London part 2 – Beware the perils of alcohol
Despite somewhat hurried preparation (caused by an almost infinite ability to faff), the first leg of the ‘Big London Trip’ started well (if 4 hours later than intended). More through serendipity than planning Toast and I met briefly for an illicit handover of baggage. Then, laden like a Sherpa on his way up Machu Picchu, I dumped the collective supplies at the hostel and took the opportunity to ‘freshen up’ before my date.
‘Freshening up’ in this instance is not the kind that I am lead to believe American women do in the restroom of a classy restaurant. This is the pre-date ‘freshen up’ when you’re basically already ready for the date and dressed an’ stuff but want to check for rogue spinach in the teeth, cocks drawn up on the forehead from sleeping on the train, make sure the barnet is appropriately coiffured etc. The final part of the F.U. is a ‘just in case’ precaution. Now, when I relayed this part of the story to Toast and chums in the pub the boys nodded with understanding and the girls looked at me somewhat incredulously with an air of slight disbelief.
Basically, to ensure no unpleasant surprises in case the date were to unexpectedly progress to sexy time, a quick wash of the old chap whilst standing at the sink creates a fresh and inviting ambience suitable for the whole family (note: not actually suitable for children or those of a fragile disposition).
The light in the en-suite bathroom was broken but there was enough illumination from the window to operate. The soap was the kind that comes in a squirty plastic bottle so a couple of quick jets into the hand and the job was done. …or it would have been had it ACTUALLY been soap and not alcohol hand sanitiser.
Top tip: alcohol hand sanitiser is not appropriate for intimate cleansing. Seriously… it’s REALLY not. The only saving grace was that no one was in the room to see my special dance whilst it all evaporated.
Preliminaries out of the way, and tissue damage inflicted, I contacted my date to finalise the location. This had been left to the last minute as it was due to be just somewhere local. I suggested that the pub under the hostel was probably the best bet as it was quietish and I bagsied a comfy sofa.
Things did not start well. In the intervening half hour, a young emo couple took up residence in the sofa opposite and started face sucking. Then the lights above the sofas were dimmed and it looked to the casual observer like I’d deliberately sat in ‘sexy corner’.
My date turned up a little late. Nothing major but it turned out that my poor knowledge of local geography had resulted in me sending her towards a tube station that was in the opposite direction. This is apparently a bad way to start a date. She was clearly slightly nonplussed that I had been a bit of a spaz but giving me a light ribbing about it seemed to ease her mood very quickly.
It took a while before conversation settled into a rhythm and we tapped into good threads of discussion. There were a couple of those moments early on where we both took a sip on our drink and looked around whimsically whilst we quickly pondered our next conversational move.
In truth I struggle to remember what she was wearing. Girls who are my friends hate me for this inability. They want to know details about pretty things to do with decorations and clothes when I tell stories but I always disappoint with a vague concept of the details they want, as though I’m recounting the tale second hand. There’s also an outside possibility that the lack of memory might also be to do with the drinks that I had with Toast later. Hmm…
I DO remember that she had quite impressive golden locks (and that I did not once mention porridge), and skinny black jeans. I also found that, whilst fairly pretty, I did not overly fancy her although I suspect the feeling was mutual!
A strange pattern that I have noticed is that I seem to attract a lot of girls that are into horses. I don’t know what this means, but when I discovered that my date had once been in pony club we were kept in light piss-taking chat for a while!
After the slightly rocky start, the date actually went ok. It was pleasant. We decamped to a neighboring restaurant when the pub turned into loud rock night (fun for dancing, no fun for discussing!). There was clearly no chemistry but the chats were easy and interesting and I reckon you can gauge a person pretty well by their taste in comedy. Alan Partridge may not be sexy but knowledge of improves dates’ standing. In summary, marriage potential: M10%.
We finished off our food and at about half 10 we said our goodbyes (and almost walked out of the restaurant without paying). I then shot off to meet Toast and chums at the pub.
…and for the record: I won the cockney-offTM.