Last night there was a small gathering of some of the regular characters on the blog. MyLoveLifeInYourHands was around with the visiting Marni (also known as Blossom on this blog), FleetStreetFox was celebrating her birthday and some of the Schwingalong Girls were out.
I had invited the Theatre Producer along too. We were going a fancy pants party, but it didn’t start till later so we joined the gang in a pub for a few drinks before the bash.
There was a lot of giggling. The girls were all exceedingly well dressed, lots of floaty dresses, power pencil skirts and some-what optimistically shorts. Optimistic because the weather hasn’t been exactly great.
Everyone got on very well.
The whole affair was terribly pleasant, but also had a hint of MyLoveLifeInYourHands and I presenting girls we like to Her Royal Foxyness for judgement.
I had tried to get Biscuit to appear too with Jen (who has already been fox-judged) but he made up some rubbish excuses.
After a few drinks the Theatre Producer and I walked over to our swanky party. There was free champagne and a BBQ with proper grown-up food. Not tiny canapés. This was a very pleasant surprise and so we set about eating and drinking slightly too much while playing ‘Is that a famous person?’
While we were playing this game the bar ran out of pink champagne, so we had to slum it and switch to normal coloured champagne. Tough times.
Some time later we went back to the Theatre Producers place, which incidentally is a proper grown-ups house rather than the ‘Lost Boys nest’ that Biscuit and I live in.
She gave me the presents she’d got me in America, they were all silly, pointless and lovely. The stand-out items were three water-pistols that were shaped like dinosaurs. She said she’d got three so she, Biscuit and I could use them at the same time. I thought that was unbelievably sweet.
We chatted, I was given the guided tour and ended up staying the night.
The next morning I quizzed her on important facts. I’d already decided that I wanted her to be my girlfriend so I was just clearing up some final details which included her views on white chocolate, avocados, robots and David Bowie’s trousers in Labyrinth.
She passed all the questions and so I asked her, “So Theatre Producer, will you be my totally awesome girlfriend?’
She said yes. She also said that she’d never been properly asked out like that before. Men of the world, up your game.
When she was out of the room making me a cup of tea I punched the air and said ‘Yesssssssssss’.
Marriage percentage: 56% – Steadily rising.
Biscuit should start looking decidedly nervous if he has any sense.
I love Wayne’s World. I understand it’s not a to everyone’s tastes but it does have its moments.
It really spoke to me when I was younger, perhaps I was just at the right age when it came out that having long hair and talking about rock music seemed impossibly amazing.
I must have watched it a 100 times, I used to know all the dialogue in the film off by heart. I hadn’t seen it in years, so when The Theatre Producer mentioned that it was being shown at the Prince Charles cinema as a ‘Schwing Along’ I got a bit excited.
I emailed some chums to see if they wanted to go and they got excited too. However we missed out an important step. Actually buying tickets instantly and so it sold out before we could get organised.
However a vague plan was formed. The Theatre Producer and a chum were going and I could meet up with them afterwards for a drink. I watched Wayne’s World on DVD to get into the right frame of mind and then hopped on the tube to meet up with them.
They were in a lovely pub tucked away in a back street, before I’d even arrived they had got me a gin and tonic which rather set the tone for the evening.
The Theatre Producer was wearing a Stacey (from Wayne’s World) inspired look. It involved a blue very swishy skirt, the dressing up theme continued as her chum was wearing an amazing body-con dress. We said hello and then talked about the cultural importance of Wayne’s World.
I got another round of drinks in, large drinks, well two rounds of large drinks because I feared the bar was going to close soon. We started drinking those but the bar closed so briskly that we had to fight to finish all our gin.
Then we went to another bar. I ordered a round, and then shots for nine people. There were three of us. In hindsight this could have been the point when the evening went a bit wrong.
There was a jukebox in the corner of the bar, full of lovely juke. We took it in turns to buy drinks and inflict our musical tastes on the bar people. There were even more shots and quite a bit of dancing.
Everyone was very mashed at this point.
A complicated matter of kissing
I was chatting away to the Theatre Producer’s friend about, well I don’t remember. I had been on a bit of a charm offensive because I had realised that The Theatre Producer made me feel a bit tingly and so I wanted her chums to be Pro-Toast.
The Theatre Producer had nipped to the loo. We were alone for a moment and The Theatre Producer’s chum kissed me. No tongues or anything just a kiss on the lips. I looked rather shocked not because it was unpleasant, but because it was a total surprise. I think I may have said blimes.
I then sort of told her off a bit about how kissing wasn’t allowed. In hindsight sounds a bit arsey but I did realise in my drunken state that if I kissed chums I probably wasn’t going to be allowed to ever kiss the Theatre Producer and that would make my tingles sad.
We had drunk an awful lot of booze at this point, and we’d even been talking about flirting so I can understand how perhaps I was sending out mixed signals.
The Theatre Producer returned and left the two of them to put more music on the jukebox. Foxy Lady to be exact.
There was some dancing, the Theatre Producer’s chum went to the loos and then the Theatre Producer said ‘So you’ve kissed X eh?’
‘Erm, well it was more like she kissed me. I told her not to do that anymore.’ I replied.
This continued for a bit. I can’t remember the exact words but I decided to kiss the Theatre Producer.
She didn’t say blimes and it was nice.
We had a brief chat about how this could be complicated because she knew about the blog. I said something about how while it did make things complicated I hoped it wouldn’t make things impossible. I think I may have said some slightly soppy things too.
We danced some more and even drank some more. It was time to head home. The Theatre Producer lived nearby so we said goodbye (with a little bit more kissing) and I fell into a cab home.
It had been a very surprising evening.
I think I should probably start at the beginning. Remember when I met a friend of a friend who was a theatre producer? Well I think I may have slightly undersold how fun that meeting was.
It was just half an hour long, just a quick drink, but it raced by and I spent most of it giggling.
She was wearing a smashing frock, had a hat on and it was a beautiful spring day. We sat in a famously lovely pub just by Regent’s Park drinking gin and tonics. The bar was a collection of sunbeams and dark wood, because a wedding was going on nearby everyone who appeared was extremely well dressed.
It was only a brief meeting because she had to go to a wedding and I had to go to the zoo but it was enough for me to realise two important facts.
1) She was exactly my type. Intelligent, interesting, amusing and a beautiful, tall brunette.
2) I’d like to see her again, as chums. It had to be chums because she was a reader of the blog and thus forbidden.
(Cunning readers will have already worked out that the later half of two must have got a bit wavy because otherwise this post wouldn’t be here)
So I’d had a lovely evening with the Starlet but what was next? She was going back across the pond and wouldn’t be back for a while.
She did say something that I did remember through the fug of drunkenness. That she’d like to do a play, in London. I didn’t give it a lot of thought, I didn’t know anyone in that world, but I did store it away for later.
On Saturday I met a not-quite-a-chum-yet. I didn’t know her exactly, but we had scores of mutual friends and since we happened to be in almost exactly the same part of London (Twitter saves the day again) we decided to meet for a coffee.
Which turned out to be a gin.
Gin makes magic things happen
It was lovely and while talking about all sorts of pleasant nonsense she mentioned that she was a theatre producer and she was looking for projects. I suddenly remembered that thing that the Starlet said about a play, so I asked the Theatre Producer if she might be interested in The Starlet for a project.
She said potentially yes, but we’d need a script.
This got my mind racing. Could be the method to lure the Starlet back to London? It could be.
Before I could find out more details I had to scamper off to meet another chum and then onto a birthday party and the Theatre Producer had to go off to a wedding so we parted way with plans to talk.
Much later that evening
At the birthday I drank quite a lot of booze. I sent the Starlet a text mentioning I’d just had coffee with a Theatre Producer who was game if we could find the right script.
She was delighted by this, and there were vague plans to meet up for drinks later after she had finished work. On her instructions I tried to get hold of our mutual friend to find out where I should go but sadly my phone was running out of power.
I just managed to send out a text about my phone dying before it finally gave up. Which I hope would have added to my mysterious an enigmatic nature. It was a shame we didn’t get another night of boozing though.
The next day a few more text messages were exchanged, where the Starlet reiterated that she really wanted to work with me.
So if I want to see her again I’ve got to magic up the perfect play, or write it myself. It’s not the stupidest thing I’ve done to impress a girl but it’s got to be in the top five.
Saturday I had a first meet with an internet date. I had actually contacted her just after new year but we hadn’t been able to find a convenient time to meet until now so we had occasionally swapped witticisms via the dating website, text and then Facebook.
Moving to Facebook contact early is a double edged sword. It may be generally better that a potential date does not see my stream of consciousness about accidentally squashing kiwi fruit in my work bag, or see the picture of me in just speedos with bad wetsuit sunburn. Sometimes I think it’s better to fool a girl into not thinking that you are a massive spaz until she is hopelessly infatuated with and betrothed to you. However I reasoned that since I am unlikely to keep it hidden for long enough to get that far then it’s probably better to get it all out in the open from the outset.
The dates I’ve had of late have been mostly with people who I have met first in actual real life so first impressions had already been formed (apart from Little Miss Naughty, but we had already formed certain impressions of each other based on ‘other’ characteristics). This time I felt I had an opportunity to make a decent first impression so drew lessons from some of my earliest failings and resolved to arrive well dressed and on time.
I put on my smartest black shiny shoes, a short sleeved shirt and, my nicest jeans. Unfortunately, because I was posting my last update, I put them on about an hour after I SHOULD have done to arrive in good time for the date.
This necessitated an unnecessarily stressful emergency taxi ride from West London to Soho. 25 minutes and £25 later I arrived, miraculously only 5 minutes late.
Oh well, one lesson out of two is better than none.
I’d opted to meet mid afternoon, which allowed plenty of time for adventures but also meant we could cut our losses and not wipe out an entire evening if the date was terrible.
I had arranged to meet in a tiny shop which boasted the most decadent cakes I have ever seen assembled in one location. I walked in to see my date smiling back at me. We had joked about her wearing a wedding dress on the date. Instead she was wearing a tight vest top with a rather risqué neckline, tight slinky jeans, cream heels and a rather cheeky grin.
I don’t normally notice shoes… maybe I am catching the gays from Toast?
Armed with red velvet cake and coffee, which I bought in penance for being late, we pulled up a couple of stools to the breakfast bar and started chatting. This is the first time I can remember meeting for a first date and not immediately furnishing ourselves with alcohol. There’s something very reassuring about a refreshing gin or full-bodied ale and maybe I haven’t realised quite how much I have come to rely on it to calm the nerves on a date.
I’ll admit it, I was nervous. I’v been on so many dates over the last year that I’m almost NEVER nervous anymore, and certainly not an hour into the date. She seemed a little nervous too and we were both a little hyper, although in retrospect perhaps that was the massive sugar rush from the ENORMOUS slice of cake.
She works in IT (which is the LAST thing I would have guessed) but was quite dismissive of it, however I’ll still call the the IT Girl because it sounds quite pleasing. We actually barely talked about grown up things at all and quickly settled into a slightly silly and irreverent banter.
Leaving the cake shop for Chinatown we stopped to enjoy some of the partying and watch the Lion dances for Chinese New Year. the IT Girl is a little, well, ‘little’ so I found her a good step so she could see what was happening. Managing to avoid buying a ridiculously tacky ‘Alladdin’s’ style lamp we finally got to a pub and started putting booze in our faces.
The conversation got even sillier very quickly and Vegas weddings, sex with horses and doing bad things to children were all mentioned. I fancied her before we started drinking and only fancied her more as we carried on. I sent Toast a text saying “Marriage percentage 60%”. I mention this because he then posted it all over Twitter and I was mocked for my recent run of enthusiastically high M% that go into exponential decay with each date.
Despite living in London, I don’t really know my way around the streets and drinking holes yet. Thankfully the IT girl did. We moved from cozy pub to painfully classy cocktail bar (where I was glad I had put my nice shoes on) to a cheap and cheerful dive of a pub.
Mid chat about her family I dropped a clanger that made me go bright red. I meant to say something throwaway about ‘if I met her parents’ but what actually came out was “when I meet your parents”. With sudden horror I realised my mistake and I was suddenly rather flustered and backtracking rapidly. Thankfully she didn’t make a girl-shaped hole in the wall and laughed it off instead. *phew!*
I rather wanted to kiss her from about halfway through the date but wasn’t confident it would be reciprocated. I got my chance on the walk to Trafalgar Square. She stepped into a sheltered spot out of the wind and backed up against the wall to spark a sneaky fag. Something about the conversation made a perfect excuse to step in close. I don’t remember what that thing was because we we then rather distracted by the kissing. It wasn’t quite as cheeky a moment as obeying the little purple love imp when he tells you to kiss but it was pretty perfect apart from that.
…or it would have been if we hadn’t stepped apart and noticed the puddle of piss that had been next to us the whole time.
We were sat in Trafalgar square about 10pm waiting for the firework show that had clearly already been and gone when she got a text from the friend she was due to be staying with. She lives outside the opposite edge of London so it would have been a nightmare to get home. Her friend said that he was going to bed. IT Girl weighed up the options between going there or attempting to trek all the way back home.
I had told Toast that there was NO WAY I would be bringing anyone home as my room was in an utterly shameful state. This is a bit like the boy equivalent of not shaving your legs. Feeling slightly prompted I tentatively offered that she could stay at mine if she preferred. Pants on though, as I’m not that kind of boy. I did offer the spare room but she gave me the raised eyebrow implying ‘yeah, like THAT’s going to happen’.
I had forgotten to let Toast know that I was bringing a guest back until a few minutes before I arrived so really hoped that I didn’t find him and the consultant ‘holding hands’ in the living room. The plan of ‘no hijinks’ plan didn’t quite work out, even with the messy room.
Despite everyone’s jibes I am going to stick to my original M%. Yes, it is enthusiastic but there’s no harm in a high M%, as long as I take it slowly and calmly.
…and for those of you now scoffing at me, it’s not very becoming. :p
- Good shoes are a must for first dates.
- Being late because you are writing up last night’s adventures is costly and stressful. Don’t do it.
- Don’t send Toast marriage percentages, he will use it against you.
- Dropping clangers that makes it look like you had already planned the honeymoon is embarrassing and should be avoided at all costs.
- French Martinis are not as delicious as raspberry Martinis.
- The tidiness of my room seems to be inversely proportional to the likelihood of me bringing home a guest.
- Look for puddles of wee before you kiss.
Saturday was a busy day and I was late for most of it.
Jess is back in London and also newly single so we had a long chat about dating. She can’t do internet dating because, well she is a bit famous and people would spot her online in seconds so she has to resort to other methods.
For example she has briefed friends over what she is looking for – hot scientists with a dash of Mark Kermode, or Jarvis Cocker about them. If you spot someone like that please let me know.
Jess is up for some speed dating type events so that could be entertaining, I can’t imagine any way that could go wrong. Oh no.
We had a lovely time looking at art, eating cake and laughing at stupid situations to do with relationships. I like art, and Norman Rockwell’s paintings were a perfect warm-up for the trip to New York.
After much cake and tea I had to rush home and prepare myself for a visit from The Consultant. So we parted ways with a few film recommendations.
The Consultant was running late which suited me fine as it gave me time to shave my face, furiously clean the kitchen and put fresh sheets on my bed.
I met the Consultant at the tube station and escorted her back to the house. She was wearing an incredibly slinky grey dress. It was breath-taking, when she took her coat off I actually gasped, which probably wasn’t very cool.
I didn’t realise that people gasped in real life. She really is alarmingly pretty.
It was actually hard to concentrate with her slinking around the kitchen. Luckily, I had been chilling some gin so I used a couple of large gin and tonics to take the edge off her looks. She had some too, although I suspect for different reasons.
Topped up with gin I was finally able to concentrate well enough to use a knife again so I set about cooking a Jamie Oliver 30 minute meal for her.
This one was based around sausages because that is what she asked for. She helped with the chopping and within about 20 minutes we were feasting on far too much lovely food. The horseradish mash was especially good, I’m definitely going to make that again.
We watched a film for a bit and then retired for the evening. At some point later we heard a shout from Biscuit as he returned from his date. I’m sure he will post about that.
The next morning The Consultant and enjoyed a relaxed lie-in, and then I gambolled off to the shop to buy blueberries, chocolate, bacon, orange juice, the Sunday papers and even a couple of glossy magazines. As you may have guessed I was in a good mood.
I returned from my successful hunter gathering and presented my spoils to The Consultant. She was pleased and we ate blueberries while flicking through magazines. She put on one of my shirts (again looking dangerously hot) and joined me in the kitchen where we had fresh blueberry muffins and crispy bacon.
At about lunch time she had to go off and meet a friend in central London. I retired back to bed.
Marriage percentage: 40% – 5 of that is just for that dress, she really is quite excellent.
* The Consultant is impressive. Really impressive, and I’m not just talking about her wardrobe.
* New York is looming in my mind, but I still want to see her more.
* I need to see what her next dress will be.
* If in doubt, have a stiff gin.
I understand that the following post may make me sound like an utter berk, but this blog isn’t about sounding good it’s about the truth and getting married.
The date on Saturday went really well and that is a bad thing.
We met up outside the cinema in the afternoon. The Consultant was wearing a dark green dress with frills on the front and black boots. Her hair was expertly ruffled with a messy fringe. She looked excellent.
I got the tickets and chocolate ice cream for us to eat while watching the film. I also had a hip-flask with whiskey in it. I’d heard that Black Swan could be quite harrowing and that we might need a stiff drink to get through it.
I was right. It was harrowing, but in an excellent way. Sort of like dating a mad person. I was utterly captivated by it, I leaped with horror a couple of times and I was gripped until the end. Also it made me want to go and see Swan Lake so that is a plus.
The hip-flask was definitely needed, the Consultant asked for it during a scene in a bathroom. If you have seen the film you will know what I mean.
After the film the Consultant suggested we go back to my house so I could show her a TV show I’d recommended. So we did that. On the way we bought supplies for gin and tonic. The house was warm and we sat on the sofa watching the show and drinking very good G’n'Ts made with fancy gin.
About two episodes in, the Consultant put her legs on my legs. Just resting there. We had more gin. She was drinking far faster than me and ended up a couple of drinks ahead. In my defence I was a little broken from the night before.
By the time the third episode had begun there was some definite if subtle stroking going on. Just a little flex of the leg to suggest that her intentions towards me might be a bit more than just watching an entire series of an American comedy together.
So took a slug of gin and I did the honourable thing. I kissed her.
She was pleased with this and there was some more kissing. Then some other stuff, and we ended up going to my room.
She asked for a glass of water, I went and got one and by the time I returned she was lying on my bed resplendent in some terribly fancy underwear. Smooth moves indeed.
I am sure you can guess how the rest of the evening went. I will only just imply that it was surprising in a good way.
The next morning I woke up before her, and slipped off to get some breakfast supplies. I returned with the Sunday papers, fresh pastries, strawberries and some light breakfast chocolates. We ate them in bed. She read the travel section I ruffled through the style pages. She was a very well-behaved house guest.
At midday I had to rush off to a film premier and so pulled on some fancy clothes and walked the Consultant to the tube. We parted with a mwah and I said we should meet up again in the week, suggesting Friday because it was my only free day. She said she would email me.
Marriage percentage: 30% – More good frocks, amazing fun on sleep-overs and her hair looked even more beguilingly messy in the morning.
I just wish I hadn’t met her just before the New York Trip. I don’t want to string her along but also I really don’t want to have another trip to America when I am at the beginning or the end of a relationship.
At the film premier I met another girl, the date had been planned for weeks, but I still felt a bit guilty meeting up with her. The film was pretty awful but the girl was nice and had an absolutely beautiful grey coat on but sadly I doubt I’ll see her again. I don’t need another nice girl in my life just before a trip to America.
Marriage percentage: 10% – Perfectly nice but awful timing.
So it seems the path to having slightly too many suitable women around is to swear off them for a bit. If only I had known this a few months ago or at least before I’d booked flights to New York.
And yes, I am aware that this whole post is basically me saying ‘My bag of gold is too heavy’ or ‘My pet dinosaur is too much fun’.
If you have the world’s tiniest violin you might want to play it a little for me.
Despite being reasonably adept at the internets I have almost never used Skype. The couple of occasions I have (and struggled with it), it’s been to someone I know to talk about robots or what is our favourite kind of laser.
Last weekend I was wasting my Saturday by lazily skimming through internet dating profiles. If you have never looked at profiles on dating sites it’s worth it just to see the variety of ways in which people try to sell themselves.
Most profiles seem to broadly fall into the following categories:
- Magnolia - Pleasant but bland girls who like ‘nights in a DVD and bottle of wine’ or ‘going out with friends’.
- Sassy – Brazen and confident girls with something provocative to say.
- Disasters – People who have sabotaged their own profile with horrendous pictures or clear indicators of personal problems.
- Bizzare – Some of these look like they’ve been written whilst drunk but all of them will make you think ‘what on earth were you trying to achive with THAT?’
I came across sultry, blonde English Rose type with an utterly bizarre profile. It was possibly the most confrontational thing I had ever seen. Seeing she was online and feeling brazen, I shot her an IM.
B: Bizarre profile
B: How’s that working out for you?
SB: Weeds out the sissy boys
Continuing in an irreverent and offhand style, we seemed to be getting on rather well. Before long we progressed, at her suggestion, to Skype chat then video chat. I did have to run around the house locating my webcam and putting more clothes on first (it wasn’t *that* kind of ‘webchat’).
Reclining on a chaise longue, cigarette in hand and resplendent in her house-coat, (sitting on on a sofa in her dressing gown with a fag) she cut a figure like a modern day Virginia Wolfe.
Talking on Skype to people you don’t actually know is exciting, it’s a bit like having a chat to the TV but having to remember not to pick your nose whilst you do it. We chatted about crappy seaside towns, drinking gin ’till you cry, India and snot. She accepted the thrown-gauntlet of drinking next time she is in town.
The last time either of us got excited after talking at length on the internet to anyone, they got stood up, as Toast did by the sexy maths teacher. With this in mind I plan to continue the casual offhandedness and not speak too much before we have a chance to speak face-to-face. Over gin.
I just need to not look too interested, or sissy, before then.
So basically, I have to not be me.
In the interest of perspective I should now add some qualifiers for readers who will not know the Dragonforce that I know.
DF is pretty much the best person I have lived with. I do not mean that she is the best for when I have a lot to do the next morning and we have a fresh bottle of gin in the house. No, she is terrible for me in those situations as we will sit up cackling whilst watching ridiculous telly or playing Rock Band FAR too loud too late at night. Those occasions are, however, lots of fun.
If there were a ‘spaz’ chart in the house then, for different reasons, we would probably be level pegging. Last night, however, was clearly and episode of ‘spaz’ on her part (earning a new giraffe sticker on the chart) but not malice of forethought. It’s pretty much how we are most of the time and it’s normally fine.
Unfortunately, booze + situation that required tact = spaz
I have revised the lesson learned to:
- Attach remote controlled electrodes to DF when we next go out so I can effect some aversion therapy in moments of ill considered comments.
This lesson has the advantage because it involves both HELPING someone and electricity. If I could just somehow involve a robot in there it would pretty much be the best lesson ever.
The Fez is coming to visit me in the wilderness. She will appear at some time after work, and will be staying for the weekend, the long weekend. This means I’m frantically cleaning everything I possibly can and re-arranging the cottage a bit so it looks like somewhere a grown-up lives.
This is more challenging then it sounds, I think ‘bloke-chic’ would be an understatement. It’s not all smoked glass and posters of sports cars but spiritually it’s pretty close.
At least I have some smashing gin now. Having smashing gin will make up for the lack of cooker or the slightly spooky ‘entirely empty room’. Yes if in doubt, get gin. That’s what I say.