Hairy, low voice, no interest in shoes

I wasn’t going to tell you, but I was out with a man on Friday night.

A man who likes shoes. This is NOT my non-date. (photo credit:

A man who likes shoes. This is NOT my non-date.
(photo credit:

Yes, you know, one of those; hairy, low voice, no interest in shoes.

I wasn’t going to tell you, because it wasn’t a date. And I didn’t want you thinking anything untoward of me. I didn’t want you thinking I was betraying my husband, cheating on Him in some way, enjoying the company of another male. Or perhaps it’s just me who was thinking that, and you have no such misgivings at all.

As I said, it wasn’t a date. It was drinks and dinner with a ‘mutual’ friend, who had, many years ago, lost his girlfriend too. It was in fact a widows support group with only two members.

But actually, we didn’t spare much time talking about our respective losses. He’s gone, she’s gone, what’s there to discuss? Instead, we quaffed red wine and had a laugh.

And, as anticipated, now the boozy afterglow has dimmed, I am in the throes of fervent self-interrogation.

Why didn’t we spend more time talking about them? What pearls of wisdom for getting through this shit did I miss out on from my non-date whilst we were guffawing in the bar? What would Mark have thought about me being out with one of his old school adversaries?

Truth is, it’s been eighteen months since I sat in a restaurant opposite one of those hairy, low-voiced representatives from the other half of the human race, and it was rather nice.

I miss the sorts of conversations men have. They don’t talk about feelings so much, they don’t tend to ulcerate about the minutiae. They’re totally ambivalent about the frankly SUPERB  pair of wedges I bought in the Office sale. (Twenty quid by the way. I shit you not.) I’m wildly generalising of course, but you catch my drift.

I like men, which is why I married one. And whilst I’m not interested in having a boyfriend, a friend who is a boy might be nice.

Buzz, buzz, THWACK!

I’ve a bee in my bonnet just now and I need to release it otherwise it’ll never let me sleep.

And to be honest, I’m weary of the debate I’m about to reignite, but bear with me. It’ll only take a minute, then I’m back off to bed to worry about something else.

I acknowledge that some people don’t understand why I am writing this blog. They don’t understand my need to talk about my husband’s death, and the feelings and reactions it provokes, on a public forum. I have gone round in circles justifying myself until I have reached the conclusion that I should never have had to justify myself in the first place. I am a writer, this is how it comes out. Deal with it.

I reiterate: I am not ashamed of anything I have written and if you don’t like it, don’t read it. I have faced trauma over the past four years since my husband’s sudden illness and (even more) sudden death that a lot of people don’t have to deal with in a lifetime.

I am raising our child now, alone, doing the best I can. And she’s a superb individual, so I must be doing something right. Right?

But a message came through in the ‘comments’ section of a post I’d written the other day which sums this all up, once and for all.

It was a poem, written for me, by someone I don’t even know. The author, Shimky, might be male, female, black, white. They might live down the road or on the other side of the earth. All I know is that they drink White Russians and love cinema. Check our their blog here:

Fact is, Shimky read my blog and felt compelled to scribe the following in response to one of my posts. It spoke directly to my soul and is now pinned up In my office. It lifts me when I am down. And that’s all the justification I need.

(In response to the post We’re (Not) Going on a Summer Holiday)

Myself, I love the comfort of home.

Others may love to get up and roam

But I love the comfort of home.

Okay, so the balcony looks out

Onto a busy motorway

And the gang members block

That little passageway.

But me, I love the comfort of home,

Inseparable from my sofa

Like a bee from honeycomb.

Yes, the chimney stacks

Blow this way,

Greying out what could have been

A beautiful summer’s day.

But like I said, in the same monotonous tone,

Why pay for a bed

When here is one I already own?

From here I can almost see, almost smell

The offices in which I nine to five.

It’s Saturday, fuck the shopping,

We could go out for a drive.

And yes, you’re right, my daughter, his clone

Could do with a change

But why buy a brush when I already have my comb.

So how about something shorter?

A day trip to the hills, kicking through the furze.

Friday night was mine,

Sunday will be hers.