Well, I got another date under my belt!
And it was fine! I had a good time! He was really nice and funny….well at least I think he was….
I arranged to meet him at a really lovely cafe/restaurant near Waterloo, but the bus got in early, so I went onto the South Bank for a quick stroll.
There is a Food Festival taking place over the next few weeks, and the aromas from the surrounding stalls made my stomach rumble as I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast.
Should I quickly grab something to eat just in case we decide to have alcohol?
Just as I was pondering this, some guy shouted me.
‘Hey madam! Yes, you in the stripy top, do you want to try some of this too?’
I turned to see a smiling promotions guy in a white T-shirt, surrounded by a crowd of very eager German tourists, waving a tiny cup filled with some kind of liquor at me.
I smiled back and shook my head.
‘No thanks! I’m not a scotch drinker!’
‘Ah, that’s what everyone says until they try this….’
The little cup glowed amber in the afternoon sunshine.
‘…especially when…’ he fumbles under the counter…‘eaten with this!’
And he produces a tray of good, dark chocolate with a flourish, as if it were a rabbit from a top hat.
The scotch glowed invitingly.
Oh why not? It’s Sunday! And it’s only a tiny cupful.
As I walked over to the both, a hard faced teenager grabs my wrist, takes a rubber stamp and presses into firmly onto the back of my hand.
‘What’s this for?’
The girl laughs.
‘Oh, it’s just because of lot of people try and come back for seconds and thirds and we’ll run out of stock early if we don’t do this.’
I’m a mite insulted. I know I’m a bit down on my luck but do I really look as if I can’t afford to buy myself a snifter of good whisky if and when I want to?
And now I look as if I was out clubbing last night; the oldest swinger in town.
I take the little cup and down it in one, then pop the square of chocolate into my mouth and bite into it.
He’s right, it does work.
I look down and notice that the word emblazoned in large black capitals on the back of my hand is ‘SINGLETON’.
If I were a superstitious person, I’d suspect this was some kind of curse.
I look up dismayed.
‘Oh, great! I’m going on a blind date now, with this,’ I waggle my hand in distress, ‘on the back of my hand!’
Of course they all crack up laughing, but give me another little cup of single malt by way of compensation.
Then I realise what time it is and scurry off to the meeting place, and as I rush down The Cut I’m aware that I feel slightly as if I’m walking on a cloud of marshmallow.
Since my Lenten abstinence, I’m even more of a lightweight as far as alcohol is concerned, so given that I’d just had a single malt on an empty stomach on top of my meds, it was no surprise that I came to the realisation that I was just a tiny bit pissed.
Oh well. At least I wasn’t nervous.
Even when I nearly fell off my chair when sitting down at the table after introducing myself giddily to my no doubt bemused date.
I managed to sober up a bit after he went and got me a cup of tea and some water, and we seemed to get along famously. He had an interesting job, was well travelled, we were the same age, and had loads in common, but…
I didn’t feel any chemistry.
That said, I couldn’t feel my feet either, so what did I know really….
And then he ordered us a bottle of wine.
I wanted to stop him, cry off and head for home as I was cold and had started to tire, but he looked so nervous (probably because his date was shit faced), I agreed to stay, drank about one and a half glasses of wine and ended up so tipsy he insisted on walking me to the tube afterwards.
I remember holding onto his arm for support and babbling on about fuck knows what, then thinking I’d lost my travel pass, dropping my pashmina, finding my travel pass, then going down the escalator with him.
‘I’ve had a lovely time!’ I remember trilling merrily as he smiled back nervously, then I gave him a hug and tottered off to my platform, headed for home and promptly fell fast asleep on the sofa with the cats, then woke up at 9pm wondering what the hell time it was, why my tongue felt as if I’d licked the floor of a parrots cage and what the fuck that thing was on my back of my hand.
At this rate, it may as well be a tattoo, all the luck I’m having….
PS None of those three hairy mitts are mine and are there for illustrative purposes only….
PPS I think I’m still drunk. Bedtime!