Conversation on a train with an old friend (OF) who I rarely see.

Me: Shall we update each other on our dating exploits?

OF: Yeh, what have you been up to?

Me: Well after the nearly vicar I met someone on another bench- by the river in York.

OF. Really? I had a date with a man from York. In the Adelphi recently.

Me (with dread) Really? It wasn’t a couple of weeks ago was it? On a Sunday night?

OF. Er, yes.

Me. He’s 6 foot seven?

OF (laughs) yeh, do you know him?

Me. Er yes, he came round to mine afterwards and stayed the night. He said he was meeting a band in the Adelphi about possibly joining them.

OF. No way! I texted him after to see if he got home ok. He texted back saying I was a sexy kisser.

Me. He was at mine then. I can’t quite believe this.

OF. He said he was tired because he’d been at a band rehearsal on Friday which turned into a wine drinking session and late night.

Me. Yep, that’ll be when we had a date and I stayed over. Bloody hell, I really liked him.

OF. Yep, so did I.

Me. Shall we text the lying cunt?

So, what have I learnt from this sorry episode?

  1. My gut instinct isn’t infallible (though if I’d known he was a salesman I probably wouldn’t have met up with him).
  2. Leeds is smaller than you might think.
  3. To check in with my dating mates so we can swap man details and not overlap.
  4. Even when I am my usual ‘brutally honest’ self, I can’t expect it of others.
  5. Being lied to makes me feel sick.
  6. Tho odd blog is quite cathartic.

We all know that people might be dating several others at the beginning, but this was both rude and deceitful. I’m now questioning everything he told me. I’m guessing ‘early retirement’ means ‘old git on the dole’. And ‘I really want to keep you in my life’ means ‘you’re a mug, ker-ching’.

It’s hard not to get bitter and suspicious, but I refuse to ruin myself for some bloody psychopath. Perhaps I should go for the cynical curmudgeons, I think they might be more honest.

Dating 5, this is getting to be a habit

I suppose I’m becoming a dating veteran now: 3 years on and off, a few shortish relationships. And yet do I ever learn?

The last date was wrong on so many counts, yet I jumped straight in with booze and bed (thinking to myself, well I want a shag, it needn’t go anywhere). Yes, dear.

Wrong in what way? I hear you ask, well…..

  1. He left his first wife for his second and was still pining over the woman he left his second wife for. Leopards n all that..
  2. He dated a friend of mine a few months before who’d primed me about his unfaithful ways and wanting things 100% on his own terms. Dates must be available when wanted but otherwise shut up and wait until they’re summoned.
  3. He’s addicted to the internet and internet dating and booze.
  4. He nearly became a vicar not very long ago. Eek! I’m a defected catholic, I do NOT do religion.
  5. He’s very insecure. Which basically equals hard work.
  6. He snored so loudly I banished him to the sofabed .
  7. Last but by no means least, someone else with far more in common with me contacted me at the same time (but he lived farther away).

The omens weren’t looking good. So why oh why did I see him again?

Good question. Well, we shared an interest in good food, wine and I was feeling lonely. So surely a few trips to the seaside, meals out and some decent sex was better than nowt.

Reader, I was a fool.. although we had a good time and I carried on seeing him, even though the push me/pullyou was making me feel uncharacteristically insecure. I realised after a few of weeks I just couldn’t do it without emotions and they were all over the place. Best call the whole thing off.

Sadly t’other man has since found another (serves me right).

Still, I got to visit the Gormley men in the sea at Crosby (otherwise known as the real sea devils) and now have someone I can consult about computers &/or theological matters, if I should ever need the latter.

Dating 4: Still online dating. Yawn.

So I managed to ‘see’ someone for a while, but he lived 2 hours away which wasn’t ideal. We had occasional weekends together- bit of art, some food and sex, but it’s a strange way to get to know each other. You can’t drop in for a cuppa and a chat- it’s fullon or texting from a distance.

When I started thinking I wanted something more, Buddha17I realised that yet again the couples’ grass seemed greener. Maybe humans always have desire, and whatever you’ve got, it just isn’t satisfying for long. The Buddhists may be right after all.

I’ve paid for a couple of sites for 3 months and will approach it as daily work, then if nowt happens I’m out of there. Can’t spend all my life trying to find the perfect partner- I need to get on with living.

My life’s ok, but that isn’t good enough. I’ve finally realised that I’m bored- I haven’t had a learning obsession for a few years. And I reckon that’s the key. As long as my brain is being excited I’m happy, single or not. But when I have too much time to think I get miserable. What a bloody cliché.

There’s loads of free courses at from Harvard, MIT etc. It’s brilliant.

Anyway, back to the dating disasters.

The last person I had much in common with on okc didn’t want to meet anyone in the flesh. Which reminded me of William Gibson’s Idoru, where someone marries a purely virtual person. At the time I thought that might be the answer to my relationship problems, but it does make going away for weekends, or to weddings, together a bit difficult. I wonder if we’ll end up with giant robots we can program with our own choice of personality, or just carry our loved ones around on an ipad. (I never feel right spelling programme My-Virtual-Boyfriendprogram. It’s wrong!). Actually, Charlie Brooker’s been there already with his grow-your-own-boyfriend-in-the-bath.

We had loads to talk about- art, theatre, excitons, then he deleted his account, without any warning. What a charmer.


Most men on these dating sites seem to think I’m too clever, because I like ideas and am interested in sciencey things. But the ‘clever’ men tend to be very rigid in their beliefs, so as soon as I say I’m a homeopath they run away screaming. There’s also been a noticeable dropoff since I revealed myself to be 48, not 43. I don’t like lying, but otherwise they won’t even look at my profile. They often put the desired age of their dates completely below their own age- not just a bit, but the whole range, because they’re so ‘young’. With their bald heads and dodgy teeth.

Still, I’ve decided to be honest from the start, if they’re that deluded I’m not interested.


The paying sites seem no better than okcupid, which is free.

I had reasonable hopes for my latest potential date, until he had a huge online tantrum because I didn’t reply to him quickly enough during an evening of email messages. I’d just got back from holiday, told him I was ill, but apparently I overstepped some invisible rule he had.

I have a vague idea that face to face, phone or even instant chat conversations are different to emails, which can be answered at your own convenience. That’s why I like ‘em. Personally speaking, I may be chatting to someone online, but I’ll certainly be doing sommat else too- any or all of the following: tv, scrabble, fb, emails, picking my nose. I might even be doing something more useful. What I WON’T be doing is sitting looking at my watch waiting for a reply.

He was also incensed that my messages had been too short on that night (when I’d said I was ill) and accused me of ‘not trying hard enough’. This was after 2 weeks of chatting most nights. I practised several replies detailing his unreasonable insane behaviour but decided to keep a dignified silence. He finally sent a strange paragraph alluding to things I had ‘implied’. Yawn. I am now a fully certified ‘timewaster’.

So the search for Mr Right Enuff goes on. Much more slowly now but I can’t quite give up the desire for some sort of partner. With a working brain, sense of humour and a large degree of tolerance.

In the meantime I’m gonna practise mindfulness and work on enjoying what I’ve got, perimenopausal nightmare an’ all.




…when the drugs don’t work…

Inspector Morse once found a wardrobe papered inside with rave fliers whilst looking into a teenager’s suicide. He came up with a theory that once you’ve peaked on Ecstasy you might realise you’d never be that happy again and end up killing yourself. At the time I thought that was ridiculous.

Now I’m not so sure…

I can still remember the first time I really did get Ecstatic. I was running around, jumping up and down whooping and couldn’t believe how fantastic I felt. That disbelief on top of euphoria can’t be repeated, as next time you’re not so amazed that you can feel so good, now you’re just trying to get there again. I spent a few years raving the weekends away, which made work almost impossible as my brain was unfocussed for a few days each week, including the mythical ‘Black Tuesday’ when I hated and/or was scared of most people. But it felt worth it- I danced and played, met an incredible array of people and felt such love and optimism. I remember stocky Bradford hard lads in nappies chewing dummies, dodgy dealers hanging round old warehouses in London, and most of all dancing in fields or woods for days. I once took my furbies to a Megadog night at Leeds Uni – they both had epileptic fits and never spoke again. i think i should probably have taken more notice of that. Seeing people literally crawling around blinded by drugs was a bit disturbing, as was taking tablets that had heroin or ketamine added without warning- it was like wading through treacle.


I don’t regret doing it, as it was the most wild enjoyable part of my life, but I do feel like I have nothing much to look forward to now and that is sad. That may be a function of getting older, rather than a 10 year comedown, it’s very hard to say. After regular use drugs don’t seem to work in the same way, so I didn’t choose to stop, I just stopped enjoying them. Paranoia isn’t much fun.

I’ve often mused on Larry Niven’s wireheads- I think they were in his Ringworld books. wirehead

Wireheads plugged themselves into an electric socket, with electrodes wired straight into the pleasure centres of their brains. If you could be ecstatic until you died (not long as you can’t be bothered to eat or even drink) would you do it? That’s how I imagine heroin addiction, and at some point when I’ve had enough of this life I might give it a go.

The argument against is that you can be fulfilled in other ways, I guess conditioning that ‘work is good’, ‘selfishness is bad’ etc comes into the equation, but if I could be constantly ecstatic until I died, why wouldn’t I? Fear of a god perhaps.

There’s a thought experiment called the Experience Machine along these lines. Google it, it’s interesting.

I haven’t gone into other effects of regular drug use, such as paranoia, weight gain (after you stop), possibly even dementia. I feel depressed enough as it is. It’s enough to make me go and get royally pissed ;) …if I could remember where I left my fekkin purse.

WTF is happening to me?


I’ve known for most of my life that there’ll come a time when I suffer hot flushes and maybe a bit of memory loss, when my hormones decide they’ve had enough of preparing me for a pregnancy that never comes, but by ‘eck I wasn’t ready for this:  my brain’s gone haywire.

Yesterday I kept wondering why all the cars were driving on the wrong side of the road (they weren’t). I can’t remember anything useful, even normal words; I barely sleep; I ricochet from murderously irritable to nearly suicidal; and I get intense body rushes akin to taking speed but without the good bits. Oh yeh and I’m knackered a lot of the time- would stay in bed for days if I could.

I need a menopause support group before I kill someone.

My mum never mentioned her ‘change’ though she did put in some early negative conditioning by calling periods ‘the curse’. I thought I’d slowly stop bleeding and get a bit hot now and then. Ha bloody ha. Actually I’m bleeding every 2 weeks. Not fair.

You probably don’t want to know any more so I’ll spare you, but a bit of sympathy wouldn’t go amiss. I’ve discovered that some friends who’ve been pouring out their woes to me for years are completely uninterested in returning the favour. Well fuck them. Yep, it’s a new me.

I’ve never before googled painless methods of suicide, but it’s very interesting- did you know that thanks to emissions controls it’s very hard to kill yourself with car exhaust now?

To the pedants out there, officially these symptoms are part of the perimenopause (the menopause is a year after your last period), but really who cares? You know what I mean.

Sadly I’ve become so intolerant I’ve decided to stop seeing my man from Derby (100 miles away) after a too-long weekend in Warsaw. I was so irritable it was ridiculous and I’m sure it wasn’t ALL his fault. Anyway, now I know long distance relationships are not what I want in the longterm- there’s no way of getting to know each other gradually, it’s either texts or spending a whole weekend together. Back to the drawing board… I live in hope that my hormones calm down enough for me to start dating again… and probably write some wince inducing articles on menopausal dating. Definitely a niche market.

I’m wondering if this would make a good profile photo: Image