Speed Dating – a time I’d rather forget

The rain lashed onto the windscreen of my car as I drove into Beverley last Thursday. Each swish of the windscreen wipers removed the layer of water in the same way perhaps as I was trying to remove a layer from my life.

In recent weeks I had used Social Network sites like Facebook to meet new people, but when one of my new friends suddenly invented a pretend boyfriend, not only did my attempts to laugh off the hurt fail, but I realised I had to be bolder and braver and just maybe take myself into a situation where I felt uncomfortable.

A new shirt sat underneath an equally new tie and the effects of my liberal dousing of D.R Harris’ best Sandalwood aftershave resulted in  stinging tears falling  from my eyes, and I contemplated turning for home. Derek Templeton – No 9 (said my badge) – Speed dating at The Red Dragon, Beverley. I was a couple of minutes late as a braked somewhat sharply to the side of a road and sent a puddle of  water back into the air. It  soaked three ladies standing together on the pavement. Meet speed daters No 2, No 7 and No 11.

Perhaps I should tell you how speed dating works. Simply, there are equal numbers of women and men and after an introduction from your host for the evening, the couples dance their way through 10 minutes of ritual cliché chit-chat until its time to move on. At the end of the evening each date hands in a card with ticks against who they would like to see again and if there’s a match – contact details are provided.

We were taken into a room with tables spread evenly across a sticky floor; no doubt a cocktail of Bacardi Breezers and someone’s pint from the night before. The lights were dimmed and Lionel Richie was introduced through a slight cackle and hiss from the speakers. “All Night Long” seemed a threat rather than a promise to me, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t glance around the room of ladies looking for Wendy.

In my preparation for the evening I had asked my friends for advice. Susie Kelly said “Don’t Go” and Zoe Mumford (her with the pretend boyfriend) said “Wear a heavy disguise”.  I looked neat and  smart. I thought I’d taken more care than the other gentlemen who had come for this special evening “for the more distinguished and older single from East Yorkshire”. One chap came out of the toilets still doing up his zip. I immediately crossed him off my  competition list.

The whole event didn’t go well. Ladies No’s 2, 7 and 11 were not interested in my apologies for literally dampening their evening. I realised shortly into the first date that describing all of Wendy’s best qualities and asking if she had the same, was not the winning formula. Someone told me to make sure I asked open questions. “Open questions using What, Why, How, When and Who will always get a response.”

“So, what do you have to offer?” I asked.

Silence.

I remember asking another if she ate normally or was one of those strange Veggies.  I got no response and when the last lady stood up two minutes into our date, put on her coat and walked out, I realised too it was time for me to go. I didn’t put any ticks against any numbers when I handed my card in. I felt at least that way I would have a perfect match.

The rain was still pouring down outside. I turned on the car stereo and Radio Humberside did their best to entertain me on the way home. But as the windscreen wipers wiped away  the rain I too wanted them to wipe away this evening and the memory.

Advertisements

Music to my ears

Whilst we still anxiously await the return of Trevor (or Tracey) to our little market town of Sprodlington, it was important that today I took my mind off things.

I have therefore kept myself busy and whilst browsing through the Sprodlington Post (our own local paper) I noticed some fantastic music results from Audrey Bishop’s School of Music.

Congratulations to the following for their great achievements.

Name Instrument Grade Score Award
SAM NASTER B FLAT CORNET 1 113 Pass
FLORENCE KNIGHT B FLAT CORNET 1 128 Merit
HARRIET WEST B FLAT CORNET 1 118 Pass

HANNAH BRAMPTON CLARINET 3 120 Merit
JULIA SAVILLE CLARINET 1 124 Merit
CHARLIE SHRIEVE CLARINET 1 117 Pass

MIRANDA KENDALL FLUTE 1 125 Merit
MICHAEL PLUMLEY FLUTE 5 130 Distinction

AMANDA FLOWERS OBOE 1 125 Merit

Well done everyone and well done Audrey and her fabulous teachers

Derek and The Dominos

Wade insists on losing his shirt

It should have been a quiet end to the night. The World Cup Final had played out in the public bar of The Cross Keys, Sprodlington and in the corner of the saloon bar, with a few World Top’s already consumed, Wade the crop sprayer sat with the rest of us. He had just lost every game of dominos.

I couldn’t work out why he continued with his bizarre tactic of trying of offload all his 3’s first; I’ll never understand.

“You’ll take the bloody shirt off my back” barked Wade, jumping up from his stool and scattering the dominos.

“Wade, we’re playing for a couple of quid a corner,” I said. “Now sit down.”

“You’re just a bunch of hustlers,” he continued “and you want the sodding shirt off my back.”

“Oh for God’s sake, here we go!” predicted Colin, having seen Wade do the same routine at least seven times in the last 12 months.

And so there we sat, and watched Wade stand on his stool; take off his shirt like a footballer who had scored the winning goal in the World Cup final, and swing it around his head before releasing it across the bar.

Now sit down” we all said.