Wednesday, 31 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

During the weekend, Oxbridge texts me but I don't bother to reply. I don’t care about him at all. He hasn’t made me smile or laugh once, so that’s never going to work, is it?

Monday. As I reach the Eurostar terminal to head home, I get a very unexpected text from Finn. He’s the lanky young Kiwi who sort of asked me for money a while back.

‘Back in the country for 10 days before going back to Auckland for good. Would really like to catch up before I go x’ ergo: I could use a fuck.

I notice my battery is low so I prowl the terminal looking for a power point, plug my charger in and stick my wheelie in front of it so the station police won’t see me stealing electricity from the French Government. As the juice is coming in, it’s going right back out again, as I can’t resist texting Finn back.

I tell him I am ‘seeing someone’ to which he replies ‘I understand but no-one has to know’. I say: ‘I would know and I respect my guy too much to do that to him’ making it sound like I’m a decent person or something. I’m actually trying to get him to sit up and beg which he does.

‘We had something that blew my mind so much I hoped we could do it again. You are a real catch - fantastic in bed and I always wanted to be with a woman like u xx.’

Flattery may get him everywhere…

‘I’ll see…' I reply ...'if he pisses me off and I get horny one afternoon, I’ll call you. I do remember you were rather well hung…’

‘Yay! That’s the spirit. I just want to burn it up for old times sake. Can’t wait to see your amazing body again. My package is pretty good but it’s what you do with it that counts. Xxx’

I board the train pondering the fact that unbeknown to him, MLP is on Very Dangerous Ground. Not having even kissed me, never mind anything else, on our last date to that lousy Indian restaurant nearly a week ago, he’s left me textually abandoned all weekend in Paris.

As if picking up on my grumpy vibe, he redeems himself by phoning as the train exits the tunnel on the English side, but my battery is bleeping low so I tell him I’ll call him back when I get home, which I do.

We have a bit of a non-conversation during which it becomes clear he has forgotten our date for next Wednesday night, for which I’ve got some comps to the Canal Café Comedy Club. He says he’s working nights this week (at least he’s working) and promises to ‘try and sor’ somefin’ out’ so we can still get together. As accommodating as ever, I say ‘Don’t worry babe, work comes first’.

I don’t mean it. I should be coming first. At the moment, I’m not coming at all.

Tuesday. At home having a quiet night in - my first in months – I find myself irrevocably drawn to There’s a young chap called Flash Gordon who’s been messaging me a lot, so I give him my number and he texts then calls me.

He sounds like a lot of fun, upbeat and flirty, and he pushes for an immediate meeting. We arrange a daytime drink on Friday afternoon. I also tell him I am ‘currently seeing someone and I won’t two time him’ which is a handy cop-out in case I'm not smitten but don't want to offend.

He says he’d be happy for me to ‘use and abuse him at will’. Hmmm! Things are looking up!

MLP calls me out of the blue, as if he knows I’m up to something. We discuss tomorrow night for which he has managed to free himself, and I return him atop his pedestal.

Wednesday. Knowing he’s worked all night, I text MLP that we don’t have to go to the Comedy Club as planned, but can stay home and I’ll cook. He replies that he is ‘very tyard but not bothered what we do as long as we’re relaxing. im not sure that I’ll be v. responsive tonight anyway’

Brilliant. Just what I needed to hear. My toyboy, who is clearly an old fart in training, wants a good meal placed in front of him before falling asleep on the sofa in front of the tele.

I compose a variety of sniffy texts ranging from:

‘What’s the point in me going out with a 28-yr old if he's going to behave like a 68- yr old?’ to

‘If you’re not going to lick my lips, at least have the sense to read them. You need to keep me sexually satisfied as I’m hardly interested in your brain or your wallet both of which appear to be permanently running on empty’ to

‘I really fancy making love with you tonight so why don’t you take a Viagra and I can bounce up and down on your hard-on while you get some sleep?’

I impulsively send the last one which I hope he receives in the manner in which it was (not) intended, i.e. humour as opposed to barely-concealed criticism.

He doesn't reply...Now he’ll feel under pressure to perform and is bound to disappoint which is not a good way to start the evening...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

Saturday. I wake up feeling excited as this afternoon I’m off to Paris to meet my dear friend, Suzy, who's flying all the way from Texas for her 50th birthday. I'll be happily busy all weekend and if I could unplug my brain and leave it behind, I gladly would. If only Dyno-rod could vacuum out our heads and hearts once in a while, they’d make a fortune.

Mid-morning, my girlfriend Michele, who’s been having a tough time men-wise following a catalogue of dating disasters on the internet, asks me to take a look at her new profile which reads as follows:

‘Right - I'm really fed up with this now. Out there somewhere there has to be a tallish divorced man with decent table manners and children, who lives in London (or seriously within 45 mins. without a helicopter), who can look in the mirror and smile, knowing that he has made the best of himself!

Let's get a few things straight - I am not looking or a meal ticket, my photographs are all taken in the last three months, I weigh 8 stone, and what you see is what you get. I am shallow: if you don't make an effort to look good and keep yourself in shape then don't contact me, because it's just an insult if you can't be bothered. If you are married - then get a life and make sure it doesn't include me.’

I find this hilarious! I'm sure she’ll get a huge response as all the creepy crawlies will come out of the closet thinking she’s a feisty dominatrix.

At 1 p.m. I board the Eurostar to Gare du Nord, a journey which I love. I’m excited for Suzy who’s on a plane from Houston, as it’ll be her first time in the French capital and I’m so looking forward to showing it to her.

I give my texting finger a rest (at least for the 20 minutes I’m in the tunnel where there’s no signal anyway) and we meet up as arranged at l’Hotel du Quai Voltaire right opposite the Louvre.

Night is falling, and as we walk along the left bank and across the Pont Saint-Michel, Suzy gets her first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the evening sky. Her jaw drops and her eyes fill with tears. After dreaming of it for so long, she simply cannot believe she is actually here. I take some photos of her to capture the moment, and although I’ve been to Paris more times than I can remember, it’s as if I’m seeing all the iconic sights for the first time, with renewed wonderment, through her eyes.

The next day dawns hot and sunny and every building just glows with pride in itself and its unabashed beauty. We spend a thoroughly enriching morning wandering around the Musée d’Orsay feasting our eyes on the best of the Impressionists. Pure unadulterated cultural heaven.

Paris delivers at every turn. I guess that’s what you get for having collaborated during the war and not had the Boche bombing the shit out of you. The glorious weather and stunning architecture is a salve for my troubled soul. I normally come to Paris to dash about on business and shop on the hoof, but this trip is totally touristique.

I also finally get to Père Lachaise cemetery, the burial place of the great and the good including Jim Morrison. He has a fairly insignificant grave but it’s an international shrine, covered in flowers and candles left there by the pilgrims: hordes of kids who weren’t even born when he died in 1971. They stand around trying to squeeze a few tears out as they stare at the untended stone. I know The Doors were huge and Jim was gorgeous but apart from ‘Light my Fire’ which José Feliciano made famous first, I can’t think of a single one of their songs. I am more impressed by the tombs of Colette, Edith Piaf, Rossini and Oscar Wilde. I guess it's an age thang.

In the evening, we go to dinner at that quintessentially Belle Epoque brasserie, Le Grand Colbert, which Suzy remembers from the film As Good As It Gets. Unable to resist, we order the frogs’ legs - slivers of tastelessness dripping in garlic butter. The rest of the time is spent walking, talking, eating and shopping. I buy MLP the least tacky Paris t-shirt I can find in Galeries Lafayette. If he goes off the radar, I can always cut it up into small pieces and use it as a duster.

Sunday. I’ve managed not to text MLP all weekend but for no good reason, while sitting having a citron pressé in the Jardins des Tuileries, I send one to Eurotrash. Being without a man in this of all cities, makes me feel incomplete. Lovers walk by arm and arm and despite the fabulous time I'm having, I succumb to a pang of loneliness.

‘It’s a beautiful day in romantic Paree. Why aren’t you here with me?’

Of course, the minute I send it, I regret it. Why did I do that? I didn’t have to do that! About three hours later, he replies:
‘It’s a lovely day here too…x’

Well, thanks very much, asshole, but I’m not interested in the fucking weather report…

Saturday, 20 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

Friday. I wake up with a fog of depression hanging over me and decide the most sensible course of action is to have a serious talk with MLP. I shall do this while sober. I shall be big and brave and I shall tell him that I know this is an impossible situation, and as I am becoming more and more attached to him, it would be better to end it now before we get in any deeper, and suffer more hurt when it ends.

When I’ve made this speech, I shall expect him to object very strongly, sink to his knees and tell me he has fallen 'irevokebly' in love and would not lose me at any price. He will insist on us being together forever and will forgo having children just to stay by my side. And then I shall be disappointed, because as George Bernard Shaw said:

"There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it. "

Realistically, he will accept my reverse proposal. He may be upset, he may be relieved. He may lose face with his friends, to whom he has surely boasted that this glamorous, older woman is fawning all over him, cooking him dinners and giving him diamonds (fake!) But he'll get over it. As shall I...

I reach for my mobile and text Eurotrash. I’m meant to be seeing him with my business partner this afternoon but the latter now can’t make it.

‘Interesting text at 03.55… I take it you were pissed! My partner can’t make it this p.m. Shall I come anyway?...x'

Having had the earlier heart-to-heart with myself, to my mind I’m single again. And then the life-affirming homily comes to mind:

‘The best way to get over one man is to get straight under another.’

I talk to my friend Frannie about it and she grounds me. She’s a Capricorn, very pragmatic. I’m a Cadburycorn – slightly nuts.

As the work day progresses and my focus veers from personal to business stuff, I become more confident about who I am. My success is based on what I have created in my antiques business and my writing career, and at my age - as I tell myself - I should be able to manage a little love angst slightly less emotionally. At least being unhappy in love lets you know you’re alive, even though most of the time you wish you were dead.

By mid-afternoon, I have not heard back from Eurotrash who is probably sleeping off a night of hedonistic over-indulgence, but I decide to pop in and see him anyway. And of course, I have also received my daily onslaught of phone calls and texts from Oxbridge. He’s keen as mustard and twice as hot. His pursuit of me feeds my ego, but little else.

Feeling much stronger in my resolve not to chase impossible dreams (this mood won’t last!) I get myself dolled up, and pop in to the gallery unannounced. I find Eurotrash hungover, dishevelled and slightly grungy, plus he’s just had a delivery of 1970s furniture from Brazil which he's humping around the room settings.

The minute he sees me he goes into high-camp-girlie-flap mode, waving his arms in the air, running his fingers through his hair, stroking his unshaven chin and pulling at his thousand washed t-shirt. As I approach to kiss him hello, he covers his mouth with his hand.

‘Mein Gott!’ he exclaims. ‘Vy you didn’t tell me you voz coming? I’ff chust eaten a Libanese! I must shtink!’

I find his discomfort empowering.

‘Com see ze new additions!’ he cries excitedly and grabs my hand to lead me through the gallery pointing out some fabulously dated old pieces, the sort of furniture impoverished newly-weds of my generation used to buy and throw out the minute they could afford something better.

Once we are at the far end of the showroom, he abruptly puts his sartorial and halitosic discomfort aside and lunges forward to kiss me. He does indeed reek of spices and garlic, and I wrinkle up my nose, turn my head aside and push him away.

‘Look vot you do to me!’ he declares adjusting his erection this way and that. I cannot help but drop my eyes in its general direction and it is mighty impressive. I raise an eyebrow and purse my lips.

He flattens me against the wall and tells me how much he’s missed me and what a high he’s been on since our date the previous week. I’m quite taken aback by this and ask him why, therefore, has he not been in touch?

‘You told me you voz zeeing zomevun’, he counters, ‘zo I tought I’d take a shtep back and vait.’

Fair point. His patience (7 days!) may have been rewarded. I intimate that my ‘relationship’ is not going all that well, that we’re mentally incompatible, and it has little chance of surviving. His reaction is a mix of smug satisfaction and mild panic.

I don’t trust Eurotrash one little bit. He’s too good looking and smooth-talking to have only one woman on the go at a time. He smacks of decadence in a Berlin 1933 sort of way, and clearly has more than a passing penchant for sex, drugs and Thai spring rolls. What I do like about him, however, is that we are in the same ballpark intellectually, and at 43, he’s a lot closer to my age than MLP is, or any of the other boy toys I tend to consort with. Plus he’ll never break my heart because I’ll never love him.

I extricate myself from his embrace, collect the paperwork I need and leave the gallery with a wiggle in my hip and a spring in my step.

I go to my mother’s for dinner and because I’m bored, I drink a glass and a half of Mateus rosé which makes me feel maudlin, so I text MLP:

‘Hope you had a good day babe. What you up to the wknd?’

He doesn’t reply. Message - or none in this case - received and misunderstood.

Texting is an addiction for which there should be treatment available on the NHS, counselling booths at all railway stations and airports and the Text Police posted on every corner with loudhailers warning ‘Step away from the keypad and no-one will get hurt’.

I go to bed feeling disappointed with myself for not having maintained any semblance of control, integrity or decorum but the thought of getting up to no good with Eurotrash shines like a beacon at the end of a long dark tunnel.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

MLP throws himself down on the sofa and in no time at all, he’s fast asleep. What is it with men? Is this genuine tiredness or just oblivion-seeking as in: ‘If I shut my eyes, that’ll shut her up.’ I was about to have a bit of a go at him and maybe he sensed this. The ‘go’ stays in my mouth swirling around like an evil mist in a Victorian melodrama.

I lie tensely in his arms unwilling to relax against him, because the minute I do a deep sadness floods through me. I knew it would. I seriously think I am going to have to end this. There's no joy in it any more. And I can’t understand why he’s shlapped all this way, having had to borrow money for petrol, when he doesn’t even want to have sex. What the hell’s that all about?

Although I’ve booked our long weekend in Spain and we've talked about a day trip to Paris, something tells me these plans are not going to come off. All this booking in advance is just me trying to dominate the situation and secure some kind of future with him...Like the Beatles sang: 'Can't Buy Me Love...'

I am truly, madly and deeply attached to this man and my heart is breaking in credit for when he leaves me. I think it would hurt him too at this point, but he may also be relieved. I doubt he'd put up an argument.

My tension transmits itself to him and he stirs and opens his eyes. Before I can control myself, the ‘go’ escapes my gob.

‘How come you weren’t in touch with me all week?’ Damn. Damn...take it back.

‘I get really sad when I don’t hear from you…’ I go on, trying to justify myself and not blame him for an emotion I should have control over.

He pauses awhile before answering simply. ‘I’ve had other things on my mind.’

‘I know…’ I whisper and snuggle closer to him. He’s always so honest and authentic - always totally himself. I can’t argue with that.

He dozes off again and I sigh deeply. This is not designed as a criticism but obviously it is. What is the point in him being here exactly? Apart from his physical presence, I’m not getting anything out of it. I try to enjoy the proximity of him, but it only frustrates me. At midnight, I wake him up and suggest he continues sleeping in my bed.

‘You can leave early in the morning,’ I reason, but he stretches and says the traffic will be too bad then and he must go now. I get up and take the dirty ashtray and glasses into the kitchen. I hover there awhile but he doesn’t follow me. He’s putting his shoes on, gathering his belongings and getting ready to leave. My heart feels like a rock in my chest.

I go back into the living-room and stand on my footstool which makes me taller than him. I have no idea why I do this other than to give myself superiority. I feel rejected but he wraps his arms around my waist and hugs me lovingly. I jump down.

‘Speak to you tomorrow’ he says as he opens the front door, but I know full well he probably won't.

As I close the door I take a very deep breath. I make a pact with myself that every time he does not text or call, shall be used as a stepping stone away from him. I need to return to my Control Tower which has been carelessly unmanned for the past two months.

I can space these stepping stones as close together or as far apart as I choose.

In any case, every moment we spend together is now like advance mourning. I am in little doubt that my prophecy will fulfil itself. I can’t enjoy it for what it is any more. Not that I ever really did, so nothing’s changed except the depth of my feelings.

I clear up and go to into my study. I check my messages on toyboywarehouse and reply to four guys I haven’t bothered with before. I can’t really be bothered with them now, but what the hell? I forget to turn my mobile off and go to sleep.

At 03.55 I am awoken by a text. It’s Eurotrash obviously trashed:

‘God’ he writes. ‘I wish you would be next to me right now…x’

Bloody foreigner! Can’t even speak the Queen’s English - but I smile because somebody wants me, then I turn over and go back to sleep.

Friday, 12 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

At some point during a very long and tedious working afternoon, I experience some kind of mental epiphany. All the pain to do with MLP’s lack of contact dissipates and I decide, for the foreseeable future, to operate my sex life on a first come first served basis. Plenty of men out there…why waste all my time and emotion on just one?

In this new spirit of love and freedom, I text Eurotrash who I haven’t heard from since our date last week. If I’m going to play the numbers game, I may as well go for broke. I have three (well, six) balls in the air and whichever ones land in my lap first, will be the first in my lap.

In the evening, I set off for the theatre with my old (and I mean old!) friend, Lord Saggy Chops. As I step into his limo, my mobile rings. It’s Eurotrash. I obviously can’t talk, so I tell him I’ll call him later. Colour me boosted!

The show is second rate. What’s going on with the West End these days? They’re charging the highest prices for the lowest performances.

I switch my phone on during the interval just in case I’ve missed anything and by a strange stroke of serendipity, it rings immediately with a number I don’t recognize. It’s MLP! from his mother’s mobile because his is out of credit. He sounds subdued and rather down, and when I ask what's up, he says he’s had some bad family news. He won’t elaborate and I ask him gently if I can call him later. My later list is getting longer.

I fidget through the rest of the show and when I switch my mobile back on as the curtain comes down, there’s a text from Oxbridge and a voice message telling me he’s sent me a text. Belt and braces? So uncool...He’s actually starting to annoy the shit out of me and I haven't even met him yet.

I manage to give his Lordship a modicum of attention over dinner ordering only one course to encourage him to do likewise, so I can get home and phone the boys back. It's past his bedtime anyway so he's happy to comply. I peck him on the cheek, thank him effusively and leap out the limo as it reaches my door. I'm calling MLP back as I climb my stairs.

He tells me one of his uncles has had a heart attack and I make all the right sympathetic noises. He’s also had no work on this week and can’t afford to top up his mobile or buy petrol for his van. I try not to hear a veiled request for money and consider having a t-shirt printed with ‘My boyfriend is an unemployed builder’ on it. Wearing this with a Prada suit could start a trend. I offer to buy MLP dinner tomorrow night and he says he'll let me know...

Thursday. The now ubiquitous early morning call from Oxbridge. I have nothing to say to him other than I’m very busy just now and seeing my boyfriend in the evening. He obviously takes this on board as I don’t hear from him again all day.

I call Eurotrash back and get his voice mail. I have another business meeting with him tomorrow anyway. At 6.30 p.m. MLP calls to say he’ll be over in an hour. I am beyond delighted.

I am always astounded when I first set eyes on him at quite how good-looking he is. Beautiful almost. He has paid a lot of attention to his appearance tonight and hugs me long and hard when he comes through the door. We have a drink at home then go out to Khan’s for an Indian. Boy has that place ever gone off!! The restaurant lost its license a while back so now you can’t even get a lousy shandy. The waiters are surly, the food is shite and the lights are too bright. In many ways, it's like dining at noon on the banks of the Ganges. Conversation between MLP and I is stilted and far too sober.

I pay the bill quickly and we go home, put on some music, and retreat to the sofa. In order to inject a little joie de vivre into an otherwise lacklustre evening, I start throwing chocolate raisins at him. It’s all rather childish and contrived but he rises to the challenge and catches most of them deftly in his mouth like a performing monkey.

I worry about the ones he misses melting and staining the sofa so I rummage around until I find them. I crawl behind him and wrap my legs around his waist, and I undo his ponytail. I plait his hair then hold it out of the way while I suckle his neck, something I know really turns him on. He tells me a feeling as warm as honey is spreading right through him and maybe it is, but something else tells me we will not make love tonight.

He mentioned once we didn’t have to do it every time we saw each other, which I found weird...

Sunday, 7 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

We settle back on the sofa and I relax despite knowing he’s not staying tonight. The earring I'd given him had fallen out during our fuckfest so I put it back in, smothering it with Germolene first as he says his ear is sore. At 11.30 p.m. he gets up to leave.

‘If you’re not too busy this week, I’ll come up and see you one evening’ he says as he kisses me goodbye.

‘Thursday?’ I suggest happily, knowing I’m busy Tuesday and Wednesday. ‘Maybe we’ll get a take-away?’

And he nods, hugs me and goes home. I sleep on the wrong side of the bed, the side he slept on earlier this afternoon.

Monday. I text my Man in Oman apologizing for not having been able to talk last night and I suggest he calls me back. He doesn’t.

I don’t hear from MLP all day, which is fine. (Fine used in this context is obviously Anything But.) I text him to say how much I enjoyed our lovely Sunday together but I receive no reply. He seems to have stopped texting me which makes me wonder if a) he’s deeply secure in the relationship or b) he's cooling.

Tuesday. I awake up with a heavy heart and a sense of loss. No particular reason. I imagine how I’ll feel when it’s over and it hurts. I think back to a conversation we had when he mentioned how much he’s looking forward to having a son. This means he’s got to meet someone, get married or not, get her pregnant, get a job, get a home, get a life and this must surely happen within the next 2-5 years. Every day we spend together is borrowed time and the longer it goes on, the closer we are to the end of it. I discuss this at length with my friend, Frannie, who reminds me that I may well tire of him before he tires of me. No chance. I know myself too well…

I notice a new ladybird climbing the door frame to my ensuite bathroom. I have deep faith in these ‘lucky’ ladybirds. It's good to have something to believe in.

A day and a half has gone by since I heard from him, so I mess about on to give myself a little confidence boost. A guy called Oxbridge has mailed me three times. I ask to see a photo and it's Phwooar! He asks for my phone number. I tell him I’m currently ‘seeing someone’ and will not two-time him, but I also say that being cynical and realistic, I don’t expect it to last. The longer it takes MLP to get in touch, the shorter Oxbridge's wait will be.

Driving over to spend the evening with friends, with MLP’s TWO DAY silence resounding in my ears, Oxbridge calls me. I can’t get it together with my Bluetooth and keep cutting him off. He keeps calling me back – nothing, if not tenacious. He is terribly well-spoken and although shy and reticent at first, warms up when I go into my accomplished older woman 'interview' mode.

We discuss the wonderful new energy developing in society whereby long-closed doors are now swinging open. No more must a woman wait to be approached, often by a man she’s not interested in. With websites like women can go shopping for a mate of any age, shape and size and take them home to try on in front of their own mirror! And if they don’t fit, they can send them back and try out another one!

I feel refreshed by this new contact who asks me to call him whenever I like. I text him later in evening to say my mind is wandering and he replies that he loved talking to me and that I sounded hot. Surprising really, considering the treatment from my so-called ‘boyfriend’ is currently somewhere north of Siberia.

Wednesday. The hollow place in my heart left my MLP’s lack of communication is partially filled by Oxbridge’s early morning call. We chat a while and he asks if he can call me again later. It feels wrong somehow...Mid-morning I cave and text MLP asking, as casually as I can, if he still intends coming over tomorrow night. If not, I’ll need to make an alternative arrangement, God forbid I should stay Home Alone for once. As he fails to reply, I text Oxbridge to say the sunshine is making me restless, I’m bored at my desk and does he fancy escaping for a coffee later? He says he’s sorry he can’t, so I console myself with a double helping of cheese on toast.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

At 1.55 p.m. I compose a text which I send at 2 p.m.: ‘Er…it’s nearly 2 and the lunch is nearly ready. And u r where exactly?!’ No kiss. I’m too cross. No reply.

At 2.03, with plans to put all the food onto a platter, drive over to his house and tip it through his letterbox, I phone him. He answers cheerily: ‘Hi Babe! Won’t be long – just coming through Camden. Can I bring anything?’ and my voice, twelve octaves higher than usual, sings: ‘No it’s fine, just bring your own sweet self. I didn’t want to overcook anything that’s all… See you soon!!’

I walk to the hall mirror, look at my image, blink a couple of times and slap myself round the face. That feels better. I should have done it earlier.

Why would he not have turned up? Why would he have let me down? Why am I so fucking insecure? Because I’ve played this scene before, that’s why, and it ended badly with a lot more expensive food. And I swore then I’d never do it again…allow myself be made a fool of by some young buck, yet I know in my hopefully romantic heart that I will continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over, because I believe that maybe this time it will be different.

He arrives at 2.20 p.m. with some of the Sunday papers I’ve already bought and I’m so happy to see him, I wouldn't have cared if he'd brought last Sundays. I throw my arms around his neck, and he hugs and kisses me and compliments the way I look. I enjoy seeing the appreciation in his eyes at the trouble I’ve gone to in both my appearance and the delicious meal. I ask him to carve the chicken and I dish up the vegetables and we drink the wine and enjoy the late lunch. He helps me clear up then I send him to the sofa while I finish in the kitchen. I expect him to be asleep by the time I join him and I’d allow him that for simply having turned up.

When I enter the living room, he’s leafing through the Daily Mail which he throws aside and pats the cushion next to him for me to sit down.

At that moment, my mobile rings and my jaw drops when I see the name on the screen. It’s my Man in Oman who I haven’t heard from in the longest time. I kill the call but take a second to re-adjust my surprised face. MLP looks at me questioningly.

‘It’s the guy I was meant to go to Dubai with…’ I explain shaking my head and muttering ‘What a tosser!’ I throw my phone onto the coffee table to confirm my disdain and total lack of interest.

This seems to ignite MLP's ardour. He grabs my arm possessively and pulls me down astride him. He kisses me deeply and raises his hips and I grind down onto his burgeoning erection. He slides his hands up my thighs and discovers the suspenders holding up the black lace-top stockings. This stokes the rising fire and for the next two hours we make wild, abandoned love until we are both spent and soaking with exertion. And then I let him sleep. He’s fulfilled his obligations which were to turn up for lunch and make love to me. Not that difficult, surely?

I potter about, contented to have him here even if he is out of it and snoring. I wake him at 7.10 p.m. and we spend a cozy evening eating leftovers and chilling out. He shows me some football clips on some lads’ website in which I feign amusement and interest.

We snuggle up to watch ‘Cold Mountain’ and he produces a joint (the 3rd I’ve had in 50 years!) A burst of energy assails us and we start moving the furniture around. I plan to buy a plasma TV which he suggests should go over the fireplace. He says he’ll come over and chase in the wiring, then re-plaster and re-paint the wall. All I can hear is ‘I’ll come over…’. Colour me happy.