Sunday 28 March 2010

Cake.....and eating it too.

"You're living the dream" said the teenage son, "let me eat cake...." My friend was not so sure.
The problem: a male friend of mine popped round for a coffee, carrying a large chocolate, orange and almond cake. Once single, (yes...he was a real single man, straight and in his 40s) he is now going out with a woman he met on the Internet. A woman who bakes for a living.
"That's my dream" said the teenage son, helping himself, " a girlfriend and cake."

My friend settled himself in the Lloyd Loom with his coffee, and his cake, and explained his dilemma: he's just passed the tricky three month marker, but does he want to go any further? Apparently it's all to do with the texting. He illustrated the problem with various examples where the texts in question had resulted in misunderstandings at best and full scale fights at worst. So many ways to communicate and little understanding. And then there is the talking.....she tells him lots of stuff, stuff he says he doesn't need to know, especially on the phone when he's on his way round to see her. This got me thinking. It has been suggested that single men of a certain age are just that for good reason, unused to living in the rarefied world of women, they are....not really house-broken, so to speak. Could the same be said for their female counterparts? Are old women trying to turn their new boyfriends into girlfriends due insufficient exposure to Match of the Day and Top Gear?

"Stay with it. Tell her you don't want to do the texting anymore to avoid misunderstandings," I said, "Winter isn't over yet, it's cold out here."
"And think of the sex," said the teenage son, heaving another slab onto his plate. "And the cake." No misunderstandings there.

And then there was this: It was raining so I took shelter in a cafe. I squeezed into a corner next to a young Russell Brandian character, deep in conversation with a man of about 50, drinking coffee. The coffee guy immediately smiled at me. I smiled back. I ordered a latte and a glass of water. The coffee guy kept looking over at me, the tables were very close, we were practically sitting together. They talked of music, shows, the CD. Evidently this young man was some kind of classical whiz who was about to turn the classical concert on it's head. I drank some water and then spilled the rest of it over the table. Without missing a beat coffee guy fisted over a sheath of napkins. And smiled. Again. I was in my very own Richard Curtiss movie. His friend got up and left.
"You from London? he asked, "I'm originally from Canada. . .but," (why do Canadians always say that?) "I lived in the states. . . I've been here 30 years." He managed to tell about the restaurants he'd designed, the bands he'd managed, the marriage that was long over, the children who'd grown, the relationship that didn't work out, the move to Australia, the square he'd once lived on right near where I now lived, and why he was renting around the corner, all in about ten minutes.....
"Better go, got work to do" he smiled, took my hand, "that's a lovely name."
So I said, being a grown up, modern-21st-century woman, "We should have coffee."
And he said, "We should, I'm here everyday, it's like my office."
What's that about? Did he not just chat me up? Did I misunderstand?
"He does like you," said my friend, "but not that much."

How do you know you're getting old? You go to a gig and drink tea....very rock & roll .....however, I have spent most of the week dancing barefoot...........after meeting Patti Smith. I say met but that's maybe stretching it a tad, conversed more like. I went to see her perform at a very intimate venue and I have to say her voice just gets better, at 63 the godmother of punk is pure inspiration, she goes from strength to strength. I'm a fan, I won't deny it, so when she announced she would be signing copies of her new book, 'Just Kids' after the show, I decided not to wait to buy it for the knock-down-bargain-basement price that Amazon would surely sell it for, but to get it there and then. The conversation was brief but underneath I felt their was a mutual meeting of two minds, there would be no misunderstandings between us. "Is that with an E?" she drawled. For you Patti.... it could be.....

Top tip: Patti Smith's version of 'The Boy In The Bubble' at top volume will chase away any of those hard-to-shift winter blues.


  1. Great post. Patti Smith's The Boy in the Bubble is indeed marvellous xx

  2. Good grief, I'm so out of the loop on this whole chatting up / dating thing that I'd have taken coffee man's response in a positive way! He is hoping to see you there again but doesn't want to seem childishly keen??? :D

  3. Great post- teenagers are hard.

  4. "....not really house-broken.."
    OMG-- That about sums up all the middle aged single guys I know. It's my new favorite line. Thanks.

    And thanks for stopping by my blog. It's nice to meet you.


  5. Hi, I'm new to blogging and love your writing!!

    I've linked to your blog, which I hope you're ok with. My blog is here:

    I hope you visit my site, but either way I can't wait to read more of your entries. You have a great writing voice... Sarah

  6. Fantastic post. My boys are still little, but I have to be honest, I do think about what it'll be like when girls come into the equation. Patti Smith, wow, a momentous occasion, brilliant stuff. Karen x