Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I felt a bit jaded this morning after a bit of a mammoth weekend. So I wasn't prepared when I pulled up in the car park right next to one of Cute's partners (professional - the rumours were unfounded)- a girl I used to know quite well. I'm ashamed to say that I sort of ignored her, just a weak smile, the kind you give a stranger who's path you cross. I couldn't do anymore for risk of blurting out inappropriate and pathetic sentiments.

I hobbled down the road as fast as my long, but-no-longer-tight pin-stripes would let me and was very relieved to reach my desk unscathed. The day passed relatively uneventfully until I remembered the small detail that Jack has a County match on Wednesday so I won't be able to attend the naughty knicker party that my prodigal assistant has planned. I sent my apologies and received a catalogue in reply. I'm tempted by the shocking pink nipple tassels - if nothing else, they'll amuse the cat as we sit together on the sofa at Christmas.

Ellen MacArthur has the right idea how to spend the holidays - if only I could find a similarly challenging undertaking - chances are we'll both be as at sea - difference being she knows how to skipper her boat alone. I've been doing it without noticing for so long, and keep rounding those horns, I'm just getting weary of doing it alone.

Monday, November 29, 2004

I have not let the grass grow under my feet this weekend. I almost had a date today, but decided to give it a miss. Having stood on a touchline, soaked to the skin, for over an hour, I just wanted to dive into a warm bath and let my cares drain away down the plug-hole.

Yesterday I was supposed to meet some old friends for lunch and go through some contracts. I made it, just an hour late, which was pretty remarkable given that I'd managed to shower and had been up all night chatting to strange men. They know me well so would almost have been disappointed if I'd been on time. It's odd how Smug Marrieds find the traumas of singledom so interesting. Grass is always greener.

I went home facing another ordinary Saturday night on the sofa. Which is actually where I spent it, but with a man! An attractive one of my own age!!! Gosh! That's a first, if you don't count Nick and Paul and Martin and Bernard, which I don't 'cos they are almost honorary girl friends.
Jagged Phil had nothing better to do than drive halfway up the nisa (sic!) end of the country to meet a very hung-over and world-weary me, his only reward a paltry Bolognese and enough verbal garbage from me to fill a warehouse.

Then today, after the rugby and much hilarity watching Jack and his team mates (and coaches) having their legs waxed for Chaa -ridy( I paid an extra quid so I could tear a strip off him in public - I brought blood)! we eventually called on Gez and her 6 beautiful 3-week old Siberian Huskie puppies. Sooo sweet. I want one and almost tried to smuggle one out in my rapidly diminishing bra-cup. Thomas noticed though and risked humiliation (mine) by asking why my chest was so hairy. We stayed for dinner - a huge Chinese take-away - it's her birthday tomorrow - and having devoured the lion's share, Jack brought the left-overs home in a doggy (puppy?) bag. He's been like a pig in muck all night - there will be no sense from him until the cartons are empty.

Turns out the owner of the Stud dog is a lad I went to PlaySchool/ Juniors with - haven't seen him since we were 11 - he's still as quiet and looks just the same. He didn't recognize me! I'm not sure if that is a good thing!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Date cancelled due to over-exposure to work. Work good due to uber-efforts and extreme dynamism.

I left tonight - Friday! - with not a jot of work left on my desk! I feel like throwing a Julie and running across the Lincolnshire Wolds to the Sound of Music! It is very invigorating to know that you are going in to a completely fresh desk on Monday. It's also a little bit disconcerting, what if no more work appears, what if I'm just not liked, what if I'm no good, what if the property market has really dipped and I get made redundant?

Well, in answer to the last question - I'd survive - I've waitressed, been a barmaid, sold shoes, been accepted for the Diplomatic Corps, and can scan my own groceries in Tesco. I can do and be whatever I flipping well want in fact.And know that whatever I'm doing, I'm doing it 100%.

I treat my jobs just as I treat my relationships, fiercely loyal, totally dedicated, and want to spend far too much time on them, for little reward and only small self-satisafaction, the odd spin around a dance floor or a tasty meal somewhere would do me, ok- and a cuddle here or there would not go amiss.

Jack's at that age where I'll get a cuddle when he wants or has done something bad. Otherwise I am untouched by human upper body parts. It's really lonely.

Friday, November 26, 2004

I overslept!

Well, at least I did hear my alarm at 4.45am, I reached out and foolishly pressed "Cancel" instead of "Snooze" - next thing I knew, I was awake and it was light - 8am!! I'd slept through 2 more alarms (radios, both of which play for an hour) so I just jumped in the shower and took advantage of the fact that I wasn't expected at work 'til much later.

I had a brief chat in the hall with Angel Features, who has now returned and was busily aromatising the place as I set off for work. I sent a quick apology to my fellow red-eyes promising a fabulous array of guests next week and skirting over my reasons for absence. It helps that one of my guests next week is a builder with a side-line in lap-dancing clubs(I was best mates with his sister at Infant school, I have not met him professionally) - I'm forgiven as long as they get a 10 minute presentation apparently. Ever anxious to please, I am considering asking Simon for access to his club during my lunch hour to practice! I might even enquire as to whether they have Novelty Nights - the extra cash would not go amiss right now!

And then I got a call from a potential date - I was a litle relieved when it got postponed to tomorrow - I was tired, despite my lay-in, and didn't feel my most fabulous, dazzling self. I contented myself with chatting for ages with Lorraine and then Eva and have fixed a girls' night out in Sheffield for next week. It must be 18 months since we all got together.

I also spoke to my sister - she too has no plans for christmas other than sitting with her cat and a tin of baked beans - we may well do it together depending on whether she moves house before or after the holidays ( I can take no blame - she rents!) but she won't know for a few weeks, so I shall continue to scan the holiday offers and hope one comes up in Cuba for a single girl who can salsa, tango, flamenco and fox-trot and cost less than her Gucci's which remain a constant despite all else!

Handbags and boots are all a girl really needs. If I say it often enough, I might start to believe it myself.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Flipping heck! Story of my life! No sooner do I shrink to a size that I might start to consider myself reasonably attractive to the opposite sex, and I turn on the TV to see that Fat is the new Black!!

I always seem to miss the latest trend. I bought a ra-ra skirt at the end of '82, my special edition Rubics Cube was stolen just as the craze dissipated, I had a perm as late as '92, and I now have to buy a house just as the market peaks and is about to plummet! I should be ecstatic for losing weight! But apparently men like BBWs (Big Beautiful Women). I don't even qualify for Plumpers anymore! My conspiracy theory has just concretized.

But there may be another explanation. I don't recall Jack's conception - thankfully. I couldn't get into a hotel last Christmas. I am persecuted ( the Summons for his father's application to vary his 25p a week maintenance order downwards! has arrived today) and I never ever get sex - perhaps I am the mother of the new Messiah!

No! Even he would pick up his dirty laundry, put the bins out, and not ask for paintball money when he knew the oil was running low. I'm just unlucky.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I am not destined to be a groupie after all, it would appear. Personal reasons have prevented Rachel & I receiving our invites to join Justin & the gang backstage. It's a little disappointing. It had taken me ages to sew the sequins on my spandex orange catsuit. I'm sure my colleagues at the breakfast meeting tomorrow will appreciate my efforts, but it's not quite the same as wearing it before a heaving throng of rockers!

So now what am I going to do with my night? I'm almost worked up here - just 2 more files to work on and a fax from a friend to look at and I'm done. I don't have to pick Jack up from training 'til 8ish and I hate going home and then having to turn out again. I can't have a glass of wine ( cf. breakfast meeting) and I'm trying to keep my mind occupied. It keeps defaulting into ever more elaborate witty ways of getting a guy, who has already demonstrated he is not worthy of any more of my energies, to appreciate that I am an incredibly talented, funny, babe the likes of which he is very lucky to have even encountered, let alone received a glance back from.

My gym bag is in the boot - I guess I could go for a work-out - but it's been there for the last 18 months so chances are my training gear is not as fresh as it could be. I could pop and see Dad, but then I'll find myself telling him that I'm on my own at Christmas and he'll insist that I go to them, and that will mean going to the pub for hours on Christmas Day and listening to the same old boring conversations from the same old drunks that have been propping up the bar of the local for the last 33 years, and trying not to feel a bit superior thus confirming their opinions of me as a snotty cow!and then coming back to Turkey and vegetables that were cooked the day before and then reheated at tea-time.

I can't go shopping 'cos I'm stony broke til the end of the month and if I call and see a friend I'll find myself back on my current default topic of conversation! And that defeats the object of trying to get him out of my flipping mind!!

Perhaps I'll just drive around spotting those sad breed of people that enjoy dressing their homes up with more lights than Blackpool. I have unusually strong views on these people which could not possibly be printed. But they do always have a way of making me feel that no matter how low I get, I could never ever get THAT sad!!
The week remains so far so good. I was early this morning - that beats being on time and in my world scores 2 points. I'd have had more but I resisted the urge to get up at 5.3oam, it would only have resulted in ill-advised emails and more importantly Jack, the delicate flower that he is, would have missed school - he slept late, complaining of a headache from one too many rugby boots in the head at training - I say - Get over it - if you think hard, you'll at least be thinking - that has to be an advantage on most of the rugby community!

So instead I dozed away an hour or so and came up with a brilliant ad campaign for Cute's business - I can see it on the local cinema screen now - and it's so simple and so effective - and I managed to stop myself preparing a Power Point presentation of it - so all is well with the world.

I had a lovely dinner with Sarah tonight - I was very tempted to cancel given the state of my finances, but as it was at least June that we last caught up, and that Jon, the fabulously wonderful Office Manager had immediately rousted the Juniors to fetch my expenses in cash the minute I asked, I felt compelled to honour and enjoy my engagement. I did. I'm glad.

I just hope I can maintain this social persona for a longer period. It's so easy to slip back into long hours, nothing planned in the week, and lazy weekends. But as Sarah says, Jack will only be home for a couple more years and then I'll be 35 and looking for something to occupy my Sunday mornings.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A very successful start to the week. I was on time, I'd managed to pop my bonnet open and refill my water reservoir with properly diluted Screen-Wash so can finally see the Speed signs and other road-users, found some clean tights without ladders, and answered all my calls and post, leaving just 10 minutes after the car-park officially closed, and arriving only 25 minutes late for my next meeting (I'd already given my apologies so I could have just slunk home to my trusty sofa).

I learned my efforts at the Ball were not in vain; had it not been for the grand we raised, we'd now be in the red. I resisted nipping into the phone booth and twirling into my nylon knickers! I simply nodded and smiled enigmatically as Linda Carter would have done, knowing she'd saved the day would have been sufficient reward, as it was for I.

I had sort of intended to proffer my resignation as a counsellor tonight, having come to the realisation that I am human, I do get tired and need time to shower and sleep occasionally, I was still willing to fundraise. Instead I found myself offering to train as a Supervisor for newer counsellors. There is some method in my madness - I only ever have to take on 1 bereavement client at a time and get to know some of the new recruits much more quickly. I've sensibly reserved further consideration of the topic until the New Year.

I also absolved myself of any guilty feelings for not offering to stand freezing my extremeties off at a Christmas Fair selling chuffing second-hand Teddies to people who have nothing better to do on a Friday night than wander around the local market town eating Ostrich Burgers and peering at the same old stalls pushing the same old tired merchandise. I've done it for the last 3 years and I consider my dues well and truly paid up! Teddies of any kind and I do not mix well.

It's going to be a good week!

Monday, November 22, 2004

I was up bright and early, showered and wrapped up warm ready for our trip to deepest Lincolnshire. Jack had other ideas and managed to drag his sorry ass out of his pit 5 minutes before our intended rendez-vous at the Club. I had hoped to cadge a lift. My resources are seriously depleted from a month of charitable giving and honouring some outstanding garage bills so I am trying to conserve them wherever possible.

I moaned so much that he offered to give me his remaining £8 wages towards the petrol in penance for having overslept and forcing me to drive. I intend to accept temporarily if my expenses claim isn't paid immediately.

We started the match as if we meant it. The other team never even looked like getting close to our half let alone our 22, but they did put up a good defence. 12-0 to us, we're actually through to the second round of something! Marvellous!

Marko called just as the match ended so I invited us over for tea. It was the only sure way of getting a square meal and credit where due, he's a good cook. He was also very good company although I do get a bit nervous when he hands out unprovoked compliments. He also loaded me up with unwanted kitchen gadgets again. The blender has already proved more useful than the Pineapple Corer that he gave me last time. Jack's made himself a smoothie. I haven't dared look in the kitchen yet.

So, to the rubber gloves...............

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Today I have been mostly sleeping. Jack called at 10ish wanting me to take his MP3 player down to his new place of work. I promptly fell back to sleep. He called again at 11.30 - I dozed a bit more. He was furious when he got back just after 12 and proceeded to shout at me to get up every 5 minutes, culminating in him dragging my duvet off me and forcing me to get up and into the shower where it was warm. I was presentable by 3pm!

I enjoyed a coffee with Lisa whilst he had his haircut. We both congratulated ourselves on our remarkable weightloss achievements and I got myself an invite for Boxing Day. I'm beginning to crawl out of my gloomy place so the thought of being a sad old lonely cow sitting home alone on my sofa all Christmas isn't terribly appealing.

We dashed into Tesco and had fun on the new self-service scanning till. I feel secure in the knowledge that if my talents as a hot Property lawyer dry up, I can hold my own in a supermarket.

Jack went to the cinema whilst I slept on the sofa a bit longer. I am conserving my energy for next week. Backstage at a Rock Concert, the prospect of squeezing into a rhinestone-encrusted lycra catsuit followed by a 7am breakfast meeting is sure to take its toll.

And my malicious streak got a kick when I saw the results again tonight. Oh Dear! Poor old Liverpool! Tee Hee!

Friday, November 19, 2004

70 hours in the bag! My junior doctor application has been reinstated and my company catheter is due to be upgraded within the next week. It's paid off - I left with just 3 files to work on, and that was through choice having tossed it off for most of the afternoon checking out a really funny website - I'd give you the location if I could remember it. http://buglear-bate.co.uk I think!

I sent the link to Cute. I couldn't help myself. I've spent all week praising myself on having avoided any contact and obvious rabbit-boiler behaviour and this was not anything like that. I genuinely thought he'd appreciate it.

So I turned down the opportunity to go to 2 very Posh Do's tonight - the local equivalent to Hello! magazine's Ball and the town's Annual Law Society dinner - the trauma of getting a date last week is still etched in my mind, I couldn't go through that again. Instead I suffered the indignity of Children in Need night on my sofa. Fortunately I slept through most of it. It does have its benefits.

Jack has his first day at work tomorrow. I might have to do a bit of housework. Angel Features is off for a week or 2 and the dead lilly petals are threatening to engulf me.

Other than that - relaxation is the key word for the weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Holiday? Did I have one? When? Where did it go? Who said? No! It's all a tissue of lies.

I am back up to speed, firing on all cylinders and performing some pretty nifty footwork with a trinity of adverse possessions (3 in one day, someone is looking down on me!) I got them licked along with the last of my backlog and was even able to fire off an email to my Lovely Boss timed at 8.37pm (my computer is running 4 minutes behind) with some pretty impressive Risk Management solutions. He would probably have preferred that I was sitting in some pub somewhere having a life and watching the boys get slaughtered in Spain.

I was just in time to watch Jack give it his last effort on a large overhang at the Climbing Wall, he was shattered and despite my protestations, insisted on coming home immediately, leaving Bob and Andrew making like SpiderMan.

So up at 5am tomorrow. I shall practice my Hook in the car on the way there (that's too early even for Wogan) .........

Cherrypie - glazed outer-casing, looks a little bit rich and heavy, crack it open and be seduced by the voluptous, tasty, soft centre - indulge your appetite, you'll want another piece. You only have to ask.
More Cherrypie, please!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Last week made me realise that I do need time away from work. I think I was close to mental exhaustion. And time away from work doesn't have to be filled every minute with terribly exciting wonderful things to do.

So when I got back to the office yesterday, it was with a new-found resolve that I managed to pick up my jacket and walk away at 6.30pm with only the slightest hint of doubt and regret.No more late nights, no more anxiety about finishing every job. It'll still be there tomorrow, I told my Mum. I need Me Time!!

I was still telling myself this at 9.30pm tonight as I switched out the lights on an otherwise-empty office building. Homeless Guy has gone - I hope it's to somewhere much warmer and drier, but I did miss him. The Bell-Ringers were going strong and the guy with the ridiculously short-legged dog remained on the street corner. I do wonder why he never walks it, even thought about asking him, (I have a suspicion that either he's a drug dealer or the dog has a terrible wasting disease that means it would melt into a pile of fur if made to walk more than 5 yards; it's the strangest dog - body the size of a full border collie, legs of which a Corgi would be proud, and a urine flow that would put the Mississippi to shame) but my mind was far too occupied with still trying to work out how I have singularly managed to alienate a guy who up until a few weeks ago seemed to genuinely enjoy my company as much as I did his.

My intrinsic leftie tendencies tweak at me when I sense needless waste, and I can't help thinking that I've committed a huge crime against recycling. I've thrown away the chance to chat about the rugby, our kids, Debbie Cock-Up anecdotes, holiday highs and woes ( Jack's going to Spain for Christmas with Mum and StepMonster and has persuaded me to put a deposit on an Outward Bound holiday in France rather than Japan next year so Saionara Kyoto!) and generally enjoy the feeling that someone gets me and I get him. And I never even noticed as I wrapped it up with all the garbage that is my life outside work.

I've delved through all the detritus and I still can't seem to see where it went. My last resort is St Anthony, the Patron saint of Lost Things - it worked for my keys so here goes..........

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm back in my safe place where I never have to wait for the phone to ring, where everyone hangs on my very word, heck! They queue up for it! and I am loved and appreciated for just being me and doing what I do well.

Ok! So maybe it's not so great to return to 182 emails, 32 voicemails (thank goodness it has a limit) and enough post and typed messages to keep a fire going for a month and 3 days ( if you used the Ray Mears approach it would be 13 years 4 months and 23.5 days). It took me til Noon just to wade through the paperless stuff - small miracle that I managed to bash off another 8 tapes, answer 48 calls,see 1 client ( she didn't have an appointment, didn't need to see me, but I like her), welcome Rachel into the fold, show her around, make my own coffee once ( the only one I had all day), and still have time to think about Cute at least twice every hour.

That's a huge improvement. I only thought about him - didn't think about contacting him!

I think I must have one of these 21st Century diseases. Allergic to holidays! They certainly don't seem to agree with me. Last time I was in a car-crash. This time I lose my security of tenure, my possible romance and almost my mind. It's enough to make you want to stay at work!

Fortunately, being a girl that still has a faint grip, I realise that I can and should get my own place - I had always intended to do it but probably needed a large boot between my bowling balls to finally get around to calling a mortgage advisor and setting the balls in motion (they will offer me silly, daft, idiotic money - now how many shoes could I buy with that?) and the relationship-that-never-was would probably still have never been even if I hadn't fucked it up before it started - it would just have taken me longer and probably have cost me more than a cheap lunch and a dried-up Spag Bol.

So instead, I had a wonderful evening with a very charming and selfless man, got to wear a dress that I never dreamed would fit my sides again ( Sorry, Peter, but I did put it second), and got myself invited to the Lions Charter Dinner! Now the whole sorry crisis starts again! I have to find a date again!!! Aaaaaaarrggggggghhh!

I shall mostly be wearing pin-stripes this week!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Isn't it always the case that the evenings with which you look forward with fear and dread turn out to be the best nights!?

A knight in shining metallic paintwork turned up at the eleventh hour in the shape of Pixie Peter. I should have known that a guy who can salsa will also have his own dry-cleaned dinner suit. He was the perfect companion at a very successful function. The food was good, the raffle was well received (my former Head of Upper School, a Newcastle United season ticket and shareholder won the signed shirt and proceeded to wear it with pride for the rest of the night; I won the Power Screwdriver and nowhave no need for a man of any description), I danced more than I drank, my hair went up like a dream and............get this!!

I suddenly decided at 6.55pm to try on my favourite evening dress, the one I haven't been able to get into for over 3 years. It fitted!!! I shall expect copies of the telegraph to sell out very quickly when that shot appears in a few weeks time.

I'd also had a reply from Strawberry Dish Date, who I'd rather optimistically emailed earlier in the week. Turns out, if I'd texted him instead, as he was away and hadn't seen the messages 'til Saturday morning, he'd have been more than happy to fill the breach. So I went from no date to a choice of 2 in 24 hours.

The U/15s held a respectable draw when we travelled away this morning, Jack scoring both tries. We celebrated by going to see Bridget Jones this afternoon (ok, so he's not quite 15 but I hate going to the cinema alone, especially to see a film about a singleton). I found the film entirely far-fetched and unbelievable from the very start. That she could unwittingly be charged with drug-smuggling and get thrown into a Thai jail - I can live with! That she could then proceed to teach all the other occupants English and lead them in a chorus of Like A Virgin - yep! That she can turn down a rampant Hugh Grant - well, I struggle but can see how it could happen!

But that she can mistakenly believe a friend that tells her that the man upon whom she has formed a liking is seeing another, accuse him, apologise and have him accept that apology and still continue to desire her company? What a ridiculous flight of fantasy!

That never happens to real 33 year olds with a bottom the size of 2 bowling balls!!!! Even when she's dropped 2 dress sizes apparently overnight.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

So I'm sitting looking at my spare ticket wondering what on earth I should do with it. Perhaps I should have put it on eBay.

" One ticket for a Charity Ball. Sumptous surroundings, good food and wine, dancing 'til late. Comes complete with a presentable female companion who may not be wearing glass slippers but is sure to have fab shoes and isn't looking for a fairytale or indeed anything heavy. Bidders do not have to hold the title of Prince Charming but must be able to enjoy some company once every week or so, capable of holding a conversation and throwing in the odd witty quip, like a bit of spontaneity occasionally, and own his own or have access to a Tux at short notice - oh! and have his own teeth and hair, although this is only desirable, not essential criteria."

I doubt I'd even get a bid. Believe me, I've tried everything I can think of - I've emailed every available man I know across the entire country, honestly, I've pleaded with all my female friends, I looked at the friendly tollman on the way home tonight and it flicked into my mind but even I'm not that desperate. I've stooped to threatening my own son!

Talking of whom, he's dining out tonight, Boo's 15th birthday, 30 of them are having a curry. Cost me about £30. He'd planned to go paintballing tomorrow for another friend's birthday which stands to be about another £50. He fails to see why I should expect him to forego his paintballing when I've had a call telling me he can start his job a week early, 9am tomorrow.

He has not inherited my work ethic!

I've basically told him that if he goes to work, I will cover his lost deposit at paintball and pay for both him and Drew to go another weekend, I will more importantly excuse him from the humiliation of having to escort his haggard old mother to a function. He's opted for the paintball!
And still refuses to don a Tux for his mum.

Do Moss Bros have a Platinum Service where they provide the suit and the guy? He doesn't have to be cute, that would just be the icing on the cake.

Friday, November 12, 2004

The quiz was cancelled. I was initially a bit disappointed as I was looking forward to having the appearance of a social life even if it was with the man that disembowled a pregnant rat before my very eyes when I was a lefty Veggie. Come to think of it, he tried to get me to cut into an eyeball once and also disected a pig's heart and I'm sure there was something awful with frogs which was too gruesome for my memory to retain. More importantly I was grateful of an excuse to get off my sofa and away from the wine bottle. It hasn't done me any favours these past few days - the type of mate I tell Jack to avoid.

So after spending the day tootling (the Speed seminar is still very fresh in my mind) around the locality rounding up raffle prizes, I made one last call to my old mate, Richard who'd promised to rustle up a few bits and pieces.

Talk about gobsmacked! I was expecting the odd signed rugby ball ( I wasn't disappointed, Leeds Rhinos right after they played in the cup match - but I'm a Union girl so I'm not sure if they won) and a few signed photos of Emmerdale stars (strangely, the one of Patsy Kensit was missing - I must remember to ask Jack to look out for it when he starts his Saturday job at Richard's company). I didn't in a million years expect a Newcastle United shirt signed by the entire team including Shearer and Bobby Robson! So imagine how delighted I was with that and another framed shirt which Alan had signed just last weekend!!!!

"Best Wishes for your Ball, Cherrypie - if you need a date, just give me a call! Alan Shearer"

Ok - so maybe he didn't have the room to write all that but the 2 words on each wing were there.

It doesn't stop there - he's also got a signed shirt from our local team (they sent me a signed ball last year so I'd not had the nerve to contact them again) and a squash racquet signed by the reigning World Champion! And he dropped into the conversation that he can get corporate hospitality at Leeds Rhinos! At which point I told him enough was enough and perhaps we could keep that one for ourselves!

Having loaded up the car, I then made a circuitous journey home, via a Newcastle United season ticket holder. His reaction convinced me that these are far too good to raffle to Bleaktown folk. I'm thinking put one in, they're expecting it - but try the other on eBay. I could hold viewings in my lounge in the hope that at least one of the fans turns out to be attractive and single! I'm obviously falling short on selling points myself so I can do with all the help I can get!

It has crossed my mind that I could try contacting Enfield( I think I mean Anfield but you know where I'm thinking) or Ping to see if they can donate anything but then I'd never be sure if it was me he really liked!

So pretty productive day all round - £100 vouchers for Wow Acres (the frommagier is a past client and newly-single - it crossed my mind to ask, at least I know he has a Dinner Jacket), membership of Sherwood Spruce, some wine (for the raffle - not self-consumption), Christmas present of a course of golfing lessons for Jack( I met the man himself, if he teaches how to hold a club as well as he shakes a hand, Jack will be the next Tiger Woods), tea and teacakes with my cleaner, tea, dress discussion and ickle baby Michael cuddling with Candice, tea and rugby chat with Di and Kath, tea and Monster stories from 3-year old Max whilst collecting fab raffle prizes, tears from Steve when he saw me drive off with the coveted NUFC shirts, and no time spent obsessing on the sofa!

If I'd known how great it is to take time off just to drink tea, I'd have done it ages ago. Who needs a reason for being off work? Who needs a destination or a companion? Who really needed a break before she broke?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

There is a God! I went shopping for some new black trousers the other day and was surprised to find that my usual size were extremely baggy, to the point of being possible to remove them without undoing them. I got an Assistant to check I hadn't accidentally picked up the wrong size or misread the label. No! I was right! Bring the lady in cubicle 3 a normal person's size! The fag and wine diet certainly seems to agree with me.

In celebration, I drove over to see Mrs Roger in her new marital home. I can see why she's anxious to move. We ate out down Eccleshall Road. It must be about 9 years since I was last down there and on that occasion I was dressed as a Gravestone. That is not a reference to my extreme Goth days. It was a Halloween party - I was Ida Goodbody R.I.P.

I had planned to drive home first thing whilst she went to work. Instead we wandered around the Botanical Gardens with Roger and some frisky squirrels and I set off just in time to get back for the County match.

I had a quick drink with Nick whilst the boys warmed up. Last week he'd still been bewailing the loss of Anna but looking forward to his trip to America at the weekend. He's since had 3 dates with a skinny young lawyer from Lincoln who he'd met on Saturday and was dashing home to enjoy an evening of DVD and pizza with her. Flipping heck, when Nick sets his mind to something, he really knows how to go for it.

The match was an eventual draw, having been a try up for most of the match. It was very wet and muddy, and as my jeans were dropping off my reducing hips, I was traipsing it everywhere.

Anyway, just got back from the Doc's - Jack's blood tests were fine as I suspected. I treated him to GTA San Andreas - it was the last one in the shop - he was thrilled but not so much so as to agree to take me to my Ball at the weekend. I am usually so resourceful but with all the single men I know either in America or hiding behind their sofas from me, I am really struggling to come up with ideas. Maybe I'll get some inspiration at the quiz tonight. I'm driving my old Biology teacher. Now that's something you don't do very often.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Cute responded to my email with a very business-like bullet-pointed account of his relationships. He's not done anything whatsoever to acknowledge that I had any reason to be upset or that I've done my best to sort matters out. I thought there was a bit more to him than that. What a disappointment!

It's very irritating not to know what it was that caused him to lose interest but I guess I'm just going to have to get over it - the force of my personality alone isn't going to get it out of him. Fortunately I have a number of things coming up over the next few weeks which should keep my mind occupied and my hands too busy to be texting.

I've also been asked on a date today. I was very tempted to accept only on the basis that it takes place on Saturday night - that way I get to go to the Ball with a man like everybody else. It looks as if I might have to take Jack and hope that nobody thinks having so recently been disappointed by a man old enough to be my father, I've now gone to the other extreme and accuse me of cradle-snatching.

I'm doing a better job of not beating myself up so much. I think I was building things up into something much bigger than they were, mainly because I thought that there was just ever such a slight chance that I was finally getting what everyone else has - a relationship. How silly of me! I should have learnt by now that they are just a mirage in my desert of a life!

I wish I knew what it is that's wrong with me. I know I'm no Claudia Schiffer but I look around and I see uglier people all over the place arm in arm with their lovers. I used to have a theory that society is like a pyramid, the higher up the pyramid you are depends on your looks, intelligence etc which means that those at the very bottom have much more potential partners on their level from which to choose, but those right at the top have very few of their own calibre. I guess I must be at the pinnacle and being as stubborn as I am, I'm not prepared to lower my sights or my standards, but there's only room on top for one so I might as well accept that I'm on my own and I'm going to stay that way.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I discovered a way to overcome my morbid fear of Bonfire Night a few years ago. Just serve Hot Dogs to 5000 hungry people and you'll soon forget the bangs and potential to be permanently maimed.

I think my phobia stems from a couple of things - firstly, I have a very vivid memory (and a very slight scar to prove it) of my little sister sticking a lighted Sparkler on my thumb when I was about 3. Secondly, my folks used to organise a Village Bonfire and firework display when I was a kid, and for weeks before, the large wooden crates containing the evil explosives would be stored in our disused shop, the room we used as a playroom. It was instilled into me to stay away from them as they were extremely dangerous so when I was later dragged to the top of the hill to be confronted with my Dad and all the grown-up men I knew and respected in my entire world setting them off, I was naturally terrified for their lives. The rest of the evening would be spent with me screaming blue murder until some poor unsuspecting grandad (once Old Mr Wells) would sit me calmly in his car where I couldn't hear the bangs, smell the sulphur and start to calm my sobs. All went well until a stray rocket landed on the roof of the car and that was me off again, screeching louder than anything Taiwan could try and compete with. I couldn't be pacified until I was given all the gloopy dregs from the bottom of the Tomato Soup pan - something I still crave and was very grateful for last night - bless him! The chap at whom I'd been screaming all night for more soup saved me his scrapings - yum!

So today I have been mostly learning about Speed and its consequences - very thought-provoking and quite moving, obviously in a slow, controlled way, remembering to use mirrors at all times. I have attached my key-ring to my keys and shall give a knowing nod to any other secret member of the exclusive club to which I now belong that I meet - they too saved £10 and 3 endorsement points.

I had decided yesterday that I had done as much as was necessary to absolve myself of any guilt over the situation that has manifested itself between Cute & I, so it will come as no surprise to you that the first thing I did upon waking at 6.30 was to send him an email!! I'm starting to irritate myself let alone all the lovely friends who have suffered me so I have done the next best thing - shopped! Albeit for groceries, but did I really need £200-worth? I'm just showing off 'cos I finally got round to defrosting the freezer so now I can fit more than an ice-cube bag in it.

Friday, November 05, 2004

It's not been the best of weeks. I've been trying to sort out what I thought was a dreadful misunderstanding with Cute, feeling utterly wretched and guilty of jumping to wrong conclusions and managing to fuck up what I had hoped was going to be a good relationship.

Yesterday it got worse. I'd decided at last minute to take a few days off. I couldn't keep my mind on the job properly and was in danger of losing patience with anxious clients. I was woken by my cleaner letting herself in - our first face to face meeting was in the Hall, me in a smelly old dressing gown, with the sink and an ashtray overflowing. I hastily scooped up an armful of washing and took it through to my Mum's washing machine, to be met with an estate agent valuing the house. I'm sure they would have got round to telling me at some point, hopefully before the removal van arrived.

I then tried to call Cute to arrange to meet him for a coffee and set things straight. I was told he was busy and would call me back. The phone rang before too long, but it was Jack telling me he was on his way to the hospital for some blood tests. I dashed off to meet him, not overly concerned, it's probably just glands.

I hadn't had any messages whilst I was out, so after mooching about for a while, I logged on to check my emails. I'd sent Cute one late the night before suggesting that some things were too important to leave to email, but rather warranted a personal approach. He disagreed and had very curtly informed me, at 2.45am!!! that email was just fine and dandy.

I've now given him the information he desired, thinking the whole time that I was the one with all the ground to make up. I finally told Mum about my love woes when she got back and it turns out she could have told me all along - a friend of hers had told her what he was like weeks ago and had suggested she warn me in case I got hurt. I didn't know what to believe.

So I jumped in the car and headed South for a night of salsa dancing and mutual obsessing with Pixie Peter. I wasn't the best company, but I was grateful for a sympathetic ear and some food in my belly.

Today? I just feel a bit empty. I'm very disappointed with Cute. I accept I may have made an initial mistake but could not have done more to try and make amends in as humble a way as I know possible. I'm now starting to think - hang on - if he'd been a bit more decent in the first place, this would never have happened. I can't help thinking I've been stealth dumped.