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The chef that grated

There's a pub I like, just on the edge of Primrose Hill park.  And on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend like this one, I'm not the only one that likes it.  Now, given the adjacent park; I can't guarantee that every woman in the queue for the Ladies is a bona fide customer. Presumably nor can the landlord, hence his reluctance to provide anything other than the smallest of toilet facilities; which leads to insanely long queues of increasingly desperate females every time there's a hint of warmth in the air.

It's impossible to linger at a table in the same corner of the pub as the entrance to the bogs for too long, though.  As the line of uncomfortable looking women snakes ever longer around the customers and the curved corner of the bar, the build up of uric crystallisation becomes almost solid in its pungency, to the point that the wise have to make tracks in search of fresher air before ingress to the lungs is completely prevented by the formation of that scourge of Th…
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The Ghosting of Christmas Past

I invented ghosting.  I didn't mean to.  But hindsight suggests that, shamefully, unwittingly, I may have been the original initiator of passive-aggressive let's call this off without actually speaking because I'm not ballsy enough to tell you this isn't working.  I did this first to my childhood best mate.  Come at me, haters.

His name was Jake*.  We'd been friends since we were about 10, when we played tennis at the same club for a couple of summers, but we really bonded when we met again at 16 or 17, both working at a well-known supermarket while pursuing our A Levels at different sixth forms.  Actually, come to think of it, he was doing BTECs, so I should probably have known no good could come of it.  Winky face.

* Well, it wasn't, actually, but I have a name-changing convention that I'm gonna stick at, because you can't be too careful when writing an anonymous dating blog whose sum total of readers could fit comfortably into a medium sized provinci…

The Hookup. And the neighbours.

Tinder.  The allegation I'd read was that it was nothing but a shag-fest.  I hadn't even been familiar with the term hook up as anything other than a term for meeting, but I was reading repeatedly that this relatively new app was the place where millenials were compressing what I had known as "dating" into a one-night time-frame.

For liddle ol' Gen X me, that wasn't proving to be the case.  Apart from my First Ever Tinder Date, but that itself had been an anomaly that had simultaneously boosted my bruised ego and battered my busted heart.  I'd become unexpectedly but inevitably single after a decade of joy and another decade of unspoken "staying together for the sake of the kids."  The kids were all right, which would have pleased Jimmy Pursey.*  But that winter I was swiping, matching, messaging and experiencing the crushing disappointment of a series of chemistry-free first dates.
*Oblique nod to both remaining Sham 69 fans

By the time winter …

Gilbert, and the surprise.

I've got two fabulous children, who'll be 16 & 18 by the time I finish writing this.  Or 20 & 22, if current blog rate continues.  And I had a fabulous relationship with their mother, for at least 10 of the years we were together.  The other 10 were a slow car crash, obviously, accompanied by a life that was the very definition of "staying together for the sake of the kids".  Right up until the moment she told me she didn't want to stay together for the sake of the kids.  Which was a combination of both surprise and relief, although the former outweighed the latter for a while. Because details.

Several years of hindsight, notwithstanding the oceans of tears, hideously embarrassing displays of public anguish, and final realisation that maybe some therapy might allow me to knit together a few themes and help me to process why I've subsequently been so self-destructive; have begun to leave me in a pretty good place; culminating in a miraculously rescued …

He wakes to a text from Zeta...

I'd crash-landed back in London, newly single.  And gone to a bar with my bestie, Ryan, the very moment we'd carried the last hefty cardboard box up the winding stairs to my new home, and dumped it on the carpet in the hallway.  A carpet, it must be said, that generated sufficient electricity to power the needs of the developing world (or Lincolnshire, which is yet to develop).  Had only it been harnessed correctly, rather than via my feet, fingers and, on occasion, genitals, whenever I touched a conducting surface. Which was, sadly and predictably, often.  I'm a slow learner.  It hurt.  Every time.  For two years.  I hate static.

In a fit of brilliant inspiration, I chose to write the previous two parts of this story in the style of Enid Blyton.  Or, as Ryan put it the other evening, "Like a bad Ladybird book".  Except with allusions to the Famous Five and the Magic Faraway Tree.  And Noddy.  It's the story of an evening of furious post-move thirst-slaking in…

I've lost a friend: A tribute.

Eddie died last night.  Cruelly and quite suddenly.  He didn't even make 50.

Eddie is, was, the wealthy boggle-eyed wife-seeking missile of an earlier post, and one of my most loved friends.  He never got to read any of my stuff, and I never got to read any of his, although we were both heading towards a reveal.  He wasn't actually boggle-eyed, at all.  He was a handsome dude, a little barrel-chested in his forties, like a foul-mouthed but jovial London gangster: think Bob Hoskins crossed with Tom Hardy.  In his twenties and thirties he was a rock god, all leather and hair and jewellery, like Russell Brand's stylist had dressed Tom Hardy and sprinkled him with even more talent and intelligence, before being taken out and shot, just in case anyone connected Eddie with Russell Brand.  I don't think they ever met, but Eddie was styled like that while Russell was still wearing his school tie in a slightly daring fashion.  Eddie pioneered that shit.

Eddie and I met on our f…

Words...Don't come easy to me. But numbers do. Or do I mean number two?

Sunday evening.

Blog posts written:  None.  Inspiration stuck fast, like Augustus Gloop in the chocolate pipe,* with barely 400 words written about what happened after that first night in London.  Can't even tell if it's a good story or not.  
*This is not a euphemism

Cigarettes smoked: 1.  And I gave up last year.  I hate myself just a little bit more, which I've been working hard at not doing.Beers drunk:  2.  Not even enjoyed those.  They're colder than the still memorable message from The One; telling me she'd met somebody else; and every bit as welcome.Steps taken today: 19,004.  Good, but ruined by the beer.  And the cigarette.Pairs of trainer socks discarded after retreating to the arch of my foot within 50 paces: 2Pairs of trainer socks discarded in similar circumstances over the last couple of weeks: 5Pairs of trainer socks remaining in sock drawer: 0Pairs of normal socks rolled down to the ankle in the hope that I wouldn't look like a total Nigel in sho…