If the shoe fits ….

November 2, 2011

A very grown up time yesterday when I met my lovely agent in Selfridges’ new restaurant nestling in the shoe gallery (doesn’t that just sound so sophisticated? Well, it is). I must say it is sheer bliss to talk to someone else about my book. Usually it’s just me, in the still watches of the night, waking myself up with the thought, ‘arg! Why won’t my characters behave?’ Beyond lovely to have someone listen to my ideas, like them, and even think of super-clever ways to make the whole thing better. Sigh.

It reminded me of how much joy people get from simply being listened to. In the olden days, as a feature writer on the Daily Express, I would be the one whisking someone to a swanky lunch or dinner, and get them talking. I would often wonder why they were telling me the things they did – honestly, your toes would curl if I told you the half of it – and then realise there is something just irresistible in being listened to, taken seriously, concentrated upon. They loved it, even though they knew full well I would write up our encounters. I loved it yesterday, not least because the waiter winked at me as I sashayed my way out.

Tomorrow, I’m meeting Claudia Opdenkelder, the President of a massive dating site for cougar women from 35 to 65 and, as they describe it, ‘cub’ men, from 18 to 35. I think it’s going to be fascinating. Claudia seems to be one of these amazing women who looks, and is, crackling with energy, wit, fun and is totally stunning to boot. I know I’m going to come away from the meeting wishing I spent more – ahem, any – time in the gym. But I think I’m going to laugh an awful lot too. If you’ve got any questions you’d like to ask Claudia, fire away and I’ll put them to her tomorrow.

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  • Metropolitan Mum November 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    1st: congrats on your upcoming book launch on Kindle, it’s gonna be great!!
    And for Claudia: How did she come up with that idea? Was personal experience a reason?
    Maybe you could find out for us if she is a cougar herself?

    • Dulwich Divorcee November 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      Hi MM, thanks for the congrats on my Kindle launch, I’m really excited about it!
      Claudia is definitely 100 per cent cougar, I asked her your question and you’ll get the full low-down as soon as I write it up!

  • Ellen Arnison November 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Claudia was on Woman’s Hour today and she sounds a hoot.

    Could you ask if she thinks younger men are a better bet because they are more feminist/less sexist than their older counterparts?

    • Dulwich Divorcee November 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Ellen, that’s a really good question, I didn’t see it until after our lunch, but I did ask Claudia that and she said definitely yes. She said her friends who were with the same age/older men often complained about the attitude that a woman was there to pick up their dirty shirts and that this wasn’t the case with cubs. Sounds tempting?!

  • Naomi Richards November 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Are you writing a new book or is this the existing one? Sounds like a great lunch and I am sure then next one will be fun of giggles and maybe some eye openers?

    • Dulwich Divorcee November 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      This is the sequel to the one that’s already been published – the further adventures of my heroine as she eats chocolate, lives, flirts and learns! Yes, it was a really fun lunch and most definitely an eye opener 🙂

  • family affairs November 7, 2011 at 11:39 am

    YES!! Being newly single (again) I am very interested in all things cougar. One of my friends is with a 20 something and it sounds terrifying. Have loads of questions……like is Ashton free yet?? and other such things Lx

    • Dulwich Divorcee November 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      Goodness I’m going over to your place to read all about the newly singleness! Claudia says that the Ashton thing was not at all to do with the age difference …… not totally sure I believe it but true that any relationship, whatever the ages, would run into trouble if one partner was in a hot tub with a lot of teenagers …. ahem! Ax