Sunday, 14 February 2010


Today is Valentine's Day, supposedly the most romantic day of the year. I have spent it indoors, full of the cold and trying to avoid the sheer abundance of Valentine's related media and merchandise that seems to be around this year. I don't know if the desperate attempt to sell stuff in a recession or the ever increasing commercialisation of society, but it seems relentless this year.

I am lucky that I don't really care about being single any day of the year and that nobody else seems too bothered about it either. I have escaped the single girl cliches of having a mother desperate to dress up in pastels and wear a big hat or friends who feel sorry for me being on the shelf in my 30s. But for some reason this year, my single status is causing momentarily malaise today.

It might be because being cold-ridden I have missed out of the chance to stuff myself with dim sum in honour of Chinese New Year which also falls today, but I think it's because this is the first year in a while that I have actually been in the market for a date thanks to an online dating profile. And it turns out the men I might be dating look like a much less appealing prospect than ever being alone.

While my date back in November turned out to be a most enjoyable evening of laughter, chat and Belgian beers, it also happened to be with the Least Dynamic Man on Earth™. I suggested the date, organised the date, re-organized the date when he couldn't make it, had to send him directions to the date while sitting waiting for him and had to order the drinks all night and ask for the bill at the end. Putting this down to him being easy going, I was quite keen to see him again. He asked me out again in the last week of November. I told him that would be great and to let me know when was good for him...

He replied in January to say that he wasn't drinking for the next few weeks after Christmas, but that he would be free in a fortnight from then if I fancied a drink. I realised he wasn't just being laid back or polite when he was allowing me to set the pace for the date, he was simply born without a dynamic gland. Barely able to contain my apathy at such a tempting offer, I sent him a message saying I was seeing someone else and left it at that, relieved yet terrified to have decoded why he was single after one date.

The only thing I have been seeing since then is the blur as my head repeatedly hits the desk upon reading another message in my inbox. There was the 28 line text speak 'poem' that read like a stalker's manifesto and several messages complaining that I don't like curry and therefore must be boring, uptight, a prude, not English or a mixture of the above. Then there was the man who was wearing a different polo neck sweater in each of his photos and who wanted to take me to a small island on the Thames to drink coffee and never let me leave him. But I think my favourite was the man who IM'd me the other night to ask if men actually find me attractive despite being so pale? (Although maybe this explains why no one ever replies to my messages...)

I'm not sure how to rectify this situation...change dating site? Develop a selection of cheesy chat up lines? Take up a night class? Batten down the hatches and start adopting feral cats in droves? Drink gin in large quantities? Any and all suggestions gratefully received!

Saturday, 6 February 2010


I have not been blogging much recently, mainly due to the fact I am attempting to give up smoking and every hour of the day is taken up with trying to distract myself from thinking about cigarettes. This seems to have involved going to bed about 8.30 most nights, not leaving much time to blog.

I have been smoking for more years than I would care to remember and it has been a social crutch for me for most of that time. I am not just giving up cigarettes, I am giving up the habits of a lifetime. So far it is going quite well, mainly due to giving up drinking as well to avoid temptation. I have already started to find other people's cigarette smoke quite repulsive and being annoyed by people smoking in the ticket hall at Victoria station. I hope this means I am losing my love for the filthy weed rather than I am turning into one of those frightful born again non smokers, but I apologise in advance if that happens!

I was spurred into giving up smoking by my friend G's amazing acheivement of knocking a 30-a day habit on the head in only a few weeks. How hard could it be to give up my 2 or 3 a day in comparison? I thought about how much money I would save, how I wouldn't have to be a social pariah standing outside in the cold and how much healthier and alive I would feel and encouraged by how stupid I felt standing around shivering in the recent snow, I had my last cigarette just over 3 weeks ago. And promptly developed a headache which has not left me since...

Tired and crotchety, I went to see my doctor this week to see if she could help me shift my permanent headache. She grudgingly gave me some ibuprofen and told me that since I wasn't using nicotine replacement therapy to give up smoking, it wouldn't last and I'd be back on the cigarettes by Easter. Annoyed by her lack of encouragement, but determined to prove her wrong, I have decided to blog about quitting smoking so that everyone who knows me can help me stick to my guns and remind me that I am now a non-smoker or simply shame me into avoiding cigarettes in future! I promise not to bite...