Tag: I

Divertimenti

The trouble with you is that you only date very nice men.  If Gertie was not my hairdresser she should’ve been a therapist.  It only makes it harder when you break up.  

She had a point but I couldn’t date anyone who was unkind.  Goran thought that was really funny, but when he paused to think about this he realised that he knew of quite a few women who were currently or had been seeing men who weren’t terribly nice to them.  The problem with dating and relationships is that I’m ready for the first but not necessarily the second.   I’d rather have it end than enter into something which might demand too much from me.  I had to go out on an errand and left my phone at home.  When I came back I saw that there had been several messages from various people sending their sympathies.  The kindness of friends made me almost cry again but I took the dog out and busied myself with allotment and bee keeping chores.  Even the dog seemed to sense my rather melancholic mood and when I sat down he came and laid his head on my lap.

Jan asked me round to his for dinner that evening and I went for the welcome diversion.  We spent a happy evening booking our holiday together for this summer, having confirmed the dates by checking with our respective exes.  Later he lit the fire in his living room and we sat on the sofa listening to some soul music and enjoying the heat emanating from the wood burning stove.  He showed me photographs he’d taken of his various trips and after that he held me with my head on his chest and his arms around me.  It was a comforting gesture for he knew that I’d broken up with Max recently.

We’d finished a bottle of red between us and so I stayed the night.  In the morning it felt warm, familiar and right to consummate our relationship but I felt restless after a short nap after that and drove home just after half seven.

Later the same evening I had a date with Goran who lived some fourteen miles away from me south of the river.  I drove through unfamiliar streets glad for the assistance of iMaps navigation and arrived at his in time for tea – he had baked blueberry muffins which were soft and moist as he’d varied the recipe by substituting yoghurt and ground almonds for some of the oil and flour.   We sat in his living room and he told me about his ex-girlfriend who was having trouble staying on in the UK as her visa had expired and her application for an extension had been rejected.   She had been hoping to pursue some course but was now anxious about her status.   He guessed that she would probably stay on illegally if her application to judicially review the rejection failed.   All she had to do was keep her head down and blend in with the local population – not that difficult in cosmopolitan London.

When it was half eight we walked up to his local high street as it was a balmy evening and went into a Sardinian restaurant for some arancini and ravioli for dinner.   The portions were quite generous and after dinner we decided to walk around the neighbourhood and wandered further to the next part of the suburb where Goran assured me Italian ice cream which were made on the premises could be found in a shop that didn’t shut until eleven.  In fact we discovered that on Fridays and Saturdays, the opening hours were extended to midnight.

It was almost midnight when we got back and he had thoughtfully prepared his guest room for us both.  We had planned to breakfast together but at about half five I woke up and felt restless and unable to sleep.  I realised that the morning traffic could be horrendous and we kissed our goodbyes as I left and drove back.  On the way I spotted a fox ambling along the roadside, pausing to glance back at my approach and then darting swiftly across, disappearing down the side of an alleyway, its slight body moving like a reddish whisper in the backdrop of suburban hedgerows.   The familiar strains of Bach’s Air on the G string was playing in the car, complementing my melancholic mood – the romance and passion in the satisfying swell and ebb echoing in my ears after it ended.

On relationships

Back in November/December last year when I was still hopeful of meeting the One, when the idea of polyamory was as alien as living on Mars, I recorded this in my diary:-

The fact is that dating many is really quite fun.  I can’t see myself settling down with any of these new dates or anyone for that matter.   It’s possible that I might find romance and love again but there’s no one at the moment who fulfils all my requirements.  Until then I dally and tarry with the ones who might do just for now.

With these I meet up, chat and share the odd evening together.   Of course it’s always fun going on dates and I allow, even indulge myself a fantasy that he might be the one as I prepare to see any one of my current beaux.  I still hedge my bets and don’t quite end things with 2 others and there is a possible 3rd in the wings as this is the time of year when everyone has already made plans, myself included of how we’re to spend the holidays – so as of the present I’ve yet to meet the next one.

My current favourite is a small bespectacled bald nerdy fellow who makes me laugh but seems the most emotionally balanced and kisses really well.  He doesn’t rush things, said that he would prefer not to enter into a physical relationship from the outset for fear that it clouded our reasoning and would rather that we take our time getting to know each other.  We have agreed to be honest about our intentions and he knows that I am keeping my options open and dating others.  He has said that he, on the other hand cannot juggle more than one relationship at a time and is not seeing anyone else.  I too am sceptical about the fate of this relationship because he does not have a good track record – the longest he has ever been with anyone was only 4 months!  But he admitted to being a late starter.

The one who is energetic has moved things up a gear and suggested a more intimate dating activity involving a massage.  I am not so naive to believe that a massage is all that it is.  I don’t feel ready to indulge beyond a massage myself and it will surely be a test of how much I like him enough to go further.

Looking back I do laugh at myself – the late starter bolted at the beginning of the year but has recently got in touch.  When I think of him I am reminded of wary animals in the wild that edge cautiously and circle whatever temptation may be on offer, ready to flee at the slightest threat.  The massage with the adventurer rapidly turned into something more intimate and it was I who fled the scene.

Last week Jan and I attempted to plan a holiday together but the dates have now been moved into the summer due to our separate domestic arrangements.  We made a loose date over the bank holiday weekend to continue discussions.    Max and I in the meantime have slowed down our dates to once a week and spend less time texting or emailing each other – the novelty of getting to know one another has worn off and perhaps the drifting away has begun.  Most of my relationships seem to follow this pattern – a heady start, cooling off and drifting apart followed by a re-acquaintance and friendship.  Where’s the elusive One?  It’s almost sine qua non that he must accept my continued friendships with past lovers.  Lars has an open relationship with his partner where they encourage each other to meet new people all the time.  Our relationship is purely sexual and I believe his partner does not feel threatened or jealous by it.  What is jealousy but a fear that someone else would take our place?  I used to have to coach myself against this negative emotion – it requires a great deal of self-belief and confidence in ourselves and our partners to overcome it – in any event, it’s a useless feeling and I’m less affected by it now even though it still lurks.

Bucolia

Experiencing a lowering in libido I remained chaste in the week.  I blame the election result.  Since that party at Max’s which ended at 2am when we were left without doubt that the left-wing were not going to shine, although not quite anticipating the inglorious defeat, I had been struggling with my mojo.

My dates with Jan though, were notable in their increased frequency – three in the space of four days, the last even included a family outing with animals in a bucolic setting.  The first  occurred on Wednesday evening with a film and dinner, detailed in a previous blogpost.  Then on Friday evening he called suddenly to invite me up to his village for an impromptu drink at his local pub where he regaled me with tales of his dating capers.  The most recent involved a woman on the far side of the continent who would send him saucy pictures of herself posed on a bed, taken with the timer option on her smartphone hanging from a light fitting.  You couldn’t see her face but her body looked pretty amazing, smooth-bellied with sizeable knockers, long legs discreetly crossed and arms cradling her boobs to accentuate her cleavage.  Due to the time difference they would set up dates where she’d enter a cafe bar and set up her webcam to Skype him.  Their next scheduled event was the following morning when she might engage in some titillating banter leading to some mutually satisfying sex talk.

Yet he bemoaned the fact that this was a crazy woman and he couldn’t imagine anything permanent or long-lasting coming from it.  Not that he hadn’t had long distance relationships in the past, some of them lasting a reasonable length of time.  I couldn’t help but agree though that it did seem a little off the wall to consider yourselves being in a relationship when you hadn’t even met, Skype sex being the most intimate thing you might have enjoyed.  He said that she would pout and appear jealous about his other real dates in the real world.  I wondered why he didn’t just fly out to Japan to meet this nymphet but perhaps some self preserving instinct was cautioning him against a potentially destructive move.

We went back to his after our meal and sat on his old sofa in his recently renovated living room.  It already had a lived in look with children’s electronic charging devices and miniature combat figures strewn next to the TV, along with a few chocolate bar and snack wrappers scrunched into the sides of the sofa.  Towards the witching hour I had to decide whether I might be staying the night or driving home.  Jan put his arm round my shoulders and leaned closer and we kissed.  I was reminded of the scene in Back to the Future when Lorraine Baines kisses Marty McFly, her own son from the future and her recoil of disbelieving horror.  I don’t, of course, recoil or repeat her line  – This is all wrong. I don’t know what it is. But when I kiss you, it’s like I’m kissing… my brother.    But it certainly helped me make up my mind.  We said our good byes and I drove home virtue intact.  He’d urged me to text him when I arrived home and I did but didn’t get a reply.

The following morning he texted back – was asleep!  Fat lot of use he’d be if I’d had a puncture or other mishap.  I told him as much and we settled into the all too familiar banter of old friends.  He brought his children round in the afternoon and our two families met for the first time.  It was pleasant and uncomplicated and I invited him to join me on a holiday some time next month.  He said he would think about it and let me know whether he was able to schedule a break round his work and domestic commitments.  And so we parted again in good cheer.

A Poem by Jan

I have had this thought at the back of my mind for a while now – that Jan might be quite keen on me – but am quite disbelieving and generally I do not trust my instincts which have led me to heartache in pastimes.  We now have a fairly platonic relationship anyway, tending to enjoy talking over a meal with several bottles of Malbec usually and catching the occasional film at a cinema.  We have only had sex once this year and I’m not sure how satisfying it was for him.  I’m fairly sure he intuited that it was less than earth-shattering for me.  Yet we continue to see each other, sleeping over at each other’s after an evening out.

Last night we saw that enigmatic film Clouds of Sils Maria – Jan is an ardent fan of Juliet Binoche – and found it unsatisfying even though it held our attention.  Jan didn’t fall asleep (as is his wont at long films/theatre), he later joked that he was enthralled to B’s tits although we only glimpsed them when she stripped to plunge into an ice cold lake in the Swiss mountains.  I tried to sympathise with the character B played – an ageing woman who struggles with mortality – there’s a death in the opening chapter from which the story unfolds.   She leads the typical lifestyle of a pampered, highly acclaimed actress, but the play she rehearses with her assistant where she then takes the role of the older woman hints at a tenser relationship between them.  We catch sight of more vulnerability in B’s character when she repulses a former lover’s advances, but later tries, in vain, to re-engage his interest.  In the end, if there must be a nemesis in the film, it is youth and naked ambition in the form of the young actress played by Moretz who takes on the role of the actress who plays Sigrid, the manipulative seducer.  In a film where the characters are not clearly black or white, good or bad, Jan and I came out of it feeling slightly cheated – questions remain unanswered about what happened and could happen to all of them.  Then again, this is the sort of ambiguity that might be considered the hallmark of a good film.

We got a table at Sofra and whilst waiting for our starters Jan showed me a poem he had written when sitting in the cool shade of a beach bar last week.  I re-read the stanza where he re-counts feelings he thought might have left him never to be re-kindled when he reached half a century, returning to him recently.  I wondered who the woman in his poem to whom he claimed to be beguiled by was.  Casting back I remembered that he had texted me from abroad to arrange our date and I’d felt that I had to be honest and let him know the extent of my recent sexploits.  If I was his love interest – the thought had crossed my mind, and I was more than flattered, I felt blind-sided in fact – I wanted him to be under no illusion as to my pre-disposition and philosophy as regards dating.

I felt slightly blindsided because Jan was the one who insisted that this could only be a lighter liaison when we were seeing each other last summer.   He had been the first one I’d felt rather silly about when I began dating again after the last long term relationship I had had failed.  But this is all conjecture on my part – I am not sufficiently brave to ask him who the woman is.  I am also not courageous enough to consider the possibilities of our relationship long term.  I am only still capable of light liaisons without risking heartbreak.  It may be the same for Jan too despite what he’s written about how he feels.

Jan did not seem disappointed by what I told him although he probably came home with me more out of convenience than because he wanted to spend the night with me.  When he awoke this morning he seemed to be addicted to playing some game on his phone.  So perhaps he has got over his romantic zeal – in any event we make another date for Saturday afternoon and I nurse my hangover.  I asked him to send me his poem and he emails it to me –

The ambient muzak loops eternal –

Order against the random

pounding of the waves below

My romanticism is fired by the 

Sounds, the setting and the sun

Though alone, thoughts of you 

Weave and tear through my heart

– I thought these feelings would stop

Well before my half-century was up. 

Apparently we are given these chances

In perpetuity – if we open our hearts 

And feel. Let the moment 

grasp us and take us up

Beyond the ordinary pain of life and

Into the divine light of love. 

Someone has changed the music

But the feelings stay. My last beer

Slides down and I must go back

Into life and hope some love

Follows me to my shore

Cafe Sal Rosa, Albefeira, Portugal May 2015

kiss and don’t tell

I grappled over whether to include the following narrative in the blog i share with R but it remains a draft. i don’t want my lover to think i’m posting it to get a reaction from him but as a record of what happened and the struggles i went through thinking on it.  but the words i’ve crafted and the story it tells is all couched to flatter my lover and so it lacks complete honesty.  and so i don’t actually post it there:

last wednesday i went out for drinks and a meal with an old friend/ex-lover and for old time’s sake i invited him back to mine at the end of the evening.  on the way we stop off at the salsa drinks place at the top of the road just as it was closing.   we might have had a little cuddle before falling asleep, but we were both pretty well-oiled and i can’t remember if we did have sex then, most likely not.   in the morning we definitely did – initially i was quite turned on when i noticed his priapic state, but during the actual act i couldn’t help feeling as though i was merely going through the motions perfunctorily.   i tried to focus on coming and for the first time in ages (ever?) was unable to.  i’m not sure if he noticed at all as he was fussing over the condoms and wanted us both to orgasm together.  he knew my preferred position and his hand came round to stroke my clit briefly until i stopped him by taking his hand away and laced our fingers together firmly until he came.

post-coital we chatted about various things – plans for the week, our children, house renovations (yes coincidence), etc..  he was going to let himself out after showering and dressing but i came downstairs and saw him off at the front door.  later in the evening he sent me a text to thank me for the night.  we exchange messages briefly but don’t make any plans to see each other.

the question percolating at the back of my mind is why we do the things we do.  i felt a trifle guilty and wondered if i would or could lie to my lover about the night’s events.  the conversation would never arise where he would ever ask me just as i would never ask him and so the only occasion he might ever know is if he were to read about it here.  and why would i ever reveal my indiscretions – i tell myself that it’s to be an open book so that i can never be accused of being misleading about who i am, what i do.  i want to be honest but it’s my own fault for not being able to articulate these things and as my lover noted previously, it’s just easier to say difficult things in a blogpost.

i may be testing the parameters of this relationship – and i hope to find that there are really none?  but i’ve already been told that – how true is it?   and also if the sex with someone else is so rubbish should i continue to see if that was just a blip and i might enjoy it with another?  i did stop seeing someone else at the end of last month, who although was quite fun in bed was a little too much like L, with whom i broke up last year. 

at the moment things are sweet and very easy with my lover and i should just enjoy it for what it is.  still i went back to the dating site and had a little peep.

lying

he obligingly took me to grain store – a modern open plan kitchen/dining and bar, a large scale barn type kind of restaurant.  the food was quite sublime and we had a very enjoyable evening. 

we talked about everything – no subject was too awkward or difficult and the evening just slipped by.  he listened to all my woes patiently and told me some of his own.   it seems really sad that he was away on his own – to norway and then berlin, but perhaps he prefers his own company.  he told me that although he married susie, he wasn’t really in love with her.  i was quite surprised and wonder a little if that could be true.  it turned out that having done a little study of psychiatry he deduced that his ex-wife was in love with an idealised image of a man which wasn’t him.

i think women do this – we cannot just give ourselves bodily to a man without romanticising the connection.  i tell him as much and alluded to our own example.   

as we left the restaurant we agree he could come back to mine since we both seemed to be in need of some human touch.  that night, slightly inebriated the both of us, i’m not sure if we had sex at all but my nightie was on the floor.  certainly in the morning we did and i wonder now why i did it.   of course R does not have to know but if he were to ask me would i lie?  i don’t know where i am with R although he promises he’ll tell me soon.

i said goodbye to him in the morning and later in the evening he sends a text to thank me for last night.  we have a brief exchange of messages and then nothing.  this is how it always is with him.   at least i know where we stand and there is no uncertainty, no romanticising about our relationship.

musings

i’ve now been dating since May this year – if i’m honest with myself it all arose as an ego-boosting exercise.  when the last live-in lover and i agreed to split up we had initially foreseen just getting together for sex – we had always been good together in bed.  and then after a few weekends of this he said he needed time alone to think about what he needed, that sex-only was not enough for him.  so he went away for about a month and when he came back at the beginning of the year we started the weekend shagging all over again a couple of times and then he disappeared off over easter.  when he came back he had decided that perhaps we should stop shagging altogether.

of course my ego took a huge hit which was why i signed up and met the first one.  even as i enjoyed the giddy highs of getting to know him and becoming a little too emotionally attached, he was already a seasoned player on the dating scene and was creating a safe distance.  eventually i realised how liberating it was to have a lover who did not have enough time for me as it left the field open to play away.

i discovered what i liked or didn’t like about men and became more attuned to signals we send each other.  i’m not so good at letting the disappointing ones go – those with massive egos keep on trying to reconnect.  thank heaven for the block feature on iphone!  i was beginning to get quite bored with all this dating malarkey when i met this more recent one. all of a sudden i began to cancel dates i’d made.  At the same time though, I also felt that i had better stop myself from becoming too attached and getting hurt all over again.  and so i didn’t cancel the arrangement on Friday evening with the first one.  I’d talked it over with a colleague, bemoaning the fact that he hadn’t been in touch.  perhaps i should cancel the date with him and invite somebody else.  as though he’d realised what was going through my mind i suddenly heard from him again

Monday evening

Him:

about Friday … fancy dinner first?

Me:

let’s see – maybe a quick bite – will text you when done at work.

we chat about this and that and then

Me:

it was nice to hear from you – slumber beckons, so i bid you good night x

Him:

Nigh night x

Friday morning  

Him:

Looking forward to tonight. Where shall we meet?

Me:

Somewhere near the theatre I suppose. It’ll prolly take me 35 mins to get to Waterloo …

Him:

Ok. What time then?

Me:

6 ish? I could leave from work @5.20 ish. There’s usually somewhere to eat around the NT

Him:

Ok ill book something. Meet me at the fire station pub at six

he took me to a lovely, busy tapas bar where we had a really enjoyable evening just catching up on news and experiences.  we had about an hour before it was time to race to the theatre, seating ourselves with barely minutes to spare before it began. it was a stunning production of the last of the james plays, one which has a lot of underlying nuances in the dialogue relevant to recent current events, still germane despite the immediate negative response to the question of scottish independence.  the scale of the historical period was contained within the domestic drama of the relationship between the king and his queen margaret.  what impressed me was her steadfast loyalty and love for her king in the face of all his flaws and imperfections.  what did scotland do to deserve such a queen!

at the end of the show he had to rush home to prepare to receive his young sons and i returned home to mine.