Blue Soup

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CC Image courtesy of irucko on Flickr

I see it as a sign of maturity that this year I haven’t invited any romantic prospects to my birthday.

And I see it as a sign of immaturity that I felt the need to share this information with all my close friends.

‘There’s still time,’ Lucy says, in response to my triumphant text.

Perky is more specific. ‘Why don’t you invite that guy?’

I’ve just finished telling her about The Man In Turquoise.

Only Beatrice affirms my decision.

‘Good,’ she says.

‘Yes,’ I say, while wondering how on earth I’m going to find the motivation to make canapés for twenty strictly platonic friends.

Homemade Gorgonzola and Caramelized Onion Canapé

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2013: The High (and Low) Lights

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CC Image courtesy of hoangnt on FlickrFor me, the best part of blogging, aside from writing the wretched stuff, is hearing that someone enjoyed a post.  So today, because I figured I deserve a holiday, I’m posting the best bits of 2013 according to you, my beloved (and for many of you I mean that quite literally – be worried) readers.


First up is Bright Star, a favourite of James’, in which I explain to Toby why I like Joe’s flatmate

‘He’s funny,’ I say.

Or rather he thinks I’m funny, which is much more important.

A grilling from Sandwich comes a close second.

‘I thought you were great friends.’

He actually said great chums, but it wouldn’t do to alienate readers.


Glossing over the surprised tone with which he said it, Flatmate pronounced No Sex and the City to be ‘quite witty’:

‘He doesn’t believe in sex before marriage,’ I say.

‘Oh God.’

‘He’s kinda the problem.’

CC Image courtesy of knowhimonline on Flickr

New Initiative made Lucy laugh out loud, twice:

Beatrice is Tinder-happy…

When they can spell, even if not attractive, I continyue writing.’

And learning to spell, presumably.

… whilst MBE is feeling increasingly cynical about the whole thing.

I’m bored of openers like ‘How are you?’ (bored), ‘Any exciting plans for the weekend?’ (no, I prefer boring plans), ‘what are up to this evening?’ (I’m not going to sleep with you just because we live three miles apart) – and the rest.


A compliment from my harshest critic always makes my day.  My mother’s top 3 for the year:

Story of My Life, in which Beatrice and I join stalking forces.

Flatmate gives me a dose of reality On The Couch.


Love Poetry, in which I fancy a gay man.  Like you’ve never done the same thing.


So there you have it.  Written (fittingly) proof that this writer is neurotic, needy, insecure, and in dire need of validation and praise.  And that’s just the writing.

CC Image courtesy of PRINCESS THEATER - Raising the Curtain on Flickr

Say When

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‘It’s annoying because – all my friends who’ve really liked one of their guy friends…’

Clare, Lucy, others whose names don’t immediately spring to mind.

‘… they all ended up with them eventually!’

Beatrice shrugs.  ‘Maybe it’s not eventually yet.’


That’s nice.

When’s eventually?




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Sexual Content

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Sex: How to do Everything is open on my lap when I notice my phone flashing red: a new message.  It’s probably Rachel telling me she’s been held up at work, which is annoying, but at least I’ve got something good to read in the meantime.

‘What do you think?’ Editor says.

I tear my eyes away from ‘Flirting’, a.k.a. ‘how to get to the point where sex might actually happen’.

‘Yeah it’s good,’ I say.  ‘And even the pictures are decent – well, you know what I mean…’

His phone rings; I go back to flirting.  Which reminds me: Rachel’s text.

Rachel has to be the most proficient flirt I know.  Many’s the time I’ve been with her in a bar or pub and watched transfixed as she works a circle of men: the kind of men I’d say this, or this to, before wishing a large rock would fall out of the sky and put me out of my misery.  I sometimes think about asking her for a few tips.  I probably will.  And I might, if I’m feeling generous, share them with you.

I reach for the phone, and open the message.  My face breaks into a smile.

It’s not Rachel.  It’s from a guy who also knows a thing or two about flirting.

We met about a year ago, and I liked him immediately.  With friends and interests in common, we continued to see other fairly regularly, though always in company.  Earlier this year I went to a party I knew he’d be at with the express intention of finding out if my feelings were reciprocated – as one does.  And, based on his behaviour, decided that no they were not.

Then the next time we meet, he compliments me, the bastard, and asks me for two dances in a row which even a novice reader of Austen knows is a no-no unless you have serious designs on someone; and so the merry cycle begins again.  And it is merry, in a way, because we’re now at the point in our ‘friendship’ where I’m completely transparent about my feelings for him.  When I see him, my face lights up.  Last time I almost ran over and hugged the guy, but settled instead for grinning from ear to ear and kissing him on both cheeks.

I scan the text.  My smile broadens.  It’s an invitation to see a film, just the two of us.  Finally, time alone with the guy in a darkened room.  Who knows what might happen?

I reply, saying I’d love to come, then turn back to the book.  I skip ‘Conversation’ and ‘Eye Contact’ – limited opportunity for both in a cinema – and jump straight to ‘Physical Contact’.

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Wouldn’t Work

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‘He talks about you all the time!’CC Image courtesy of Sandy Austin on Flickr

I bite my tongue and look down at the menu.  Charlotte’s not to know that I am kind of sick of hearing this!  I decide against ordering a sandwich. 

In such situations, I find it’s helpful to remind yourself why you and the other person would not work. 

Toby, for instance, thinks it’s OK to name children after weather patterns. 

Joe was disappointed to discover I had gone to private school, but not to Pony Club.  Huh?

Freddie.  Now, Freddie is a social animal.  He’ll talk to anyone, about anything, for any length of time.  It’s very annoying when you’re in a hurry.  He’s universally popular, which is just annoying.  He’s dependable, and loyal, the kind of guy you’d turn to in a crisis… moving on.  He says things to me like ‘you don’t enjoy anything!’, and ‘you’re never impressed!’.  For the record, what he means is that I need to lower my expectations and chill out a bit more.  So he knows me too well.  He’s basically like a brother to me – and you shouldn’t bang your brother.

CC Image courtesy of rolands.lakis on Flickr