Barge Poles

June 25, 2013 § 192 Comments

I wrote this below in about 1922 – well, actually, in March, for the Times, and due to space ishoos, they haven’t used it till now (well, yesterday).  So if it seems a bit out of date… Hell, a post is a post is a post:-

As spring arrives at long bloody last – I’ve been hibernating – I am asking my friends to send me on any blind dates they can think of, and every one of them says they will rack their brains, and that is the last I hear of it.

They all know just one single man whom, invariably, they swear I wouldn’t want to touch with a barge pole.  There are various categories of Barge Pole.  Divorced men who are manifestly enjoying the benefits of their new-found freedom and sleeping with several different women a week is an obvious one.  At a recent party, I saw a handsome example – an old friend called Mark whom I like but, even if he were interested in me, I wouldn’t touch with a…   As he and I chatted and laughed, one of his many benefits – a rich plankton with two divorces behind her – sidled up to him, and slithered her arms all over him like a python.  She gave me astonishingly hostile looks.  It was a possessiveness which I knew to be misplaced.  He had just been telling me about his sense of liberation and adventure, and how this particular woman and he had sex when they felt like it, but the arrangement was manifestly fluid.  Well, on his part at least (there were others from Tottenham to Turkey).  On hers, predictably, not so much.

A recent article in a serious American magazine placed available men into two categories, namely players and losers. Both of them, in my book, are disheartening BPs. While Mark is obviously a player, the all-too-commonplace loser is properly single, meaning distinctly non-committal and odd.  Quite often these types are still in love with a woman – or girl – they loved thirty or forty years ago.  They have had “relationships” – of sorts – since, but no woman has ever matched up to the mythical One.  I went out, briefly, with a man in this category.  He wasn’t ostensibly a “loser”.  A romantic figure on a hillside who wrote poetry and smoked a lot of dope, he was good-looking and warm and sweet.  But he always used to show me pictures of Lulu and talk about her to me with his glazed, beautiful, wistful, red Leb eyes, and I knew I needed to take note of the writing that had been on the wall from the outset. Gorgeous, but hopeless.

The funny thing is, even barge poles are quite thin on the ground at the moment.

But there are more female BPs than squeamish-inducing frogspawn in a pond.  I am one of them.  Old and spent and flabby and grabby and set in my ways.  Another man’s discarded chattel with another man’s children.

Barge Pole.  With heels on.

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§ 192 Responses to Barge Poles

  • malcolm says:

    First.

      • MissM says:

        He is only pointing out he is the first to comment in this thread. Was a fad at one time to do this, possibly still is. Another site I visit has a computer program that does weird things to people’s posts when they try and write “first” or “first post”, apparently because it became a problem at one point.

      • The Plankton says:

        I’m afraid I just let this blog get on with it as I have not the faintest clue how it works, technically. Hence no bells and whistles in terms of surrounding decor and pictures and DESIGN. It’s just bog-standard and I only provide words, and more words. Pxx

      • malcolm says:

        MissM is correct. I was just thrilled to get here before the tiny dick vs. cavernous vagina argument got started. Usually I enter the fray 30 comments or so in.

        It was a fad at one time.

    • Elle says:

      Malcolm – who said anything about tiny dicks?

      OK, you did 🙂

  • PY says:

    A bold shout, Malcolm, whipping away the veil of anonymity with your piccie .

    Form an orderly queue, ladies.

    Now, please, no shoving at the back !

  • zoe says:

    I knew it 😉 Wasn’t it Malcolm who had to rebuff his ex-wife’s friends turning up with consoling casseroles?…Now we know why…

    • fi says:

      THAT’S RIGHT!! 🙂

      I’d forgotten that.

      • malcolm says:

        OK, that’s a bit embarrasing. I didn’t realize that when you signed up for a gravatar it would automatically display the picture on everything you’ve ever done on the internet. I really liked my very complex blue pattern, it was so much superior to everybody elses’.

        Having said that, reading the comments made my day. Thank you everyone. You should know though, that picture is 10 months old, so I don’t look like that anymore, I’m a typical 47 year old man now, I’ve lost all my hair, a few teeth too (the ones that remain are all yellow), I’ve developed a huge paunch, and I walk around shopping malls wearing sweatpants.

        BTW., Fi, you’re the catch.

      • The Plankton says:

        Jeez, what’s been going down with you for the past ten months to bring all that aging on so fast…? Pxx

      • Fi says:

        Thanks 😀 but totally untrue.

        I see Steve has also put his picture up over on the ex-cougar page and he too is a handsome chap.

        In fact aren’t both of you exactly the type of men (older, articulate, weigh less than a baby elephant) that Plankton say don’t even exist?

        Bet the women flock to you in real life. If they don’t it’s probably because they assume you’re too good looking not to already have someone.

      • zoe says:

        Yes, fi. P, it would seem, is surrounded by suitable similar-aged men. Given that one of P’s complaints, however, is that if there is a suitable man he invariably goes off with a younger woman, we should perhaps ask both Malcolm and Steve what the age was of the women they went on a date with. Steve? Malcolm? ‘Fess up, please.

      • fi says:

        I’ve only ever met men who select women on criteria such as personality and they take appearance/physical attractiveness into it too. And I have to admit I don’t know any men who go out with significantly (10+ years) older women but I do know men who go out with women a few years older. I’ve never had a man ask me my age when chatting to me or asking me for a date so I would have to conclude it’s not a factor.
        I suspect, and I might be wrong so grateful for any blokes to correct or confirm, that where men end up with younger women it is because they were attracted to those women because of their appearance and personality.

      • maria says:

        Fi, you’re right. Steve is hot!

      • malcolm says:

        @zoe, I’m not sure how old she is. I can’t just ask a lady her age, I’d never have the courage to blurt that question out.

        @maria, you’re right, Steve is hot. I’d date him, but distance would be a problem, he looks like he’s English.

  • rosie says:

    But what about the 43-year-old twinkle, P?

    • The Plankton says:

      OK. Fair enough. I WILL write about him for definite. Just going to see how things pan out over the next couple of weeks or so, should they pan out at all, that is (ie. if I hear from him). Either way, I won’t forget to elaborate at some point soon, I promise. Pxx

  • James B says:

    A nice piece as always Ms P. A pity they changed the editor at The Times. I bet that’s why you are now invisible there. Why don’t you publish your blog as “The Plankton Diaries Part 1” on Kindle? I know I’d buy it.

  • outraged of London says:

    I know times are hard in the newspaper world, but really,Sitting on a piece for three months and then running it with the unedited intro ‘As spring arrives…’ when we’re officially in summer. It’s an insult to your copy, Plankton, and The Times should be ashamed.

  • MissM says:

    I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. Nice example of the friends with benefits type of man, where as usual he is in la la land with the belief that the women are as happy with the casualness of the arrangement as he is. Then again, he probably just doesn’t care if they are happy or not.

  • EmGee says:

    Ah, better late than never. 🙂

    players and losers. Surely lost under the couch cushions there is a keeper.

  • Technically, the real term is “quant” pole”- at least for people who actually pilot barges through canals- “Barge pole” is the layperson’s phrase for quant poles….

    • Jill says:

      Sorry to be pedantic, but on a very quick glance at this post and the comments it has provoked (from my sunny hols en famille in SW France), it occurs to me that the BP is the implement used to fend off the object, and not the object itself. Should we not be speaking of barges rather than bargepoles (or quant poles if you are Scott…..) ? Oh dear, time to get back tot he pool, I fear….!

      • amouette says:

        Except that “Barge. With heels on” doesn’t have quite the same ring, Jill. Don’t you think?

      • PY says:

        Jill (& Scott )

        Re Barge Pole / Quant

        Having poked the latter into the mire of various Broads, I can assure you that it is not the name but the length which matters when trying to make headway .

        As for Ms P’s commentary , I can assure you that the quant-itive easing swings both ways . Enough single chaps have been invited to dinner sessions as the token male to recognise a female equivalent BP targeted their way .

      • Jill says:

        I must confess that my experience of cruising around the Norfolk Broads is non-existent (unlike PY’s?), but I can assure everyone that my extensive acquaintance with punts has proved to me that it is not the length of the pole but the expertise of the person wielding it which is what really matters.

      • Yow- WEE !!! You ladies have said quite a mouthful here!!!

        Next time I travel to England, I think I’d love to try punting through some of those canals up in the Midlands- I’d love to explore and expand some of my navigation skills ….

      • PY says:

        Jill

        Couldn’t agree more and a tidy punt with a nice flat bottom requires a shorter, lighter pole giving enhanced manoeuvrability in confined spaces. Particularly when you don’t totally withdraw it and leave the end trailing to guide the punt and maintain a bit of control. It has a clear advantage over the tubbier Broads vessels I’ve encountered – much wider in the beam and you need a quant with a curious cleft end to stop it sinking too deep into the sediment.

        As you say, it is all in the technique . Whether quanting or punting , a firm grip needs to be maintained – sometimes two handed – as the pole tends to get a little slippery when wet . For example, don’t you find it is that natty last twist of the wrist to free it from the depths which makes all the difference ?

      • To be honest here Py and Jill, when I do have a choice in the matter, I’m actually intrigued by a variety of ages of canals- I enjoy the scenery along the canals which are believed to date back to Roman and post- Roman times, as well as the youngest, most recently created canals- as long as the water is flowing at a good pace, I always manage to enjoy the scenery during the ride…

        And believe it or not, I particularly enjoy a good view of those metal fire hydrants with those rounded domed tops that are placed along the edges of the pedestrian footpaths, where the paths meet the edges of the canals- I like those shiny domed tops, where the hoses get attached, in case of emergencies !!! You can always grab firmly onto those for safety, in case begin to lose your balance in the excitement of the journey !!!

        And yes, that wonderful feeling of release at the end, where the canals empty into the inlet of a giant harbor can be quite climactic !!!!

        [I’ve not touched a woman since 2010, I’m in pain here….]

  • zoe says:

    It’s interesting this FWB phenomenon, this endless sex and romance shopping spree. It’s not just attractive newly divorced males. It’s the times we live in, and especially prevalent among the young. It’s a sea change – and it’s taken me a bit of time to catch up with this. When I first started chatting to younger men on the internet, I would always ask them about their previous girlfriends. I asked this to get an idea of their approach to sex, women and relationships. What I have begun to realise is that it tells me a lot less that I had assumed.

    When I was growing up, if you were sleeping with someone, that was your boyfriend. Almost by definition. Of course, there were always some people who would have one night stands and casual sex, but it wasn’t central and it wasn’t the norm.

    When I asked the person I went on the date with the other night about his last girlfriend, he said that they’d been seeing each other for a couple of years but it had ended because he didn’t like her constant partying lifestyle. I had the impression that the break up was quite recent, but not recent enough to be really raw. Subsequent conversations have shown this to be quite wrong. This relationship had ended two years ago and he has seen a number of women since but they “weren’t anything serious”.

    Some time ago, after I stopped seeing the first young guy I dated, we met up a couple of months later. I asked him if he had been seeing anyone. No, no one, he said. It turned out later that he had slept with a number of women since we stopped seeing each other, but just hadn’t considered himself to be “seeing them”. He wasn’t trying to deceive, it was just a different language; just a different world. Welcome to hook up culture….

  • Myrna says:

    Why do I have a feeling, zoe, that each of those uncounted women wanted to be actually “seeing him”…

  • Muriel says:

    I am staggered that someone would tell a random stranger that the woman he was with was one of many shagbuddies. I would guess that his purpose was to recruit you to his harem of shagbuddies. I feel sorry for the python plankton, that conversation should have been taped and played back to her.
    The article about losers and players sounds like absolute rubbish based on nothing more than someones opinion. Newspapers and magazines are always publishing articles about how women are doomed to be mad old cat ladies if they haven’t snagged a man by the time they’re 30/40//50 (whatever random age is determined to be the cut off off they day). It suits the advertisers to have women feeling so anxious and frightened of agony that they rush out and spend a fortune on facecream, Botox, clothes etc.
    You never see these articles aimed at men, cos men wouldn’t read them, or if they did they wouldn’t believe it.
    I stopped reading womens magazines a few years ago, I wouldnt even pick one up in the dentist waiting room now.

  • Muriel says:

    Ah, I just re read, and see that he wasn’t a stranger; still, not nice.

  • fi says:

    Hey guys – ch4 at 10.35. Programme called ‘why am I still single?’ Switch over now!

    • : ( can’t get most U.K., Irish or European shows here in real time- will have to stream it via youtube later if someone uploads it….

      No real mystery to me though as to why I’m single… same reasons as most people who post into P’s site here….

    • Muriel says:

      Fi
      What was the answer? WHY were they still single?

      • Fi says:

        quite an interesting programme – a bloke and woman examined each other’s life, speaking to their friends, families and exes. They started off with the premise that each was single because of something that they did/failed to do, that they were putting people off, and set about trying to find out what it was that they were doing. in the woman’s case she was loud, embarrassing and attention seeking, and in the blokes idealistic about women and quite naive. The reasons each were single were particular to them, but what was interesting was that each could see quite clearly why the other was but didn’t have the objectivity about themselves and nobody gave them the frank feedback about themselves that they gave them about the other person.

      • Muriel says:

        To see ourselves as others see us..
        That would be an interesting experience.

  • fi says:

    P – do you never just have…..fun?

  • rosie says:

    P, what’s the name of the American magazine or do you have a link to the article? I’d like to read it, if only to confirm what I already know and depress myself a little bit more.

    I thought I may have a twinkle of my own these past few days (a friend of a friend who looks rather tasty from the pic I’ve seen) but have just been informed that he’s still smarting from a recent-ish divorce and is taking time out to ‘getting his shit together’. Which obviously means that by the time his shit *is* together they’ll be queuing round the block. What’s the fucking point!

    btw, I love ‘his glazed, beautiful, wistful, red Leb eyes….’

    • Steve says:

      Rosie

      There’s every point! There’s a very good chance that there won’t be a queue around the block. This is a myth!

      For all you know, he might be wondering if a woman will ever show an interest in him again….

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, Rosie. The awful thing is, I can’t quite remember what article it was. It may have been Kate Bolick’s All the Single Ladies in Atlantic Magazine or Can Singles Live happily Ever After by Daphne Merkim in Elle? Sorry, I hven’t had a chance to check. Pxx

  • @ Ms. P- re- your post from 2 weeks ago (Fri. 06/07)- Is it, well… growing back yet?

  • rosie says:

    Steve, sadly it isn’t a myth, not in my experience at any rate. Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath. Plus, he already knows there’s a woman showing interest in him – me!

  • Steve says:

    Rosie,

    Good. Make sure he knows. Remember; he is a man – subtle signals will not work.

    I wish there was a queue around the block outside my house……. 😦

  • rosie says:

    He does know. If relaying a message that you’d be interested in meeting up for a drink with someone, via their friend, is too subtle then we’re all doomed!

  • leftatforty says:

    Great post Plankton. I also tell my friends to set me up with anyone anytime anywhere. They all say yes sure, and then go on about how I do not want to meet such and such even if he is a brain surgeon because he is a BP. They don’t understand that by now I don’t care. A date is a date is a date and I am also getting flabby and grabby…

  • Gertie says:

    Dear Ms. Plankton, Do you really think men are worth all this attention we give them? They aren’t all that much fun really, they expect constant attention, they require maintenance, and they don’t always age well. Basically, and I may be in the minority on this, I’m quite happy being on my own.

    • So we’re more trouble than we’re worth now, are we?

      • Are “adult devices” really an adequate substitute for us?

      • Gertie says:

        yes, actually. just my opinion, of course. Everyone else is free to piss and moan about you lot, but I’ve got better things to do. Although, to be perfectly honest, it’s taken me many years to finally realize this, so I don’t have time to waste now.

    • amouette says:

      Me too, Gertie. And that is why I’m no Plankton and I’m opting out (again),

      • malcolm says:

        Really amouette? That’s a little sad. I’ve gone through stretches where I was apathetic towards finding someone, but I’ve never been vigilantly against it. I think I’m pretty apathetic at the moment, but sometimes I’ll see a woman and something may stir a bit, so I recognize that it may be a natural desire.

        What would happen if you met some brilliant fellow that you quite fancied, and you were giving off those “ImAngryAtMenSoImCuttingMyOwnNoseOffToSpiteMyFace” vibes, and you were adamantly dedicated towards never having anything to do with men again?

        Bet you’d regret it.

        Protecting yourself and swearing off men are not the same thing..

    • guess I’m a bit old fashioned- nothing’s really quite a substitute for the real thing….

      although there have been times that I’ve engaged in the real thing and wished that I hadn’t afterwards ….. including a few that I still regret today….

      • Gertie says:

        …and you “engaged in the real thing and wished that you hadn’t afterwards”…….because???

      • @ Gertie- Do you really want to know? Do you really want me to tell you about 2 or 3 women whom I’ve not seen since the mid 1990’s, whom I really wished we’d remained nothing more than casual acquaintances, and that we’d NOT gotten to know each other a bit more intimately?

        What matters to me is that I’ve learned from those experiences, or at least I like to think that I have- In the 21st century, if I get the impression that a woman somehow seems too “out there,” even for me (which does not happen terribly often, but once every few years it can), then now I chose to remain acquaintances, and we leave it at that- And I’ve got the PERFECT excuses, I don’t tell women that they’re too “out there, even for me” (which is not a terribly easy thing to be), I just recycle the same lines that women use with me all the time, about being too busy these days, and having no free time at all, you know how it is …. …..

      • Fi says:

        @Scott. Ah. Loopers.
        Yep stay away from them if you want to avoid trouble

    • guess I’m a bit old fashioned- nothing’s really quite a substitute for the real thing….

      although there have been times that I’ve engaged in the real thing and wished that I hadn’t afterwards ….. including a few that I still regret today….

    • The Plankton says:

      No. I don’t think they’re worth it, if most of my married friends are right when they all say, “God, why do you want to be married? It’s no picnic! Men are a nightmare!” etc. On the other hand, I loved the companionship of my marriage and would love to find that again, but not at all costs. Even so, never going to happen. Pxx

  • leftatforty says:

    Why would you want someone that your friends think wouldn’t be good for you?
    Because they cannot possibly know who could be good for me. Only I can know what is good for me. I think at should have at least the chance to go and get to know BP and then I can make a decision. At least I would have the choice so say yay or nay.

    How is that going to work out?
    I am not sure what you mean by this question. Do you mean, how is it going to work out if my friends thinks he is a BP? Well, I’d say this question applies to BP or any other relationship for that matter. Boy meets girl…

    What benefits would it bring you, even if it got off the ground?
    If you mean what benefits it would bring me to go on a date, I’d say plenty. Even if I am a “strongindependentwomanwhodoesnotneedaman” (bleagh) I do want romantic love in my life and, as I am heterosexual, only a man can deliver that.

  • Fi says:

    As Jill says “it occurs to me that the BP is the implement used to fend off the object, and not the object itself. ”

    P has made up a new meaning for a word, why is everyone else now using it, despite knowing it doesn’t even mean that?

    • Jill says:

      BP could equally well stand for BargePole-ees, and then we could all happily use the abbreviation, both pedants, such as I, and the otherwise inclined….?

  • Muriel says:

    Leftatforty
    I don’t know why you sneer at women who don’t need a man; life doesn’t owe you a relationship, and nothing is promised. Will your life be a wasteland if mr right doesn’t materialise?
    Also, if your friends are telling you a man is a barge pole, with reasons, then he probably is. Why would you shit over your own life by “giving a chance” to someone who is a bankrupt, alcoholic, sex addict, thug, sociopath or whatever?

    • fi says:

      If you’re going to end up on your own it’s better to be happy than miserable about it.

    • leftatforty says:

      I don’t know why you sneer at women who don’t need a man;
      I don’t. I am a woman who doesn’t need a man. I want a man… not need a man. Quite different, don’t you think?

      life doesn’t owe you a relationship, and nothing is promised.
      True.

      Will your life be a wasteland if mr right doesn’t materialise?
      No. Of course not. Mr. Right did materialise though…

      Also, if your friends are telling you a man is a barge pole, with reasons, then he probably is. Why would you shit over your own life by “giving a chance” to someone who is a bankrupt, alcoholic, sex addict, thug, sociopath or whatever?
      Wow. I’m afraid my friends are not that exotic. We only live in a small village. Nothing that exciting. Although you never know…

      • Muriel says:

        What was the “bleagh” for, if not the strong independent women who do not need a man?

  • Margaret says:

    I just discovered this site through a friend and love it. I am pretty much with Muriel. But then again, I am a long-divorced woman of 52. I am a realist. My market is very limited no matter how interesting or attractive I might be. Most men my age who are in decent shape want to be with women 10-20 years younger. I am not out to blame anyone, but these are the facts.

    My market is starting to look like this: men 60+ with major health issues who are already retired, with bad teeth and big guts. I choose to be alone. I wouldn’t take these men on unless I’d had some good years with them.

    After numerous fruitless forays into online dating, asking friends and acquaintances to introduce me (with the same results as the rest of you), joining groups, yada, yada, I have come to the realization it may never happen.

    Would I jump at the chance to date an age-appropriate man to whom I am attracted and connect with? In a microsecond. But such men are not in my milieu, try as I may. I’ve been told to take up golf and other things I am not interested in to meet men. Why would I do that? It presents a false impression. And it is so transparent. Men can spot a desperate woman from miles away.

    Thus, while I haven’t completely given up, I have come to realize that even without a man, I have much more than most people on the planet: an excellent livelihood, good health, a loving family, and yes, my beautiful cat.

    I just believe that if you focus too much on what you don’t have, you are guaranteeing yourself a state of misery. Look around you. You may know many people in relationships, but how many of them are really sound or fulfilling. People settle for what they can get from fear of single hood. So much of it is luck, too. How many wonderful people do we know that can’t find someone compared with people who are annoying and boring who land a good partner?

    Anyway, just my 2 cents on this Saturday afternoon.

    • Muriel says:

      Margaret
      Much of what you say definitely resonates! I don’t know any men I could imagine being interested in, whether married or single. Maybe that’s more about me, though.

    • MissM says:

      Nice 2 cents, Margaret. Particularly the bit about how taking up golf or whatever in the hopes of meeting someone presents a false impression. Just imagine if you did meet someone that way, you’d be forced to continue with the pretence than you actually like golf forever! Put that in the file with the rest of Baldrick’s cunning plans.

      Luck, oh yes, luck is everything. It’s perfectly possible to buy an awful lot of lottery tickets and still lose.

      • MissM says:

        “that” you actually like golf, not “than”… really think I should learn to proofread.

    • The Plankton says:

      The 2 cents were worth it. Thank, Margaret. Pxx

  • Margaret says:

    Muriel,
    I definitely believe that we are a minority in today’s society. I do think that there has been a general decline in civil standards, at least in the US, in terms of hygiene, grooming, manners, etc. This makes for a much less attractive population overall.

    • Gertie says:

      Pretty much my observations also. Although I don’t notice this from the viewpoint of looking for someone because I”m not looking….. more so of wondering what the world is coming to when a person actually wears pajama bottoms and slippers to the supermarket.

  • T Lover says:

    Heresy, heresy to those who hang on every word but.

    This “Post” was pretty dull, boring.

    And the comments the least interesting for a long time.

    Oh and as far as you are concerned Madam Gertie, I occasionally wear my slippers in a supermarket. So up yours.

    • Gertie says:

      Right back atcha’, honey. If you made the effort to cover the rest of your bod properly why would you leave houseshoes on?

      • Margaret says:

        I agree, Rosie, but it still begs the question: What do we do if the right partner does not come along? Despite our best efforts? I see women (and men) who become bitter and cynical. Then I see the women who completely give up on their appearance, and their whole demeanor screams “spinster aunt”.

        I have been alone longer than you. Part of the reason was me, that I had a tremendous amount of maturing to do. By then I was 40, and the market was pretty sparse.

        Whatever the reason, through no fault of our own, some of us are not going to find partners. It sucks, but that’s the reality. I work in oncology. Does anyone really believe that the young mother (who never smoked) dying from terminal lung cancer chose that?

        If anyone knows a foolproof way to find someone that is desirable to us, by all means, don’t hold back.

      • T Lover says:

        Sorry Gertie, I am not the blog’s fashion editor. If I have been dog walking or in the garden, whatever, and am in a hurry to buy in supplies what’s your beef if I dive into my slippers?

        And as for you McMuriel bugger toys, sex and smut. It was a poor post followed by a tedious bunch of “comments”.

      • Gertie says:

        Why do you seem to think my remarks are aimed solely at you? I voiced my opinion, you have now voiced yours. Just like your comment to Muriel. Just your opinion.

    • Muriel says:

      Toys out of the pram time, because there aren’t enough sexual references and smutty talk.

      • Muriel says:

        Directed to T Lover, BTW!

      • Fi says:

        T lover doesn’t do smutty talk. That’s Scott. And from the looks of it Jill and PY too. T does the provocative stuff to wind folk up and get a reaction. 🙂

      • T Lover says:

        No I don’t, dog breath.

      • PY says:

        Cave, Jill ! I think the Deputy Head Girl might be on to us .

        However , Fi , how you choose to interpret the totally innocent comments made in a discussion between two consenting adults on the finer points of navigating a traditional vessel in largely forgotten backwaters of Britain could be seen as a reflection on the darker recesses of your own imagination .

        I don’t think I can allow the reputation of young Jill to remain sullied without slipping another oar in and giving it a couple of strokes in her defence. Even if the rollocks are a little creaky .

        As for ‘smutty’ , if that is the badge you choose to award me , I will wear it with pride .

        As for the revelation that your personal Wallace has come down from the Great Glen to ravage the Wee Fi , good luck on that . 🙂

      • Jill says:

        Well, thank you kind sir for that spirited defence of my honour/reputation….but I certainly hope you meant to say”ravish” and not “ravage”, or else Fi will be less than happy with her Wallace’s attentions….

      • PY says:

        Oops! Ravish the McTavish , of course.
        Sorry , Fi , a long day in the saddle .

      • Fi says:

        Ravish/Ravage. Either. Or both even. 😀

  • Fi says:

    Both the posts and comments get repetitive. Anyway T, I am off out to pick some elderflowers to make some elderflower cordial – I will let you know how I get on!

  • rosie says:

    I sometimes think of other people’s relationships or look at their partners and think, ugh, how could s/he but that doesn’t mean I don’t want someone of my own, and it never will. We humans don’t work like that. If a friend or neighbour has someone or something I’d like for myself it might make me envious, but them having something I don’t desire won’t make me happy. In the same way that seeing that same friend or neighbour lose their job and have to go work in Poundland will never mean it’s okay for me to be made redundant and have to go work in Poundland. If you get my drift.

    Some of us have our health, fulfilling jobs and loving families, some of us have none of those things. In my own experience, a year on my own was fine, two years not so much and 15 years, well, bullshit to that.

  • rosie says:

    Margaret, I’ve no idea what will happen if the right partner doesn’t come along. I only know I can’t ‘live’ another 15 years like this. Maybe I’d feel differently if I had a job where I was surrounded by death on a daily basis, I don’t know, but we’re all going to die, and none of us can feel for someone whose existence we have no concept of. The world would be a very different place if we could.

    If I ever find a foolproof way of finding a desirable partner I’ll be very happy as well as a squillionaire!

    • malcolm says:

      Ah Rosie, we are indeed all going to die. Perhaps if you adopt a Glaswegian attitude towards death, it’s not so bad.

    • Lou Smorrals says:

      Was tempted to have a look back here and its not the happiest blog I’ve come across.

      However , just wanted to say : please dont despair Rosie – we often hear of peoples life changing for the worse in a moment but it also works the other way round. You could find someone tomorrow for all you know and life will change dramatically. Never give up.

      • T Lover says:

        Uncle Lou,

        A proportion of those who comment are girls on top, Grauniad readers looking for an emasculated male doormat.

        You can spot them a mile off. Other signs include an inability to realise the effect they have on men and constant moaning about their failure to trap one.

        Not to mention of course…..a sense of humour by-pass.

      • Lou Smorrals says:

        Trouble is T I cant spot them a mile off and I like them all. OK get hurt sometimes but generally its not too bad and its easier to make friends if you dont start off on a negative note. Better than being lonely.

  • rosie says:

    I can’t see him getting a job in Selfridges’ Christmas store anytime soon but if he did I’d pay to go see him.

  • Chris says:

    ”BP’s”, ‘losers’, Wow, this blog get weirder nastier and more divisive by the day !! Tell, me ladies, what is it that makes a man a ‘loser’ in your eyes? It is an expression so casually used by women toward men these days. Not enough money, too sort/fat, not enough hair, too ugly……guess the list goes on and on. So, c’mon, what makes a man a loser? BTW,I guess everyone on this blog is a loser……including me……otherwise why would we be wasting our time here when we could be …..LIVING !!!

    • Muriel says:

      Chris
      I agree, if all men are losers or playas, what hope is there for anyone? Where is the middle ground?

      • fi says:

        I’ve met one that I like AND think attractive. And he seems to like me. Jackpot!!! But we’ll need to see if we still like each other on closer inspection and this is where it has the potential to go all wrong 🙂

      • T Lover says:

        Fiona,

        Last night I was out with the dog. Late night constitutional – the dog that is. In the summer I sometimes sit in a small bank of trees above the house looking at the stars and shooting the breeze with the pooch.

        I put those trees in with the kids in around 1993. I sit there daftly reminiscing about those happy times all those years ago, how time has flown and what a mess things have become.

        I had the ‘phone and looked to see this message of yours. Excitement and warmth exuding from every word.

        I was so chuffed to read your comment I just cannot tell you. This year you will have two big results then? Fingers crossed. Don’t let your life fly by as mine has done. Make this work.

        Uncle T.

      • fi says:

        T. Thank you but don’t get your hopes up. There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip as they say 😉

      • zoe says:

        “There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip” Never a truer word, fi. It’s the hardest part. I had another date with my internet guy and I really couldn’t say whether it’s going to fly or not, in any sense. What a flurry of new dating though… Malcolm, how’s it going with your coffee shop beauty?

      • Fi says:

        Yes, do tell us Malcolm 🙂

      • Fi says:

        zoe – tell us about your man?

      • zoe says:

        Not really a man, Fi. As he said himself “somewhere in between a man and a boy”.

      • Fi says:

        @zoe. EEEK!!!

      • T Lover says:

        I think Malcolm’s still in the loo.

        Must have been all that coffee.

        Fiona. You? Don’t spare the salacious detail.

      • Fi says:

        @T – if there were any salacious details then you’d be the first (last?) to know. However, impossible and unbelievable as it sounds, I don’t think he likes me that much 😦
        still..what”s for you will not go by you ( I like to think).

      • Fi says:

        ps for the literally minded – the impossible and unbelievable bit was a joke 😀

      • T Lover says:

        Fiona,

        You haven’t been stroppy with him have you?

        Look, you are simply paranoid. If your real persona mirrors your blog comments I doubt he doesn’t like you. Are you brighter than he is? Perhaps he is a touch overawed.

        You have to put aside a little time to get to know someone properly so, stick at it.

        Last week Miss 80% packed her tent and said goodbye to the circus. I think my provocative nature brings out the worst in women! Hey ho. She wants back (my ego talking btw) but I am thinking. It will be a long, long think.

        Slaving in the new house this weekend so have had to turn down McMuriel’s offer to take me beaver spotting – that didn’t sound quite right did it?. Now that WAS a joke.

        Zoe: your turn. The younger man?

        EmGee. You are very quiet at the moment. Are things not working out?

        And Scott. Where are you old boy?

      • EmGee says:

        @T:

        Just being vewy, vewy quiet, hoping that Mercury in retrograde passes me over. 🙂

        BF is back from Maine for a week now, and things are pretty much back as if he’d never left, though I don’t doubt for a moment he wants to move there, it is simply not that easy when one is in a penurious state such as his. It is much harder in middle age than youth to be all bootstrappy and get a move on. How hard it is to leave a comfortable situation, no matter how dissatisfying, for a Great Unknown.

        Besides it’s been abnormally hot here in SoCal, and it makes one lethargic.

      • Fi says:

        @T. A woman can tell if a man is interested or not.
        I’m not going anywhere, and neither is he, and we will continue to bump into each other, but I don’t think he’s interested in me in that way although i think he does like me. Guess what? That’s ok.
        I don’t know how you can cope with the drama of your ‘off again on again’ relationship- I’d find it far too draining I think. Surely one of the benefits of getting older is being able to live a peaceful life?

      • T Lover says:

        Fi,

        True: It’s off and on like a bride’s nightie.

        Every time it’s on I become more tolerant of things that months ago would have driven me senseless with rage. I have to compromise. I have to compromise.

        I am disappointed for you though. I thought you had cracked it and you are letting me down. Scott wanted to be a bridesmaid. All set for a date in the New Year. I think he’s even bought some shoes to replace those smelly trainers.

        EmGee. Isn’t yours good news? Doesn’t sound as though he wants away – away from you at least.

      • Jill says:

        Being tied to the house as I am at the moment, with my move scheduled for three weeks’ time, I am listening to the radio a lot while packing and disposing…Today on Radio 2 (Jeremy Vine) there was an excellent verbal essay by Alain de Botton, the philosopher, in the series about “How to be Human”. He was arguing very cogently about the lack of relationship skills possessed by most of us who are beyond middle age (whatever that is) as opposed to the next generation who are much more emotionally intelligent. (Hear, hear……) The essay is being published in the next edition of the New Statesman but is also on iPlayer apparently. What he had to say made so much sense to me, so if anyone has the time or inclination to listen or read what he said, I would encourage you to do so.

      • Fi says:

        well it IS disappointing but so much of life is don’t you find? If one focuses on the things that go wrong/don’t work out then life would just be one big pile of crap to wade through.
        I consider myself blessed with the ability to find the silver lining in every cloud and my short term memory problems enable me to forget anything unpleasant. 😀

      • EmGee says:

        T_Lover: “EmGee. Isn’t yours good news? Doesn’t sound as though he wants away – away from you at least.”

        Yes, it’s good and reassuring to know I haven’t been thrown over for someone else. But his Shangri-La is 3,250 miles away, about as far geographically as one can get and still be in the continental US. I don’t believe he wants to leave me, but doesn’t feel he can stay and be happy here either, a very stressful emotional state.

      • zoe says:

        Tl/fi…my man/boy…It’s slow and drawn out…third date coming up this weekend. I’m uncertain about him. I thought I had found a lovely open, friendly, generous and responsive spirit who I found attractive too…but he’s disappointing me with his mixed signals. He’s either less keen than he says or more keen than he acts – and I’m not looking to start something that will evaporate in a few weeks. I think it’s likely to come down to this: he’s keen enough to want to shag me, but not keen enough for me to let him 😉

      • Fi says:

        @zoe. Oh dear. I also like to sit and observe as sooner or later the true nature of things always reveal themselves.

      • T Lover says:

        Zoe,

        You make it sound as though “shagging” is, for you, a mechanical thing. Something you don’t enjoy.

        I’m not asking whether you do or not but making a point for myself viz I only find it enjoyable if it is part of a solid relationship and the girl takes as much pleasure from it as I do.

        Not much fun if the woman is just going through the motions as it were – in fact it is positively demeaning.

        EmGee, aren’t emotions funny things. Didn’t you suspect he had another woman in Maine. Does not now appear to be the case just a figment of your tight as a piano wire emotional state.

      • zoe says:

        @TLover “You make it sound as though “shagging” is, for you, a mechanical thing. Something you don’t enjoy”

        Ah, TLover, if sex were something I didn’t enjoy, I would be unlikely to choose younger men, don’t you think? I think if you had read my past posts you would also know that this is far from the case. From the time I was a teenager I promised myself that I would only sleep with a man if I absolutely wanted him. It’s something I have followed all my life (how many women could claim that, I wonder?). It is precisely because I must go where desire takes me that I have all but stopped dating men my own age.

        I know, however, why you said what you did: “he’s keen enough to want to shag me, but not keen enough for me to let him”. I was guilty of being too partial to a sentence with rhythm and symmetry and I sacrificed precision in the process. In reality the process of trying to decide whether this might have legs is a complex one and how keen he is is part of the picture.

        As for only finding sex “enjoyable if it is part of a solid relationship”. Well, yes and no. You, like me, are a serial monogamist – your past relationships, your two marriages, your current girlfriend, your previous girlfriend, the relationship for which you considered dumping your current girlfriend/ex…You will know therefore that you rarely have “a solid relationship” when you start having sex with that person: the decision to have sex with someone is something of wild, exciting, hopeful, half-blind leap into the future with no guarantees. And if you don’t enjoy that, TLover, you’re missing out.

      • EmGee says:

        @T:

        During the last 3 weeks away he was living in a 30′ travel trailer with her, she was the younger sister of an old high school classmate, and it was at this point he told me he wanted to move there. What conclusion would you or anyone else have drawn?

        I don’t think my emotional state had to be too highly strung to think maybe I’d been dumped and he was just keeping friendly communications so I wouldn’t put his things in a pile and have a bonfire before he got back. I can see some high strung women actually doing that, but not me. I waited until he returned before jumping to a final conclusion which would have been erroneous.

      • Fi says:

        T I’m afraid it’s YOU that jumps to conclusions. All us women seem to rationally evaluate the evidence we’re presented with 🙂

      • T Lover says:

        EmGee,

        I am really sorry.

        I had jumped to a conclusion I wasn’t entitled to reach.

        It can be a hammer blow to find that your man/woman is/might be/probably is screwing someone else, unless, seemingly, you have the temperament of a Jane Clark.or Mary Archer.

        Almost impossible to bear. It took me a long time to recover (six to twelve months, maybe more) after I discovered my wife was having an affair. Sleepless nights. Stress at work. Horrid.

        So. Keep batting.

      • T Lover says:

        Fi,

        There is no need to put the boot in. I was wrong. I admit it.

        But, you know, I don’t think EmGee had revealed the 30 ft trailer and the woman AND she had said he was back AND she said things were pretty much back to normal.

        I am not Mystic Meg.

        Bah. Sorry.

      • EmGee says:

        To be fair to him, it seems unlikely that there was even a fling, circumstances simply forced them into close quarters (she rents all of her properties there as vacation rentals during tourist season, and the trailer is her ‘summer home’). As far as I can tell he doesn’t seem to still be in communication with her, either. So I drew conclusions based on evidence, but I have enough faith in his honesty, if not his human fallibility, to wait until I could see him face to face before I knew for sure.

        Nonetheless, he did fall in love with the area and does want to move there.

      • Fi says:

        “Look, you are simply paranoid.”

      • EmGee says:

        @T:

        I see what you did there!
        Or rather, I didn’t. 😉

      • T Lover says:

        She packed her trunk – not her tent.

      • T Lover says:

        These comments are, in my case, becoming like Twitter for windbags.

        Well, mine packed her trunk, has not spoken for two weeks and has now re-started her “Encounters” advert.

        Some bits of her description – whatever the section is you fill in to say what a wonderful catch you are – are, bluntly, comical.

        On Sunday, as I was getting ready to leave the Borders, a neighbour arrived with a lump of cake, followed by a chicken wrap for the journey home. To eat, not as I thought, to keep me warm.

        Who needs a dating advert?

      • EmGee says:

        @ T
        Not sure if you are offering up some funny T, or if you are telling us she left you and put her self back on the market, without so much as a far thee well.. If it’s the latter, I’m sorry to hear it.

      • T Lover says:

        EmGee, thank you. Were I to start to tell the whole tale your boobs would droop with boredom. In a nutshell: we had a row. I invited her to sling her hook. She did.

        Now I have the hassle of being alone again. The car has decided to give me serious grief. I live off the beaten track. The dog is in season. A neighbours’ dog had a knee trembler behind the tractor with mine last time she was in season so I am now on tenterhooks. Etc.

        Of course, with time I might regret telling her to shove off. Then again her Encounters advert might have been reinstated to wind me up. Which she has done before.

        But then again again I enjoyed a pair of long slim legs topped by a little bottie banging on the door at the weekend to bring cake … we’ll see.

        Trouble is that most of the time the girlfriend has been brill. But when she is a pain I would rather eat my own scrotum than put up with her.

        Hey ho. Off to Cockermouth this week to collect a fish picture. Looking forward to it. And maybe afterwards a slice of cake with a bit of icing and a cherry. Nah. Not serious. Not me.

      • T Lover says:

        EmGee, sorry, sorry. How rude was that? All me, me, me.

        What about you?

      • Fi says:

        Well T – as you know from reading here there are plenty more plankton in the sea. And I’m not sure it’s supposed to be so difficult to get along with someone you like. Sounds like both of you are only staying with each other (when you do) because you can’t find anyone else but you’d both prefer someone ‘better’. Not my idea of fun times I have to say. try getting out an about and flirting with the planktonlike women you meet who will no doubt be grateful and shower you with attention

      • zoe says:

        @fi “try getting out and about and flirting with the planktonlike women you meet who will no doubt be grateful” Crikey, fi. You’ve been reading this blog too long. You’re beginning to absorb its dubious assumptions. How would you respond to men who approach you assuming that you “will no doubt be grateful”.

      • EmGee says:

        @T

        The Jekyl/Hyde personality is one of the most difficult to break from. We all suffer from mood swings, but when someone brings out the negative feelings she brought in you, it time to throw your line into fresh water. Enjoy your weekend.

        My bf has finally gotten a bit of work down in San Diego, which will relieve some of his immediate financial woes. I’ll be joining him for a couple days later in the week, as he has several days off between the beginning and completion of this one. So things are going well this week, and I’m looking forward to some R&R with him.

      • T Lover says:

        Fiona,

        I promise you it is a mess for both of us.

        Never mind. Time to stop. Think. And not rush.

        What news in your case Fi? Knee trembler behind the tractor?

      • Fi says:

        @Zoe. Well I suppose I don’t consider myself one of the planktontype women – bottom of the sexual food chain and all that other desperate stuff so I dare say I’d be offended and amused. I wasn’t suggesting that all single older women are gagging for a man, but of the ones that are milling around in real life, T, as a single, housetrained, intelligent bloke is probably going to find it pretty easy to hook up with one.

      • T Lover says:

        Zoe,

        Calm down. I read it as Fi taking the waz out of ..me. If you ever saw/met me no-one would flirt. No-one would describe themselves as “grateful”. I promise.

      • zoe says:

        No, TLover, fi wasn’t taking the piss out of you. She was trying to be nice – albeit in my view by perpetuating a modern myth perpetuated by this blog. And fear not, I hadn’t actually got the impression that anyone in your case would in fact describe themselves as “grateful” ;-).

      • Fi says:

        @T. I have decided to become totally zen like and forget about meeting anyone. Ever. Not that I was looking but I was open to the suggestion if the right person crossed my path. I have now decided that i am not going to do even that. I shall become nun-like and live on a higher spiritual level and direct any sexual frustration into cleaning my house and weeding my garden.

      • T Lover says:

        No Fi, that is a reaction to disappointment. You’ll get over it.

        PS. I take it the answer is “no”.

        Mind you, if after you’ve cleaned your house you still feel sexually frustrated you could strip some paint at mine. There is a key hanging behind the letterbox. Feel free.

        DO NOT go dressed as a nun. The neighbours are already all of a flutter about the cake.

      • T Lover says:

        Well I don’t know – it’s all gone quiet.

        What’s happened to the blokes who co-write Lydia? Even they have vanished.

      • Fi says:

        Lydia is off being EnglishRose on the Times website

      • T Lover says:

        Wonderful. I bet there are two or three fellas somewhere all laughing their socks off.

      • T Lover says:

        This is the news today, Wednesday.

        Exchanged eMail last night in which she said I am grumpy. Tailed it with Bye Bye T Lover which I took to mean she was going to press the ejector button.

        True I can be grumpy but she ought to ask herself “Why”.

        She muses: I am the sweetest thing when not grumpy but horrid when I am. I hope both propositions are true.

        Apparently, she loves the sweet me but can’t cope with the grumpy version.
        .
        Now, here we have the secret behind a happy woman. She gives you serial earache. Say nothing but agree. Yes dear. That sort of thing.

        Tell her to stick her nagging where monkeys put their nuts. Then you are horrid.

        But what is the secret which lets you look into the future? Women are to a man randy and loving when trying to snare you but – as time goes by they find their feet and the true them emerges. Out pops Mr Hyde.

        Is there some sort of test by which you can weed out the bad ones? Or some correction programme which puts an end to the pain?

        Just wondering.

      • T Lover says:

        The neighbours are about first thing. The swallows have fledged. One of the summer’s best sights. The bambinos testing their new wings.

        Mr and Mrs Swallow don’t seem to have all these relationship problems do they?

        Where is Scott? Was he offended by the comment about the smell of his trainers? And that LBBird? My nose was growing.

        Away to Scotland. Clearing up after the builder. Again. More cake from the neighbour?

        The girlfriend has withdrawn her Encounters advert and is now missing me. Will have to have a good mull. The cake maker three doors away might stop baking if her appears again?

    • fi says:

      But women like that are only a minority and in real life you can just avoid them. Actually that’s the root of their bitterness.

    • T Lover says:

      So, there you are Fiona – T Lover was right after all.

      How many fingers am I holding up?

  • EmGee says:

    @ T, re: ‘some sort of test’ (sorry, that string above was getting toooooo long to negotiate)

    So she is leaving you for a reason similar to yours about her. She gets in a ‘mood’, and you respond by getting ‘grumpy’ instead of rewarding her spoiled behavior by being sympathetic. Well, there’s no cure for that, except to become one of those ‘yes dear’ men.

    There is no test one can use on someone else, but when someone is thrilling to be around on the ‘good days’, chances are good they are a nightmare to be around on the bad ones. Some people just feed on that roller coaster ride of emotions, and it’s your choice to take that ride with them.

    I hear the complaint over and over from both sides about how misleading people are before commitment, and only show their true colors afterward. Well, duh. Of course people are going to do whatever they think will please the other initially because they want to be liked and thought well of, but it is exhausting to play that role, and sooner or later, that facade crumbles. I really don’t think it is a conscious decision to be ‘good’ until the quarry is ‘snared’, although it may appear that way to the snaree.

    To mix metaphors: Truly, you can’t tell a book by it’s ‘cover’, and when that cover is blown,and the true colors come through. We all do this.

    • T Lover says:

      EmGee,

      You are a kind and thoughtful person.

      Don’t waste any time on my travails. They are all self inflicted and, as the likes of that Fi has worked out, there is a bit of a tongue in a bit of a cheek in anything I say.

      Five minutes after saying Bye Bye she was back. Another broadside. If she really wanted away I would never hear from her.

      One truth is, however, that although she knew how to make me smile and giggle she is losing the art.

      Some prat left some sandwich wrappers in my gateway yesterday. I picked up the paper and went to put the wrappers in the bin. There in MY bin was a carrier bag full of wrappers and cartons.

      I think it was an electricity crew who had parked up for lunch because there was a blank instruction form in the top of the bag. I was fuming – why should I have to pick up litter from my own land? So I looked for more clues. I was going to complain.

      There in a small bag was a note with an uneaten home made sandwich. “I love you” said the note and at the side a heart. There’s a woman who knows the way to a man’s heart. I wish I had one like that.

      PS. The sandwich didn’t look too cracky.

      • Fi says:

        @T. You know what you are getting with your woman. She isn’t going to change her personality and I assume you won’t change yours either. Even if either of you wanted to you couldn’t. Your relationship will always be like this. So…………….either accept that that is the way it is going to be and just get on with it as it is, or end it. There isn’t any point moaning about things and wishing they were different – they aren’t and they aren’t going to be. 🙂

      • zoe says:

        I really liked that story about the sandwich box note, Tl . Thank you for sharing it. But as someone said somewhere, it’s not about finding the perfect person to love, but about loving the imperfect person perfectly. And maybe that’s what sandwich note people are trying to do. In fact, I’m sure it must be.

      • T Lover says:

        I wanted to say – when I tried on Friday but the blog wouldn’t let me – that that, Fiona, was in the top ten astute comments.

        If I say to a bloke: She’s great most of the time but can nag for Britain, two marriages do I want this again? The answer will always be: that’s women for you.

        So the question is do I want another? Could I thrive on my own?

      • T Lover says:

        A four times married friend said to me of his third: Fantastic horizontal, what a cow vertical.

        Which in a sort of way sums the dilemma up.

      • Fi says:

        No. It’s not all women. But it sounds like it was all the women you’ve picked so far. But then I see this time and time again with blokes often selecting women on the basis of their looks and their willingness to shag like a rabbit as opposed to personality.

  • WiddleandDa says:

    Excuse me, Fi. You are saying I pick women using the sole criterion: are you willing to shag like a rabbit? That I have grass stained knees and my nose twitches a lot?

    What hypocrisy. Legions of women fawning over the photographs of Malcolm and Steve not for their looks of course but for their personalities.

    The same four times married friend claimed a former girlfriend preferred – shall we call it rabbit style – because she couldn’t bear the look on his face when he reached a climax.

    I am trying not to be coarse, simply factual, so forgive me.

    • Fi says:

      It isn’t hypocrisy as you are comparing 2 different scenarios. 1. observing that someone is attractive and 2. selecting someone to get involved with for their looks or their shagging rather than their personality eg ” Fantastic horizontal, what a cow vertical. Which in a sort of way sums the dilemma up.”

      • T Lover says:

        Fi, dear, you are trying to make bricks without straw.

      • T Lover says:

        I tried to repond but my comment was rejected. Rejected again. Thought you might be relieved to know.

      • T Lover says:

        Re-ponding is, of course a way of restoring a small area of water.

      • T Lover says:

        There is, of course a difference between looking good, being good (or rather, being bad) in bed, and personality.

        What is or is not attractive is wholly in the eye of the beholder and varies with the beholder’s age and circumstances.

        The women who drool over Chris and Steve – without wishing to be unkind to either of them or the women doing the drooling – are looking at one thing. A tiny photograph. Not even of the complete bloke. Just the chops.

      • EmGee says:

        And yet, there are people who post here, that insist that women don’t care about looks.
        :saint:

      • T Lover says:

        The late John Mortimer was not exactly an oil painting but could he pull.

        EmGee, am I pleased for you?

        I think I would be suited by a dominatrix. Tried to pull Fi but she wasn’t having any. Think Rosie might bite – figuratively speaking of course.

      • T Lover says:

        Not a bite. All becoming jolly dull.

      • Fi says:

        Because T, YOU are so predictable that you can’t provoke anyone anymore 🙂

      • T Lover says:

        Funny, James B has added a comment to the next post to say he has been prevented from commenting and suggesting blokes are being frozen out.

        So, two of us are paranoid? Are we?

        Her was back on Wednesday. Gone again. This might be the solution. A part time relationship.

      • Fi says:

        well how does it work do you think? Does WordPress know what the sex of the commentator is and prevent access? Has P taken time off from whatever she has been doing to set up filters to ban specific names that she knows are men?

      • T Lover says:

        Coldstream. Not fashionable like Kelso or Melrose but near the fishing in which I have a financial stake and a great community spirit. Sixty six societies from bridge to drama, gardening to curling.

        Drink is a massive problem in the Borders and I am hoping I catch it!

        The only things I see in their natural habitat here are sheep. And at work it’s become a foreign land.

        Apropos nothing, my Great X 5 Uncle was a marine based in Berwick before moving to London to become head of Customs and Excise. His base is still there – on the harbour front.

        Before she died my Ma catalogued the graveyard next to the wall – well I suppose it would have to be before she died but you know what I mean.

        So, having a Berwick connection I toyed with Berwick as a place to live. Some of the houses on the harbour are to die for. I couldn’t afford the heating. What an icebox Berwick is in winter.

      • Fi says:

        Coldstream is pretty. I’ve eaten cakes in the cafe on the high (only?) street there. If there are 66 societies then there must be people and women there – start at the ones that begin with A and work your way through and by the time you get to the last one start again as there may be new folk. That’s where the women will be

      • T Lover says:

        Parts of Coldstream are nice – to my eyes anyway. It is full of quirky houses and right by the river. I am really looking forward to the Flodden Day of Civic Week.

        There is then the connection with the Guards. Been involved with Guardsmen and fishing. I don’t think a lot realise how badly damaged some of these people are. What must it be like to take a bullet in the face? A bullet that then comes out of your shoulder leaving you looking like Frankenstein?

        Or to be carrying the electronic jamming equipment when your platoon is hit? The next man, your best mate, is instantly a butchers slab and you lose your thigh?

        To go back to the subject of women. I only want one. You can sort out in an instant those you know you won’t get on with. The one you think might work only to find out months later that she is not going to be you is the difficulty. A shed load of time down the pan

    • T Lover says:

      Fi,

      I agree it’s odd.

      And I am beginning not to care because the posts aren’t interesting at least for me and the comments are drying up.

      I don’t (this is an awful thing to say) don’t have problems with women – the question is how to find the right one and what do I do to make the relationship stick.

      My pleasure was in the men do this, men are all like that type of balls produced by some of the commentators. Or the descriptions of the way they had handled their relationship disappointments.

      My personal positive benefit has been in working out that some people really are barking and that it is not me. For example I have been through the same sort of angst Steve describes in his comments on the next post.

      The younger woman I mentioned a few weeks ago (corresponded for two years but never met but nags me for a get together then changes when I say OK) is now obsessed with an Italian she has met online. She has spoken to him once but has sold things to raise the ticket money. Now buying the wardrobe. He lives in Kenya. Nuts or what?

      Anyway to go back to the question. It started when suddenly I couldn’t comment as T Lover. Not using this laptop. Nor the PC at work. So, I set up a GMail account. I could comment as WiddleandDa. Then I mention T Lover in WiddleandDa. Guess what? It won’t take that comment either.

      James B has mentioned it too. So you tell me.

      You can take the pish, or as Zoe would have it, you can tease but you tell me what happened.

      And either the Blogger doesn’t read the comments much any more (which I think is likely) or if she does, why has she not said: Not me.

      • Fi says:

        I agree the comments are the best bet, and not all the comments either.
        And also the world is full of mad folk, you have had a lucky escape for another lunatic woman.
        I’ve no idea what’s happening re access.
        I think you should get out and about in real life in the Borders (where are you anyway? Berwick? Coldstream?) where women are and meet them. Saves you all the investment of time in someone who once you meet them turns out to be unattractive and/or mad. that way you see them in their natural habitat and can evaluate BEFORE deciding whether it is worth it

      • Fi says:

        BIT not BET. FROM not FOR. Running out the door to my morning spin class 🙂

      • The Plankton says:

        I read all the comments, but sometimes a bit belatedly. Pxx

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