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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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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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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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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