You know you’re really bad at dating when…

The oddest thing seems to have happened since I started internet dating. I seem to be getting less good at it as time goes on. Standard practice dictates that the more you do something the better at it you get, but I seem to be suffering some reverse polarity of logic when it comes to dating. I have somehow gone from dating a guy for 2 months and then getting dumped, to going on three dates with a guy before being given the elbow, down to only getting as far as the second date, and then the first. And now I can’t even get that far. I make plans to meet people and they cancel on me with mere hours to go. Kicked to the kerb before they’ve even met me. It’s happened three times in the last week.

I’m beginning to think I must be very much of an acquired taste. Not something palatable by most of the human population.

I’m predicting that there are only three more levels to drop down before I reach the ranks of those that are completely undateable.

  1. Being stood up. Not even worth the cancelation message, I will simply find myself hanging out alone at coffee shops and bars on a fairly regular basis. To the point where I will be stupendously surprised if anyone ever turns up and when some chap stops by the table and opens his mouth to speak, I will have already press ganged him into sitting down and talking to me before he can alert me to the fact that he’s actually with that girl over there and he just wanted to know if the second chair at my table was free.
  2. Not being worth an attempt at meeting. No dates will be set, no messages sent. I shall be sentenced to a life time of hanging around online dating sites having being black-balled by every other member. Dating sites will eventually invent a tumbleweed animation to roll across the screen every few seconds just to keep me company. A couple of them will ask me to leave because I’m bringing the tone down.
  3. People will suddenly start messaging me again, in droves. But only to tell me how they hope they are never unfortunate enough to happen across me accidentally in public.

As it goes I’m kind of looking forward to stage three, but mostly just so I can mock their grammar.

I can open the wine now, right?


Hidden Storage Ideas for Your Home

So you are faced with the problem of having too much stuff and not enough space. Upon realising this, you are now looking for a place to store it all—the only question is where? One has a tendency to search for the most obvious space in which to store items, when what one should be doing is thinking of places that aren’t immediately obvious. Not only do hidden storage spaces eliminate unwanted mess, but they also use existing space without creating more clutter. It’s ingenious in a way. The storage could be anywhere without your guests even having a clue. Here are a few hidden storage ideas for your home.

Storage Furniture

147947664_79feb6f79d_zImage: David

A desk doesn’t have to be just a desk. In fact, underneath your work area you can have a drawer with important files and stationery neatly organised. A clean space equals a clean mind. Multi-functional furniture can also provide organisation and extra space in the sneakiest of ways. The trick is to find furniture with a widely recognised purpose, and then use it for all your storage needs. For example, if you’re thinking about creating a clutter-free bathroom with ample storage space, you can add a space behind the bathroom mirror for your toiletries and first aid kit. Every piece of furniture has a secret desire to be more than it appears – it’s up to you to think outside the box and trick the senses.

Chests and Drawers

Sometimes the most obvious objects can be transformed into secret storage areas; it’s simply a matter of arranging them in a subtle way. For example, if you have a wooden chest, place a set of pillows (that match the colour scheme of your home) on top of the chest to create a window seat with a hidden storage compartment. Look under your bed for extra drawer space. Store some of your smaller items in a plastic container and place them on top of your bookshelf or wardrobe. Even if someone happens to notice these chests and drawers (or chests of drawers), it won’t come as any surprise to them that you use them for storage and organising.

External Storage Space


Image: Michael Goodin

For those with less time to be creative, an external solution might be a more conceivable bet. If you’re looking to store excess belongings and items from your home, get in touch with a storage provider such as Fort Knox , which can offer you temporary and permanent storage units for all sorts of items, including pieces of large furniture and small knickknacks. Alternatively, if you have access to an unoccupied shed, you can use this to retain miscellaneous goods.

So the secret is out, and hidden storage spaces are no more. If you now find yourself faced with the issue of trying to keep these ideas from potential visitors, do not direct them to this page. Instead, direct them here. Not only will it solve their own space issues, but your hidden storage will remain concealed, and the title of this article won’t have to be changed.

Things I’d Rather be Doing Instead of Dating

I have a love/hate thing with dating, it’s true. Some days it’s all good and positive and then others, urgh. I just can’t be bothered.  And it occurs to me that there has to be a million and one things more preferable to do with your time than dating. Than going through the whole small talk, getting to know someone, answering the same questions over and over rubbish that is dating.

Some days even getting a bikini wax would be one of those things.

I’m having the sort of days where really, I just can’t be bothered getting dressed up and going out on the off chance that the guy I have been messaging turns out to a. look anything like his profile pictures and b. is interesting and funny and doesn’t make you wish you were somewhere else.

Ten things I’d rather be doing right now than dating

1. Having a long hot bath with lots of bubbles and a bottle of chilled white wine.

2. Watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. Not only is it funny and gripping but it is populated by lovely looking men who aren’t going to jerk you around or make you listen to a 10 minute diatribe on why their ex is a cow.


3. Walking my dog. He might be a bit of a nutter but he’s fairly quiet, doesn’t interrupt or hog the remote. He’s never insisted on watching sport, talking about his ex, or stood me up. And taking him up on the hills around here is one of my greatest pleasures in life.

4. Reading a good book. Men in real life suck. Men in fiction only suck a little bit and then in the end they come good and it’s all nice and lovely. Can I just order one of those men please? A real life Mr Darcy? and whilst I’m waiting for my order to be delivered, I would much rather be living vicariously though the printed word that talking one more idiot in a bar.

5. Playing bingo. Not in actual bingo halls – cause i don’t really like people and try not to be around them much – but online bingo is ace. At GameVillage bingo play free bingo online and there’s no people to deal with, overly expensive bar or traffic jams. It’s kinda ace. There’s load of them too like where you can win up to 100 times the total bet. Which is nice.

6. Crocheting. What can I say, I’m clearly turning into an old woman, but I love crocheting. It’s very soothing, always there for you when you need it and never fails to text back or turns out to be only after one thing.


7. Sleeping. I seem to have developed an inability to sleep later than 6am. Which is rather frustrating. Especially when child free over the summer. I was really looking forward to long lie ins. So now the only way I can get a good 8 hours of sleep is to be in bed by nine or ten o’clock. which does make dating in the evenings rather tricky.

8. Running. Oh my goodness how I seem to have fallen in love with running. It’s terrifying and goes against everything I thought I knew about myself, but I really miss running if I don’t go for a few days. The fact that today i’d rather be running than going on a date is actually probably really sad, isn’t it?

9. Seeing friends. I have awesome friends. People who like me for who I am, don’t want to get into my knickers and bore me to death with stories of their great dating exploits. plus they don’t grill me on where I went to school or what I do for a living nor expect me to be in the slightest bit interested in every detail of their dating history.

10. Whinging about dating and men on the internet to you lot.

A New Dating Philosophy

everyonebringsjoytothishouse2It’s tough stuff this dating malarky. Hard-wearing on the old heart, pride and ego. You battle through endless numbers of idiots on dating sites and in bars until you finally meet someone you like and just when you think it’s all plain sailing for a while: bang. Something gives and the bottom falls out of it all.

I had my heart sprained a little and my self confidence took dent after Hot Instructor Dude dumped me over Facebook message, no less. It seems he suddenly realised, two months in, that I had children and they didn’t really fit in with his view of where he saw his life going.

Nursing these knocks and bruises this last week, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a different philosophy on people that come in to my life. Something more positive than “what an utter knobber and waste of time, he was.”

HID was patently wrong for me, and yet he brought some great things into my life. He introduced me to the beautiful Peak District and rekindled my love of hiking and camping; I found a couple of new authors through him that I love; he introduced me to the idea of converting a van into a camper van and fueled still further my desire to live the hippy life. There is much to be thankful for even though it smarted somewhat in the end.

And once I realised that, it got me thinking. Maybe this whole dating thing could be put to some good use and add something really positive to my life; could it be that there’s a smorgasbord of fun experiences and learning laid out in front of me just waiting to be sampled?

What if everyone we meet could add something positive to our lives?

Well, except for this prick. I can’t imagine he’s got an awful lot to offer the world.


The Things A 5 Year Old Wants To Measure

DSC_0010After yesterday’s post on weird obsessions of my 5 year old (crikey, he’s going to be 6 soon – why does that seem SO much older than 5?) he caught me looking at watches on the internet. Specifically these tough Casio G-Shock watches that I’m sure make the requisite beeping noises when buttons are pressed, and boy are there a lot of buttons!

But it seems that buttons are what boys like, right? As stereotypical as it sounds I’m yet to meet a man (with the exception of my grandfather who gets exponentially more terrified of electronic items the more buttons they have) that doesn’t drool over shiny things with lots of buttons and bits that light up. I swear in low light settings and the right buzz words in the description most men could get excited about washing machines.

Imagine a washing machine that could play mp3 tracks and you’d basically never have to do any laundry again, would you? Well those of you (un)lucky enough to have a male in the house wouldn’t. The rest of you who don’t have to spend several hours a week cleaning up pee from the bathroom floor have plenty of time on your hands anyway.

So there I was attempting to surreptitiously browse watches for his birthday when he creeps up behind me.

“Ohhh, what are you looking at mummy?”


“Why are you looking at watches?”

“I was just looking to see which of them had a stopwatch on them.”

“Is that so I can have your old one and you can have a lovely new one?”

“Umm, no. No it’s not.”

“Oh,” he said with a sad, melancholy tone to his voice. “I would love a watch with a stop watch, I could measure everything”.


“I would measure how fast i could run up the stairs. And back down again. I could measure how fast I could eat my breakfast and how fast I could get dressed. Everything! All day. I would just measure and measure and measure.”

“Do you not think you’d get bored?”

“Of measuring?”



“Well what would happen when you’d already measured everything?”

“I couldn’t measure everything in the world ever, mummy. Now you are just being silly. I would have to measure all of the clouds and see how fast they were going and all of the people and see how long it took them to walk everywhere. And all the cars and buses and trucks and and and… No, I couldn’t measure everything.”

He was thoughtful for a while, sat next to me at the table.

“You know what I would measure?”

“What darling?”

“I’d measure how long it took me to have a pooh.”

Why for the love of all things none toilet related does every single conversation in this house boil down to being about poop?

Well I guess that’s something to look forward to post birthday then. I might just get him a nice book instead.


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