Day Out

January 25, 2012 § 22 Comments

One of my children was going for an assessment at a place an hour or so from our house.  No point in going there and back again in the time the assessment would take, so a good four hours to kill.  For several days I am afraid, I had been looking forward to this luxuriously unchartered stretch.  I had been envisaging myself setting up Blackberry and ipad in a charming cafe, steaming latte to hand, doing a few emails, spot of work, catching up with sorting out my diary, the papers; maybe my least favourite job ever, that of noting down my annual expenditure and payments for the delectation of my accountant.  In a cafe environment, even the impact of that particular tedium I thought could be assuaged a tad?  And, somewhere, I’ll admit, I thought, if I hang out in a cafe for that long, which I never normally do, who knows, maybe I’ll fall into conversation with a nice fellow in a Barbour (this being a country town) and we might talk about the weather (rain).

Well, of course, it didn’t quite work out like that, did it?  The charming independent cafe that I had in mind, full of plug sockets and extra frothy lattes and jovial men with an eye for a diligent new girl in town, I couldn’t seem to find.  There was, of course, rather contrary to the Georgian spirit of the place but wholly within the spirit of our ubiquitous times, a Costa, where I got my latte but where I couldn’t get a phone signal.  Or wi-fi.  No wi-fi in Pizza Express either.  Grrr.  I had a few urgent emails so, rather at a loss, had to sit in my car,  faintly chilly, and cursing my steering wheel for its inability to double-up as an even half-way adequate desk.  My eyes darted about the High Street wondering where to go to find warmth and wi-fi and wonderous weathermen.  In so doing, I spotted a Jigsaw with “SALE” in the window writ large.  Well, what can you do?  Fuck it, I thought.  I am not one for retail therapy, or any kind of therapy for that matter, but nothing wrong with a quick look.

So, the long and the short of that little jaunt was that I came away from that pretty wee town a whole heap poorer than when I entered into it.  Poorer in the sense of money and no men.

But I did find a nice new line in shower gel at Waitrose.

Oh, so many reasons to be cheerful!

§ 22 Responses to Day Out

  • Erin says:

    Dear P, maybe it’s time to devote a couple of hours to tweaking that online dating profile, eh? The chances of meeting a man in the grocery, at Costa, the train station are the stuff of Hollywood movies. Time to make your own destiny. Come on, you can do it ( a gentle prod and a hug)

    • The Plankton says:

      Quite right, Dear Erin, and thank you, though think I better do the tax stuff for my accountant first (tomorrow’s task, having failed so manifestly to do it in a cafe yesterday!)…xx

  • terracotta says:

    I think Angelina Jolie would be hard pressed to meet men under such circs so dont even count that as an effort. The worst bit would have been typing in your car. I now have to mentally remove you from London and replace you in ‘country town’. Mmmmm – not quite such rich pickings menwise there as the capital I would have thought.

  • june says:

    Unlike you P retail therapy always helps me. i have a very extensive wardrobe which sadly my social life doesent measure up to. Ive never understood those who dont like shopping, to quote one of my fellow shopaholic friends, whats not to like. Her, another friend and i have been known to spend 8 hours in one stretch at Bluewater. So i am sure P it did you good, now you need the opportunities to wear the stuff, so therefore have even more of a need to meet someone.

    An amazing thing has happened, i have had someone contact me through POF, no pic, or lots of details, which makes me immediately suspicious,is he married and just wanting a bit on the side. On the plus side he did say he cant understand why i havent had many contacts as i look much younger than my age,so at least my morale has had a boost. I said he had better ask the men that, i think all most of them think , however youthful you look, shes an old bat and wont even contact.

    • I don’t like shopping. I live in the United States and I’m turned off by the idea that we can buy ourselves happy. It seems an empty kind of contentment. I’m poor too, which maybe influences my disdain for consumerism. In fact, I wish I lived in a country with so much socialism as you all have in the UK.
      It makes me sad and totally blows my fantasy of Europe that Plankton finds herself in financial straits.

      Oh well. I love this blog nonetheless, such wonderful honesty! I think Plankton will find love and it will be where and when she least expects it. I’m sort of a believer in Fate. One day maybe while she’s out, with no makeup, no expectations she will meet a lovely guy. Perhaps you can’t find love, but instead it finds you.

      • The Plankton says:

        Oh, I hope so! And thank you for such faith. px

      • The Plankton says:

        Oh, I hope so! And thank you for kind words re the blog and such faith re my finding a lovely man. px

      • Jo says:

        sudafeduberalles. Your ‘fantasy of Europe’ that people don’t find themselves in financial straits?! It’s a recession.
        I’m up the financial swanee too. Only just held onto my home at the end of last year. But that’s another story…

      • Jo says:

        sudafeduberalles. Actually. Even if it wasn’t recession, Europe is full of people struggling with financial troubles and indeed poverty.

    • Lizzie from Oz says:

      Great news June! No pic does not necessarily mean a negative. A lot of people want privacy from friends and family looking up the site, spotting their profile and then having a good laugh about it. Which is exactly what friends are prone to do.
      I hope you have already asked for a pic to be emailed! Good luck!

      • June says:

        Yes Lizzie i did finally get a pic, not great, but not quasimodo and the bloke seemed reluctant to give much info bout himself. he is though 16 yrs years younger than me and whilst id like someone a bit younger and have many female friends in the 40s age group i felt he a bit too young and as said he wasnt quasimodo, so wondered why he would be interested in a woman of my age.

        However the situation becomes clearer, his occupation said ask me, which seemed a bit odd, It turns out he works 20 hours a week in a school, doing what i dont know, he didnt reveal that , cleaner perhaps, now before anyone says i am being fussy and shouldnt expect too much at my age, i should point out i am not looking for a millionaire or captain of industry. However i really feel at my time of life and with my own flat and a not great but liveable on pension, i could do slightly better than that, and would like someone slightly higher up social scale, with at least a pension or a proper job. Good grief my income is probably higher than his and could he afford a mortgage, on the kind of salary hes obviously getting, he must be on benefits, that i can live without. So its here we go again, i really do think in my city, and at my age internet dating will bring little, ive been doing it for over 2 years and i am really coming to the conclusion it isnt for me, those younger than me get nowhere here, it seems an impossible task, all that seems available are no hopers, quasimodo look alikes, or men much too old for me, i despair of it all. It possibly can work in certain areas, but here i think not.

  • Lydia says:

    It’s not a bad plan. I used to sit at the V&A caafe when the youngest two were doing something near by and read the papers although most of the other people around were about 20 or 30 years older than I am and it wasn’t really a picking up kind of thing. In fact my last boyfriend used to take me there as he likes art and I would often feel the only woman under 50 in the room and the only one in high heels for some reason whilst we were there which in a way made it even nicer, as if in a sense I were an additional art work as it were…..gosh I do have a high opinion of myself sometimes laughing as I type.

    My younger ones are doing similar exams / assessment are present. Good luck to everyone else who is going through that process.

  • anniebub says:

    Went to my book club evening with girlfriends in local pub tonight and hardly through the door before we were invited to join the quiz night. Sort of thing I avoid like the plague. But turned out to be huge fun with lots of banter. We were a table of women of a certain age and the rest of the pub were men of a certain age seemingly on their own. The charming publican had apparently just split from his partner. Of course we won the quiz !!, and got invited back for the next one… I thought of you. Pool of men, not exactly inarticulate or short of a few grey cells. Safe with girlfriends environment. Lots of opportunity to strike up chat. Never done anything like it in my life, and you might raise your hands in horror. Of course choice of pub is key. This was a lovely country pub miles from anywhere except choice village on doorstep full of ex Londoners. Just a thought. Pub quiz My God. Who would have thought it.

    • The Plankton says:

      Who indeed, but that’s great! Let us know how the next one goes. px

    • Jo says:

      That’s great anniebub.
      Slight – boring – note of caution. Of course, some of those men may have gone out to quiz night with their mates and left their wives or girlfriends at home! But I’m sure you’ll suss those out!

  • EmGee says:

    “…my annual expenditure and payments for the delectation of my accountant.”

    I love it! 🙂

    Sorry the day out didn’t live up to expectations (been there), mayhap next time scope out an unknown destination beforehand? Not knowing the geography where you were, I am guessing there may have been another town a short distance away that had the wifi, frothy lattes, etc. Too bad we cannot also foresee potential mates via the Google.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you! And as for looking down and SEEING potential mates, I hadn’t thought consciously of Google Earth, but that is obviously the means. Genius idea! I think you should put it to them! x

      • joules says:

        Could be done if there was a layer incorporated of latest census figures, with lone male households of a certain age. That would be the metric used for identifying possible mates. Think it could be done on a regional basis, not sure how detailed geographically the data is made available. There is somewhere a website that encourages people to make “mash ups” from government data sources. This would be a good idea if someone had the time – which I don’t right now. Perhaps one of my placement students would be interested in a little project.

      • Twinkletoes says:

        Joules, the ratio of available men to available women in an area would also be interesting!

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