DJ Play That Song.

Strip clubs and lap dancing venues have been around for quite a while now so I was surprised to read an article about objections being made when a popular strip club in Manchester applied to renew their license, on further investigation I was amazed to find out that the objections are being made by a group of “feminists” who are trying to close down strip clubs in every city up and down the country. Due to the fact that strippers are obviously thick as two short planks and can’t see that they’re being objectified and exploited (apparently) this particular group of white middle class women known as The Women’s Equality Party are trying to help them by getting the clubs closed down and therefore making sure all the women lose their jobs. From where I’m sitting that’s not exactly helping the sisterhood but I’m sure they’ll be able to direct the girls to the nearest food bank while they go on to the next city to try to help all the exploited working women (quite a few with families) who need their help.

Shameful.

These so called feminists are the type who campaigned against Page 3 in The Sun, grid girls and ring girls and probably doing their best to make it against the law to get wolf whistled at. It apparently doesn’t matter if a woman makes the choice to do these jobs, none are kicking and screaming and by all accounts being a grid girl/ring girl was a sought after job that women were queueing up to get. Strip clubs have strict house rules that both workers and customers have to adhere to and because they’re licensed it means that council officials will pay regular visits to make sure that these rules are in place, so by closing them, all you are doing is driving them underground where they won’t be licensed and the women working there might well end up being exploited so well done all you ladies of The Women’s Equality Party well done but I’m assuming you’re going to be helping all these ladies you’ve put out of jobs to pay their mortgage/rent/bills because that’s the least you can do when the women with families who like the hours these jobs provide as it fits round the kids end up on the breadline thanks to your moral high ground.

Apparently the pathetic reason that these awful women gave as to why a popular strip club in Manchester that has been there for years shouldn’t have their license renewed was that they said it must be intimidating for the women who live near to the strip club. Really? Listen love, I feel more intimidated as a woman walking through Piccadilly Gardens in broad daylight with all the idiots off their head on drink and drugs than walking down a street with a strip club advertised discreetly as a “Gentleman’s Club”. But let’s not forget the real sucker punch here, surely being a feminist means that women have the choice to do whatever they want? To have a group of feminists telling women that they don’t like the choice of job that certain women choose because they don’t like it, what’s up love, did Nigel get caught when you went through his pockets after a night out with the boys and found a card advertising a certain establishment. Stick to what you know, get back on your mumsnet forum asking is it ok if Lily’s headband matches Freddie’s socks and leave the grown ups to get on with it.

Jacqui Wright. Aged 60. Who would love to be objectified now.

Now could someone please tell the DJ which song I want to be playing when I make my debut working that pole.

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It’s Been A While…

It’s been a while since I’ve been on a date but as always, all dating apps/sites are very busy in the new year as everyone seems to have made a resolution that this will be the year that they find someone so everybody seems to make a big effort, well for 5 minutes at least so it’s been no surprise to find loads of messages from guys all wanting to get to know me better. So after sifting through them and not even replying to the 80% of “Hi” I got into conversation with a few guys and decided to meet up with “P” for coffee at Media City. For some reason some dating experts sneer at coffee dates but for me it’s a really good way of finding out if we might want to go on an actual date and an hour is long enough (too long sometimes) for both of us if the conversation has dried up but to be fair that has never ever happened as most of my dates don’t know when to shut up.

I’d spoken to P on the phone a couple of times and I had noticed that he did talk a lot but I put it down to maybe nerves and also maybe he liked the sound of his own voice but here we were at the coffee place where I was about to find out.

He liked to talk.

It’s been a while since I’ve had my ears battered with the sound of whinging bitter middle aged men and I had almost forgotten how much they can go on about themselves, but especially about an ex. Guaranteed that when a guy makes a reference to an ex but then says “I don’t want to talk about it” I’m being told things I don’t want to know within 10 minutes. P was no exception but by the end of his tirade I was feeling sorry for his ex. He called her stupid, a bitch, and the reason they split up was because “She said NO to EVERYTHING!” I’m guessing that wasn’t the reason, she probably called it quits when she found out he’d been buying properties but not putting her name on them (which he was bragging about) but all he could focus on was how many times he had to tell her how to use the washing machine properly as she had a habit of shrinking clothes when washing them. I didn’t even give P an hour, my excuse (which was the truth) was that I had to get into Manchester to an open mic comedy might where I was praying that the acts would be funny after such a depressing date because this is what these guys don’t seem to realise, we’ve met up because we could be interested in each other so what better way to impress than express your hate for an ex. The last date I had before this one didn’t shut up about his holiday in Havana so if anyone is planning a trip there then get in touch because I can tell you all you need to know. He was still talking when I put my coat on, picked my bag up and walked off, maybe women are also guilty of this, who knows?

It’s not been all bad though, any older women on dating sites will tell you that they get messages from young guys in their early twenties and I’m no exception but usually after saying thanks but no thanks they go away but for some reason I have a particular 23 yr old who seems very persistent, we all know his reasons for wanting an older woman but it does make me smile and yes it does give you a confidence boost. But how ironic when a lot of older guys my age want younger women but I’ll put money on that they aren’t getting messages from them asking for sex.

Now could somebody please pass me the earplugs.

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Do More Of What Makes You Happy.

So all the Christmas adverts have been out for a couple of weeks now but for me my favourite has to be the one featuring Elton John, the one from John Lewis purely because I can relate to every era that they showed his look alikes in. Not sure it embodies the Christmas spirit as it seems to be more of an advert for Elton’s film coming out next year but I love it because it’s all about the music. It also brings back memories of living in Gibraltar in 1982 when the Falklands war was on and at the time Gib seemed to be a stop off point for some of our lads on their way to war. One 19 yr old guy in particular took a shine to me and was forever buying me things (even though he knew I was seeing someone) and one of the things he bought me was the Elton John single “Blue Eyes.” I’m absolutely ashamed to say I can’t remember his name but I hope he got back home ok.

Getting older means you’ve learned many lessons some good, some bad, not many people get through this life unscathed so I now try to focus on the things that make me happy although obviously working full time restricts some of the time I can spend on these things but I’m trying my best. The one thing I can make more of an effort with is going out dancing, especially when I go to northern soul nights and I see some of the same faces that were there at Wigan Casino with me nearly 45 years ago, a lifetime ago but on these nights it feels like yesterday.

Wigan Casino. A place that attracted coach loads of people from all over the country every Saturday night, it opened at midnight and closed at 8am and didn’t sell alcohol, it had a fabulous sprung dance floor which made it so much easier to dance to all the songs played by your favourite DJ and as much as I loved to dance I also loved watching all the other dancers, especially the guys. A place I never told my mother I was going to when I was 16 years old she always got told I was staying at a friend’s on the other side of town (no mobile phones in those days) and she never questioned it. A place I couldn’t wait to get to when I got on the coach at 10pm and got there an hour later and waited in the horrendously long queue for the doors to open and then hope to god I wouldn’t get crushed in the stampede to get inside. A place that had more male dancers than female and there was a pecking order on the dance floor, unfortunately I wasn’t that good to get to the front. A place that was so hot with all the body heat that everyone took at least one change of clothes and wore wrist sweatbands. A place that at the time was just somewhere to go to that played the best music, but it was in fact a movement that’s gone down in history. I loved Wigan Casino.

A couple of years later I stopped going and one of the reasons was I had a new older boyfriend and we used to go to all the “in” places in Manchester, he wasn’t a northern soul fan and so I just stopped going. I became a bit of a poseur being seen in the right places and as much as I always liked to have a dance wherever we went I never lost my love for northern soul. The scene has never gone away and I’ve made the effort a couple of times this year to go to a northern soul night (bit of a trek on public transport but hey ho) and it’s been great but a bit surreal to see people I knew nearly 45 years ago. But the weird thing is for those few hours we’re all in our teens again, back at the youth club which is probably where most of us were introduced to northern soul, back at Wigan having the time of our lives, sprinkling the talc on the dance floor and loving every minute. But it’s not just all old people on the dance floor, there are soul clubs with young people and it’s always nice to see the younger dancers there although some of the older guys might forget that they can’t do the splits anymore (I have heard of torn ligaments) trying to show off. Music makes me happy and next year I intend to go to more northern soul nights no matter what.

Now somebody pass me that talcum powder.

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Why I Go On Holiday On My Own

It’s been that time of year again when I go off to wherever on my own, for the  past 3 years it’s been Ibiza but I’ll be looking to go somewhere different next year and it will definitely only be a week as 11 nights was a bit too long for me, but of course the same old inevitable question was asked, “Why do you go on holiday on your own?” Older people my age seem to have a bit of a problem with this, someone at some point will sidle up to me while their partner or group of friends look on to try and see what the poor sad single woman is going to say, and usually I’ll make some flippant remark about it should have been my honeymoon and I got stood up. or my partner ran off with the Jehova’s witness who apparently knocked on our door 6 months ago, just to see the embarrassment on their faces as these people are never the ones to say “On your own? Come and join us!” No, usually theses are the people who feel sorry for me, as I clearly have no friends if I have to holiday alone right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

At my age some of my friends have their own apartment elsewhere that they like to holiday in with their partner, family and grandkids, or a caravan that they like to take to different places, not everyone likes my idea of a holiday which consists of lying in the sun all day, couple of glasses of wine, reading, people watching then more wine. I’ve never been one to get involved in groups of women who all get together to go off for a weekend to Barcelona, my mouth always seems to get me in trouble if I take a dislike to someone (and vice versa) so it’s easier not to get involved, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a get together with a group but holidays are a bit different.

But I must admit that sometimes I wish someone was with me to see the likes of Carol kicking off in the hotel restaurant when they didn’t have any vanilla ice cream one day and demanding to see the holiday rep to complain. Carol with her clip in curls that she wore around the pool with a sun visor on with the curls peeking out the top and her sunglasses perched on top of the visor, think she might have been channeling her retired tennis player look but I was more concerned with the fact that her husband wore more jewelry than she did. Or Sharon and Gillian who were on the next table to me one evening telling me all about the operations they’ve had which quickly became a competition between them both as to who has had the worst time. It turned out to be Sharon who had had a swab left in her throat after an operation but they were kind enough to give me the name of a really good consultant should I ever need a hip replacement. Or the woman who fell off a 2 foot high stage in the karaoke bar one evening and broke her ankle. I wasn’t the only single woman in the hotel though,there was another single lady I’d say 50 ish who provided some entertainment for all of us as she got off with the guy who did the quiz in the hotel one evening, did the walk of shame more than once straight into breakfast (you can imagine everyone absolutely LOVED that) and decided to go for a swim in the hotel pool when everyone was going into the restaurant for dinner, a sure way of getting everyone’s attention, look at meeeee.

There are many reasons why people choose to go on holiday alone, there’s pros and cons of course but for me it really boils down to this. I have a week off work booked and I can either,

1. Sit at home on my own in Manchester and look out of the window and watch the rain.

2. Sit on a beach on my own wherever I choose feeling the sun on my face.

Decisions decisions.

Now please could someone pass those clip in curls to this sad pathetic older woman.

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There’s a New Kid in Town

There’s a new dating app that’s been launched recently aimed at me, apparently.  An app aimed at the over 50’s focusing on safety and honesty for all of us older daters who are still “young and active, and encouraging quality conversations with like minded people.” A user has to have at least 3 photos on their profile to avoid catfishing and  instead of getting messages saying the usual “Hi” there has to be an opening message of at least 50 characters (which is definitely going to be a copy and paste job) and if someone is offensive you can block and report, a bit like you can do on most sites/apps so while I’m checking it out to see if I want to download it I can’t actually see how much different this would be to the ones I’m using now, but then again what do I know?

A lot more than the people who’s idea this is seeing as how none of them seem to have taken a few things into consideration, I’m guessing these people are not doing older dating themselves because if they were they wouldn’t be using some of the patronising language that’s being used. Not sure where they’ve got their research from but you can’t promote honesty when everybody knows that some people lie on their profiles, I’ve been on enough dates to know the difference between “professional gambler” and someone who has an account with Betfred. I’ve also seen enough profiles that say Phil/Terry/Mike are living life to the max, spontaneous and loves to try new things, then have a meltdown getting on the tram to Manchester as it’s out of their comfort zone. Profiles that say they’re ready for a relationship after the breakdown of their marriage then you find out it was their third marriage (more common than you think) profiles that say they’re family orientated then you find out they don’t want to date women with grandchildren as they’ll have less time to spend with them. Guys who just want someone to go out for meals and go on holiday with while they spend every day of their retirement in the pub, guys who are so set in their ways that they would love it if you just moved into a house in the next street, no effort required. Any dating site/app is likely to have some people use it as an easy way to hook up with people for sex, (I never got one date on Tinder but then again I wasn’t impressed with Match either)  so you have to hope that someone’s being honest when they write their profile which also means that the “quality conversations” might not happen. A conversation is between two people, nothing to do with whichever site/app they’re on but let’s not forget the usual thing about older guys, a lot prefer younger women so I’m guessing that yet again there will be more women than men on this particular app so I think I’ll stick to the ones I’m already using thanks but do you know what really puts me off?

Barry from Blackpool will most likely be on it.

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Turning To Dust Is Not An Option.

At the beginning of last week I was excited to see an interview I’d had with the fabulous Carol Vorderman was shown on the Lorraine programme as part of a series that Carol has done about what it’s like to be over 50 and dating and well just being fabulous. Yep, I’m more than qualified to give an opinion about that but we did in fact talk about how life now is very different to how we thought it would be, it is in fact far better than we expected it to be except for dating, (on my part).

Too many older guys think they can still attract a 35 yr old and the guys a bit younger than me who have taken care of themselves also want to attract the younger women so where does that leave all of us gorgeous over 50 women who are smart, confident and hoping to find someone to spend the rest of our lives with? We attract the guys looking for a “mealtime and holiday companion” as Reg from Runcorn is fed up of eating his Wiltshire meal for one on his own. Pete from Preston too scared to get on the tram to Manchester as he’s not been there for 15 years, we attract the guys who are retired with too much time on their hands but hope you’ll spend time at their allotment with them, (quietly of course) guys who want to be seen with a smart looking woman but would prefer it if you keep your opinions to yourself. But while older guys would like a younger woman what they don’t know is that every single woman over 50 on dating sites/apps will receive messages from young guys in their early twenties, and I don’t care why they do it as it definitely boosts a woman’s confidence.

Don’t believe me? No I wouldn’t have done either but being over 50 has it’s advantages. For a start we’ve probably reached as far as we can get career wise so maybe we can relax a bit in that department, kids have probably left home which means we have a lot more spare time, if we’ve got grandchildren then we have the best of both worlds where we can have them for a short time knowing we can give them back to their parents and everybody’s happy. Hopefully we’ve realised that we don’t have to stay in an unhappy relationship and however scary it is to be on your own, it’s far more scary to waste your life staying with someone just for the sake of it. But do you know what the best thing is?  The days of chasing promotion are over, the days of being a full time mum are over, the days of wondering if your latest love interest is cheating are over, the days of trying to be everything to everybody are over, and it’s great. But let’s not forget that this is also the time we become invisible which means the pressure is OFF. Nobody expects a single thing from us older ladies, not one, nothing, not an opinion, an original idea, a suggestion, nobody expects a damn thing because by now no one sees us so as far as society is concerned we are worthless, we’ve had our life, done our bit, raised our kids so thank you and good night.

This is when the fun starts. Now is the time to reconnect with who we were when we were younger, before the kids, the exes, the daily grind of just getting through the day which means trying to build up that confidence to step out and do whatever the hell it is that makes us happy. When I was a teenager I used to go to Wigan Casino where I used to just dance all night to northern soul from midnight until 8am, obviously I wouldn’t dream of doing that now but there are loads of northern soul nights going on which is full of people my age and now and again I’ll go to one of these (on my own) and just do what I love to do. I’ve also started to go on holiday on my own (which actually winds up a few people my age but there you go) and I absolutely love it, people are always friendlier on holiday and more likely to talk to anyone. The thing we all have to realise is that by now the road ahead is shorter than the one behind, whatever you want to do just do it. Turning to dust is not an option ladies.

Now could someone please pass me my diary so I can pencil in 23 yr old Matt for Monday night.

 

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Bullying Comes In Different Forms.

Bullying comes in different forms as anyone who’s been watching the events unfold on this season of Celebrity Big Brother will be able to tell you. Roxanne Pallett has given the performance of her life as she accused another housemate Ryan Thomas of physical assault, a dangerous accusation to make in front of strangers who don’t know each other well enough to work out if she could actually be lying. A playful tap from Ryan became an emergency call for an ambulance 5 minutes later. (Alright maybe not that drastic but it may as well have been.) A request to sleep in another bedroom as “she didn’t feel comfortable being in the same room” set the ball rolling for what became a really uncomfortable lesson in bullying. By the end of the next day the playful tap had now become repeated punches to her ribs according to Roxanne, and the guys were willing to believe her because why would she lie?

But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen bullying in the Celebrity Big Brother house. Remember Jade Goody? Jade was in series 3 of Big Brother and although she didn’t win she became the nation’s sweetheart with her ditsy ways and knack of getting things mixed up, so everyone was looking forward to seeing her enter the house again in season 5 of Celebrity Big Brother in 2007. Unfortunately what we saw was relentless bullying by Jade and a couple of the other housemates of the woman who eventually won, Shilpa Shetty. When Jade was evicted crowds were prevented from gathering outside the house and press conferences were cancelled, her agent dropped her and her perfume lines were hastily removed from the shops that sold them. Overnight she’d gone from hero to zero, until 18 months later while being in the Indian version of Big Brother she received the devastating news that she had cancer and by the time she died a few months later the nation had forgiven her.

Unfortunately for Roxanne, a couple of guys have come forward to say that she had also accused them of physical violence when working together, which makes some people think she might have mental health issues. I haven’t a clue if she has or she hasn’t all I know is I’ve watched a lie get bigger and bigger and no matter what, people know the difference between right and wrong but she clearly wasn’t going to back down and say that ok, maybe she over reacted a bit, she was enjoying the drama a bit too much unfortunately she’s forgotten that the house is full of hidden cameras. She’s clearly an underrated  actress as her acting skills are superb, but I’m not too sure we’ll get to see them again any time soon unless it’s in something already recorded.

But what I will say is this. When someone gets engaged to someone a week after meeting them I think that tells you all you need to know.

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Is There Anybody There?

A couple of weeks ago I ended up going to a psychic evening, never been to one before but the psychic in question was someone I’d seen on a programme a couple of years back about psychic mediums in the North West. The programme was in fact hilarious and had the potential to run for a series but instead it was just a one-off but it had obviously made some impact on me as I paid good money to go and see what this guy could or couldn’t do.

I don’t really believe that a whole group of spirits are waiting to send a message to a certain group of people waiting expectantly to hear from them, it’s a bit too convenient for me but I understand why people go and hope to hear something from a loved one. The thought of never seeing someone again is too much to bear and so all the people in that room are waiting and hoping to hear a message, anything at all from the other side which makes it easy to claim that yes, it’s aunt Mary with the gammy leg when given a generic description of a spirit with a message just for them. Some people might say this is a way of making money from people’s grief, while others say what’s the harm if people get comfort from it? Either way I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect so I clapped along with everyone else when the psychic walked in.

I got the impression that some of the people had been to see him before, and listening to people’s conversations it was clear that everyone hoped that he’d have something for them, except me, I didn’t want that at all I was just there for the ride but it had crossed my mind that quite possibly I might get chosen to hear a message from a loved one telling me that it’s ok, they’re happy and everything’s fine because that seems to be the standard message because really what else can they say?

So I sat back and watched.

I watched while this guy picked out people who sometimes claimed he was right, and others who claimed he was wrong but it was all a bit Derek Acorah for me. He could see these spirits and was also talking with them (apparently) but he said the same  to everyone after a brief chat which was the usual the spirits were watching over them but he also said that the spirits missed them which didn’t seem right but then again I’ve never been to one of these evenings before so what the hell do I know. But what did throw me was that this psychic used names and that’s unusual, there was no 15/20 guesses like “Jim, Billy, Jack no it’s Fred” this guy seemed to be spot on with every spirit’s name for some reason but then again he has a lot of followers on Facebook and I’m guessing that a lot of people who follow him have been in contact with him through Facebook, which might explain why he knew so much, just a thought.  Anyway, we were heading toward’s the interval when for me, it got a bit too much as he welcomed the spirit of a young man who’s mother was (conveniently) sat in the front row and he told her that her son was coming to give her a kiss and that she would feel a brush of cold air when he touched her. You can imagine how upset this woman was, she was absolutely sobbing but I’m guessing this is what she wanted to hear and if she got comfort from that who am I to judge. But like I said, that was a step too far for me and I left to go home so I’ll never know if there was a message for me but I do know I’ll never go back to one of these psychic evenings so if the spirits are watching over me (but I like to think everyone is having way too much of a good time to be watching over anyone) maybe it will be when I’m shopping and I’m on the wine aisle when I hear a whisper in my ear. “Jacqueline, step away from the wine”.

 

Maybe.

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When It’s Time To Let A Friendship Go.

Earlier this week I met a friend for coffee, someone I’ve known for 20 years, and after we’d said our goodbyes I decided there and then that I was probably never going to see her again as I realised that actually, she wasn’t much of a friend anymore and hadn’t been for a while.

Friendships (like any relationship) need working on sometimes and I’m probably as guilty as everyone else when I haven’t put the effort in now and then or put someone off as I can’t be bothered meeting up that particular day but I like to think I can be relied on when needed, especially when a friend is going through a hard time and let me tell you, it’s never the ones you think will have your back when the chips are down, there’s always one or two surprises. Friendships come and go, but a small amount of people will be in your life forever and we’re all lucky if we have those friends we can rely on but it’s not all plain sailing. Like I said I’ve know “C” a long time, we’ve had a couple of holidays together and what I liked about her was that she was always up for a laugh, always the centre of attention and up for anything.

So with hindsight, I should have seen this coming.

A few years ago I had to start a new life and part of getting on with it was dating, which is when I started a blog which led to writing for Metro for a year as an older dater and while most people were supportive there was radio silence from C. Not the end of the world of course, so I expected to hear from her when I’d been on First Dates, as obviously I’d told EVERYBODY but again, not a peep from C so I gave it 3 weeks then I text her asking had she seen it and she said she had and she didn’t like it and the reason she hadn’t been in touch was she’d been busy. A little alarm bell started ringing, surely not? I let it go as an episode of Rip Off Britain was coming up a few weeks later where I was to be talking about single supplements on holidays and she said she would definitely be watching. No she never got around to it and that’s when I realised she didn’t like the attention I was getting so I stopped telling her about anything good that was happening in my life as I knew she wouldn’t like it. Our phone calls and texts were dwindling and I was starting to come away from every meet up thinking what a waste of time it all seemed as I was having to censor everything I was telling her but I also knew that to our mutual friends she seemed really supportive so no one but me knew the truth. To be honest I stopped looking forward to seeing her but when I found myself in her neck of the woods earlier this week I text her and asked her was she around and did she fancy meeting up for coffee, to which she replied yes she was.

The last time I’d seen C was back in January when I’d just started Slimming World and since then I’ve lost 2 and a half stone so obviously I thought this would be the first thing that she’d notice but apparently not. I was sat there in clothes 3 sizes smaller than usual and she didn’t say one word. Not one. I of course didn’t mention it as it was another positive in my life so I came away thinking what is the actual point? I don’t give up on friendships lightly but if that particular friend isn’t being supportive then I don’t need them in my life, we all go through phases in some of our friendships where we wonder sometimes is it worth it but for me it’s time to let this friendship go. We all deserve friends who support us in all the good stuff and the bad stuff, who defend us, who want the best for us, who offer a shoulder to cry on and also tell us when we’re out of order, nothing less will do.

Now someone pass me that lettuce leaf.

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The Grass Isn’t Always Greener.

This time 30 years ago, me, my ex husband and two kids (which included a 3 month old) sold everything and went to start a new life in Australia. It wasn’t ever a dream of ours, it was just that the opportunity came when my ex was offered a job in Melbourne so we decided to sell up with the intention of never coming back.

At the time the job was offered we had a two year old and I was expecting a second child, and where my husband’s new boss was sympathetic to a degree, he wasn’t prepared to wait for months for my husband to start his new position so I was left behind for a few weeks trying to sell a house and keep everything going until he came back just before our second child was born. Three months later we were on our way.

Luckily for us my husband’s firm put us up in a rented house for three months while we looked around for our own place to buy, (we called the police one night when we thought we had burglars but it was just a possum on the roof, yeah, that didn’t go down well) which eventually we found in a place called Sunbury, a small up and coming town which was a really nice place with most of the houses very similar to the ones seen in “Neighbours”, large bungalows with huge gardens ideal for families. So there we were, ready to start our new life. One of the first thing’s I did was to get my older child into a nursery just so he could make new friends and have some sort of routine after dragging him away from everyone he knew and of course he loved it, which left just me and my girl all day everyday, so in order to go anywhere I learnt to drive but never had the confidence to drive very far, in fact I’ve not driven for 25 years and never missed it.

What I hadn’t bargained for was the wildlife. If it walks, swims or flies in Australia then it bites, even if it’s not poisonous so the spiders became an issue. I did used to have a fear of spiders but living there cured me of that as we have absolutely nothing here compared to the so many different species that can harm you there. Unfortunately all the snakes in the area we lived were poisonous so there was no way I was prepared to let the kids play out in the garden, and there seemed to be plagues of things that only lasted a couple of weeks but you just felt like you were getting attacked from all angles.

Before we emigrated I had heard that Australia was a bit behind the times when it came to how they treat women but I wasn’t convinced of this until we decided to go out one Saturday night. Where we lived there were three pubs in the centre of town (c’mon how many do you need?) so we got a babysitter, got dressed up and decided to try them. Believe it or not I wasn’t allowed in two of the pubs because I was female so we tried the third. As we walked in it was obvious that the ladies didn’t really frequent the pubs where we lived, as it was full of men in vest tops, shorts and flip flops, to say that we stood out like a sore thumb was an understatement, we didn’t even finish our drinks before we decided to leave and that was the one and only time we ventured into the bright lights of our town centre for a night out.

I tried, I really did but I was becoming really homesick. I missed my friends, my social life, my job and as much as I’d made a few friends in Oz I was never going to adapt to going to the odd  tupperware party as the highlight of my social life, so although I understood why my ex didn’t want to come back (it is a man’s country) he could understand why I couldn’t stay. We came back after two years but there’s no regrets, I’m glad I went even if it wasn’t for me and I would say to anyone that if it’s what you want then go for it.

The grass isn’t always greener.

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Age Is Just A Number Right?

I’ve been dreading this birthday. Out of all the milestone birthdays, this was the one that was going to change how I felt about myself, and how others might perceive me, (although I shouldn’t care what total strangers think) once I’d hit what used to be the official old age pensioner status.

The big 60. At one time it was retirement age, free bus/tram pass, eye tests,  free swimming, all the perks of becoming officially old but as we all know those goalposts have been changed so now it’s no different to any other birthday, except it is because 60 sounds so OLD. It shouldn’t, we’re all living longer and people seem to enjoy being older a lot more than previous generations have, but it’s still the one birthday that strikes fear in the heart of everyone approaching it. So instead of dreading it I’ve had to flip my thinking and embrace it as a positive because actually it is. This upcoming birthday motivated me to go to Slimming World just after Christmas, and up to now I’ve lost 2 stone but will keep going until another comes off even though I feel pretty good now.  Part of getting older also encouraged me to think about doing an exercise class, so I started Zumba last week and hopefully I’ll be making the time to do other classes, I can’t even remember the last time I was stood at the back of the class (the only one last week with make up on, what can I say it soon slid off with sweating too much) trying to keep up with everyone else but I loved it, I’ve not felt as good for ages.

So up to now it’s all good and to be fair the last decade was one of the best I’ve had, it had it’s ups and downs but on the whole it was fantastic thanks to all the fabulous things that happened, (I never saw that coming) in fact I would go so far as to say it was almost (but not quite) as good a decade as my 20’s which is usually everyone’s defining decade. Almost but not quite but I never expected it to be as good as it was so maybe there’ll be some fabulous stuff  coming up, who knows? I have plans guys, I have plans. So today I celebrated my birthday, and the celebrations will continue at the weekend because no matter what happens, up to now I’ve had an amazing life and I am a goddess after all.

Now someone please pass me the champagne.

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Almost Famous.

I was never a massive fan of Jane McDonald. I didn’t mind her, I remember watching her when she was on “The Cruise” 20 years ago and I used to watch her on Loose Women and thought that she seemed genuine, warm and down to earth so when the chance came to apply for a ticket to see her record her new Channel 5 series Jane McDonald and Friends at Media City, I thought it would be a nice way to spend a Thursday evening as Media City is literally round the corner from where I live.

I was sent a ticket along with an email asking did I have any funny stories about dating or relationships to which I replied “How long have you got?” After sending a couple of dating stories I was told that I would now be given a priority ticket and that maybe I would get to speak with Jane on the programme, along with the other audience members with stories to tell. This was beginning to sound a bit exciting.

On the day a few of us were seated close to the steps so it was easy for Jane to ask us for our stories, no point being sat right in the middle with no microphone, although to be fair most people will agree that I probably didn’t need one. We were warned though that she probably wouldn’t get to us all but I was hoping she’d ask me (I didn’t want this spray tan to go to waste) as I’d spent ages getting ready. It’s been years since I’ve been to watch a TV show being recorded and I’d forgotten how long it takes, and how hard people work, luckily for us that night we had a fantastic warm up man who kept the energy up for hours so it didn’t seem as long waiting for Jane to change into yet another fabulous dress. Before long Jane was doing the audience participation and came to speak to a couple right in front of me about how they met. Then she asked a couple who were sat right behind me about how they also met but she never got to me. That’s ok though, I was bound to be seen in the audience so I was happy with that and I have to say I really enjoyed the show and came away from it a bit of a fan.

Last Friday was the last episode of Jane McDonald and Friends so I was watching it trying to catch glimpses of myself in the audience, waiting until they showed Jane talking to the couples sat really close to me. It didn’t happen. Obviously a show that’s taken over 3 hours to record then has to be condensed into an hour so unfortunately a lot of stuff ends up on the cutting room floor so I reckon those couples who’d been filmed were fuming that they weren’t seen. So Jane never got to hear about some of the really bad dates that she would probably have to endure herself if she was single and dinosaur dating.  How some of the bald, fat old men seem to think they can get a woman 20 years younger who looks like a Victoria’s Secret model. How some of them get anxious if they have to leave their postcode to meet, or how most of the “spontaneous, lives life to the full, never a dull moment” is boring Brian with far too much time on his hands so likes to message his intended up to 50 times an hour and woe betide you if you don’t reply as quick as he would like.

Maybe next time.

 

Nenewho

 

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Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right.

It’s been a strange week with some of the guys on my dating sites, no dates (not been on one for ages) but had to block someone, another guy seems to have memory loss and I’ve been told things by more than one guy (that a lady shouldn’t hear) but that was actually my own fault.

Early in the week I had a brief chat with “J” who claimed he was getting extremely bored with what was on offer as no one seemed to have a sense of humour, so he responded to my profile as it seemed we could be on the same page. I wasn’t actually convinced as I know from experience that what some older guys call humour, I just don’t find funny. They’re either too wild and wacky for me (such as posting pics of himself in summer clothes rolling around in the snow, what am I like look at meeeee) or telling old corny jokes from Christmas crackers circa 1979, either way it never ends well, so I was hoping that J wouldn’t fall into either of these two camps.

He certainly didn’t.

The chat went on to WhatsApp where instead of conversation I was sent gifs that didn’t really merit a response but  after a few of these I was sent “funny” videos that of course weren’t at all funny. By this time I’d long stopped replying but the videos and gifs kept coming. Then one evening I answered my phone to a guy shouting at me about using his wi-fi and I should be paying for my own, after a bit of a heated conversation he hung up and I had a notification that I’d been pranked. The penny didn’t drop until J messaged a couple of days later asking did I pay for my own wi-fi, oh J, you’ve just signed your  own death warrant there, good luck with your search.

Remember the guy who ditched me on the day of our second date, to go and have ice cream with a “friend”? We had a really good first date last summer but when it came to day of the second date he kept changing his mind about meeting up and then said we should leave it until the week after, only to send me a photo on WhatsApp later that day of two ice creams saying he was with a friend.  He actually messaged a few days ago on a dating site asking how I was etc, I gave him a brief reply and that was that until today when he’s sent a message saying he’d like to meet. It clearly didn’t work out with whoever he ditched me for but he’s either suffering from memory loss or he thinks I am because as far as I’m concerned he had his chance and blew it. It’s a NO from me.

Meanwhile, I’ve made a new profile and trying to keep it light I’ve sort of said I’m good at keeping secrets if anybody has any, and do you know what some guys are telling me their secrets, not actually ones I want to be told as some are about their sexual fantasies (you wouldn’t believe some of them) but it seems to be the younger guys who are doing this. Any older woman who is dating will tell you that they get loads of messages from younger guys, absolutely loads, so it looks like I’ll have to go back to the drawing board with a new profile.

Nothing surprises me any more.

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In It To Win It.

In the past week my timeline on Twitter has been full of bloggers  tweeting about how they’ve been shortlisted in their category of the UK Blog Awards, which of course is great news for them. They’ve put themselves forward to enter a competition to win the prize of a stamp of approval on their blog, and if they want that verification then all well and good, it certainly doesn’t mean that any blog without it isn’t worth reading. I for one read blogs that interest me, keep me entertained, and have something I can relate to, and I usually like a person’s writing style. But some people don’t care if you’ve won any awards or not, some people want something for nothing which means asking some bloggers to write for them for free.

I’d not been blogging for long before someone in the dating industry got in touch and asked would I write a piece for their newsletter seeing as how I’m in a bit of a niche as an older dater, (free of course.) Yeah no problem, did an article for this woman but then I noticed that whenever she tweeted it she always “forgot” to tag me in it so I never got much credit for that, it was just free content for a newsletter that she didn’t have the basic manners to acknowledge me for. Lesson learned.

More recently a woman based in Manchester asked me if I would be willing to contribute blogs for her start-up business which was to cover all aspects of dating. Again, she wanted this for free but then went one step further by saying I could be an ambassador but there was absolutely nothing in it for me. She said anyone visiting the website would be sent links to my blog but I was sceptical about this arrangement. I said I’d think about it and after a couple of days I saw that she had obviously paid a company to look after the social media side of her business, well if you can pay them, you can pay me. After taking some advice from someone who is at the top of her game in the dating industry, I was advised not to do it for free, but to charge. So I did. I wrote one blog for her and that was it, after that her website was “having some changes” and I believe her business has folded now so god knows what she’s doing these days.

Most bloggers write for themselves but obviously we all like to think that someone is actually reading it. I know that some people read mine, they might not always comment on it or “like” it when posted on Twitter but I know that one particular person read the most popular post of all (interview for Playboy) as she went in fancy dress as a bunny one night, wearing something that she could only have known if she’d read the post, but at least people read it. But fake people pretending that they’re doing you a favour in order to promote their business is something else, I now say I don’t do anything for free unless it’s by choice if they want to pay fine, if not, fine. In the meantime I’ll just carry on as normal, but I won’t be entering any competitions for bloggers.

But to all the bloggers going to the final of the UK Blog Awards. Good luck.

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It’s That Time Of Year.

I’m not a fan of looking back, it reminds me that I could have probably handled a couple of situations better than I did, and it’s too late to change that now, but having said that it’s also nice to see all the good things that have happened in the past year so I’m going to concentrate on remembering all those as we wait to welcome in a new year.

  1. Back in January I moved into my lovely new place which is unofficially known as “Goddess Gardens.” At the start I didn’t have much but by the end of the year it’s not looking too bad if I say so myself.
  2. I didn’t realise how many radio interviews I’d actually done over the past year, usually about online dating of which I know a lot about unfortunately.
  3. In May someone on Twitter let me know there was a picture of me in Heat magazine. After an awful few minutes of hoping it wasn’t one of me stuffing my face with a sausage roll while sat in the smoking section outside of where I work, I was relieved to see it was a promo shot of Channel 4’s First Dates.
  4. Back in the summer I went on a really good date, was looking forward to a second date but on the day my date decided (after a lot of indecisiveness) to leave it until the week after. I think he might have double booked to be honest and couldn’t decide who to go for on the day but the fact I have met someone half decent has given me hope. And no, I didn’t meet him again, we had a date, he changed his mind a couple of hours before we were due to meet. Game over.
  5. In September when Hugh Hefner died I was invited to be a guest on the Dr. Pam Spurr show on Talk Radio talking about being a bunny back in the day. One of the questions she asked me did make me smile though, “So, did you and the other girls ever get excited thinking Hugh might walk in the club any minute?” The guy lived in America for god’s sake so I answered truthfully. “Not in Manchester Pam, no.”
  6. In October I went on a blind date for a national newspaper, all expenses paid for at the restaurant of my choice. After listening to Colin telling me the most outrageous things that apparently he never tells anyone, (why me Colin?) we left the restaurant to walk to the train station/bus stop.  I’d already warned him about trying to grope me outside the restaurant, but unfortunately he didn’t listen. Grappling with a 64 yr old at Piccadilly Gardens bus stop in Manchester isn’t my idea of how a date ends, so there was no second date for Colin.

So here we are, it’s that time of year where we all reflect on whether it’s been a good year or not. For me it wasn’t all good, some bad stuff happened but I’m going to focus on the positives and hoping next year will be even better.

Hope it’s a good one for everyone.

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The Blind Date.

A few weeks ago I went to a fabulous restaurant for dinner on a blind date paid for by a national newspaper. Both of us had been matched by someone who was running a feature about older daters and of course I was looking forward to it, as anyone who has agreed to go on a blind date must have something about them already.

A photographer came round to my place 2 hours early and had patiently been waiting for me to get home so he could set up, but he then had to wait for me to get ready. The dress code is quite strict with photographs especially where colour is concerned so the outfit I’d originally planned to wear for the photos was considered to be too dark. White was also a non starter as were certain patterns so the end result was probably the only outfit we could use,(didn’t wear it on the date though) so luckily it turned out alright.

It’s always strange meeting someone on a blind date but I like the fact I don’t know anything about them, there’s been no interaction so I have no expectations. Colin was the perfect gentleman, was easy to get on with and had plenty to say, although that didn’t seem to stop him drinking most of the wine. He told me a couple of things that made me think he was  probably not for me but he was in fact good company but it wasn’t long before he made it quite clear that he liked me, and I mean REALLY liked me, so much so that after telling him I was off to Ibiza on holiday that coming weekend he said that he could probably come out there himself and where was it I was staying? After laughing it off and saying he was joking (he so wasn’t) he decided to try and show off by talking Spanish to the Italian waiters who obviously couldn’t understand him. On that note we left the restaurant and made our way to Piccadilly Gardens.

Once outside Colin tried to link me, then he was rubbing my back, pawing at me and generally trying to pull me close to him until I told him to stop it. Once we got to my bus stop he insisted on staying with me until the bus came and thought it would be an opportunity to pull me close to him even though he says in his interview he knew I was uncomfortable with it. He gave me his number (no intention of using it) and that was that. The journalist doing the feature rang both of us to ask how we got on a couple of days later and she mentioned that Colin had said I hadn’t been in touch.

Two days and Colin said I hadn’t been in touch.

I told her all about the date and about how he was way too keen and how off putting it is and she agreed before saying “Why don’t you just text him to thank him for the date?” But I did that on the night, he knows, I don’t want to encourage him, I know EXACTLY what will happen. “To be polite”, she said. Hang on a minute, I’ve done my bit, I’ve been polite enough putting up with everything that happened on the way back to the bus stop, Colin’s had a good night let’s just leave it. “Just be polite” so I messaged him.

What a mistake that was.

I was bombarded with messages every day while I was on holiday, I didn’t even reply to most of them but that didn’t stop him. He wanted to know which hotel I was in, he could come over and stay, (this is the problem with retired guys too much time on their hands) we were going to have such a good time, apparently. This after just ONE DATE. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, I’ve been on enough dates to know when something’s not right. Because I didn’t reply the messages stopped apart from Thursday mornings when I’d get told who was in this week’s feature of Blind Date in the paper.

Until today.

Today it was our turn to be in the paper with our blind date and I think some clarification is needed to explain the difference between a “good date” and a “good date” where you want to see someone again.

1, I didn’t fancy him, if I did that would have gone a long way to wanting to see him again.

2. The fact you have something in common doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere. In our case our common interest (apparently) was the fact he lived in Spain doing dodgy dealings and I lived in Gibraltar at a completely different time drinking too much vodka that put me off for life. Enough to ride off into the sunset?

3. Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be as picky. I’m still working, most guys I date are retired which means that they will be sulking as I don’t have the time they need to be at their beck and call and even though they’ll all say they love the fact I have my own life they don’t like it at all.

4. People can lose their confidence when it comes to dating and I understand that, being too keen can mean they’ve forgotten what the rules are and if that’s the case then it’s fine, but don’t push it when someone says “No” that’s just being an idiot.

5. When you’ve been dating a while you’ve been on enough dates to know the difference between a “good date”and one that means you can’t wait to see them again. How many people do you see on First Dates who after the date say they want to see each other again but then don’t?

6. Chemistry. End of.

I had a nice time, we had a good date but it wasn’t enough, just couldn’t see myself with him no matter how hard I tried and a goddess won’t settle for second best. To add insult to injury after I’d been on the blind date when I got off the bus near home I crossed  the road, tripped, and fell head first along the pavement which resulted in a damaged knee ligament.

No Colin. you weren’t worth that.

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7 Random Facts About Me.

In response to a challenge that some of the ladies on Twitter were up for I jumped on this but as it’s only 7 facts there will be another post that will include a lot more.

1 Australia.

When I was married (long time ago) with a 2 yr old son and expecting my second child my ex husband was offered a job in Australia, and after thinking about it we decided to go with no intention of coming back. So off he went to start the job and I was left to sell the house while waiting for him to come back a couple of weeks before I was due to give birth. All went well and when my daughter was 3 months old we all travelled as a family to Australia to start a new life. I wish I could say that I loved it but I found it hard. Not so much looking after a new baby and a toddler but what Australia had to offer in the way of insects, spiders and anything else that walked swam or flew. We had actually bought a house in Melbourne but after 2 years we called it a day and came back to Manchester but I have absolutely no regrets, it just wasn’t for me.

2 Was once offered a part in a porn film.

When I was 23 I went to live in Gibraltar as it really is England in the sun and I loved it. I stayed a year working in a bar in a hotel and then eventually working in a bar /restaurant on the marina which I loved. One day I was followed down the street by a German guy who said he was a film director and wanted me in his next film. After explaining that I wasn’t an actress he said it didn’t matter but he stalked me for a few days begging me to be in this film. One evening while out with friends I was telling them this story and one of the guys said that he actually knew about him and that he was a porn film director. Looks like I missed a chance there then!

3. How I became a blogger.

Anyone who reads my blog will know how this started. Just over 5 years ago I should have been moving back to Gibraltar, long story short I ended up in Salford where I’ve had to stat a new life and part of that was online dating. Some of the dates were that bad ( we can all relate) that I started a blog about it. This led to writing for Metro for a year, being featured in Woman magazine and a few radio interviews. It also brings me to…

4. First Dates.

I absolutely love First Dates on Channel 4 and have watched it from the very first episode. Believe it or not Fred didn’t actually join First Dates until series 3 and I appeared on an episode as a main dater in series 4 and LOVED it! It was a long day though as I’d travelled from Manchester and as soon as I went to get changed I realised that I’d left part of my outfit including shoes, behind. Gutted. The production team really do want to match you with someone and a lot of work goes into it behind the scenes and luckily my date was everything I wanted in a guy, on paper. I had a great time even though he forgot my name and I answered, “Goddess”, but even though I knew he wasn’t into me  I could have lied at the end when they ask if you want to see each other again, which people seem to do every week. That was a great day, no regrets there.

5. Someone stole my profile once on POF.

When I first started online dating I wrote (even though I say it myself) a cracking profile. It took me ages to do it as I wanted to stand out and it wasn’t long before some lazy git stole it for himself and tweaked it so it was about him. Didn’t take my pics obviously but he sent me a message asking could he use the profile and I said of course not write your own!  Next thing he sent me a pic of his new profile which was mine and said “What do you think?” I reported it but nothing happened and now and again check to see if he’s still using it and after all this time he still is as he hasn’t got the brain cells to write another one.

6. I had the biggest baby in the hospital.

My first child was a boy and as I got bigger I wasn’t really that worried about it (having got good child bearing hips apparently) until nearer the end when the scans showed that actually, this was going to be a big baby. I won’t bore you with details but when he was born he weighed 10lb 13 oz. I can actually hear everyone’s intake of breath when they read this, but yes he was that big. Every single item of clothing had to go back and swapped for bigger sizes and he looked like he was already 3 months old. Thank god for caesarean section that’s all I can say.

7. Playboy.

When I came back from Gibraltar I got a job at the Playboy club in Manchester in the early 80’s and I absolutely loved that costume. Memoirs of a Playboy Bunny Part One is by far the most popular post on my blog and when Hugh Hefner died a few weeks ago I was asked to be a guest on Talk Radio on Dr Pam purr’s show on Saturday night. My one regret is that I don’t have a photo of me wearing that costume, but there it is.

So that’s it, my 7 random facts about me, hope you enjoyed them.

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Bye Felicia.

Earlier this week I joined a Facebook group for women over 50, hoping I’d maybe have some stimulating conversation and possibly meeting up for drinks or whatever with a couple of them who live in Manchester. Within 24 hours I’d had a message from admin because I’d upset someone with a comment I’d made to them, so I realised that yet again, this group was not for me. Someone had posted asking where there any good men left at our age? So I replied that in my experience of dating them that yes there are, but there are different problems dating older guys so I gave a quick summary.

Doris from the stone age didn’t like it.

She then posted her own post saying that someone was “men-bashing” and as she herself had been married to Burt for 100 years I was talking bollocks. Bring it on Doris, bring it on. I applaud women who have been married forever as I’m sure that a lot of hard work has gone into that but for a lot of us life has turned out to be a bit different for whatever reason and let’s not forget nobody gets married to get divorced, or expect to be widowed. So Doris got a blistering reply and obviously then reported me after deleting her post and that was that. But that’s ok because I have joined these sort of groups before and it always turns out the same, because a lot of the women seem to be retired some of them seem to have a lot of time on their hands and sit on Facebook all day. Every single day is the same.

“Morning everyone, it’s cold here in Bristol”.

“Morning Claire, it’s cold here in Edinburgh but I’ve got the kettle on.”

“Oooh are you having biscuits?” says Gladys in Kent.

“On my third cuppa already” replies Sue in Portsmouth.

And then there will be at least a hundred other women replying saying something very similar.

Can you see my problem? I have eyes, windows and a tv to watch the weather forecast. I can see for myself what the weather is like as I set out for work, I don’t need a running commentary about tea, biscuits and the state of the garden. But it’s not just that, there will be posts about “What were your favourite sweets as a child?” or “Does anyone remember what their school uniform was like?”  I appreciate that for a lot of women these groups are great, a way of communicating and maybe making a couple of new friends but unfortunately it’s not for me. Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s hard being this fabulous.

Bye Felicia.

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Excuse Me??

This time last year I had such a good holiday in Ibiza, on my own, that I decided to do it again and because I’d left it last minute to book I was pretty limited on what was available, so I ended up staying in the same hotel as last year and as usual that meant my single room was overlooking the bins/car park. Not really a problem as I didn’t intend to spend much time in it apart from sleeping, just annoying as this seems to happen every time I go anywhere on my own. Of course there were different people on holiday this time, thankfully no stalker, but there is one thing that stands out on this holiday that I won’t forget.

It wasn’t the group of four lads who had come away on a lads holiday and obviously some time after the holiday had been booked one of them had got himself a girlfriend and she’d ended up tagging along.

It wasn’t watching the hotel cat run off with one of the parrots halfway through the parrot show.

It wasn’t listening to a group of women over 40 who were absolutely slagging off one of their group, whilst giving me pitying looks that I had come on holiday alone.

It wasn’t the man who was leaning across my table for one while he talked to someone he knew, knowing that he was totally blocking my view until I had to ask him to move, which he wasn’t happy about.

It wasn’t the 25 older Spanish women who arrived on my last day who were a breath of fresh air as they insisted on line dancing to most of the songs being played by the pool.

It wasn’t even overhearing a woman telling a group of people  ” I couldn’t eat my salad tonight it had too many alopecia.”  That must be a new name for jalapenos.

No it wasn’t any of those things, it was when I was out one evening, sat alone on the terrace of a bar when a young woman came out for a cigarette and noticing I was alone she asked could she sit at my table while she smoked. We started chatting and a woman sat to the left of me with her husband decided she’d join in the conversation telling us that she was 64 yrs old with a daughter of 45 and a grandson of 25. We both just looked at her and said “Right” before carrying on our conversation before we were interrupted, with the older woman muttering about rude people. A couple of minutes later the young woman asked had I come on holiday with someone?  Hearing that the older woman turned to me and said ” Yes, we were wondering that, why have you come on holiday on your own?”  Oh I see, you’ve clearly been talking about me then so it’s time you were put in your place love.

“It should have been my honeymoon.”

That shut her up.

It doesn’t bother me going on holiday on my own, but it bothers other people, especially older people.  The women hold on to their partners that little bit tighter and don’t even give me eye contact never mind a “Hello” in case I get ideas about running off with their Fred (Fred should be so lucky) but that’s ok. What is NOT ok is to be so rude and to ask someone WHY they are on holiday alone so that woman deserved the answer she got.

No wonder my ears were burning all week, and I thought it was sunburn.

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Tinder Problems

I’ve not yet had one single date from being on Tinder, not one. I turned up for one but my date didn’t, only to be told (after I’d messaged him that I was at the designated meeting point and I couldn’t see him) that actually, something had come up so he’d have to check when he was free again and let me know.

Good luck with that mate.

I’ve had a few conversations, but no one I’m remotely interested in especially after the couple of happy go lucky souls I’ve been chatting with this past week. One of them “B” seemed a bit quiet, a bit shy, (fine) and during the day we didn’t communicate much as we were both at work but later on in the evening I’d get what he probably considered to be flirty texts, but in fact were inappropriate and offensive, and I told him. “Oh it’s just my sense of humour love.” And that’s the problem. A lot of older guys don’t realise we are now in the 21st century and humour acceptable in the 1970’s is now inexcusable. The same thing happened a couple of times, this guy didn’t get in touch until late evening after he’d had a couple of drinks which made him brave but totally offensive. “This isn’t working B, can’t get a decent conversation out of you until you’ve had a few drinks  and then I don’t want to hear what you have to say”. He explained that he couldn’t relax until he’d put his 11 yr old daughter who lived with him to bed.

What??

Not only had he dug his own grave with the offensive “jokes” he’d now flung himself in it telling me he had a young daughter who lived with him. I expect the guys I date to have grandchildren, not younger kids who still live with them. I’m not a single person in my 20’s/30’s or even 40’s where I would expect that, this guy is 61 and I for one am not signing up to be someone’s step mum. He also had three daughters, and we all know what happened one time I went on a date with another guy who had three daughters, he left halfway through the date after receiving a phone call from one of them for some “emergency”.  But B knew his days were numbered and in a last ditch attempt to change my mind he said ” I’ve lost weight since those profile pictures were taken.”

Game over.

Another guy I was chatting with went straight in for the kill, no messing about, no chat, just when and where should we meet but “Not on Tuesday as it’s my mother’s funeral.”  Personally I’d have thought he had other things to worry about other than chasing dates but there we go. Tinder problems. I also had the same problem on Match though, not a single date from that, just guys too lazy to message even and just send a “wink” to let you know they’re interested. Sorry guys, no effort, no reply. And let’s not forget all the matches made, only to be unmatched an hour later for whatever reason I will never know.

Tinder problems, who needs ’em.

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Virtue Signalling aka A Big Fat Lie

We’ve all heard the term “virtue signalling”, but I’m not interested in how it’s used by politicians as a smug way of expressing disgust or favour for certain political ideas, I’m more interested in how people use it in everyday life by making a statement or performing an action that implies they’re such a really nice virtuous person, and if I didn’t know any better I would be offering to rub that halo of theirs in appreciation.

If I didn’t know any better.

In order to look good a virtue signaller has to have an audience, (no point otherwise) so when I was  moving into a new place over a weekend and everyone in that particular group of friends had offered to help in one way or another, instead of saying they couldn’t help, someone came out with. “Don’t forget, call me any time, I can help with anything you need, I’m free that weekend.” safe in the knowledge that I won’t ever call them on that as they live miles away. But how good did that look to everyone else who heard it?

Years ago I worked with a woman who’s ambition was to be the landlady of  her own pub and eventually she got her wish. It was round about the time I had left where I was living and moved to Manchester but news and gossip still trickled through to me as it wasn’t exactly a million miles away and one day a friend of mine had stopped to speak to “S” in the street and asked her how she was coping with running a pub and restaurant. “If only I knew where Jacqui was I’d have her working for me in a flash.” Aww isn’t that nice. My friend believed this but I wasn’t convinced as she would only have had to ask a couple of people to find out where I was, so let’s call her out on that one shall we? I did the one thing that she never expected, I phoned her and said I’d heard (from quite a few people by now) that she was wondering where I’d moved to as she would love to have me working for her, and luckily for S I would be able to work every other Sunday as getting there and back would be no problem,  (absolutely no intention of doing this) and guess what? She now had all the staff she needed and what a shame as it would have been great, blah blah blah. In other words, it was all a big, fat lie in order for her to look good and have people say to me “How nice of her”. Like I said, I know better.

Obviously not all virtue signalling is meaningless as when a disaster strikes there’s always hundreds of people trying to help and meaning it, but for most of us we will encounter some form of it which will in fact turn out to be a BIG. FAT. LIE.

On that note it’s time for me go and save the world if only I didn’t have to be in work today.

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Ask A Stupid Question…

One of the things I love about Twitter is having a ringside seat at some of the spats that go on between total strangers, (and I have been known to get into one or two scuffles myself) but time and again, especially when everyone’s watching any current dating programme on TV, the same question gets asked of dating/relationship experts who do it for a living.  “How can you possibly know what you’re talking about if you’re single?” A lot of people seem to think single people are a failure with bad advice to give if they themselves haven’t managed to find the Holy Grail.

I beg to differ.

I for one would rather take advice from someone who’s still on the playing field, still in the game who can offer advice on how to play. Someone who knows how much the dating game has changed in the past few years, it wasn’t that long ago when there was a huge stigma attached to online dating, now there’s hundreds of apps to choose from and it’s where most people will find what they’re looking for. I would rather take advice from someone who is also going on the bad dates, who is also getting ghosted, breadcrumbed, benched, catfished, who knows how absolutely exhausting it all is, but keeps on doing it anyway. The reason these people giving advice are single, is probably the same reason we all are. We know what we’re worth so won’t settle for second best, won’t put up with drama, the “not sure what I’m doing that night”, the cancelling of dates 2 hours before you’re due to meet up, the chasing after you and saying all the right things until you finally give in and agree to a date only for them to lose interest. The guys who say maybe you’re the one but then you find out they’ve been seen out with someone else, or the ones who want a relationship but all on their terms.  I want to hear advice from someone who still knows how hard it is, not someone who’s been in a relationship forever and hasn’t a clue how much things have changed.

It’s a little bit different for me as I’m in the older dating puddle (certainly not a pool) but I have a lot of the same problems as everyone else, so I’m always open to any good dating advice, especially coming from someone who is single.

The struggle is real guys.

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10 Things I Like About Me.

Watching Love Island where Olivia tells Chris the 10 things she likes about him, made me wonder what I would get told if anyone ever said the 10 things they liked about me. It’s easy to think of the faults you have, the things you’re not good at, the things you would change if you could. But now and again we all have to remind ourselves what makes us special to our friends and family and focus on the good points, and after digging deep I might have found some.

1. Confident.

I like the fact that I’m confident, especially now I’m older when it’s easy to lose that confidence as you’re not too sure of your place in the world anymore. I don’t mind taking myself off for a week’s holiday on my own, or calling in to one of the many places in Manchester for a quick cheeky wine when I’m out and about shopping. I like trying new places and if everyone I know is too busy I don’t mind going alone, it beats staying at home and doing nothing.

2. Honest.

I am what is known as “brutally honest” which I hope doesn’t mean that I upset too many people, but to be fair if I don’t like you then I probably won’t care. At the same time, I hope I’m not someone who is vile to people using the excuse of “Just telling you like it is.” If you don’t want the truth don’t ask me.

3. Brave.

I never used to think I was brave, but the past few years of starting a completely new life and everything that’s come with it (good things) means I can look back and think if I hadn’t pushed for some things to happen, I wouldn’t be enjoying life so much.

4. Good Judge Of Character.

I think this comes with age and life experience to be honest. I can spot a liar a mile off, or drama queens, and so I keep my distance. Some people like to suck you in to their full on made up lives, but the clues are always there. To be fair these people usually avoid me once they realise they’ve been sussed.

5. Spontaneous.

I’ve always been spontaneous, done things  that I should have maybe hesitated over, but most things I don’t regret.  Emigrating to Australia might not have been the best idea but I’m still glad I did it, I don’t want to think about all the opportunities I’ve missed when I’m on my death bed.

6. Good Listener.

Well I like to think I am, hopefully other people think so. I might give some unwanted advice but I will always listen.

7. Opinionated.

Well now, opinionated can also mean “gobby” but I usually am very vocal with my opinons. It doesn’t mean I won’t listen to you if your opinion is different to mine, but you’d better have a good arguement to back it up. I’d rather stand my corner than sit on the fence.

8. I Have A Good Heart.

Honestly, I do. I can come across as abrupt and a bit scary, (I even scare myself sometimes) but I would do anything to help my friends and my kids. I’m sure I must seem unapproachable sometimes but once you get to know me hopefully you’ll see I’m not a bad ‘un.

9. Open Minded.

Working with younger people means it helps if you are (I think), I learn a lot from them in how society is changing. I’ve got to keep up with everything that’s going on in the world and too many older people find it too easy to just hang on to old ways.

10. Happy.

It’s been a long time coming but I like who I am. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea but it really doesn’t matter as I respect, love and like myself. Not perfect by any means but I don’t think the list for things I don’t like (unless it’s physical) would be longer than this one. Does that mean I think I’m all that? Well yeah, but it doesn’t mean I think I’m better than anyone else, I just know what I’m worth.

And so should you.

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Close, But No Cigar

There was me getting all giddy about a second date, purely because I haven’t met many men that I would like to go on a second date with, and the ones that I have wanted to see again haven’t wanted to see me so this was exciting to say the least. Within a few days of chatting with “B” we arranged to meet up on Sunday for a couple of hours, both of us agreed there was absolutely no point in endless messages only to meet up and find that actually, we have nothing in common so I met him close to Piccadilly station, on the day that the EDL decided to have a march through Manchester and as it was kicking off we ended up in a lovely hotel bar.

There I learned that B had been married twice, and had spent the last few years in France with his second wife before she left to come back to England after one of her children had had a baby. “Do you have grandkids?” he asked. “No not yet, do you?” He answered that no he didn’t but he was glad that I didn’t have any as apparently he believes that if you’re with someone then that person should be their number one. This works perfectly well when you meet when you are young, no kids, no distractions, but life changes as we all know. ” Yes but surely you know that you’ll slip down the number one spot at some time if kids and grandchildren are involved? There will be times when you are needed to give your attention elsewhere.”  “Maybe, doesn’t mean I like it.”  So I let that one go, for now. It was nice to hear that he liked going to watch live music and he said that he’d been to watch a Pink Floyd tribute band the night before.  “Not for me I’m afraid, never liked  prog rock could never get into it.” I told him. Two hours flew by and it was one of the best dates I’d had in a long time so I was more than happy to meet up again.

The next day I had a text asking did I want to go and watch the Pink Floyd tribute band with him on Friday as he was going again? “Not really, going to pass on that, pretty sure I told you I didn’t like them.” “You did but thought you might appreciate some musical education.” I declined and sat back waiting for an alternative that didn’t arrive. In the meantime I had noticed that in nearly all of our conversations he turned it around to sex which was really beginning to annoy me and make me feel a bit uncomfortable, I don’t mind a bit of banter but this was something else. So, we managed to arrange a second date and both of us agreed we were really looking forward to it.

Which should have been today.

Having arranged to meet at around 4 this afternoon I had a couple of texts this morning. ” Will have to drive but not sure I can see you without having a drink, maybe we should meet next week around 12 and then we have all day.” All day for what? To drink?  I don’t think so. This is in between getting texts saying ” Really looking forward to seeing you but not sure you are feeling the same as me.” Oh come on now B let’s not start sounding needy, then I remembered that this guy likes to feel special, to know he’s number one but this was only a second date after all. So, around 1-30 I had another message saying that he wasn’t seeing me today after all he’d rather wait until next week when instead of a few hours we could have all day. Talk about being indecisive.

I didn’t reply.

He then found me on WhatsApp and an hour later sent me a photo of himself with two ice creams saying ” Not had a mega ice cream for ages.” “Mega as in two?” I replied. “Oh the other is for a mate lol.” I don’t know if it was or maybe he’d double booked himself today I really don’t know, all I know is that we’d arranged a date and as far as I’m concerned I was given not very good excuses as to why he didn’t turn up. But here’s a tip, don’t be the idiot who sends a photo through social media saying what a good time you’re having after you’ve  cancelled a date.

Bye Felicia.

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Rumour Has It.

Women are good at a many things but one of the things that they are really really good at is bringing other women down, especially if they see that you’re doing well. Forget the sisterhood, all bets are off if you dare to try to stand out from the rest of the flock for whatever reason, as this is when you find out who the wolves in sheep’s clothing are. The post that went viral of Kerry Whittaker, the Asda checkout girl who was slated by other women for wearing make up reminded me again of how nasty some women are.

When I first started blogging and posting on Twitter I was anonymous, only a few people knew who I was and one of them was happy to retweet any blogs I posted as I obviously wasn’t a threat to her at the time. I’d been really supportive of any of the things she’d been doing which included a couple of TV appearances on her part, a blog she was also doing, and generally just trying to be a good friend. This changed when I got on First Dates. By now I’d realised that there was no point being anonymous as the guys I date have only just discovered Facebook never mind Twitter so I was quite safe that none of them would read it. It was now time for me to have the support but unfortunately she was too busy to watch First Dates, and also the retweets of my blog suddenly stopped and not long after all contact stopped.

But she wasn’t the only one.

I went into work the next day and more than one woman dropped her eyes as she walked past me rather than say “Hello” so I knew they’d seen it. The same women who I’d been laughing and joking with the day before but obviously overnight I’d grown two heads. Then there was the friend who didn’t get back to me at all after watching the episode until three weeks later as she’d been “too busy” and  another woman I know didn’t speak to me for six months. Then there was the one who had a conversation with everyone else who had watched it but didn’t mention it to me at all. The men on the other hand were great, they wanted to know all about it and asked loads of questions which I was more than happy to answer (unless it was someone who never ever spoke to me usually so don’t start now). So, as well as two heads I’m guilty of other things. Apparently.

Rumour has it that I ‘ve changed. Well I damn well hope so as life changes all the time which means you have to change with it. It’s called evolving. When someone says that about you it usually means that you are doing something they don’t like.

Rumour has it that I think I’m all that as I wear full make up every day and it usually comes from women the same age who don’t make the effort. Listen love, try saying that to Joan Collins.

Rumour has it that at my age I shouldn’t be on dating sites for god’s sake I should just give up and get a cat, stop chasing men and accept growing old gracefully. The irony in this is that the women who say this are usually married or in a relationship.

Rumour has it that I love myself as I’ve been on TV. Of course I do, I’m Jacqui Wright bitches.

Sometimes things happen in life that changes everything. That happened to me five years ago when I ended up in a place I wasn’t supposed to be so I had to make the best of it. This included starting to date again which led to so many other things as we all know and now some people don’t like it. I don’t remember seeing many of you there when life wasn’t so good though but that’s ok.

But the funny thing is that some of these women who’ve had to plenty to say, been unsupportive, ignored me for whatever reason, will declare that they are my best friend or say that we work together/went to school together or stood at the same bus stop for five minutes if they ever met anyone who said they knew me. Women are always so quick to knock other women down and some of the worst are always bitter middle aged women, but that’s a whole other post.

True story.

 

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Wedding Season.

As wedding season approaches and everyone gets their invite to celebrate the wedding of a friend or family member, I wonder how many people will actually be asked not to attend an ex’s wedding due to the insecurity of the bride/bridegroom?

Surely I can’t be the only one this has happened to but that’s another story.

Although I love a good wedding I’m always curious as to what happens after, as believe it or not I have seen more than one woman transform herself from a gorgeous glamorous creature, to looking like she wouldn’t look out of place on one of the benefits programmes on Channel 5. It’s not just women who are guilty of this transformation of course, men are just as bad and it would seem that people who do this are guilty of the same thing. Complacency. They’ve got what/who they wanted, so they stop putting the effort in, mistakenly thinking that now they’re married they can stop trying so hard. A woman might stop making such an effort with her hair and make up, spend a lot of time in pyjamas and housecoat at weekends thinking that it’s ok, she can relax a bit. Instead of doing the things they used to do/places they used to go, a guy might be more than happy to spend a lot more time with his football mates. Instead of spending most Saturday nights out with friends or enjoying the odd weekend away it’s suddenly become having a takeaway slobbing about in front of the tv, putting weight on as neither of them goes to the gym anymore as what’s the point? Their partner doesn’t mind that they’ve lost muscle tone, gone flabby and spends most of their time on social media barely looking up when spoken to. Their partner doesn’t mind that date nights don’t happen anymore or that they rarely seem to go anywhere now. Their partner doesn’t mind that the lads have booked him on that weekend away when they should have been visiting her family. They’re married, they love each other. End of.

For a lot of people getting married or moving in together signals an end to trying. Trying to keep that man or woman interested in the person they first met. The glittering funny woman who always looked fabulous and had a story to tell. The guy who could talk you through how to deal with the office bully while you were both relaxing at that spa weekend. It’s not about being dressed up to the nines all the time with full slap on but it is about making the effort. Talk to each other, remember why you got together, not to mention date nights. Sounds like hard work? You’re right, it is but so many people make the mistake of thinking they don’t need to try anymore.

You know what the biggest killer of relationships is? It’s not infidelity, it’s apathy. True story.

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Sorry Not Sorry

Now and again I ask Twitter to stop recommending that I follow other dating bloggers, as I have now reached my absolute limit of following so many women in their 20s/30s who all have a tale to tell but which inevitably becomes the same one.

I’ve been where you are, dated the same guys with the same bad result. The narcissist, the commitment phobe, the guys who have already got a girlfriend, the ones who are on a rebound, the ones who want you back when they hear you’ve found someone new. The insecure ones who are controlling, abusive but it’s all because they love you so much. The ridiculously good looking ones that rely totally on their looks and have the personality of a cobweb. The charming ones who always have a really good story as to why they let you down big time by not turning up for your sister’s wedding/nephew’s christening or Christmas day at your parents. The cheats, the liars, the ones who say you’ve got issues when you try to confront them with the latest Facebook message from some girl you don’t know telling you bad things about your guy and what he’s been up to. I’ve dated them all at some time or other and as you get older you’ll realise that there are certain things you won’t put up with anymore.

As an older dater you probably think we don’t have much in common but believe it or not, some guys don’t learn lessons. I’ve been breadcrumbed, ghosted, catfished and been let down at literally the last minute on the way to meet up. It would seem some things don’t change and as we all know the problem with dating apps/sites is that guys are not willing to commit in case there’s a shinier prettier, funnier younger version of you just around the corner.

I totally understand why some women a lot younger wouldn’t feel as though they could relate to an older dating blogger, how could we possibly be on the same page? I’ve had my family so the pressure is off for me in hoping to meet someone to start a new life with, so there is that difference. But no one gets married to get divorced, you just never know where life’s going to take you so all of us on the dating scene is actually meeting the same guys, they’re just called different names but at my age mine are certainly not known as “the boy”.

So here’s the thing. As much as I’d love to read each and every blog it does become a bit like groundhog day where I feel as though I’m reading the same story all the time, and sometimes it’s a bit like all the teenage angst we all went through. Does he like me? Should I have said that? He’s seen my message on Whats App 5 hours ago and not replied? What if he thinks this that and the other?  Was going to tell him I love him but not heard from him for 2 weeks? The ones I end up visiting on a frequent basis are the ones that tell me about other stuff that’s going on in their lives as well as all the dating drama. Sorry ladies but there it is.

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One Last Adventure.

It was binge watching A New Life In The Sun that did it. I didn’t even know that the programme even existed until I found it on catch up and started to get all involved with watching other people trying to run a bar/restaurant/pop up nightclub in France/Spain or anywhere else that was in Europe where they have better weather than us. Hoping that they’d all make it and not have to come back to England feeling that they’d failed, to listen to all the people say ” I wouldn’t have come back if it had been me.”  Usually from the people who’ve lived on the same street all their lives and are frightened that they might get a nosebleed if they step out of their own postcode.

It got me thinking.

I’d like to think there is one last adventure, one more time of taking a risk and trying something new. Nothing quite as drastic as buying a barn in France or a restaurant in Spain but it doesn’t stop me thinking that maybe I wouldn’t mind working and living for a while somewhere hot. I’ve put the dream of moving to Gibraltar to bed, but I can’t stop thinking that there has to be something else to try before I have to call it a day. Years ago before I was a wife, mother and mortgaged to the hilt I used to sod off for the summer, working in various hotels or bars and I loved it.

Tresco.

The first year I did it I went to Tresco, one of the islands of the Isles of Scilly which is just off Penzance. Working as a chambermaid in a gorgeous 5 star hotel on a private beach, there are no cars allowed on the island and only one pub. As a 20 year old that was devastating for there to be only one pub and the novelty soon wore off going to it as it was quite a trek from the hotel, plus the locals didn’t really appreciate a group of noisy “outsiders” invading it.  The lovely Tresco where I burnt half my face off after I fell asleep in the sun one afternoon and had to wait nearly a week before seeing a doctor as he only visited every Tuesday when he came over by boat.

Woolacombe.

Another hotel working as a chambermaid in Woolacombe in North Devon and what a beautiful place it is. A blue flag beach which attracts a lot of surfers in the summer so it has that holiday feel and definitely more than one pub to go to on a night off. I liked the fact it’s not a particularly large place and has a lot of charm and as I was living in Bath at the time instead of Manchester, it didn’t feel as though it was too far away from home  Lovely Woolacombe where I caught the guy I was seeing in the pub with another girl.

Gibraltar.

I went to Gib looking for work as I already knew a friend who’d gone out there and she loved it, she met me at the airport and took me to where I was staying. I’d booked into the cheapest place for a week and in that time I was hoping to find work and luckily for me I found a job through an agency a couple of days later which was working in a hotel bar, the added bonus being it provided accommodation. As some of my shifts was working in the evening that gave me all day to be at the beach, and when I changed jobs to work in the bar at a restaurant on the marina, it was even better. At that time the border to Spain was closed so it became a bit claustrophobic as Gibraltar is quite small with a village mentality, and we all know how people like to gossip, you get told about the things you’ve done before you’ve even thought about doing them.  But I loved it there, it’s right at the bottom of the  Costa del Sol with English money, national curriculum in schools, and I happened to be there when Charles and Diana started their honeymoon, waving my little flag as I watched them drive through Gibraltar. It’s a weird little place and you either love it or hate it, I stayed a year and had a ball. Fabulous Gibraltar where I had my heart broken.

Life goes on and after getting married and having our family my ex and I decided to do our own “A New Place In The Sun” and emigrated to Australia. We sold up and went looking for a new life in Melbourne and thought we knew what to expect but there were a few surprises. We stayed two years and I was more than ready to come back by then and inevitabley had to listen to people asking why we’d come back, if it was them they wouldn’t blah blah blah but like I said, I like to think there is one last adventure.  Saga holidays are always looking for reps in the summer though am I right?

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A Day At The Races, Playboy Style.

One of the best times I had when I worked for Playboy was when a few of us were picked to go on a day trip to Chester races along with some of the punters. Four of us were on four different coaches and our job was to serve the champagne and nibbles to all the guys on our coach on the journey there but unluckily for me I had the manager of the club on my coach which meant no champagne for me, but the other girls had clearly taken advantage of it as I turned up sober and they were a bit, shall we say, giddy. Working for Playboy was all about image and we were under strict instructions that we weren’t allowed to have any alcohol or place a bet while we there there, which meant that we actually had a chaperone and we spent a lot of our time trying to persuade him to let us have a couple of drinks which was made even more difficult by the number of guys trying to buy us “anything we wanted”. The amount of attention was ridiculous and a lot of time was spent saying “no” to people wanting photos taken, unless it was someone our manager actually knew.

So at the end of the day I got back on the coach knowing I couldn’t have any of the champagne on offer but as soon as the coach set off back to Manchester nearly all of the guys came to me and gave me money saying “You won this love.” “But I didn’t place any bets?” They all said the same thing “No you didn’t but I put one on for you.” The manager seemed ok with it (think he’d had a really good day) as he said I could have some champagne so I accepted and as it was all notes I came off that coach with a small fortune, no doubt the other girls had the same thing happen to them, so what did we do when we got back to Manchester? We hit the clubs of course. Brambles was one of the popular nightclubs at the time and as soon as we walked in the DJ announced that there were “Bunnies in the house!” and after that none of us bought a drink all night. It’s a bit weird when people are only interested in you because of what they perceive you as, they don’t really want to know you as a person you’re just someone they’ve “met” as they push a piece of paper into your hand with their landline phone number on (no mobiles then) someone they can brag to their friends about. It doesn’t matter what you look like, sound like, think like, they’re not really interested in that, it’s all about the image, I met too many guys who only wanted me to tell them about my job hoping I’d tell them some “juicy bits”. They don’t want to hear about how your legs are aching after spending hours on your feet in heels, how your face aches through smiling all the time, trying to fend off the drunken idiot who persists in trying to touch you even though he knows the club rules, how you’ve bruises on your hips because of the costume you’re wearing, how you get daggers from the wives of the regulars at the tables because they think you’re the reason their husband comes in to the club and throws his money away. They don’t want to know the reality, just the fantasy.

So what did I do with all the money that I “won” at the races? Went on holiday of course which is probably a whole other story.

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I Don’t Need No Bad Advice

If you’re a regular on any form of social media then you know that sometimes not everyone will agree with some of your opinions, which is not really a problem if everyone agrees to disagree but sometimes I have had unwanted, unasked for advice from so called “dating experts”. Looking at my profile you will see that I’m an older dater, a little bit past my prime, but trust me I would have given any of you younger ladies a run for your money back in the day. Anyone who’s out there dating and trying to find someone will know how hard it is no matter what age you are, and some of the problems are ones we can all relate to, but I seriously didn’t know how hard older dating is until I tried it myself.

Not so long ago I tweeted about keeping the conversation going in the time between arranging a date and actually meeting up as I’ve been let down a few times (usually the day before or on my way to meet up) when there’s not been much contact. Imagine my surprise when a so called “dating expert” tweeted back to say that there should be no contact once the date is confirmed. I beg to differ, that leaves the way open for Sexy Sally who’s profile pics are of her sprawled across her bed/car bonnet/sofa in her Primarni underwear promising all sorts of things. At least if you’re keeping up the banter with your date he might decide to at least meet up with you before he goes off into the night with S.S. This expert also advised to maybe try to meet up as soon as soon as possible (maybe the next day) if  there was a chance the guys were going to get cold feet. Listen love, you’ve probably advised all us singletons to have busy social lives so which one is it? If I and all the rest of the dating world have arranged to meet a date in a few days it’s because of work commitments/social commitments and I for one am not prepared to cancel a “stripping for beginners” class and to be fair I would hope that my date wouldn’t cancel his “how to assemble flat packed furniture” class either.

Another gem was being told not to be on any dating sites/apps on Friday and Saturday evenings so that it looks like I’m too busy being out and about. Let’s face it, older daters are very likely to be home Friday or Saturday nights baby sitting the grandkids and if single, would probably appreciate a couple of chats with other singles on dating sites. I for one enjoy being out Sundays to be honest, late afternoon until around 10/11 pm because on Sundays there seems to be more of a mixed age group around. But it all sounds too much like game playing, to be told not to be available at weekends, by someone who’s probably not going to be in my position for at least 30 years if ever. Stick to what you know love because  older dating is certainly not one of them. I’m always interested in what someone who supposedly does this for a living,  has to say to someone like me as I’m all for getting some tips and good advice, and from a couple of more well known dating experts I actually have which I’ve appreciated.

But I don’t need no bad advice.

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Dating Is Exhausting

So Valentine’s Day has been and gone and I’m still single, just like I am the rest of the year. In a way I feel sorry for all the couples who feel under pressure to declare their love for each other on a particular day of the year, I would like to think I’d get flowers, chocolates and taken out for a romantic meal any old day of the week instead of being in a restaurant on February 14th with all the other couples trying to prove to the world how happy they are. But hey, I’m single, what the hell do I know?

What I do know is that a couple of weeks ago I was getting a couple of dates lined up with a couple of guys who seemed to be just what I was looking for. One of the guys was a bit younger than me (bonus) and he seemed really keen, a lot of texting, couple of phone calls and because all us single people like to make sure we have busy lives we arranged to meet a few days later. The day arrived when we were due to meet and as I hadn’t heard from him I didn’t get ready. Later that evening I had a text saying “Sorry, been really busy with my daughter, can’t make tonight.”  No I wasn’t impressed to say the least, because since the day we’d last spoken to arrange the date there had been no contact at all. I’d text him a couple of times and he’d replied but nothing like it had been so I was a bit confused.

Confused but bloody fuming.

The same thing happened with guy number 2, really keen and once we’d arranged a date all contact ceased, radio silence, nothing but apparently he’d been “too busy”.  I for one like to keep the communication going because I’ve been here too many times when just before I’m about to meet a guy he’s text (too scared to phone) to say he’s met someone else. Let’s be realistic here, we all keep our options open and I still chat to other guys when I’ve arranged a date with someone so it doesn’t surprise me if they do the same but I do think it doesn’t help if all communication/banter stops before you meet as guys are easily distracted by bright shiny things half undressed so I say keep talking.  Having said that, guy number 1 had the audacity to text me on the morning of February 14th to ask was I free that evening? Not for you love, no.

Dating is exhausting no matter what age you are, but it really is different when you’re older as everyone is bitter and cynical. I’ve heard too many stories of an ex wife/partner who took all the money/cheated and now these guys are really wary and I’m sure some women must have the same story. They tell you that they can have their ex back any time they want, even though that ex has been married to someone else for 20 years.  They tell you that their kids prefer them (as though it’s a competition) and they tell you that no, they don’t really want to find someone but they’re under pressure from the kids but they wouldn’t mind someone to go on holiday with. They tell you that they’d prefer you to be thinner, taller/shorter and with a different colour of hair. I could say the same as I’m sat across some bald fat misogynist who still doesn’t realise we’ve entered the 21st century. Dating is exhausting, time consuming and soul destroying, You have to keep hoping that you’re going to meet someone who you just click with, someone who you want to spend more and more time with, and who feels the same about you.

And don’t even get me started on the guys who slide into your DM’s on twitter asking for “fun and cheeky stories.”

Maybe I’ve reached the limit of stones unturned.

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Liar Liar Pants On Fire

So apparently there are more and more reports of people (usually women) losing thousands of pounds to online dating scammers, but I’m not surprised. On one particular dating site I’m using I can get up to 8/10 scammers a day getting in touch with me but how do I know that they’re scammers? Because they sound too good to be true.

As a woman of a certain age I am indeed a prime target for these low life scum who’ve nicked someone else’s profile picture (they only ever have one) and then proceeded to write the most cheesy profile ever but because they’re targeting a certain age group some of them make sure to include things that they think will probably appeal to some women, and unfortunately it does seem to work. Practically all of them that I get live in America, are doctors, or generals in the army, and a lot seem to be peacekeepers in Syria. All very noble jobs if only it was true. Most are widowed, leaving them with at least one child that needs a mother, and to cover all bases, they are great believers in the church. They place great emphasis on loyalty, communication, love, and finding the right person to grow old with.

” I’m a very loyal and open minded person, dedicated and generous person, most that know me say to a fault. I need a companion that is open and will communicate her feelings to me and to talk to her about her day, desires, wants, needs, family, friends, goals, dreams and all that affects her life to include me, my strengths and most importantly my weaknesses. I believe a person needs to know their weaknesses in order to grow. Relationships are works in progress and I might add, beautiful works for it to work. I’m looking for that right person to grow with, that is my best friend and love. I’m someone who can accept people as they are, I’m a fair individual who adapts to changes in life and enjoy life to the fullest. I pride myself in being honest and most trustworthy, I seek that in a mate. Someone who is compassionate yet understanding and has a calm demeanor and great personality. I love to travel and I would love to meet someone who I can spend the rest of my life with through good and bad times. I’m stress free and fun to be around, I love to laugh and share jokes with others and I’m a very good cook who enjoys a variety of food. I’m an avid reader and great conversationalist, I also like to have social functions and entertain friends but I’m also a very private person who enjoys the comfort of home relaxing and listening to good music, jazz,opera, gospel, reggae. I’m looking for a partner who is fun, likes to travel, very family oriented. I’m loyal and kind and expect the same from my partner. I’m honest to a fault and can’t stand people who lie. I enjoy good conversation as well as quiet quality time. I’m independent and have been on my own for almost 8 years so I don’t need someone to make me happy. I want someone to share in my happiness and allow me to share parts of their life. I love life and everything about it and it shows in the way I live, laugh and love. I firmly believe that life is good.  I love life and enjoy waking up each day, looking forward to whatever it has in store for me and I long to see and be with my companion from day’s first light until evening’s rest and my companion should feel the same way. Thinking of how to live a better life and how to find that special someone to live my life with until the end of time. Life is too short for it to be any other way. I want to meet a woman that loves the Lord and takes good care of herself physically and mentally and will love me like Jesus Christ loves the church. Lol. I just want to be loved, treated with respect, passion and understanding and most of all I want to be able to trust my partner with all my heart and I want her to trust me too no matter what. I want my dreams, fears joys and most of all my love to be hers too and hers being mine. I want to feel special and safe when I’m with her and even when she is far away from me. As for the term or length of relationship I’m looking for should be unlimited and undying love. When the right woman comes along we both know deep inside of our heart that this is what we have been waiting for. I want my woman to be my best friend.”

Well it certainly beats the standard ” Like staying in/going out. Anything you want to know just ask.”

It doesn’t matter that he lives in America, when I answer that there’s no point in pursuing it the answer is always the same. They’re about to be deployed and are planning to come to England and how do I feel about dating him? But I have too many questions such as how can he be stress free working in Syria as a doctor? How would his young son/daughter feel about moving to England to be with a stranger? How is he still single when he seems so perfect and good looking? And that’s when they quickly want to get you off the dating site and exchanging emails. Some might even suggest it straight away with ” Can’t get on here that often, how about sending me your email address here’s mine”.

But I’m a seasoned cynical dater who doesn’t trust anyone, I’m not that easy to fool.

But imagine if you’re a lonely older woman who’s started to feel that not only has she come to the end of her shelf life, she’s in danger of not even getting snapped up when she’s put into the reduced section. A woman who might be widowed, come out of a bad marriage/relationship who has low self esteem. Or maybe a woman who’s gone through life totally relying on her looks and only defines herself by being with a man. Both of these are easy prey for someone who’s willing to give them the time while also telling them everything they want to hear.

“Hello Dear.

I really don’t usually do this, sending messages to people I don’t know but your pictures have made me to change my mind. I had to send you a message I couldn’t contain myself. You are amazingly beautiful, your smile, your charming eyes, your sexy look, everything about you is just WOW. heavenly. I wonder what it would take for a guy like me to marry someone like you. You are hot, sexy, appealing and everything that a real American man needs in a woman. I’m a gentle man with a big heart and beautiful personality. I’m the guy who holds the door for you and gives you a humble smile and a soft hello. I work hard with my hands and my mind and I am more in tune with life than most people. Well educated professional man, I am cool and respectful. I’m looking for a woman that has a tender heart, kind, considerate of other’s needs and one that would appreciate having a man that would love her in a way that she’s never been loved before. I want a woman that is not too hurt and not too hard to trust again and give herself to a man to be loved and take care of in a way that will bring a joy of life and an appreciation she will look forward to every day.We can talk about anything under the sun, sharing personal experiences is cool. Looking forward to hearing from you, have a nice day ahead.”

I had one guy message me saying he’d had a bad day but never mind that tell me about yours? So of course I asked him what had happened and within 5 messages he’d said he was desperate for money as his son had written off a police car and he had to replace it. The funny thing was though that as the conversation progressed it was getting more and more difficult to understand him as the writing became more erratic.  Apart from blocking and reporting these guys there’s not a lot you can do, just follow all the rules and hopefully you’ll soon learn to recognise them but let’s be realistic here.

If it seems too good to be true, then it usually is.

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The First Date Of The Year

There’s a reason I only meet for coffee on dates, and today was a reminder of why I do it. It’s not always possible of course for one reason or another, but I’ve learned that for me, meeting for coffee is the best way purely because you can put a time limit on it if it’s not going well.

As a seasoned dater it’s easy to become jaded, I’ve been on so many dates now that it’s hard to get excited any more but last weekend I was given some good advice. Last Saturday I moved into my new place and later in the evening after everyone had gone (and there was nothing on tv on Saturday night) I decided to listen to the London radio station Talk Radio as Dr Pam Spurr was on and she was going to be talking about online dating. Now I’ve been dating a while, I know what to do, where to go to meet people, how to keep safe but I was curious to see if an expert could give me some advice that I hadn’t heard before. It had been a long day, I was tired, had one glass of wine too many and thought it would be a good idea to ring the radio station. Within 5 minutes they rang me back and I was on air listening to the fabulous Dr Pam asking me various questions about dating apps ( dating apps? You’re joking aren’t you? Older men like to stick to what they know so let’s just stay with the usual shall we, over 4000 dating apps and I’m only on 3 or 4 of them because there’s no point when guys my age won’t be using them) and do I go anywhere to try and meet guys? After answering the usual questions I was then given what I consider to be good advice.  “Always turn up for your date expecting to enjoy it and have a good time as your body language will give you away,” and that is true. It’s easy to turn up not expecting much when your last couple of dates were rubbish, so if that’s what you expect then that is probably what will happen. So with that in mind I was really looking forward to meeting the first date of the year today “D”.

We had originally agreed to meet in the evening but I changed it last minute to just a coffee date in the afternoon.

Thank god I did.

It was easy to spot him as thankfully he looked like his photos (always a bonus) although he was shorter than I expected and from the minute we sat down until he got a red card from me an hour later I think I only spoke a handful of times. I had a full hour of him telling me about every confrontation he’s ever had in work, about his ex wife stashing away money that he knew nothing about, his daughter’s problems with her ex boyfriend, his daughter’s current boyfriend and the problems she has with her future in-laws, the problems of all of his ex wife’s boyfriends thinking he’s a threat ” Because I can get her back any time I choose to.”  and to top it all while we were sat there he answered phone calls from two different people. I could feel the will to live slowly but surely slipping away. As we walked out of the place he said “I enjoyed that” and I’m sure he did, I of course couldn’t say the same.

What can I say? I tried Pam, I really did.

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The Best Thing Of 2016.

I won’t bore you with telling you all about the good things that happened in 2016, (and there were actually quite a few) but the best thing ever happened right at the end of the year. In December, out of the blue, with absolutely no warning.

I’ve been in Salford for 5 years now so I’ve been on the social housing list for a while and I’d resigned myself to the fact that if I was lucky, I might get a one bedroomed flat in the area I’m already in which would be ideal as it’s close to work and also close to Media City which I absolutely love. So every week I would check the new listings but apart from the odd property being available (usually too far away, or on a rough estate, or just totally unsuitable as in sheltered accommodation) I usually drew a blank. So imagine my surprise when in early December  I had a letter from a housing association I’d never heard of, saying they were making me a provisional offer on a two bed flat just literally up the road from where I live. After housemate and I went to look at where it was, I knew I really really wanted it before I’d even viewed it. It was only 5 years old, on the second floor of a four storey block and I knew it was going to be quiet as one of the provisions of getting one of these properties was the fact that you had to be over fifty.

After completing the paperwork I got the keys on the 16th and while I had to go to work, housemate took over and proceeded to sort out the essentials. I work in retail, absolutely no chance of getting any time off at Christmas, but not to worry I just did a bit of packing every day and housemate would drop it off when he could. We agreed that the official moving in to my new place would be January 7th so that has given me time to buy a couple of big items in the sales, get them delivered and up and running. As housemate has had the keys ( I’ve probably only been in it a handful of times) he’s had one of his mates come and help him clean it, had his boyfriend plumb the washing machine in, (and then they had to test it on a quick wash with absolutely nothing in it and they’ve told me every single wash cycle on it) found where the bins are, met a few of the neighbours, and generally took the pressure off. He’s also gone with me to various shops, stores and outlets looking for stuff I need, although I’m trying to be a bit careful here as the trouble with buying anything second hand with the intention of only “making do” becomes permanent. I did that with a kitchen table once after we came back from Australia and I had it for 21 years when it was only supposed to be for a few months. I hated it.

Apparently my name had been forwarded to this particular housing association seeing as how I was a woman of a certain age, who’d have thought being older has it’s benefits? But imagine everyone’s disappointment when they see it’s actually me that’s moved in and not my housemate. Oh well.

Bring on 2017, I’m ready for you.

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Ghosts Of Christmas Past Part Two

Another year has flown by and Christmas is around the corner yet again, another excuse for some of us to go down memory lane and remember some of the more memorable Christmas times, but not all of them for the right reasons. Christmas isn’t just one day though and over the years  things have happened in the run up to Christmas, in the few days between Christmas and New year, and New Year’s Eve itself.

Like the time I had to have a neighbour arrested  as she’d been to a house party and couldn’t remember who was looking after her kids. She decided they must be at my house even though her kids and mine weren’t even friends, and not believing me when I said they weren’t with me (at 3 o’clock in the morning) she tried to break in. She was so adamant that I had them that the police searched my house from top to bottom before taking her to the police station. It turned out that they were at the party with her and she’d forgotten to tell them she was leaving.

The time a few of us mums got alcohol poisoning at the school fayre after drinking two plastic cups of warm wine.

The time I’d gone Christmas shopping with a friend who spent every penny of the money she had for Christmas presents in the first shop we went into, on herself. She treated herself to a lovely dress and shoes from Wallis and that was it, game over, we had to come back home before I’d even bought anything. It’s a good job she looked fab in that outfit.

The time we lived in Australia and spent Christmas day on the beach, twice.

The time I went out to bring a bike in from the garden shed on Christmas Eve and slipped on the step that had iced over convinced I’d broken a leg.

The time I went Christmas shopping with my young daughter knowing that when we got back my friend had called round with a hamster that I’d agreed to have as my friend had just got a kitten, the kids loved it.

The time years and years ago when an idiot I was seeing drove all the way from Manchester to Bath (where I was living at the time) in a snowstorm on New Year’s Eve to pick me up to drive all the way back to Manchester as he said he had two tickets for Peter Stringfellow’s club The Millionaire.  He dropped me off at a friend’s house and said he’d come back once he dropped his car off.  He didn’t come back and I didn’t see him again until 6 months later, just his way of making sure I wasn’t going anywhere that night.

The one time I bought a Christmas hamper and because I wasn’t in when the Rotary club came round with their float, someone gave them two tins of salmon.

I’m sure that there’s lots of other instances but one Christmas I remember was when I was a child and both my sister and I got a doll for Christmas. In those days parents didn’t buy every single thing that was on a child’s Christmas list, you got one main present as well as an annual, chocolate coins, an apple and orange and a couple of other bits, all in a pillow case. Anyway I got a Sindy doll but my sister got a Tressy.  A Tressy doll had hair that grew when you pressed her belly button and there was a wind up thing on her back that pulled the hair back in, next to her my Sindy looked drab and boring. Sindy had short dark hair but Tressy was far more glamorous and to top it all, after a couple of days Sindy’s head fell off. She didn’t go back to wherever she’d come from and get replaced as there were probably no consumer rights back then, so I lost interest and probably drew all over Tressy’s face with a ballpoint pen in temper.

Every parent wants to give their children the best Christmas, to buy every toy that’s on that Christmas list (even though not many kids will be able to tell you what they got last year) as proof of how much you love them. As you get older you realise that corny as it sounds it’s not what’s under the tree, it’s who’s around it that matters.

True story.

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That Was Then And This Is Now.

Everybody has a story. After realising that it’s exactly four years since I started writing a dating blog, maybe it’s time to explain why I started it in the first place.

Five years ago I sold up everything to start a new life abroad, my dream of thirty years was finally going to happen and I couldn’t wait. Having lived in Gibraltar in the early 80’s I always said that at some point I would go back there to live, so once the children had grown up and started their own lives it was now my time to fly. Having sold my house I moved in temporarily with my son in Salford while I set the wheels in motion to start my next chapter. As I’d been going over to Gib on a regular basis I’d managed to secure a job in a restaurant on the marina and was hoping to start at Easter, so in the meantime I took a temporary Christmas job at the local supermarket.

So far so good. It was all coming together, I could feel it, see it, taste it I was so close.

I was kept on at the supermarket and that was fine, it gave me something to do while I counted down the days to getting on the plane to start my new life and just before I gave a month’s notice I double checked with the manager I’d been dealing with at the restaurant, to make sure I was still starting at Easter as I was about to give my notice in. “Of course!” she said. So it was all systems go, I’d found a one bed flat to rent near to the beach and was getting ready to send the deposit when in the last week of working my notice I received a message on Facebook from one of the ladies who worked at the restaurant. She told me that it would seem that no one knew I was going to be working there and I was to ring the manager as the one I’d been dealing with hadn’t bothered to tell anyone. I rang Mark the manager who was obviously the one I should have been speaking to in the first place and we had a very painful conversation where he told me that unfortunately there was no job. No problem. I was still adamant about going as I knew I’d get a job and I already had accommodation sorted once I sent the deposit but the landlord had other ideas. Unfortunately no one would rent me anything without a job and as accommodation is scarce in Gibraltar I wasn’t prepared to take the chance and just go over this time like I did all those years ago, you get a bit more cautious when you’re older. Luckily for me I was able to keep my job at the supermarket  but to say I was disappointed I hadn’t gone is an understatement.

Obviously I now had to find somewhere new to live in Salford and this is how I’ve ended up sharing a flat with my lovely gay housemate. Once I’d got my head around the fact that I was now going to have to start a new life in Salford part of that was going to be dating so he helped me to set up a profile on dating sites. After a few bad dates I started a blog which has led to so many other things that sometimes I can’t quite believe it myself.

But here we are and I’m still looking for a guy who has both hair and a sense of humour, but I’ve accepted that my job is most likely going to my last one, I’ve accepted that I’ll be living here in Salford for a while yet but that’s fine. I don’t regret moving away from a place I’d lived in for over two decades as I still feel I had to take that chance. It might not have worked out in the way I thought I wanted but I still had to try and I don’t regret that. Yes it’s hard trying to start a new life in a place where you don’t know anyone, especially when you’re over 50, but I’m happy. It would seem that Madonna’s not the only one who can reinvent herself.

As for Gibraltar? I never ever think about it now.

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Don’t Be That Parent.

Ok so Christmas is coming and  everybody’s making plans, presents to be bought, social events to be organised, party outfits to find (as well as extra cash) there are trees to decorate, all the food to buy, cards to write and let’s not forget that the true message of Christmas is, peace to all mankind.

Unless of course you’re a single parent trying to negotiate with your ex as to who’s having the kids and when.

This never gets any easier until the kids have grown up to be adults (yes it does happen) but this is the perfect time for some parents, and I’m going to say women here as they are usually, not always I know, the single parent trying their damn best to bring their children up as normal human beings, to use the kids as weapons and I can totally understand. If your ex hasn’t paid any money towards the upkeep of their own kids, only bothered once in a blue moon to actually turn up on a Saturday morning to take them to McDonald’s, never shown an interest in how their own children are doing in school, maybe caused a bit of trouble when any guy has shown an interest in you, maybe even started a couple of malicious rumours about you, introduced them to every single female that he’s been sleeping with then Christmas can seem the perfect opportunity for payback. It is very very tempting to tell these idiots that no, they won’t be spending any time with their own children over the festive period as they’ve been useless fathers all year and anyway you and the kids are going to be far too busy so there just won’t be any time.

Very tempting.

It’s probably safe to say that a lot of single parents have wanted to do this at some time, as it seems so unfair that you’ve had to put in all the hard work all year, so why should the absent parent get all the good bits? Your ex rocks up with a couple of tacky cheap presents and a huge bar of chocolate and the kids think it’s great and you’re having sleepless nights wondering how you’re going to pay the gas bill. Then your blood pressure’s going through the roof as he’s telling you he can’t take the kids on holiday as promised next summer as he’s already booked for Ibiza with his latest girlfriend so it looks like it’s going to be you and the kids in your grandma’s caravan in Fleetwood in the 6 week holidays. There’s no justice is there?

Just take a step back and look at the big picture.

By denying access you will unwittingly make your ex into a super hero. You will be seen as the bad guy as you’re the one stopping them having a relationship even though you might think you have good reasons. Children don’t usually know the ins and outs of why/how the relationship between their parents broke down they just need to know that it wasn’t their fault and that they are still  loved by both parents. Denying time spent with their father means that they won’t get to see the traits that you know (and hate) the less they see of him means they can put him on a pedestal instead of seeing that actually, he has feet of clay. Don’t threaten to stop him seeing the kids when he lets them down yet again and doesn’t turn up on Saturday morning (and you’re dealing with the fallout) because eventually the kids will see that he’s unreliable. Don’t threaten to stop the kids from going on holiday with him, or shopping, or Nando’s or any time he chooses to spend with his kids because you’re trying to protect them from being let down again, eventually they’ll work it out for themselves. They’ll make their own minds up but let’s not forget that you didn’t make this little person all by yourself, it did take two. As much as you hate it there is no way around it and there’s something you need to realise. The bigger picture means that there will be graduations, weddings and christenings where children will want both parents to be present, and even if you are not exactly best friends, hopefully you can be civil to each other if only for a day.

It’s hard being a single parent. It’s hard being both good cop, bad cop and not being able to say “Wait until your father gets home!” It’s hard knowing you have little people totally dependent on you for everything. It’s hard trying to be strong in front of them when you’re having a particularly bad week.  It’s hard trying to teach them a moral compass as to what’s right and wrong and it’s hard when you have no support from the person you should be having support from.

In return hopefully you will have the best friendship with your kids when they become adults, and if you’ve done your job right they will love you unconditionally  and when someone asks you “Would you change anything?”  you can truthfully answer “No”.   So in a way you’re in a good position believe it or not, which means as it’s Christmas and really you want to do the right thing I say this.

You can afford to throw your ex some crumbs from your table.

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So Here’s To You Mrs Robinson

On Monday evening I had a chat with a journalist who was looking for older women to talk about sex in later life. I’d explained that I couldn’t really answer that as I was having trouble persuading guys to meet up for a coffee in Manchester, never mind anyone’s bedroom. “That’s ok, we can talk about love, libido and desires.” So that’s what we talked about and after having a photo shoot done on Wednesday morning, the article was featured in the Femail section of the Daily Mail on Thursday, not only using myself but other ladies who seemed to be rather enjoying themselves in later life and who can blame them. It’s probably one of the last taboos that older people still have sex but look at this way if everyone thinks in their head that they’re younger than they actually are, it should be no surprise.

What any older woman who’s online dating will tell you though is that they receive LOTS of messages and attention from much younger guys. Guys in their 20’s who say that they can promise you a good time, have fun with, but who I think are looking for their “Mrs Robinson moment”. Nothing wrong with that and as anyone will tell you, if you’ve come out of a long term relationship/marriage with low self esteem and no confidence, of course it’s flattering to have some attention, even if it’s from guys who are young enough to be your son. That’s not for me I’m afraid but if you’re looking for some no strings attached sex, this is the perfect solution for some women. Hopefully it is just sex they’re after and not your money, although you only have to read one of the weekly “real stories” magazines to see how many women fall into the trap of believing everything they’re told. I’m sorry Mary/Sheila/Joan but you must have guessed at some point that your 25 year old Turkish waiter wasn’t really interested in you or your ageing body, especially when they mentioned marriage. No? Not even when they told you that they had a family to support so maybe you could sell your house as you seem to have no savings left. That while you’re counting down the days and hours until you see each other again, could you possibly send some money over as the deposit has to be paid on your new love nest that you’ll be sharing with his family. Or his cousin’s getting married and he said he’d pay/he and his family are moving to new premises with the family business/he wants to organise the biggest and best wedding for you as he loves you so much. Just send the money and everything will be fine.

As much as I’d like to feel sorry for these women a part of me thinks, how could you be so stupid? But then I have to remember I’ve been online dating a while which means I’m more street wise, can pick up clues and can spot a scammer a mile off. At the same time though it’s probably safe to say that most of the young guys who message us really do want that moment that was shown on the silver screen 48 years ago.

So here’s to you Mrs Robinson.

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And Then The House Burned Down.

Last Thursday I had a date, but not with the man I had originally made plans with. The original date had messaged me and after a brief conversation had asked me out on a date, and even though we’d hardly had a conversation I loved his profile, he seemed funny, switched on and so I agreed. Sometimes this is the best way to meet someone, none of this relentless chatting which can go on for ages, then meeting up and they either have the personality of a cobweb or the sex appeal of a teabag. Or both as is sometimes the case in my ever decreasing dating puddle. Anyway, we arranged to meet and then a couple of days before the date I got a message saying could we postpone it as he had to go away on business? “Of course” I said.

Anybody online dating knows that once someone has postponed you don’t usually get the chance to meet up again because of various reasons. It could be a genuine excuse or, it could be that someone prettier, shinier, funnier has caught their eye, either way the longer you’re messaging after that it’s highly unlikely you’ll meet up, and after arranging to meet up on Sunday evening I’ve never heard from “M” again. I had a feeling this might happen so when I was having a decent conversation with “D” I agreed to meet him on Thursday, especially after he said we could meet up in the Northern Quarter as he knew his way around. At last! A guy who’s going to take charge for once, who’s not going to rely on me to sort the date out, or ask me to check the tram/train times, ask to make sure it’s a quiet bar, and even check the bloody weather.

I broke my golden rule for this one by agreeing to meet in the evening for drinks, usually it’s coffee but sometimes you have to break the rules so when we met at 7-30 I was looking forward to it. ” So where do you fancy? ” I asked. “Thought I’d leave that to you as I’ve only a vague idea of where the Northern Quarter is.”

You have got to be joking.

As we headed to a popular bar this guy didn’t shut up. At first I put it down to nerves but once inside the bar I realised that this wasn’t the case. It was all about himself, when he lived in the Caribbean for 9 years, all the celebs he’s met, the friend he’s got who’s on the Forbes 100 rich list, the yachts these “friends” have, the money and the lifestyle which tells me one thing. This guy has no money. Then there was his daughter. I know where she went to Uni, which was Bath, a city I know very well as I lived there for a while but he wasn’t interested in that. I know all about her first love, her various boyfriends, and obviously know all about her wedding which was in July earlier this year. This wedding also gave him the opportunity to talk about his ex wife and what a spiteful bitch she is even though they’ve been split up for 20 years, (not that he was the one who left the country for 9 years and didn’t see his kids in all that time). I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like to hear stories about how awful an ex was, don’t people realise that you shouldn’t be saying this on a first date?

I tried, I really did. I mentioned living in Oz for a while but he wasn’t interested. And while he was telling me all about his mate who’s a band promoter and the bands he promotes at festivals I told him about the guy I’d met in Ibiza who’s two sons are in a band that have just been signed to Warner Brothers, he wasn’t interested. I mentioned living in Gibraltar back in the early 80’s for a while but he wasn’t interested. And all the while he was non stop talking I had an over whelming desire to just blurt out.

“And then the house burned down.”

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When You’re Just Not Fluffy Enough.

I love men who say they like strong women. As long as it’s not just lip service that is, because it’s one thing saying it and another actually dating one and one thing I’ve found in dating dinosaurs is that not a lot of older guys actually like strong women. They say they do but it’s not usually someone they can see themselves with, usually because we have an opinion and are not afraid to be vocal about it which starts as a discussion but leads into an arguement which usually ends with “What the hell do you know? ”

I know quite a lot actually, which is another thing that winds men up. Older men usually (not all by any means ) like their women to be a bit, shall we say, fluffy. They like their women to be a bit subservient, no way can their women be cleverer than them, funnier than them or earn more money than them. They want them to have to rely on a man to get things done, things like booking tickets for holidays, anything to do with the car, house, complaints, they like to feel as though they’re in charge. Which was fine back in the day when women weren’t encouraged to do much apart from staying at home and looking after the kids, but times have changed thank god and although the guys know this, they’re actually having a hard time accepting it.

So, although a man is quite happy to let me organise our date (only because he hasn’t been in Manchester for the past 15 years) after that he’s likely to expect his date to be a bit fluffy which is sometimes where it can go a bit pear shaped unless he’s a guy who sees strong women as a replacement mother. Either way it won’t end well for me even though I do try. I try to be a good date and laugh in all the right places, ask questions even though most of the time I won’t get asked any, turn up all sparkly, well dressed even though it’s usually coffee, but unfortunately most of the time I know my date will be disappointed because I’m just not fluffy enough. I’m not someone who’s going to accept certain things that older men think is acceptable.

A fluffy woman will accept spending every Saturday night at his local social club where the only wine on offer is a disgusting chardonnay served warm from a keg, but then you might be asked did you want half a lager and lime?

A fluffy woman will listen while her date tells her about kicking off in the local supermarket because the price of baked beans has risen by two pence.

A fluffy woman will sit quietly while her date tells the old old jokes that comedians told back in the 70’s, and will dismiss watching programmes like Live at the Apollo and Comedy Central  as “new alternative comedy” which he hates.

A fluffy woman will also usually have to listen while he goes on about his ex and even though she’s now married to someone else he knows he can get her back tomorrow.

A fluffy woman knows that her man likes to be listened to, fussed over and feel that he is all she needs.

A fluffy woman knows her place. She dresses for her man and not for herself, so she’ll hardly ever be seen in trousers. She works part time, has no career aspirations and would be quite happy staying at home waiting for her King to come home after a hard day at the office. But fluffy women aren’t stupid. Some have probably dumbed themselves down as they realise that’s the only way of dealing with these dinosaurs  in order to get what she wants.

I’m not fluffy, I’m strong, opinionated and vocal and to be honest I’m probably getting worse as I get older and let’s face it, as we get older everyone just wants an easier life so I can’t really blame the guys for running a mile. I want an equal partnership without feeling as though I have to stroke someone’s ego when some woman has upset them by becoming Prime Minister/President. I don’t apologise for being who I am, what you see is what you get but there must be someone somewhere who can appreciate a full time goddess.

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Don’t listen to the rumours I’m not that bad, honest.

 

 

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Move Over Shirley Valentine

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ll know that I’ve just had a week in Ibiza. Alone. Not front page news but you would think so by some of the reactions I get when people find out that I went on my own. “But what did you do on your own?” is the most popular question, and I always reply with “Had a good time”.  I understand why it’s a big deal for some people but faced with the choice of having a week off work and waking up on Monday morning with rain in Manchester or sunshine in Ibiza it’s not really a difficult choice to make so off I went.

I like meeting new people and luckily for me I’m a good judge of character (although we all make mistakes ) but as much as I’m friendly I don’t want to be someone’s babysitter on holiday and now and again I have to be brutal. Ibiza this time proved to be a mix of a particularly needy, nasty excuse of a man, ladies who although holidaying on their own wanted someone to sort their entertainment  itinerary  and a lovely guy who wasn’t very confident on his first time on his own.

On my first evening there I was in the hotel restaurant when I noticed “D” on his own a couple of tables away. He seemed friendly to the staff and as I was sat “enjoying” the Spanish white wine that was so dry I wouldn’t have even put it on my chips, he came over to my table. “I’m out of my comfort zone, would you care to join me?” D was a similar age to me but not really my type, although the older you get the more you realise you have to diversify on that one. So I joined him where I found out he was an ex copper, been married twice and didn’t speak to either of his exes and didn’t seem to have a good relationship with any of his grown up children. He then went on to tell me about a very unhappy childhood, although he was waiting for his parents to join him a few days later. He didn’t seem to have many friends and when questioned about why he left the police he was extremely vague.

Alarm bells were ringing.

Sat on the terrace I listened to various tales of what happened while he was a copper, some of them interesting to be fair, when he suddenly decided we were going out somewhere. “No. It’s late, I just got here today and I’m tired. In fact I’m going to call it a night.” He pulled his face but I was already making my way back inside. “See you tomorrow” he said. Oh how right he was. The next day was a beautiful sunny day so I made my way to the beach where I soon realised I’d forgotten my sun cream. After an hour or so I left my towel on the sunbed and made my way back to the hotel and as I was sat in the bar area D came over. “Hey, where have you been? I’ve been looking for you.” Christ no. “Down at the beach, going back there in a while”. “Do you want some company?” I looked at him. “No. Quite happy on my own thanks”. But I could tell he was annoyed. “See you later then. What time are you going for dinner tonight?” “Not really sure, don’t want to commit to a time”. (but I’ll bet you’re going to wait for me) And he did. No idea how long he’d been there hanging around reception but when I finally showed up and went to the bar he was there like a flash. ” Hey D, you already been in?” ” No, I was waiting for you.” As we went in to the restaurant together he lifted my hand up to his mouth and kissed it.

That’s when I knew he had totally the wrong idea.

Something had changed and instead of talking about himself he chose to mention my trip to the beach. “You’re quite selfish aren’t you? I realised that this afternoon when you said you didn’t want company.” I laughed. ” And you’re obviously quite needy aren’t you D?”  He then told me how he was so irresistible that his last girlfriend had been 26 yrs old, absolutely gorgeous, but he let her choose her career over him. Not to mention the 62 year old neighbour who he bought a fridge freezer from who was forever texting him wanting him in her bed. “She likes them young” I stifled a yawn.”Wow. So in demand aren’t you?” He then decided to tell me how he was good at two things. “If we were in a terrorist attack I would get you out alive, no one else could.” I’m sure I must have looked doubtful at that information but he carried on. “And I’m really good in bed.”  That was it, enough is enough. ” Do you know what D? You’re making me feel really uncomfortable and actually, I don’t have to sit here and listen to this.” I got up and left him sat there at the table. Next time I saw him I said “Hi” but he just blanked me and did that the rest of the week I was there but it just amused me. Luckily for me he wasn’t the only person I spoke to.

As always we have the stereotypes that we all see on holiday. Such as the chavs who kicked off when they were told to cover up after trying to come into the restaurant in swim wear.

The guy who wore the same t shirt every day to every meal.

The three women who thought they were in their own version of  Real Housewives of Anywhere.

And the group of women with loads of kids who sat them all on a table with grandma at mealtimes so that they could have some fun in a different part of the restaurant.

But every time I’ve been away on my own the people who tell me “Oh I could do that. Totally on my own with no kids, husband, anyone” are always usually the ones who have never stepped outside their postcode without someone holding their hand.

Fact.

 

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Don’t You Wish You Were Me?

It would seem that I’m not the only one having difficulty in finding someone (half decent) in my age group. Kirstie Alley was quoted as saying that at 64, she can’t find many guys her age that haven’t had the life sucked out of them and that’s probably one of the reasons that older women end up dating younger men and while I agree she has a point, it could certainly be one reason but it’s not the only one.

Maybe after giving it their all in a couple of long relationships/marriages they’ve no energy to start again even though they might say they want to. They might have a couple of grandchildren that keep them busy keeping them going in a routine of after school football, dance classes, or even (wait for it) have young children of their own. More over 50’s than you think have got young children and while I certainly expect an older man to have grandchildren, it’s always a surprise when a date tells me he has a young child and being the shallow creature that I am, I run for the hills. Because at this stage of my life I’d like to be someone’s priority. I want someone who can be spontaneous and be ready to go somewhere at last minute if we fancy a weekend away without worrying about childcare and if that’s selfish then I hold my hand up but that’s the way it is.

Maybe some guys want a woman to pursue him, to try and convince him that she is what he wants if only he opened his eyes, made an effort, see what he’s missing. No thanks, I did enough of that in my late teens/early twenties. I will certainly not be running after anyone now unless they’ve nicked my handbag. At this stage of the game a man (and women) should know what they want, without playing games.

Maybe it’s because most women acknowledge how fabulous we still are while men seem to define themselves by what they were back in the day. Yes I like 70’s/80’s music but it’s not the only music I listen to, but so many guys put on their dating profile how much they listen to the songs that influenced their youth. Or that they were this big noise back in the day (which is fine) but surely you’ve moved on from that. Posting very old photos on dating profiles as well as recent ones just tells me you want us all to see how great you used to look but what’s the point? That was then and this is now, keep up guys.

Maybe it’s because men (and women) have become lazy and can’t be bothered in making the effort it takes to date. I now only meet guys for coffee which is sort of like a “pre date” in which we’ll decide if we actually want to go on a date. The choice isn’t always mine, sometimes I’m not what a date expected either but an hour spent in Costa is better than a few hours over drinks, trying to make small talk while some guy shows me pics of his car/caravan/motorbike/grandchildren/allotment.  You think I’m joking?

Or maybe it’s because well, we’re just older. I’ve lost count of the dates who when I’ve raised my eyebrows at their tale of being married 3 times have replied ” I just like wedding cake alright?”  The old jokes on the lolly sticks that I have to listen to on most dates I go on. The times that a date has cancelled/not turned up/ vanished on line after being told that I live with a gay man. The married guys who message and say they’re not happy and they’re looking for someone who’s understanding. The dates who have daughters and will not think twice about taking a phone call in the middle of your date and having to rush off because  one of them needs tea bags. The widowers who are desperate to replace their wife. The guys who are bored with retirement but will only meet in the peak times they can use their free bus pass. The guys who just want a companion to go on holiday with. The guys who would be great in a pub quiz as they know everything about nothing, and the guys who say they’re looking for “anything.”

But not all guys are like this.

Some guys are witty, funny, interesting, looking for the same thing that I am, but they don’t want me or vice versa for whatever reason. That’s just the way it is in this dating game but I’ve not thrown the towel in yet.

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Anything For Nothing

As this week in work has been more chaotic than usual due to the 25% off clothing promotion, it makes me realise that anything that’s on offer, or even worse free, actually brings out the worst in people. I’ve worked in retail a long time, usually in ladies fashion and have only worked in a supermarket for the past 5 years but have watched as seemingly level headed people become selfish and demanding once they think they’re having something for nothing. You only have to see how people are when they see a stand set up in a supermarket with little samples on, depending on what’s on offer means that maybe they don’t have to feed the kids that night if they go back enough times for a freebie.

Working in retail over the years I’ve seen some things, not all people react in the same way to freebies, offers and promotions, but quite a few show the same behaviour. For some reason all logic and reason goes out of the window and some people seem to think they have a sense of entitlement, demanding that they have a particular item at a much lower price because there’s a speck of dust on it, a button missing, or even the wrong colour.

I’ve seen people clear a shelf of a sale item and then ask “Is there any more in the back?”

I’ve seen people make an actual complaint because there wasn’t a particular size they wanted on the sale rail and what was my name again?

I’ve had someone who, not being happy with the colour of a free belt, ask would I phone the Trafford centre on a Saturday afternoon where there was another store and ask them to check if they have the colour she wanted.

I’ve had a total stranger ask me if I would use my discount to help them buy their wife a new coat.

I’ve had someone complain that they’re not happy with the quality of a pair of free flip flops.

But it’s not only retail.  Years ago I had a part time job in a pub restaurant as well as a full time job (initially to pay for a holiday abroad with the kids) and it would seem that restaurants have the same problem. If you complain enough about the food/service/drinks then you are likely to get some money knocked off your bill with maybe a voucher for a free meal if you really kick off.

Doesn’t matter if you’ve ordered a meal  with a different sauce that you’re used to and decide you don’t like it.

Doesn’t matter if a rowdy table are abusive to the waiting staff and decide in their drunken state that actually they’re not paying the bill.

Doesn’t matter if you’ve told the waiter/waitress that you want your steak well done and remembered too late that you like it medium.

Doesn’t matter if your ex is in the same restaurant as you with his/her new partner.

Doesn’t matter that you don’t like the peas with your fish and chips.

It really doesn’t matter because apparently all these (and more) are valid reasons to kick off and dispute the amount you’ve been charged because people know if they complain loud enough, stamp their feet and throw a tantrum they will get what they want which is usually free drinks and a promise for a free meal any time they want. But that says more about that particular customer than the product on offer but it doesn’t change anything because sadly, it’s a sign of the times.

Now please can someone pass me the wine.

 

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Every Girl Loves A Grand Gesture.

Anyone watching The X Factor last Saturday night would have seen one of the contestants go down on bended knee to ask his girlfriend to marry him after they had just sang their hearts out in front of the judges. The couple have been together six whole months which is, for some reason, round about the time when some people  decide to make a life long commitment to each other, usually involving an engagement ring or moving in together. Six months is nothing in a relationship, especially when you’re talking about being together for ever. Six months means you probably don’t know the other person as well as you think you do, seeing as how you’ve both been on your best behaviour initially and showing off your best side. In six months it’s very unlikely you’ve had to face a crisis that will show you if your intended has character, if you can rely on them and that they’re in your corner.  In six months it’s more likely to be pure lust and being nice to each other, hearts and flowers, and planning your first holiday together. But it wasn’t the short time that this particular couple have been together that bothered me, it was the grand gesture.

Instead of making it a special occasion with maybe just the two of them, this guy made sure it was on national television in front of millions of people, and there’s a reason for that. Not only would it have been difficult for his girlfriend to refuse, but it’s a reason to be noticed, to be seen as romantic, committed and a thoroughly nice guy. Most grand gestures are for the rest of the world to see, not for the recipient. Grand gestures are when a guy sends flowers to where his partner works (usually as an apology) so that her work place can see how much he loves her and how happy they are. Or booking a romantic weekend away but making sure everyone knows on every social media platform. Grand gestures are when a relationship is failing and as a last ditch attempt he or she will book an expensive holiday for them both, buy a puppy or even book a wedding. Grand gestures are when there’s a marriage proposal in a crowded restaurant, on a busy beach, at a football match or anywhere where there is a lot of people to witness it. With so much pressure it’s unlikely that  the recipient will refuse, even though they might have doubts.

Some grand gestures are made to force a commitment, while others are a genuine way of trying to tell their partners how much they love them. Only the recipient would know which is which. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not averse to the odd grand gesture, if it’s done for the right reasons it’s great.

Just hope that any future husband of mine  doesn’t think a trip to see the illuminations at Blackpool is the right place to propose.

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Mistaken Identity

A few days ago I had a new follower on twitter who said he was a pay pig, a term not everyone is familiar with but as I know of a couple of people who do have them, I was curious to find out more. I was aware that they buy gifts for their favourite girls from an Amazon wish list, pay money into a lucky girl’s bank account, and some girls actually make a living from this so what goes on?

A pay pig is also known as a cash slave, human ATM or a cash piggie  who looks for a mistress online, this is an extreme form of BDSM but as there is no sex required a lot of girls soon want their very own pay pig and you can see why. Pay pigs are submissive who like to be humiliated, manipulated, seduced and quite a few like to be blackmailed by a woman who is known as a Fin Dom, a financial dominatrix. Forget 50 shades with whips, chains and bondage, a guy getting “wallet raped” is as real as it gets, handing over your wife’s mobile phone number so you can be blackmailed and handing over your credit card and money at the same time is the ultimate female domination for some men. A woman can dictate how much he can spend a week on himself  (which is usually not a great deal) while keeping the rest for herself.

So how did this guy find me? It was a case of mistaken identity that’s how. Obviously he was scrolling through the goddess hashtag on twitter and as I use it on my twitter bio (First Dates Goddess) he thought I was someone else. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I thought my new place on the Quays was at the expense of someone’s family having to eat beans on toast every night.

Looks like I won’t be giving that paper round up just yet.

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Watching From The Sidelines.

Well what a week it’s been on Twitter with all the drama about the blogging community, how other bloggers are to each other, he said she said, and after reading a couple of interesting posts about it, here’s what I’ve noticed on good old Twitter.

You won’t know me. I don’t go to any bloggers conventions, or promote any brands. I’m not a beauty blogger, mummy blogger or travel blogger.  I don’t go out in restaurants and write a review about the food, or get invited to openings of the latest place to be seen in, or any event for that matter. I don’t have thousands of followers on my social platforms so no brand  would be interested in collaborating with me to promote anything. I started as a dating blogger and my blog has evolved into writing about my life really, (as well as dates) but as I’m an older blogger I probably don’t “do as well” as all the other younger bloggers, and that’s fine by me.

My blog got me a job writing for Metro for a year, an appearance on Channel 4 First Dates and a double page spread in an issue of Woman magazine earlier this year, featured on Rip Off Britain, a regular spot on a local TV station ( where I talk about stuff I don’t know much about) and hopefully a repeat performance on BBC Radio Manchester. As well as dating I’ll blog about what I’ve done in my life, emigrating to Australia, living in Gibraltar in my early twenties, and about working for Playboy. All boring stuff for younger bloggers to read, but again that’s fine by me as I like to people watch and Twitter is great for that. Which is why I can see exactly what’s been going on.

I myself am following a couple of bloggers who’ve started climbing higher with lots more followers and if I interact at all with them now, I’ll get a “like” instead of a reply. It must be hard trying to reply to lots of people who make a comment on something you’ve tweeted, but a lot of the time that isn’t the case, there might be myself and one or two others. I’ve followed  a few girls who promote a certain brand of clothing I like but have unfollowed when there has been zero response from them. I’ve had to unfollow a couple of girls who’ve had a TV appearance and not even had the decency to “like” a comment I’ve tweeted to them where at one time we were always chatting in DMs. It would seem that there’s nothing like having a load of followers to turn a girl’s head. I can’t speak about what goes on at events as I don’t go, but I would imagine it’s very competitive between everyone, hoping that certain brands will choose a particular blogger to work with.  But I will say this.

To all the dating bloggers in their 20’s/30’s there is only one Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones. Don’t try to emulate them, be yourself.

To all the mummy bloggers out there, how the hell do you find the time to blog about what Archie/Felicity had for tea? Or which nappies to use/ clothes to buy/wipes to use. Maybe if Twitter had been around when my kids were small I wouldn’t have been giving them burnt Findus crispy pancakes with spaghetti hoops. Maybe.

To all  the food/drink reviewers, do you find that you have to starve yourselves all day? I’ll be honest, I’d get fed up with having to go out nine nights a week but I suppose it saves on food bills.

To all the bloggers in their thirties who write about embracing your age and you can’t wait until you’re in your 50’s as it’s going to be great, SHUT UP. You don’t have a clue what it’s like and yes, even you will be invisible.

To all the bloggers who have set themselves up as a self proclaimed inspiration for other women and say you can have it all. Having a part time job, 2.4 children, a husband and a home to look after does not make you a role model.

To all the beauty bloggers, I actually like you. I might not be up for trying out a lot of the products but now and again something will catch my eye that I think I must have. If Nivea are up for collaborating with a woman who has used their product for years I’m your woman.

I have found that there are cliques anywhere that there is a group of people, and Twitter is no exception but as someone who is watching from the sidelines whenever I see someone is getting too big for their boots I will give them a couple of chances then it’s delete and move on,  no exceptions, there is no excuse for bad manners. Funnily enough it seems to be when they hit the 6000 followers mark, when the diva behaviour seems to start. We all have egos as we’re bloggers, but let’s just remember ladies this is supposed to be fun.

Now someone pass me the wine.

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Too Cool For School

So a brand new themed bar/restaurant has opened in Manchester and judging by the pics and videos I’ve seen, it looks amazing. With lots going on which includes aerial dancers that will pour the champagne into your glass from above, cocktails being served with a burning £20 note, not to mention a catwalk, and with even the waiting staff doing some sort of a performance, the Menagerie is set to be the next place to be seen in. I can’t wait to see it but it would seem my invitation to the opening night didn’t get lost in the post, I’m just not enough of a Z lister to make the cut even though I can be as pretentious as the rest of the people who this place will undoubtedly attract.

It all started with going to the local youth club where most of the kids on the estate ended up going on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A place that had a record player playing vinyl records of whatever was in the charts, with all the girls showing off their moves on the dance floor in the latest outfit bought by the money they’d earned babysitting. The boys of course were in groups either playing pool or darts, or stood around watching the girls, and if they liked one of them then maybe he’d buy her a soft drink and a packet of crisps out of the money he earned doing his paper round. From the youth club, it progressed to the under 18’s disco which was a whole different ball game. Now you’re meeting a lot of new people in a much bigger venue and there was a lot of competition between the girls to impress the lads who were allowed upstairs to drink alcohol from the bar. By now, the outfits you were buying weren’t from the local market but from decent shops in town, usually trying to buy something no one else had to stand out from the crowd. This is probably around the time you try to get served in pubs, or sit in a corner and send the lad who looks old enough to get served who ends up buying drinks for everyone, no one asked for ID in those days, more like the question “What’s your date of birth?”  with the drink of choice being half a cider and blackcurrant or half a lager and lime.

By the time you’re 17/18 is around the time when you decide if you’re happy to stay in your home town going out to the handful of bars/clubs available every week or maybe see what the nearest big city has to offer. There’s always been pretentious bars in Manchester and the boyfriend I had at the time took me to probably all of them, and I loved it so much that there was no turning back for me. Standing there, looking fab, being seen, pretending that you’re somebody while all the time people watching to see if you recognise anyone. Paying far too much for your drinks and noticing that not many people actually laugh or have fun as they’re too busy being fabulous dahling. But these aren’t the best nights.

The best nights are in the dives where they play the best music, drinks are cheap, and you can really let your hair down. Where you end up going home with a cigarette burn in your dress, lipstick smudged all over your face where you’ve been kissing random guys, and one shoe missing. Where your feet hurt because you’ve been dancing all night, holding a bottle of beer because they don’t do fancy cocktails. Where you’ve ended up chatting with people who you would never usually meet in the places you go to, who actually have a tale to tell. Where you’ve had such a good time if only you could remember it. These are the best nights.

But I am looking forward to seeing this new fabulous place, but I won’t be going at the weekend, I’m certainly not going to risk anyone thinking I’ve got lost on the way to bingo. No, I’ll be going on my day off, sometime in the afternoon when I won’t feel out of place, when it’s quieter and the fabulous attention seeking people aren’t there. Yes I won’t be seeing the theatrical performance put on at the weekends but I can still appreciate the surroundings and if anyone is there at the same time and wants to buy a fabulous former “it” girl a drink, I’ll have a white wine spritzer with soda thank you.

Cheers.

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It’s Not Me It’s You.

When you’ve been single for a while (ok, a long time) after a while you start to think that maybe, just maybe, it could be that the problem is you. Perhaps being too chatty on dates, or too quiet, wearing the wrong outfit, being too loud, not really giving someone a chance, not really listening, you can focus on any number of things but then I think back to some of the dates I’ve been on.

To the guys who can’t decide where to meet (most of them) let me tell you that a woman wants a man to take charge so it’s a bit of a turn off when I’m making all the arrangements for a first date.

To the guys who would rather I went to meet them at their local pub on a first date because they get a nosebleed if they go out of their comfort zone, let me tell you that already, you’re not making me feel that I’m worth the effort.

To the homophobic, ignorant, vile narrow minded guys who say they don’t understand how I could live with a gay man, and I probably won’t find anyone because of it, there are no words.

To the guys who say I would have been perfect if I was three inches taller/blonde hair/thinner/younger I say have you looked in a mirror lately because that moisturiser isn’t working.

To the guys who assume that there will be sex on the first date so you’ve booked a hotel room, you’ll never know how good it could have been.

To the guys who’ve apparently got in a relationship in the two days between organising a date with me and meeting up, I hope she’s got a couple of kids you didn’t know about.

To the guys who post the (only) picture on their profile that’s a few years old, please don’t. There’s not always a first aider around when we meet and I nearly die from shock when I see that you’ve lost all your hair and are three stone heavier.

To the guys who seem up for a laugh and then turn into a grumpy old man who complains about everything from the price of the parking to the price of a coffee on a date, let me tell you, it makes you unattractive.

To the guys who say they’re not really looking for someone then text/message every other minute asking how you are, what are you doing, when are you seeing them again, sort your head out.

To all the young guys who ask do I have a problem with the age gap? The answer is yes, please don’t be offended but I’ve probably got tights older than you.

To all the guys who’ve shown me pics and videos on our date of their now deceased partner, or new car, golf clubs, and even grandkids, it was probably my yawning that put you off.

And to the guy who forgot my name on a date on national television. Well, we all know the answer to that one.

So after careful consideration and realising that not every one is on the same page, I’ve come to a conclusion.

It’s not me, it’s you.

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Deluded.

Being the hardened, cynical serial dater that I am, I like to think that I can spot a scammer a mile off, but apparently not everyone can read between the lines. This past week has seen quite a few on one particular dating site that I use and they all use the same template, in that they are a General in the United States Army, have pets, and state that religion is very important to them. One photo of course (which won’t be them) and a beautifully written profile in perfect English that goes out of the window when you actually exchange messages. Like I say, I can spot ’em a mile off but it does seem that women of a certain age get sucked in after I heard a story this week that involved a woman buying a holiday for the two of them (thinking he was going to pay) and only hearing alarm bells when he said he needed a short term loan. A holiday with a guy she’d never met, who lives in America but works in Dubai, who apparently earned mega bucks, what was she thinking? He never turned up for the holiday by the way.

These deluded women are also the type who write to guys on death row. Women who should know better who’ve been married (maybe more than once) had relationships, and maybe feel that it gets harder to find someone when you get older, thinking that their best years are behind them, maybe they’ve lost a lot of confidence and so any guy who pays them a bit of attention is latched on to. I get it, I really do, but hopefully common sense would kick in at some point instead of deluding themselves into thinking that they  have now found their soulmate in a man who’s murdered someone, living thousands of miles away with a cat in hell’s chance of getting out of prison alive.

Oh the romance.

And that’s exactly it. Getting involved with someone on death row means he’ll never cheat, you know exactly where he is at all times and it’s all hearts and flowers  as there’s going to be a limited time on this relationship. It’s all high drama, saving like mad to get over to Texas to see the guy you’ve sent a thousand letters to, had a thousand phone conversations with, and who will always be innocent of the heinous crime that he’s actually on death row for. “They don’t know my Jimmy like I do. He’d never hurt a fly”. But he did. In fact he did a lot more than that but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good Mills&Boon romance because that will spoil everything. He’s everything you’ve ever wanted because it’s not real. Running around with a placard protesting his innocence will not change anything, will not make anyone revoke his death sentence, will not make the families of the victims forgive and forget, but you know this. Because really, you don’t want him to be found innocent and become a free man, the attraction for these women is the fact it’s not a real relationship, it’s going nowhere and they can be a death row widow and pretend that they have lost the love of their life.

Deluded much.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong, I should be writing to “One eared Frank” in Strangeways asking him where he stashed the bottles of vodka he nicked from a supermarket (565th offence) and promising him I’ll take him for a breakfast at McDonalds when he gets out. But I’ll be refusing to go on the precinct with him, a girl has to have some standards.

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What I Did On My Holidays

Not a lot, but that was supposed to be the whole point, so it did mean that I could indulge in one of my favourite things to do, which is people watching. In a large, busy hotel I had plenty to watch and sad to say, a few of the usual stereotypes were in evidence as they are in any all inclusive hotel.

You’re always going to get the mums and dads who, having been high-fived by one of the animation team, now think that they’re best mates and won’t leave Jose/Giuseppe/Lucy alone, even pushing their own kids out of the way to get a photo taken with their new bestie. Alternatively you always get that one kid who goes and follows the team everywhere, signing up for everything and not making friends with any of the other kids as they’re too busy stalking.

I watched parents with questionable parenting skills in the restaurant, allowing a child to watch a dvd on a portable player, or playing computer games, while everyone on the table is having dinner, and watched as mum or dad even fed the child instead of making the 4/5/6 year old feed themselves. God forbid there’s any interaction and learning  table manners.

I watched as a large group of Germans dragged a number of sunbeds and every available parasol to make their own version of Ocean Beach, playing loud music on their own sound system which was competing with the thousand decibels being played out by the hotel sound system, while parading around with a bottle of vodka bought in the local supermarket. In an all inclusive hotel.

I watched as a young dad gave his two year old son a glass full of orange juice, and as he left him for a moment to get his own drink, the little boy dropped the glass spilling the drink everywhere. I watched as a quick thinking cleaner working nearby, reached out and grabbed the boy by the hood of his beach towel stopping him from slipping and falling on the glass. And I watched as the dad turned around just at that moment and glared at the cleaner, instead of thanking her for saving his son from having a nasty accident.

I watched too many young girls and guys thinking they were super hot, probably thinking they should be on Love Island, parading around, but with the personality of a cobweb.

I watched as impatient people waited for the chains to be unlocked on the sunbeds in the morning. which would only happen when the cleaners had finished sweeping and cleaning around the pool so it was a nicer environment to sunbathe in. One morning, someone figured out how to get the sunbeds off with the chains still on and I’m ashamed to say it was a British person who then proceeded to take the sunbeds off while the cleaners begged him to wait for five minutes while they finished their job.

I’ve watched while a man has wanted me and my daughter to leave a table outside as he insisted he have it as he had a baby in a pram even though he was with a party of six or seven of them and our table could only seat four (at a push).

But I didn’t see everything.

On the last morning of the holiday, I went and reserved our sunbeds by the pool as we weren’t getting picked up until about 6 o’clock. We probably spent more time than we should having breakfast and packing our stuff ready to go home, so when we finally made it to the sunbeds our towels were gone and two people were using the beds. On a mission to find the towels I saw a manager walking around and asked her where they were likely to be. She sent me to the bar by the pool, who subsequently sent me to reception, and they sent me to the lifeguard who didn’t understand a word I said. So I didn’t see who swiped the towels, and I never got them back, so needless to say they’re probably getting rented out by the hotel to people who’ve had the same thing happen to them.

What can I say, I might  have been distracted by one of the fitties parading around in his trunks at the time it happened.

Maybe.

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As The Mother Of A Gay Son.

While the pieces are being put together as to why Omar Mateen decided to go to Pulse nightclub in Orlando Florida and open fire on innocent people, let’s just take a minute and remind ourselves that although we live in the 21st century, being LBGT is not as tolerated as we all like to think it is. While it might not be against the law anymore to be gay, it doesn’t mean that society likes it, while a lot of people tolerate and even embrace a good night out spinning around to Kylie, the same amount (if not more) will actively voice their concern about “deviant behaviour”. As if.

When my son was born 30 years ago, it didn’t cross my mind for one second that he might be gay, I was just concerned that everything was working ok, all the usual stuff that new mums worry about, but it never ever crosses your mind that your child might be “different”. If they’re going to be different, it will be because they are smarter than all the rest of the class, become a brain surgeon, top class athlete, hell, even Prime Minister, but gay? That was never in the game plan. But mothers always know. Mothers notice little things that make you start to wonder, and then the worry starts, not that you weren’t always worrying about your child getting run over, falling off a cliff, being abducted by aliens, but this is a different worry. Because you know that your child will have a harder journey than most now, and whenever they step out of the door once they’re older, are they going to come home being beaten up after falling foul of a group of ignorant, homophobic bigots who’ve probably grown up in a household of hatred towards anyone different. It sickens me to know that there are people out there willing to give my beautiful boy a “good kicking” or even worse, when they don’t even know him. Not that anyone is flaunting it. Gay men are usually reluctant to be seen showing public displays of affection because of not being sure of people’s reaction, they know that for some people it is seen as a step too far to witness two men holding hands in public, never mind kissing, how sad is that? We haven’t come as far as people like to think we have, any LGBT person will tell you that.

As an older woman who is doing online dating, I’ve found that the main reason I’m single, (apart from the fact I’m too picky) is that a lot of men my age are homophobic. While some might pay lip service and say they don’t actually mind gay men, it’s usually because they don’t know any. That view sometimes changes when I say I live with a gay man, and have lots of gay friends, all of a sudden they decide they’re not really comfortable with that. And that’s fine. I need to know pretty early on what their views are as there is no way I can tolerate anyone who uses the words “queer”, “faggot”, “scum” and any number of derogatory words  to describe not only my friends but my flesh and blood. Absolute deal breaker.

So here we are. Fifty men shot dead for being gay and over fifty more injured, every mother’s nightmare as this is what every mother fears for her gay son, some idiot seeking retribution against something they don’t understand, or even want to. My heart goes out to all those mothers who have lost their beautiful boy for being “different”.

Some things won’t change.

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Memoirs Of A Playboy Bunny Part Two.

Right, so where were we? Having been given three costumes to put in my locker it was time to learn the job, and as I was to be working on both reception and the restaurant I would be learning how to do the famous “bunny dip.” This would involve carrying a tray of drinks with one hand, above shoulder level, and once reaching the table leaning  backwards but facing away from the table to pick each drink up and somehow twist around to place it on the table without spilling it all over someone. This took time to learn but it’s not something you ever feel really comfortable with doing as you were always thinking that today would be the day it all went wrong. Another hazard of the job was the bunny tail. Held on with press studs I sometimes lost my tail when I was trying to squeeze between tables, I’d go one way and my tail would go another, but there was always someone willing to put it back on for me as you can imagine.

The restaurant I worked in attracted a lot of business men who were members of the club, they would bring clients there hoping to impress (and it never failed) as the food was great and would usually leave a generous tip when they paid for their meal but as it was going to be shared with every single person that worked there, as well as being taxed on, it was highly unlikely you would ever see much of it. The same thing happened in every bar and in the casino, so no matter if you were given a tip everyone had to hand them in.Wearing the costume I was wearing meant there was really no place to put them so it was a case of handing them in, and hoping that it was a good month so that everyone else working there had also done well with tips.

I always worked on reception on Saturday nights, the night when a lot of the members would bring their wives as there was always a good act on in the main entertainment room, then a lot of people would make their way downstairs to the casino for a flutter, a good night out apparently. The guys who were members of the club usually treated the girls with respect, some were professional gamblers so to be honest, you were just part of the furniture to them as they were there to try and make money, it was always the visitors/guests who were the problem who sometimes tried to over step the mark but a word in their ear by a manager would usually calm things down. The thing with Saturday nights though, it was the women who were brought in as guests who were the problem. As their husband/partner/boyfriend signed them in you could see them really eyeing you up, but you had to bite your tongue because it wasn’t your place to tell them that don’t worry, you’re really not interested in someone who spends all their money (and probably yours) gambling.

I rarely worked in the casino, I helped out a few times serving drinks but I find it weird that there’s never any windows or clocks, a foolproof way to make gamblers lose track of time so that they always try one more time to get their money back. But I did see a guy lose an awful lot of money once which resulted in him losing his restaurant in Chinatown. At the time I worked there it was the early 80’s, so the casino seemed to attract a lot of young  guys who had come over from the Arab states, who were here for an education but had more money than they knew what to do with.  They all had the flash cars but as none of were allowed to accept a lift home from anyone (instant dismissal) it was always the bus for me. The club was situated on Canal Street Manchester which is now the infamous gay village, but at that time there were only a couple of gay bars, which are still there, so it wasn’t too far from the bus station to get the bus home when I finished at 4am. The annoying bit was waiting for two hours before the first bus of the day arrived at 6am, you can imagine the drunks and undesirables hanging around at that time.

Another time, another place, another life.

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Don’t Try This At Home

After watching the programme “Party Pensioners” on channel 5 a couple of days ago, it would seem that there is a (hopefully small) group of people who are refusing to grow old quietly. Women who will do anything to get noticed, to get attention, who are prepared to lose their dignity and don’t seem to realise how ridiculous they look. I’m all for not blending into the background just because you get older, when it seems that you are on the periphery of people’s vision but they don’t actually see you anymore as you have nothing to offer. No young hot body, no mind blowing ideas, no fashion sense, no idea of what’s going on in the world, no use to anyone, but it would seem that some people are prepared to go above and beyond under the guise of “eccentric, outrageous, wild and wacky”.

As a society we are living longer so the definition of middle aged has changed. Older women are still working, have their own money and are hopefully enjoying life as much as they were 30 years previously, just in a different way. Kids have left home which gives you the time to pursue new/old hobbies and anyone with half a brain is still interested in what’s going on around them, which means you’re open to new ideas, finding your way around new technology, and can probably hold your own in a political debate (maybe).  Just because the shops only cater for the young fashionistas doesn’t mean you’re not interested in fashion anymore, it just makes it more difficult to find what you like as you’re more likely to want to cover up rather than reveal. The mirror might show an older version of you but we all know the truth, inside you’re on the dance floor of that dodgy club when you were 21, on holiday in Benidorm with the girls and choosing which guy you were going to go home with that night.

Everybody fears getting older because of how society sees older people. Instead of seeing it as a chance to try new things, make new friends and maybe broadening our horizons with travelling, we worry that no one will value our opinion anymore, no one listens to what we have to say which is ironic. We have lived through a lot of  life experiences which means that chances are we can empathise with some of what life will throw at you. Been there done that comes to mind. But then again what do we know?

What most people want to do though is just enjoy life. Everyone’s idea of enjoying life is different, how everyone copes with getting older is different, which brings me back to the women who choose a different path than most. Andy Warhol once said that everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame and he’s not wrong. With so many reality shows, documentary programmes etc, it would seem that for most people they can have their 15 minutes but because of the fame hungry culture we’re in some people want more. I’m not against people applying for these shows (how can I, I was on one myself) it’s the situation they put themselves in. It’s one thing being shown on a date, fully clothed in a nice restaurant, quite another to be shown legs akimbo  and writhing around the floor thinking you’re giving Beyonce a run for her money. Or maybe giving burlesque dancing a try when you’re over 80, flashing your knickers at everyone at the end of the show, all being shown on tv of course. There are no hard and fast rules but please ladies, where is your dignity? Surely no one wants to see anyone over 60 making an utter fool of themselves in order for them to feel as though they’re no longer invisible, (or anonymous as one of the “ladies” said). Everyone likes to think they’ll grow old disgracefully but hopefully people will draw the line at attention seeking, ridiculous behaviour.

Different strokes for different folks but one thing I do know. I could clear a room in 10 seconds if I took my clothes off. Fact.

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That’s Not My Name

Everybody has a name. It was given to you by your parents when you were born, and sometimes at school your name might be changed to a nickname but legally your name is what it says on your birth certificate, unless as a woman you change it to your husband’s surname  when you get married. Believe it or not it’s not compulsory to do this, it’s not the law but most women do it as “it’s easier”, not sure how but it does seem to be expected.

After the initial excitement of writing out your new name wears off, a new bride might start to feel a bit strange. It’s a bit like having a new identity but you’re not sure what this new one’s about and the weird thing is that after a while you miss having your old name mainly because that name is associated with everything you’ve ever done. That name is what every person you ever met knew you as, friends from school, first boyfriend, first job, first holiday with the girls etc. That name defined who you were and it’s sometimes really difficult to get used to being someone else, although a new married name can sometimes bring it’s own firsts such as a house, new baby, new set of friends and a new life.

One of the first things some women want to do though if she gets divorced is to revert straight back to her maiden name. It’s a way of reclaiming back her identity and moving on from a failed marriage and it is actually a straightforward process, but some women hesitate if they have children, only because they won’t have the same surname as their kids. I thought long and hard about this one and decided to still use my married name but the thing is this. I’ve now had my married name longer than I had my maiden name but I’ve always been the same person. With my married name I feel that I’ve done so much more even though I’ve been divorced for years, but that name now is who I am and I will never change it even if Prince Charming’s grandad comes along to sweep me off my feet. Luckily for me I still have friends who knew me long ago before any us were married. A different life, a different name, and different men and whenever I meet any of them we’re all right back there, we remember who we used to be when we had a maiden name,  young women who were fearless, confident, optimistic, giddy, thinking that we’ll never get old as we were far too cool for that. Over 35 years later and we all still think we’re the same now as we were then. Changing your name (or the passage of time) shouldn’t change who you are.

Life’s far too short for that.

 

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Walking With Dinosaurs.

I’ve learned a lot while I’ve been dating dinosaurs. While some can exceed expectations, on the whole they are creatures of habit and like to stick to a routine no matter how many times they insist that they are “spontaneous, adventurous, not ready for pipe and slippers yet”. I beg to differ. While it’s true that as we age we still think that we’re 18, for some of these guys I think it might be 15 as sometimes it feels like we’re still playing the game, 60 year old men still keeping their options open even though they’re having a good time with you. No matter how many different men try to convince you that they’re looking for their last first date they will be off in a flash if a woman under 45 years old bats an eyelash in their direction.  As I have found that the same problems keep cropping up no matter what it says on someone’s profile, here’s an idea of what it’s like for a woman over 50 to be dating.

Where to meet.

As I live quite close to the centre of Manchester it’s easy for me to ask if someone is happy to meet up there and this is when the fun starts. I have rarely had a guy take control as hardly any of them ever venture into the city as “there’s no point”. Most of the guys live not too far from Manchester but as they’ve usually never been there in the last few years they aren’t really confident about where to meet. Could I recommend anywhere that’s not too noisy, not too expensive and not too far from the tram/bus stop? Because Manchester is so busy isn’t it? A thriving, busy, metropolis of people that my date will feel out of place in. So that puts paid to the bit on their profile that says “Young at heart.” but for me that tells me already he’s not for me.

Dating Apps.

I would love to be on some of these dating apps like Bumble, Happn, Voicecandy but what’s the point when I know that there will be virtually no men my age on any of them, so let’s stick to what we know shall we guys, like messaging on Plenty of Fish until someone just disappears or maybe just wants a pen friend, then there’s OK Cupid where you get messages from a load of men who live in America/Ireland/Tymbuktu. So that puts paid to the bit on their profile that says “Willing to try something new.”

Trendy dressers.

I always get a bit nervous when someone describes themselves as a trendy dresser, as it usually means that because they get their socks from Topman it now makes them trendy. Nothing wrong with that until they turn up in a black polo neck top and black smart trousers looking like they still work as a doorman at some nightclub that got knocked down years ago, along with the obligatory gold chain and pinky ring. Or the striped shirt that’s skin tight tucked into black trousers, or even a fleece with jeans and a gelled up hairstyle that would be the envy of any 25 year old male. We’re all older, hopefully we’ve developed our own style but still dressing like we did 30 years ago, well, I’ll never get used to that.

Unsolicited Bus Timetable Pics

I don’t get the pictures of a man’s anatomy, I get a picture of the bus timetable and the question “Which bus/tram will you be on?” He usually has an appointment at his local pub at some point so he needs to plan accordingly. In fact this dinosaur usually wants me to meet him at his usual watering hole so he doesn’t have to move out of his habitat. Which puts paid to the bit on his profile that says “Will relocate for the right woman.”

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This guy is a bit of  an action man with pics of him running/kayaking/zip-wiring/ climbing mountains so it’s highly likely that he doesn’t have much time for you. Most weekends he’s likely to be cycling, fell walking and maybe camping which puts paid to the bit on his profile that says “Loves to cuddle up on the sofa and watch TV.”

Peter Pan.

Any guy who still looks half decent will be in a last ditch attempt to try and attract the 35 year old that he still thinks he can get. So while you might be getting on great he’s still holding out for the woman who looks and dresses a damn sight better than you and will be at least 20 years younger. He will never settle so don’t waste your time although eventually he’ll probably go and see what Thailand has to offer, and let’s face it, you can’t compete with that.

Egos.

Some men just want to spend the whole date talking about themselves, they won’t want to hear about you and will tell you all about the interesting things they’ve done in their life. At some point they might ask you “So, have you done anything interesting?” You will definitely never see them again when you tell them, especially when it’s a lot more interesting than anything they’ve ever done. What they really want you to say is “Yes, went out twice today. Once to put the rubbish out, and once to the corner shop.”

There are many types of guys and while this is older guys I’m referring to the same might apply to the younger ones. Some things don’t change.

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A Red Letter Week

Not going to lie I’ve had a really good week and even though I was working over the bank holiday weekend it didn’t really dampen the good mood I’ve been in. Twitter (of course) was at the start of it when after a bit of banter with the lovely author Amanda Prowse she then cast her eyes over a couple of blog posts and let me know that she liked it, a brilliant start to Monday morning as far as I was concerned.

Tuesday I knew that the new edition of Woman magazine which was about to hit the shelves, had a two page feature of yours truly in it so I was really excited about that. As well as a photo there was a bit of a dating diary to give an idea of what it’s really like to be dating over 50. A lot of people at work were really nice about it and pointed out that it was a lovely photo that made me look a lot better than I usually look. I should hope so, it took the talented lady who did my hair and make up absolutely ages to produce the end result and I loved it. Having said that she usually does the make up for some of the young “Coronation Street” stars when it’s a red carpet event and I certainly didn’t look as good as them but it’s only make up, not magic, or maybe it’s the 30 years plus between us?  Let’s just say that on that particular day, Sally Rowe made me look and feel a million dollars.

Wednesday I caught up with Richard my housemate after we both got home late that night and he admitted that he’s really fallen for his new boyfriend who he’s been seeing for a couple of weeks. I know I know, only a couple of weeks but his fella has been staying over at weekend and as I have a prime ringside seat I have watched this romance from day one. I’ve watched my housemate get giddy when he comes off the phone from talking with this guy, showing me (the same) pics of him and asking “Is he fit?” He is Richard, he is but I like the fact that this guy makes you so happy, makes you put your pinny on and cook meals from scratch for him, makes you wait impatiently for weekend so that you can spend time together and plan trips away/holidays/when to tell respective families that you are now an item. I like the fact that your new boyfriend makes you feel special, makes you catch your breath, your heart flutter, makes you nervous and all the other things that people feel when they’re in love. I love that you have found this and I’m just the tiniest bit envious.

As much as I am dating I am not looking for “the one”. The men in my age group have been married a couple of times and I think it’s safe to say that (hopefully) we’re all realistic enough to know that there is more than one person in this world who would make us happy. To project all our hopes and dreams onto one person is too much pressure, by now, especially at my age, we should have maybe realised that if we can find someone who we can relate to, laugh with, make plans with and all the rest we are lucky. That doesn’t mean I’ll lower my standards by any means, I don’t want to sit in every night and “watch a film and cuddle on the sofa” or hold hands walking to the corner shop while he gets his beer and fags, but the pool I’m fishing in is a lot smaller than anyone else’s, I do know that.

What I do know is that it’s highly unlikely I will find someone who sets my soul on fire and I’ve accepted that. I don’t like it, but I’ve accepted it. So when I see the two love birds cast knowing glances at each other, a caress from one to the other as they brush past each other, a private joke, an impromptu romantic night away in a hotel, as much as I love seeing them together, it’s a reminder of days gone by for me.

My life’s not over by any means but I’m pretty sure the romance is.

Good job I’ve got a good memory.

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A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

One of the downsides of getting older is that sometimes you can lose your confidence a bit. You’re not as cocky as you were in your twenties, and while you’ve probably learned a couple of hard lessons along the way, sometimes you still might not trust your own judgement where men are concerned, especially if you don’t like being alone.

Older single women over 50 are likely to be divorced or widowed, and as some might not like being alone, maybe they are feeling vulnerable, overlooked for younger, prettier, funnier counterparts, and this makes these women a prime target for a certain predator. Enter stage right a well dressed, attentive, attractive older gentleman who will at the very least try to empty your bank account. These men are really good at what they do make no mistake. They prey on a woman’s vulnerability and before long they’ve made themselves indispensable while making sure that they are behaving like the perfect gentleman. An older woman has usually got some money from a divorce settlement/being widowed and might even have her house paid off after years of hard work. If kids are still living at home you can bet this guy will do his best to try to make them leave.

You’ll find that you don’t really get to drive your car anymore as your new friend is offering to run you anywhere you’d like to go, and let’s face it, it’s nice having a chauffeur except he seems to like using your car for his own convenience. Holidays get mentioned and before long you’ve booked a cruise with your new friend but he seems to be taking his time in paying you back the money you’ve just spent which includes the upgrade that he insisted on. He might even ask for a loan to help him out until he’s sorted out the problem of moving his money around, all the while acting like he has some. The real danger though is when property becomes involved and lots of women get convinced it would be a really good idea to have the guy’s name on the deeds, “just in case”.

And let’s not forget the online dating scammers. These will bombard you with all the things you want to hear until before long you’re sending money, which runs into thousands. Older women who should know better believing every single thing they’re being told because they’re lonely. Older women signing away their home, their kid’s inheritance, to a shallow, scheming man who doesn’t care he’s going to leave you heartbroken, penniless, and won’t care that you will probably never trust another person ever again.

I personally haven’t come across one yet. I do know though of at least five people this has happened to and I’m waiting for the day when it might be my turn. As well as my middle name being “Cynical” I can’t wait to tell them that I don’t even own a set of pans for god’s sake.

Watch `em run a mile.

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Shoot Me Now.

It’s been a busy week on dating sites as I’m sure everyone using sites/apps will agree. A combination of a long Easter weekend and the start of lighter evenings made Sunday evening one of the busiest I’ve had in a while. In fact, I was having difficulty trying to keep conversations going with so many guys but everyone knows not to expect a reply straight away, as everyone is doing the same thing. This in itself isn’t a problem, you can have conversations and some will naturally fizzle out, but it’s when you’re getting on with someone and just about to swap numbers and then you never hear from them again, or the “Hopefully chat tomorrow?” and you know you probably won’t hear from them. It’s not “ghosting” as that would mean an actual relationship, this is just guys keeping their options open.

Dating sites are meant to be just that, but it’s very tricky to actually secure one as it would seem that as much as someone says they would like to meet up, it never quite happens. Probably because most guys (can only speak from a woman’s point of view here, maybe women do the same, I don’t know) are looking for a prettier, funnier, younger version of the woman that they’ve just spent an hour chatting with but trust me, you won’t find her mate. I’ve lost count of the number of men who get back in touch with me weeks/months later trying to pick up where they left off but by that time I’ve lost interest.

I did receive a message though from someone who said he would have been interested but the fact I wear makeup puts him off. Not sure what he wanted me to do about that, same as a guy who got in touch ages ago and said the same thing, but about my hair colour, he would rather it was blonde. What can I say? This is what you get guys, take it or leave it but I won’t be changing anything soon, but if I did it would be because I wanted to do it for myself. Everyone has a tick list and I’ve learned I’ve had to compromise on some things but that’s partly because of the age group I’m dating, but if I was getting on with someone who only ticked most and not all of the boxes I would certainly give them a chance and I would like to think vice versa. If guys on dating sites are supposed to be looking for someone (not “the one” I hate that phrase) maybe try actually going on a date sometime instead of looking for the perfect person you will never find.

A word of warning though to women of a certain age. When a guy says he has a “wicked sense of humour” what he really means is that he wants someone to listen to the same old boring jokes you’ve heard a million times before, I don’t know about you, I just haven’t the patience.

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Queen For A Day.

Usually on a day off during the week I do a lot of running around, maybe meeting up with a friend for lunch, or doing a bit for a local TV station or doing a bit of shopping. This week though was a bit different.This week I got to do a photo shoot for a women’s magazine and for a day I felt like a celebrity.

A lot of older women are dating and using online dating sites, but maybe not many are blogging about it so this is what the feature is going to be about (if they use it) so I was really excited to be having pictures taken to be used with the feature. But not only a photographer, a stylist and make up artist as well were involved so I was hoping to get some tips as it’s too easy to get in a rut with clothes and make up when you get older. We’d arranged to meet at one of the bars in the Northern Quarter of Manchester and although I was the first to arrive I didn’t have to wait long before the other three ladies turned up. As they all wheeled their cases in full of makeup, clothes and equipment I did start to panic a bit, thinking “This can’t be for me.”  I only do a bit of writing, nothing special, they must think I do a lot more than I actually do, but now it was too late. The stylist brought out a few outfits and I went and tried them on while the others were setting up. Then it was time for hair and makeup and I must admit I loved the end result, with no sign of any black eyeliner to be seen.

Having photos taken believe it or not, is hard work. There’s a lot of direction, “Can you just move here, turn your face there, yep that’s it.” Hard work but I loved it. I liked this version of myself which is different to how I usually look, wearing clothes I would never have considered buying, (but now I will) and for a couple of hours I felt like a celeb. The weird thing was though while all this was going on people were coming into the bar for lunch and it was obvious that some of them were looking and thinking “But who is it?” Who is it indeed. Just a normal, older woman who is  trying to tell others who are in their 50’s/60’s that life doesn’t end when you get to our age, we can probably still teach the younger ones a thing or two, because we’ve all learned our lessons to get here.

When the shoot was over I spent the rest of the day with my two kids, (a rare occurrence of all three of us together) so any signs of any diva behaviour from me would soon be shot down by those two.

So that was this week’s day off, one that will be hard to beat unless it involves Tom Hardy of course.

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Plastic Fantastic.

As women get older there is a certain pressure to maybe enhance their appearance by having a bit of cosmetic surgery, nothing major, just little procedures to keep the ladies looking fresh, and as we’re all (hopefully) going to be living longer a lot more people are probably going to be having some form of plastic surgery eventually. Gone are the days where the only thing on offer was a full face lift to get rid of lines, eye bags and droopy jowls and these days there are all sorts of  things you can have done that are in comparison, minor procedures.

Society doesn’t treat older women very well, they’re often being ignored in the workplace and overlooked for promotion in favour of a younger woman, their husbands/partners leave them for younger women and for some reason they are seen as having nothing to contribute now that their looks have faded regardless of years and years of life experience. It’s hard for any woman to start losing their looks so it’s understandable why so many ladies have fillers, lips done, liposuction, botox and boob jobs, as this must do wonders for a woman’s self confidence but sometimes you can start too soon.

Remember when Kerry Katona had all that surgery done when she was only 27/28?  The problem with having all that work done so young is that unfortunately it doesn’t last forever, so at some point you will probably have to have it all done again, maybe more than once. And let’s face it, surely it’s supposed to be an older woman’s thing to have done when her face/body is showing the ravages of time. A young woman isn’t going to need an eye-lift, or fillers to get rid of lines on her face, or lips done because they have thinned with age due to lack of collagen, leave that to the women (and men) who have tried their hardest to keep skin looking younger by using the expensive creams that advertisers assure us will take ten years off us. If that was the case these miracle creams would be a lot more expensive than they actually are and no one would have a plastic surgeon on speed dial. Living longer means a lot more people want to look good with age, and who can blame them? I just wish I was that brave but I’m not.

I’m certainly not against plastic surgery I just think it’s not for me. I’ve lived with this body for a long time and while it’s not a perfect one, in any shape or form, it’s the only one I’ve got. I know what are my best features and I know what are my worst so I try to make the most of what I’ve got while hoping that gravity has a couple of years off in the process. Years ago when I lived in Australia I had a new, small, flesh coloured thing appear on my face so I went to the doctor’s with it (high risk of skin cancer living in Oz) and was referred to a plastic surgeon to have it removed after I’d had a biopsy. On entering the office the doctor pointed to a brown mole on my cheek, “Is it that mole?” he asked, “As that’s the only one I can see.” My hand flew to my cheek as I said “God no! That’s part of my face!”  He couldn’t see the one I meant as it was quite small, but for me it was all I could see as it wasn’t what I was used to seeing. The mole he was referring to is one I’ve always had, one I don’t see, although I imagine it might be something people notice straight away and when he offered to remove it I declined. And this is the thing. If I won the lottery I’m pretty certain I still wouldn’t have anything “done” as my fear is that having a couple of procedures would only highlight how old and decrepit my body actually is so where do I start?  I’m used to how I look and I accept (doesn’t mean I like it) getting older, in fact the only thing I really miss is how slim I used to be, which if I put my mind to I could change. Add the fact that having a general anesthetic at anytime is a risk it would only be a matter of time before I need life saving surgery and that will be the time that my body lets me down, so here I am, listening to some of my friends talking me through things they’ve had done and while part of me is envious, I know I’d never do it.

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The Best And Worst Job In The World

There’s no hand book with instructions when you take on the most important job that you will ever have. Being a mother is many things, teaching another human being (almost) everything that they will need to know is daunting, exhausting, time consuming, and you will never be rich. In return though you will know love on a whole different level which you never thought possible.

So, let’s start with the fact that you’ll never have a lie-in ever again (unless they sleep out somewhere) and you’ll get to know the tv night schedules when you’re up pacing the floor with a baby that won’t sleep. On the plus side a baby will stay where it’s put until of course it starts walking and then you have to have eyes  in the back of your head which is when the fun starts. A toddler likes to form an attachment to one of the popular characters on children programmes which usually means a soft toy which has to go EVERYWHERE so god help you if it gets lost. On the plus side this is when Christmas gets more interesting as it’s the time to start family traditions in your house.

Once a child starts school you might feel that you’ve managed to get some time back for yourself but you’ll spend most of it worrying about what’s happening in the classroom. Does he/she like their teacher? Does the teacher like them? Are they making friends with the other kids/getting bullied/causing trouble?  And this doesn’t only apply to primary school, god no, you’ll feel like that throughout their whole time in education. Why haven’t they been picked for the school netball/football team when you know damn well that they are the best player that the school’s ever had.Why have they been overlooked for the main part in the latest drama production again when you know that you only need a talent agent to see them and they’ll be off to stage school before you know it. All these things and lots of others might make you lose a little bit of sleep at night but the main lack of sleep is one word.

Teenagers.

I would hate to be a teenager again, all that self hate, insecurities, hormones, doing stupid things, and of course thinking that you know everything. All of a sudden mums are embarrassing, know nothing, have no dress sense and please walk 10 steps behind when we are out anywhere. This can be a really stressful time as boundaries are pushed making you think that maybe there was a mix up at the hospital as this wilful, sullen, cocky, secretive  child can’t possibly be yours. You worry constantly about girlfriends/boyfriends, where they are, who they are with, what they are doing and what you can do about it. Showing an interest is seen as being nosy, when the fact is a mother not showing any interest is one who doesn’t care. Trying to keep a grip on what’s going on is hard, as half the time you won’t have a clue who their friends are never mind where they’re going. But this will pass. Yes you’ve probably gone grey, but if you can weather the storm the person on the other side is the beautiful, charming, kind, sensitive, generous adult that you can now relate to. But since the day they were born you will have asked yourself, “Am I doing this right?”

As for single mums I salute you. It’s difficult enough with two parents but when you have to be both good cop, bad cop the job becomes a lot harder, but here we all are. Another Mothers Day where we are surrounded by love, count your blessings ladies, how lucky are we?

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Age Gap Love.

Any woman over a certain age who is online dating will definitely receive messages from guys in their 20’s at some point. While it might seem flattering I for one would have a problem dating someone who could have been at school with my kids, but maybe that’s just me. Imagine not being able to talk about all the things that happened in the 70’s as your current admirer wasn’t even born when you were either down at the disco with your skin tight lycra pants on  and  a sequin boob tube dancing around to Victor Sylvester, or wearing a black bin bag, held together by safety pins and doing the pogo dance to the Sex Pistols. Imagine dating someone who wasn’t born when Charles married Diana in the 80’s, when Duran Duran ruled the charts and you were embracing all the glamour of 80’s fashion thanks to the likes of Dynasty and Dallas.

“Try me” they all say, “I prefer older ladies.” But that’s the thing. I don’t want to be reminded every day of how old I am when a song comes on the radio and it reminds me of a long hot summer in 1976 and you remind me that you weren’t born then. Or when we go shopping and I laugh at how the latest fashion is really the 80’s reincarnated with a nod to rara skirts and a lurex thread running through a shirt, and you say yet again that you weren’t born then. At least we can talk about Madonna though, she’s been around for ever (or so it seems) and everyone has a favourite Madge single.

There is another type of man who prefers older ladies though. The type who preys on single older women who go on holiday in places like Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt. Then there’s the guys in Gambia who insist that they are leaders of a tribe/a prince/someone revered, even though they’re working as a pool boy in the hotel that these women are staying at. But some of these women love it. They’ve come out of bad marriages, older, looks have faded and they crave attention. Enter stage left a young, good looking guy who apparently is besotted with his latest love. Nothing to do with the fact that she has money, a house paid off, lonely, desperate, needing some attention to prove that she’s still attractive. and will do anything to keep him. Maybe after the holiday is over and she’s back home in grey drab England she might get a phone call asking when is she going over to see her new lover again as he’s missing her badly (he can’t visit her without a visa don’t forget) but in the meantime while he and his brothers are moving to bigger premises with the family business that they have, could she transfer some money over to help cover the rent? Of course, she says, even when it’s a second, third and all the rest of the times she is asked for money. This is the man who she loves, will do anything for, even though she admits herself she doesn’t know what he sees in her. Her family will try to make her see sense, her children will be concerned when she has to remortgage the house to help finance her new boyfriend and his family, and we’ll all get to read all about the wedding and the subsequent divorce when she finds out he only wanted her for a British visa. But I understand why these ladies do it.

Once you reach a certain age you feel as though  you’re invisible. Women go on holiday and fall for unsuitable men but guys deal with it in a different way.They go to Thailand and spend money on young girls, but the difference is in Thailand everyone knows what the deal is, money changes hands and (hopefully) everyone is happy.

As for me I’m still filling out my passport forms.

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The Fame Game

Everyone seems to want to be famous these days, but with no talent to offer. It’s common practice for some people who want to be in the public eye to “buy” followers on twitter and instagram to seem more popular than they actually are, which seems to be encouraged by the rise in reality tv  programmes which some people try to use as a platform for bigger and better things. Most shows are to be viewed as a bit of fun, not to be taken seriously, but for a small minority this can be seen as making a career out of…well, nothing. The same can be said of the way some young girls make a bee line for footballers/tv personalities  in a club, hoping to sell a “kiss and tell” which in turn might lead to a photo shoot, leading to a magazine article, leading to a stint on Love Island/Ex on the Beach but then what?  Some people want their 2 minutes in the sun stretched out to 2 weeks in Benidorm but having youth and beauty is not actual talent which is why there are so many “wannabees” around hoping to be the next big thing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a thrill to be recognised when you’ve appeared on tv  but this is what some people crave, all the time. The constant recognition when they’re out and about and maybe they’ve actually reminded people themselves, jogging a memory and then claim that they can’t believe people still recognise them when they only appeared once on a programme. And that’s the thing. Appearing once on a tv programme does not, in any shape or form, mean that you are a reality tv star. Thousands of people apply for these shows so you’ve got to be something special to stand out to make a career out of it, which hopefully would mean some sort of talent. Or maybe some people want to be infamous. A throwaway comment gets picked up by the press and even though it’s negative they’re going to run with this and try to latch a career on to it, and like the saying goes, even bad publicity is better than none for these people who really want it.

At the moment I am closely watching a one trick pony who has recently appeared on a well known programme, they’ve acquired an agent and seem to be taking great pleasure in winding people up to get a reaction. As this person has no talent whatsoever I’m curious to see which lengths they will go to, as up to now we’ve had an alleged homophobic attack, and a kiss and tell that was probably fabricated, and this is all in the name of becoming famous, with the ultimate aim being to appear  on Big Brother.

As for me, I really need people to stop phoning me asking me to model the latest hearing aid, as I’m far too busy contacting the press about my night of passion with the local lollipop man.

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In A Parallel Universe.

People like to think they have people sussed, usually according to age and lifestyle, personally I would like to read that stone where the law is set as to where you should be in various stages of life, but especially when you get to my age. Age brings life experience and sometimes things happen that change everything, so I have learned not to plan too far in advance while trying to steer things in the right direction. Without going into too much detail I’m living a life that I never expected, but I also appreciate that other women my age would have sleepless nights if they found themselves in my position, whereas I’m just trying to roll with the punches.

I know that if certain things hadn’t happened I would have been living a different life, not necessarily a better one, just a different one.

Maybe I would be married to the same man for 30 years, living in the same house we bought when we had two small children. Hopefully the mortgage was paid off and we were enjoying the high life after working hard for years, possibly cashing in a couple of pensions to pay for our many cruises.

Maybe we would be with the same circle of friends that we met on a regular basis, with trips to London, Barcelona, and a holiday at someone’s villa in Spain, while not forgetting the many weddings, christenings and family parties that we were all invited to.

Maybe I’m semi-retired, still working at the same job at the same place that I’ve worked at for over 25 years, but because I only do a couple of days a week , it means I can help out at the local charity shop and can join a few committees making my community a safer/better place to live.

Maybe I’m still married but unhappy, as it’s difficult to leave when you’ve built a life together over a number of years. Some people are reluctant to give up the trappings of what they consider to be a successful life

But I don’t live that life. I work full time, don’t own my own home and live with my gay housemate in a vibrant city where there’s lots going on. I work in a place that has enabled me to meet some interesting people, and I know if I was living my alternative life we wouldn’t have met. I do things now (when I have the time) that would not have been possible at one time and have to say I’m loving it, take that as you will and if someone had told me 5 years ago that this is where I’d be I would never have believed it.

But I will say this.

As a middle aged woman we are generally ignored and expected to exist rather than live no matter which life we lead, we’re on everyone’s peripheral vision but actually not seen which means we would make exceptional spies, private detectives or shoplifters. We have no opinion worth listening to, know nothing, and are generally treated as a bit of a nuisance but obviously we know better. In the grand scheme of things I’d rather be me, right here, right now and while most (usually younger) people think older people have no valid input, not only have we got the t-shirt but it’s probably been wrapped around someone’s neck but think on. If you’re really lucky, you’ll be me some day and who said older women should be (not even) seen and not heard? Sod that.

 

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Fabulous Woman Seeks Pot of Gold.

As part of starting the new year as I mean to go on, this past week has found me messaging guys first instead of waiting for them to message me on the dating sites I use. I’ve done this before and it usually ends in tears…mine. Let’s be honest we’re all shallow creatures, we all look at the profile pictures and then decide if we can be bothered to read the two lines that have laughingly been presented as a profile. and I’m sure it’s the same for guys, but I personally am attracted to anyone who has taken the time and trouble to write a funny profile (as long as it’s not one they’ve nicked from me) so I was on a mission.

A couple of guys I contacted responded and it was going really well with one of them and just as we were about to  decide on when/where to meet up he disappeared. Hopefully not in a puff of smoke, no, I’m hoping it was a bloody cyclone because there is nothing more infuriating than someone deleting their profile just as you’re getting interested. That and someone texting you when you’re actually on your way to meet a date to tell you that they’ve changed their mind. I did text him once to ask what was going on but no reply so I left it. But I think I know why he did it. This particular guy lives quite close to where I used to live and maybe he’s married and it’s a bit too close to home. Maybe. I didn’t recognise him but the odds are I’d know his wife/ex but perhaps he just genuinely changed his mind but whatever reason deleting a profile is a bit extreme.

So, back on the treadmill and after a few messages back and forth with what I thought seemed a nice guy we swapped numbers and I got a text asking me a couple of questions that I knew we’d covered, so I went to look at our conversation on the site before I replied and lo and behold, his profile had gone. I text back, “Your profile seems to have been deleted.Any ideas?” “Oh yeah, I dropped my phone and lost loads of stuff but when am I coming round for tea?”  Hmm…don’t buy that one but I replied.”You’re not coming round I’m afraid but I’ll be happy to meet you for a drink.”  And guess what, no reply.

On twitter there are loads of dating experts, and while they offer good advice there’s only you yourself can say yay or nay to what a guy has to offer.  Sometimes you have to be pro-active in this dating game so while it’s always nice to get messages they ‘re sometimes not from any one suitable. One guy who has messaged has actually put on his profile in response to the question “Do you have any children?” with the reply “Prefer not to say.”  Yep that’s sounding like a keeper to me. So the search goes on…at this rate it might be easier to find the pair of jeans that got swiped off the washing line in 1976.

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So I Say Thank You For The Music.

The death of David Bowie had the world reeling with shock, more so because he was one of those people who you thought would be around for ever, producing/making music for all us mortals to enjoy and with each new album he gained a legion of new fans. Everyone has a favourite Bowie song, a song that brings back memories of a particular time in your life (good or bad) and that’s the beauty of music.

A particular song can have you remembering where you were, who you were with, and probably what you were wearing. Most of us discover which particular genre of music we like when we are teenagers, and if you are a true  teenage rebel you want to make damn sure that it’s something that your parents don’t like. The music of course goes hand in hand with whoever is singing it, so teenage fantasies are then projected on to that person. You know what it’s like, if the object of your affection likes cheese on toast, wears black underwear and likes to go to the ballet, guess what? That’s exactly what you adopt convincing yourself that you’re closer to them, and if only you could meet them they would know straight away that you’re soulmates (jailbait more like) but every teenager feels the same. Every song is written for you as you can identify with the lyrics, you’ll spend good money on all the merchandise when you go to see them perform but at the end of the day, it’s always about the music. So when someone who’s given us some great music over the decades dies, you’re not necessarily grieving for the person but acknowledging the impact that their music had on your life.

Back in the day I shared a bedroom with my sister who is a year younger than me and both of us had posters on the wall of our respective teenage crush, mine was Rod Stewart and my sister was mad about Donny Osmond. Two opposite ends of the spectrum and many arguements about who was better but I have to say it was usually Donny who somehow managed to get a drawing pin stuck in the middle of his face, (can’t think how) which spoiled his baby face looks…just saying.

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Memoirs Of A Playboy Bunny. Part One.

A long time ago I had an interview for Playboy. Just to be an average bunny girl and not one of the Playmates you understand as these are two entirely different things. So how did this come about? Well, I’ll tell you.

I’d just returned to England after having worked a year in Spain so I went along to the local job centre where back in the day, every job was displayed on a card. I picked one up that said “Receptionist wanted at club in Manchester.” and took it to one of the women who were sat behind various desks waiting to help. She dialled the number after looking me up and down and was obviously being asked questions about my appearance from the person on the other end of the phone. When she put the phone down she told me it was for Playboy in Manchester and that I was to take a swimsuit with me to wear at the interview. “Sorry I didn’t realise. Thanks for phoning I’ll go and have another look around”. I said as I got up to leave. The woman stopped me.”Go to the interview, you’ve nothing to lose.”…so I did.

Wearing a swimming costume while being interviewed is a bit surreal but the manager must have liked me as he sent me into the lion’s den, the dressing rooms where all the bunnies got ready to do their shift. Two “bunny mothers” were there weighing a few other girls who had also come for an interview but these “mothers” were brutal. One stunning looking girl was told to come back when she’d lost a stone so I was dreading stepping onto those scales as I knew they were going to whizz round at least three times. And I was right.This has always been a problem for me, in fact at one time I never used to have scales in the house as young girls become a slave to them and who’s to say that every 5ft 6″ girl should weigh the same? The women looked confused. I was a size 12, gorgeous, and obviously looked a lot slimmer than what the scales said.

“Try this costume on” said one as she helped me into it.”Does that feel comfortable?” I said it wasn’t too bad.”It’s too big then, try this.” My god. Those costumes gave you a figure that you would never have (unless you’re Barbie) it was so tight I could hardly breathe. It’s corseted with whale bone and the trick is to lean forward and sort of sit your boobs on top while stuffing a load of padding in the slits of the costume under your boobs. It was cut really high to the hip bone so there was no way you could wear any underwear but the effect was amazing. A tail was added on the back white collar with bow tie, white cuffs with cufflinks, and of course the bunny ears. You also had to wear two pairs of tights, one tan then a black pair over the top of those so that your legs looked toned, with court shoes. We were given three costumes and believe it or not none of mine were black. We were also given a new name which was on a rosette worn on the hip (that took some getting used to though, I think everyone thought I was deaf) and I had permanent bruises on my hips where the costume was digging in but I have to say I felt a million dollars.

Once I started the job I was to learn that it usually took an hour at least to get ready, and I also had to learn how to do the notorious “bunny dip” but that’s another story.

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Long Distance Love.

One of the things unique to older dating is the difficulty of a long distance relationship, as there are usually a few reasons why this won’t work out so whenever I get a message from someone who lives too far away, I say right from the start there is no point pursuing it. This never seems to put the guys off though, even when I say I don’t drive  they always say that they wouldn’t mind doing all the travelling, there are trains etc, but I know that eventually it will all end in tears because none of us, in the end, will compromise.

When you’re young it’s not such a big deal to move to another town or city for whatever reason, University, career, or a love interest as it’s easier to make a new life when you’ve got the confidence, plus, you’ve always got the safety net of being able to go back “home” if it doesn’t work out. Fast forward 30 years and it’s entirely different, as a lot of obstacles have appeared that weren’t there before such as leaving children and possibly grandchildren behind, old friends, a job, a house,and a life that has slowly been built up over the years so it’s understandable that for most women, when it comes to it, it’s hard to make that leap into a new life where you’ve moved to another town/city to be with a new partner so it’s easier not to.

For most older men the reasons are different. A man will quite happily embrace the idea of a woman coming to spend the odd weekend with him and while he’s making noises about how he’d relocate and up sticks to live with you he would probably prefer it if you bought a house on the next street, so that way his life can carry on in the same routine and he wouldn’t have to get rid of the pet budgie. Old dogs, new tricks. At the end of the day, the longer you’re on your own the harder it is to compromise on some things, but a move to somewhere new is probably not going to happen for a lot of older daters. I must admit though I would probably make an exception for someone who lived in another country, preferably hot, like Spain, where I could visit whenever possible and then when it came to moving I could claim that the language barrier was a problem (even though he’s English) but think how many holidays I could have…

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Ghosts of Christmas Past.

With Christmas practically upon us I have to say that for me (and thousands of others) it’s not the same now that the kids have grown up, and yet it doesn’t seem two minutes since we were writing out the Christmas lists for Father Christmas. Two minutes, also a lifetime ago, but I remember it well.

Although it’s a busy stressful time of year it’s also enjoyable trying to juggle work with attending nativity plays, carol singing concerts, school Christmas fayres and spending a great deal of time trying to track down the most popular toy of the year. As parents we all want to make sure that our children have the best possible Christmas that we can give them, so of course we want to get them the main present on the wanted list which will always be the one thing that you can’t get for love or money.( My Little Pony Princess Bride springs to mind) and this quest will consume all your spare time trying to track it down. Trust me, after opening all the thousands of presents they get the disappointment of not getting their little heart’s desire will not even register, but unfortunately you will have cultivated a few grey hairs and worry lines in the process.

Back in the day you couldn’t just walk into a supermarket and pick up a fancy dress costume for the nativity, you either had to make your own or hope that something could be fashioned out of the school’s dressing-up box. Waiting to hear which child had which part would either mean having to find some green felt as they’d been given the part of a blade of grass, or a white sheet for a star with some silver tinsel wrapped around the head, and everyone knows the old trick of a tea towel with a crown on top for one of the three wise men. It didn’t matter if any of the kids forgot their lines,(which usually happens when they see mum and dad) it was seeing all of them singing and getting into the whole nativity thing, but you can bet that there will always be that group of mothers who are sat there, seething because their little cherub hasn’t got a main part.

Christmas eve when you have young children is a lovely lovely day. The Snowman is always shown on Christmas eve and then you have the rituals of leaving a mince pie and a drink for Father Christmas with a couple of carrots for the reindeer although looking back there must have been a hell of a fight between them if every house only left one or two carrots between eight of them. What it shouldn’t involve is having to go outside to retrieve a bike that’s hidden in the garden shed, slipping on the back step that has iced over when the temperature dropped, and lying there convinced you’ve broken your leg while realising that no one can see or hear you, and no, there’s going to be no magic sleigh transporting you to A&E.

We all know what happens on Christmas day, watching the presents being ripped open, looking at the sheer joy on little kid’s faces, so what if you’re all on beans on toast all of January? Christmas is for children but as you get older you realise it’s not what’s under the tree, it’s who’s around it that matters so with that in mind, Merry Christmas.

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It’s Just a Little Crush.

I’ve not had a date in a while, although I’ve been having lots of conversations with wannabe Mr Wright’s I’ve not been on an actual date. Not to worry, I don’t think I’m missing much seeing as how they don’t even seem to remember my name anyway (Goddess to you) but what was even more worrying is the fact that I haven’t had a crush to lust after for a long long time, until recently.

I’d forgotten that feeling, catching sight of someone who you absolutely focus all your fantasies on, where you catch your breath and mentally run a mirror check over yourself hoping that your hair/make up and clothes are spot on. Maybe move a little closer to where he is but trying not to make it obvious even though you’ve probably gone beetroot and your heart is racing, and you’re concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other so you don’t trip up. He probably won’t even notice you but that’s ok, he’ll be paying attention to the woman who he’s with but if you’re lucky you might catch his eye and get a smile from him, and that’s enough.

Like I said, it’s been a while.

Where I work there are a lot of customers in and out every day, but a while ago I noticed a gorgeous guy in his late thirties who was just my type, tall dark and handsome. I say my type but in fact there has only been one guy who fits that description in any relationship that I’ve ever  had so what does that say? This man is gorgeous, and sometimes (if he’s lucky) I might spot where he is in the store and ask him does he need any help to find anything? And while Mother Nature has played that cruel trick by making us feel younger than we actually are, I don’t think he’d appreciate a woman who’s old enough to be his mother drooling all over him. But then again, he’ll never know.

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Domestic Abuse Isn’t Always Physical.

As Oscar Pistorious has at last been found guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp it brings up the issue of domestic violence but believe it or not, a lot of the time, an abusive partner doesn’t even have to lay a finger on you. Coercive control is very soon to be classed as an actual offence which carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison, so let’s see how many misogynistic guys get away with the vile way they treat their girlfriends/wives/partners who they say they love.

When you meet someone and you find that you’ve got things in common, you’re getting on, loving the whole thing of spending time with them and all the rest of it, you’re not really looking for things to spoil it. Also your new guy isn’t going to show his true colours straight away as you’d probably run for the hills. No, you’ll get little glimpses at first but nothing really major, nothing to get you thinking that something is wrong, but it will definitely be something that you feel uncomfortable with but you’ll make excuses for him because this guy really LIKES you. In fact, he likes you that much he wants to spend all his spare time with you, and while he can’t tell you not to go out with your friends, he starts to make it plain that he doesn’t like it. He’s also not keen on any of your friends to be honest, and might even try to cause some sort of arguement between you and them, making it easier to isolate you from them. Will he have any female friends himself? Probably not.

Once your relationship is established you will see some changes in the way he talks to you, mainly negative remarks, about your job, friends, family, dress sense, how you have your hair, make up, and always adding that no one else will want you if, god forbid, he ever left you. If you’ve actually moved in together you’re in big trouble. He now has you exactly where he wants you but the problem is, you become confused because although you know what he’s doing is wrong, there is actually no violence. There are threats of withdrawing love, affection, and of him actually leaving you if you don’t comply to what he wants but it’s difficult to think you might actually be in an abusive relationship with no actual violence involved.

Don’t be fooled.

If he’s jealous of every male friend you have and wants you to cut all ties with them, you’re in an abusive relationship.

If you’re thinking of how to break the news to him that there’s a girl’s night out planned and knowing he’ll kick off, you’re in an abusive relationship.

If he’s slagging off all his ex-girlfriends/partners  and doesn’t have a nice word to say about any of them, you’re in an abusive relationship.

If you’re having to account how you’re spending your money (when you’re working) you’re in an abusive relationship.

If you’re having to explain to family members that once again you and your lovely partner won’t be attending the wedding/christening/funeral you’re in an abusive relationship.

If he’s constantly bringing you down with negative comments about yourself, you’re in an abusive relationship.

If you’ve started to walk on eggshells around him and watching what you say so he doesn’t get angry, you’re in an abusive relationship.

I could go on but you get the picture.

If your partner is saying that he loves you while making you feel worthless, he doesn’t even like you for god’s sake. The very things that attracted him in the first place will be the things that he’ll want you to change.

This doesn’t apply to most men thankfully, just a few who don’t actually like women, and hopefully you’ll never have the misfortune to meet one of them but if in doubt, wise words from Caitlin Moran.

“Never love someone whom you think you need to mend, or makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls, they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear, and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart.”

 

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A Cautionary Tale.

As Christmas fast approaches, anyone with children will know that not only will you have your own social diary to organise but at some point you’ll have to attend nativity plays, Christmas carol concerts and the obligatory fundraiser known as the school Christmas Fayre. The latter is more of a social event for all the mums and dads really, as the ones I went to when my own kids were at primary school sold alcohol and were usually held in the evening. The dads were to be found sat as close to the bar as possible, while the mums were sat in the main hall trading any gossip they had and keeping an eye on the kids at the same time.

One particular Christmas 3 or 4 of us ladies thought we’d live a little and have a plastic cup of warm white wine from the “bar.”  (we’re talking a school fayre kiddos, we’re not at The Alchemist) I’m not quite sure if we had more than two but I doubt it as the event finished around 9 0’clock and it was hardly pinot grigio but on the walk home I started to feel really unwell. I was staggering all over the place, dropping my keys in the snow and  falling over which the kids found funny at first until I eventually got in to the house. Once I was inside I knew I was in big trouble as by now I could hardly walk and as the kids put me to bed I was throwing up all over the place. Lying down I couldn’t lift my head up and it did cross my mind that I might actually choke on my own vomit but there was nothing I could do. I could see the headline.”Woman found clutching a tea towel that she’d won on the tombola” but would they name the school? At the time I thought maybe I’d had a dodgy wine but a couple of days later I found out that all the other ladies had also been really ill.

So this is what I think happened.

I think maybe someone on the committee had made some home made wine (it was probably Sheila, she can’t bear to be left out) and thought what a good idea it would be to sell it over the bar as a good way of making money for the school. No one saw the bottle it came out of, never mind the label on it and let’s face it, we’re not going to ask which vineyard that particular grape came from when it’s been poured into a plastic cup. So just a word of warning ladies when you’re attending this year’s school fundraiser. While you don’t expect a top of the range wine at these social school events you should hope that at the very least you don’t get alcoholic poisoning from them but having said that I’m pretty sure it’s not a usual occurrence. If in doubt, offer to buy a drink for the person who’s been flirting with your partner all evening. Just saying.

 

 

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Got Good Friends? Hang on to Them.

It’s been a month since my episode was seen on First Dates, and like any major event in life you will find that people’s reaction vary, good or bad, and this is what I found happened in the days following that programme.

Obviously some people at work had been told about it (I was on the opening credits for a while so it was no big secret) and I am lucky to have some great friends at work who were going to watch it, even though they’ve  never actually watched an episode before which meant a lot to me. On the actual night I drank far too much wine as I was really nervous about how Twitter would react, as we all know it can be cruel, and having been advised not to read any comments I kept off it. It is also really weird to see yourself on TV, and anyone who read my blog about when I actually went on my date will know I wasn’t happy with my appearance, but that was totally my fault. So, what happened after?

About a week after the episode had been shown  people started to come up to me and ask “Were you on First Dates?” and then stand and stare expectantly which threw me a bit as I wasn’t sure what to do, but everyone was really nice and more or less said the same things every time. Luckily Twitter had been kind (relief!) and friends at work were really lovely about it but it was also quite amusing to see how some people reacted. One or two who you never have a conversation with, suddenly became your best mate for two minutes as they wanted to know everything about what happens on the show (as if I’d tell them) before they went telling their mates. Some people who never said anything publicly when we were all in conversation talking about it, came and asked questions when I was on my own, one or two waited to see how everyone else reacted before saying anything, and you’ll always get the ones who’d rather choke on their own vomit before they’ll say anything at all, which is fine.

Unfortunately you will also get one or two long standing friends who while saying they support you, when it came down to it actually didn’t, which although was a bit upsetting at the time, came as no surprise.

I did of course have the support of people who were there from the absolute start, the ones who were cheering from the sidelines from the very first audition, the ones who responded to frantic phone calls from me when I was getting nervous and having second thoughts, the ones who met me at a minute’s notice to lend me a valuable item of clothing, and of course a couple of work mates who were there all the way who were so supportive and for that I’ll always be grateful.

People don’t always respond or react in the way you expected, but some will exceed all expectations and make you realise that actually, you have some really good friends, make sure you hang on to them.

 

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You’ve got to be Kidding.

A strange thing happened today. While on a break at work I received a text from an unknown number.”Hello?” So I replied back with the same question and waited patiently for a reply, while wondering who would have my number. “Are you Jacqui?” was the next question.By now I’d realised that this was probably a guy that I’ve been on a date with sometime but the question was who? I had to try and narrow it down without giving too much away but this guy was playing a game of his own. ” I take it you’re going through your phone and deleting people. I am Jacqui and we’ve probably been on a date.” He was quick to reply. ” I have an old message from you only just showing up on my phone!” When he sent me the message I remembered who he was.

Back in June I was having a decent conversation with this guy over a few evenings, and after deciding we were going to meet up, he sent me his number and asked me to text him the next day with the details of where and when we were meeting. But he did warn me. ” I’m in Anglesey and the signal might be really bad but try it anyway.” So the next day I sent a message with details he needed to know and I didn’t hear back but I did notice he was on the dating site we’d been chatting on later that evening, so I sent a message on that too. Nothing. So I left it, but I did wonder what he was playing at as every night he seemed to be online but it was always later on, after 11 pm. “Oh I remember sending you that message, no way have you just got that now! I think I sent you one on the dating site too, but obviously the week or so in Anglesey totally stuffed up your phone as you don’t seem to have received that one either.”  But this guy was having fun. ” Sorry about this but I still don’t know who you are can you remind me? ” So I reminded him of a couple of conversations and lo and behold he remembered me. After asking was I still single, maybe we could chat again and the most recent message about an hour ago mentioned that maybe we could meet up? Enough was enough.”It’s ok. You can delete my number.”

As excuses go this is probably the best/worst I’ve ever had. He was probably playing a couple of us and it’s not worked out with whoever, but you’re going to have to do better than that “D”. Don’t insult my intelligence by assuming that I’m going to believe that outrageous lie, but worse than that, you’ve thought I would be flattered about being Plan B. As if.

Always be the star, never the understudy.

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Always Listen to Your Instinct.

After reading a story that someone tweeted on twitter about how one time a guy made her feel uncomfortable when travelling on a train by herself by making it look like he knew her (only later did she find out he’s a rapist/con artist/on the sex offenders list) reminded me of a time when a similar thing happened to me on holiday.

Years ago I went to Southern Spain on holiday on my own after a friend of mine let me down at the very last minute, and on the transfer from the airport to the hotel some anorak kept interrupting the rep in his speech about the history of the place. As he was doing so he was looking around at all the people on the coach and I made the fatal mistake of giving him eye contact. When the coach arrived at our hotel a few of us threw our cases into our rooms and made our way to the hotel bar but before long we had  ventured out, as Andy the anorak said he knew where the best bars were nearby. So far so good. After a couple of drinks I said I was making my way back so Andy said he was also ready to call it a night and that’s when I found out a bit more about him. At 40 years old he was working as a carpet fitter and living in a caravan on the drive of his parent’s bungalow which was actually in the next town from where I lived, which explained the same accent we both had. He’d never been married and only ever had one long term girlfriend so as you can imagine, most people would probably find him a bit harmless but I wasn’t convinced.

The next morning he was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs (but where he could also see the lift) and said maybe we should go and have breakfast together. He’d caught me unawares, what could I say? I was obviously going into the restaurant and it would seem childish to refuse because after all he seemed ok. After breakfast I made my excuses and went to get changed to spend the day by the pool and Andy said he was probably going to go and do a bit of sightseeing. I breathed a sigh of relief. Luckily for me  there seemed to be quite a few single people who were also in this hotel and I was looking forward to making a few new friends.

Finding my way to where the pool was I stopped to see if there were any spare sunbeds,when I heard someone call my name.”Jacqui!! Over here, I’ve got us our sunbeds!” You’ve got to be joking. But there he was, in his speedos  standing and waving at me to go over. This was August, the pool was packed, no way was there a spare sunbed anywhere so what did I do? I went over. And I really wish I hadn’t because I had willingly put myself in to what became an awkward situation. He threw his Walkman cassette player over onto my sunbed.”Help yourself. Boney M’s greatest hits.” So there we were, and I suddenly realised  that to anyone watching we seemed to be a couple, we both had the same accent, both had arrived the night before, so I just lay back and completely ignored him until he went to the bar. ” Going to the bar, having a ciggie so back in 5 ok?” I looked at him. No offer from him to get me a drink so I just nodded. As soon as he’d gone to the bar I sat up and spoke to the young couple next to us.”Help me.We’re not together, I don’t know him.” They looked shocked.”But we thought you were together.We saw you at breakfast do you really not know him?” He made sure he was back in two minutes rather than five but by now I was talking with the lovely couple so I got up and moved around to sit on the ground  next to Bev’s sunbed away from Andy.

Long story short this guy could have ruined my holiday. He followed me everywhere but because of him I also made a lot of friends as everyone was sympathetic to my situation. I tried to make a complaint about him to the rep but as he hadn’t tried to touch me no-one could actually do anything. Guys (and me) told him to F**k Off but he didn’t listen and this was the worrying thing. I finally got rid of him when a few of us went to a Spanish nightclub and they wouldn’t let him in. There was a very heated exchange  outside and he was, shall we say, persuaded not to come in. The next day he’d found a new object of affection and this person (a guy) went to great lengths to avoid him such as jumping out of windows.

But I’m annoyed at myself for letting all that happen. Because we’re basically nice polite people we accept behaviour that we shouldn’t in order not to make a scene, especially if a person seems nice and polite themselves. You don’t want to be seen as the bad guy by questioning someone’s motives when to all intents and purposes the world sees them as one of the good guys. But I will say this, your instinct will tell you every time. If something doesn’t feel right, your gut instinct will tell you and no matter how much pressure you feel under, always always listen to it. It’s there for a reason.  Does anyone else wonder if Andy is still living in that caravan??

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Shhh….You’re Showing Your Age.

I don’t usually follow mummy bloggers as they’re not really relevant to my life, seeing as I don’t need to know where I can buy a headband for Lucy that matches Freddie’s socks for a party, or which cotton buds are the best to use, but now and again I do read a couple of the mummy blogs who had their children when they were over 30 and unfortunately, a couple of them lately seem to have a similar theme. Talking about not being afraid of getting older, we should be looking forward to it as we’re all so fabulous and we’ll always be this way, so what if society doesn’t like older people  we shall make them notice us, blah blah bloody blah.

You haven’t got a clue as to what it’s really like to be a woman in her 50’s.

I used to be you. I used to be a younger vibrant woman with 2.4 kids living with a husband who goes out to work while I had a part time job, but back then I wasn’t blogging about what to give your kids for breakfast as there was no internet and I’m not actually sure that I would have been to be honest. A woman in her 30’s is a lot more confident than a woman in her 20’s and it’s easy to adopt the mindset of really not caring too much about getting older and as much as I love that idea the truth is a bit different.

Getting older doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a slow insidious process that you don’t really notice until one day you look in the mirror and see your mother looking back at you. You’ve accepted that you no longer turn heads when walking down the street, you’re now probably the last person to be served at the bar (when did that happen? You used to be the first!) your opinion isn’t valued anymore as what could you possibly know at your age? You use the anti ageing creams, still take an interest in clothes and make up, maybe had a little help with botox and fillers but no, you’re still wearing that invisibility cloak that someone threw over you when you weren’t looking. But it’s not just about the visible signs of ageing that we have to contend with.

Getting older also means you’ve probably experienced a few life changing events, and getting divorced is one of them. No one gets married to get divorced and while the writing’s probably been on the wall for a long time before you actually make that life changing decision (9 times out of 10 the woman will want the divorce) it’s a horrible thing to go through, especially with children involved and your confidence will have taken a huge knock. Not many people come through it unscathed but hopefully you’ll have had lots of support.

Getting older also means having to go through menopause.This is a bit like being a teenager with the mood swings and crying for absolutely no reason due to the massive hormonal change that’s happening in your body, and even though you know damn well you’re being ridiculous you just can’t help it. For some women this can be a very traumatic time as this can go on for a few years.

And let’s not even start on health issues.

Which brings me to the very real “empty nest syndrome”. Any women who have had children will always say that they’re looking forward to the day when the kids leave home and at the time they will mean it. No more mess, loud music, picking them up from here there and everywhere, teenage tantrums, a procession of different boyfriends/girlfriends that you’re having trouble remembering their name, until it happens. Usually they’ve gone to Uni, or moved out to live with friends and after a few weeks when it feels like a holiday the reality sets in. They’re not coming back. Wandering aimlessly through the house with time to kill because now you’re not washing/ironing/cooking for them is a lonely time for some women. All these years you’ve been defined as being a mother, even though you’ve probably worked, but because you’ve been so busy with the kids, friendships might have been neglected, or you could have moved to a new place in the past couple of years or have had to look after an ill relative, all these things have contributed to where you are now. Lonely, older, and wondering what the hell life has to offer now.

So while you younger women might pay lip service to us fabulous older women, the truth is we had to coax that young, independent, confident and fearless woman that we used to be, to come out and show herself again in order for us to appreciate and enjoy our life. Picking up pieces that we didn’t actually drop but had slipped through our grasp, finding our way again to where we felt we belonged, and as our confidence grew it enabled us to become the fabulous creature that you see today. I understand what these younger ladies are trying to say and years ago I’m pretty certain I said the same thing, but as much as we all like to think we’re going to stick two fingers up to society when we get older the truth is, by the time you get to middle age, you’re just grateful to still be here.

 

 

Shh

 

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So I’ve Been On First Dates

We all watch it, especially all us single people who put ourselves out there in the minefield of today’s idea of dating. First Dates on Channel 4 is the popular equivalent to the old Cilla Black programme Blind Date because it really is a blind date. None of the daters know anything at all about who they are about to meet, which puts the pressure on straight away. At least you have some idea of what you’re dealing with when you’ve made an initial connection online. The production team though are on a mission to find you a perfect match (or as near as they can get) which means a long in-depth interview about likes/dislikes/values/ all designed to help in finding your date before you meet in the famous restaurant. And then it’s all up to you.

Everyone loves a love story and it’s nice to see when a couple get on and maybe see each other again, but even if that’s not the case for everyone, you’ll always have some sort of connection with your date as you’ve both shared a unique experience (along with however many viewers). I for one loved the whole process, I loved going to London, meeting everyone and of course on the day itself I couldn’t wait to get into the restaurant to meet my date as I was curious to see who they would match me with. Everyone involved with the show is lovely, helpful and there’s always someone you can phone for whatever reason. The food is good and of course the French fox Fred is even more stunning in real life while the rest of the staff can’t do enough for you. What I will say though is this, here are a few tips of what not to do should you ever find yourself on the programme.

1.Ladies. Don’t have a radical new hairstyle the day before. I had half my hair cut off and of course it didn’t play nice on the day.

2.Try and make sure that it’s not one of the hottest days of the year as that, combined with stress and the ridiculously hot lights in the post date interview will make you look like someone’s thrown water onto your face.

3.This is the most important. DO NOT leave your brand new shoes on the bed and realise when you’re getting changed that you’ll have to go with outfit B which may as well be Z.

Having said that,the most important thing is just to enjoy the experience. Everybody is hoping that you’ll have a good time, you’ve done the hard bit you’ve got there. and hopefully you can ignore all the people who’ll have so many negative things to say about how you look/dress/speak .You know the ones, the people who are sat at home, on the sofa watching you, who don’t have the actual guts to do it themselves. I know who I’d rather be…

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The Magic Of Twitter.

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a huge fan of Twitter, I love the fact that you can have brief conversations with total strangers who you will never meet but for whatever reason you’ve become friends with on Twitter. It also has a down side of course and there are many stories of people in the public eye who’ve had to leave due to abuse from trolls but for me it’s been a positive thing (this might well change in the very near future) and something interesting happened to me a few weeks ago.

One day a BBC journalist started following me on Twitter and asked could I follow her back so she could direct message me and after a brief conversation I gave her my phone number and the next day someone from the BBC phoned me asking would I be interested in appearing on the programme Rip Off Britain as they were doing one about how people get ripped off on holidays. What was this to do with me? Well apparently a while ago I’d posted a tweet about how I’d have loved to have gone on holiday but was sick of paying single supplement. A throwaway tweet that I can’t even remember posting had led some poor researcher trawling through hashtags to eventually find little old me. I was gobsmacked.

So, a couple of weeks ago I went to Media City where we proceeded to film a segment for the programme. It did take a while and there was a lot of leaning against the rails looking out into the distance over the water at Salford Quays pretending I was really wishing I was in Benidorm but it was fun and it’s always nice to meet new people. This won’t be shown until January or February I believe and I’m interested to see how much footage will actually be shown but in the meantime, as most of you know, I will be seen dining in a certain restaurant on Channel 4 next week. Let’s see if I’m still such a fan of Twitter after that…

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Age is just a number……right?

I try my best I really do but these guys in their late 40`s just aren`t having it….I`ve messaged a few this week and not one has replied (bastards) but thinking about it I suppose it`s the same for some of the older guys who message me.But it`s hard to get enthusiastic about someone who messages you and after the initial (same) conversation about where do you live/work/breathe and asking when you`re free…”I`m free next Wednesday lunchtime as it happens”…..you get the reply “Oh no! That`s when I`m having my cataract operation!” I don`t know about you but it sort of puts me off a bit as it`s a reminder that I`d be dating someone a bit older and everything that comes with it……I`d always be wondering if they never turned up are they actually in intensive care (for whatever reason)?? So I sort of understand why the younger guys are a bit cautious about dating someone a bit older but it`s all about mind set I think. I work with a lot of younger people and that definately helps but after having a day out at Blackpool and having our palms read hubby was in a good mood so when “B” messaged with some reference to my profile hubby nagged me to give him a chance…..”He`s 58 and he seems an OLD 58″…..hubby wasn`t impressed with my attitude so I messaged back and two sentences later he gave me his number asking me to ring.
A couple of days later I rang him and as soon as he answered I knew…..old. He made a couple more references to my profile so I had to explain “B”…..it`s not real it`s tongue in cheek,it`s a joke. Surely you know that?” “Oh yes I do but what was it you said, the acres of lawns need cutting. You`re in luck I`ve just bought a new lawn-mower!!” Now I realise this was B`s way of trying to be funny but believe me I would not be able to endure 5 minutes of that over coffee but what to say? So I just took the coward`s way and said I was off to work and must speak soon…….needless to say our romance is over….
And then there are the guys in their 50`s who still act like teenagers with no kids, travel a lot (usually Thailand) who actually brag about how much partying they do in Ibiza and no,….that`s not attractive either which brings me to someone who sends me the odd message now and again. We`ve only had a short conversation and this guy has asked me out (to which I`ve agreed) weeks ago and nothing`s happened. Apparently he`s had some surgery which requires a long healing process and he`ll take me out when he`s ready which initially was June but now has been changed to August. Obviously I forget until I get a message usually late at night when I`m on POF…”Get to bed”….”Oh?” “It`s far too late or is some-one still fishing?” Hmmm…..he doesn`t know yet but that date has just been cancelled.
Or sometimes you`ll be chatting to someone and they`ll say “Oh sorry! Forgot you`re looking for some-one younger than me, I`m 60”, sorry guys…..won`t play that game won`t even reply to that, think what you want as there was no reason at all to say that.
But if anyone`s wondering about what gypsy Zsa Zsa said in Blackpool let`s just say hubby`s got those marks on his bedroom wall that prisoners have when they`re marking off the months before freedom.Apparently she told him he would meet some-one in 18 months……….Hmmm……

I’m Mandy. Fly Me.

As I mentioned right at the start when I first started on POF I did a bit of research, purely to give me an idea of what my competition’s profiles were and therefore able to make sure mine was nothing like anyone else’s. Not that it would have made any difference as I’m sure a lot of guys just look at your picture and decide there and then. A lot of the women were saying things very similar to a lot of guys. Looking for someone genuine, loyal, trustworthy,(for god’s sake!!) and that was about it but there are quite a few women who speak with forked tongue as their user name and pictures say one thing and their profile says something else. Sexy Soo had pics of herself (these are women in their 50’s remember) in a few provocative poses wearing a too short/tight dress and doing that pose that Denise Welch does, leaning forward so that her boobs are nearly falling out but her profile said “Please don’t get in touch if you’re after sex  as I am looking for a meaningful relationship” or Naughty Nikki lying on her bed flashing her knickers and saying “I am not into one night stands please don’t be rude enough to ask me!” and there were quite a few who described themselves as “sassy,witty, glamorous” and “blonde, bubbly, cheeky” but I find the ones who describe themselves as “wild and wacky. I’m just a crazy gal” to be the worst offenders because they’re usually not. One lady even  said “Love walking on the beach (yes  the ladies are also guilty of this) I’m crazy all my friends think so! If money and space were no problem I would love to own some cows as pets. See what did I say about me? I’m just a crazy lady!!” I wouldn’t say that love, you’re actually just an idiot. But I did feel a bit sorry for this lady.
“Are you refined? What I want is a man who smells nice. has a good sense of humour, is intelligent and doesn’t bore me to death”. Oh dear, you’re on Plenty of Frogs it’s not the personals in The Guardian and let me tell you that you will never ever find him, but this guy says it all on his profile.
Please don`t send any pics semi-naked in your Primark underwear in front of your Ikea wardrobes, or looking like Miss Whiplash or pics sprawled across your Vauxhall Tigre in your onesie and PLEASE no pics from 10 years ago. I have noticed that some women on here twist the truth. Homemaker=unemployed. Likes a drink=alcoholic. A few extra pounds=25 stone.Loves the gym=with the remote watching Jeremy Kyle. Happy go lucky=nut job. Pictures from 10 years ago=looks like Ann Widdicombe. Separated=still seeing the ex. Loves all types of music= a fan of Susan Boyle and line dancing. Bubbly and loves life=still have the jacket with the straps at the back. Like to mingle and meet new friends = nosey cow. Longing for a knight in shining armour= a kickboxer because my ex is a psycho.”
My advice to these sexy ladies? If the puppies aren’t for sale, don’t put them in the shop window. But apparently a few of them call themselves yummy mummy, milf, princess, and a lot use that Marilyn Monroe quote, you know the one, where it says something like “If you can’t handle me at my worst, etc”.
Changing the subject a bit it’s been a bit of a slow week on POF for me, everyone’s enjoying the sunshine on their barges or walking in the Dales which is fair enough, I’m sure I#ll hear  from the ones who’ve got sun-stroke…….

WSOH (4)

When someone sends you a message telling you that you will never stop laughing when you`re on a date with them then obviously curiousity gets the better of you and you read their profile……..
“Just done 25 years in Broadmoor for chopping up women I meet on the internet.Only took my job at B+Q so I could get the 25% discount on a new axe, and if I let my probation officer out of the cellar I`m sure he will tell you that I`m fully rehabilitated. On a lighter note I`m young at heart and have a great sense of humour, got my own teeth, all my bits and pieces work and I ain`t got any weird ailments that mean I have to empty a colostomy bag into the freezers at Tesco. I have a daughter who thinks she has the better of me by running in and shouting “You alright spacehopper” but I will get my own back later shopping in Asda by doing my pub singer tribute for her down the aisles. Not mentioned I have a dog, bought him last year so he`s still a pup. I wondered why the guy was smiling and giggling so much when I drove off, soon found out the thing is either deaf or backwards. I was gonna take him back but the guy`s moved.”
Or this guy…….”I`m tall (it`s cold up here) I have one of my own hairs  and a tooth so I`m in good working order as long as I remember to wind up the pacemaker  and keep away from magnets as I`ve a tin leg.If you wake up breathing  it`s a good day. I admit to being 48 and have done for years, I just look old as I had a long paper round and it was all uphill.If there is ever a dispute I can see both sides of the situation, being cross-eyed helps with that. I can see the funny side of  most things and can be quick with humour….well it makes me laugh, especially if I tell a joke I`ve not heard before. When I go on holiday I like to be looked after, I`m not into camping as it reminds me of the Red Indian who drank that many cups of tea he died in his teepee.”…….
Or maybe this guy…….”I used to be really fit when younger , I ran everywhere but the coppers never caught me.I drive long distances for my work but love getting into my own luxury car and go into the country…..so what`s wrong with a robin reliant?? I like a pint of bitter and enjoy a large glass of red wine with my meal, I`m down to 15 meals a day now.
Back in a former life I was keyboard player in a group and was lucky enough to play in front of the Queen Elizabeth, the Prince of Wales and one or two other pubs around the country.
Not sure about this computer dating. What happened to the days when we went to the local village hall and you looked across the crowded smoke-filled room where you espied the girl of your dreams .You looked at her and smiled. She rolled her eyes at you and you picked them up and rolled them back.Can this ever be as romantic as that? Since I`ve been on here I`ve been inundated with beautiful ladies not wanting to talk to me.If you say hello I`ll always reply especially if you leave a fiver.
It has been reported that some people have been showing photos of themselves naked on sheepskin rugs. These people have now been evicted from the site. That`s the end of the nudes…..now here is the weather forecast. A plane loaded with car parts had to eject the cargo to gain more height during a dramatic flight, it`s now raining Datsun cogs……Oh is that the time? I`d better let you go and read profiles where the authors are more desirable and talking about time…I bought a lovely watch a while ago but daren`t wear it, it`s got a lifetime guarantee-when the main spring goes it slashes your wrist….”
So…how can a girl resist?? After reading that lot I feel like I`ve inhaled helium……..

Passion Killers……

Now I realise that it`s different strokes for different folks but I think more than a few of you will be in agreement to some of mine……Last week I had a date. Just coffee as I`ve stopped meeting anyone in the evening as it`s a bit of a commitment (meaning you have to spend more than an hour with them) so I arranged to meet “C” at 1 o`clock. He was already there when I was walking towards the meeting place but it took a few minutes to recognise him, purely because he`d put on at least 2 stone since his photo (just the one!!) had been posted.If anyone has seen that programme “Catfish” you will know exactly how I felt. It`s about people who are having a relationship on-line with someone they have never met, doesn`t exist who has numerous fake facebook accounts/photos/lives and it always ends with the fake person looking nothing like their photo…..as did C. Ok I only have to waste an hour with this guy so yeah, that`s fine until as I walked towards him he sort of looked me up and down which for some reason really bugged me. That hour has now halved to 30 minutes mate……
Over coffee I asked him was it a recent photo? “Well I`ve had a couple of relationships off this site and it`s the same one I put on when I first started, oh about 7 or 8 years ago”.Oh you don`t say….”So your last relationship didn`t end well then?” I asked him. “I was with her just over a year and it ended 6 weeks ago and that was when I put myself back on the site”. Talk about getting back on the horse!! “Ye.ah she had a teenage daughter so it wasn`t going to work”. I was confused. ” Not sure what you mean as she had this daughter when you met?” “Well yeah but the daughter kept giving my son funny looks” Oh I see…..I reckon this woman has had a lucky escape.After telling me he was just “looking for anything” I called it a day. In the meantime hubby was having his own problems…….
After swapping txts and photos and then chatting, hubby was looking forward to meeting “S” for coffee at the Quays when he got a txt. “Is it pay and display as I`m driving?” Hubby replied “Well yeah it`s the Lowry outlet.” Another text “Is there anywhere else to park? It`s not that I`m tight or anything” But yes you clearly are but hubby replied anyway “You can always get the tram” Another text, “What? You clearly don`t know me very well as I don`t do public transport!” That`s fair enough but for hubby that was his passion killer…..”Tell you what, let`s leave it for another time shall we? I think it might be better next week”.This guy apparently has a really good job and he`s quibbling about 2/3 pounds parking and what he didn`t know was that hubby would have paid for his coffee! His loss…..
Another thing for me is when you`ve been “chatting” on-line and getting on then you have the phone call……and you just go right off  them.Not because of what they`ve said, it`s the tone of voice if that makes any sense? I clearly want it all…… But the ultimate passion killer is someone who will not use a condom. I find this so disrespectful but anyone reading the papers will know that std`s are on the rise in my age group more than any other and there are a couple of reasons for this. A lot of guys have had vasectomys and seem to think being as you can`t get pregnant you don`t need a condom so that`s a safe bet they never use `em….another reason is menopausal women with the same reason but of course let`s not underestimate the usual “I`m allergic/don`t do them big enough/I`ll withdraw” arguements.I myself have a door policy….If you`re not wearing a jacket, then you can`t come in……..

I want those drugs……

It`s been one of those weeks where everyone on POF has been a little bit crackers.One guy messaged me…”Hello, are you working today? I can meet you this afternoon,” Total stranger, not exchanged a word with him so of course I didn`t reply. Another one….”How are you?”……Yet another,”What are you doing?” I didn`t reply to any but it didn`t stop him the next evening.”Hope you`ve had a good day.”….”Are you still there?”…..”Are you dancing round your handbag?”…..”Have you fell asleep?Lol!”….And my favourite “Hope we can chat again!x” In the end I told him as I hadn`t replied please leave me alone to which he said “I just want to get to know you”……ok gloves have had to come off. “I have had to block you for unwelcome attention. for god`s sake if someone doesn`t reply it means they`re NOT INTERESTED!!!” On the same evening I had “F” message me,”Hi, you know my neighbour “S” Oh my god! His neighbour is butterdish S so I replied “Yes I do hope he`s ok”. “Oh he is but I`ve noticed on your profile it says you`re a Christian, what does that mean to you?” What? It`s a box you have to tick and yes I went to Sunday School but that`s about it! He went on…”I`m born again, there is no other Christian, I don`t have a church or anything an`I am baad! Knowmsayyn! But I believe I could say more, depends how deep you`re at. I have a shaved head like the Budmeister but I am a Christian and believe in the redeeming power of Yeshua. One is only a Christian if you are born again. This was explained to Nicodemus”….Bloody hell I must have missed that one at Sunday School but I replied “F, has no-one ever told you that you never talk about religion or politics? Especially when trying to impress……”     On the same evening I had a message from good old “C” who I have exchanged messages with but purely as friends (which he knows) but I think this particular night he was a bit giddy as he said ” Had a brilliant day! My bird came first in the Norfolk show out of 800! Had my trophy presented to me by Princess Anne! Would have been great if I`d had you there under my arm….” C has a poultry farm and is always trying to make me jealous by telling me about other women he`s been chatting with….but I really couldn`t care less as I don`t fancy him but I replied “That`s great C! I think the phrase you mean is “on my arm” but I`m pleased for you”.Then he said “Not met anyone on here yet J?” “Obviously not”…”Mmmm and we could have been a couple by now”. For god`s sake! “You live too far away C!” And then I got “J…just give me your number, it would be nice to chat the odd time, I`m genuine and lovely to chat to, here`s my number…..” When I didn`t reply I got another message “Just open up to me love, I`m one of the good guys” And he just might be but he lives too far away and I can tell with our conversations he`s not my type so I haven`t been responding for a while as he keeps hoping I`ll change my mind. Clearly he`d had a great day and possibly a drink and just wanted to share his good news which is fine…until we start getting a bit pushy but we have exchanged the odd sentence or two since……Next evening I get a message from “P” who`s profile says “I don`t drink or smoke. I don`t go out often becauseI hate coming home to an empty house. All my friends say that they wish they were me, doing what I want to do, when I want to do it and I have no-one to answer to.” Hmmm….think you`re friends might be winding you up there P as you sound a lonely lonely man…….Now, what planet am I orbiting again??

What`s mine is mine……and will never be yours.

Solvency…..the word itself sounds quite serious don`t you think? But this can cause all sorts of problems when dating older guys.There are a few on good ole` Plenty of Frogs who have never been married (for whatever reason) and I would imagine if that guy is successful with his own house, car, villa in Portugal, fully paid up member of the golf club he ain`t going to be wanting to share the spoils of all his hard work……not after all this time.I do know of a couple of guys (never married) who have girlfriends,and believe me those girlfriends have to pay their way, they are expected to pay half the meals out, holidays, take-aways, even though one or two of those guys are millionaires (on paper) so when I see a guy who looks half decent, sense of humour,etc,then I realise when I read his profile that he wants a woman who is on a par with him money-wise I just don`t even bother to either reply or send a message….I don`t own an ironing board for god`s sake but that`s a whole other story……but would you ditch someone if you found out after seeing him for 6 months that he had less money than you? Maybe if he only had a 250,000 instead of the million you thought he had?Personally I wouldn`t but I do know of one or two ladies who have done just that after finding out the guy they were “madly in love with” was worth less than they thought.And how many people still have an ex to contend with who are still living in the matrimonial home? God imagine meeting someone and although the kids have grown up the ex still lives in the house, there`s all that to sort out and I`m sure she/he won`t be calling any removal men soon……why would they? Sensitive subject and not one where you his current girlfriend can bring it up in conversation, never mind call the shots.We all like to think we would do the right thing where money`s concerned but how many of us actually do? It really does bring out the worst in people especially if someone thinks they`re being short changed at the end of a relationship……I had a friend years ago who worked in the same nightclub as I did. After winning a final of a Miss Wet T-Shirt competition (we ARE talking the 80`s) she was on a high as the prizes included a holiday to Spain, a couple of hundred quid and a centrefold spread in Hustler magazine (which she turned down but the runner up, a peroxide blonde in her late 30`s with 5 kids said she`d do it) so you can imagine we were all going mental that she`d won and popping champagne when her husband came storming into the club. “Get home now!” We all looked in shock as “J” explained she`d won the competition and they were going on holiday (she had a baby…..that`s how she won she hadn`t breast-fed that day!!) but he was having none of it. So off she went and apparently the holiday was a disaster and while wondering how she was going to leave him he got knocked down and killed by a bus. Seriously….So “J” got what she wanted in the end and ended up with an accountant. Last time I saw her she said although he was loaded she actually had to account for every single penny she spent and had to supply receipts, and as I looked at her I knew I could not live like that because for men money is a form of control and they think they can tell you what you can and can`t have.Back in the day when I had a husband he used to try that…..”If you do such and such you can have that jacket from Topshop”…..Err….I`m working so I`m earning so yeah I CAN have it”….never went down well that come back…….can`t think why…….

Shoulda Woulda Coulda.

I love it when I read someone’s profile and it goes along the lines of “Ideally you will have blonde hair, be  articulate, no children, great sense of humour etc….so obviously you have to look at the photo and there is none!! Jesus, I’m guessing you’ve no hair (blonde or otherwise) not great in the looks department and a mysoginist to boot because a lot of the guys my age are not really in touch with their feminine side. A word of caution ladies, if a man has no female friends it’s probably because he doesn’t actually like women and they are for one purpose only If only I’d realised this back in the day I’d have got out of a couple of relationships a hell of a lot sooner than I did. Having said that I don’t want someone who’d give Liberace a run for his money and have to worry about housemate running off with them. It`s usually one of two camps that men my age fall into. One, they have NO dress sense what so ever or two, they’re trying too hard and end up wearing clothes that would be more suited to a 25 year old so what’s a girl to do? And don`t even get me started on the pics of guys with their tops off.  Really, are you sure you’re on the right dating site guys? Or the ones who have pics of themselves with their gleaming motor bikes “I have a Honda Goldwing-Honda Accord-Harley Davidson-Triumph 900” Sorry I can’t read any more of your profile as my eyes have just glazed over (with boredom). But by far the best photos are when I get a message and look at the photo and can’t believe how OLD someone looks, I have to stop myself from phoning the National History Museum and saying “I’ve found your missing dinosaur!”
Which brings me to a guy I’ve been sort of chatting with this week who I like to call Desperate Dan. I hate it when guys ask you what you’re looking for as you can’t really answer that. You might have a check list of things you’d like,(mine’s always hair and humour, tricky to get both apparently) but hopefully when you’re chatting with someone you find things you like about them and take it from there but some men have a clear idea of what they want which is long term and Dan was no exception so this is how it went.
Dan “So, what’s your plan? Are you going to date everyone on here until you find “him” maybe or are you going to give a half decent chap a chance and see if it develops into something more. You’re not a teenager anymore, life is too short for us now”.
J “True but I still wouldn’t be with someone just because we got on ok and life’s too short? Don’t want a companion do you? And just to clarify I don’t actually go on a lot of dates.”
Dan  “Well no but what you’re looking for and me for that matter may never be found but may grow with two people getting together initially”
J I don`t remember telling you what I was looking for but believe me it’s got to be a hell of a lot more than two people getting together out of desperation in the hope that something may “grow” out of it.”
Dan “Ok hunni talk tomorrow”
He’d definitely lost me then “Hunni”…….
Or there’s always this guy. “I am a smart attractive very very very young 62 (course you are) but looks, acts and feels very much younger. Successful business man with a taste for the good things in life. I have been told many times that I have a really pleasing and interesting personality and have my own good teeth. Please be assured I`m 100% geniune and feel sure if you respond you won’t be sorry”
Wow. Now where’s that guy with the, what was it again,the Triumph 900……..

The Butter Dish

I actually miss talking to “S”. I say talking but most of the time I was just listening and before you think why did I stop there is a reason. Having messaged back and forth for a while and a couple of phone calls we agreed where to meet, which was a nice bar with good food. S had already said he was going to pay ( this was going to be a first) so that already put him in my good books. As we sat down and got into conversation I found he was really easy to get on with and the time went really quickly,S had already told me he was going on a ski-trip with “the lads” (no-one under 50) at the weekend  so we sort of left it a bit vague as to when we would next meet up. The next day I had a couple of txts and the same on Friday but then on Friday evening I received a phone call from him and he just went on and on for 10 minutes about the gas bill he’d had, I don’t  think I said 2 words to him, he was so angry! When I put the phone down I did think it was a bit like listening to an old woman.
The next day was Saturday so as I knew S was going on holiday I was a bit surprised to receive a phone call.”Just setting off for the airport J”  “Ok, well have a good time, see you when you get back.” Gay hubby and I decided to do a bit of shopping in the afternoon  and we were wandering around the home section at Next when I had another call. This gave hubby the perfect excuse to go chasing after some scally he’d got his eye on.”Just boarding the plane now J! Shall I tell you what I`m wearing?” And I had the full outfit described to me which I have to say I found just a little bit worrying. When hubby showed up I told him. “Really? Think you might have missed something there.” I was beginning to think the same because I remembered on my date with S he’d been telling me about a butter dish he’d bought and that it was literally his pride and joy, seriously. If there was ever a fire that would be the one thing he would save and apparently he`d been looking for YEARS for a suitable butter dish. After a phone call from him telling me he’d landed in Austria I didn’t hear a thing until he got back.
On his return I had a txt as hubby and I were having breakfast. “Ask him to send you a picture of his butter dish”, so I did. A few minutes later I received a picture of it placed to show off it’s best side on the balcony, with a caption that said “I love it!!”  Hubby looked at me.”Think you`d better look for someone else J, don’t know why he’s on your dating site, he’d be better off on mine.” As everyone knows who are on these sites it’s usually naked bits that guys want to send pics of so I had to agree. Obviously I couldn’t actually say that I thought he was gay so I just dwindled the replies to txts, etc until we’d stopped, but I do miss listening to him sometimes as it was a bit like chatting with the girls, but the butter dish? A step too far.

871

Too Picky…..

I`m often getting accused of this and yes, I make no excuse, I certainly am.Always have been (bar once) and always will be so it doesn`t make things any easier on POF where guys who should know better think they`re still God`s gift and they`re doing you a favour even looking at your profile…..As most of the guys are lacking in the looks department I`ve got to hope that something will make me fancy him, but one guy got it all wrong a few days ago with this….
“Hi! How are you this evening?” So after looking at his profile which said geniune, looking to date,honest, (all the usual guff) I replied. “Fine thanks just watching rubbish tv.You?” “Yeah same, so where do you live in Manchester,I`m in Stockport?” So I told him and got this, “Oh you`re quite close to me! We could meet for a coffee…”  “Well that`s if I wanted to meet you”…..He obviously wasn`t a time-waster as his next message was “So are you putting the kettle on then?”  “No not tonight, are you serious?” “Yes”….I thought for a minute. Surely he couldn`t mean it? “Seriously do you think I`m going to let a total stranger into my house?” He replied “Yes. Don`t see what the problem is…” I won`t tell you what I replied but I looked at his profile again. No-where did it say  raving lunatic……..
I don`t think I`m the only one who`s picky though. Most people who are divorced won`t tolerate any bad behaviour, emotional manipulation or drama and because we`re less naive we`re more cautious. Some people have suggested I go for someone completely different to my normal type. This is hard because I feel as though I`d be “settling” for someone just because we`re both older. I`m not looking for a companion I`ve got gay hubby for that. He cooks, cleans, he`s good company and we like the same (rubbish) tv…and like a lot of married couples we don`t have sex. In fact we`re quite happy, in a lot of ways he`s a hard act to follow……

“Well if Hef can do it”….

After having recieved a message (on Match.com) from a 72 year old got me thinking…..I`m trying not to get too fed up about it but the reality is the men I want (same age as me) don`t want me, they want the 20years younger version, so obviously I attract the older guys as for them I`m the 20 years younger woman that they want! It`s always the same, I see someone my age who looks after himself, not bad-looking, well dressed so I get in touch but if they do reply I can usually tell with what they say if they`re just being polite….”sigh”…..Anyway had to laugh when I got the message from “L”. “Would love to get to know you better, I`m a young sprightly 72 year old who is looking for a nice lady for guaranteed good times, you will not be disappointed! Well if Hef can do it, I don`t see why I can`t! Please get in touch!” so I looked at his profile.He certainly looked older than his years but that might be because he looked like he needed a good ironing but there was nothing at all attractive about him but the thing is “guaranteed good times” at 72 would obviously involve his use of  a certain blue tablet, Oh…..god……nooooo don`t even want to think about it!!! But I was tempted to message back to point out the subtle differences between L and Hef…..I don`t think Hef has just got back from the bookies on his motorised scooter, parked it in the communal hallway in the block of warden controlled flats he lives in, gone and sat down dragging his oxygen cannister (due to years of chain-smoking Woodbines) waiting for his carer to come round and help him in the shower. Having said that I`m quite sure Hef has carers,they just all wear bunny ears I`m sure.Let`s hope his new wife has got her claim sorted out for carers allowance, she deserves it……Back in the day I too was on the HH payroll (although I never met him) but that piece of information will never,ever get told to any would-be suitors, can you imagine?? They`d just assume I`d still have the outfit and they`d be expecting all sorts of role-play.And of course I was always asked the same question….”Did you ever go to the mansion?” Well no I didn`t and the reason was only Playmates went to the mansion, the ones who took all their clothes off for an obscene amount of money and who can blame them? If I`d been offered that I`d be in my own mansion, but as it is I say anyone can have a grotto in their own back garden…..a pond,a plastic palm tree, a few fairy lights wrapped round it away you go…..I was never a playmate, just your average bunny girl and kept my clothes on but I did get followed for 2 days once when I lived in Spain by a German film director, begging me to be in his next film.Telling him I couldn`t act didn`t seem to put him off, “It really doesn`t matter,really. Just say you`ll be in it!” The penny only dropped when one of my friends(male) said “It doesn`t matter if you can`t act J…..it`s a porno”……

Assorted Nuts…..

Well what a week it`s been on POF! I`ve tried to spend the same amount of time on both sites which is a bit easier now I realise I won`t be getting (hardly) any messages on Match.Although I did have one from an Italian guy who said he`s signed up for the 3 day free trial…..so there was no picture and nothing at all on his profile.Apparently his 8 year old son likes the Match advert on TV and that`s why he`s trying it, but could he have my email address to send some photos? ……
Back on POF I had a guy get in touch a couple of weeks ago asking me could he use my profile (he`d tweak it so it wasn`t ALL copied) but I did say I`d rather he didn`t as I`d spent quite a bit of time on it trying to stand out from everyone else.After another message from him asking did I have copyright (I had to reply that no I didn`t) I said don`t use it. Forgot about until this week when I`m looking through who POF seem to think are my matches….usually people you`ve had a chat with recently or got in touch with you, never anyone new…..and there he was with MY PROFILE!! The cheeky git has copied it but added his own script but used quite a bit of my wording. To say I was annoyed is an understatement, I`m fuming!! So I reported him, not sure if they can actually do anything but we`ll see….. In the meantime, had a message from a guy (no pic) who said “Not a nutcase, just being honest. I just want to serve someone a coffee nude, how hard can that be?. You can be clothed of course…” Then another one from a guy in Burnley “Love my football,all my tatts are football related, used to have 9 ferrets only got 4 left hope you like them, they`re my babies”….. Then I actually liked the look of someone`s nice normal profile so I sent “D” a message. He messaged back with “Hi, your profile is weird. It says nothing about you.” Wow….never had that but I replied with “It`s just tongue in cheek, people usually get it.” Another message…”No, it`s weird,” Ok, I can see I massively over-estimated this guy by assuming he actually had 2 brain cells so after looking at his pics again I replied…”I tell you what I find weird, Men who post pictures of themselves with their daughters on a dating website”….which is true actually, I do find that strange….but if I read another profile that says “Get in touch I don`t bite! Unless you want me to lol!”…I will actually scream……

I`ve Been Upgraded!!

As I`ve mentioned to my offspring I was thinking of joining Match.com one of them bought me a month`s subscription as a birthday present….I must admit I got a bit giddy until after a couple of days I realised…..just because I`m on a paying site doesn`t actually make them better looking. But I was enjoying the experience as it is a bit different from Plenty Of Frogs in that guys don`t actually message much, they just wink instead….and if I wink back then what?? I`ve hardly had any messages as such but I have had a couple from a 26 year old in Grampian Scotland. (Hang on…..my search was for local guys in the age range of 45-55) and this is what he said ….” Hi! Can`t believe you`re 55! (neither can I ) I`ll bet you`re inundated with messages!” but there`s the thing….I`m “fresh meat” as it were and the guys don`t get in touch!! Anyway I replied to “S” and said he`d be better off  concentrating on girls his own age. Let`s be honest, I wasn`t flattered I was just waiting for the true reason he`d got in touch and I didn`t have to wait long….after a couple of days I had another message…”So…have you any children?” I replied with yes got one of each…and here it is…the 64 Million Dollar Question……”Err…have any of your son`s friends had a bit of a crush on you?”…..Ha Ha!! Can see where this is going so obviously didn`t reply!! But the weird thing is I`ve had a couple of young guys been in touch which I wouldn`t expect when they are  not in my search and don`t live anywhere near them. In the meantime because I`ve got a new toy I`ve been ignoring POF until today where I find I`ve actually been missed by “P”.
“Hello J where have you been all week? I looked really smart at my interview for Sefton Council because back in the 70`s I had a job at Burtons for a week so I know how to dress correctly. Why did you disappear for a week? I`m going caddying tomorrow for my friend but I don`t fancy sausage and chips this week, think I`ll have fish instead with 4 pints of lager”. 
Another guy had messaged (on POF) and his profile says this…”I`m looking forward to meet the Soul to my Golden Heart who is slim, slender, a blonde or brunette, soft spoken,modernly well dressed. I will walk with her, never let her down, to hold each other warmly,tenderly guaranteed. My aim is to own the best cars, a lovely cottage, shopping for only branded items such as Gucci, Reebok.Slazenger”     I`m betting this guy isn`t British……and he got in touch with me??!!…..

This week`s Beauties…..

Reading through messages is a bit like wading through water. I always go and look at the profile of every single message I recieve to try and find out a bit more of the person who`s sent it…..and usually disappointed. One guy this week, “D” sent a message with no picture so I took a quick look and this is what is on his profile.”Firstly I deleted my photo because sadly I don`t resemble Pierce Brosnan, or any other hunky fooker that you shallow, sad old broads imagine in yer dreams would be interested in you. I live alone, I`ve no family, hangers-on or any other baggage unlike most of you women have burdening you.If you find me of interest (not very likely I know) but then you`re not really interesting yourself. Try to get motivated to write, be honest, tell me what you`re looking for. We could swap a few messages and see what happens. So make an effort for once, nothing good will ever happen if you don`t.Furthermore, take a look in the mirror darlin` but put your glasses on this time cos the sixty quid a month you`ve been spending on face ointment for the past 30 years didn`t work.”…….so I replied and he sent me a photo of himself which wasn`t half as bad as I`d been expecting. So I asked him where in Manchester he lived and this is what I got back….”Why do you want to know? I`m a bit paranoid of getting involved with anyone so I`d rather not say”….and no I didn`t even bother replying to that. Seriously what is the point? But then I had a message from”K” ….
“Hi! Check out my profile I`m sure we`d get on!”….so I did and to be fair he looked like a nice happy guy with red hair (not my usual type but as we all know hair is a bonus!) and a few years younger. A couple of messsages later he`s told me he`s very involved in amateur dramatics and wouldn`t be able to meet this weekend as he had an audition for a musical and one for a stage version of “The Full Monty”.That`s ok, no rush but it soon became clear that having spare time was something K had very little of and to be fair it was also becoming clear that it`s all about K. “I`m in Oklahoma! this week Wednesday to Saturday why don`t you come and see me? It`s in Bolton, tickets cost £11 but well worth it.Bring a friend and I`ll have a post-show drink with you to say thanks for coming! Wednesday`s fully booked though…” Hang on a minute K….you got in touch with me remember! Do you honestly think I`m getting on the train to Bolton, paying £11 for a ticket to watch a total stranger who clearly has a massive ego? And you`ll have a drink with me to say thanks for coming?? Err….no. Having made my excuses as to why I couldn`t go doesn`t seem to deter him. “Just going into make-up!”…..”Even got a matinee on Saturday”  Not that this makes any difference to meeting up because had he bothered to ask he would know I work on Saturdays…….I`ll bet Michael Ball is quaking in his shoes….there`s a pretender to his throne!!
And then we have “W”. “Hi! I see that one of your pics is taken outside one of the bars on Deansgate!” Checking the profile and yes he seemed ok.Another message.”I know my bars! Would love to take you out but don`t get paid until 2 weeks on Friday. Skint because I have to pay CSA but only for the next couple of years hun.”  Right, get in touch in a couple of years then eh? I`ll probably still be on here …”sigh”…

WSOH (3)

It`s that time again boys and girls! Get your oxygen tank ready! I`m just going to unhook mine from the motorised scooter of my latest would be suitor…..
“Have my own teeth (because I hide them at night) most of my hair, which I rescued from the plughole over the years. I`ve recently joined a local skipping club because they have some great trips and they promised to show me the ropes..”
“Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog`s face he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride he sticks his head out of the window? Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are flat? Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest but ducks when you throw a revolver at him? Why do people pay good money to go up tall buildings and put money in binoculars just to see what`s on the ground? Does pushing the lift button make it arrive faster? Do illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup? Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star have the same tune? If electricity comes from electrons does morality come from morons? If corn oil is made from corn and vegetable oil is made from vegetables what is baby oil made from? If quizzes are quizzical what are tests? Why is there a light in the fridge but not the freezer? Who was the first person to say”See that chicken over there I`m going to eat the first thing that comes out of it`s bum!”
“To meet my pet tiger
You must not be convicted of murdering your first husband.
You must not be French, German or indeed from Poland.
You must not live in a caravan pulled by a horse or indeed a transit pick-up.
You must not be a pirate.
You must not be a man or look like one.
You must not be in training to be a suicide bomber.
You must not live more than 10,000 miles away.
You must not drink more than 3 bottles of vodka a day.
You must not have sacrificed any man to Beelzebub in a church yard at midnight in the last 12 months.
You must not have more than 100 cats.”
Think I might have failed on 2 of those…then we have.
“I`ve no money, useless lover,very athletic. I`ve ran the 100 metres in 2 days and 14 seconds. I`m always at the gym, don`t actually go in it just sit in the bar eating a muffin watching all the idiots trying to get fit and paying for it. I`m fairly tall 4ft 1″, very smart dresser all my clothes are from Primark. I`ve a lovely smile though my teeth might fall out if I`m having a chewy steak.I`ve got a big boil on my nose but it comes in handy if I get lost at sea. I have a new car, well it was new in 1976 with fluffy dice in it and a powerful engine that goes for ages unlike myself. After reading my profile you will want to get in contact with me. I do understand, but you may be stuck in a queue when trying to get in touch. However, if you have 2 arms and legs and a head you will have a good chance of meeting me for coffee. Lastly…I would date an ugly woman but you will have to sit on the next table in the restaurant and walk behind me in the street.” 
                             Let`s sack the oxygen…I think class A`s are needed……

You`re a good listener, I`ve not asked you one single question!!

“C” was a nice guy so I was looking forward to meeting him in Manchester and he was happy enough to come in on the train from Bolton.He was easy to spot as he actually looked like his photos and he had a gorgeous smile so I was a bit optimistic about this one…..Once we were sat down in the bar I found he was really easy to talk to and had plenty of stories to tell that somehow always involved meeting a woman….such as the time he had planned a trip to America to drive along Route 66. So I would imagine a lot of planning and money went into this trip as well as having to book a month off work and was amazed when he said that on the first night there he met a woman who asked could she go along for the ride and he agreed!! Two weeks into the trip the lady informed him she was only allowed two weeks off work and she would have to return but being a gentleman he couldn`t let her go back on her own so turned the car around and drove back…..After listening to a few more tales I could see there was a theme going on so I asked “How long have you been split up from your last partner?” “3 weeks” Ok….and what happened there then?” ” I really don`t know. She just wanted me out.” Really? You don`t know? Oh I think you do know C and I`ll bet my last penny that it involved one of her friends……In the meantime we`ve gone on to his grandaughter and I must have looked at oh I reckon 50 photos, a couple of videos on his phone, lovely little thing but let`s face it nothing to with me! Looking at my watch I said I had to leave.”Really? Oh! You`re a good listener I`ve not asked you a single question!”…….I know C, I know……
In the meantime good old “P” has messaged again. I must admit I replied to his last one about his showbiz friend having a budgie circus because I can tell P isn`t trying to be funny he`s just lonely I think……but this is what I got this week…
“I`m going caddying for my friend tomorrow.Last time we went he got me sausage and chips and 4 pints of lager. Next door`s cat fell off the roof yesterday, I went and told them but nothing was broken it was just winded. Not happy with this new gas fire I`ve got it`s sending off fumes but the gas man said it was residue. Let me just say I know how to treat a lady. If she`s got her eye on any appliance for the home I would treat her to it.It`s still looking like July when I go to my nephew`s” Who said romance was dead??

I’m not bitter…..

Obviously some people cope better than others at breaking up (especially if they saw it coming) but you do get the odd one who , shall we say, are finding the adjustment hard. One guy`s profile reads
“Been 3 years away from the ex so I’m now well into this single life. There`s good and bad points but at least my money’ s now mine, apart from the solicitor’s fees who should invite me to their xmas party. Now I want to seek out the partner I want and deserve. I have spent the last 15 years with a woman who’s idea of stimulating conversation was to discuss the lives of fictional characters in soaps, so I`m a little rusty in the art of good conversation. Looking for someone who doesn’t consider soaps as real life”
Then we have J from Derby.
“I met my ex on here and we had 2.5 wonderful years together but I screwed it up. I want her back but she doesn’t want me. We moved in together, stopped having fun but I didn’t do enough to put it right, she moved out just over a week ago.We are so good together, we think the same and have the same values. She is really attractive and I miss her like hell. Interests, getting back with her.”
But here`s my favourite. “If you’re the type of lass who’s gonna go off with my best mate don’t bother getting in touch!” Which brings me to a lot of guys on here are looking for “The One” that seems to me an awful lot of pressure for one woman to cope with.  Apart from the obvious scenario of being put on a pedestal what happens when they find I have feet of clay??
“Prepared to wait for the right one coming along because I believe in Destiny. I`ve lost 5 stone in 2 months and had to get a lot of new clothes from the charity shops. Ultimate honesty required!” But here is this week’s star prize, “P” messaged me with this enticing message.
“Hi you seem a nice lady, I was wondering if you would be interested in meeting up next time I come and visit my nephew in Manchester. I have a very good but dark sense of humour, in fact I’m short of friends these days as I’ve lost some of them because of my sense of humour. I know a lot about the showbiz world as I am a friend to a retired professional entertainer, he performed magic and had the first budgie circus in Southport. I am hoping to enter the X-Factor auditions this year in Liverpool. It’s taken me 8 years to perfect my voice so I`ll probably do an Elvis number. I know what I`m NOT looking for and that’s a woman in her mid-late forties that seems to think she’s still 18 and spends all her time in nightclubs having fancy photos taken with young guys. PS, I will be visiting my nephew in July as it’s quite a way from Southport.” Well now, what do I say to that??…….

Repeat Offenders

Sometimes you get a message from a guy who`s messaged you before…..clearly they`ve forgotten (especially if you`ve changed your pics) or maybe they`re hoping I`ve forgotten, either way if it`s someone I`ve not replied to in the past then the chances are I`m not going to reply this time…..One guy has repeatedly messaged and the reason I`venever replied is it`s…..shall we say a bit suggestive.The last time he sent a message he changed tack and seemed to realise he was playing it all wrong so I replied this time and it probably took 3 sentences before he said “So, has anyone managed to see you in some lovely lingerie including stockings?” And no I didn`t reply. Then there was “B” who messaged with “Hi, you look nice”. For god`s sake B we were having a conversation a couple of weeks ago! Either alzheimers is already setting in or even more worrying…..I clearly didn`t make any impression at all!
One guy who always sends a message every few weeks is “S”…..his profile picture is of his boat and his profile mentions not only his boat but also his super duper motor-bike, a high performance car and various other material posessions (you wouldn`t believe how many guys have a place in the Lakes) and there`s a lovely pic of all his lovely “things” but mysteriously not one of him…..and no I never reply. Then of course there is always the generic “Hi sexy! Fancy a chat?” which is clearly sent to 100 women every day. But out of every message I`ve ever been sent I am still waiting for someone with The Pina Colada song……
“If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain
If you`re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight.”…..and you know the rest. Can`t believe no-one is using that on their profile! Instead we get “BOO! didn`t expect that did you?? I`m so funny me I`m funnier than Peter Kay….I love to cuddle up in my y-fronts and cravat with a can of stout and a good 78rpm record. I have a 3 year old child..”Do you know he`s right,that is hilarious….a 51 year old man with a 3 year old child I am laughing my head off…..

The Chase….aka What the Hell Is Going On???….

Well where do I start with this one? Believe it or not once a date has been arranged anything can happen in the time leading up to actually meeting…..usually a cancellation. For whatever reason this is always done by a txt message, god forbid they actually tell you in a phone call….I suppose that is just one step away from lying to your face, so I tend to restrain my excitement about meeting someone until the event happens.
“T” and I had arranged to meet for a coffee in Manchester so I really didn`t expect a txt cancelling the date when I was actually on the tram on the way in! Unfortunately he had to take his mum for her hospital appointment as his sister was on holiday (she usually takes her) really sorry, etc….Well I can`t argue with that can I? We arranged to meet a couple of days later when he left me a message on the POF site…..”Sorry should have told you I`m not too good at the minute, been off work,hopefully we can do this in a couple of months time”….so I had to question wether he had any intention to meet up…..
Then there was “D”.He was one of the funniest guys I`d been chatting with and I was looking forward to meeting up but nothing had been mentioned after a couple of weeks so I decided to approach the subject. You`d have thought I`d just chucked a bucket of scalding hot water over him by the response I got…..”Oh my god no I can`t! I`ve been ill, anxiety issues,low confidence don`t want to meet anyone!” Right,I get the picture D….and shortly after that he deleted his profile. A couple of weeks later a guy got in touch on POF and it wasn`t long before I realised it was D with a whole new name and profile. When I asked him why he just said it was a bit of fun but would I like to meet up? On the day of the date (you know what`s coming) I was just setting off out of the door when I got the txt “Sorry, can`t do it”…..and no I definately didn`t reply…
Which brings me to Steve,this week`s nut-job.We`ve exchanged lengthy emails,he seems really nice,(don`t they all) and we arranged to meet up one Sunday evening a couple of weeks ago.On the Friday I recieved a POF message from him but his picture had been deleted.
“I think it`s only fair that I should let you know that a member on this site whom I have been chatting with for the last 5 weeks has suggested we meet up on Saturday. I just wanted to tell you this as you seem a nice lady and I believe in total honesty,I just wish we had got to know each other sooner and maybe then it would be you I was meeting with on Saturday. The lady has asked me to keep off this site  and wanted me to remove my profile and photos which I thought was a bit harsh as I haven`t even met her yet but I`m going to respect her wish and do just that but hide it as deleting it will cause me to lose my paid membership. So if I do a disappearing act you know why, but if I find myself free after Saturday and you`re still around maybe we could still meet up….”
Yes you all read that correctly. the guy actually hands over money to be on this freak show! Apart from the obvious question….why not meet both of us?? Anyway I recieved another message the next day
“I hope you`re well, you know I said I was going on a date, well things have changed today.The woman has sent me a message asking why I had come on to the site yesterday. When I said it was to check messages she accused me of being a player and being married and when I went to reply to that accusation she`d blocked me! So I was wondering are you still free on Sunday?”
I had the feeling that something wasn`t quite right and in fact this was actually a BIG CLUE as to what was coming but hubby was all for it…”You should go, he seems ok” This is the hubby who`s having worse problems than me on his own dating site so to me that wasn`t quite the recommendation I was after…..
Anyway we arranged for friday and after txting and a phone call on Wednesday to which there was no reply I checked POF….and he`d got a whole new profile with a new name but hadn`t got the brains to delete the messages he`d sent me so that`s how I found out……tell you what….I can get a degree in how the devious mind works by the time I`ve finished on here…….

99 problems…..but you aren`t one……

I actually liked this guy`s profile after reading it so I decided to message him. It read “I am seeking a like-minded woman to share a disastrous 3-9 month relationship with….ending in acrimony, emotional chaos and possible legal proceedings….someone who will at first give me obsessive love, praise and devotion, but whose self-loathing and fear of rejection will eventually lead her to pushing me away and pull me closer in a love/hate cycle that will lead to infidelity and the eventual emotional breakdown of both parties…if we`re really lucky.   You should have a history of  short intense drama-driven relationships. Have debts totalling more than £100,000, have undergone negative psychiatric evaluations in the past and continually threaten to self-harm as a means to control me and make me stay with you.
Although not completely necessary I would also prefer a woman who drinks to forget and has a previous established diagnosis of Borderline or Dependent Personality Disorder or Bi-Polar Affective Disorder and is currently prescribed Lithium,SSRI`s or Tri-cyclic anti-depressants. If you think you meet these requirements then maybe we should talk….(or maybe not)…” Like I said I messaged him and we ended up chatting. Well….he was doing all the talking, telling me all about his heart operation he`d undergone last year, he was on the waiting list for a hip replacement, has recently had to have his blood pressure tablets changed and was waiting to see a specialist about his hearing problem……I honestly don`t think I said more than one sentence…..making some excuse (probably a pile of ironing) I ended the conversation….
At the same time I was conducting a conversation with”J” which had by now deteriorated into 3 word sentences so when he said “What are you doing this weekend?” which as we all know is code for “Are you free?” I lied and said I was going out with friends in Manchester. To which he replied “Are you sure you`re not seeing another guy? Lol ” “Definately not!” He wasn`t convinced (apparently) “Oh! I think I`m in Manchester on Saturday! Where will you be? I`ll come and meet you!” Err…no you won`t……”Not sure where we`ll be…..catch you later!” and no…I never did.
The same day I had a message from “D” and decided to decline after reading his profile.
“Must live within kissing distance. I`m tender,loving,sincere,love kisses and cuddles and holding hands, that makes the world go round. I`m looking for the normal girl next door type so you must be normal, genuine and reliable. Your ex must be your ex….full stop.” Girl next door?? Does he not even realise what time I have to get up to put this war paint on?? Never mind the usual sickening sloppy stuff. At least he stopped before mentioning beaches…….So, do you all see how difficult this is???…….

I like modern music…..

It must be hard to get out of a time warp…..this must be why so many men are in it. Most men don`t seem to realise that music was still being made after 1979 as nearly everyone of them likes music from the 60`s/70`s…god you`d think they would want to listen to something else? Now and again you`ll get the odd one who will say he likes modern music and without exception this will include Adele,The Script and if they`re really out there……Elbow. Then there are the guys into Rock,well, that`s the genre that they think Status Quo are in…..all wearing the same uniform of receding hairline with a straggly grey ponytail,skin tight jeans and an earing. If they really want to impress they`ll be wearing a waistcoat…I know,depressing isn`t it? Where did this “fashion statement” start?? Probably back at Beaulah Baptiste youth club with +Franny Ward playing Norman Greenbaum`s Spirit in the Sky….and all the greasers doing that stupid dance they used to do…..which then obviously transferred to when they were adults.You`re going to have to face it guys, Status Quo are NOT going to have you working with them as a roadie….
Which brings me to the guys who feel they have to mention the fact that they have their own hair and teeth. Looking at a couple of their photos they`re not going to be able to say that much longer…..I`ll have to inform trading standards,false advertising is a crime…..I can see where you`re coming from because yes, technically a comb over IS your own hair but it`s very thin and I can actually see quite a lot of your scalp…… One photo was a bald guy wearing glasses and he`d written “Since this photo was taken I`ve lost 2 stone, got contact lenses and grown my hair” How old is this photo? Never mind this old photo where`s the new improved you? You`re just teasing me now…….but he`s not the only one who has said this. I just don`t understand why you don`t put a picture on showing off the new improved version instead of “Since this photo I`ve been swimming and lost 10 stone,I`ve booked a holiday and got a new cat”……I`m quite sure women do the same. But that`s another post……..

“I thought you didn`t smoke!”…..

People often ask me what it is I look for in a man. Main thing for me has GOT to be a sense of humour so it`s always nice to have banter with someone when you`re trying to get to know them. This was probably the main reason I agreed to meet “S” after messages and then a couple of phone calls…..”I`ll come to Manchester(from Stockport) where would you like to go?” I thought fora minute…..usually the guys all say that it`s best if I decide as they don`t really know Manchester that well.”Actually I don`t mind if you decide” I told him. “Oh well in that case as I`m coming in on the train from Stockport how about if we meet in a back street pub that I know of behind Piccadilly Station”. What?? I certainly didn`t know any back street pub so I told him to give me directions and take it from there…….
On the tram heading towards my date I was sure we wouldn`t be staying there the whole evening but it still didn`t really make any sense as there`s a couple of nice bars just further down from the station so why the one behind? Crossing the road to the pub I recieved a txt ….”I`m parked in the side street”…I replied.”There`s no way I`m getting into a car with someone I don`t know, I`m outside the pub”.Two minutes later he was there.”What`s the problem? It`s not like I was going to kidnap you!” Making our way in S bought the drinks and we went to sit down, and as the conversation went on he was asking rather personal questions….there was no banter, which was rather confusing.Mind you it didn`t really help as he was wearing one of those leather jackets that have elastic round the waist, and black trousers…..definately a staple of older man looking smart wardrobe…..I asked him the question “Thought you were coming on the train?”,”Decided to drive at the last minute. Do you mind if I just nip out for 5 mins? Just need a ciggie”…..I looked at him “I thought you didn`t smoke!”  “I know it says that on my profile but I do keep meaning to quit, and anyway, you get more options if you say you`re a non-smoker!” and he winked at me….. When he came back he asked me what I was looking for,”Someone with a great sense of humour and oh! Someone who doesn`t lie is always good”. He replied, “That`s a bit unfair, it`s not like I`m able to sit here cracking jokes and you`re annoyed at the smoking are you?” It was definately time to go….”It`s not the smoking,it`s the fact you lied and I`m afraid I DO have a problem with that.”….An hour had passed. “What do you want to do now?” “To be honest I`d rather go now…..got a huge pile of ironing at home”…..after offering to drive me home (I declined) we left obviously never to meet up again. As I was walking back to the tram stop I spotted Peter Barlow from Corrie coming out of one of the nice bars.I had to stop myself from saying to him, “I should have been in there with you Peter having a cocktail. You could have had a soda water I wouldn`t have minded!”….On the tram home I couldn`t believe it…the whole of Manchester to choose from and we end up at the back of Piccadilly Station…but as a friend pointed out, he was probably married….didn`t want to be seen and probably got the car at the last minute…..and she`s probably right………

Married Muppets

Some guys actually tell you this on their profile….but it will have no picture! “Unhappily married but not looking to rock the boat. Just looking for fun and friendship..”.”Looking for company,chat and a laugh for part of the day while out walking my two dogs.If you`re out and about walking your dog maybe we could take the same path? Sounds daft but trying to organise a “chance” meeting. Get in touch…anyone….” And this guy “I got married before Christ and got crucified at the same time. My marriage is like the Titanic….sinking fast,need someone to save me.” And my favourite “I`m a movie director in Atlanta USA but lives in Bolton,(that`s funny….I`m a movie star but live in Salford) Just looking for someone to take on holiday,but no grumpy cows who look for silly arguements,” There are of course the men who don`t tell you that they`re married…”Can`t post a picture on here it won`t let me for some reason but I can send you one to your mobile or any email address”….some say they are seperated but their wives haven`t been told yet! But this guy summed it all up…..
Guys! There are easier ways of finding out if  your wife is misbehaving than creating false accounts on here,however…if you do decide to do that make sure you do NOT get your false profiles mixed up by sending her a message from your female profile to your wife, and a message from your false male profile to the bloke you think she`s seeing! Also after hacking into your wife`s account do not automatically think that every guy who has viewed or messaged your wife has been exploring her chesticles os surveying her oasis of paradise. My advice is to grow a pair and talk to her!…..
This should be so straightforward, older people looking to date and meet someone, but everyone`s a player………