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.

tumblr_inline_mrgwu02FSA1qz4rgp

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

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.

 

Dm0W0_LXsAAK9JZ

 

 

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

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.

images (12)

 

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /

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.

images (7)

Tagged : / / / / / / / /

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…

anigif_enhanced-11123-1394732844-6

Tagged : / / / / / / / /

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…

Surprised-reaction-gif

Tagged : / / / / / / /