The wonders of the world wide web

This entry is slightly different from previous ones (no, I haven’t found a man – don’t get too excited) but hopefully you will find it funny. On Monday I was approached, via the joys of facebook, by a delightful person claiming to be called Allen Snow (that’s apparently him on the left). Now I don’t know whether he’s called Allen Snow, whether he is looking for love or whether he’s actually just a spambot but this is the message he sent me:

Allen Snow 08 November at 13:21 Report
if you could hear the language of the birds then you will hear them singing a love song for you,if you could comunicate with the animal,you will discover their natural love for you cos you appear godly and innocent in our eyes,i love your pics and i adore your profile,i was searching for my friends when i discovered you in face book,i want you to know that you have just been discovered by a man that will truely love and pet you,pls add me. so we can chat and know each other better,i am a gentle hearted man with a soft heart,i am caring honest with good sence of humour,i love music and dancing,i also love playing sport,i am a single man working in my own private business as an oil contractor,i practice is a sole propietor business,i employ workers when there is contract,presently am transacting business with the british government and also selling crude oil to the arabia government,i am an international business man and i traveled to so many countries for business,i want to expand my business.
i have been in a relationship twice and have not been lucky in finding my perfect match,i used to love completely with faithful loyal and honest to my wife,i love kids and wish to build a very succesful family.my exwife slept with my best friend so that lead to our break up.i also got involve with a canadian woman i met here on face book some times last year december,i bought a house for her and establish a business for her but unknownly to me she was married and she lied to me,so when i travelled to ontario to see her then i knew she has been lieing to me all this while.
i am an orphan with no parent,my whole family had a plane crash and i lost my twin sister and brothers to that accident,i was the only surviving child,i was very lucky that faithful day because i refuse travelling with my family because i wanted to go on adventure with my uncle who is a scientist.i cried everyday when ever i think about the lost of my family,i have promise my self to respect life,i have love and dream to have my own family with kids so i can regain my family lost,since am the only child,i need to get married and build a new family entirely with my new wife.
i will enjoy a family with wife and kids,i hate divorce and i promise my self never to divorce,i want to meet you now and stay with you forever so we can build a better and happy life together,i want you to know how much i can love you so you can feel the passion of my true and sincere love,pls dont let true love pass you bye.
i care about you and i prayed to GOD everyday to bring us together and i solemly swear by GOD that i will never forsake you because have never hurt any one before and i want you to know am the man you can trust and give your heart to in love and marriage.i care.thanks for reading my heart felt love.pls add me on allensnow70@yahoo.com
An orphan? Conned by a Canadian? Uncle’s a scientist? He wants to pet me?! – That really is quite an assortment of claims! I wasn’t quite sure how to reply to this stranger so I consulted with some friends and, after a lot of oil based puns and suggestions of trying to fight with him for my honour, my witty friend Tim came up with the following response:
‘Dearest Allan,
Thank you for your heartfelt and romantic message. It made my heart flutter when I read your compliments and cry when I read about your plight as an orphan.
You have worked so hard since such a young age and I can see that you are a successful and amazing man. Your honesty, integrity and generosity is apparent throughout your message. I am so sorry to hear about the break up of your marriage and the deceit you suffered at the hands of the Canadian. I can assure you that I am an honest, loyal and dependent woman. I won’t ask you for homes, or cars or fancy gifts, merely your honesty and your love.
However, we cannot be together, for a tragic has too struck my family that means me and you can never be “us”.
At Christmas 2002, my family and I were celebrating the season in a most joyous manner. Laughter bounced off the white ground and sing in the bitter air.
We frolicked as my family and I constructed our annual Christmas Snowman and this year we planned making it our grandest yet.
Once we had constructed such a magnificent thing my family emplored me to photograph them to record the event for the rest of time.
As they posed beneath the mighty snow man, a group of drunk robins slammed into the ice-cold giant creating an earth shuddering slam. The top two-thirds of the snowman crashed down and buried my parents, my 6 brothers, 2 nieces, a couple of cats, and I think we had a goat too. They sadly perished beneath the sheer weight of that ice-cold avalanche. Their bodies were never found. To this very day, in the build up to Christmas, my heart feels heavy and as the weather turns cold, my fears grow. To this very day I can never leave the house when it is snowing. And indeed have developed a deep fear of it.
Therefore, I cannot be your wife.
I cannot be Mrs Snow.
 
So, I sent that and promptly got this response:

AFTER YEARS OF WAITING AND SEARCHING FOR MY MRS.RIGHT TO SHARE MY LOVE
WITH,IT IS IN YOU DARLING THAT I FOUND ALL THE
INGREDIENT THAT WANTED FOR MY LOVE,MY LOVE I DONT MEAN TO FLATTER YOU,
YOU ARE THE ONE I LOOK UP TO APART FROM GOD OUR CREATOR.HOW PRETY YOU ARE MY DARLING ANGEL.
OH,HOW CHARMING YOU ARE,ALL MY MALE FRIENDS CONFESS IT,
YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD AND THAT A ENOUGH REASON FOR
ME TO LOVE YOU AND SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH YOU,
THIS QUALITIES MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER WOMEN.
I CHOSE YOU BECAUSE I DISCOVER A REAL PERSONALITY AND A CARING SOUL THAT IS GOOD.
I NDEED MY LONG WAITED PAID ME FOR MRS.RIGHT
,YOU AS MY LIFE PARTNER WILL BE THE JOY TO MY SOUL.YOUR LOVED ONE,OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL GIFT,
I MUST CONFESS TODAY SINCE I SAW YOU ON THIS DATING SITE,
I HAVE BEEN FINDING OUT ABOUT YOU EVERY MINUTES OF THE HOUR,
I HAVE BEEN STUDYING YOU AS ONE OF MY SUBJECTS.DARLING,I HAVE WAITED LONG ENOUGH,EVERY DAY AND NIGHT I HAVE BEEN DREAMING OF YOU,I CANT WAIT ANY LONGER FOR THIS TO PASS ME BY.I STRONGLY BELIEVES THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR ME TO MEET YOU FACE TO FACE AND SAY THIS THREE WORDS TO YOU.
I L O V E YOU
AM TRUELY HIGH INLOVE WITH YOU,I HOPE THE RESPOND WILL BE POSITIVE.
BABY I HOPE YOU WONT LET ME DOWN COS MY LOVE FOR YOU WILL NEVER END,
I WILL SURELY DO WHAT I SAID ONCE AGAIN I SAY,MY LOVE FOR YOU WILL NEVER DIE.
IN MY HEART YOU RE STILL THE ONE THERE IS A SPECIAL PLACE FOR YOU IN MY HEART WHICH NO ONE CAN TAKE,
THIS IS A MOMENT OF TRUTH AND LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD…..
IF THE TRUTH BE TOLD THEN I MUST ADMIT THAT YOUR GOLDEN QUALITIES ARE THE EXACT MATCH
TO MY LOVE ASPIRATION,MY LOVE SHOULD BE UNFEIGGNED.THEN OUR LOVE SHOULD SERVE AS EXAMPLE
OF WHAT AN I IDEAL LOVE SHOULD BE,THEN IF MY HEART SHOULD BE UNVEILED,YOU SHALL SEE YOUR SPECAIL
POSITION IN MY HEART WHICH NO ONE SHOULD SNATCH FROM YOU BECAUSE YOU RE VERY SPECIAL.
SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY SHALL FOLLOW YOU ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE,
YOU LIVE SUCH A GENERIOUS AND ENVIABLE LIFE AND YOU SHOW CONCERN TOWARDS THE PROBLEMS AND
NEEDS OF OTHERS,IT IS NOT BECAUSE YOU POSSES ALL THE WEALTH OF THE WORLD BUT BECAUSE YOU CARE.
AND THIS TIME ARROUND YOU HAVE EXTENDED YOUR USSUAL KINDNESS TO ME.
WORDS MAY NOT BE ENOUGH TO CONVEY MY GRATITUDE BUT SURELY OUR GOD WILL RICHLY BLESS
YOU AND REWARD YOU FOR YOUR MAGNANIMITY.THANKS ALOT AFTER YEARS OF WAITING AND SEARCHIN I
FOUND MY SELF A TRUE LOVE.

The combination of the capitals, the very full on insistent tone, appalling grammar and spelling, and this photo that my friend Ellen found made me think that perhaps he wasn’t the man for me so I have now reported and blocked him. Oh the wonders of the interent, it really can be quite amusing! 

No likey, no call backy

Right, this is getting bad – even Take Me Out don’t want me! As I mentioned in my last entry, upon reaching October and still being single I had decided to resort to my back-up plan – applying to go on ITV’s Saturday night dating show, Take Me Out. A few days after I applied the production company got in touch and invited me to go to an audition in Manchester. So, across the Pennines I headed with expectations of tangoed, screechy co-auditionees and cringeworthy questions. For all my talk of not really being bothered about getting on the show, I was actually quite nervous about it all and went to a fair amount of effort to look nice – I tried to go for a classy but casual look in a caramel leather skirt, peach silk top and coral coloured accessories. In my head I kept telling myself that it really didn’t matter how things went because the likelihood of me finding my ideal man through Take Me Out was extremely slim but at the same time I was worried that they wouldn’t like me, I’d make an idiot of myself or that I’d be rejected. I also had a vague, and very unrealistic hope, that if I got on the show it would be filmed at the same location as X Factor and I could meet my X Factor crush, Aiden!

The whole affair got off to a bad start when I left my phone at work and then had to queue for so long for train tickets that I missed my train and had to get a later one which left me rushing around Manchester station like a loon. Once I arrived my fears were soon allayed though as the first girl I met was friendly, chatty and we seemed to have a fair amount in common – she shared the same dark and shameful childhood obsession with Westlife’s Shane Filan! I think that was the thing that surprised me most, aside from one crazy middle-aged Canadian lady all the girls were normal people who I’d happily go for a drink for. I don’t know whether it was because I went to the 6pm after-work audition so everyone there was employed or whether the producers are trying to make these series a bit classier  but there was very little fake tan or candy lip gloss to be seen.

The format of the audition was quite simple, they gave us a quick brief on the show and the changes they have made (Fernando’s is no more, the dates will be foreign hols). It turns out that they film an episode a day for three weeks so it is quite a big commitment, although they do put you up in a flash hotel and pay for all your meals.

We then each had to do a short piece to camera explaining what who we were, our interests, why we wanted to be on the show etc and then answer a few questions about ourselves and our taste in men. I think it was at this stage I realised that I wouldn’t get on the show because there were a few girls who the judges seemed to really warm to. Also, I don’t know whether they have recruited a troop load of dwarves as the male contestants but they I got the impression they were very keen to find some women who like small men which as you know height is one of the factors that matter to me.

We then played a quick round of Take Me Out using video clips of a guy and we had mock lights which we had to switch off when we lost interest in him and then give witty and light-hearted answers about why we’d kept our lights on or turned them off. There was 10 of us at the audition and only one person (crazy Canadian) switched off her light after the first stage where we shown a photo of the guy and heard his intro music (Madonna’s Celebrate). I am pretty sure that very few of us were attracted to him but as we were all keen to seem eager and open minded so everyone reeled off lines about how he seemed a fun guy who we could see ourselves celebrating with. They then showed us an intro video about him in which he told us that he was studying drama at uni, that he was very rarely on time for meeting people and that he took quite a long time to get ready based on that everyone switched off their lights amidst comments of “I’m too much of a drama queen, I can’t deal with a man being the dramatic one” and “If a guy can’t be on time for me he’s not worthy of my time”. So, the poor man was sent packing dateless. We were also sent home as our universal rejection of him marked the end of the audition. We were told that we would hear from the team in the following few days if we were shortlisted and that was a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t heard anything so it seems I am not destined to be taken out. I wasn’t massively surprised or disappointed because there were other girls who seemed to want it a lot more than me. I had previously worried I’d feel gutted if I was rejected in favour of Jordanesque tangerine dream but because all of the girls were so lovely I don’t think there’s any shame in losing out to them. Also, if I had got on I wouldn’t have been able to write it all as you have to keep it all secret whilst you’re taking part.

This week it will be my birthday and whilst in an ideal world I wouldn’t be turning 25 and still be single but I have lots of friends who are making the effort to travel to my house for my celebrations and share my day with me so I know I’ll still have a great time. I think the only coupley element that I’ll really miss on my birthday will be at the very start of the day when it would be nice to wake up next to someone, open my presents in bed and have breakfast made for me but I am sure I can fend for myself and make my own bacon sarnie.

My Man of the Moment right now is Aiden Grimshaw, one of the contestants on X Factor. He may be 18 and a bit gawky but I absolutely love his style, voice and general demeanour – plus I’d challenge any girl not to go a bit weak at the knees when watching his bootcamp audition. My housemate and I are thoroughly Team Danni, as indicated by our Fridge of Fitties (left), so I also have a bit of a crush on Matt – I’m not picky, would happily date either him or Aiden!
Anyway, that’s all for now x x x

The quest continues

So, I’ll cut to the chase and tell you straight away that I have plunged to new depths and applied for ITV desperado show Take Me Out. Yep that’s right, the programme that I joked about in my first blog entry and considered to be the very last option – it has got that bad. For those of you who have not seen this televisual feast I’ll give you a basic summary. There are 30 single women who are all dolled up and screechy and are standing at a podium which is lit up. A rather confident and show offy man is then inserted into this lion’s den of oestrogen. The man is then put through three rounds of questioning, video exposes and performances which are meant to give the girls an insight into his life. At each stage the women are given the chance to switch off their lights if they see something about the man they do not like. Once he been quizzed, shown off his unique talents and had his friends / family reveal his darkest secrets to the nation he is then able to choose which of the remaining lit up girls he would like to take out to the infamous Fernando’s – a rather tacky looking bar in Manchester. All of this is compered by the ‘witty’ Paddy McGuiness in front of a studio audience who act as if they’re attending some sort of bear baiting.
You have probably sensed that I don’t hold the show in the highest of regard. It’s not that I hate the show, it is great guilty Saturday night viewing, but the reason it is successful is because it allows viewers to laugh at a situation that is far removed from their lives. If I went on it would be at the very centre of my life and I imagine I wouldn’t feel like laughing then. When I put on facebook that I was thinking of applying the comments ranged from “Hahahahahahaha” to “How many had you drunk when you decided to do that?!”
I guess I’m also worried that I won’t get picked, it’s disappointing enough being turned down when it’s just in a club but for it to happen on primetime TV would be mortifyingly embarrassing. If last year’s series is anything to go by then I’m probably not the sort of girl that the male contestants would go for either as it seems to be the stereotypical busty brunettes or waif thin blondes that the guys went for. I remember there was a stunning petite Asian girl called Daisy who was repeatedly overlooked despite her clearly being the most charismatic and beautiful lady on the show; if she struggles to be chosen then I dread to think how I’d get on!

Of course there’s the possibility that I may not even get as far as the auditions. I imagine I’m not the typical sort of girl that usually applies, for example on the application form it asks for strange habits or talents – I’m guessing they don’t have many people writing about their ability to fit 37 Malteasers in their mouth at once or how they have an irrational fear of earthquakes. Ah well, we’ll see what happens. If this one doesn’t work out I can apply for Dinner Date, another ITV programme, in which people have to cook for prospective partners and try to win them over with their food, that one would probably be playing to my strengths a bit more.

You might well be wondering why I’ve reached the point where I’ve resorted to asking ITV to find me a date, I think the bottom line is I’m running out of ideas. I signed up to go speed dating twice but then both events got cancelled due to lack of men – story of my life! I also went on a girls night out with my only single female friend. We met a lovely group of guys but unfortunately the one who took my fancy scarpered whilst my friend is now seeing her man which means I have no-one to go on more singles nights with! I have started taking Spanish lessons but the only attractive man in my class is there with his girlfriend so my dreams of practising my Spanish oral with a sexy gent have gone kaput. My only remaining hope lies with a guy on mysinglefriend who sounds ideal for me, hopefully one of my friends will add me to that soon and I can message him.  I’ve even tentatively rejoined Match but I haven’t paid this time and I imagine I’ll be off it again by the time you’ve read this blog!

The other reason why I’m upping the ante with trying to find a guy is to try and ward off loneliness. In my previous post I spoke about the great group of friends that I am lucky enough to have and how they sometimes make me forget that I’m single, sadly three of them are moving away from Sheffield in the next month and another two will most likely be gone by the start of 2011. The two of the three who are leaving this month are people I have been extremely close to for nigh on five years, we’ve gone through a lot together and they probably know me better than anyone else so their departures will leave a gaping hole that will be extremely difficult to fill. I am certain that even the perfect guy could not compensate for their absences but if I were to have a boyfriend it would make it easier to bear and take my mind off things. Oh well, life changes and as today’s title states, the quest continues.

In terms of this entry’s Man of the Moment it would probably have to be Edd Kimber who was the winner of the Great British Bake Off. Any guy who can look that good whilst cooking up mouth watering dark chocolate and ginger tarts or banana toffee cakes certainly gets my vote – plus he seemed utterly lovely, as illustrated by his blog. There are a few X Factor contestants who could have the potential to take my fancy too but I’ll leave those for another entry.

Night night x x x

The skint and still single spinster

Good day one and all, I hope you’re well.

It appears that this blog not only provides you guys with cheap laughter at my expense but it also acts as a kick up the bum for me. Upon re-reading my last entry, in which I whinged about how desperate I was getting, I realised that, rather than sitting in every Saturday night waiting for Mr Perfect to stroll through my back door, pronounce his love for me and beckon in the direction of my bedroom, I  should probably be more pro-active and go out and put my head above the parapet. So, with that in mind I’ve had full nights out twice in the last two weeks and have made a real effort to get glammed up and be the best polished and eager me that I can be.

Night number one was with my friend Julie who I know through work, she has a long term boyfriend and we always have raucous fun when we go out. I had decided to channel the 50s in both my outfit and hairstyle so, by my standards, I was feeling quite confident and dolled up. It was a rather hectic night as we met in a cocktail bar, had one there before going to a friend’s house party and then headed on to meet Jules’s boyfriend and some of his mates to go to a club. As soon as we reached the club I realised that I’ve actually broken free of my extremely strict ‘type’, I am now able to look beyond just tall, slim, indieish brunette men, and as a result the club was teeming with men I found attractive. Right, so now there were some guys I wanted to approach it was just a matter of overcoming the paralysing nerves – easier said than done! Jules kept spurring me on so I decided to have a trial run and chat to a friendly looking man at the bar, we had a nice little conversation and seemed to get on fairly well but I fear I bored him as he just wandered off towards the end without so much as a good bye. I felt slightly pertubed after that and was starting to think about leaving when I spied an exquisite man; he was very well dressed (very dapper and Rat Pack-esque with braces, side parted hair and Buddy Holly style glasses), was singing along to all my favourite songs and he seemed to be making his friends laughed – in summary, he was a very daunting goal to aim for! As soon as I so much as gestured in his direction to Jules she was dead set on helping me talk to him so she dragged me over towards him and his friends to dance. Suddenly out of nowhere Jules disappeared and I was left on my lonesome, dancing with fit man and his friends and I did not have a clue what to say – it is amazing how the most confident women can clam up when faced with a great guy, my friend Debs suffered the same fate recently and wrote about it here. I had to same something though, I couldn’t just keep dancing like a loon and sneaking sideways glances at my Buddy alike so, because I’m not good at flirty small talk and don’t see the point in playing games, I cut straight to the chase and told him that we’d come over because he had caught my eye and I was intrigued by him – I know it’s not the best opening but it was words spoken in the direction of an attractive man and that, for me, is as monumental an achievement as reaching Base Camp on Everest!  Unfortunately, my female-Casanova impression was met with the following: “Oh this is typical, I have been single for ages but I’ve just started seeing someone, sorry. I could if I would.” So, there you have it, two steps forward in approaching someone I thought I’d like and talking to them but one step back in being rejected.

The Saturday just gone I had a reunion with four of the girls I lived with at university which always promised to be a bit of a messy and gossip filled affair. There are nine girls within my uni friendship group and out of the nine of us we have a very wide range of relationships; one of us is engaged, another has been with her boyfriend since 2004, six of them live with their boyfriends, two of the girls are in fairly new relationships and there’s one singleton – me. I am delighted that the other girls are happy and settled and love hearing all about their romantic tales, but at times it can be quite difficult being the only single one. It is frustrating that when everyone else is sharing stories about their love lives I have very little to add to the pot, especially since the life of a 20-something single girl is supposed to be full of glamorous dates and being fought over by several men – or at least that’s what Hollywood would have you believe. Anyway, enough of the whinging because I had a brilliant weekend. We went out on the Saturday evening and as well as spotting Ken Doherty I also noticed once again that there were a lot of good looking guys around so it certainly seems that my tastes are broadening, either that or Sheffield has suddenly become a Mecca for very fit men! Because we were on a girls night, and everywhere was pretty rammed, I didn’t approach anyone but it’s reassuring to know that there are at least some options around for the next time I get a rush of courage.

I read this article the other day about the cost of being single because as well as the loneliness and celibacy it seems that flying solo also means that you’ll end up penniless; and I’m not just talking about the Tory tax-breaks for couples. I’m not sure if I believe that it’s quite as bad as they make out, I am definitely not as badly off as the man in the story, but I do think that not having a partner can be a bit pricey at times. I am extremely lucky because although I am the sole person on the mortgage and all of the bills come out of my account I have a truly fantastic housemate who, as well as providing great company, helps me bear the financial burden of singledom. She splits the bills with me and pays rent, and whilst it isn’t half the cost of my mortgage it pays a substantial part of it. We also often share food and when I do have leftovers I find ways to use them or stick them in the freezer so I don’t suffer food waste that they claim comes as a result of economies of scale. The points that resonate the most with me are those about the costs of leisure stuff like holidays and eating out. Being single limits your travel options immediately because you either need to travel alone (a little daunting for a young woman) or impose yourself on understanding friends (the option I take – cheers Dave). And, even once you’ve found yourself a holiday, there are the hidden costs such as room supplements, limitations on the deals you can get on flights etc and it makes baggage allowance more difficult because you can’t do the old ‘one as hand luggage, one in the hold then we’ll split the cost’ trick. Restaurants can be tricky as well because there are so many 241 deals around that you can’t make the most of if you’re alone and then if you go in a group you often end up being the odd one who unbalances the bill. I can’t really complain about that factor personally though because my lovely friends always insist on splitting the bill evenly between us all even though they could have got 241.One of the points they don’t mention is the freebie gifts that being in a couple bring. For example, I bumped into one of my male friends the other day and he had just bought his girlfriend a handbag that she had seen and really liked but decided to leave as an exercise in self-restraint; if you’re single and see something you like it’s a case of buying it, leaving it or putting it on the Christmas list. I guess that said it works two ways and being single means I don’t have to pay for gifts for a partner, in a way that makes me extra sad though because I love buying people prezzies so I wouldn’t care about the cost of doing that at all. I think on the whole I agree with the article, being single can get pricey but I cannot claim to be too affected by the single tax too much though because I have great friends and a supertastic housemate who ensure I don’t feel the pinch too much.

I’ve now written over 1,500 words so for fear of boring you I will stop my waffling aside from to give you my man of the moment. I’ve taken a bold step and branched out a little (ie they’re not Spanish and they don’t play sport!). This blog’s theme is English actors who have broken into the mainstream. So first up we have the rugged and manly Tom Hardy who, as a result of some collaging by my housemate, is currently adorning our fridge – you wouldn’t believe what a pick-me-up his rough masculinity is in the morning! The other guy who is making my summer a lot more hot is the fantastically named Benedict Cumberbatch who you will probably know better as Sherlock Holmes. I never thought I’d have a crush on a man who has portrayed Van Gough and Stephen Hawking but there you go. He has that intelligent but quirky English gent look about him and on top of that he claims to look a bit like Shergar so maybe it’s my love of racehorses that attracts me to him!

Until next time x x x

Desperate? Moi?

OK, so being single in summer doesn’t normally bother me that much. You’ve probably worked out by now that I don’t particularly enjoy being single at any time of year but normally in summer it is not so big a deal for me. I think the combination of long days spent outdoors with friends, great sport on the TV and the chance to enjoy some sunshine usually makes the time pass quicker so I don’t really have the chance to dwell on the fact that I’m on my tod; but for some reason the combination is not working this year. Despite us having glorious weather, the best Wimbledon in my living memory and an exciting World Cup I seem to be feeling more single than ever – and, as a result of that, I am becoming increasingly desperate.

Right, so desperate act number 1: Almost going on a date with a random Nigerian man who latched onto me in the street.
At the time this didn’t seem that desperate – he appeared to be a nice enough guy (we had a lovely long conversation about the World Cup), he was fairly good looking and he had a cool name (Prince – not the artist formerly known as or anything like that, just Prince). When I really think it through though I keep coming to the conclusion that the temptation was driven solely by my determination to find a man-friend rather than because I actually liked him. This was a man who I had never met before, who kept asking when we would meet again, invited me to go to Africa with him and then repeatedly asked me what time I walk to work in the morning so that he could meet me and walk in with me each day. I would never ever normally even consider a guy like that (I did my stranger danger course when at first school so I am well aware of the risks of strange men, particularly ones that want to take you to foreign countries) yet for some reason I found myself giving him my mobile number and agreeing to meet up some time. This whole situation was made a lot worse by the fact I had an upset tummy and all I wanted to do was run home as fast as I could. Prince then texted me the next day telling me that he’d thought about me all night long and that he had to see me again soon; by this point my tummy was better, I had slept on the whole situation and consulted a few friends and realised that this was a case of desperation rather than desire so I texted him back explaining that it was probably best if we didn’t meet again. I know some people are probably reading this and thinking, he was just being friendly, it’s just a case of different cultures, but I don’t think I even fancied him.

Desperate act number 2: Playing the damsel in distress with the lothario bouncer of my favourite bar
Bit of background to this one – my housemate and I have a bar that we go to often in town and every time we  go there are always the same two bouncers working, Barry and Robert (who may also be called David, we’re not entirely sure – for the purposes of this blog I’ll stick to Robert). Anyway, quite a while back my housemate decided that we should give Robert the Spanish Inquisition… in the rain… whilst we were both very drunk. To cut a long story short whilst she bombarded Robert with questions I chatted to Barry, who alleged that he played for Togo’s U21 back in the day, and we ended up exchanging numbers – it would have been rude not too, he’d given us a free umbrella and let us pretend to be bouncers and check people’s ID; giving him my number was the least I could do. Barry called me that same evening but by that point I’d sobered up and realised that I didn’t fancy him in the least. A few weeks down the line we discovered that Barry was a notorious Casanova who gives his number to all and sundry and had a different girl most weeks (nothing like making a girl feel special aye Bazza?!). Anyway, fast forward to a fortnight ago and my housemate and I were out again in the same bar and we were being hassled by an extremely odd group of guys with large hair. I, for some reason unknown to most sane members of mankind, decided that the perfect solution to this quandary was to text Barry and get him to be our knight in shining armour. He promptly replied asking if we were in his bar and then 10 minutes later he strolled in, caught my eye and winked at me (the weird boys had already left at this point). I then went into a massive panic as I once again sobered up, realised that I wasn’t in the least bit attracted to Barry but that added to that there was now also the problem that he thought we had placed him on some kind of heroic pedestal. This then led to us playing a rather hysterical, and now I think about it ridiculous, game of cat and mouse with him where we tried to hide in a rather small bar from a very big man. We eventually escaped whilst he was busy throwing some men out but it once again left me with the question ‘Why the fuck do I get myself into these situations?’ The answer once again, desperation.

Desperate act number three: trying to track a fit man down through an internet forum
This is probably the act that smacks most of desperation, in fact it would be fair to say it reeks desperation from every pore. On the same night that my housemate and I played cat and mouse with Barry we also discovered a very tall, and in my opinion very attractive, man. He was in a cocktail bar that I occasionally go to and what made me notice him was that he was extremely tall; we’re talking about 6’7 or 6’8. He was dressed quite indieish, was blonde and had a lovely smile. I really wanted to go up and chat to him and my housemate kept suggesting conversation starters or little lines I could say but I just could not get up the courage. Part of the reason I couldn’t muster the courage was because a quite scary woman was circling him and kept asking to have her photo taken with him – a few people have suggested this might have been because he was Peter Crouch, he definitely wasn’t Crouchy he was just so tall it was worth photographing. The woman was probably late 20s / early 30s, was dressed all in white in combats and a wife beater vest and had been dancing all on her own like an utter lunatic for a good 10 minutes. By this point in the evening I’d had a few drinks and probably could have overcome the standard blind terror that envelops me when faced with chatting to a fit guy, if it wasn’t for the fact that if I wanted to approach him I would also have to face the gauntlet of the White Witch – I envisaged having to compete in some mad dance off in order to get to Tall Man. So I bottled it, left the bar and then spent a good three days thinking about Tall Man and ruing my cowardice. I then somehow got it into my head that the solution to me chickening out was via the world wide web, and not just any part of the world wide web but specifically on the home of all things a bit odd and Sheffield based – Sheffield Forum. (For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting Sheffield Forum it is a website on which people talk, debate and insult one another in numerous posts ranging from “What’s the best restaurant in Sheffield?” to “Has your child come home with an axe today?” It can be helpful at times but often it is full of slightly bored and unfunny wind up merchants / whingers.) Anyway, I went on the Forum and posted a message asking if anyone knew who Tall Man was – I know the chances of anyone identifying a guy from a description of ‘very tall with mid-length blonde hair and a green checked shirt’ are pretty slim but at the time it seemed like a good idea. Anyway, I received quite a lot of responses, some of which were helpful and suggested people it might be and others which were useless and consisted of ‘why would you want to go out with a tall man?’ I also received a couple of private messages offering me dates but have decided to give these a miss. Unfortunately none of them were the right guy. It did make me think though, what is my life coming to if at the age of 24 I am using internet forums to try and track down men who I have fleetingly glanced in bars. The whole experience has made me realise that I really need to stop being such a scaredy cat, bite the bullet and get up the guts to chat to people I fancy rather than running away and confiding in the internet!

As a result of this chain of desperate encounters I have decided to take definitive action and, you guessed it, join a dating site! One of my friends suggested My Single Friend to me and, since it could well be the only internet dating site left that I haven’t tried, I’m going to give it a go – my mate Jen is going to write my profile soon. I have had a quick look on it and there’s quite a few promising guys on there. That said, when I entered my preferred age, location etc the first match who popped up was Kelis the Milkshake Kid (remember him?! I keep seeing him around at the moment) so there’s obviously a fairly limited pool of single men aged 20-30 who are willing to use internet dating sites! Anyway, I am going to remain positive so keep your fingers crossed for me. I’ve also got speed dating next month so hopefully one of these two will prove productive. I’ll keep you updated.

Much love, El Desperado x x x

P.S. Oooh, just remembered that I said I’d keep you updated on my celeb crushes. Aside from Rafa who continues who is retaining his place in my heart, the current man of the moment is this fellow – Gerard Pique. World Cup winner, very masculine and stylish; essentially everything a girl could want. There’s one other guy who’s caught my attention lately too and that is Alejandro Canizares who is a Spanish golfer. It would seem that I am developing a very specific and limited type; world class Spanish sports stars. I’m not sure how many of them I’ll find on My Single Friend but I’ll keep practising my Spanish just in case! x x x

Back to square one

 It seems that I’m starting every entry with an apology for my neglect of  the blog but hopefully this will be the last time I do that. After many years of ferocious rows, explosions of abuse and hissy fits (on both sides) my lump-of-junk laptop and I finally parted ways six weeks ago. It appears that it felt my demands (for it to load in less than 45 minutes and then not freeze every time I load a new page) were far too great so the old laptizzy gave me the ultimate cold shoulder and blue screen of deathed me. I did consider taking it to the menders but due to some mishaps in the past (anyone for having teenage boys and a work contact see some questionable photos of you?!) I decided to just lay it to rest. As a result of this I was without a trusty steed for quite a while but thanks to a pretty good evening’s betting at the horses last week I am now in possession of a beautiful shiny new laptop. So, hopefully this new companion will allow me to blog more quickly and therefore more often.

So anyway, onto today’s blog. The title of the blog kind of says it all – I’m back to square one on the romance front. Basically, after going to the races a few times with fit-but-unobtainable guy from work I realised that I actually didn’t fancy him that much. He is a lovely guy and whilst we do have some similar interests in other ways we are polar opposites and, it became obvious, that actually we have the ability to rub one another up the wrong way. It was because of several little things, that to other people probably seem utterly trivial but to me were massive grating points, that I went off him. For example I am passionate about good food; I love discovering new ingredients, cooking for friends and enjoying a carefully prepared meal in a restaurant. I have spent a lot of the last week attending local food festival events, watching the Great British Menu and generally revelling in all the great culinary delights that Britain has to offer. I also love travelling and one of my favourite parts of going abroad is experiencing the culture, history and most importantly the cuisine that each country has to offer. Taking all of this into consideration you can probably understand why someone saying “Ah yeah, when we went to Spain we went to MacDonalds for almost every meal. I love burgers” would be a turn off for me on par with a man wearing socks for sex.
It may sound snobby but I’m also attracted to people who take an interest in current affairs, read often and have quite broad and ambitious horizons and none of these were there either.  Of course, there was the whole him having a girlfriend issue as well! Looking back on it I probably did the typical me thing of thinking ‘Ooooh, there’s a new guy who is quite attractive and seemingly fits my potential man date criteria’ and blinkering out any qualities that weren’t quite right. It’s lucky that I have an uncompromising love of food otherwise I could have been hung up on him for a long while! So, in summary I’m over fit-but-unobtainable guy now. Which leaves me with the dilemma of ‘if I don’t fancy him then who do I like?’

 I know there are a lot of girls, and guys in fairness, who can’t bear to be single and will go out with or sleep with totally inappropriate people just so that they are not alone. And whilst I am not like that (you can’t have that attitude and be single for over two years!) I do have a habit of needing someone to fancy; I am a major daydreamer and you can’t escape into a fantasy world without having a crush to play the leading man and I would defy anyone to listen to certain songs or watch certain TV shows / films without relating the romantic elements to a specific person. As a result of this I tend to feel a bit all at sea if I don’t fancy anyone because it means there’s a gaping void in my imagination, therefore if there’s no-one in my immediate life who I have taken a liking too I tend to turn to the celebrity world to fulfil the fantasy man role – this habit has led to me having a rather significant list of past celeb-crushes and doing slightly odd things as a result of my infatuations (nothing illegal, just a tad silly!).  So, since I’m no longer pining for fit-but-unobtainable guy, my mind has turned to famous men who are even-more-fit-but-even-more-unobtainable and due to the lack of romantic encounters I have to tell you about I figured I’d share some of my crushes with you.

OK, as I said I have an extremely comprehensive back catalogue of well-known lustings so for now I’m going to limit the rundown to my three most recent ones.

  1. Right, first up is this gent, David Laws (Lib Dem MP and former cabinet member). Before you chip in with the inevitable let me explain myself; my crush for him existed before the expenses scandal came out and I am now well aware of that I possess the wrong chromosomes to set his heart fluttering (not the first time I have fallen at this hurdle – Stephen Gately took prime spot on my bedroom wall for a while). And to think, I thought the biggest obstacles to us getting together was that we live at opposite ends of the country and he’s a tad short for me! I still maintain though that if he was straight he would be a legitimate secret crush; he’s extremely intelligent, well respected and shares a lot of my political beliefs. Also, he has a certain dignity and air of sophistication about him plus I need a man who can make cuts in my out of control spending.
  2. Next up is the gloriously Glee-ful Will Schuester (amazing teacher and all round lovely man in the very entertaining TV show Glee). I should probably state now that it is the actual character Will that I fancy, not the guy who plays him. I know I’m not alone in this one so I don’t think I need to justify my reasoning quite so much here but I’ll give you a quick run-down of his qualities that tickle my tootsies. First off, aside from my brief flirtation with Stringer Bell from The Wire, I almost always go for the good guy, I’m a sucker for polite, caring,  chivalrous men. Reason two, he has a habit of making fairly innocuous songs ridiculously hot – case in question, his turn as Jean Valjean. And finally, M’Lord, let me present this piece of video evidence  – any girl who doesn’t swoon a little at that is just plain odd in my opinion.
  3. And last but by no means least, a topical one whose just won the French Open for the fifth time. The rather impressive , but slightly NWS,  Rafael Nadal (World Number 1 tennis player, clay court king and brooding sexy Spaniard). I had a bit of a debate with a colleague around this one as she claims he’s a B.O.B.F.O.C. – body off Baywatch, face off Crimewatch –  a suggestion which I wholeheartedly disagree with. I am a big sports fan in general but tennis has always been my real passion, I think it has all the elements that a great sport should have (drama, extremely skillful competitors, excellence at both single and team level and  extremely fast paced) and since the age of 14 or 15 there has almost always been a tennis player in my top 5 but Rafa is a fairly recent addition to the crush-list. I’ve always admired him as a truly spectacular player who exudes an amazing intensity, competitiveness and deepset desire but it is only recently that  he’s pushed his way into my affections. It was after I read a fairly lengthy interview with him in which he was extremely generous in his praise for other players and very modest that I realised just how appealing he is (refer to point 1 for Mr Schuester).  Also, he answered a question that I sent him via his blog in The Times (and yes, before you say anything, it was definitely him who responded) which is a sure fire way to get into my good books. Then there’s the added bonus that with the French Open, Queens and Wimbledon on terrestrial TV I’ll get to seem him lots. And the fact he is phenomenally attractive helps as well, he’s the archetypal tall, dark handsome latino – what’s not to like? Although this video is extremely cringeworthy and cheesy I think it illustrates my last point.

There is of course my constant crush on Keith Murray but I won’t go on about him as I’ve mentioned him before and since I’m going to see We Are Scientists live this month I will no doubt witter on about him in future entries!
So there you have it, a little insight into my treasure trove of crushes! Hopefully I will find a realistic and obtainable guy to like before too soon otherwise I might start becoming a bit too infatuated!

We’re almost six months through the year and I haven’t even had as much as a kiss so I do really need to get cracking on the finding a man. Unfortunately it appears I’m not taking my quest seriously enough for some though as my mum, who I saw less than a week ago,  was quizzing me on the phone today about whether I had met anyone in the last six days. She and my dad seem so desperate for me to find someone that they have started becoming ludicrously presumptious, for instance a few weeks back they called me when I was having dinner with some old work colleagues and because I said “Sorry, can I call you back, I’m out for dinner at the moment?” they instantly concluded I was on a date and then proceeded to question me about it the next time we spoke. So, to keep the parentals content, and because believe it or not I would actually quite like a man myself, I’ve found a speed dating event (well it’s actually called slow dating as they give you five minutes to chat rather than two) to go to but unfortunately it’s not until August. I’ve also been doing the usual stuff of going on nights out etc but to little avail.

Oh well, until then I at least have my Rafa desktop (which is adorning my lovely new laptop) to keep me company!

Same old, same old

OK, so firstly BIG, BIG apologies. I know it has been a sillily long time since I last did an entry – I’ll hold my hands up, I am a rubbish blogger. My wrists have been slapped by numerous people but there are reasons why I have been so shoddy:

1.) I have been mega busy with work (anyone who thinks all civil servants are lazy should stop reading the Daily Mail and pay me and my lovely colleagues a visit instead)

2.) My love life has reached an utter standstill, I wouldn’t have thought it possible but it may actually be in reverse, so there hasn’t been too much to tell about.

In the total absence of big heart-stopping romantic moments, I should probably update on the little bits and bobs:

  • I have cancelled my Match membership once and for all. After two years of receiving the exact same message from the same man for five days running, getting winks from people twice my age and being stood up, I decided it was probably time I conceded defeat.  I feel so fickle saying this after all my whining about Match but if I’m entirely honest there have been a few occasions when I’ve regretted closing my account. After reading my blog an old coursemate contacted me to say she’d been on some successful dates with a guy from Match so it seems that there are some diamonds in the rough. Also, I think I had underestimated what a confidence boost it is to get messages and winks from men, even if they aren’t my Mr. Right. I guess every girl flourishes when they receive a little attention and has some prospective romance in her life and since leaving Match my romantic horizons have been very bare. Oh well, I’m sure that if Match was meant to work for me it would have after two long years. That said, I did try and join up to e-harmony (the one that claims that 107% of couple who married in the US last year met on e-harmony), I entered my details a good 25 times and it kept failing so it appears they don’t want me! So, all things considered, it appears internet dating and I are not meant to be happy bedfellows (and that it won’t provide me with any bedfellows either).
  • I won’t say much about fit work man as there isn’t really much to tell. It’s still the same situation of me liking him, us getting on but him being coupled up.  It is essentially just an ever burgeoning crush that doesn’t look like it’s going to go away but leaves me with a lot of internal moral debates. My  current standpoint is that I will wait and see if he shows any indication of feeling the same, if he went for it I would tell him how much I like him but that he has a girlfriend so it can’t happen. (Can you tell that I play these sorts of scenes out in my head on a daily basis?!) On a slightly related note I am not linking to this blog through facebook any more as I’ve added him and at the moment I don’t want him to be aware of twothousandandmen’s existence.
  • I went to my first wedding last week (well, I went to my aunty’s when I was about six but I don’t think that really counts as I can’t remember it) and it was so much fun. It was one of my school friends who was getting married so I got to catch up with all the old crowd and it was a really informal, relaxed and happy day. What was most noticeable though was just how besotted the couple were with each other and the happiness that they brought to one another’s lives. I see a lot of wonderful couples everyday and have friends who are in very lovely relationships but there was some extra-special level of devotion that I saw at the wedding and it’s really spurred me on in my quest for a man.
    It did seem strange seeing someone who I have known since I was 9 doing something as adult as getting married but then I guess 24 is a fairly normal age to tie the knot. It seems that I’m entering that wedding stage though as I have three other friends who have recently got engaged so maybe the strange thing is that I’m still a big kid rather than the fact that they are being adult! Hopefully if I am entering the wedding period there will be lots of new people to meet and bouquets to try and catch (and trust me, in traditional competitive me style, I will be going for every bouquet!) so maybe a wedding will help me find love!

    I don’t know whether it was the romance of the day or just my usual desperate self but I did the stereotypical wedding guest thing of throwing myself shamefully at someone else. In fairness it was someone who I’d had a crush on in the past so at least I wasn’t launching myself at the first random Tom, Dick or Harry that I saw! In my usual cackfisted way I decided to tell numerous people, including boy in question, that I had sent him a pretty full-on handmade Valentine’s card four years ago. Boy in question seemed to find this highly amusing, especially since my crush on him had come solely out of the fact that I had seen him in a school play and thought it was good and also that someone had told me he was quite an arrogant chap – I love cockiness in a guy. He also didn’t remember the card which I was quite disappointed about as I had spent at least five hours making it! Anyway, to cut a long story short, we got on well, chatted a fair bit, he walked me home, the stage was perfectly set for me to kiss him. But, because I’m a useless scaredy cat, I bottled it, hugged him, mumbled something about how nice it had been to spend time with him and then went inside where I did the classic error of our age and sent him an inappropriate facebook message (well technically I sent two but the first one just read ‘g’, as I accidentally clicked send too soon!) Needless to say he hasn’t replied.

So there we have it, my lovelife is the usual empty wasteland dotted with the occasional idiotic blip. Sorry there is not much more to tell! x x x