Tag: daily diary

on being honest

When it was still warm in mid September and I was just getting to know JR, we fell into a discussion about the masks people wear and to what extent that is a falsehood.  In our dating and even interviewing efforts to appear at our best some of us may present a picture of ourselves deemed socially acceptable.  We may even believe that that is truly who we are when in fact we are untrue to ourselves.

So when he asked me what boundaries I had, I had thought about it for a while and declared that I would not be overly upset if I discovered that someone had lied to me about themselves.  He had been rather surprised.  But it was surely not dissimilar to our wearing a mask.  And naturally on a first date we always try to present the very best sides of ourselves.  Of course it’s easier simply to be honest and it must reflect more on our insecurity the bigger the lie, but that has less to do with the person being lied to than the person doing the lying.  And so it made it easier not to feel betrayed.  We were of course talking as people who’d only just met – it had been a first date when we rambled on in search of a quieter pub or one with more seating than clients.  We ended up eventually at one at the bottom of Downshire Hill.

A few months later, I was having a similar conversation with Goran.  We had been dating since early spring this year and have developed a bond/rapport.  I’d always taken everything he’d told me at face value and yet all the same I felt last week as if he hadn’t been completely honest with me over some trivial arrangement we had made which had then been cancelled.  Eventually he conceded that he might not have been entirely truthful and I had felt a little disconcerted.  And just like that, my warm feelings towards him – and there had been an overload of this recently – have begun to cool.   It’s very difficult to continue to be excited about arrangements we might make considering that they’re likely to be postponed or cancelled and I am almost glad that this has happened to remind me that this is not a relationship that has much of a future.  And to be fair to him, he has always tried to be honest and I had known from the outset that his loyalties lay primarily with his family.  I was merely surprised that he had felt the need to be economical with the verite.

The only reliable constant I have is me and what I do and the choices I make.  Whilst it’s exhilarating to lose one’s heart over another, I should be more careful who I lose mine to next time.

Asking for the moon

I have always led a charmed existence in that going by my instincts,  steer myself down the right path, usually.  So the uneasiness that I feel over my present lifestyle unsettles me.  I struggle to identify it and can only approximate it to guilt.  Feeling guilty for enjoying myself, feeling guilty for doing things differently to others, feeling guilty because I overpaid for something, feeling guilty for not doing more than I can, feeling guilty because I’m dating four or more men at the same time.  Even though this lifestyle is no longer censured, I come across articles and news of the devastation that infidelity wreaks on relationships and realise that I am still the anomaly.  Most people I know are in or want a monogamous relationship.  Being the oddity I question my motives from time to time, and wonder if it’s due to something lacking in me that I am unable to conform.  I don’t feel guilt exactly for the way I conduct my affairs but a certain amount of uncertainty, whether there might be a better way to lead my life – these thoughts creep up on me.

The other day this guilt or whatever the unease I felt, raised its periscope and struck me again,  causing a slight breathlessness.   Over the next few days it sat forward waiting patiently to be addressed.  It had been there all along at the back of my mind, lurking, and then it was in plain sight for a fleeting moment.  One of my friends gave it a name, but we’d had quite a bit of wine that evening and I forgot to write it down and it was lost again.  I have not been able to recall it and so am unable to assess its accuracy.

I’d kept away from this dating blog long enough.   What I’m looking for might actually be within my grasp if I had courage enough to face my own shortcomings.   But then distracted I lose that strain of thought and the old cowardice returns. And whatever had surfaced a week ago returned into the depths, unidentified, unnamed.

Jan asked me from half a world away yesterday – Why do you feel the need to keep dating?  The only too obvious answer is that I’m still looking.  Looking for that answer, that name which eludes me still, that will satisfy this hunger that keeps me seeking out man after man.  And even though I’ve found one who complements me in bed and a few others who meet me on an intellectual level, yet one more with whom I can be silly and banter and watch all manner of films together and talk endlessly about what we’ve read and the world around us; perhaps I would like to meet the one with whom I will not find impossible to live and who will accept the presence of these others.

don’t turn your nose up at online dating darling

I hate online dating

the above snapshot was taken from Dolly Alderton, 26 writing for the Sunday Times

She’d been watching too many movies clearly, those Before and After Sunrise type ones where you want to just grab Ethan Hawke, snog and shag him senseless into silence.

But who am I to make these pre-judgements?  The thing is I’ve not been patient enough to wait 5 years –  less than a month into being single and I’m hooked up with someone has been the story of my dating life.  Except in the last 1.5 years – which gives me another 3.5 to look for that someone in real life.  In the meantime I went on holiday with the first one from a dating website, optimistically called *****… Soulmates (!), and returned home NOT feeling like knowing him had been a huge mistake.  Thing is though, having had your heart broken and definitely approaching the end of days makes one a tad cautious.

Here’s a little preview of diary entries during that holiday –

It was promisingly sunny but bracing when we arrived and were met by our car hire rep.  I never quite got used to driving on the wrong side of the road, causing Jan to wince and chastise me for veering into the hard shoulder on the passenger side fairly frequently – it was mostly good humoured ribbing as he was equally incompetent.  I drove towards Stykkisholmur, stopping at Bogarnes to take in a heritage museum and hear Egil’s saga – he of warrior poet fame, slaying his first foe at the tender age of seven to the fulsome praise of his mother.

That evening the rain came down and tested our rain jackets.  We were recommended a pleasing diner at the tourist information centre by an enthusiastic young information guide (there are lots of good restaurants around here, well, ok not lots, but good …).  So we found Skirinn where we each had two large pints of the local brew with our first of many fish meals.  My inhibitions very much lowered after the strong beers, as we headed to the harbour and the lighthouse to take photos of the stunning sunset and rainbows when the rain cleared, I declared that I was ready to give my heart to the island.  I’m sure Jan must’ve thought me utterly reckless and almost as crazy as the rest of his women friends!

Our second full day, Jan at the wheel when we crossed over to the Westfjords with its breathtaking landscape saw us reaching for our phone cameras; he stopped the car every few minutes to take another scenic shot with his DSLR. We were headed towards Bolungarvik at the northern tip of the Westfjords opposite Hornstrandir peninsula.  En route we stopped off at the Dynjandi falls where the rest of the tourists on this wild bit of Iceland had also decided to congregate. It was still magical enough and we were able to have quite a few moments just taking in the booming majesty and spectacular beauty of the place.

Fresh off the ferry from Stykkisholmur earlier we’d paused at the side of the road and walked down the sides of a waterfall. I particularly revelled in the cushiony mossy banks.  If it hadn’t rained a few minutes before, I might have lain down on it.  But it was damp and the hovering midgies also a nuisance.

The mountains throughout the journey had rough black faces of lava rock, some were tiered with columnar basalts and some still had sheets of unmelted snow on them; the glaciers were only faintly visible, merging with clouds in the far far distance.  Some greenery was creeping up from the valleys, along fissures where water might have carved small rifts downwards.  It was beautiful and although most of the guidebooks said that we would encounter few people in these parts we did pass a number of cars on our journey – a sign of mounting tourism.

We arrived at the guesthouse – Einarshusid.  It was quaint and built at the turn of the last century. To be honest it wasn’t very inspiring initially not least because the washing facilities were shared but the hosts were charming and the place grew on us – we stayed there for three nights.

The next day we drove up to a bay at the end of the headland – the sands were a dark grey and there was a seal having a little swim in the deserted water.  We walked on the mossy grassy cliff top towards the end of a waterfall and I had a little drink.  It started to rain and the clouds descended rapidly as we drove away towards Isafjordur.  There we joined a ferry to Hesteryi, once a thriving settlement centred around a profitable whaling industry and then later when whale hunting was quota curtailed, herring.  But it lost even that trade when all the herring left the region, coincidentally at the same time as when telephone cables had been laid in the waters’ bed.  Now it is only visited by hikers, campers and the odd tourist like us.  There were two resident arctic foxes who gambolled up to us with quite docile expectation of feeding.  We all snapped away at them with our cameras and then it was time to get back on the ferry where the whales obliged us once more with their surface presence.

The hosts at the guesthouse were really a number of students on summer jobs but one of them, Alex, was particularly informative and helped us find amongst other attractions a lovely fish restaurant where we ate on our last night there.

It was called Tjorhusid (the Towerhouse) and we made friends with three other diners on the long tables who were seated next to us.  One was a young American from LA although he was born in Oahu, the other two a French couple from Brittany.  Jan was his convivial self and invited Kevin, the American for a post prandial drink but he declined.  We ended up in the basement of our guesthouse but no one else joined us.  Ennis, who was a Berliner had had a drink with us the previous evening, regaling us with her tales of driving woes.  She was making her way towards Akuryeri on her own and the previous evening we had been invited by two German couples to join them on their film night.  They had connected the TV in the bar to their laptop to play Fading Gigolo.  We watched it to the end that first evening and went to bed at around one in the morning.

When we woke up, Jan had been a little amorous but we were fairly chaste after that.  Goran has been messaging me on what’s app throughout this trip and I detected a little despondency in his tone on Sunday.  He asked and I confessed to him that Jan and I had had a little romp that morning and nothing since which was the truth.

We get to the middle of our holiday after an epic 5 hour journey weaving in and out of the fjords on smooth roads.   We play our music on our iPhones to each other and take turns with the driving.  Intent on arriving, a little anxious about the journey and destination, we missed a couple of sights.  We had eaten our packed lunches fairly late and didn’t feel like having a full meal so went for a walk on the beach and into the tiny interior before going back to the hotel bar for a drink.

I am enjoying this holiday a lot as both Jan and I quite like spending time reading on our own, not making any unreasonable demands on each other’s time. We’d had an honest sort of chat about our circumstances which helped tremendously to lay the boundaries for how we relate to each other.

I broke off from writing this halfway to entertain Jan on his PPE whimsy, Peston and Corbyn came up a few times and then we got distracted somehow and now I’m back to writing as he seems to be intent on a game on his phone.   I go off for a dip in the hotel hot pool, joined by a honeymooning couple from Kansas.  Jan sees us but disappeared back into the room.  I get out after the pool closes and find him on his phone, intent on the screen, lying on the bed.

We’d had a chat about what we want in our relationships with people and he is very much happy in his present state although still very much looking. A bit like me. We are all looking for something that will suit us.   What suits is not getting hurt after an adult lifetime spent with the wrong partners.   The next morning we’d had an unexpected romp – I was in a silly giggly mood.  The walls were uncompromisingly thin and we dared each other to remain silent in our enthusiasm.  He’d said the night before that sex was like sneezing but took it back after I challenged him post-coital.  We settle into an easy, comfortable pace and he says that I am nice to go on holiday with as I’m not at all mad, unlike some of his other women friends.  I laughed but felt inwardly quite pleased and then wished I might be thought a little mad after all.

The day of the journey down the F35 dawned blue and golden and the sights magnificent – glaciers in the far distance, moonscape in the foreground.  Sheep in threes – ewe and her two lambs were a fairly common sight, in the middle of the road licking the salt and then skittering off as we approached.  The road became rough and full of pot holes so we stopped off at hot springs at Hveravelir, and had some tea before pushing on to Gullfoss – the mother of all waterfalls.  The road thankfully improved as we reached the tourist trodden Golden Circle before getting to our final guesthouse.  Towards the grassy plains in the south we saw plenty of Icelandic horses.

Last full day – quietly seeing the main city, a visit to the penis museum and then some souvenir shopping before a drink at b5 to revive us.  I’d come across Halldor Laxness at one of the bookshops and am determined to find him at the library.  It was late – around 4pm but I managed to persuade Jan we should drive to the Black Sand Beach in Vik.  It would have been even more spectacular if it hadn’t been raining and so we spent a mere fifteen minutes there before picking up a couple of Russian hitchhikers on the way back.  The talk inevitably turned to Putin and the Russian economy, or laughable lack of it, according to them.

Things I liked about the holiday – listening to Jan’s music – Pink Floyd, Emiliana Torrini, June Tabor and a bit of his early band Valhalla – whilst on the road trip; also the breathtaking landscape and quiet desolation of most of the north west; and of course the final guesthouse just outside Hverargedi – a modern charm of simplicity, owned and run by an Icelandic sculptor.  She was an interesting character and Jan wished he could have chatted more with her, found out more about her etc.  I also found the last two nights refreshingly relaxing and would vote it the best place to stay.  The holiday could all have been a little cheaper but we’d had a fairly incident and drama free week.

Said goodbye yesterday and we returned to our ordinary lives.

And for your patience and reading to the end of the additional 1800 words, this is why I adore the music of the Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini –

Can you trust your therapist to be right?

Last night Sebastien took me to a posh fish restaurant in Piccadilly where we started with oysters and finished with affogatto for me and apple crumble for him with sea bass and salmon in between.   Defying convention I picked a red Granacha whose lightness despite it’s 2010 vintage complemented our meal.

This would be our last date this summer as he was going to Rome to finish off collaborating on a film script and I was leaving for my own travels.   The next time we’d see each other again would probably be at the end of September.  We’d had a number of dates over the month of July – going to the theatre, cinema or just having a meal together, like last night.  On those occasions we had skirted around the topic of dating and relationships despite it being of interest to the both of us.  Those earlier dates had ended frustratingly with us hurriedly kissing our goodbyes because it was far too late and with no time left to discuss these cogent matters.  And so we had made the date last night with the promise that we would begin the evening without anymore beating about.

So I started the ball rolling by asking him about his relationships.  He has yet to write the email to Natalya with whom he’d had an almost relationship but over whom he is still very much enthralled.   He had rather abruptly ended their very brief liaison, which had apparently not even been consummated because he had sensed her encroaching dominance.  Last night, in the retelling of the events he reached an insightful epiphany and revealed that perhaps by his abnegation of taking the lead, a vacuum had formed and N, taking this as her cue had moved in to fill it – so he couldn’t entirely blame her and perhaps that email to re-establish contact got closer to being written/sent.

His interest in the men in my life and how I started seeing them came next and very interestingly for me, gave me a clarity of my position in my relationship with Goran.  S noted that of all the topics I raised and touched on, none came as close as that of G in revealing how keen I was, how animated I became when talking about him, his background and my growing realisation tempered with self-doubt that he might be a little interested in me.  S tells me that all that G wanted was to get into my pants – which gave me plenty of pause. This morning I wondered that I didn’t tell S if G’s motivation might not have been matched by mine.   By the time we were on our pudding I told S that I was beginning to achieve a glimmer of understanding of what drove G to do the things he does – e.g. continue to see me and his ex-gf.   The key, taking all that he had told me about his open marriage lay in the fact that he was very much tied to his wife – certainly he was willing to dance to her tune whatever it may be – seeing me or anyone else was some small measure of his having a thing of his own, separate from the force of Madame G.

When we had finished our third course and was onto the next stage of the evening S, wearing his therapist hat gave me his opinion on the whole sorry saga – I was mistaken in my belief that Madame G called the shots – he was of the opinion that G, being the alpha male in the equation was looking out for no. 1 – with his Nordic origins and familial experience of an even-tempered society, he was attracted and compelled to remain attracted to the opposites which allowed him to experience those alien emotions of jealousy and anger and the violence to release the pressure, the drama of manipulative game playing along with the violent expressions of such humanity worthy of the longest running soaps known to mankind!

I came away from the evening reeling – from a combination of coming to terms with my own limitations and having to consider what I’m doing dating.  If S was on the money then it wouldn’t be long before G lost interest in me – for I have long past lost interest in the drama and trauma of he said she said.  Additionally, S had cautioned me not to take it as gospel that G might never leave his wife.

This is it

I seem to have reached a stage where I’m not raring to do anything rash or want anything else.  I saw the ex with his new girlfriend, yesterday, yet another one.  Everyone agreed that it was pointless making the effort to get to know her as he’ll probably have another one on his arm the next time we see him.   Someone pointed out that they all seemed to resemble me in some way.  Ah well, too bad the prototype has moved on.

I can’t be excited about any of the new messages I get from the dating websites any longer. There’s only so many hours in a week and I am careful with the time I have to spend on people who matter to me. If I make a date with anyone these days, it’s because I really would like to spend my evenings or weekends with them. There are so few worthy of my time now.


what is it all about?

Last night I saw my friend the therapist, except that now he is doing less counselling and more collaborating with someone on a script writing project.  I guess it could be that he is keen to see me so soon after the last date, which was a week ago, because I might provide him with some novel ideas.  This may be hubris on my part.

So we had dinner at an Italian restaurant in Belsize Park, an area I was fairly familiar with. The cinema is a favourite, part of the Everyman chain with sofa seating and waiter service. I had been there with him before but last night neither of us fancied Magic Mike XXL (!) and he had booked the table at the restaurant. It was still light when we both walked up at the same time towards it. The glass doors had all been flung open and the diners were practically sitting in the pavement area.

During the meal he told me how he had completely given up on dating having realised finally how much more trouble it was and difficult to do. His awkward relationship with his mother is the reason he cites for the way he reacts, not just to women but in any relationship, whether professional or social. He recalls his past relationships and how naively he had embarked on each one of them. I ask him about his thoughts on threesomes and open marriages and the way his eyes grew into saucers was an indication, perhaps an exaggeration, of how alarming the idea of juggling all those emotional triggers must seem to him. I felt a silly misplaced pride for my ability to navigate these waters.

The question of why we do the things we do is constantly raised and for some of them there might be a simple obvious answer, for others less so. The explanation for that period of my having mad crazy sex earlier in the year might have something to do with my craving for attention. The reason I stopped was because I was able to appreciate that I had reached my limit. I compromise by modifying my need for attention. We talk about long term relationships and expectations and I acknowledge that I have an issue with commitment and obligation. It clarifies why I feel emotionally safe dating someone in an open marriage – I already know from the outset that my single status is not threatened; bigamy is still illegal the last time I checked. Talking this through with him I glimpse a little of the wider problem but continue to skirt round it because we both know that we hide things we’re not able to handle even (or especially!) from ourselves.

There are questions I want to ask my lovers which I don’t because the answers can only be gleaned over time. Sometimes we can’t be honest with the people who matter to us because of fear or insecurity … but hang around long enough and the situation becomes clearer. This usually requires a lot of patience and tolerance and sometimes I just blurt out my questions and walk away when I don’t like what I hear.

Idyllic weekends

More goodbye messaging – this time with Joe and Johnny. At the same time as doing that and chatting with Max, I was arranging a date with a new man from the old dating website. Max called me in the evening and we had fun engaging in badinage. We arranged to meet on Monday evening and he tells me that he has joined Tinder. He didn’t think if would be as fun as the other website because it is based on appearances and geographical proximity. I told him that I was relieved I’d finished my book and that I could stop meeting unsuitable dates.

I don’t know why I had thought that I needed to see all those men as though my book was the reason. I suspect the reason was so that I could protect myself from falling in love with Max. Now that we’re only friends I can stop looking for dating cover.  Still I have enjoyed my dating adventures.

Told Joe that I felt jaded with all the misbehaving and I did not reply to his last message, nor Tristan’s, nor Kevin’s. Goran came round on Friday evening and we spent over an hour shopping for and preparing salad nicoise – it was one of those really warm days again and spaghetti carbonara seemed a bit too heavy. We took the dog out for a walk at dusk and when we were on the golf course kissing led to some al fresco sex. It was his first time, he tells me in the morning. Later we lay on our backs side by side and stared up into the night sky – we could see the big dipper and a bright shiny light which we had initially thought was the Evening Star but it moved very slowly out of view and we wondered if it could have been the International Space Station. There were also several other fast moving aircraft with their blinking lights going at quite a pace. Walking back we came a cross two fox cubs playing in a side road. Good thing the dog was on the lead as they were just as startled to see us and we all froze for a second before the dog started whining and strained on the lead.

When we came back Goran helped me move my swarm of bees, now in their box into the apiary. We then had some cognac – again his first time before retiring upstairs. He must find me a turn on because we had sex several times in the night and twice in the morning – one of the advantages of sleeping with someone eight years my junior.

We do have quite a lot of fun; apart from him and Lars and possibly occasionally Jan, there’s no one else for now. I wonder from time to time if I might succumb to moments of weakness and resume sleeping with Max again. But I should wait at least three months and see how badly I want him then. Hopefully I’ll have found someone else to be besotted with who might be better for me.  The new man asked me if I’d prefer a Friday or Saturday date and I picked Saturday.  He seems fun, in his profile  he says he’s fun.  We shall see then just how fun this man is.

Hottest day of the year

I’d thought he didn’t want to meet again but the following morning I received a reply from Max with several more ideas.  We may meet up on Monday evening after all for a literary reading and then dinner later.

Last night Jan and I met at the Vimtry, a pub off Cannon Street – it was where I had first met him in public and his mate Gerard was there again.  His girlfriend Magda came later on and we spent most of the evening discussing Jung.  Jan is very much taken with the idea that the first three years of a child’s life defined them as an adult.  Of course none of us has any genuine recollection of those early years.  Later we also discussed the plots of Game of Thrones and how much we were anticipating the coming episodes.

The topic of conversation shifted again when Gerard remarked on the fact that Magda only had male friends.

And you don’t approve of any of them – she said.

We all turned to look at Gerard.  Why is that?  I asked.

He thinks that they’re creepy – Magda answered for him.

It’s because I think they only want to sleep with you.

I don’t want to sleep with them and I don’t think you’re right anyway.  Men can be friends with women without wanting to sleep with them.  Why does everyone think the opposite?

Because it happens to be true.  The three of us were in agreement about this but we decided not to let the debate spoil the atmosphere.  Later the young lovers went outside for a smoke and Jan leaned across the table to kiss me.  He took me to his favourite Indian restaurant nearby and although he said he needed to go back home when the meal was over, he ended up taking the tube back with me.

I had disgraced myself that evening by drinking too much and falling asleep when Jan was supposed to get off at his stop.  At Hampstead station I woke up and was so confused that I persuaded him to get off there before realising that it was the next stop I wanted.  When we eventually got home I threw up magnificently into the downstairs loo.  I decided to have a quick shower hoping that it might make me feel better but the next morning I was sick again.  Jan was quite sympathetic but he had to leave to go to work.  He kissed me on my lips and forehead and wished me better.

I went to the shops after walking the dog and got some tinned soup to have for lunch.  The sun was heating up the day and people all around me were happy that it was going to be the hottest day of the year so far.  I got a free cup of tea at the supermarket and after putting the shopping away went down to the allotment to do some bee keeping.

Goran and I messaged each other when I had finished.  He was coming over tomorrow evening to make spaghetti carbonara for us.  I told him that I was swearing off alcohol for a bit and he thought that my Asian genes did not contain the necessary ethanol tolerance which most Celts have in abundance.  Which probably explains why Jan was none the worse for wear despite his having drunk a lot more than I had.

I still hadn’t replied to Tristan and wonder if he would assume I was no longer interested.  I had told Andy by text that Amy had quit her naughty ways.  When he asked why I’d told him that I’d had enough of meaningless sex.  That was only a half truth, the real reason was that I was now in a position to be choosy about who I wanted to see, date and sleep with, and he was not among my chosen few.

chewing the fat

One of my lovers is dating “the tempest”.  She seems to have boundless energy – I feel exhausted merely listening to his litany of their dating activities – ice skating, wall climbing, pot-holing, abseiling, kayaking, and those are only the three-syllabled ones.  It goes without saying of course that the sex is wild, frequent and satisfying.  I suddenly feel the age difference between us and wonder why he continues to date me.  Variety I guess.

My own dating is at such an ebb that I fear it has gone out with the tide.  I am suddenly weary of making new connections and prefer to see or even simply message the few constant ones.   Max came round on Sunday afternoon and after a medium-length walk (during which we spotted hemlock growing at the roadside), we retired to bed and watched a film.   His kisses were quite warming and I felt the stirrings of a return to normality.  He left at around half ten and I fell asleep shortly after that.

Lars invited me round to his again and we managed to salvage some more of my libidinal urges.  It was quite re-assuring to discover that I hadn’t quite lost my concupiscence and I drove home feeling happier.

I listened to a radio programme on soul music and it was refreshing to hear a couple being interviewed whilst on their honeymoon in London.  They’d had a long courtship and engagement – almost quite unheard of in this day and age but just to hear the jouissance in their voices held my attention as they recalled how and when they realised that they wanted to spend their whole lives together.  Somehow, it made me miss and long for a similar relationship for myself.   I don’t mean a marriage in the conventional sense, but an understanding and trust that someone else has my back as I would have theirs.

When I was at Jan’s on Friday evening he had brought up something similar for discussion – having someone to return home to after a day at work or a business trip – he’d asked me if I ever felt lonely or in need of company.  It would be comforting to be able to return to a partner who would be as attuned to your mood as you would be to theirs.  Did we necessarily have to live together though or is it enough that we can talk to them, reach them through any one of our modern devices?  Of course it’s always far better to have their physical presence – to be able to hold someone close can be more satisfying, yet at the same time possibly draining of our energies?  We have both been living on our own now for some time and I know that I value my independence and freedom.  A relationship would only work as long as that freedom and independence continued.


Do men like it when women play hard to get?  I asked one of my lovers this question and he pondered it briefly before suggesting that by withholding our favours our value would definitely go up in his estimation.  He used the common potato as an analogy – by reason of its proliferation it is relatively cheap especially when compared to seasonal greens, for example the asparagus.  

But there are men who are quite partial to mash, I countered.  That is true, he conceded but having wolfed down the dish, they are sated and do not give anymore thought to it.  

And no more do they a fennel or artichoke I argued – there’s a flaw in his analogy I feel.

All the same I am now slightly perturbed at the thought that I may be thought of as a spud.  I am not a spud, I declared to another one of my lovers.  No, my dear, you’re a pearl, a jewel to me – was his quick response, giving me a quizzical look.  Later he told me that he was not able to see me at the weekend because his wife needed him for domestic duties although he suspected that she was jealous of the fun he seemed to be having with me since her own dating adventures were not going as smoothly as she would have liked.  This was her way of satisfying her ego, by commanding him back to her side.  I demonstrated my precious brilliance by reacting to the let down with equanimity.

He explained that over the school half term break at the end of the month he would be on his own once more as she had booked to go away with their son – and he hoped to make up the disappointment over this weekend by spending those ten days with me.   In fact I was slightly alarmed at the thought of such a lengthy and daily contact with him and hinted that I might need some time in between to recover from the ardour of his attentions.  Not to mention (which I didn’t of course) the fact that I might like to see some of the others in my shag portfolio.