet, has, unsurprisingly,  not been in touch.

PC Plod texted me his number and I replied, saying I'd enjoyed our chat and hoped to speak to him again soon.  He then replied by return, commenting on the weather and wishing me a nice weekend.  That was a week ago.  Hmmm!

All other contacts have dried up completely.  There have been no more messages on either of the sites, so I must have fallen to the bottom off the heap again.  All my hopes are now pinned on my meeting in the lobby of a swanky hotel in London next week with a lady with a swanky double-barrelled surname who thinks she can broker a match for me through her swanky introduction agency.  For a large fee.  The meeting, however, is without obligation, and she assured me when she phoned me to arrange our meeting, that she doesn't pressure clients into joining her agency.

At the moment, this is all I have to look forward to in the dating world.  But I am definitely looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The emails on the site continue to trickle in.

PC Plod messaged late one night to say that someone he was interested in has disappeared without explanation.  His message is full of sad face emojis 😞.  He says he was chatting to someone who he thought was the answer to all his emotions and concerns, only for them to disappear without any explanation. I'm relieved I didn't accept his suggestion to meet at my beach hut on Friday else I'd have been complicit in him double dating!

Instead I went into Agony Aunt mode and suggested that endless messaging wasn't a good idea and that I thought phonecalls were a better way of gauging someones authenticity, so he sent me his land line number!  He'll have to wait.

Someone called friskyboy messaged a one liner which doesn't merit a reply.  Nor does the message on the hoodie he is wearing in his profile pic which says Keep Calm and Stuff The Turkey.  He's either been on the site a while or he is somewhat premature

I am however now enjoying chatting to Richard.  Richard's profile says his personality is Humanist  My profile says I'm Professional. Professional dater?

Richard is interesting, despite owning a ruddy red motorbike.  He talks about his garden, and his family.  He says he's funny and engaging and likes fireworks and thunderstorms, skiing and sailing.  He sounds a good prospect for my Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, especially if we can time it at New Year

There is still no contact from the self-confessed idiot whose wife and partner took all his money and properties.  But then I'm not expecting anything  Not money. Not property. Nor contact.

So this evening I picked up the telephone and rang 999.  I mean PC Plod.  He sounded very nice indeed and told me about the mystery lady who caused him such a lot of sad emojis 😢

Apparently they had met, 3 times in all, the last time for a wedding which he invited her to.  The following day she emailed to say he wasn't the right guy for her, then disappeared for a week before telephoning him to ask for a lift to Gatwick Airport.  He refused, and has not heard from her since.  I expressed horror, saying her behaviour gave genuine women a bad name, to which he replied that he is sure men are just as bad, and I suppose he is right.

He tells me he has been married twice, the second marriage lasted only 5 years.  He didn't say how or why either ended, and I was too much of a lady to ask

As I had rung his landline using my dating mobile, I ended the call saying I would message him via the site with my number in case he wanted to stay in touch, which I did.  He replied immediately saying he would text me this evening so that I have his, and, for a change, he added a happy emoji 😊

Over the weekend I decided to abandon my quest to find a +1 for my daughter's wedding in July.  I have RSVP'd saying I will be attending alone.  I'm happy with my decision.  I really don't believe that even if I should meet someone now, it would be appropriate to take them along to a family event, as we simply wouldn't have known each other long enough to share such an intimate celebration.  Something PC Plod knows all about

In other news, I had a surprise telephone call this morning from the owner of a London based Introduction Agency, following up my initial enquiry from a number of weeks ago which I had completely forgotten about after an interesting pop up appeared online.  With a company name totally unrelated to it being an introduction agency, I was curious and clicked on to the website and realised this was a high class and discrete agency.  With a milestone birthday in just six weeks time, this is my last ditch attempt and a present to myself.

While I don't mind living by myself, supporting myself, and going to events alone, there are times when it would be good to have someone to share really happy occasions such as the arrival of a new grandchild, family weddings etc.  All the  happy moments we will never have back but which are made better when shared with someone.  But it needs to be the right person.  The wrong person could spoil an event, or make it a non event.

So instead of renewing my subscriptions to the dating sites I am investing big time in myself by engaging an introduction broker.  The lady who rang me this morning sounded extremely grand and has invited me to meet her at an equally grand hotel in central London in April for an initial consultation without any obligation.

Perhaps my lovely friend is right and the dating sites aren't the right place for me to meet someone. Its time for me to think outside the box.

I don't know what Agony Uncle will say, but its a blessed relief for me to know that I now have an excuse for not trawling the online sites until my fingers bleed..

Friday, 17 March 2017

I should have had a date today.  The man whose wife and partner took all his money and properties emailed last week saying that if I told him when and where to meet, he'd be there.

So I suggested Friday at 11am, sent a website link to the beach side restaurant I recommended for coffee, and gave him my dating phone number, should he like to chat beforehand.  Chatting beforehand was on the advice of Agony Uncle after observing some of my disastrous dates in the past.  He now insists I speak with any date by phone before agreeing to meet.  I almost got it right.

No reply to the email, and no contact via dating mobile so I guessed the date wasn't going to happen and messaged at 7am this morning via the dating site to say as I'd not heard back from him, and wouldn't want either of us to have wasted journeys, could he please text or phone if he was still wanting to meet.  Zilch.

Quite apart from the total lack of good manners, what is wrong with these men??

To be fair, he did eventually reply later in the day - of the morning we were supposed to meet - saying:

"I am such an idiot, I thought I'd put the ball in your court and was waiting for you to suggest something, forgetting that you had.  I've let work get the better of me this week, dare I ask for another chance and time please?"

Correct.  He's an idiot.

I've replied, briefly, saying he has my number and he can phone any time.

Talking of phones.  Tipperary Man had left another message last week and when I returned his call, he told me he was in the Quiet Carriage of a train bound for Shropshire.  He once again said I was the only person from the ghastly dating site he had spoken to  (I'm now convinced this is all part of his chat-up line) and he suggested meeting, after the Cheltenham Festival, where he was heading to, after Shropshire. This tells me I'm not as important as the other nags in his life.  Sadly, from my point of view anyway, this has now gone cold anyway.

Agony Uncle bailed on our posh nosh date this week, but he is forgiven as he's had a family bereavement and after taking 2 weeks off work to organise a funeral and deal with family matters, he's had to go away on business.  It buys me some time as I have little dating news to report back with.

But I have hope.   I am suddenly receiving a lot of messages on the site which means my subscription must be about to expire and they want me to renew in order to continue communicating. This will please Agony Uncle as my fingers should very soon start to bleed.

Someone whose username I cannot remember, and who I haven't replied to, but was local said he liked my profile and photos and asked me to take a look at his.  I lost interest when I saw the one of him astride a shiny red motorbike and then lost interest big time when I read that he doesn't own a TV, has a couch but never sits on it, doesn't own a mobile phone but has a push bike

Another one emailed with a one liner and his profile photo shows him cradling a model aeroplane.


Someone not too far away began emailing yesterday.  His profile says he is ex police force, and has taken early retirement.  He has a great sense of humour and we are doing a lot of flirting by email.  He told me it was his birthday yesterday so this morning I messaged to see how his day went.  We're batting and balling a bit and I told him I was probably going to bunk off down to my beach hut for an hour or so later.  He came back asking if he could join me.   Eeeek!

Since we only began exchanging messages yesterday and haven't yet spoken by phone, (plus it is very close to the beach side coffee shop I had suggested for the meeting with the man whose wife and partner took all his money and properties, and it could have been a bit tricky if he had turned up too), I avoided replying. When I do reply to PC Plod I shall have to confess that I didn't actually make it to the beach as the weather changed.    In any case, we hadn't spoken by phone, so would have been breaking Agony Uncle's dating rules.

As it happens, I have other things to think about.  This weekend I'm off to my first Hindu wedding, as a guest, minus a +1.  Commencing with breakfast at 10am, two ceremonies, an Indian feast, and an invitation to the evening reception afterwards, this event is causing me quite a bit of stress, mostly because of the numerous outfit changes.

But I am in wedding mood more than dating mood.

And I have hope.  Jilly Cooper apparently is now on Tinder.  Blind Date is to make a comeback on our TVs later in the year.

And Agony Uncle has promised to buy me a Big Mac on his return.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Chocks Away!

I've been away for a few days, staying with my daughter to help with her wedding planning.  Thankfully she didn't ask me who I would be bringing as my +1, which has bought me some extra time...  I have even begun to think of several girl friends I'd love to invite so am also considering that option if I can't come-up with a traditional +1 of the opposite sex.

During my travels, I unwittingly encountered Storm Doris, having booked my flights long before the storm was forecast.  My outward flight was cancelled altogether as the the small airline I usually use was grounded pending an investigation by the CAA.  During a previous flight they had taken off during 85 mile per hour storm force winds, were unable to land and had to be turned back, where they found the winds too strong to taxi along the run way on landing.  To my knowledge, they are still grounded.  This made alternative airlines extra busy which meant I couldn't get a seat on another flight until 48 hours after my original timed departure.  It was all very stressful and expensive, incurring 4 flights instead of 2, transfers and taxis and lost me 3 nights with my daughter

Anyway, eternal optimist that I am, I saw this as an opportunity to meet new people.   On Monday evening, I was travelling on the commuter flight back home, along with besuited gentlemen carrying lap top bags and briefcases instead of cabin bags and rucksacks.

I dressed appropriately, in full make-up, and colourful jacket to get me noticed, and carried my smart handbag and laptop bag over my shoulder, disinheriting my enormous bright pink designer suitcase which on checking it in to the hold had incurred an excess baggage charge of £40!

I thought I recognised one of my fellow passengers as the husband of friends we had some 25 years ago but as I haven't seen him in as many years, I wasn't sufficiently sure it was him, as he was now white haired and leaning on a walking stick, but we did lock eyes from a distance and I sent a smile his way in vague recognition.  I now await a reply to my email from my friend, asking if it was indeed her husband on the same flight as me

There was a lot of hanging around between transfers, giving me plenty of time to eye-up the other peeved passengers, and observe how they dealt with the inconvenience.  Most males rarely looked up from their laptops and mobile phones.  One was reading a large textbook which pages of graphs and figures (no, not of the female form)  Others were travelling with male colleagues and spent the entire duration of the flight gossiping about other colleagues.  And I thought only females gossiped!

I did have some competition from another female passenger who I heard flirting with a very distinguished male passenger with collar length hair, swept back in a Tarzan sort of way

I had the misfortune to be seated next to a scruffy boho female wearing a beanie hat, who seemed to spend much of the entire flight rummaging in her scruffy back pack for a scruffy looking pot of healthy snacks of nuts and dried fruit which she had presumably bought from home.  Having pre-booked myself a window seat, I was able to ignore this middle-aged nervous flyer by looking out of the window.  In the dark.

Once the plane had landed, most men hastily switched on their phones and began making calls to wives to confirm that they had landed and to inform them which terminal and gate they could be collected from.  No such joy for me, as I had to wait for my checked luggage to arrive on the conveyor belt and wait for the unidentified driver I had booked in advance to collect me from the airport and drive me home, thus avoiding the extortionate cost of parking my own car at the airport.

So, my little adventure was no more fruitful on the dating front than the websites have been, which were notably quiet throughout the time I was away.

On my return I contacted the man whose wife and partner had taken all his money and properties, to let him know that I was home, since he had suggested meeting up early this month.  He has replied, expressing surprise that I had remembered our arrangement, and has suggested meeting up ASAP.

Much to my annoyance another month's subscription was automatically taken from my bank account while I was away which I was helpless to do anything about.

And I found a voicemail from Tipperary Man on my dating phone, which I keep forgetting to check, telling me he would be in the UK this coming week and he'd like to meet me.   He goes on to say that he hasn't married since our last conversation and I'm still the only person he has spoken to on the ghastly site which he has now left. Interesting that he refers to not marrying, as this is the bloke listed on the peerage website as having 4 marriages to date, something he eludes to mentioning on his dating profile

I think I will go along and meet him, purely for the experience and to be able to add to my claims that I have briefly dated a peer.

I continued to read the weekly newspaper dating column for amusement and/inspiration.  Their couples are having as much luck as I am, but at least it is keeping the Dating Doctor in work.

And Agony Uncle has sent me a long cheery email telling me all about his holiday on his Scottish island with his new woman, He's still loved-up and insists their visit to Gretna Green was one of historical and educational interest only   Attached to the email is a photo of them both, smiling happily and draped over the Gretna Green sign,

I hate him!

Monday, 20 February 2017


I replied to the one whose ex wife and ex partner took all his money and houses.  I'm not sure if they were accomplices or if it happened at different times, but he's obviously not happy to have been a victim of financial and property rape twice.

I said I'd be delighted to meet for coffee but mentioned I was going away later in the week to visit my daughter and help with the wedding planning, giving him the option to meet this week before I go, or in early March when I've returned.   He suggested the latter.  I expect this is to give him time to draw up the prenup...

Overnight I reflected on Sad Long Face and decided that if his only conversation is "Where do we go from here?" he'd be no good doing the Dashing White Sargent on the dance floor in July.  I decided not to reply, even though he is on my doorstep.  It's a mystery why he made me a favourite if he cannot engage in conversation with someone who expresses an interest in him  I shall let him stew.

I did however find the good manners to reply to the one who lives 200 miles away but who liked my profile - Wow!  I sent a similarly short message saying the feeling was mutual and what a shame we lived so far away.

Strangely, he replied.  He's a competitive cyclist and  knows my town because he holidays here twice a year, usually bringing his bike and cycling along the prom  Ah, so now I understand his contact.  Not quite a girl in every port but perhaps he is looking for a convenient someone when he comes to stay.  On yer bike, sunshine.

So, as it seems I may have  date with a prenup early next month, I have turned to my Ladybird book of Dating to prepare me

"Getting ready is part of the date.  Michele's fried Allanah has been doing Michelle's hair since Wednesday.

Michelle's date, Chris, is still a home.  He has prepared by doing up most of his buttons on his shirt and tidying his fringe with spit.

He is finishing a mission on Call of Duty and will be twenty minutes late.

Bernard and Gail are on-line friends who have finally met.  They know they have a lot in common and are going for a walk.

All Bernard can think about is checking his telephone.  All Gail can think about is how she is going to describe this date in 140 characters when she goes to the toilet."

Ouch!  That brings back a few memories of a date who kept checking his phone throughout each meal....

I wonder how Agony Uncle is getting on in Scotland and whether he and his new lady have got any further than Gretna Green.   I'd better start trawling the sites until my fingers bleed.  I think he's due back tomorrow ☺

Chapter 100!

Once again,  it was another quiet weekend on the sites, perhaps because I am disobeying Agony Uncle and not logging on to browse or trawl the sites until my fingers bleed....

We have arranged to meet next month for a posh nosh supper half-way between our two homes and I know he will want to inspect my hands for tell-tell signs that I have been trawling.  I don't think I can  carry off wearing gloves while eating so am psyching myself up for the daily trawl...😜

I do believe there is something to be said for logging on daily in order to get noticed.

At 10pm last night,  he of the longest, saddest face I've ever seen, replied to my email.

I had thanked him for making me a favourite and said I'd read his profile with interest and did he know that Cancerians (him) and Taureans (me) are reputed to make a perfect match.

He has replied. without any pleasantries, saying "Where do we go from here?"

Give me strength!  Since he took 5 days to reply to my friendly, chirpy email, sent out of pity for his sad, long face, I shall delay replying, while pondering his question.

In search of inspiration, I turned to the next page of my Ladybird Book of Dating which, if you are all sitting comfortably, I will share now

"Men's brains and women's brains are different, Even as children.  Boys like to knock a Hula Hoop off an After Eight with a cocktail stick.  Girls prefer balancing a first class stamp on top of a Mr Man's bowler hat.

To get along, men and women pretend not to mind those little differences.

Or they become homosexuals"

During Sunday however, things became a little livelier and I received two messages.  One was a reply to mine sent in the morning to someone not too far away who had a long, but eloquent profile, talking a great deal about wealth, but that it wasn't important to him. He mentions that his wife and ex partner both took money and property from him and he doesn't sound bitter at all....

He has said he would like to meet for coffee and a chat.  I imagine I will need to sign a prenup before accepting the coffee invitation.

The other simply said "Hi.  I love your profile. Wow".

I shall try and think of a suitable reply to him, as well as Sad Long Face, while imagining each of them knocking a Hula Hoop off an After Eight with a cocktail stick.....

But the best message of the evening came not from a dating site but was a personal message from a friend I've known for about 10 years.  He told me he was enjoying reading this blog and that it had encouraged him to dip his toes back in the water.  I think much of the encouragement probably came from a 7 day free membership to one of the sites that he mentioned in the same message!  He says as he knows I like happy endings, I might like to know that before his 7 days expired he has managed to contact 5 women locally, exchange messages and phone numbers, meet for a coffee,  a dog walk and a possible cinema trip.  He doesn't say if this is with the same lady or with several but I'm pleased for him.

And I take great comfort from knowing that he has not become homosexual!

Friday, 17 February 2017

Its been another quiet day on the dating sites.  No emails.  No new viewings since my expensive "profile boost" has expired.  I have another missed call on my dating phone from Tipperary Man but no message since I have deactivated the voicemail facility on that phone.  Tee hee!

He is persistent, but obviously not so keen that he can follow up with a text or email via the site.

So today my resource material comes from the Ladybird book of Dating.  Yes.  I treated myself to this essential little handbook when out shopping for a birthday present for my son.  It is a hoot and I'm expecting great things now after reading it from cover to cover while drinking a cup of tea.

Here is an extract from the first page:

"Dating is a fun way of meeting someone who is as terrified of dying alone as you are. Finding this person takes time.  Cupid's arrow can strike when you least expect.

Angela has been struck by Cupid's arrow and is going to live happily ever after.

Lonely people know "the One" is out there somewhere.  They search the whole world for them.  It is surprising how often that soul mate turns out to not be on the other side of the world but fairly nearby, and reasonably drunk.  The perfect match"

And, in the extra time I have on my hands through not having to reply to dating emails, I've worked out how to upload a photo too so I may well occasionally post mug shots of some of the ghastly fellas I am obliged to turn down or block.

This is going to be such fun....☺      Oh and I've found the emojis too ☺👀👍

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Slow News Day

Its been a very quiet day on the sites today.

I imagine some are still in the first flush of Valentine's Day luuurve, while the others are still down in the dumps over it.

I remember Pip telling me during our first and only conversation that he had a spell of being down in the dumps.   While he really was lovely company, this may be where the first seed of doubt was sown. I really do need someone who is stable and consistent, including their moods.

I'm not expecting to hear a thing for at least a week from the Agony Uncle who will have spent last night at Gretna Green with his new lady.   There have been no messages or notifications on the site either and not a single visitor to my profile.  Eeek!  I have sent three messages to different blokes who have not replied.  How rude!

I'm starting to get a complex.

So my news today comes from the riveting weekly column for midlife singles returning to the dating scene.

Today's couple are mere spring chickens in their mid 40's.  In a nutshell, both had been put off internet dating (they have my sympathies).  He was keen on her, but she wasn't on him and they got off to a bad start when she arrived at the meeting place ahead of him and was waiting at the bar when he arrived.  It was his first date in 8 years, and she said afterwards that she knew immediately that he wasn't for her (been there and got the tee shirt, love!)

He, on the other hand, said that she was 80 per cent of what he was looking for.  He likes quirky.. At the end of the meal he asked her if she would like to remain friends.  She said no. Awkward.

The Dating Doctor's expert advice is, I suspect, the same as last week and refers once again to the golden rule which is to keep expectations low and enthusiasm high.  She advises not to be too hasty to make a judgement based on appearance alone.  Attraction has much more to do with personality than looks but we do instinctively know within minutes if the person is really for us.

She also tells us to see a failed date as a stepping stone to meeting someone we like more.  That means I must have trodden the Giants Causeway in my pursuit

Dating Doctor concludes that chemistry is like chaos - its hard to tie down.  It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you or them, but that we were are not right for each other.  Yup!

Cue a phone call on my dating phone.  I haven't checked it for days but when I heard it ringing this evening, I ignored it when I saw Tipperary Man's number flashing on the screen.  He hasn't left a message so perhaps he will email via the site. If anyone isn't right for me, its a peer who has been as careless losing years from his age, as he has losing wives and marriages...

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

I exchanged a few messages with the Agony Uncle yesterday and he was very supportive.  He understands how it feels to spend Valentine's Day alone as he has spent the last 10 years or so on his own but this year is different for him.  He told me what he was cooking for his new lady that night and described how he has decorated his home and set a romantic table for the two of them which she will find when she lets herself in before him with the new key to his front door which he has given her - something he says he has never done before.  He tells me they are sooooooo happy and so right for each other.

He also tells me I need to trawl the dating sites until my fingers bleed because if he can find someone, so can I!

For anyone unfamiliar with a conversation between an agony uncle and his protegee, ours yesterday went something like this:


We are soooooooo gooooooood Diana, we still can’t believe it and have made many plans.  She is just “perfect” for me and me for her… she says….obviously!  Driving up to Scotland in the morning and staying overnight in Gretna Green….and NO before you say it… plans; it was just a convenient stop over.  

Well Pip was a no-hoper as I had predicted, so let him find his opposite number…a tubby with hairy legs.

As to Paddy in Tipperary…….do get a grip woman!    The next one will be Gary in The Gambia who will fleece you for all you have!   Spring is in the air, so get earnest (no, not Ernest) and find him fairly local’ish so you can wine’n’dine him in your beach hut with the summer ahead.  Trawl the dating sites till your fingers bleed;  no excuses and get yourself a man!

He was supportive of my decision regarding Pip.  I am happier about it this morning too, as Pip got the weather wrong and its been a miserable rainy day not the bright sunny one he predicted for taking a country walk.   Or for arriving by motorbike....

Overnight I received an email from one of the sites advising me that someone had sent me a Question. Oh, how  I dislike questions and icebreakers!   Why not just send an email?  I imagine because questions can be sent without paying a subscription whereas the sending and reading of emails require us to be a fully paid up member.  As the question arrived a few minutes before midnight on Valentine's Day, I also imagine it was one of the special themed messages for Valentine's Day which I declined to use.  Anyway the message is from a 68 year old widower not too far from me whose profile photo shows him with not one, nor two, nor three dogs, but 5!  All identical.

His question, thankfully isn't about dogs, or even how to spot the difference, but is "If I told you I fancied you, what would you do"

I have replied this morning in a proper message, thanking him for his question and saying simply "I would return the compliment"

I feel for him as his profile says he's back on the dating scene after 30 years and he is widowed.  He probably found yesterday difficult.

Someone else has made me his favourite.  He owns horses and says if I can ride, one of them is available for me to hack,  but not the other as she's a bolter and only for him.  He's not looking for dating, but a "visiting relationship" which is a new one to me.  He lists his dislikes as:

Braggarts, people who don't like me, Thatcherites, Corbynistas, tripe, ice cream and horses that bite,kick or screw-buck.

He sounds a psychologist's dream!

I have also emailed someone in my home town who also added me as a favourite, thanking him for doing so.  He has the saddest, longest face I think I have ever seen and I thought he needed cheering up.  

The Agony Uncle is often right, and is now living his dream.  Its taken him 10+ years of trawling dating websites until his fingers bled, but I can't deny that it has paid off for him. 

Lucky sod!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


This morning I messaged Pip via the site and cancelled our 2nd date tomorrow.

When I went back over our messages, I could see that our last exchanges were 12 days ago, and there has only been one single text each between us since.  Pip didn't reply to my last one in which I apologetically declined his suggestion to move on to the brasserie after meeting at the Farm Shop tearooms tomorrow if we felt things were going well, because I had to get back for a business meeting in the evening.

In the cold light of day, I realise he lives a 300 mile round trip away and from my past experience of a distance relationship, travelling can be challenging unless daily contact is maintained in some form either by text, Whats app or phone calls.  I felt there had been no investment from Pip or myself so this is what I said this morning:

Hi Pip
Happy Feb 14th! 
I hope you are enjoying your days off and the chores aren't too tedious!
I hope too that you will forgive me if I cancel our meeting tomorrow?  I feel guilty bringing you so far from ******  for a second meeting, when I think we've lost a bit of momentum by not maintaining contact since our first one.
I do hope you'll understand.  I did enjoy meeting you when you were in my home town, but from past experience, distance can be a challenge
I shall continue with my search closer to home, and I wish you well in yours,
Diana x

When I read back over his messages, his last one said that he had a few days off this week to catch up on chores and would I like to meet....  Call me an old romantic, but I don't really want to be fitted in around chores!  I'd like to meet a guy who wants to sweep me off my feet and who we each make such an impression on that, even if we can't see each other, we both want to keep in touch daily. I'd like someone who wants to tell me about his day, even if it is only in a message, and who wants to hear about mine.  Someone who feels happy to lean on me for support and advice, and who I can lean on for the same.  Just someone to run ideas past

The highlight of this special day in the calendar  was the arrival this morning to my Inbox of the Saga Dating Newsletter entitled The Joy of Dating Over 50.  Unsure if this referred to quantity or age, I read on.

From the writer's references to sex, I concluded it was the latter.  Unfortunately, even though she is writing for the dating site, she doesn't say how she met her new partner, she only describes sex with an older partner.  There's a missed opportunity there methinks!

That aside, I do actually agree with all she says.  We are less inhibited, we do enjoy joyous abandon, and public displays of affection and intimacy.  There is no longer the pressure on women to have a near perfect body, because its highly likely our partner's body will also have tell-tell signs of age related gravity and imperfections which we just learn to love.  Just as our bodies relax, so do we.

One paragraph resonated with me, and perhaps explains better than I can why I think it is possible to be swept off our feet:

The writer says "Our relationship is all the better for our respective past experiences. I have been transformed by the experience of being loved quite so openly and devotedly. I walk taller, I dress better and I have my hair done more regularly. I make an effort to be better informed so I can be better company. I am getting back in touch with friends from whom I was drifting away – partly, it must be said, in order to show him off.

I pore over restaurant reviews and am much more adventurous in trying out new places we might both enjoy. I read the travel sections in the newspapers so I can discover wonderful new places we can visit together. I want to be better, funnier, prettier, for him. This is surely only good."

That is surely, in part, what a good relationship is all about.  Bringing out the best in someone and giving them the motivation to keep improving and growing.  Its why I say in my profile that I'm looking for someone I can look up to - physically and metaphorically. I want my mind stimulated and my thinking challenged and stretched.  I want interesting discussions on current affairs.  I'm not ready for crosswords, the daily walk to the newsagents to collect the newspapers, and dozing in the armchair from afternoon to evening.  I want sneaky snogs in public places, giggling at silly things, and belly laughs watching a theatre show or a film at the cinema at the things we jointly find hilarious.

So, if it happened for her, it can surely happen for me too? 

Pip has replied:

Hi Diana, 
Thank you for your candour, and I appreciate you letting me know before we travelled to *****. I understand what you say though I think circumstances may have conspired against us. I wish you well in your search and feel free to contact me if you are still curious! 
Take care, best wishes, 
Pip x

So because he took it so well, I now feel sad.  But he's left the door open....

What a gent!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Tipperary Man

Tipperary Man telephoned just as he promised he would and we spoke for an hour.

He sounds terribly grand and spoke more than he listened, but he was very interesting.  He's involved with hunts in Ireland and in the UK and has several homes, including one in the countryside about a 45 minutes drive from me.

He name drops, mentions his royal connections and uses the word "phenomenally" an awful lot, usually when describing the wealth of his various friends. He also knows one of the couples we used to know with in the equestrian world some 20 of so years ago when I lived another life on another island.  He wanted to know my surname so I teased and said I wasn't willing to give just yet, and he asked a lot of questions about my own connections once he knew of our mutual one.  I wasn't giving anything away.

He tells me he has only been on the site a few days and that I am the only person he has contacted or spoken to, adding, "on the strength of our conversation today, you may be the only person I speak to".  Oooh, I say!

There's been nothing from Pip nor the distinguished looking "lawyer" so I've settled for rather lot of Irish flattery from Tipperary Man.

As he had given me his email address, I put it into Google and was rather surprised to see how much came up about him.  His full name, business interests and a listing on a peerage website, confirming the royal connections he had told me about in our long phone call.  It also gave his date of birth which by my calculations suggest he has shaved a shed load of years from the age he gives on the dating site, and means he's actually in his late 70's not early 60's.  The peerage website also reveals that he has been married 4 times.....  Forgetting how old he is, is almost as careless as 4 broken marriages.  Suddenly I'm not so flattered.

Someone else on the website has added me as a favourite last night.  He lives in the same town as me and under Dislikes, lists internet dating sites....

Overnight, there has been no activity, despite my paid for "boost".  To add insult to injury the site which  I only joined because of the Groupon voucher, has taken a 3 month subscription from my bank account, meaning that I have just thrown a lot of money at a dormant website, which I would not have joined had I not been enticed by a damn voucher.  Grrr!

And I am seriously considering cancelling date #2 with Pip on Wednesday.  I feel bad, but there has been no contact since the initial suggestion last week that we should meet this week, on a day which suited Pip.  Call me old fashioned, but I think there should be some contact in between dates, just to keep the interest going. 

Is it me?

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Pip has replied to my email offering two choices of venue for our 2nd date next Wednesday.  He thanks me for both my lovely suggestions and has left it for me to decide, with an apologetic comment that he hopes it doesn't make him sound indecisive.  He also asked if he detected a preference with me for the brasserie.  He then says he'd be happy with either.  An hour later, he texted saying we should meet at the farm shop and if all goes well, we could do both venues if we stay all day.  Errm....

I have received another message on the free site from Yogaboy.  He talks about log fires and how much he misses his.   His profile photo shows a heavily overweight fella lounging back in an armchair with a baseball cap on back to front.   I don't even need to be asked if I want to hit the Block this Member? key.  I do it anyway.  If he does as much yoga as he claims in his profile, he'll soon bounce back :)

Overnight however an interesting message arrived from Tipperary Man.  He says he's new to the site and still finding his way around.   He isn't interested in emails which don't lead anywhere or pen friends.  Check!  He has given me his mobile number and email address.

His profile tells me that he owns a stud farm in Ireland, and used to work in the City.  He is semi retired and in his private message he says that he owns a second home not far from me.  This makes it all sound very much more realistic. At this stage I'm unsure whether he is an experienced serial dater who gives out his contact details in order to get chatting off site, or just very naive and as inexperienced at dating as implied in his email.  I replied thanking him for his kind words, and saying I will call him later today.

Which I did at the allotted time, but it obviously wasn't a good time.  Although he answered his phone, he politely explained that he was about to step into the bath and was standing as on the day he was born, as he'd just returned from hunting.  He would call me back.

I did know about his fondness for hunting as it is in his profile:

I am physically and mentally fit and enjoy life. I have many interests and these include; Country Sports ,Horse Racing, Hunting, Tennis , Skiing,, The Arts, and TRAVEL
I like active as well as lazy sun holidays, going to special places, good company, fine food and laughter!

As well as running my own businesses , I have worked in The City of London, abroad had my own Stud and have traveled extensively.
I am semi retired and intend to continue to enjoy life to the full, I am well educated, kind, reliable, loyal and thoughtful. My family is important to me.

I am hoping to find a lovely Lady to share a fun,worthwhile and enjoyable future. Hopefully she should be: attractive, intelligent, kind ,tactile and LOVING., or most of these!! So look forward to hearing from you.

I'm curious as to why he puts the word LOVING in caps.  Perhaps it has alluded him until now.  I also like that he says his family is important to him.  I think we have much in common.  I can do lady, (sometimes) and I can do fun, and loving.

So now I await his callback.......

Friday, 10 February 2017

A reply from Pip

Pip finally replied at 10.30pm last night, with an apology for texting so late.  He gave no reason, but has suggested meeting next Wednesday.  In Wetherspoons.  He adds that it wasn't very good the last time he was there but it is the only place he knows in the city which is the half-way point for us both.  Wetherspoons?  Excuse me?!

I didn't reply last night but when I do I may have to suggest the farm shop tea rooms as an alternative.  He mentions that he has checked the weather for Wednesday which makes me think he is planning to arrive on his motorbike......He will no doubt ask me to step outside to admire it so I shall have to coo and pretend it is a cute newborn baby in a pram

There was no activity on the other site overnight, despite me paying to boost my profile, but I did receive a single message in the evening from a very good looking widower living about 20 miles away who has obviously read my profile, which he said intrigued him.  He commented on beach huts, my fondness for fine wines and cooking and my need for a climbing buddy for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  He has a highly intelligent profile himself, and says he is the senior partner of his professional practise.  I suspect he is a lawyer.  If so, he could be very useful when the next speeding ticket flies onto my doormat.  He is 60 years old, looks remarkably like the Agony Uncle, is 6ft 3" tall, very distinguished-looking with a mop of silver hair, and is a sharp dresser, so I believe he would meet with the AU's approval.  I am overlooking the fact that he says he has two bad knees from playing rugby and cricket for many years but I can't help wondering how this will affect his ability to barn dance in July

I replied before going to bed, trying to downplay my interest in him, without any mention of bad knees or barn dances and now await a further exchange.

The next morning, I reply to Pip and send links to both the farm shop tea rooms and the French brasserie, remembering Agony Uncle's advice that I can't drop my standards.  A farm shop tea rooms  and a brassierie are both a step up from a garden centre, and an entire flight up from a Wetherspoons. 

This could be make or break time...

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Oh dear.  Still nothing from Pip.

With this awful retentive memory that I am blessed/cursed with, I seem to recall that he plays badminton every Wednesday night.  It must be a very slow game as it is now Thursday evening and I have neither received a reply to my email on the site, nor to my text which revealed not one, but both my mobile numbers..... giving him plenty of choice

As for my profile boost on another site, I have had one viewing today from someone in Tipperary.   Without looking it up, I believe it is a long way to Tipperary so hardly practical for spontaneous meetings.

I also receive a notification that someone is interested in me, and I am invited to view his profile.  It would be rude not to....

He has two profile photos, one showing him licking on an ice-cream cone, the other standing beside his allotment.  This is what he says about himself:

I'm a quiet person who doesn't like crowds, i enjoy most country pursuits. In the season I beat on 2 small shoots, I used to fish , but have not for a while. I keep poultry and I have jack russell terrier who i spend a lot of time walking with.
Would like to meet a person who is fun to be with and will bring me out of my shell. I'm looking for friendship and someone to spend time with to start with, and see how it goes on from there. I work part time, in that I don't do much work in the winter, but more in the rest of the year. Because of commitments with animals etc I don't tend to go out much in the evenings but more at the weekends or during the day. I'm very laid back, not quite horizontal, but almost and look forward to hearing from someone soon

Doesn't like crowds?  Someone to bring him out of his shell?  Doesn't go out much in the evenings?  He hardly meets my criteria of being adventurous.  Already I can anticipate the Agony Uncle's verdict on this one!  So I turn to the newspaper for some inspiration since Thursday is the day of the riveting new column in which two midlife singles venturing back into dating are paired up.

Today's couple are not at all inspiring.  Their feedback though ,echoes my experiences.  The 56 year old female says that while men can go for someone 10 years younger, (see earlier blog!)  for women of her/our age, the dating pool is small.  Ain't that the truth!   Her blind date is with a 63 year old who has been single for just a year, after being traded in for a younger model, after 33 years.  Something of a role reversal there then?   It seems that neither of these two dates had great expectations except to have a good evening out.  The dating doctor's advice is to keep expectations low and enthusiasm high.   Hmmm!

In the same newspaper, I read that the soon-to-be octogenarian Tom Jones is dating Priscilla Presley.  I wonder if he has been given the same advice.  Enthusiasm high and expectations low.   Got that, Tom?

 This evening I seem to have been made a favourite by the Condemned Man who this morning had made himself invisible and has now reappeared.  I wonder if his experience was the same as the limping German coffee lover?  100's of emails before a date which turned out to be disappointing with not even a peck on the cheek.  Expectations obviously too high.....

I am more than a little curious so it seems a good time to reply to his message...

I don't let on that when I tried to reply this morning, I was unable to as the site said this member's profile is no longer visible.

This is what I say:

"Hello ****

Thank for replying to mine.  I do appreciate it, and of course I completely understand.  It's really good to know that this site works, and its encouraging!

I hope this reaches you before you hide your profile and that the new relationship goes well.

Obviously I'm disappointed to have been pipped to the post, but if anything changes, do please let me know if you feel there is a mutual connection.  I think I may be here for a little while...  :)

Best wishes,

Diana x

When I check that the message has been sent (it had) I am faced with the same notification as this morning:


Methinks someone is playing games....

Chapter XC

Chapter 90.  Whoever knew there could be so much to write about online dating, and over so many years...?!

Pip hasn't replied to my text so I've sent a brief message via the site in reply to his, letting him know I'm happy to meet for a second date, and also giving him my mobile number, saying I wasn't ignoring him and had tried to text him yesterday.

My dilemma now is do I go against the wisdom of Agony Uncle and have a second date with someone he considers isn't my type.

With that in mind, I went back on to check what was happening on one of the paid sites and I saw I was being offered the opportunity to "boost" my profile for the next 30 days, guaranteeing increased viewings and messages.  Sceptical, I paid an extra premium to tide me over until Valentine's Day. This will be interesting.

Overnight I had one single viewing for my extra premium to "boost" my profile.  Where is everyone?!

However that one viewing made for nice reading when I read his profile.  He doesn't live too far away and is an IT consultant.  He's neither short nor round, but not fanatical about his physique either and he has a really lovely smile.  So I sent a message saying how I enjoyed reading his profile

Within minutes has had replied,  thanking me for my message and advising that he is seeing someone soon so has only come on to the site to hide his profile, and he wishes me well.  Aaaarrgggh!  I cannot reply wishing him the same, as I don't.  I hope it is a disastrous date and he comes back to the site with his tail between his legs.  Anyway by the time I'd read the message, his profile had disappeared. All in less than 10 minutes.   It doesn't explain why he had viewed me overnight though....  The condemned man comes to mind

So far my enhanced membership has been a complete waste of money

I now have the option to send Valentine's messages on the site, but have resisted the temptation.  These are one liner, prescribed icebreakers, presumably for those dear souls who have neither the ability nor imagination to string together a single sentence of their own.  

The looming Valentine's Day surely is the dread of every singleton. I used to love it when part of a couple, and enjoyed planning surprises and producing Valentine themed meals and goodies.   I'm now having to walk by all the pretty gifts, cards and bouquets which seem to be in every shop and petrol station, heaving a deep sigh.

Agony Uncle will be spending his first VD in about 10 years with a lady.  His new lady.   In the past we have at least been able to commiserate with each other.  I think I even once received a card from him but it was a very, very long time ago and, I recall, a tad embarrassing for both of us because I didn't reciprocate as I didn't want to give him false hope.    I'm glad this year he has someone to spoil who will hopefully spoil him back.  He's told me his plans for her which include cooking her a romantic supper before whisking her away on holiday the next day.  Who said romance is dead!

My daughter found her new man-soon-to-be-husband on a dating site, one that I am on actually and during her search, (which wasn't very long) she picked up some online dating tips from relationship psychologists which she has generously, and pityingly shared with me.  One of these pearls of wisdom was that females should only reply to one in 3 messages from the same person so as not to appear too keen. It is important to appear busy apparently.   I struggle with this, not with appearing busy, but with ignoring messages, as to me it is just very bad form not to reply to any message, whether on a dating site or outside, and whether it be a friendly email, or a greeting at New Year, especially in this age of smart phones when most of us have access to our message 24 hours a day.  While I accept that during our busy lives we may delay replying to a message, it is in my opinion very bad manners to ignore them altogether, at least without an explanation.

My daughter however, practised this theory during her brief dating experiences and it must have worked as she marries in less than 5 months, after a 5 year courtship.  If our communications are anything to go by, she continues to practise the theory today, as I can guarantee for the every six messages I send her, I will only ever receive a single reply.

Usually a one-line icebreaker to keep me at bay...

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Pip replied very promptly to my email this morning.  Its a nice, chatty, newsy email, telling me about his weekend (well, I did ask!).  He seems very keen to meet again and says he has a few days off if I would like to meet half-way and suggest a venue.

I'm relieved he didn't ask for my mobile number again, as I don't yet have my confidence back in that department.....

While on the site, I spotted a feature I hadn't noticed before called "Your best relationship prospects", so out of a sense of public duty to my readers, I clicked on it.

Top of the list is........... WUSIWUG - ex the limping German coffee lover, with a change of name.  He is my best prospect according to the site.  Please NO!   He's added some new photos, including one of him with his father and his son.  I'm sure I've seen his father somewhere before.  I hope it wasn't on another dating site!

Also on the list of best relationship prospects is....the Tallboy.  His profile says he's a true gent.  I beg to differ.....

Back to Pip.  He does seem very keen and has given me the freedom to suggest the venue again.  I must have got it right with the garden centre then.  So I'm torn between a farm shop tea rooms with rave reviews on Trip Advisor, and a trendy French brasserie in the centre of town  I simply don't know him well enough yet to know which to choose for us but I have a sneaky feeling he might travel on his motorbike.....

Perhaps I should choose the one least practical for motorbikes?

Anyway my replacement SIM card arrived in the post this morning and I've texted Pip.   I managed to get that wrong too as I decided to text from my main phone as I'm more familiar with it.  I then sent the text to my spare "dating phone" and forwarded it on to Pip's number.  So much quicker than faffing around with a phone I'd forgotten how to use.  Or so you would think...... Until I checked that the text had gone through and saw that it gave all the details of where it had been forwarded from, including my primary number.... Shoot me now someone.

That was 8 hours ago and I haven't had a reply.  I'm desperately hoping he didn't receive it.

In order to text, I had to go back on the site to get Pip's number as, when I rang from my landline, withholding my number to fix our first date,  I hadn't noted it down.    Of course while on the site, I had to have a little peek and one profile caught my eye, as it was cleverly written, despite one of the photos showing a motorbike...

He says he has no beard or tattoos and hopes we haven't either.  Check.

What a shame this fella is so far away.  But for the motorbike, he sounds exactly what I need.  A lot of fun!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

No pants?

Today I finally got around to replying to Pip.  It took me 5 days to reply to his message on the site, and I now need to ask myself why it took me so long.  Admittedly I was away at the weekend and my mind wasn't on dating.   I also realised that after lending my spare "dating" phone to my daughter, I needed to get a new SIM for it before I could give Pip my mobile number.  I'm still waiting for my contract provider to send a new SIM.

While on the site replying to Pip, and further delaying giving him my mobile number by promising to text him at a more sociable hour, I received a message from someone which simply said "Hi how are you".  Another major irritant!  I presume this is someone who is very lonely at 7.30 am in the morning and who has simply clicked on the Who's Online feature, saw me so thought he'd chat.  With no reference to either of our profiles or any observance of suitability or similarities, I blocked him without replying, possibly motivated by his profile photo which shows a large unshaven face, sitting in front of a window with the curtain tied in a large knot behind his ear.  Jeez, talk about making an effort!  He says he's looking for someone over 45 to 60.    He hasn't filled out any profile information except to say "Kind and caring don't have meet me".   I looked to see his suggestions for a first date and he simply repeats the same words by saying he doesn't have Meet Me.   Oh the irony.   Next!

Before quickly logging off, I saw someone with a username of No Pants had viewed me.  Since he hasn't messaged me I cannot hit the Block this Member? key, but I would very much like to.

I possibly understand a little more about my reticence in giving out my mobile number after a spooky reminder today of the trouble it can get me in to.  A few years ago, during a rather lovely dalliance, which consisted mostly of regular daily texts each morning when my phone would ping with a "Morning Sexy" message at around 6am, and depending on what he was doing, continued throughout the day,  I was participating in a particularly saucy exchange while working at my desk, when a second text came through, this time from my car valet, arranging my next valet.  Preoccupied with a) my work and b) the saucy text exchanges, I accidentally sent an uncharacteristically filthy text to my valet instead of my now ex.

Needless to say, the valet alerted me to my error and I apologised profusely. The next time he called at the house to clean my car, I avoided him completely, leaving the keys in the car, closing all my curtains and quickly found a new valet, who, 5 years on, I still use, having succeeded in not disgracing myself again. 

Until this morning.....when I texted the person I thought was my current valet to book my next appointment.  When the reply came back in a less familiar tone, referring to "we are busy this week but have a Saturday slot available" I began to doubt I had messaged the correct person as I know he doesn't normally work on a Saturday, and works alone, so I texted back and asked if I had got the right person, using his name. 

A reply quickly came back "No, I'm the one you sent the inappropriate text to a few years ago.  I'm Pete. Remember me?  It made for a good laugh at the pub that night..."

I read it, and once again wanted the ground to open up and swallow me.

I have obviously somehow lost the number of my current valet, yet my ruddy phone has kept the number from all those years ago of the previous one.

I have replied, saying yes I remember, my phone still has a mind of its own, and I'm sorry to have troubled him.  Happy New Year!

So that perhaps explains my hesitation in giving out my number, but it doesn't explain why I've been so slow in replying to Pip via the site.  Perhaps after seeing he'd used the words  "text me your number" some very delayed self-preservation has kicked in.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

I Spoke Too Soon

I spoke too soon!

After uploading my last blog, Pip emailed via the site on Friday evening.  He doesn't know when he will next be in my area so has taken up my suggestion to meet halfway.

He has also realised that he doesn't have my phone number so has asked me to text him with it.

While on the site reading Pip's message I blocked MGman and read another message from RollerPulla.  His message was not worth opening.  It simply said "Hello".  These type of messages annoy me like crazy and I find them incredibly childish and lazy yet I still clicked on his profile. He says he is paralysed down one side but that everything works.  Too much information methinks...  He also gets blocked, but with a little more guilt than I felt for MGman. For practical reasons I don't think he'd be a safe bet climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge with me

Not only do I say in my profile that I am looking for a man with the same sense of adventure as me, but I also say I am looking for someone I can look up to, physically and metaphorically.  Standing at 5'7 and a half myself, I would barely look up to someone like Pip who, if he isn't lying about his height,  is 5'8".  But these things are just superficial.  Aren't they?

I perhaps need to think like Jerry Hall....

I may also have to challenge the Agony Uncle's advice yesterday when he said short and round men are not my type.  I shall gently remind him that he is 6' 5", of slim build, affluent, and very distinguished, with no children from either of his two previous marriages, but he too wasn't my type, although I think from his bruised ego after our first date some 10 years ago, he possibly thought I was his.  Its lovely that he has forgiven me and I consider myself very fortunate that we have kept in touch over all these years. He can still make me laugh with his wit and humour, added to which he has given me hope that even we persistent midlife daters can still find love on the internet. Even though he feels he has found The One, he still has time to encourage me to persevere and counsel me on the pitfalls.  He's even still able to meet me for occasional gossips over dinner at swanky restaurants and always extremely generous when it comes to paying, or giving Christmas presents.

So I will text Pip tomorrow from my spare phone.  It is something else we have in common as he told me on Tuesday he has 2 phones, one for work and one for personal use.   I feigned surprised interest when he told me and said what a good idea it was....

Friday, 3 February 2017

Extra criteria

I haven't heard from Pip since I replied to his email asking if I'd like to repeat the experience of our first date.

I know he's a busy person and very involved with his 4 daughters who live nearby.  Which is all good and means he doesn't spend hours trawling the dating site as the predators and opportunists I've had the misfortune to make acquaintance with in the past do.   I perhaps should have offered him my mobile number so that we could communicate off site but he didn't ask, and I forgot to volunteer it.  Unless he has also blocked me, I will still have his number in his last message to me.

I've not been on the site either but I can see there is another message from MGman who starts by saying "I no I've already text you"....  Next time I'm on the site I will be unable to resist the temptation to reply with  "I no I shld have dun this sooner" message before hitting the Block this Member? key with great satisfaction.

I have however suddenly remembered one essential quality for any +1 I take to my daughter's wedding.  I happen to know, although it is not yet general knowledge, that there is a rather lovely treat in store for us all during the evening.  Instead of the usual disco, my daughter and her fiance have chosen to have a Barn Dance, much to my great delight.   I'm really looking forward to do-si- doe-ing, doing the Durham Reel and Figures of Eight on the dance floor instead of in my car on unfamiliar roads and vast public car parks.

This means I will need to expand my criteria when looking at potential +1's.  I think if during our initial meeting  I ask if they know the Dashing White Sergeant, or can they Come Round the Mountain and do a 5 Hand Reel, I may be asking for a slap so I need to give some thought as to how I can work this into the conversation

As if by magic, Agony Uncle has today been in touch, with burning ears after yesterdays post.  We've not spoken for nearly 4 weeks, but picked up happily where we left off, him telling me he is just as luvv'd up with his new lady found on the same site that I am on as when we last spoke and that they have 2 holidays booked this year already, and he has some rather romantic plans for Valentines night.  He finished by telling me that if he can find someone, so can I.

I told him I didn't have much to report, but he's far too savvy and knows me too well, so pressed me for more until I told him about Pip.  I described him and our date and Agony Uncle simply said "Short and round - Yuk - he's not for you! You can do much better than that, Diana....don't let standards slip!   Get back on your horse and parade yourself around the dating ring again".

He did praise me for my choice of venue for meeting Pip, stating that a flower bed was preferable to a hotel bed... 

He's also very good at stating the damn obvious and told me I needed to find a date by July and if I can't, I could always try hiring a toy boy escort to set tongues wagging!  I sent him a virtual slap....with an IOU for a real one next time we meet for dinner.

So I am now saddled and bridled ready to parade myself around the dating ring, along with all the other single fifty-something females who apparently are now suddenly finding themselves divorced and who I am competing against (probably because their silver haired, unattractive ex-husbands are parading their 30- something trophy partners, blissfully unaware of the financial fate that awaits them!)

Apparently we silver divorcees are bucking a national trend.  With more older singletons dating again in their midlife search to find the perfect partner.  Female mid-lifers have different criteria when seeking a new partner this time round.  We don't want to become parents again and we don't want someone approaching his dotage looking for someone to warm his Horlicks.  We don't want to be a nursemaid to a doddery old codger,  a bereavement counsellor to a widower in mourning nor do we want to be a counsellor for someone still not over their ex.

I have acquired this infinite wisdom from reading a new newspaper column which launched this week for midlife blind dates - or for those venturing back to dating after a long break of domesticity and raising children.  The idea is that each week a couple is sent out on a blind date and report back afterwards with their comments and criticisms, with a little advice thrown in from a midlife Agony Aunt, who it seems is herself divorced. From what I have read, the first couple had even less success than me, which is encouraging in a weird sort of way.

I say in my profile that I am looking for someone with a sense of adventure.  Someone I can strap myself to as we climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge together.  I call that my filtering system to keep the Horlicks lovers at a distance.

Its supposed to limit the number of times I hit the Block this Member? key.  But I don't think its working..

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Special friends

Since starting this very irreverent blog back in 2011, I have made it a rule never to write about the dates I met who I actually liked and who remain friends.   So although I have somehow managed to fill 87 chapters  cataloguing the disastrous, hilarious and hideous dates, out of respect for those whose company I enjoyed or with whom I have remained in touch and now consider good friends, agony uncles, advisers, mentors and theatre companions, there is little reference to the good ones who got away.

Whether The Author is one of the good ones I shall never know as I've heard nothing from him since his last message in which he suggested I took a Creative Writing course.  Damn cheek!

I am now in a quandary with Pip who messaged when he got home after our first date.   I'd gone to bed and although I saw the message arrive via my phone, I chose not to read it until the next morning. In it, he thanks me for a lovely time, says what a pleasure it was to meet me and that he hopes I will want to repeat the experience!

I have replied saying the feeling was mutual and yes I would!

Strictly speaking, I should no longer be writing about him here as he was neither a disastrous, hilarious nor hideous date, but a thoroughly enjoyable and somewhat revealing date. Revealing more about myself perhaps than him.

I am aware that my expectations have changed. Its true that I am still looking for someone who can string a decent sentence together without using txt speke and whose conversations either written or in person are stimiluating and interesting, but I'm no longer looking at dates and asking myself whether we could entertain, amuse and tolerate each other for the rest of  our lives.  I'm now looking at them with a much shorter span up to and as far as July this year, and wondering if they would make a suitable +1 one at my daughter's wedding. Perhaps this is where I was going wrong before, but with a limited number of offspring, this opportunity has been denied me until now

Interestingly, my date with Pip coincided with a newspaper article which caught my eye about the attraction of men over 50 who aren't particularly good looking, yet are irresistible to women.

Pip isn't particularly good looking either but he has good teeth, nice looking hands and a lovely mop of Heseltine/Hugh Grant hair which he swept back with his hands every so often as he spoke.  And he does have a very nice nature.

The newspaper article featured three divorced men, all with greying hair, and a noticeable absence of 6 packs who women are throwing themselves at, especially younger women in their 30's because they see the men as stable, reliable, and good husband material.  Because these men are already fathers of older children, the young women know they have a proven track record of fertility and are identifying them as potential fathers for their own children.

There is also the added appeal of an older man's earning potential.  Suddenly single women are willing to ignore the fading looks and emotional and financial baggage in favour of dependability, guaranteed virility and the ability to know one end of a screw driver from another.

And suddenly I feel very sorry for my male counterparts who, probably flattered by the attentions of these younger females who they can parade as trophies,  are blissfully unaware that they are actually being viewed as future sperm and cash machines.

Although no longer a wanna-be wife and mother,  I am beginning to realise that my ideal image of the tall, dark handsome knight in shining armour may never be materialised, although I did come very, very close for a few years, almost a decade ago now which has probably clouded my judgement and hindered my progress somewhat.

No, I am conscious that I'm now looking deeper and seeking goodness, reliability, openness, a shared, strong sense of family morals and values all of which Pip displayed in our initial one and a half hour date (I was enjoying myself so much that I didn't look at the time so couldn't invoke my usual 1 hour only for first date rule!)  In fact, he seemed disappointed when I suggested leaving after one and a half hours even though we were still pouring and drinking cold tea.

During our lively conversation, we broke several rules of dating etiquette, including touching, not our gloved hands for fear of scandal, but on our past dating experiences. Without mentioning The Author, I said that I felt many on the sites were simply looking for penpals, with no intention of meeting in person, and he agreed, saying that he wasn't looking for a pen friend either, but a special friend and I like this thought too.

A special friend would not blank my friendly messages when I try to stay in touch, nor have the bad manners to ignore a cheerful New Year greeting by not reciprocating, but I do believe a special friend could possibly make an ideal +1 to take to a daughter's wedding.

Watch this space!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Could this be him?

Yesterday I had my rather spontaneous date with Pip.  He had travelled from the West Country for a conference in my home town and after apologising if it seemed forward, suggested a meeting and gave me his mobile number

I promised to phone him that evening, and was able to, as this gentleman hadn't hit the Block this Member button after sending me his number.  I rang from my landline, after withholding my number which he didn't seem to notice as during our conversation he said he would text me if he was running late.

He had told me where he was staying which was a well known hotel, but being in something-of-a-lady-mode that day, I didn't offer to meet him there.  Instead I told him that I'd noticed from his profile that his suggestions for an ideal first date would be a quiet country house or even a garden centre, so suggested the latter, which I knew would be on his route home.  He seemed to genuinely appreciate the thoughtfulness of the suggestion and I think it may have earned me a Brownie point

I was running a few minutes late for the date and didn't have the time to spend on my make-up or hair and it was a filthy, foggy, drizzling day too which didn't help.  As I made the 20 minute drive to the garden centre (his hotel would have been nearer) I realised that I'd forgotten to paint my nails, and that I hadn't said where to meet at the large Garden Centre so wasn't sure if I should wait by the door or in the cafeteria area.

I needn't have worried because after driving very conspicuously into the large car park through the Exit (yes, the Exit!) looking for a space, I spotted him waiting outside by the door, watching me as I made a hash of my parking and finding that I had to push my way through the bushes, having not given myself enough room to open my driver's door as I parked tidily, but tightly in the end space,  arriving to greet him with a wet bottom, jacket and scarf.

He was easily identifiable from his profile photo and was shorter and rounder than my usual tall, dark, handsome preference but he was still dark haired which is something of a rarity.  As is any hair at all if my past dates are anything to go by

He wasn't particularly smartly dressed, and as I apologised for being rather wet front and back from pushing my way through the bushes, he apologised for being in casual clothes.  I said I thought we were both very appropriately dressed for a cup of tea at a garden centre

He was easy to talk to, just as I'd expected of someone who works in adult education.  He was also very interesting to listen to.  He's travelled extensively, spent his childhood in Nigeria and visited many of the same places around the globe that I have.  Well, we had Australia and Scotland in common anyway.

He seemed to enjoy being complimented. When he picked up the tea pot and offered to pour my tea, I thanked him, telling him that I hadn't had that done for me for a very long time.  He blushed, and said no-one had even noticed, let alone commented on it before .  He stuck me as being modest and bashful, well travelled and interesting and a truly devoted father to 4 daughters, all with beautiful names, indicating that he had both class and style when naming them 30+ years ago.   Our offspring are all the same age so he, like me, is free of the usual parenting and financial burdens associated with younger children or those still in education or further education.

He proudly showed me a 12 week scan photo on his phone of his first grandchild-to-be and I proudly showed him photos of my granddaughter.  We talked about our homes and the holidays we'd had, and the ones we were planning, discovering that our lives were virtually parallel. And when he offered to show me photo on his phone of his motorbike, I offered to buy us a second pot of tea...

I found him engaging, unpretentious, very natural and comfortable, with no sign of nerves.  He's had a better experience on the sites than most blokes I've spoken to, and when I asked him his secret, he says its being discerning.  Eeek!

They say you should look at a date and imagine yourself in a errrm, certain situation and ask yourself if you could.  So I did.  And I would!

Be happy to invite him to be my + 1, I mean :)

Pip is kind, generous (he didn't allow me to split the bill for the pot of tea for 2 like the limping German coffee lover did) and he's compassionate.  His conversation was fair and balanced, showing interest in me and asking appropriate questions, with each of us opening up to the other, and finding common ground in most things, including both of us working from our own homes.  He is with far more disciplined than me and we both laughed when I said I was too easily persuaded to drop my work to have an impromptu lunch or coffee with a girlfriend, to which he added "or cup of tea at very short notice with a strange man from a dating site!"

I could message him and thank him for meeting me and indicate that I'd like to see him again, but I'm going to play it cool and see if I hear back from him.  Neither of us gave any indication when we left of the next step, perhaps because he headed in the direction of the Gents as I made my way through the bushes and back to my car

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Nobody puts baby in the corner

I planned to phone the tallboy today just to be bloody minded.  No one gives me their mobile number and then blocks me, without me trying to find out why, or at least putting on my bestest telephone voice, and attempting to make them realise what they're missing.  By blocking me, all his emails to me had disappeared from my inbox, but last night I saw that there was still a thread of my sent messages in my Sent folder on the site and one had his phone number.

Today I sat down with my phone in hand and logged on to the site to get the number, only to find my Sent messages had also disappeared, taking his number with them.  Ugh!

So now I've had a taste of my own medicine since the tallboy hit the Block This Member button and perhaps I won't be so flippant about doing it myself in future.  The difference being of course that both the tallboy and Nige contacted me first and I responded.  Those folk I block are the ones who contact me, and who I am not interested in.  I've yet to see the logic in contacting a female, asking if they think a town 35 miles away is too far, and when I reply saying it isn't a problem, stop communicating, or more recently with the tallboy this week, initiating contact and sending me his phone number, and blocking me later the same day before I had a chance to call him.  Pillock!

I find it most bizarre behaviour but if anyone can explain it to me, please put your answers on a postcard, or in the comments box at the foot of this page!

I pop over to another of the sites, having just renewed my membership after noticing that they were offering  a discounted rate for January only.  While updating my profile and adding the new photo, I receive a notification that William likes me.  So I check out William's profile:

Under the "dislikes"  section, he lists pretension (sic)

I am a private landlord and writer with an elderly parent to see out decently and dormant desires to move to France.
I specialise in writing about the French during WW2 at the moment. My first book came out late 2011 and my second in late 2015 - both are sold all over the World. This all means a lot to me. I am very well read and also read a lot in French. Hence I am better suited to the high intellect-high morals sort of girl.
My background is old upper middle class on my mother's side - I find the under-used word 'mercantile' more descriptive than 'middle' or 'upper' - and more ordinary on my father's. If I don't know what's what I usually know where to find out.
I am looking for a tallish, intellectual sort of girl, aged late thirties to early forties who has not had children yet but would like them, who has been to university and who is possibly a teeny bit 'county' as well, so I thought I would give this site a whirl.
Ideally I'm looking for someone who:-
1. Believes in God, not necessarily in a 'dear old man with a flowing white beard' sort of way, but I am a Catholic and would have difficulty living with an atheist.
2. Is reasonably well-read. Hence probably (but not necessarily) a graduate.
3. Takes morals and values seriously (no more than ten previous sexual partners please - sorry to spell it out but it saves problems later) and has a strong sense of family.
4. Enjoys rolling their sleeves up to do projects like redecorating flats and renovating houses.
5. Enjoys varied cuisine, can follow a recipe with a reasonable chance of getting it right and who would know what to do if handed a brace of unplucked, ungutted dead birds or a feshly caught fish. (Veggies? Hmmmmm. - You would have to be very very beautiful and a PhD for me to forgive that.)
6. Can speak French. - I would like to move to France at some stage or, at the very least, spend more time there.
7. Likes dogs. We used to have golden retrievers. I like most gundogs but don't like breeds that are obviously going to have health problems or guarding/fighting types or toy dogs. I like large friendly dogs and large friendly women.
Why would such a wonder-woman want me? Ahem. Ummm. Well, because I'm a jolly nice chap......

That is enough for me, and I log off the site.

Fortunately for me there is a new book called The History of Dating from Jane Austen to Tinder and I'm thinking of buying it after reading the review in the weekend paper. I think William would greatly improve his chances if he also bought a copy.   It apparently covers everything from 17th Century Lonely Hearts columns to Cilla Black's Blind Date TV programme, to Tinder.

Apparently, historically the dating process was never easy (ain't that the truth!) In Jane Austen's day, touching a few gloved fingers while greeting each other could provoke a scandal and women had to conceal their intelligence as it was disadvantageous to be labelled a bluestocking. Flashing ones teeth was heavily frowned upon, hence the demure simpering.  (so that's where I'm going wrong)!

The entire business of seeking a mate was regimented and commonly held presumptions were comical, which included the popularity of large feet. Check!

The liberation of women came during the Victorian era thanks to the introduction of the bicycle (no sniggering girlfriends please) due to bloomers replacing the knickerbockers, crinolines and hooped petticoats for ease of getting our legs over a saddle.

In the early 1900's engagements would last up to 5 years but WW1 sped things up a bit and by WW11 couples were meeting and marrying within a weekend.

Today computer dating is so ingenious (it is??) that real flesh and blood people no longer even need to meet and dating has once again become as detached as the characters in Jane Austen anonymously exchanging calling cards.

Back to earth in 2017, and as if by magic, I have received a new message on the ingenious site from Pip.  I liked the sound of Pip so I messaged him first, and he's replied.  He's creative, and very active, and has a motorbike.  I'm going to overlook the motorbike on this occasion as he isn't displaying it in any of his photos, which suggests he's not obsessed with it and there wouldn't be three of us in the relationship.

Pip tells me we seem to have similar personalities and interests and whats more he is going to be in my town on Monday on business....

I have replied with interest, asking which part of my home town he will be visiting. 3 days later he has replied, without answering my question but asking if we could meet, with an apology if it sounds rather forward but that it seems too good an opportunity to miss.

I have thrown caution to the wind and agreed to meet him. In his profile he suggests a visit to a quiet country house or even a garden centre for a first date, and I think I know just the place.  Just his idea of a first date is a refreshing change from all the other profiles which suggest meeting in a pub or for coffee

Nobody puts baby in the corner and I have a date!

I shall need a crash course in demure simpering and if that fails, there is always Tinder..