After taking advice from people I perhaps shouldn’t call my friends, “Cute, clever, creative, careful, I might make you smile,” is crowned dating tag du jour and uploaded with a pic of me dancing and looking elated/drunk. I half expect my wink box to be as empty as the visitors reception in a Swine Flu ward but Holy Moly, Mrs T is pulling in the punters. I am not quite sure how this particular dating agency, voted ‘Best on the Web’, operates but, having stated a preference for guys within 50 miles, I’ve pulled in Melbourne, Tokyo and Alaska thus far. I send 3 ‘Not on your Nelly’ emails and then feel a mild pang of guilt.  Checking your inbox every morning and getting rejection after rejection must be sickening. It sets off a flashback to my modelling days:

“Your tits are too small,”

“Tits are too big,”

“You could do with losing a few pounds,”

 “You’re a bit pasty for Mario,”

“Your feet are too big for sample-sized shoes,”

“You will be swamped by the catwalk, dwulling.”

“But Kate Moss is smaller than me,” I say in my defence

“No offence but Kate’s got that special ‘thing’ honey. You are simply NOT in her league.”

All I can say is after 4 yrs of testing and making little headway in the puke and pose industry – highlights being an Armand Basi advertorial, a Tampax TV commercial and meeting my lovely friend V – it took another 4 years of therapy to get over the excruciating experience. Still, most of my friends from way-back-when became Coke addicts or bulimics or both, so I suppose I got off rather lightly.

Back to dating.

My turn to send a few winks down the line. I scroll through the closest options. David (Aquarius) from Oxford looks a bit of a dish and he’s 40, which would have been nice were he not looking for a lady between 20 to 30. Sam (Cancer, 41) from Tooting likes children and pets. He’s losing his hair which is why he’s gone for the number 1 but he’s got George Clooney’s light-up-a-room smile. Ladies no older than 28. Give me a break? I flick through man after man and find that most 30 to 40-something guys here in Blighty wouldn’t dream of dating someone their own age. What if Elle Macpherson (Aries, 45) slumped into your passenger seat, Sam? Tell me you’d kick Halle Berry (Leo, 43) out of the hot tub, David?

Why are people in this country so obsessed with youth? I personally think I have never looked better at the geriatric age of thirty one. I have developed a wicked knowing look and have the kind of super-charged sex drive that should be a red rag to a bull of a man. I know women 10 years younger than me who make me look like Miley Cyrus to their Billy Ray. Try this quick experiment: skim the pages of fashion magazines and then jump to pictures of the happier of the 30 plus Heat magazine headliners – espescially those who have had babies – now look back at those 17 year olds pretending to be 25 year olds in Vogue  fashion shoots. Try and tell me you don’t see a brighter light from the laydeez who have been around longer.

I go back to my dating site and check out the female of the species for research purposes. Most of them seem happy to date older men. So what’s your problem, guys?

Before dating exhaustion sets in I switch to Twitter to see what bonkers, irrelevant things are going on in the world:

OHHTDL  Quote of the Day “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” ~His Holiness, the Dalai Lama .

Britney’s Vagina  “May dress up in camel toe today.”

LoulouWitch  “Aren’t glue sticks supposed to be sticky? I’m right aren’t I? I mean they have the words glue and stick in their name.”

Yayyy, I got mail:

@crazyhorseholl  “How r u babe. Cosying up with kids and Chinchillas or busy booking babysitters?”

And Male:

@christian  “How’s newly single life going Ms T? Thinking of you. Letz hook up soon.”

Well there’s a bloke who’s not scared of older women. At 22 Christian (Leo) is almost a decade away from me and yet rather than flinch when I mentioned my age, he had that look of “Whooppadeeedoodahhhh, a lady with experience, I can’t wait to see where this is heading” . He’s from New Zealand so maybe that explains it and, while I didn’t exactly see him dance like a Rugby All Black when I sashayed to the taxi rank instead of his flat, we are still pretty good friends.

You could say he’s part of my new collection. I am gathering a tribe around me. I now have an admirer who mends bicycles for a living (great when you have kids), I have a web expert, a plumber, a builder and a car mechanic on speed dial. They call me for lady advice. I call them for expertise. It’s not like Mr Was Right will come running at the slightest problem any more so I need my Yellow Page Boys. 

Alright, so I make it sound glib, but discounting G, I do value these male companions and like their different points of view as much as hunker after their trades. I have learned to accept men’s wonderful differences since producing a 4 year old male of my own. Sid is a great conversationalist and the cutest thing since Pemba the baby red panda. Except when he tries to tongue me when we kiss good night. Or when he pulls down his pants, prises his bottom cheeks apart and gives people in restaurants his best kidney mooner.

I am finding it hard to concentrate on news of the Perseid meteor shower set to light up the sky tonight. The pitches are back and here I am sitting in the hot seat, sifting through the finalists in search of the perfect dating quip to nab a hotty online. 

Fancy a flutter on a painted lady? Put your money where your moth is!

Forget tonight’s meteor shower. You’ll see stars when you hop in a bath with me.

Crazy lady, likes a good drink and owns pets who eat their own poo.

Hmmm. Love the first one from new Diaries’ fan Sean but might have to go with Al who, with the simplest ingredients, has concocted a fail-safe dating potion with ‘Cute, clever, creative. Careful, I might make you smile.’ I plop both in the maybe pile before googling ‘How to write a personal ad’.

 “Hey you!” shrieks Rita Templeton from the web pages of http://googoobits.com.  “Yeah, you, the one staring at the blank document on your computer screen. Wanna know how to write a personal ad so attention-grabbing it’s like you’ve reached out and poked someone? Read on.” I scroll down, while wondering whether I should really be getting dating tips off  a lady who could box Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs into a corner? According to Rita you need to be honest, engaging, witty and wise but add  a hint of urgency to get the dates flooding in. Propose a time-sensitive date. Chuck a free ticket to accompany you to a gig and he’s hooked, by which stage Rita would probably be saying, “Eat mat, suckerrr!”

Brrrrr. Uhoh, text from G – remember man with inane grin who is now the talk of the neighbourhood?

Round 2? x

Lordy. I need a boyfriend fast.

“Maybe we could market you as the next big thing ” says Ange, in the kitchen over a glass and a half a few hours later. “Ever hear about those guys who dreamed up http://datelance.com? They listed their friend Lance’s best attributes as bullet points and left a billboard on a busy highway emblazoned with the poor guy’s phone number.”

 My friend might not sell herself to the intelligensia, what with her sized down Amy Winehouse do and sized up silicon bust, but, believe me, she is a copywriting supremo. She works in advertising, giving her the computer equipment and access to placements that could just make this happen. Gotta nip this one in the bud. NOW.

“Think I’m more the Crop Circle type, Ange. Cut my personal ad in a field like those poor lonely farmers who direct theirs to local air traffic and I might just bag me a pilot.”

“A Red Arrow?”

“Wouldn’t say No.”

“What if he’s the wrong side of fifty?”

“Come on Ange. A RED ARROW? It wouldn’t matter what he looked like, you’d HAVE to shag him.”

I sleep through my Perseid meteor shower alarm call and instead dream of coloured smoke, red planes and G naked and laughing inanely from the pilot seat. I wake up dripping in sweat and gasping for air. Scary.

Photographer Kevin Gilmour
National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, East Lothian, Scotland

Official Red Arrows Fansite http://www.raf.mod.uk/reds

I heard on my DAB this morning that the most popular line ever sent off to the personal ads was from a medic.  It read “Lady doctor loves to laugh in bed”. In seven words she put across her intelligence, her caring nature (well, she’s a doc), the fact she was a good laugh and a suggestion that she was probably up for it – attributes which, according to dating experts, are handy to plug if you are going to date a man. The hundreds of guys who instantly applied to meet her was testimony to the genius of the one liner.

Others did not fare so well. Less fortunate was the “Tall, well-built woman, with good reputation, who can cook frogs’ legs, appreciates a good fuschia garden, classical music and talking without getting too serious,” who added to her framed advertisement as an aside, “but please only read lines one, three and five”. Lady, you’ve lost me.

Forget signing up for the courses with the Catch a Man and Keep Him gurus, reading men’s personal ads will give you a heap of clues as to what a guy is looking for.  Here’s one of the top ten most bizarre personal ads that made me giggle (yes I am a girl and I do read top tens!).

“Single male searching for double-jointed supermodel, must own her own brewery and grow her own pot. Access to free concert tickets a must, as is having an open-minded twin sister.” Which, when it comes to tugging heartstrings  worked a little better for me than, “Have Viagra, need woman, any woman from 18-80.” Wayhey, sign me up for that dude immediately – can’t wait to introduce Mr. Desperado to my friends. 

One year I gave Mr. Was Right a year’s subscription to Esquire for Christmas. My favourite bit of our top loo read was the Brutally Honest Personals. Does Esquire still print the page where men and women write in with 250 wds rubbishing themselves in public? While I suspect a member of the editorial team may have been responsible for making most of them up they certainly pressed my funny button. “Before I got married, I kept the names of men I slept with in a binder. I have herpes, but I don’t give it away,” is one that particularly sticks in my mind.

Well now it’s my turn and I am as lost for words as a disappointed contestant in Dragon’s Den.

“I’m clever, kind, I care and laugh when I come! Date me.” Desperate.

“Butterfly maiden, ready to wake up from her cocoon.” Too esoteric.

Forget it. I’ll send out a clarion call to friends on Facebook asking them to pitch. You can help too if you want.  Just add your comments under this week’s  blog. After all it would be churlish to throw away the opportunity of tapping  into all you clever people out there in the ether.

“This week I am braving it. I have erased the ‘it’s complicated’ on Facebook, taken all the pics of me, husband and kids out of my photo gallery and have added my poutiest snap to Zoosk” I tell Janey (Virgo), at our local Costa. I might have discovered my inner sex goddess but for the past week the sexiest men on the planet seem otherwise engaged. Having found out that, post-G, I no longer offer a sex-chaser after cocktails they seem a lot less interested. Don’t get me wrong, I sucked a couple of faces but once the masks slipped through my teeth I discovered rather blander people emerging underneath. So I am taking a leaf out of my friend’s book. Two years ago Janey met and married a man she is gaga about through an Internet agency so I am going to give it a go. Janey says getting to know someone who has been chosen specifically for you with no need to proffer immediate address or telephone number is the safest way to meet potentials these days.

“It’s all so different out there now, Abi. Dating has changed so much since the mid-90s. It’ll probably feel like you’ve been in a coma. But I’d be careful with putting it out there too much on Facebook and Zoosk. Go for the safer option to start with. Sign up with a couple of agencies and see what happens.”

Janey was there when I met my husband at a dinner party, we chatted, he told his best mate he had met the woman he wanted to marry, his best mate told my best mate and then I took my swag bag off to America for three months which made him really, really want me. It was all so easy, which is why she knows I will probably need a compass.

“You’re right Janey. I’ve been doing some research and it makes for dizzy reading.”

When I say dizzy I mean fairground waltzer dizzy. If the dating scene was the menu in one of Gordon Ramsey’s ‘Kitchen Nightmare’ restaurants Gordon would be going mental. I can see it now: Pub, You Tube, late night supermarket shopping, chat rooms, park, Roller Disco, Dinner, Zoosk, Nightclub, Facebook, Speed Date, Twitter….”For bleeps sake Stopppppp,” screams mouthy chef pulling his hair out, “There is too much c’in f on this bleepin menu, simplify it for f’s sake, simplify it.” And that’s before we get to the main course – aka dating sites. As Gordon gains a few more lines to his furrowed forehead the list of places you can tap into male totty keeps going. With sites for the disabled, the able bodied, the fat, the fit, the farmer, the miner, the ‘tradie’ or tradesman, the man in uniform, the dull, the disaffected, the foodie, the bookworm all requirements are catered for.

“Do you think you could you hook yourself up with a drug addict or an alcoholic if you were looking for someone to heal. Some of us rather like co-dependent relationships,” laughs my giggliest friend Heather, when I meet her that night for a drink at our favourite local, The Sozzled Bishop. This cheery, cheeky, bottle-blonde 35 year old is still married, but clearly getting her kicks from hearing about my newly separated life. “Hmmm. Not stumbled upon that one yet but now you have sent it out into the ether it’s destined for the dating conveyor belt, doll.”

There are sites for bookworms http://www.penguin.match.com; people learning to cook http://www.cookanddate.com; single parents with kids http://www.singlewithkids.co.uk; people who think they are sophisticated http://www.luxurydate.co.uk; people who like to flirt over coffee http://www.coffeeandcompany.com; no holds barred gold diggers http://www.sugardaddies.com ; people who want to chat and ‘that’ http://www.chatnthat.com; people who want to forget dinner and go Gordon Ramsay’s favourite word http://www.sexintheuk.com; people who want affairs http://www.ashleymadison.com or x rated dates http://www.verynaughty.co.uk; friends of yours http://www.friendsofyours.com; friends of Mine http://www.friendsdatinglondon.com; the single in their 50s http://www.friendsoverfifty.co.uk; eager beaver college undergrads http://www.flirtingstudents.com; flirting professionals http://www.poshflirt.co.uk. There’s even a site designed for nerds and geeks http://www.nerdpassions.com.

“You wouldn’t believe how some of these websites market themselves. I mean would you sign up to a site called http://www.marriedandlonely.com? Doesn’t that sound like the saddest ad of all?”

Heather looks down and starts biting her newly manicured nails. I go on and on as the blood rushes to her cheeks. I fail to register until much, much later, too wrapped up in today’s rant. Having researched this for days I am clearly cooking on gas.

“You can date everyone from a prison inmate http://www.meet-an-inmate.com to your local cop http://www.PoliceSingles.com. You can go Russian, Thai, Welsh; whatever your preference. You can even date and donate to a charity. I liked this idea so much I checked out the Donate 2 Date application on facebook – or d’you think I’ll I meet men with beards who are far, far too good for this world?

“Ich. I don’t get beards,” says Heather, looking up. “Facial furniture is one man-trend I’ll be happy to see the back of. Even Joaquin Phoenix looks daft with one and I LOVE Joaquin Phoenix. Have you tried Sarah Beeny’s site http://www.mysinglefriend.com? Someone recommends you. I would recommend you. You are the funniest, sexiest friend I know and you can feel safe with that property lady from the telly. She’s had babies and she’s, well, kind of sweet. ”

“Thanks Heather. I can always rely on my girlfriends for an ego boost. You’re lovely and I do value your input but I’m on a different mission.”

“Do tell!”

“Did you know that 20 million people around the world visit at least one dating site every month? The smaller sites cost a few thousand to set up and generate anything from £6000 to £60,000 a month. Well, you can just say forget the manhunt. I’m heading up my own agency.”

“How exciting, what are you going to call it?” Heather’s got a sense of humour but poor thing, she believes anything you say.

“Maybe something quirky like Madwomen for Madmen?”

“Too niche.”

“What about socialbutterflies.com?”

“That’s got a cute and flirty ring to it.”

“Whatever I call it, it’s got to be a good thing. At least it’s one way of ensuring I get first dibs on the best looking arm candy…”

Lovely Liz (Libra) is my closest friend, she lives in spitting distance and is brilliant in an emergency. A Reiki master, Liz attuned me to the hands-on healing technique when I was at my lowest ebb a year ago. Since then I have been a much ‘karma’ cookie. Mr Was Right and I were arguing the minute the kids went to bed, arguing in front of the telly, arguing in the bathroom and arguing in bed. One regular set to was over who was going to give the kids breakfast because, after an evening’s mental battering, neither of us had any energy left to get up. We felt so drained we had to leave the breakfast stuff out and hope to God that 4 yr old Sid (Aquarius, like him) and 8 yr old Nancy (Aries, like me) didn’t poison themselves by shaking Persil in their Shreddies. Back then weekday mornings were a sorry state of affairs. These days Mama Tight meditates and prepares for the day between 6 – 7am so is smiling and on call to squirt honey on the cereal.

ommmmmmmmmm

“Inner sex goddess – what the hell is that?” I squeak, when Liz turns up ten minutes later.

“It’s cool. Nothing to worry about,” she says, smiling the kind of smile that bounces light off every quartz crystal in the room. “We all have the potential to be a goddess. You just need to be in touch with your relaxed meditative higher self in order to connect with different goddess attributes throughout the day.”

 

Depending on your star sign and the cycles of the moon, you could be Athena (goddess of war) one minute, Aphrodite (the freedom-loving sex Goddess) the next and Isis (Goddess of your third eye) as you are waiting for your cup of detox tea to brew according to Liz. “Each Goddess brings essential energy to propel you through each stage of your day, but careful it doesn’t get out of control. A woman who is in touch with her Goddess power is so strong her aura will knock some people sideways.”

“Wow, Imagine having the power to wipe someone out with your aura,” I enthuse, sitting back so hard on my chair I rock backwards and threaten to bring this morning’s three Goddess selves crashing to the ground.

“I think I left a few people off balance on the train to Victoria yesterday morning.”

We google Goddess sites on her new iPhone 3G. Well, the sensible ones at least. Some are clearly written by people who have OD’d on chakra-opening meditation DVDs so we concentrate on the saner Goddess websites. According to Goodgoddess.com, “Women have an extraordinary capacity for sensual, sexual and spiritual joy, way beyond what many will ever experience.” To be a real Goddess you need to “talk as a woman of wisdom, love as a woman of freedom and live as a woman of courage. Understand your true power has been stifled for centuries and use it for the good of one and all.” Every culture has at some point in its history known and accepted the loving rule of the goddesses. Women of all ages were once revered as those spiritual gate keepers, the oracles. Pregnant women were enshrined, with the gift of life seen as a sacred mystery.

“So how do you think my transformation is going to unfold?”

“Keep vibrating babe, keep vibrating,” laughs Liz.

“Go on, take the piss, Mystic Meg, but I only have five minutes left on the meter to find out what the Hell is happening to me?”

Liz says it probably has something to do with the shift in the universe brought on by my attunement to Reiki and recent forays into meditation. The dance between you and your surroundings is a magical one according to Liz, who like many new agers past and present believes that our lives are thoughts projected out into the universe and mirrored back to us…

 “The Goddess thing happens when it happens,” says Liz, but not everyone gets lucky. Most people stifle it and never get to live their potential. If someone could bottle Goddess Power they’d make billions.” Well, I suppose, if you think about it spiritual people really do have an amazing goddess glow about them. Louise Hay, Doreen Virtue and Debbie Ford meditate, radiate and are all over 50. I can’t say I am quite there (50 or the amazing Goddess glow) but people have started replacing the “You look tired’s” with “You’re looking so good, Abi”.

9 out of 10 new age hippies say that if you open up spiritually and cultivate your intuition you will soon find yourself speeding down the spiritual highway towards that inner glow and shiny happy outer you that  no eight hour miracle cream has yet been able to replicate.  Liz is right about Reiki opening up things for me. Since I took the first course and started meditating I’ve attracted some of the sexiest men on the Planet.  This week alone the young fit guy who fixes the poles up in the gym where I do poledancing classes asked me out, I had some gorgeous florist boy run after me down the street asking for my number. I even had some cutey chat me up the other night in front of G  who shouted ” She’s mine, you swine.” Well, he might as well have said that. You see by this stage, I was half expecting Russell Brand to supplicate himself on all fours, erasing all other phone numbers in his little black booky wook before promising me his hand in marriage.

Vibrating at an extraordinarily high frequency, I feel sexy to the core and whatever is emanating from me is giving off some kind of weird gravitational pull. One guy I know who hardly ever gives me the time of day stops me at the train station to say, “Wow, you’ve changed. There’s something about you. You’re, you’re magnetised.”

“Magnetised? I’m having some freaking Kundalini moment.” I reply. “I’m a volcano about to explode. My husband of ten years has left. My kids are distraught. My whole world is crumbling and yet here I am acting like phoenix rising from the bloody ashes.” By this stage we are on the train, my train guy appears to have been hit in the face with a baseball bat while the rest of the carriage looks on silently, awestruck and more than a bit bemused.

“I’m sorry, I, I didn’t know.”

“No, no-one knows, apart from my closest friends. You are the first person outside my immediate circle I’ve told.”

“What are you gonna do? You still got the house?”

Train guy is going to wish he had never sparked up a conversation with me. As I rant and rant about old life versus new with delicate information I should be saving for the divorce courts I am sucking up the gas from my sweet liberation. And while I feel taller each minute I offload, the rest of the train carriage is mentally shrinking back towards the toilet door.

“Women don’t normally feel so alive when their other half clears out of the bedroom leaving nothing but a few used earplugs and stray pubes scattered inside the bed as evidence he ever existed, do they?”

“Um, well, um, no I suppose they don’t. I mean, I’ve never really asked.”

“I should be sitting in a darkened room, too paranoid to go out. Or sobbing and heading for the fridge.” I turn off the phone playing Rihanna’s ‘Disturbia’ into my pocket then notice a crowd of concerned faces looking panicky in my direction. Can they see something I can’t see? Am I really a female force to be reckoned with or deep, deep down is the fear goblin slowly chewing at my wiring sending me a teensy bit off balance?

I mean for God’s sake since I hit thirty, my boobs have started heading South, I am developing exclamation marks for wrinkles between my eyebrows and am now proud owner of a top drawer full of decaying underwear. What would a man, or men, find attractive about me? If you don’t know it already you are going to find out sooner or later. Giving birth naturally to two kids seriously changes the landscape of your undercarriage. Mine is not the geisha pout it used to be. Not that I need to look South to find out. When I last had a bath with my eight year old Nancy (another Aries) she asked,

“What IS THAT?” squirting bubbles through her lips.

“It’s my – um – flower?” I reply, desperately grappling for a word, having forgotten to consult the manual of PC (parentally correct) retorts.

“THAT is not a flower, Mum. THAT is disGUSTING. YUCH…Can you wear pants the next time you have a bath with me?”

And there ends the short sharp lesson in humiliation from small beings.

Soooooo, if I am really not so sure I want to share that part of me again with anyone sober should I be feeling kind of excited about rejoining the dating scene after 7 years of slow dehydration in the marital Gobi? And what is this incredible vibrating feeling? Has the phone gone off in my pocket again? Has Venus just skipped into my astrological sign? Or is that crazy love mojo meditation I got off Hay House’s Internet radio station actually starting to work?

“You just seem kind of younger, more vibrant, that was all I really wanted to say,” says Train Guy, looking rather sympathetically at me. “I’m sorry if I upset you – must go.” And with that he slopes off at the stop before his usual stop, waves goodbye and plonks himself down on the cold metal station seating. I watch a wave of relief wash over his face as the train pulls away and I leave Train guy waiting half an hour for another train rather than suffer five more minutes of Ms Tight’s relentless ear-bleed chat.

OK, so you want to know what happened with G ? Two hours later I am trying to remember how to sashay in my favourite pair of Karen Millen’s which are so teeteringly-high customers should get a free course in catwalking when you buy them. Bollocky bollocks. Why didn’t I pack a pair of flatties? I twist an ankle on the way to the Buddha bar on The Embankment, get laughed at by a man with a dog on string and arrive hobbling to meet my on/off coffee friend who has fancied me from the moment he saw me dressed as Daisy Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard.

We met at a “heroes” party, the year before I fell in love with Mr Was Right. We now keep in touch on a monthly basis by meeting up at whichever Cafe Nero we are closest to at the time where we rant on about our significant others. G always ends the conversation by asking if we can divert to some sleazy hotel in town for a drink. I always end the conversation by telling him I have never really fancied him. I would rather sleep with a smelly old retriever than play mattress hockey with him. In 10 years I haven’t managed to steer the guy off course.

I turn my head at an angle as I walk in to see G (Scorpio), propping up the bar with his cat got the cream grin. He looks kind of handsome if you tilt your head. He pinches my bum with one hand, offers me my favourite lime daiquiri with the other and then the monologue begins. Oh God, I have heard it all before: his great job, his far right political beliefs, his x-rated video collection and his love of dirty, dirty women. The hours go by in a bit of a blur before I wake up with Mr Wrong flashing that inane grin I have seen him use on girls half his age. And here it is attached to a face that is attached to a body that is sitting bolt upright in bed beside me.

Oh God. Oh shit. Oh bollocks. Where is the blessing in this situation Butterfly Maiden/Doreen Virtue and why oh why did I say yes to that seventh daiquiri? I might have upped my vitamin C levels with all the freshly squeezed lime but my head is pounding. I hold said head with one hand while blindly bashing around in the bathroom for Berocca, Diarolyte, Nurofen. Aforementioned hand leads me to the kids’ Calpol which is in a box on the shelves and neatly divided into little sucky packs. I scatter the box all over the floor before demolishing five of the blighters then jump back in to bed smiling an ‘I’m a Psycho You Had Better Get Out of Here’ smile at G, who snuggles up to my shoulder while making a weird satisfied noise that sounds somewhere between a motorbike revving and a buffalo bathing. Urggggghhhhh.

Still, it pleases me that I never got around to cleaning the sheets. Did G notice? Do I care? Surely the man was too busy showing me his Ju Jitsu to make mental notes about my lack of hygiene? Bugger, now I’m getting flashbacks. Can’t have been Rohipnol? It would have been a good excuse but I don’t think you remember any of the night before if you’ve been dosed with the forget me drug. I hug the duvet to my chin and beg the man I wish I’d never gone to bed with to make me an extra strong cup of coffee pronto (yep he’s that much of a coffee friend he knows where it is). G kindly obliges; probably hoping if he keeps me in bed he’ll get seconds.

OK Abi. Keep Calm. This is just a small blip in the larger scheme of indiscretions. Don’t erase all that hard positivity work you have been doing in your half an hour a day meditations. Faaaaarck. What AM I doing? If it wasn’t my house – and I didn’t have a swollen ankle – I would exit at sprint-speed. But rather than choosing the Linford route I wrap a kimono tightly around me and hobble sheepishly downstairs in search of G. As I step into the hall I hear the loudest fart. Pinching my nose I poke my head into the kitchen to see a tall, pale to the point of blue, skinny, hairy-backed man drinking milk out of the carton straight from MY fridge.

The chinchillas go crazy as one of the older neighbours walks by to see me staring at a different naked man than the one they have got to know and love over the five years since we moved in. Caught red-handed with my hand in the sexual cookie jar. Oh Shit – shit, shiterdy, shit. Did I really sign up for this when I ticked the divorce box?

Thank God I packed the kids off for the weekend.

Bye. Yep. Bye. See you ….I flop back on to the door to close it as jumbled thoughts race through my mind at lightning speed. The man I married 12 years and 62 haircuts ago is outside revving up the engine on his new silver Audi A6 saloon, clearly not in the best mood following his sharp exit. After 18 months of screaming, tears, therapy, tears, separation chat, tears, divorce papers, tears, my drinking partner, friend, enemy, co-creator of too many things that mean so much in my life, the only man to ever buy me a vibrator and say I love you to my fanny has – finally – yes, finally checked out.

How do I feel, how DO I feel? I mean people will ask, they are bound to. I don’t know. Excitement, fear, free, lonely, fucked. Fuck. FUCK! Nothing. I feel nothing. The text goes out.

“A rather teary-eyed Mr Bojangles has left the building.”

Bojangles is what friends call him on account of his wedding dancing – although, my Bojangles is admittedly more David Brent ‘Renaissance man’ than celebrated Harlem Hoofer. I slam the phone on the Knoll (table) and am greeted with a brrrrr minutes later…

“Coffeeeee m’dear?xxxxxx”

Brrrrrr…”Y’ok chick?:)))))))x”

Brrrrr…”Well what do you expect from a guy whose moon is in Cancer?;)Lx”

Brrrrr…”Did he take the bloody chinchillas with him? lol xx”

“Nope, left carrying two suitcases, guitar, much-loved signed photo of Neil Young and favourite houseplant.”

“So, honey, how do you feeel?” bleats ever-so-concerned mate Angie (Gemini) over a cup of camomile tea and homemade scone half an hour later. Oh Lordy. I knew I should have dropped by to see a male friend. A male friend would never ask how you feel. They don’t want to know the emotional stuff. They’d put a practical slant on it. What you gonna do? You still got the house? Did he take the Audi? Who’s he shagging?

Brrrr. Twitter, link to photo. Up pops the side of a bus with an advert for Ann Summers latest lube. At last a bit of light relief. Virginia , aka V or Vag (another Aries), probably did a small wee in her pants sending that one.

“Thanks V, needed that! BTW, when is it sensitive to erase the married on facebook?”

Brrrr. “Now Chick, now. Bite the bullet, just DO it and none of that ‘it’s complicated’ business! Live your truth laydey:)))

You think when you separate that that is that – you’ve scaled the mountain – hard part over. But, while I have adapted to the rot of our relationship after a year’s slow composting, none of my family has the slightest clue. Who first? Tell Charlie, my sister, and it’ll be on Loose Women by lunchtime. Tell Mum and I’ll get the lecture with her life as the master-plan. Poor Dad will just cry and worry about my safety. And, because I don’t want to go into massive detail, at what point can I cut the conversation short and put the phone down without seeming like the world’s most heartless bitch?

It’s going to be painful. My family thought our marriage was perfect. They loved him more than me. They didn’t see the creases in our relationship I tried so desperately for years to iron out: his lap dancing receipts, the longer and longer lunch breaks, the workaholic, monosyllabic man I played house with, the ‘bitch’ rants after a few whiskies. And what are HIS family going to think when they find out I wasn’t exactly Mother Theresa myself?

“I must change the sheets.” Oh Lordy. I’m talking to myself out loud already. I’ll be investing in a brace of cats next like some of my thirty-something friends. I reach for the fridge, get out a half-drunk bottle of chilled Prosecca and sit at the Knoll with my dog-eared deck of Goddess oracle cards designed by world-renowned clairvoyant and Doc of psychology Doreen Virtue (Yes,that is her real name).

As I shuffle the pack one flips out …Butterfly maiden…I flick through the book….

 Transformation

“Ain’t that the truth.” Scheisse, I’m talking out loud again.

You are experiencing enormous change right now which brings great blessings. Be part of nature’s cycles of birth, death and rebirth. Allow old parts of your life to fall away. This Hopi Native American Spirit will guide you through this time of transition and help you spread your wings.

Brrrrrrr…”Hey U, Cum 4 drnk – celebratn time. xG ”

“Can’t G , too much to do,” I text. “Letting dust settle, getting to grips with divorce thang.”

“Get to grips tomorrow. Things look better in the morning. xx”

“Spose you’re right. Should be out painting the town .” G.