Starter for 15

Hello World,

It’s been a while, I was licking my wounds and letting the dust settle after foolishly jumping, gung-ho fashion back into online dating. Dr. Spin it turns out really did believe his own press about what a catch he was and decided to go on a full facial assault on the third date without testing the waters first. Erm bad move.. I said my goodnights and ran away but he wasn’t letting me go that easily and ambushed me in my car as I tried to drive away. So after removing his tongue from the back of my tonsils for the second time and closing the door in his face, I decided that maybe I was being a bit naive in cyberland.

So I’ve let the online account stew for a bit. Apart from one blind date coffee with a man who is friends with a friend of mine. Her text read “I have a man for you, he does have an ex-wife but he’s lovely and ready to move on”.  I procrastinated and complained, strictly speaking he was outside my new rules but in the end in the spirit of optimism I agreed to dutifully give it a whirl. He was very charming too, although a bit flustered on arrival and stuttered through the first few minutes, so I took the helm and got us going, if there’s one thing Miss.Kitty is master of it’s inane chat! Now I don’t know about you but it’s a bit of a conversation stopper when said fellow reveals he has a) two teenage children and b) a freshly dispatched Japanese ex-fiancee. Hmmm, excess luggage anyone?

Next was a date with a one of our dear city’s ever increasing population of builders who are fixing the place up. He was a real gentleman and attentively turned his laser beam focus on me for the evening asking many, many questions and paying me many compliments. What a really lovely bloke and not to mention buff, but sadly the spark didn’t ignite so we didn’t repeat the date.

So I ducked down my hidey-hole and curled up there for a few weeks. That is until my brand new, shiny, single, gorgeous girlfriend lit a stick of dynamite under my arse! Her turbine drive and vivacious, tenacious appetite for life has shaken me from my backward looking reverie and last week the two of us went speed dating much to our own surprise. 15 men, 15 women and 2 large glasses of vino. It was the funniest, most ridiculous, entertaining night out I’ve had in a long, long time. We struggled to make head or tail of the male pack in 4 minute increments, some passing in the blink of an eye and others feeling like slow water torture.

In the assembled room was a vast array of characters including an executive female man-eater complete with 80s haircut, shoulder pads and knocking ovaries, three persian scientists/engineers who were very intense and painfully polite, a jolly Irish dairy farmer, a mouse sized primary school teacher with a big voice, a nervous first-time builder who had a rehearsed monologue, a Blade Runner looking blonde IT type with a creepy line in pickups (“I’ve seen you online” he breathed down the back of my neck at half time) and the tee-total, serial speed dater who attends doggedly every month. Still we had the best night, it was like a youth club on acid. I loved the craziness of meeting so many people in a short space of time. It’s not romantic and you certainly won’t meet the one but it’s nice to meet people, get out, be human and sociable. Most of all I enjoyed exercising my ‘chatting to strangers’ muscle and I’m pretty bloody good at it turns out  – scoring 12 out of 15 ticks, well surely I’m allowed a bit of boasting? It’s good for my confidence! But I only ticked 3, of whom I only one made one match. So this week I have a date with a snowboarding, surfing, climbing, scaffolder with a sunny personality and not too shabby in the flesh either. Perfect!

And what do they always say about looking the other way? Online I’ve been fished up by a handsome, cheeky chappie from another city who is intriguing and delighting me as well as serendipitously meeting some really lovely guys in the real world for a change.

Now I know something I didn’t believe before, that things do get better, there is always another day around the corner.You just have to be patient, get on with living your life and try everything! Eventually the hurt and loneliness fades and one day you stumble across things that can make you smile again.

Teens at the diner

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Hobby horsing around

A weird phenomenon about flying solo in your thirties is that it’s like going back to high school.  Firstly I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time sighing dramatically and mooning over handsome actors in movies (this time minus the posters on my bedroom wall) and optimistically revisiting and studying classic romantic films – are there any clues I may have missed the first time around? Secondly I hang out a lot with my bestie (who is also sans a hubby or a boyfriend) and we spend any spare time in each other’s pockets, so much so that people start thinking she’s my girlfriend and not my plus one. Oh and thirdly I’ve taken up hobbies. Yes it sounds very pre-pubescent.

If the last time you had a hobby was back when you wore long socks and braces and they took the shape of ballet class, guitar lessons, athletics club, brownies/cubs or swim school then you’re in for a shock. The adult version is way more sophisticated. Granted it’s more like a bucket list before coupledom or arthritis sets in (whichever comes first!) but I have taken up in the following order op shop furniture shopping, a bit of DIY dabbling and the odd crafty art thing, running, chutney and jam making, pet therapy, life drawing, a two times crack at rock climbing, archery and some naughty but nice limoncello making!

So yes in a nutshell, I guess I have finally turned into my mother. Except for the gardening, which so far I am resisting, apart from the 3 shrivelled up orchids I foolishly bought. Soon to be added to the wish list are hot yoga, pump, a French language refresher and Vietnamese cooking. Thankfully I haven’t started crocheting or knitting yet but you never know. Of course the thing I haven’t mentioned in my new array of skill sets is also one of my favourite’s and that is blogging and talking to you.

archery

Sugargirls

This is a shout out to all my ladies (D.J. Miss K in da house!), my sisters in arms who step with me shoulder to shoulder along my pathway to… well to whatever lies in store? I salute you and thank each and everyone of you beautiful troopers from the bottom of my misshapen heart.

When the chips are down, when I’m out for the count, when the tears are pouring they step in, unsummoned, with flowers, wine, tissues, chocolate, reassuring nods and unconditional support. I may be unlucky in love and pick the wrong guys but at least I scored the four leaf clover with my girlfriends.

They say you know who your friends are when the shit hits the fan, by God I’ve had so much shit hit the proverbial, my girls all wear jumpsuits and galoshes…pink of course! One particular lady, she knows who she is, is my Gibralta. Always there no matter what. Any time, day or night with a splash of the hard stuff, a warm and ready hug and some sage advice. She has a heart of pure gold and a generous spirit, my Maori-Manchester kaitiaki. I shelter under her strong umbrella, you mess with me you mess with my adopted big sister!

And it wouldn’t be right to give a nod to the sisterhood that props me up and keeps me marching through the daily grind of celibacy without standing to attention for the one who made it all possible. And yes, I know I should have listened from the start… and yes, I know you know best….. and yes, I know you wish you had a fairy wand…. but hey I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t test your limits – you are an inspirational warrior queen and I love you Mum.

As someone who was bullied at school and spent the best part of my teens and twenties trying to recover, I can tell you that the greatest gift actually is true friendship in all its many glorious shades, because even meeting your soul mate is just finding the best friend that you happen to love too.

So ladies… next time, let me toast you all with one for the road and hope like hell the highway has been recently tarmaced!

girls