Tuesday, July 12, 2005

sleeping with the enemy


i'm back from france, as you can probably surmise from the fact that you're reading this. bugger.

i left for france on thursday (or 7/7 as the Times dubbed it). the train pulled out of waterloo at 0909, and so i was in a cocoon of newslessness for several hours. my first intimation that something was wrong was when i checked my phone on arrival in paris at one. i have five messages asking if i was ok... one mentioned the tube, another an explosion...

i spent the hour before my connection to dijon walking round train stations, desperately trying to find a TV screen or an evening newspaper. no one was replying to my texts (in turns out my housemates were all tucked up in bed) and my parents, when i met them at 4, hadn't even heard anything.

when we got to the hotel, the only channel which wasn't showing a badly-dubbed daytime TV show or the women's gymnastics was CNBC Europe, a business news channel. This was pretty instructive: it might be human tragedy to you, sunny, but to us it's a waste of a day we could have spent making money.

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the holiday was good, and was exactly the right amount of time to spend with my parents. by the last night, as my mother made theatrical fanning movements and spluttering noises because someone had the temerity to smoke near us in a restaurant, i had had enough. i even managed to conceal the piercing from them (couldn't be arsed to have that conversation) with the help of swimwear from the Marks & Spencer "By God, you've got big jugs" range, which features the sort of cantilevering and buttressing more usually found in medieval cathedrals.

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i am enjoying the last final fling of freedom before giving up student life forever and starting my job. i am even contemplating starting paying into a pension, even though i am resigned to having to work until I'm 70 (or dead). one thing i am looking forward to about getting older is the opportunity to place an ad in the spectactor's lonely hearts column. it attracts the most excellent sounding middle aged chaps, for example:

Cashmere voiced tactile teasable tall gentleman, an unusual traditionalist, wltm slim shapely poised n/s 50+ London lady for conversation and uncoy romance.

See? What could be better than uncoy romance (I am sure this is toff-speak for rampant sex) with 'an unusual traditionalist'. think what unusual traditions you could uphold together.

And they're all like that. It's astonishing. Another one reads, simply, "I want you to make me laugh, share a bottle of wine, lay by a log fire and look into my eyes." Sounds do-able, although I would be obliged to point out we were lying by a fire, not laying. "Music student, 31, studying opera, not yet had a relationship, has Aspergers syndrome," proffers someone who hasn't quite got the hang of how to write one of these. There are even two which use the phrases "young 70" and "young 74".

Simply genius.

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