Tuesday, 19 July 2011


He was standing outside The French House holding half a pint of Guinness: a perfectly nice man in a checked shirt and worn jeans, a back-pack at his feet. She knew it was him before he even turned: thinner than in the picture, older, apologetic. She could just go, keep walking, but what kind of karma would that be?

“Hi” she said, trying to smile.

“Oh hi,” he beamed, “do you want a drink?”

“Yes,” she said, elbowing her way through the sticky-slicked-post-work crowd, keen to make it to the bar before him. She would buy her own drink. And leave in her own time.

His teeth were the crooked mess common to British men of a certain age, his voice a thin Edinburgh whine. Jasper Carrot’s less good looking brother.

He finished his drink.

“I ordered a pint,” he apologised, “but they gave me a half. I’ll just get another one.”

Perfect. He was just the kind of man who got served halves. She fished out her mobile from the bottom of her over-sized bag and hastily punched in a cry for help.

He was back.

The phone rang.

“Oh dear,” she said, “Sorry, I have to take this, my friend’s just lost her mother.”


My friend is having an affair. He’s a very old friend. He’s not a philanderer by nature. He is middle-aged......I have both been bad and good in my time, I know all the excuses and I know what it is like to have your heart ripped out, stomped on and fed to the pigeons. We’ve talked. And talked some more. I have learnt...late in life....that when one pleads that they don’t want to hurt anyone what then usually mean is, they don’t want to get hurt themselves. He told me when he was drunk. I wish he hadn’t. What do I do now?

Top tip: Lindt Excellence dark chocolate with sea salt.......utterly amazing...honestly, just try it!!


  1. Hello:
    Are we to understand that the blind date did not work out?!! Perhaps there was an intelligent, creative, talented, witty, Daniel Craig look-alike in there just waiting to be released?!! Well, as they say, just like buses.......there will be another one along in a minute!!

  2. No good advice to offer, I'm constantly amazed I've managed to maintain my relationship for as long as I have, I was a dreadful person to be with in the past.
    I adore your writing style, it's utterly compelling.
    I'm dying to try that chocolate, I'm not a sweet tooth and that sounds utterly wonderful. x

  3. So beautifully written and a joy to read .....even if it didn't work out. My best friend of 48 years ....... we started senior school together ...... has been internet dating for a few years now and, if you see two middle aged women in the pub, with tears from laughter, streaming down their eyes, it is us, she telling me tales of various meetings. She is not being cruel, just honest !!
    I meant to say that, I think you said your son is in sound and my son is a producer at BBC Radio One, has his degree in Music and did a year at Islington Workshop in sound. A little something in common there !!
    Will check out the Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt ASAP. Thanks for the tip. Will take a bar with me when I see my friend next.... a gift for her !! XXXX

  4. Let me get this right..... Jasper Carrot has a LESS good looking brother?!??

  5. As soon as you hear the Edinburgh accent.....run.

    Thank goodness for the deviousness of mobile phones, what would we do without them. My commiserations to your friend, a loss can be terrible.

    If your friend told you when you were drunk, then obviously it's your duty to get pissed ASAP and tell as many other friends as you can. I suggest a dinner party.

    Sorry if I seem a little insensitive, but I've been married for over 33 years, and never, ever went astray. Opportunities have been offered, and mild fantasies indulged, but I made a promise 33 years ago and a promise to a loved one is a permanent contract.

    The fact that she's got relatives in the Chinese Mafia is completely irrelevant.

    Chocolate and salt? I'll give it a go. Does it also work with mustard?

  6. I cannot offer advise having never been in this situation, but please please do keep writing, I am transfixed and need to know what comes next!
    About the last part however, just because the water looks inviting we dont have to jump in. My advise keep quiet till you are asked something outright and then tell the truth. You should never have to feel guilty for someone else.
    We have enough traumas of our own!

  7. Tell him to stop being an arse. xx

  8. Cell phones ARE good for some things.

  9. chocolate and salt...are you sure?! Instant heart attack?+

  10. Other people's affairs? - run baby run!
    Salty chocolate? - lay it on me NOW! Also like the chilli choc stuff. I've had salted fudge as well and that's fab. Weird and wonderful.

  11. ah that was SUCH a delight to read!

    As far as the affair thing goes.... he told you when he was drunk, so he might be absolutely terrified you're going to rat him out.....or he doesn't recall his confession. What sort of nick were you in when you heard it? Could you pretend that you don't remember him telling you?

    As a Tarotist, I often find that people come to me looking for some sort of permission to behave in a certain way. And I feel that this is what your friend may be looking for from you - permission to have his affair.

    Do you know his wife? I reckon you probably do and thus he has put you in a dreadful position which was rotten of him to do. If it was me, I'd pretend that I'd been paralytic with drink and say that you recall nothing of the evening past 9pm.

    I pulled a card for you re this friend/affair situation and got the Ace of Swords - time to use your godgiven smarts to work out what to do - not your emotions, not your gut feelings, but your BRAIN. Swords are all about facts, cutting through the bullshit, the problems that result from rubbish communications and yes, heartache. Aces themselves indicate that somewhere down the line lies the benefit of your decision - it's not apparent right now, but will be later.

    And that's probably not too clear cos my head is all busy with the Conference this weekend. I reckon you already KNOW what to do about this ;-)

  12. You are amazing with this incredible writing. I am not certain that I actually "got it," however, I'm laughing as I'm typing. We must be soul sisters. And reading beautiful Jacqueline's comment has re-committed me to finishing my 1st novel, which is called "Mis-Matched.com" and is about internet dating. It is hilarious. Sending a big Texas hug.

  13. Have you tried dipping salty pretzels in a chocolate fountain? Bliss!

  14. My best friend had a affair - oh boy what a tale to tell one day.

  15. Hi Jody here. Came through Madame Smoking Gun and so glad I found your blog and so nice to meet you. You have the juxtopositions (sp?) and the whatsits so down, love your blog. The Jasper Carrott bro - sure there is no hope there? Try the bacon chocolate. The. Best.