Ah, to be in Dulwich, now that summer’s nearly here …is actually rather a pain. Much as I adore the general scenic leafiness all around, as Dulwich’s premier (only) divorcee, I can report that there is not a single, single man to be had anywhere in the vicinity. Of course, this mattered not a jot, when I bought my cosy cottage with True Love by my side. A couple of turns of the clock later and things are rather different. Time has moved on, so have we, and concerned friends tell me that, should I ever venture into the relationship fray again, I might have to go as far as Sydenham or even (delicate shudder) Crystal Palace to get a date.
Of course, there’s always the Internet, but could I really imagine myself clicking with someone I’d clicked on? Let’s not answer that, and skitter onwards, to brave friends who have already hiked this byway of the information highway. ‘It’s all fine,’ reports one. ‘Just as long as you bear in mind that all the men on-line are …..odd.’ So, pretty much like ordinary men out there in the real world, then? ‘Er, no,’ she says gingerly. I can hardly bear to prod her for details. But, of course, I do. She tells me of the top banker (no rhyming slang intended) who insisted that his old teddy be kept in the centre of the bed throughout proceedings. The doctor who had to ring his mummy half way through dinner to ask if he was still allergic to shellfish. The academic who couldn’t get her La Perla bra off and simply tore it to bits. The …..No, after the bra story, I just can’t listen to another word.
I shall have to accept that, like the property market, the love market has pretty much gone flat. In a way, it’s a bit of a relief. Just as it’s exhausting, when selling a house, to keep the cushions plumped (particularly now that my OCD compulsions are waning slightly) so the nightly effort to stave off the ravages of time seems more than I can be bothered with these days. So what if I’m declining from ‘immaculate condition’ to ‘needing refurbishment’? I’m still a des res with ‘plenty of character’, aren’t I? Oh poo, I forgot. It’s only men who can get away with that one.