Cocktails and cockney gansters.
Following all my fretting over the potential disaster of both Noir and Elizabeth turning up to the house-warming, I had a date with Noir immediately after my completing my last post. In fact I was a lttle late because of it and had to push back the meeting slightly.
We met near to where she lives in trendy North London. With her distinctive sharply cut black fringe (and having seen photos on Facebook since we initially ‘bonded’ over Prince) I knew I would have no trouble recognising her. Thankfully I arrived first. There is no worse start to a date than rushing there all flustered and sweaty, so I am always happy to be waiting around.
I had ambivalent feelings about this date. I had very high hopes but was also torn over the whole simultaneous situation with Elizabeth. If anything I was erring slightly towards Elizabeth but really it was SUCH early days with both that it was impossible to separate them without at least a date each.
As it happened I didn’t actually immediately recognise her. Past experience of beaming gleefully at strangers as they approach, only to have them stride on past doing their best to avoid my maniacal smile, has taught me to be a little cautious when greeting new people. Also I am becoming slightly myopic as a result of wearing glasses for screen use and it’s playing havoc with my long distance facial recognition skills.
A couple of seconds after Noir sashayed into view I did overcome my creeping visual impairment and gave her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. She whisked me off to a rather dimly red lit bar that served quite delicious, if cripplingly expensive, mojitos. There was a moment where she made it clear that she was free on Saturday night (the night of the housewarming). I conspicuously avoided the topic and felt rather self conscious doing so, but I think it went ok.
Noir kept asking me to check the time. At 9.30 she asked “are you hungry?”.
I am always hungry.
Finishing the last of drinks (which must have been made from unicorn tears they were so pricey), she lead me around the corner to a magnificent pizza/Italian restaurant. It had obviously been converted from something much more industrial and had bare wooden floors, big open spaces populated by a number of long communal tables and a lot of exposed brickwork.
Having not lived in London for very long I don’t really know many good venues for wining and dining so I usually end up groping around for somewhere suitable and just hoping that it isn’t ‘swingers’ night’ (or VERY loud metal night as happened on one date).
With mojitos in our bellies and food on the table the conversation really loosened up. She told me an engrossing story of naively slipping into the trusted circle of some London gangsters when she was much younger, like something from Get Carter, only to be whisked out by her dad once he realised what was happening!
I wasn’t sure whether I still fancied her when we met outside the station. So much chemistry can be down to the jollity and atmosphere of a night out (and the social ‘lubrication’ of a nice G&T) that no matter how well you get on, it’s really hard to tell how much was a product of the moment. Sat there listening to her stories and embarrassing her with memories of things she’d said to me the other night, I found I did rather fancy her.
She walked me back to the station where we said our goodbyes. There was a couple of minutes of kissing then I negotiated my way home (via the unfamiliar night-bus network as I had missed the last train).
Had I known I was going to miss my train I would have left a little earlier but I did not really mind too much as the date had been worth it.
Marriage Percentage: 30%. I have learned to be cautious until I have had the chance to meet for a few dates but this was promising. Although I still felt rather duplicitous as I had a date with Elizabeth lined up within the next week too.
Maybe this kind of behaviour wouldn’t raise an eyebrow across the pond but I am British, and therefore perpetually guilty that I am not courting my (imaginary) childhood sweetheart with a summer picnic serving cucumber sandwiches on a gingham blanket in a buttercup meadow.
Although knowing me I would probably pitch it on sheep’s poo.