Oh dear. I’ve just attempted to dye my hair at home now the weather has warmed up and I’m no longer in a Benny from Crossroads beanie. Who knew it would be so difficult? Why is this not brought up during those mind-numbing coronavirus briefings? Despite many years of pilates, I find it hard to hold my arms aloft for any period of time. The dye keeps dripping down my face. I have now dyed my chest of drawers black. And a brand new T-shirt. Now that my hair is dry, it has that crispy look that makes me resemble Angie in EastEnders and be wary of an open flame.
You will be reading this on Valentine’s Day, that most heinous of little squares on the calendar. But if you are single and alone, perhaps I can cheer you up with the news that even if you are past 60, are self-isolating as well as self-waxing and self-tinting your roots, it is still possible to have men chasing after you. Having knocked several (online) suitors on the head, including one near Manchester, a fell walker who is 38 and still thinks I am not too old for him (!), I am happy to tell you someone new and promising is on the horizon.
He messaged me on Twitter to say he had read a column where I was moaning about men (it could be one of several!), and that he could tell me tales from the male point of view. He is divorced, 60, with a son at university and owns a business. Very fit: he likes hiking in the Lake District and has played sport all his life.
We texted for a while, and he remained gentlemanly and respectful, rather than saying what he could do for me in bed. Like most men after me (and who thought I would ever type that sentence!), he is wary that my exes will come creeping back on the scene. I told him that won’t happen. He asked for my faults, and I told him I have an ‘artistic temperament’ (according to Nic), that I am very driven, don’t suffer fools, and that I like a man to be well read and to have heard of Emily Maitlis and not believe Kate Mosse is a supermodel. ‘I’ve just read Emily’s book,’ he wrote. ‘I’m very interested in politics.’
Then he typed, ‘I have come to really like the little blue dots showing you are typing something to me.’
‘They shimmer, don’t they?’
Then he typed, ‘I imagine you could be a challenge, but you also seem lovely and funny. You are a good-looking woman. There has to be a physical attraction otherwise it’s friends, really. I love to cook, so am happy with wine, music and a new recipe.’
He then sent a photo: twinkly eyes, close cropped hair, not bald or grey. He reminds me of Bruce Willis. He tends to text at the end of each day. It is slightly becoming like Shadowlands or 84 Charing Cross Road. We plan to meet for lunch when lockdown ends and medi-spas open, of course.
Unbeknown to him, I have also just had a text from a lovely young woman called Stef, a friend from Durham. She sent me a photo. ‘I heard about this chap and immediately thought of you. He’s a bit nervous, young.’
Oooh. My attention was piqued. ‘Can you tell me anything else?’
‘His name is Cap. With the last woman for 15 months, but she can’t handle him.’ She sent me two photos. It was love at first sight. Just my type! A sharp, pointy nose. Dark, unfathomable eyes. As Sex and the City’s Carrie would say: ‘I am someone who is looking for love. REAL love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t- live-without-each-other love.’
‘When can I meet him? We can do it outside of course.’
‘How about this weekend if it can be arranged?’
I have a knot in my stomach. ‘Any other foibles I should know about?’
‘He’s terrified of sheep.’
Did you not guess I’ve been talking about a failed sheepdog? I never can resist a black and white border collie. Wish me luck…