Can This Continue?

January 26, 2012 § 106 Comments

Without wishing to sound some self-conscious gobshite, I am worried that this blog is becoming a whole heap repetitive and boring because less than fuck all is happening in my life.

Last year there was at least a small bundle of twinkles which, between them, just about managed to muster a vague “story”, but those short stories within that bigger story were the kind a writer starts in earnest and with a certain verve, but which don’t work out.  Despite best efforts, they are abandoned, unfinished, for a huge sum of reasons; just damn well die on him (her!), and end up buried in some insignificant drawer, or burned.

This year, wholly, totally and utterly not one twinkle in the entire ether.  Not a story to be had.  Romantic life even more dead than the proverbial previous parrot.

A friend has said, don’t worry, they will build up again, might take a bit of time.  Well, all I can say is that the builders are on a very extended tea break; in fact they appear, as builders are wont to do, to be showing every sign of having disappeared off the face of the earth, of having fucked off for ever.

In the absence of even the remotest notion of a narrative arc – beginning, middle, happy ending – it is a wonder that you could want to go on reading, even if I do manage to salvage the odd snippet from the landfill of my life that I might feel could possibly be worth feeding on to you?

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§ 106 Responses to Can This Continue?

  • Sarah says:

    You’re looking for copy? Easy!! Start internet dating. I can assure you you’ll be spoilt for choice. 🙂

    • Twinkletoes says:

      Exactly what I was about to say! Please try internet dating, especially the Fishy site :o) After all, it’s free, so you have nothing to lose, except the time involved. And who knows what you might gain? At least have a look at the men in your area on there.

      Without my daily fix of your site, I’d be bereft…

      • The Plankton says:

        That is a lovely thing to say… Thanks. The Fishy site I might save for another day. Guardian Soulmates (which I peeped at this morning) was quite enough to be going on with for one day! xx

  • Redbookish says:

    It’s only January (just). I often find if I think the big picture, I get very low. But day to day, I have a wonderful life! Just wish there were someone to share it with, even a little bit. But, as Henry James said (somewhere or other): “When all else fails, remember the life of art.” And it *is* consoling.

  • Plankton-o-phile says:

    On the subject of mood, whether a roller coaster or a redundant railway line ….. Does anyone here use the Moodscope site? I find it very useful, plotting the ups and downs and most important the reasons why. Try it.

    P – blogging is good for you/us …… Hold on in there x

  • rosie says:

    No, don’t go, it will feel like having a leg cut off and you can’t leave a whole shoal of plankton adrift just like that! If it’s becoming a chore why not cut it down to every two days or thereabouts?

    And if you can grin and bear it and take a deep breath (more like a million of them) there really is endless material in internet dating. Maybe that could be your next book. It’s obviously been done before now but until it dies a death is an endlessly fascinating subject. Who doesn’t want to read about sex, or the pursuit of it?!

  • Jo-Jo says:

    I agree with Sarah, try internet dating, and you will have many hilarious tales to tell from that, you may even find your Prince Charming…..you will have to kiss a few frogs first though! Also just a thought, but if you are struggling to write something every day, why does it have to be every day? Why not write when you feel can, it is a shame if this blog becomes a burden, maybe a couple of times a week is enough. I for one look forward to reading your blog, and would miss your news and rants if you stopped altogether. You have many fellow planktons out here who sympathise with you and love you……so don’t give up! Internet dating is the way forward :)))

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks Jo-Jo, Funnily enough, because of all of you, I did have a peep at Guardian Soulmates this morning. Slightly more promising than the last site I looked at but all the remotely nice ones wanted someone of 41 tops. What’s with 41 as a cut off point, I wonder? Anyway, I am well past it. x

      • Elle says:

        I don’t normally advocate lying about one’s age but tough times call for tough measures.

        If you eat better, exercise more and look younger than the average 41 year old then I think you are perfectly entitled to knock a few years off online.

        Unlike a face to face encounter, where your appearance is the first thing a man notices, your age is the first thing a man notices online. I say match it to how good you look and sod the pedants!

      • The Plankton says:

        Good thinking, Elle, and I have nothing against it for others, but for myself, I think that I have to be totally honest about everything, including my age. I’ve never lied about my age because I’d be too scared at the humiliation of being found out and I am a crap liar! Do I feel a post about lying coming on…? Thank you. Px

      • Sarah says:

        Don’t worry about the age thing. They say 41 but it’s not usually embedded in concrete. If you like the look of someone, contact them anyway. Just takes a breezy introduction and they usually forget the age limit.

      • Jo-Jo says:

        I have a couple of girlfriends who used that site, and I believe that out of all them, it is one of the best. There is also a free one called Plenty of Fish (quite amusing when you come to think of it, seeing as we are Planktons!) I used POF, and met quite a few interesting men……though the romances didn’t turn out to be long term ones. I still had fun going out on dates. I have many stories to tell, mostly amusing in some way or other. Some were good, and yes there were a few bad ones, but you are not going to know unless you try, like I said earlier, you have to kiss a few frogs to find your Prince! I also made quite a few male friends through it, as romance isn’t always on the cards……. I am still in touch with a few and meet up for the odd meal, they can be a great sounding board.

        Not all men are looking for someone much younger than themselves, and if they are, then they are being very shallow and short-sighted. Just a word of advice, and I am sure you already know this…….but for a first date, go to a public place where there are lots of people…..obvious reasons!! The profile you write about yourself is quite important, and also it really helps if you can upload a recent (flattering!!) picture of yourself where you are looking relaxed and happy. The posy pictures just look posy……at least I think so!

        Some women will subtract 5 years off their true age, so they fall into the age-bracket that some men seem to want……I know its wrong, but if you are attractive and young at heart, who cares eventually if you are 5 years older? A few years either way is neither here nor there. One of my girlfriends has just met a lovely gentleman, she is 54, and he is 60. It works both ways, not all men over 55 are slippers and pipe men, some of them are fit, fun, adventurous, generous, kind, well dressed, good company, and very very impeccably mannered……in a way that many younger men are not!

        Good luck P………we are all on your side, standing on the touchline and cheering you on!!

        Love
        Jo
        x

        p.s. I have been so inspired by your blog that I have started to write one too…..not many followers yet, not like you my dear friend!! I am not writing in it every day though, as I think it could be tricky for me to write that frequently…brain cells on the decrease!!!!

      • The Plankton says:

        Congratulations! Let us all know what it’s called so followers here can follow you too…Best of luck with it. Px

  • Lydia says:

    I know the issues but it still interests me. At university one of my offspring had a very popular blog and eventually they stopped it I think because sometimes the ideas just cease or interests change…I just checked.. a year ago I see. Sometimes you just lose momentum. He as interviewed for some TV stuff on line at one point from it.

    Anyway no one would blame you for doing so but I certainly don’t think it has lost people’s interests at all – far from it. I don’t think it needs to be about dating and men every day if there is nothing to say and it doesn’t even have to be every day of the week if you’re busy with other things. I certainly find it interesting.

    I read the times too, on line and it’s delivered so see the column there too.

  • Caz says:

    I can understand how you feel P….and you are putting so much time and effort into your blog. It must be quite a pressure to do it every day and keep such high standards. Why not look into publishing it as was suggest last week? That would give you a goal too.
    However – I actually have as much pleasure reading all the comments which follow and lot of your followers respond to and support each other.
    I do agree with Sarah…I think you should try some new dating scenario each week/month to inspire evryone and relate your happenings in your own inimitable style!
    I hope you keep it going – it’s absolutely fascinating and my daily read.

  • AnonW says:

    We all feel like that. I know I’m a widower living alone, but I feel like that at times. At least my house doesn’t need a lot of work doing on it, but the builder’s first name was Gerry, when it was built ten years ago. I don’t know where you live, but as I live in London, there’s always somewhere new to visit. Today, I think I’ll go to Chambers Wharf to see those protesting about the SuperSewer. In some ways these people are selfish, as something has to be done to stop others like my friends getting completely flooded out when it rains. I have no interest at all, as I live some way from the river and the land is very flat, and I don’t think it’s ever flooded. But then my father always told me to buy a house that never got flooded.

    You just have to keep going. In my dark times in the past, I always had an older person, who I could trust, who talked me through it. Mentoring is one of the most powerful and unfortunately underused processes in the way we live.

  • fi says:

    I think you are realistically going to have generate something or else every entry will be ‘didn’t meet a man today’. I think if you are going to continue then you’ll have to put yourself into situations where you’ll meet men and you can write about your experiences eg internet dating, speed dating, book clubs, anywhere men are etc to get material to write about.

  • Caz says:

    ….and you do conjure up sublime writing out of the drudgery of everyday living which makes us all see things differently.

  • zoe says:

    Ah. That’s life for you.

    Beginnings, middles and ends: don’t be a slave to the three act structure, P! We should all be moving past McKee. Or should that be Aristotle? As screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros; 21 Grams; Babel) said in a recent interview: “There is a theory that you can build a story for films in three acts. This, I think, is unnatural. We never tell stories like that in real life, we always go back and forth.”

    There’s always “back”. I loved hearing about your approach to men in your younger days. It’s all part of the same story. Don’t be tempted to pull the plug on us in mid-telling!

  • Steve says:

    Dear P,

    I think you’ve done remarkably well to keep it going this long, but as we all look forward to your blogs, it would be a shame to lose them. It’s like a little community of Plankton, and we all look forward to when you pop up in our inboxes. So, we can help.

    Instead of a blog, just ask a question, or set a topic and allow us, your loyal readers, to take up the baton. We all have a story to tell – some are more interesting than others, of course – but you might find a few items that inspire.

    Oh, and by the way, I can also vouch for the view that internet dating will definately provide material. It may not provide much else, but you will certainly meet some characters!

  • castoff says:

    Please don’t disappear altogether! I have been reading your blog for quite a while but only posted once or twice, and it is the first thing I look at when logging on. As others have said, if you posted every three or four days, then that would keep us going!
    Re internet dating – I joined MatchAffinity a couple of weeks ago and although you do have to wade through a certain amount of dross, there are a few possibles on there, even for me at 60. Have even exchanged a few messages with a very nice man of 61 – don’t know if it will lead anywhere (probably not) but it’s nice just to chat for a while. So please give this a good go – you know you’ve got nothing to lose!

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks very much, I am very glad you have commented again, and I promise not to disappear! Just may have to reduce the daily dose a little while, during this ridiculously fallow period. Px

  • Lindy says:

    ‘Life at the bottom of the sexual food chain’. Don’t let’s all forget why this blog started and it certainly wasn’t meant just to catalogue your twinkles and encounters, P! In my view, it’s more a descriptive passage/journal of what plankton life is like and beautifully and amusingly written at that. For me, that’s the pleasure of it. Plankton life isn’t all about meeting men or internet dating, it’s about coping with the day-to-day moods of singledom and you convey your highs and lows so eloquently, we all empathise. It isn’t necessary, in my view, to ‘entertain’ us on a day-to-day basis with your attempts to find a man; that might be part of your story, but not the whole. We love it when there’s a possibility of a twinkle and sympathise with you when your hopes are dashed, surely we’re not looking for a constant, vicarious frisson? Another blogger (who has, incidentally, now been published) began to wonder aloud if she was somehow manipulating her life in order to keep her readers satisfied and was disturbed by the notion: you must be true, P, that is your appeal…..x

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Lindy, This is very thought-provoking and helpful and thank you very much. One thing I do promise you is that I have never once manipulated my life to make a good post. Absolutely never! Total honesty, I think, is absolutely key to its appeal. Incidentally, what is the blog that’s been published as a book, if you don’t mind me asking? Be interesting to see how she’s done it. px

  • MissM says:

    I agree with Caz, your ability to “conjure up sublime writing out of the drudgery of everyday living which makes us all see things differently” is what makes this place so valuable. Nutkin said a few days back “you create something extraordinary out of the ordinary, I’m quite sure you will always have something to say”. Indeed, I enjoy all your posts, they don’t have to be about ‘events’ or twinkles. We love reading your take on the ordinary and what is sometimes boring reality of life.

    The brilliance of this blog is that it is so very real, and real life has lots of periods that have nothing happening. The important thing is how we deal with those uneventful times. Besides you don’t want to send the message that ‘no man’ equals ‘nothing to say’.

    I am as twinkle free as anyone can be, no prospects whatsoever, none, zip, nada, nix. If you were writing about a life where you were able to meet a man every day/week/month/whatever I would probably not be able to relate to this blog. You would be someone like Lydia, constantly turning away men, and no doubt you’d be having a lovely time and be writing about it beautifully, (and I would still read it) but I’d find it totally unbelievable. If there were always a new man hovering into view with never a break between, then your life would become rather unrealistic and Disney-movie like.

    As a thought though, to give yourself a guilt free break, perhaps you could ask for submissions from your followers for guest writing pieces. There could be a day or two a week dedicated to those who would like to share something of their own experiences of planktonhood. Or some good news tales like that of Mel’s unplanned meeting at the gallery bar while she was waiting for her online dating site date to show. (Best of luck Mel, hope that might lead somewhere fantastic for you.)

    Okay I admit I am being selfish here in hoping that you can continue this blog, I would dearly miss my daily read if you decided not to.

    • The Plankton says:

      Not selfish at all, MissM, and full of excellent thoughts and ideas and thank you. Why don’t we start straight away? If anyone has a particular thought or story, I’d love to hear from you and guest-post them. I hasten to say, I wouldn’t want to guest post too often as I am a bit selfish and possessive about it remaining very much my blog, but I think once a week or fortnight as a starting point is a fabulous idea! Thanks so much for the thought. So obvious, I should have thought of it myself, especially after the success of my Immediate’s guest post a few weeks back! Durbrain! Px

  • Margaux says:

    It doesn’t have to be about your day to day experiences, P.
    Some of your best writing has been when you have been musing, pondering, or even ranting and not necessarily attached to any specific events.

    Then there’s your view on things you have read or seen. If real life is quiet at the moment ( and it IS January) – your take on anything is always worth reading- along with the discussions you trigger. The inner life of a Plankton has as much to offer as the presence or absence of any ‘twinkles’.

    If you are feeling the need for a breather, we would all understand …maybe you could post every other day or every 2 or 3 ?

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you, Margaux. I enjoy straying into the realms of film criticism etc. Book reviews too could be good in this fallow time. Oh, you are all being so kind and helpful! This is GREAT. I am so grateful. Px

  • Aidan says:

    I for one can’t wait to read Planktons blog the day after she goes out on her first internet date with a bearded overweight scientist with problems with halitosis and erectile dysfunction.

    • The Plankton says:

      All too likely, alas! px

      • Elle says:

        If he has halitosis Plankton is unlikely to find out about the ED.
        Beards, properly trimmed, are actually quite trendy these days. Sexy too. I see more beards on men under 40 than I do on men over 40.

        Last time I looked Gerald Butler had a beard and very few women would kick him out of bed for eating garlic!

  • june says:

    No Plankton dont give it up, where would we all be. you are often so funny and you do sum up the life of a single, older woman so well. I talk about mine on facebook sometimes and i always make it funny, and people go along with it and laugh about it.
    If we can keep our sense of humour with it then its a sort of therapy.

    I am rather in agreement with Elle,regarding the lying about age on the internet. With you it was 41, with me being older the cut off date is 55, or very occasionally 60. Several of my friends, women in 30s and 40s told me to lie about mine, that should have been good enough if they thought ok. I didnt, like you im not a good liar, but now with the lack of success and the man the other day saying you look so much younger than your age,i think why the hell didnt i. Women seem to get pigeon holed so much more than men because of our age, even if, as it seems to me we often look in much better shape than many men, so although i dont normally agree with lying, if doing it again, id knock at least 8 years off.

  • MissBates says:

    Yes, yes, and yes to you posting every couple of days rather than daily, to the idea of the occasional guest post, to the suggestion that internet dating could provide you with (almost too much) material.

    In the meantime, however, one of the problems of plankton life is that our life experience is too often dismissed as being of no merit or interest. I think that is wrong, and that our lives and experiences are as valuable/valid as the happily & unhappily coupled-up of this world. OK, so you don’t have any current romantic prospects . . . but that is, after all, the very essence of being at the “bottom of the sexual food chain,” and your perspective from that vantage point — whether you are wryly humourous or ranting or pensive — is what keeps us all coming back here. By all means give yourself a break if you need it, but you do have something to offer, and the talent to express it.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you, Miss Bates. I’ll keep going. All this encouragement and everyone’s good ideas are very affecting! In fact, on my way to the cafe for my latte just now, I made a decision: that I would continue to post every day because I think we all seem to like that, but on days when I have nothing much to contribute or on a day like this Saturday which is going to be mighty busy, it may just be a case of, “I am here, I am run off my feet, forgive me, more tomorrow or on Monday I promise…” Px

  • J says:

    P

    I’d like to write a longer reply to today’s Plankton blog, but my Mum died unexpectedly two weeks ago and the shock has affected my ability to write at length.

    I thought I would mention an article from the Daily Mail instead. One or two bits made me smile:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2091801/Disastrous-dates-caused-quite-Twitter.html

    J

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear J, Thank you so much for this comment and big condolences. Please do keep in touch here and there will be strong support from the ranks, I know it: there always is! Px

  • MissNovember says:

    Please don’t give up Plankton – I love reading your rants. Life isn’t a soap opera, with neverending high drama, so there are bound to be times when there’s not much happening.
    If you want a really good source of future rants, try speed dating. I went once with a friend and it was the most (unintentionally) hilarious night in years. Had twelve ‘three minute dates’ with some very, shall we say, “interesting” characters. I almost kissed the pavement on my way home, thanking God that I was a Plankton. Try it – funnier than the internet, if a little in your face. I dined out on the stories for
    months.
    Chin up chuck, as we say up t’North!

  • ex-pond-slime says:

    “A friend has said, don’t worry, they will build up again, might take a bit of time. Well, all I can say is that the builders are on a very extended tea break;”

    Ha! Your blog doesn’t need anything happening when you write so wittily about nothing happening.

    Most blogs are weekly or less, but I’d miss my daily fix. Having said that, sometimes I miss reading your blog till the next day, and then I would like to post something but the conversation has already moved on. Maybe you could move to every second day to start with, to wean us off the daily fix while giving yourself a bit of a break.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks so much for this. Such has been the encouragement, I am going to stick to daily for the foreseeable, though the odd post might be a Post Lite! I am so glad you are enjoying it so much. Thank you. Px

    • Steve H says:

      Actually most builders go off to “get some materials” which is code for hopping off to the other job they’re working on which they neglected to mention when they assured you of their 100% attention!

      I also join the commentators in saying, P the blog doesn’t have to be every day. If you feel it HAS to be every day then it becomes like homework.

      A guest blog from time to time is an excellent idea.

      And there are so many subjects that can be covered -sex,love,internet dating,men and women’s expecations of each other , different perspectives from around the world etc etc.

      Due to your brilliant blog, you’ve built up a following of people that I reckon would be happy to “do a bit of heavy lifting” and write the odd guest blog.

      I’ll kick it off if you tell me how!

      • The Plankton says:

        Great, Steve, good for you. I guess I’d love to know why the male followers of this blog are reading it? But perhaps that’s not interesting to everyone. I don’t know: anything that come to you? You can send any potential post to my email address because if you send it as a comment, then everyone will have read it before it becomes a post, which rather defeats the object. I hadn’t thought of that! useless. Anyway my email address is…hang on a minute, just got to double check… (I may seem like one of those clueless chumps who don’t know their own phone number, but my plankton email is one I have almost never given out… Back in a min…x

      • The Plankton says:

        OK, sorry, it’s theplanktonlife@gmail.com – I was having a senior moment, sorry. Anyway, that’s for anyone who fancies sending in a guest post… xx

  • Lindy says:

    PLEASE don’t infer, P, that I was suggesting that you manipulate your blog in order to make it more interesting: we know you don’t and that is its appeal, as others have commented too. It just sounded as though you felt almost guilty for not having more ‘interesting’ things to post about – no need! And your comments, as I said, reminded me of this other blogger who began to feel that she WAS doing so. I feel I’m rather a talent spotter (joke!) as no fewer than three bloggers I have found and enjoyed in the last few years have now been published and I’m sure you would find having a look at their sites (you may well have already come across some or all of them) an educative and engrossing experience. I was originally referring to Catherine Sanderson aka La Petite Anglaise (wwww.petiteanglaise.com) who used to be a bilingual secretary in Paris and wrote about her life and loves there, a pretty addictive read with some exciting ‘bits’ but plenty of day-to-day experience and observation too. She hit the press, because she was sacked for being discovered writing her blog at work and successfully appealed. She closed her blog a year or two ago, having just married and given birth to her second child and – guess what?! – she met her husband on the internet! So there! The other two you might like to check out are http://www.wifeinthenorth.com and http://www.alrighttit.com, the first about a mum moving against her will from London to Northumberland, her husband’s birthplace, and trying to cope with rural life with two small children, another on the way and a husband who promptly disappeared back to London to work and only reappeared at weekends; and the second wonderfully and wittily written by a girl coping with terminal breast cancer. Both have turned their blogs into books and their websites have links to their books. In fact I think Lisa Lynch has attracted the attention of the BBC too and an ocologist recommended her own book to her! I would LOVE to hear what you think, once you have had a look – they are all very fascinating blogs in their own ways, but none of them writes as well as you! Forgive me if you already know of some or all of them. If not, they should keep you busy! x

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Lindy, Thank you so much. In fact I had definitely heard of the first two you mention (Paris and Northumberland) but not the breast cancer one. I will definitely check them out but meanwhile, very touched by your comments about my writing. Thank you. Px

  • Lindy says:

    Sorry: too many ‘w’s in first website – obvi!! x

  • Sarah says:

    Tom Cox from The Telegraph found his latest girlfriend on Twitter:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/relationships/9033215/Reader-I-tweeted-her.html

    There’s a thought!

  • random man says:

    think you might be limiting yourself a bit as men dont read the guardian !…

  • paolo says:

    Two words: Internet dating.

    One anecdotal factoid: Well over half the people I know who have been married in the past decade met online.

    Some pieces of advice: Sign up for at least two online dating services, be patient (it will take a while to find someone), write a profile that will appeal to exactly the kind of guy you are looking for, don’t waste your time responding to guys who don’t really interest you, and be honest in your profile (e.g., post a recent photo, do not lie about your age).

    One more thing: Good luck!

  • Penny says:

    Hi Plankton. Well if nothing is happening and its the same old moans about men or lack of them, the blog won’t last forever, sometimes things aren’t meant to. They come to a natural end. we all understand where you are coming from, in your pursuit, but once its all said, you can end up going round in circles. I dont read all of your blogs, just a few. The difference will be if things change in your life and you can tell us all about it.

  • Chris says:

    Plough on Planky…your followers would be bereft if you quit now. You have entered the winter fallow period that comes after Christmas, fo me quite the most depressing time of the year. Here comes February, for me the most dreaded month. But soon spring will be here, when the sap rises ( sometimes literally !! ) and with any luck you will engender some interest with some fresh and frisky fellas. I think you need someone new to take your mind off LS. He, I feel, is just dragging you down

  • @ The Plankton- Do you play any musical instruments?

    Reading through your daily blog page entries, I’m sensing potential material for a song here, “The Planktons’ Blues” perhaps… Or if you don’t play any instruments yourself, perhaps you have some friends (male or female) who do play an instrument, perhaps a duet sometime in the future here?

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    I have not got time to read all the comments yet, though I will do, but I would also say like the others: internet dating will give you a lot of material. And you may be able to turn this into a book or a newspaper column (e.g. Bridget Jones) and make lots of money, too.
    Also as I mentioned once before, I feel you do not have to blog every day. You could “blog” every week or twice a week or when you’ve got material. I get an e-mail prompt when you blog so I never need miss an issue!

  • RS says:

    I can imagine it must be tough to muster the energy and ideas to write on the blog every day. But there have been a few good suggestions here! Your past (men), the internet dating prospects (I do hope you’ll try it if just for writing material – it’s a rich minefield!), but also just the little slice-of-life pictures you paint – all these are things I would like to read! Or perhaps (and I hate to suggest it) you could just decide not to post on those days when material and energy are tough to find.

    And I have to say that the comments are becoming something I look forward to just as eagerly as the blog posts now. There is quite a community building up here.

  • Bienchen says:

    Plankton, I have to come out of lurkdom to lend support to this post. Stumbled upon your blog whilst researching something different altogether….Please do keep the blog going but if it helps, pace yourself. The ideas about not blogging everyday plus guest blogging are very good.

    For what it’s worth, I was a single mum for something like 10 years before I finally plucked up the courage to do internet dating. I understand that the scene has changed quite a bit now but I did after quite a few bad experiences end up with a lovely and decent man who I subsequently married. Married now for nearly four years. I can still relate to a lot that you are writing, having been single with young family for such a long time. If you do consider internet dating, be prepared to do your homework.

    And don’t give up, never give up. x

    • The Plankton says:

      How lovely to hear from you and thank you. I am so glad you stumbled across the blog and have been enjoying it, despite the fact that you have already had your happy outcome! Hope for us all! Thank you for commenting and for your encouragement. Very best wishes, Px

    • Jo says:

      Bienchen. Are you my alter ego?!
      These are almost my words almost exactly. After 10 years of singledom – with young family – this is practically the same story. Without the marriage. Not sure I want to be married again. But this most definitely is it.
      Must always stress though that there are no guarantees on the internet. But you won’t know unless you are really open to it and give it a really good go.

      • Jo says:

        Too many ‘almosts’. Sorry.

      • Bienchen says:

        Jo, nice to see there are others in the same boat. All the more encouragement for Plankton, I hope. I did stumble across DH on a free (or nearly free) site. I did pay very good money on another introduction site but their vetting process left a lot to be desired. Tenacity, patience, sense of humour and nerves of steel are difinitively needed for internet dating. If I had to do date again (heaven forbid), I would give speed-dating a go.

  • Jo says:

    Ok. I agree with paolo. I’m not cheerleading the internet. No guarantees there remember. But. I just want to make some -helpful?- important points.
    Here’s a thing P. You have written about ‘peeping’ in on the internet. I did that too, for a while, as you know. With the resulting depletion of spirit and sense of weariness. But eventually you have to take a leap. Your perspective is often about the people you are looking at. How uninspiring it can seem etc. Pretty much a dead loss to you. But what you don’t seem to have done (correct me if I’m wrong), is to put up a profile and post a picture. Daunting I know. But it has to be done. You simply cannot expect anything to happen by thinking you will only trawl through and find somebody. Practically everyone I know who met someone great on the internet (including me), were CONTACTED by them because of what they’d written on their profile and their picture. Especially the profile. If you are contacted, you don’t HAVE to do anything you don’t want to. Of course you won’t be going to meet a ‘bearded overweight scientist, with halitosis and erectile dysfunction’! Unless someone forcibly pushes you there, you clearly won’t choose to do that. (No sense of humour failure here btw. You jest. But there’s something in your mindset that still feels there is mostly this sort of person out there and it’s blocking you..). There will be some chancers yes. But you are more likely to hear from someone who responds to what you have clearly written in your profile. Especially a great writer like yourself. Who may, just may, be someone you really like. Be honest in the profile P. I would say. Be yourself. Don’t lie about your age. I did the first time (when I was on for a very short while), and I regretted it. I had a possible ‘twinkle’ then and confessed quite quickly that I was..erm..not the age I said I was (had knocked 5 years off) and as well as feeling horribly guilty about it myself, it didn’t go down too well. Whilst people do kind of understand it (I too am always taken for at least 10 years younger than my age), it also feels like, ‘well what else could you have lied about’? It’s a matter of choice of course, but I’m with the honesty route. On all counts. With your profile too. Honest. Straightforward. Some humour. (Not crazy, ‘zany’ stuff.). Well written. (Not hard for you). This is what attracted my gorgeous man to me. As well as the others who contacted me. (Not huge amounts. I stress! Not right for me. But they were really nice all the same.). I just seemed myself. Not over embellished. Simply, honest. Funny, yes. (But not pushing it to be overly so.). But quite simple overall. There are any number of women – men too, I’m sure – who lie about their age. It’s a relief to find people who don’t. (Before I’m stoned, I honestly do understand it if you do.). There are no guarantees about meeting anyone. Obviously. But feeling you’ve been honest makes you feel ok about yourself. I’m ONLY speaking about myself. Not judging anyone else’s choice.
    Btw. Sorry about all these capital letters. I don’t know how to italicise on this. Capitals always seem so LOUD. And as if I’m SHOUTING. Which I’m NOT. It’s very misleading and can give totally the wrong impression.
    Anyway. What was I droning on about again? Oh yes.
    Mel’s story was/is great. Absolutely fab. You wondered, jokingly about the bar/gallery she went to.
    It was not about that particular bar. It clearly cannot be swimming with gorgeous, available men. There are any amount of (upmarket) bars where this could have happened. It was CHANCE and it was, as Fi has said, about Mel being open to taking a chance on that stranger. There seemed to be a feeling that mystery man didn’t work out because he was aargh… From the internet! Proof you see. Heh?
    Whereas mystery bar man is the way it should be done. No.
    It could have worked out either way. Mystery man could have turned out to be splendid. ‘Bar man’ could have struck up a conversation, but been repulsive.
    Another thing. (To Mel too.). I would suggest that 4 emails are very few to decide to meet someone. Only suggesting…Each to their own and all that. But you gotta build up some real rapport and/or some notion that it is worth a meet. I’m not saying this wasn’t felt. But after only 4 emails it’s hard to imagine. I know the balance of ‘getting to know’ more about someone (and, after a while, speaking to them!), whilst being realistic and not piling too much onto a date is difficult, but it’s worth doing. Only in my humble view.
    Lastly. (‘Thank god. I hear you yell.). I don’t think you’re wholeheartedly having a go at the internet yet P. Without that, it really ain’t gonna happen. It might not happen anyway. But at arms length and head set to negative, it’s not got a chance. Really. I still feel that’s something of a relief to you when it looks grim. ‘Cos you’re still feeling you really only want to meet someone your friends know. Deep down.
    Not this ‘stranger’ thing. You still don’t want to give it a real go. I truly sympathise P. Truly. Truly. Truly. But if you don’t take the plunge and put your details on there then…..Nothing. Again. Even if you’re contacted. You DON’T have to do ANYTHING.
    As for this year being devoid so far? We’re only 26 days in!
    All said with great warmth toward you P.

  • Jo says:

    Sorry. Lied..
    LAST THING. Honestly. For today.
    Please keep blogging P. As and when you wish. But there’s only one reason why we will countenance your diappearance……………
    The year is young. x

  • Geoffrey says:

    I agree with everything Paulo writes on here! Anyway I think you should try internet dating – but not just for its blog potential. And don’t lie about your age – you have to have the confidence to know that the man you want would not be so facile as to need youth as the lure. Your ageless beauty is in your writing.

    My solutions to your writer’s ennui are:

    – accept guest blogs (I will write one)
    – just start a debate going on a particular subject and let the commenters take it forward. e.g. whether to post a photo on a dating profile, what makes the best first date, how dating at 50-60 should differ from that at 25 etc.

    Best wishes

    Gx

  • Adela biegman says:

    Don’t listen to all these plankton. Write every single day. If you want to turn all this into a book, the daily deadline is good for you. If you don’t write every day, people won’t read you religiously anymore and you’ll lose your plankton fan base. Plankton aren’t reading for a narrative arc and happy ending anyway. AB

    • The Plankton says:

      All true I suspect. Point taken. I shall plug on and happily enough. Thanks.

    • Jo says:

      Eh? Adela biegman. I’ll think you’ll find that ‘all these plankton’ have said that it would be great if P wrote everyday. But if she feels she’d like to change that, then we’re right behind her. That it’s her choice.
      Think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick somewhat.

    • Elle says:

      “Plankton aren’t reading for a narrative arc and happy ending anyway”.

      Adela, what do you mean by that statement? Do you really think the followers of this blog want Plankton to be miserable forever?

      We follow her because her fate closely echoes our own. She is a lone voice for many women for feel lonely and forgotten just because they have reached a certain age and are vilified by society for being single. Some of us are single by choice, some not.

      Nothing would please me more than to see a picture of Plankton on this site, a man by her side, getting married in a church or registry office and having a happy ever after ending.

      Unfortunately life isn’t like that. If Plankton does meet somebody, and I’m sure she will, I too would advise her to write every day.

    • Bienchen says:

      Can’t speak for others but I would not be put off by a blogger that does NOT post every day. Days go by without me catching up on blogs, I try to catch up as and when I can; so maybe I am not the most loyal follower of this or any other blog but who cares? For me it is about being in touch with how others feel. One day our dear Plankton will be an ex-Plankton. And we will be happy for her, some just a few days earlier than others. x

      • The Plankton says:

        You know, I have been thinking if one day I EVER become an ex-plankton, I may carry on with this blog anyway…? But not something I have to worry about for a very long time! xx

  • Jo says:

    Further, Adela biegman. Plankton will NEVER lose her fan base. We’re all far too loyal for that. And she’s far too good. Whatever she chooses to write. Whenever she chooses to write it.

  • EmGee says:

    Twinkletoes: “Without my daily fix of your site, I’d be bereft…”
    Redbookish: “It’s only January (just).”

    ^ ‘Nuff said.
    It’s totally up to you how often you post; daily, bi-weekly, weekly, etc., but I look forward to every single one, whether it’s a little ‘sorry nothing today’ or an 8 paragraph diatribe!

  • There are worse things than boredom.

  • Dawn says:

    Did you see this article?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/25/internet-dating-at-40-and-a-baby-at-43

    If nothing else, online dating could provide blog fodder. )Apologies if someone has already linked this. It’s late and I can’t stay up to read through all of the comments tonight.)

    I wish I’d kept a written record of the weirdos I’ve encountered online. I wouldn’t believe it all if I hadn’t lived it. Who KNEW there were so many damaged men out there? (Women, too, no doubt, but I haven’t been dating them.)

    • Elle says:

      Yes, I read that. At first it seemed a bit Disneyish, but upon further investigation two things struck me:

      1) The man she met was 12 years older than her

      2) This fifty something man wanted to have a baby with her

      He may have wanted to have a baby with her because he loved her, but a woman of his age (50s) wouldn’t have the same choices. She would be too old to have a baby.

      If anything that article depressed me and left me feeling more hopeless than ever because even though I am 40, and the same age as this woman when she met her now husband, I have a medical condition which means it is inadvisable for me to get pregnant. So if a man were to turn around and say to me “I want to have a baby with you” I couldn’t assent to his wishes and he would probably leave me for somebody who could. I’ll stop typing now as I am starting to cry.

      • Jo says:

        Oh Elle. You have moved me so much. I wish I could give you a big warm hug. I really wish it. X

      • Steve H says:

        Elle

        I’m sorry to hear about your medical condition. However, many men in their forties and fifties are NOT looking to have kids. They’ve either “been there , done that” or the idea doesn’t appeal any more(if it ever did).

      • Lydia says:

        Come on Elle, see solutions, not problems! There is ntohing in the world to stop you and that husband from hiring a US surrogate, buying a clever pretty woman’s egg and then having your husband’s child and bring it up in you marriage. In that way of course you can have a child with such a man.

  • The Plankton says:

    Jo, I have kept the last 2 comments – I hate to trash comments unless strictly necessary – but am happy to scrub them if you still wish? xx

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