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Things Toast has learned about The Theatre Producer

August 8, 2011 3 comments


The Theatre Producer and I have been going out for nearly a couple of months now. Here is what I have learned so far.

  • She really likes cucumbers.
  • She makes incredibly good sandwiches.
  • And good gin and tonics, but seriously that sandwich was amazing.
  • She doesn’t like the film Dune as much as I do. Although I do admit it is a bit weird, that’s why I like it.
  • I get up earlier than her, but she is happy for me to go off and make her brioche while she sleeps.
  • She is better at shooty computer  games than Biscuit.
  • Spiders are not her friends, even photographs of them.
  • If I need her to be quiet I should make her banana bread, a cup of good coffee (black, no sugar) and put on the West Wing 0r Game of Thrones.
  • She has a lot of shoes, almost none of them are sensible.
  • Because of her job, if you watch a show on the telly with her she will know someone in it. I always find this a bit exciting.
  • Chocolate buttons are her breakfast chocolate of choice.
  • She is very nice

When the Theatre Producer Met Jen

June 30, 2011 1 comment


Biscuit has some posts that are almost ready to go up but he is a little busy so I’m going post some stuff and the he will do a catch-up post.

It was the first weekend of the Theatre Producer and I being an item so you know, I wanted it to be good. Also Jen was going be around so it would be the first time since the challenge had started that both Biscuit and I had girlfriends at the same time.

Yes, we’ve never managed it before.

On the Saturday the Theatre Producer went to a wedding, Jen and Biscuit were out drinking so I had the entire day to clean the house and get things ready. What actually happened is that I watched most of season 3 of the Wire and I did one wash but forgot to put it out to dry.

The Theatre Producer was going to come around after the wedding so she was going to appear at around 10-ish slightly sozzled and in a fancy frock. This is a good way to arrive.

I used the time waiting for her to arrive to watch another episode of the Wire and to cook some oat biscuits (cookies).

Yes, I’ll make someone a lovely housewife some day.

She arrived rather sober, but luckily I had put together a puzzle for her.

It consisted of, a glass, ice-cubes,  Hendricks gin, tonic water and a cucumber. She soon solved the puzzle and we got to enjoy a lovely gin and tonic.

After a few hours of chatting and catching up, we retired to my bedroom. Before we could even discuss who was getting which side of the bed a quite drunk Biscuit and an absolutely mashed Jen appeared.

They weren’t being stealthy and seemed in an excellent mood so we went downstairs to say hello. The first ever hello between the two girls was quite boozy and happened on the stairs.

It went well because soon we were all sat in the garden drinking more gin or in Jen’s case half a bottle of rum. We stayed outside chatting about stuff until it started to get light again and then everyone went to bed. Well almost everyone. Jen wanted to sleep in the garden but I’ll leave that story for Biscuit to tell.

A good Sunday

The next morning I woke up ages before the Theatre Producer. She definitely wanted to sleep longer so I set some brioche to rise and went for a run, when I returned she was still asleep but Biscuit and Jen were awake. Jen was feeling a bit sorry for herself. Biscuit made her drunk some of his special make-hangovers-go-away drink and then sent her off to bed.

It was a really hot day so we had decided to treat our ladies with a BBQ. Biscuit and I went to the shops and got loads of food and loads of booze.

When we returned Biscuit fired up the BBQ and I got the brioche out of the oven. The Theatre Producer appeared and we ate fresh brioche with posh jam. Jen appeared too,  she and the Theatre Producer were both wearing long floaty summer dresses.

After the brioche we put some chairs out in the garden and then spent the rest of the afternoon in the sun eating too much and drinking. It was an excellent way to spend a day, even the naughty pigeons who spent the whole time fighting in the tree couldn’t spoil it.

In the evening The Theatre Producer and I had a dance-off. I won, but she showed promise. I pulled together a bag of stuff and we went back to her place for the night.

We ate salad while watching Flight of the Conchords. I felt like such a grown-up.

She really is terribly nice.

Marriage Percentage: 57%

And the winner is…

September 21, 2013 2 comments
home-made wedding rings

Our actual, real life wedding rings (we made them).


(Although since this is the end, is it really a spoiler?)

In 2010, two people who could be charitably described as morons started a blog. The blog was based around a frankly stupid bet to see who could get married first. Real life married. There were rules, but it took them a while to work out what they would be.

What followed was a catalogue of errors, mishaps, foolish endeavours (If you are new to the blog. Get a cup of tea, and then start at the beginning) and quite a lot of dates.

The berks even went to America to meet ladies but in the end the both found love a lot closer to home. One way of looking at it is that both of them won because they both grew-up and found the perfect person for them.

But that’s not entirely correct because Toast won the bet. In your face, Biscuit of 2010.

The Big Day for Toast

The Theatre Producer and I had decided to keep things as casual and calm as possible in the run up to the wedding. Even with a strict, ‘no getting stressed’ policy things got a bit fraught towards the end. We’d both had very little sleep because we’d been doing things in the evenings.

Fun things like making our rings, having intensive dance lessons for our first dance and making other wedding related flim-flam, but were both extremely tired.

We’d had a flurry of last-minute ideas for the wedding which required careful designing of crosswords, pouring things into tiny bottles or coming up with an interesting conversation starting fact about every single guest. Neither of us managed to to sleep before 2am for a week before.

On wedding-eve TP went to her parents house. I stayed at our home, enjoying my final night as a single chap with my brother.

We drank cider and ate dirty fried chicken while watching telly. There was a plan to go the pub but a footballery match was on so the local pub was all shouty.

Off to the wedding

The next day I woke up reasonably early and forced my brother to go for a run with me. I like running, he’s not 100% on-board with it, but understands it’s a thing he has to do with me.

After only a small amount of grumbling we set off, stomping through monsoon style rain to Regent’s Park and back. Chatting occasionally but mostly wheezing. The final section was limped but we managed it. As a reward for our good work we went for a posh brunch and ate a lot of bacon.

Once we’d cooled off a bit we got changed, washed, and bundled up all the things we’d need for the wedding (suits, shoes, ties, tie-pins and various other bits and bobs) before headed to Waterloo to get the train.

We arrived at the station ten minutes before our train left but the queues were huge and full of people who couldn’t understand how ticket machines work. Luckily at the station we bumped into a few of the wedding guests who were in a very jolly mood.

One of the guests decided to skip the ticket queue by loudly declaring that I was going to miss my wedding if I didn’t get a ticket right this minute. People smiled and stood aside to let her buy tickets for all of us. I felt like a king, a slightly sheepish one but thanks to the wedding guest’s actions we did get on the train in time.

On the train the guests and my brother drank booze while I fidgeted and told myself off for not having written my speech yet.

When we arrived everyone disappeared off to their hotels to change. My brother scampered off to his hotel to get into his suit and I sat down and finally wrote out my speech.

I had a good few jokes already worked out but I’ve was struggling with sentimentality. It makes me uncomfortable so I tend to go for silly instead. Most of my time spent hunched over the little desk in the room was spent trying to put feelings into the speech. I sort of managed it in the end.

My brother appeared sooner than I expected. I had to jump into my suit and we got a lift off MyLoveLifeInYourHands to the venue.

It was at this point that it felt real. Not just a blog. Not just a silly idea, but real. There were people there, and a really big room to put them in.

There was only a brief moment to chat to official types and make sure the people doing readings had their notes before I had to go and stand at the front of a room with my back to everyone. My bother and MyLoveLifeInYourHands were stood next to me in coordinating suits for moral support.

The rest of the venue was packed out with our friends and relatives. The room rumbled with the sound of 130 people trying to be as quiet as possible while they waited for the music to start.

Of course someone’s phone went off, with a comedy ringtone.

The long pause

We were waiting for a while. TP was late, but there was also a minor issue with the music for her to walk in with. Biscuit couldn’t get it to play. After some swearing and a bit of hitting the grumpy sound system sprang into life and started honking out the appropriate tunes.

The doors opened and The Theatre Producer walked in looking amazing. Only I didn’t know this because the photographer had told me to not turn around and look so I could only hear sighs and the soft rustle as she approached the front of the room.

It was only then that I noticed the beautiful medieval tapestries lining the room were actually depicting a pig being slaughtered. How romantic!

After what felt like forever, I was finally given clearance to look at TP. Only she wasn’t TP any more, she was the person who was about to become my wife.

The ceremony was short but perfect. If you cut all the religious nonsense out of the way it’s a fairly simple job of repeating some lines and then signing a book. It was lightly spiced with three excellent readings. I’ll put the links to them here.

There was a lot of giggling, because the situation was so strange. The Theatre Producer and I do many interesting things together, but one of them is not solemnly look at each other, holding hands and loudly declare things.

We managed it with only the absolute minimum of giggling and everyone cheered. There was even a kiss.

After the ceremony we walked out and people blew loads of bubbles. Confetti was banned at the venue so we went with bubbles instead. Bubbles worked.

The guests finally got to have a drink and TP and I posed for a range of pictures. Some sensible (various mixes of family and ushers/bridesmaids) and the silly, including a couple posing with axes and one where TP was being a bridezilla chasing the entire wedding party. I can’t wait to see that shot.

While this was happening the guests milled around the gardens drinking cocktails, eating ice-cream and playing some extremely aggressive games of croquet.

The Party

The next stage lovely meal with all my favourite people in a room. We’d spent hours, no days working on the table settings.

People were carefully sat next to strangers, ones we were sure would become firm friends and whole tables were designed to have a good mix of interesting types. During the meal I didn’t sit down much and instead walked from table to table catching up with people, some of whom I don’t get to see very often.

It was lovely, but also a little strange because you don’t really get to talk to anyone for very long. Just flit around having snatched conversations.

It may be your wedding, but it some ways it feels like you’re not really there.

After the meal were the speeches, which were all excellent, short and extremely funny.

People had been briefed that bad speeches would be interrupted with a klaxon. They all performed brilliantly, mine went okay. I wasn’t that stressed about it, the thing I really feared was the first dance. I was terrified of the first dance.

Foxtrot time

I hate the awkward shuffle of the traditional first dance, so TP and I had got dance lessons. 5 hours of dance lessons, we’d learned the foxtrot.

Our instructor was forgiving and seem pleased with our progress but I was terrified of messing up the steps.To make things worse, TP’s dress was considerably larger than the one we’d practised with. It kept pushing me away.

We managed it though, even the fancy moves we’d requested in a fit of overconfidence and while I don’t think we would have won a dancing contest we would have been comfortably mid-pack, in the beginners section, of a small seaside town, where people don’t dance, and the judges are drunk, and short-sighted and we’ve bribed them.

Now that dance out of the way I could relax a bit more and catch up with old friends over drinks and observe the construction of the least impressive bomb I think I’ve ever seen. It was made out of party poppers so it didn’t have much to go on but I don’t think there is much a future in fireworks for the people who made it. Still it kept them amused for a few hours.

There was a lot more dancing. Dance cards were supplied for every guest and people were enjoying filling them out. Everyone seemed to have lovely time, apart from the people organising the ceilidh who had to physically herd people around the dance floor. Everyone was very enthusiastic but not very competent.

The end

At about midnight the party stopped, or at least paused.

The venue closed. We got a car back to our honeymoon suite but the rest of the gang got a bus to their hotel and bravely partied on until at least 4.30am. Including a final burst of champagne when a minimum spend was needed at the last-minute and one guest splashed out on a few bottles to get the bar tab high enough.

The next day most of the party joined us for a bacon-based brunch and to re-cap what happened the night before. This was the time when most people signed the guest book, they’d been too smashed the night before. We also spent some time examining the photos and trying to piece together events from the last 12 hours.

All in all it was an excellent day. 10/10, A+, Would recommend to friends.

Lessons learned (over the course of the whole blog)

  • If you want to meet someone right you have to meet a lot of people, like loads, and go on many dates.
  • Even if those dates don’t work out, you’ll make lots of friends.
  • Complete strangers will help you out with stuff if it’s in the name of marriage.
  • Internet dating is the normal now.
  • But everyone pretends on dates that they are new to it and they’re just trying it out because a friend insisted they do.
  • If I make a bet with someone, I’m going to win it.
  • Writing a blog really can change your life.

The home stretch

August 18, 2013 Leave a comment


Suits have been cut, dresses ordered and wines have been tasted. The venues are booked, we’ve got the RSVP cards back and today we are sorting out the seating plan.

This wedding is flipping happening.

There are now less than three weeks to go before – unless Biscuit does something surprising* or The Theatre Producer runs away to join the Navy** – I win the bet.

How we got here

We started over three years ago, with a contest to see who could get married first that was sort of a foolish jape, but it has got a bit out of hand.

If you look at the first page of posts you can see we only had a vague idea of the rules and neither of us was really in a very strong position to actually get married. We’d both had a string of disastrous relationships up till that point.

Lesson learned

It was a silly idea, but it was also quite a good way of tricking ourselves into leaving that man-child space and growing up a bit. I suppose that’s the lesson I’m taking from all this.

To quote the immortal Mary Poppins, ‘In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun, find the fun and *snap* the jobs a game.’

Just don’t tell TP I referred to getting married to her as a ‘job that must be done.’ She might get a bit stabby.

*This wouldn’t be entirely out of character for him.

**Less likely because TP hates running.

In which is turns out Toast is rather unwell but still intends to win the wager

July 3, 2013 8 comments


Okay, this is unexpected, and outside the bounds of what we normally cover on the blog, but it turns out I’m not very well.

I live a pretty healthy life, I’ve never smoked, I eat green things all the time and I don’t drink that much any more (Although long term readers will know that there have been incidents involving booze in the past).

Since I’m doing health stuff I joined a gym near work. As part of the sign up they check your blood pressure before they let you use the gym.

Mine was high. Not just slightly elevated but outside of the range of what would be normal for a human, or even Marlon Brando in is later years.

It was more than double what it should be. The lady at the gym made a face (One I’d see a lot over the next few weeks) and then told me I had to see my GP before I could use the gym.

I arranged an appointment and then sort of rationalised the atomic blood pressure in my head by justifying it an an side effect of the day I’d had.

I’d had to run to the gym appointment and I’d not slept well the night before and I’d stuffed a sugary snack into my face instead of a real lunch.

The medical stuff begins

I went to the doctor expecting him to tell me to drink less coffee and relax a bit. He took my blood pressure and made the face. Then he made me sit outside for half an hour (to make me calm down) and then took my blood pressure again. It was still incredibly high (even higher because I was feeling stressed).

The GP got a second opinion, the consultant made an even worse face and I was sent to A&E.

I should point out didn’t feel unwell in the slightest, unlike the other people in A&E. With nothing else to do I patiently sat around reading a book while I waited for a doctor to see me. They took my blood pressure, made more faces and then disappeared again.

I had my blood taken and had to pee into a little container. It turns out doctors (and nurses) are obsessed with wee. I don’t want to show off but I’m pretty good at weeing in bottles now.

I was examined a bit more, had an ultrasound and was told I was going to be staying in hospital while they observed me. They’d found blood in my wee which wasn’t a good sign.

After a bit of begging I was allowed to go home and pick up some more books and a phone charger and then returned to the ward. I was immediately put on a drip for something and ordered to collect all my wee for 24 hours. I managed to fill up two massive containers with it, which we made me feel really proud in a special sort of way.


Doing time

Hospital isn’t as much fun as the Carry On Films or Scrubs make it look. For a start there is no WiFi and the telephone signal is terrible so you’re sort of stranded. There isn’t much privacy either, just a curtains.

Everyone else on my ward was ill, like properly ill. I felt like a fraud because I didn’t feel unwell in the slightest. Well I had sore arms and hands from all the blood tests but that was it.

It was like when I used to bunk off school with an unconvincing cough and watch telly all day, but without Thundercats and the maternally supplied pizzas.

The staff at the hospital were excellent, but since doctors don’t work weekends I was just hanging around (collecting wee) while they waited to see if the drugs they had given me were starting to work. They didn’t, so I got more drugs and some injections that had to go into my belly.

Apparently the belly bit was really important but it made me giggle every time.

Get busy living or get busy dying

After a while I sort of settled into hospital life. The day starts early with breakfast and there are a lot of tea breaks but apart from that there isn’t much to do. A load of friends visited me and brought me fruit which was lovely. They didn’t serve any fruit on the ward and almost no vegetables.

I think I would have got scurvy without the care packages. It was also nice to talk to someone I knew and who wouldn’t talk to me in a loud voice just in case I was deaf.

My chums also brought a lot of chocolate which I didn’t eat that much of because I felt I should maintain the pretence of being a bit ill even if I didn’t feel it. Instead I used it to bribe the nurses.

It was remarkably effective, I was upgraded to the executive room for the latter half of my stay which was larger than the flat I live in and had two seating areas.

I could held high-powered meetings there, if I hadn’t been in slippers and a backless robe that revealed my bum.

It was nice, but at this point I’d been in hospital enough thank you very much.I was trying to work out elaborate escape plans to get out and experience fresh air and food that wasn’t beige.


Eventually a very nice doctor told me something was up with my kidneys and that they wanted to take a bit of one of them for further testing.

I was sent home with a bag full of drugs and told to report back in a couple of days. As bonus homework they wanted me to collect my wee for another 24 hours.

This meant I had to smuggle bottles of wee into work and fill them on the sly without people asking questions why I was taking what looked like petrol containers  into the bathroom.

I would say it was a mixed success. I didn’t get sacked but people think I’m a bit mad now.

Carry on Doctor

Return to hospital

The second hospital stay was shorter but more dramatic. I turned up. Pissed in more bottles and got more blood taken and then was told to lie in a bed and wait. A new doctor appeared and explained how he was going to stab me in the kidneys to take a bit.

I was carted off into a room, put under a local anaesthetic and stabbed twice. It was over really fast and was relatively painless, everyone was very good at their jobs.

Then I had to lie down completely still for 4 hours. This was very boring and hard to do with TP making stupid jokes that made me laugh. Laughing hurt. I tried to fight needing to go to the loo for as long as I could but, eventually I had two do it into a special bottle between my legs.

This was even more challenging than normal weeing in bottles because I wasn’t allowed to sit up and I could hear two people next door talking about their best lunch.

I sent TP off to find some biscuits and set to work. I managed it, like a pro, by closing my eyes and pretending I was a spy. A wee spy who needed to pee quietly into a bottle thing to stop a missile going off. I had to do it quietly because otherwise the stereotypical baddies (with AK47s obvs) would hear me.

After the four hours I was allowed to tilt the top of my bed up a little which felt like a huge treat, a few hours after that I was sent home.

Standing was not easy. The doctor said I would feel like I’d been kicked in the back and that’s what it did feel like. But more like being kicked by a horse. I was sent home with orders of bed rest and no jumping around or dancing for a week.

This was fine but I had a wedding on the weekend. The wedding was lovely but while running to get the train I strained something and started bleeding again which meant on the hottest day of the year I had to keep my jacket on to stop it looking like I’d been shot. Doctor_Cyberman

I’m mostly healed from my kidney stabbing now, but not really sure what this all means. I won’t find out the results of the tests for  a few weeks so I’m going to stay on a mixture of drugs for a while, possibly the rest of my life.

Even given that, I’m still not going to get Biscuit win. The wedding is only a couple of months away. I’m sure I can make that.

Wedding Suits

March 4, 2013 2 comments


Wedding suits are a thing, as in a thing that people think about. Okay fret about. People fret about them because they are important clothes.

I asked chums for advice on where to get suits and picked out a place from a list they recommended. It was a cool looking place that had just started doing suits, they looked beautiful on their website and the shop had a nice name.

Suits you sir

It was my first experience of a suit fitting and I was impressed before I walked in the shop. For a start the suit place had a sword in the window, an actual sword. Just hanging out and being awesome.

There were also a few guns to play with (decommissioned guns, but guns all the same) and for posing with. The walls were lined with pictures of cool vintage dudes with moustaches doing vintage things like standing by horses. It was sort of like the house I shared with Biscuit but more grown-up and on a bigger budget (their swords weren’t plastic).

The men in the shop were terribly nice and we spent a lot of time talking about jackets, cloth and My Fair Lady. Then we discussed pockets and looked at little patches of cloth in funny books. I got really excited by some brightly coloured materials until they politely pointed out that they were linings and not for making suits out of. Drat.

After a bit of chat we went downstairs and I was measured for the suit. It was very discreet, the man left the room any time I had to put on the test trousers and the bit where they could touch your junk didn’t really happen. I mean there was some measuring there but it was over so fast and it didn’t get invasive.

Once they had all the numbers I got back into my boring clothes and we arranged another visit on Wednesday so the Theatre Producer could give her feedback on colours and stuff. I texted her for suggestions about if there was an official colour, she said, ‘pirates.’

It was only after I’d left that I realised there had been no mention of cost. Not even a hint. This is never a good sign. I checked the website. Still no prices. That was even worse.

The best things in life are free, apart from suits

It took a few Google searches before I found out the price range of the suits. They are pricey, not just expensive, but the sort of cost where reading it makes your knees go a bit wobbly. Even if I sold all the kidneys I have I still wouldn’t be able to cover the costs.

I can’t afford it. So now I have to think of an excuse as to why I can’t get a suit from those lovely chaps. I’ve only just met them but I don’t want to disappoint them because they are so cool. Here the best ones I have so far:

  •  The Theatre Producer has been lost at sea, so the wedding is off. I simply I won’t need the suit any more, but this may lead them to suggest a funeral suit.
  • We’re having a naturist wedding. A nude one, not one with loads of trees.
  • I was so inspired by their work I’ve decided to take up tailoring and make my own suit.
  • My great-aunt has insisted that I use the family tailor, so I must. This only works as long as I leave before they can ask any questions.
  • I have amnesia.

Other suggestions are welcome.

Engagement achieved

September 7, 2012 9 comments


So I’m engaged now. I went to Paris and I proposed the SHIT OUT OF The Theatre Producer.

Here is what happened.

We were staying in a ridiculous hotel in Paris. Think a stately home plonked in the middle of the 16th (The posh bit of Paris).

TP had booked the room so that in included a ‘free upgrade’ which resulted in us having a ‘junior suite’ that was larger than our flat. I’ve not stayed in that many rooms with conservatories before but I am now a fan.

We dropped off our bags and went on a walking tour of Paris. It was a beautiful day, really sunny and we set off along the streets doing a long lap of the sights. I was a little quiet during this period because I was thinking about stuff.

Not regrets or anything just considering the enormity of what I was about to do. This would be the point when what started as a silly bet crossed into being an incredibly serious thing with legal implications. It’s a lot to take in. I was glad I had time to process it a bit rather than being on the end of a question.

The set up

When we got back to the hotel room we were both really tired (we’d walked miles) BUT I had a plan. So I suggested we have a quick drink in the gardens before retiring for a nap. Well demanded it.

TP wasn’t exactly pro this idea, okay lets be honest, she thought I’d gone insane and demanded to know why I was being so cruel to her by forcing her to put on a nice dress and some lipstick.

We went down stairs to the garden (with a bit of grumbling from TP about how tired she was) and I asked TP to pick a nice spot for a photo.

She wanted to just sit down but I was insistent that we had a seat with ‘good framing’. Again she’d thought I’d gone mad which wasn’t helped by the fact I had my bag with me for no real reason (real reason: holding a ring).

Once we were sat down I went off to buy some wine. I ordered two glasses of champagne and explained in pigeon-French how I was about to propose and how I’d like the waiter to take lots of photos.

The teenage waiter was so surprised when I started mentioning le proposal pour la marriage that he made the champagne he was opening explode everywhere and had to clean it up.

While he was cleaning that up I had time to quickly phone TP’s dad to ask permission. I got through to him and was so excited by me calling that he just wanted to have a lovely chat about PPI and India. I had to fight to speak and get the request in. He approved and I dashed back to the bar to pick up the waiter.

The proposal

We sat down and clinked our glasses for the camera but it didn’t work.

TP said ‘Oh never mind we can do it some other time, to which I replied, ‘NO WE MUST HAVE PHOTOS’.

She thought I’d properly gone mad now. She fixed the camera and dutifully posed for the photos. The waiter carried on taking pictures and TP only got a little suspicious.

Then I started the talk. I had been toying with the idea of doing a silly proposal but a friend had said that was a bad idea. So I instead I said how happy TP makes me and how much I like her, stuff like that. She looked at me very strangely and thought I’d caught too much sun.

Then I popped on one knee and pulled out the ring. POW. Only then did she realise what was going on.

She said ‘yes, of course’ and did a little cry, sort of ignoring the ring I had held out until I prompted her to open the box.

Then we drank more champagne and she looked at the ring a lot. We also texted a picture to Biscuit of the ring and called him a loser.

She then said,’Well now we’ve got to plan a wedding’

And I said, ‘Oh blimes, I hadn’t thought of that’.

Proposal success rating 100%

Forethought of what this means (apart from a life together being happy): 0%.

Spending too much on pointless rocks

August 16, 2012 Leave a comment


I finally met up with the art dealer’s friend who is a diamond dealer. It was in a tiny little office tucked away above a shop in London’s diamond district.

He gave me sparkling water and then talked to me about diamonds. I showed him the picture of a ring I’d had recommended by a friend.

We talked for a long time while I sipped my bubbly water. He talked about diamond clarities, cuts, the benefits of different materials over time and trends. It was a 15 minute talk about everything you need to know about diamonds.

Then he started talking about the ring making process, consultation and all that. Apparently it would take weeks. That doesn’t work for me because we’re going to Paris in a few days.

He almost flinched when I suggested I’d probably need something faster and nearly vomited when I talked about my budget (his suggested range was more half a year’s pay).

It was a bit awkward. Then he said he’d help pick a good one from an antique shop and we tried to work out The Theatre Producer’s size of finger.

Sub note: When you start going out with a girl her shoe size, ring size and dress size should ‘unlock’ on her Facebook page so you have the information to hand when buying gifts.

I’d managed to work out that my little finger was roughly the same size as The Theatre Producer’s ringer finger so we used that as a guide (even though that’s basically nonsense).

I was in the tiny office, sat in a chair while this diamond dealer put a range of hoops on my little finger. The room was completely silent apart from when he’d mutter something like, ‘let’s try half a size up’.

It felt weird, and sort of like cheating.

Afterwards I went back to the office with no idea what I was going to for rings, and amazed that anyone could afford to get married, ever.

Stress percentage: 60%

Categories: Adventures in Dating

The End Game begins

August 5, 2012 3 comments


These posts will be posted after the event but they will be composed in real time. Erm, look just read it will make sense.

The Theatre Producer and I have been going out for a year now, shockingly that makes her one of my longest relationships. We are very happy, properly ‘oh my god they are insufferable’ happy.

However this blog isn’t about happiness. It’s about winning and for that reason (And not because I think she’d make me happy for the rest of my life*) it’s time to lock that shit down and propose. Yeah baby, marriage percentages just got real.

There are three stages to any good proposal. Fathers, Rings and Locking That Shit Down.

Talking to Daddy

This is the permission asking bit. I can’t see it will be a huge problem but it does have some issues I need to overcome.

  • I don’t have TP’s dad’s phone number, I’m not sure how I can ask for it. Maybe I can feign an interest in a sport or something.
  • He might not be very discrete, so I’m going to have to ask him at the last possible moment. So just as things are getting romantic I need to dash off and make a call. She’s going to love that.
  • He might say no. A minor point. I’m not sure what the rules on this are, do I have to defeat him in a duel or just give him three pig and a wagon of turnips?

Finger Bling

Rings are fraught, they are fraught because the people who work in advertising for Tiffany’s are dicks and I hate them. We are made to believe that getting the wrong ring is just as bad as cheating on them. That aside my main issue is sizing. Not of rock, but of the ring. I don’t even know my own shirt size so I’m not sure how I can find out TP’s ring size without her getting suspicious.
Here are the methods of finding out her ring size I’ve worked out so far.
  • Trick her into poking a hole in something with her ring finger. Something like cheese or an avocado. Freeze said item and then take that to the jewellers.
  • While she is sleeping make a cast of her hand with Plaster of Paris. Make a fake rubber hand from the cast and take that for sizing. If the fake hand is also robotic, award self extra points.
  • Find a female friend with hands like hers, take them to jewellers. Spend a lot of time explaining that the friend is just a stand-in.
  • While holding hands wrap my hand around her ring finger to get the size of it. Then run off to jewellers without moving hand in the slightest. Like you do when you’re trying to work out if shelves will fit in a room and you don’t have a measuring tape.
Also she definitely told me that her favourite gem was either sapphires or emeralds, but I can’t remember which one. I am the worst boyfriend ever.
I’m going to ask her a series of green vs blue focused questions to see if I can work out the answer

Locking that shit down

The first step in this is not calling it ‘Locking that shit down’. That’s going to get me in trouble. The next thing is working out what to say. Should I do jokes? What about pretending I just found the ring on the floor? If I get it wrong will she punch me?
How long should the talk be? If she cries is that good? If she doesn’t cry is that also good?
It’s pretty stressful. Girls have it easy.

*Joke, please don’t stab/break-up with/divorce me (delete as appropriate)

Bathroom dangers

May 24, 2012 3 comments


A few days ago was the anniversary of the first kiss with The Theatre Producer, which means those nine sambucas I bought turned out to actually be a pretty sound investment. We’re still living together in what could be best described as ‘annoyingly happy’. I even I find us faintly hard to deal with.

Here is what I’ve learned about living together so far.

  • We both have too many shoes. Between us we have shoes for five people. Five people who have a lot of shoes.
  • According to TP if I’d mentioned I’d make breakfast every morning (poached eggs) she would have asked me to move in ages ago.
  • We will never reach an accord over the correct way to set up a computer game controller (I know that inverting the y-axis is an abomination, she doesn’t understand).
  • TP has the best washing machine ever. It’s like using a space computer. The dishwasher still scares me, but I’m working through that slowly.
  • I’m not ready for the TV show Girls, I can appreciate it’s very good it’s just not for me. When TP watches it I put on Adventure Time or draw pictures of dinosaurs.
  • Girls have lots of strange products in the bathroom. MEN FOLK DO NOT TOUCH. I have a ‘friend’ who tried using a moisturiser for the first time and he ended up brown because he didn’t read it had a tanning agent in it.
  • That ‘friend’ also got in trouble for turning the pillows brown while he slept
  • And he looked very stupid
  • Tanning stuff should have warnings on it. In Big Letters.
Categories: Adventures in Dating