Monday, 27 September 2010

Recruiting: competent gardener, reliable butler

This month, after finally managing to put my house in order, I saw my gardener and my butler resign.
My gardener left for Kenya, and, as it turned out, my butler was already working for another home. I am now left with a very sweet pool boy who's visits are irregular and often superficial.

One of my friends has worked out that in love we should all have three helpers to look after our home. After all, home is where your heart is.
Although the three roles are quite different, they each convey a function in keeping you sane and entertain throughout your search for Mr Right:
  • The Pool boy: 
Young, attractive and fit, he is quite lay back and mainly wants to play. However, you know that he is not very punctual, cannot be relied on and will leave you to go and work on a larger pool with better benefits without giving you notice. But should he prove himself to be reliable and have some attention to details you might be able to promote him to...
  • The Gardener:
The Gardener is a bit more mature. He knows how to look after a nice flower and will put some love and attention to it. Like the Pool boy he has his own accommodation away from your home, he only comes when he is needed but on a more regular basis than the Pool boy. Your average Pool boy will mainly be used and abused in the summer and only a couple of times in the winter to ensure your pool doesn't freeze over. The Gardener is needed all year around to take care of your secret garden. But be aware that if you start neglecting your garden he will move on to a fresher garden which just doesn't require as much trimming...

But the position that both the Pool boy and the Gardener aspire to is the ultimate one:
  • The Butler:
The Butler is the only one who get to live in your home. He is usually a bit older, has an eye for detail and knows what to do and when to do it without you having to tell him. He will wait at your every need day and night. He is more settled and will even look after the kids when you need to go catch up with the girls for a night out. In short, he is the one who will be turning your house into your home.

Thank you CJ for sharing with me this bit of wisdom.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Breaking the Rules

Today I was feeling a bit down. I felt cheated by Mr Smile kiss and wanted more.
I knew that he was short for time and so I wasn't rising my hopes too high. I struggled all morning at my desk trying to keep my mind busy with work and thankfully work complied. I had a long meeting followed by numerous phone calls with queries along the line of "why is the sky blue?". Around lunch time and after 3 or 4 attempt at creating the perfect "I'm so cool and not that bothered" text I finally send it.
"Hi, I hope you have made good progress on your packing. I was wondering if you would like to meet up tomorrow night?x"
About one hour later I got the following:
"Hey there. Progress is good but the room is still a tip though! I can't tomorrow :( I'd love to meet, but I really just don't have the hours. Friends have already organized my last two nights together with a gig night for tomorrow. We'll speak before I go though. Enjoy riding tonight. X"
And just like that a huge weight came off my shoulders. I knew that I would not have any regrets. I had had a kiss and I had asked if we could meet up. The answer may have been negative but I wouldn't have any what-if's hanging over my head. Tonight I will sleep soundly.
Good night All.

Sweet & Sour

Those are my favourite sweets. I would eat them until my teeth rote. Unfortunately it is also the less pleasant feeling I have been left after today's lunch with Mr Smile.
It is the first time I saw him dressed casually and he looked just as nice and charming as ever. He called me at one on the dot. He was waiting for me on the corner of the street, outside work. He had come into town just to take me for lunch, took the time off his manic packing to meet yours truly. This was a good sign.
As I approached he was chatting with one of his now ex-colleagues, she says hi but look surprised to see me there, meeting up with him. We went to a French boulangerie and we chatted, about everything, anything, just chatted. We then got to the stage where we needed to say what needed to be said.
Mr Smile: "It's a shame we only got to know each other so late.
- I know, I wanted to chat to you longer sometimes but I was aware of the gossip "queens" in the office.
- I have kind of been in a non-relationship mode in the last year and just didn't... I guess that's too much information... But if you are ever thinking of visiting Kenya or Malaysia, let me know... "
Unfortunately, far too soon, I have to go back to work and so we walk back towards his ex-office, my work.
I choose a quieter street where I think there might be less of our colleagues around. I feel very aware that I am near work and not somewhere relaxing and romantic. We pass another one of his ex-colleague. She has always been very quiet, doesn't talk much, but that look and that smile mean a hundred words.
The next street is deserted. We stop, unsure what to say, what to do next. We look at each other and smile. Slowly we reach out for each other... and kiss. A small kiss. More like a peck. "Never mind". Never mind, such a long wait and only a small peck so late in the game. But then we try again, this time it is slightly longer, still soft and too short for my taste, but again I feel too close to work to be comfortable and this is all I can manage. Hardly the romantic kiss I had dreamt off and it leaves on my lips two very opposite tastes. A sweet one, longing for more. More of his lips, more of his eyes, more of his smile. But also a bitter one, one of knowing that no matter what, this is the first and last kiss from Mr Smile. Despite promises of catching up in many months to give me back my book, or in two years, which is how long he thinks it will take him to be fluent in French, we both know that in fact we will probably never meet again. We will be friends on Facebook and send each other a nice little note every few months but probably never meet again.
Sweet and Sour, my favourite sweets indeed.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


There is time when life challenges you and this weekend was one of those.
I went to Mr Smile leaving do on Friday night, or more accurately I went for a drink with my colleagues at the bar where Mr Smile's leaving do was. Selfishly I was keen for my colleagues to leave so that I could go and join him. Unfortunately this did not happen until the time I had to leave to meet with my friend, Mr Ken. So I quickly caught up with him, got slightly teased by some of our colleagues, along the lines of "You can't let her go!" and so on. We stepped outside and agreed to meet again before he leaved.
The plan was originally to meet last night for his second  leaving do, with his friends this time. As he failed to call by the afternoon I called him. I know, this is not Rules like. But in all fairness I thought he may have saved my number on his work phone which I knew he had given back to his company. Anyway, we decided that it might be awkward for both of us if I went, a) he wouldn't have much time to chat with me whilst he caught up with his friends, b) I don't know any of his friends and might end up standing on my own most of the night.

Unfortunately that same day I had received an e-mail from my mum. My baby dog back home was very sick. My high school boyfriend had taken me to the dog rescue centre, 15 years ago, to pick up my very first dog. After viewing all the dogs we had gone back to the reception only to find this tiny puppy in a small cage on top of cages full of kittens. I instantly fell in love.He was 3 months old and he could sit on just one of my knees. He had never walked in grass and he pied like a girl. But he was by far the my biggest love. And now my baby was sick, very sick. I called my mum and she was in tears. She had taken him to the vet and it wasn't looking good. He was old, his breathing was fast and heavy and his heart was weak. Later that night she called me back, my baby had died in his sleep, in his favourite spot. My mum was crying and trying to reassure me/her feel better. Her grandson, as she called him, hadn't suffered. My dad couldn't talk, he was crying. I have only seen him cry twice. When his dad passed away and when my mum's dad passed away. He had always moaned about how I had left them this dog who was a pain in the butt to look after. That whenever they wanted to go somewhere they had to think about what to do with him. How he would poop everywhere. But despite all that, just like my mum and I, he had grown very fond of this little mongrel.
I was pleased I hadn't gone to the party after all. I had been home to take that call.
We had agreed to meet up Monday night for dinner, but the news of my dogs death shook me up more than I would have expected. I had crap Sunday, mainly going through pictures and old video of him playing with his Christmas present, defending hi tennis ball against my malignant hand mischievously trying to prise it from his paws whilst he chewed on my wrist.
And as much as I was keen to see Mr Smile before he left I didn't think I would be great company. I texted him to explaining that I had some bad news from back home and didn't feel up to dinner on Monday, I offered instead that we met up for coffee.
Within 10 minutes he called.
"Is it your dog?
Yes, he didn't make it.
For what you told me he seem to have had a great life. How are you doing?
Not great. But I know he didn't suffer.
Listen, I understand you don't want to dinner, and I know you say you couldn't do lunch, but would you have time for a quick lunch, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday? I still have to give you back your book."
Every time I need cheering up he finds a way to make me feel special. And so, just like that, Monday we are meeting for lunch. I can't guarantee that I will be able to keep my make up from running.

In memory of Jumbet - April 2005 - 18 September 2010
You brought me joy, love and laughter.
You will never be forgotten.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Another one bite the dust

Could this be the end of L'Amoureuse's vermilion's cheeks?
My girlfriends at work have been pushing me to find out whether Mr C was available or not. But how do you go about finding out this kind of information in a work environment without arising suspicions? I mean, it isn't like high school where you would send your BFF to ask his mate whether he had a girlfriend and how he felt about you. Although, to be honest, I had considered and even suggested sending my younger colleague to try to extract the information from one of Mr C's colleague. But the girls convinced me that this method might be too... risqué.
Instead I went for option two (Thank you my Aussie friend). I used his addiction to my cakes (he asks me everyday where is his cake) to innocently find out his marital status.
This morning, as I went into my client's office with a query the daily tease started: "Look, because you haven't brought any of your lovely cake I have to have this awful fried food for breakfast!" (on his desk seats an horrible looking sausage breakfast sandwich half eaten). This time I don't miss my cue: "Well, nothing is stopping you from bringing in your own cake. And if you don't know how to bake it, maybe... get your Mrs to bake it for you."
And the coup de grace, delivered with the face of a teenage boy caught looking under a cheerleader's skirt: "Yes, I guess I could." And just like that, Mr C's charm just disappeared.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Kissing's good for your health. So pucker up, Baby, I'm gonna make you live past a hundred!

Ever since I read this on the SleepTalkingMan blog I have been considering making it my new chat up line! Definitely not Rules like but so funny!
You will be pleased to hear that I did not try it on Mr Smile tonight.
He checked midday if we were still on for tonight and what time we should leave. He came to check on time if I was ready, leaving sometime to close out a few open e-mails and then, well prepared, he took me to a wine bar he used to go to. It was just perfect, a tube stop away from the office and we left late enough so that most of our colleagues were already gone, so no risk of office gossip tomorrow.
He choose and ordered a bottle of wine, rather nice. And we just chatted. About everything and nothing in particular. Then it was time to go. We walked back to the station. He waited with me for a train that would allow me to get home safer. When we got to his stop he kissed me goodnight... on the cheeks.
It was a lovely evening and he insisted that I should come to both his work and his friends leaving party before his big trip. I'll have to see. This girl already has plans for one of the two, and a Rules Girl (even one who has broken all the other Rules) does not put 'ho before Bro', or in this case Mr Smile before Mr Ken. Even a bad Rules Girl has her limits.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

The waltz of the exes

A few weeks ago I decided to revisit some of my past relationship to get a better understanding into why I have so far failed to find Mr Right. Taking my courage in both hands I prepared an e-mail and send it, reluctantly, to an old flame, Mr Ken. I knew he had met someone after we split up and he was engaged.
Within half a day I had a message back. He felt uncomfortable putting his thought on an e-mail, too impersonal and it could be misinterpreted. He suggested that we meet instead.
We met up a few days later in a pub near my work and suddenly the real reason for us meeting up became much clearer. A few months back he realised that he wasn't in love with his fiancée and that it was time to call it a day. He took full advantage of her trip back home to let her know not to bother to come back but that is she did it would be to move out. Pretty much since that day he had been trying to get her to move out, with no result.
As t turned out he only had fond memories of us, apparently our break up was all due to poor timing, and judging by his behaviour, he was keen to rekindle our old relationship. We had a couple of drinks over dinner and then took the tube home. Each to our own. But not before he made me promise to keep in touch.
Last week he sent me a text asking whether we had made plans last time and when would I be free to catch up again. Not sure I am ready to revisit this relationship.

Somehow it seems that one ex attracts another. Whilst I was on Skype I received a message from someone I had met at a friend's wedding. He was at the time already with a partner but seem to struggle to keep his pants on. The only reason we did not sleep together was because of my rule (which as I found out recently is also one of The Rules): No married or taken men, it only lead to tears. Mr Droppingpants seem to find himself single again and keen to come and visit me. The thing is, I know him to well, what he is looking for is to re-establish himself as a Casanova, get his bit of fun and go back home. Well this bit of fun is a very exclusive membership only access amusement park, so exclusive in fact that it will be a single ticket holder access, and I very much doubt he can afford this ticket.

As happy memories always come in threes, last but not least: Mr Biker is an old flame from 3 years ago, imagine Justin Timberlake on a motorbike, nicely pumped up and you have Mr Biker. He has always been cheeky and very much of a tease, but also, and despite what people think, a very sweet man with a very warm huge. He came to join me and a friend at mine on Friday night. He confided on how hard this summer had been for him, he has lost a friend in a terrible accident and didn't really have anyone to share his pain with. A band of bikers just aren't that shoulder to cry on type. He made his excuse to stay a bit longer after my friend left. We chatted a bit. The play fight that followed led to inevitable awkward moment. A couple of kisses and the knowledge that we had been down that path many times before. And as much as I like him, I also know there is no future for us, we each have very different priorities in life. The moment passed and he left, slightly embarrassed. The following day I received a text. " I want to apologise for my stupid behaviour last night and I promise you that it should never happen again. I just want to be your good friend." I felt bad. I longed his huge but also knew that nothing else could happen.

One of my friends used to say that true friendship between male and female wasn't possible, one of the two parties would always want more. I didn't believe him at the time and thought I had many examples proving him wrong. I have since found out that in most of those examples one of the two had been deeply, yet secretly, in love with the other. It is sometime difficult to know how to manage such a friendship without hurting the other person. One can only try her best.

The Exhibition

Saturday morning I duly kept myself busy, pampered myself, got dressed, changed outfit about three time going through a quite nice dress, with tights, without tights, with belt, without belt to end up in jeans and t-shirt. I don't think Mr Smile has ever seen me in dress and I thought the dress might just make it all a bit too formal and just add pressure where it wasn't needed. By 11.30am he still hadn't called, so I decided to do what any good Rules Girl would do, I carried on with my weekend plans, with or without him.
Whilst I am sitting on the train to London, en route to the photographic gallery, my phone rings. It's a new number. I try to put on my calmer voice as I pick up my phone. To be honest I had slightly given up and had prepared myself for a day for one in Central London.
As it happens, I was right to get myself ready for a single day out. He had phone to let me know that, unfortunately, he wouldn't be able to make it. He was preparing for his big move and had managed to secure the help of a friend and his car. As hard as I tried, I could not blame him. I have been there myself and I know far too well how stressful it is to try to sort out your life before a six months trip abroad. What did reassure me however, is the fact that he kept asking what time I would be in town. I could almost hear him thinking "could I make it to the exhibition and back to mine in time? Can I squeeze her in?"
But instead he ask if we could try to catch up one evening next week as weekends were just becoming far too busy for him. I agreed and went on to the exhibition on my own, somehow still with a massive smile on my face.
Being single doesn't have to mean being alone or even staying at home. Being single just mean having the freedom to choose what you want to do and when you want to do it. My Saturday ended up being quite enjoyable, after visiting the gallery I went on to treat myself to a lovely sandwich at Paul's followed by one of my favourite cake. It had been a long time since I had a chance to seat down in a café and enjoy a snack with a good book. It just shows, there is a silver lining to every cloud.

Success at last

It only took a little bit of help and many days of settle hints, but Mr Smiley finally asked me out.
It was Friday and I was refilling my bottle of water in the kitchenette. Mr C was just walking out of it when Mr Smiley walked in. After the usual greeting exchange we moved on to the what-are-you-up-to-this-weekend chat. I mentioned that I didn't have any specified plans but was thinking of checking out this photographic exhibit. That is when I finally got the first result of many days of settle hints: "Are you going with anyone? I just thought... maybe... I could come with you?... If you wanted?"
Now, I had two very different yet simultaneous reactions here:
Reaction number 1: Jump up and down whilst screaming YYYYYYEEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!! WOOOOO...HOOOOOO!!!!! FINALLY!!! YOU ASKED ME OUT!!!!
All that whilst practising my back flip, full split, hip hop and salsa dance moves. And most importantly... all in my head.  It's just that my mind is more flexible than my body and I am not sure I would have managed the back flip and full split that well in real life.
Reaction number 2: Play it very cool "Yeah, that would be lovely" with a nice smile.
He suggested that he would call me the following morning to arrange time and place, then pointed out that he didn't have my number. I obliged.
I hear you say "But you broke all the Rules! You accepted a date a Friday for a Saturday. You told him you had no plans for the weekend." Yes, I know, I didn't do it exactly by the Rules but I figured that one has to live dangerously at times.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

J'ai deux amours...

Like Josephine Baker sang so nicely in her song "J'ai deux amour..." I too have two loves... Except, where she spoke of her country and Paris, I am thinking Mr Smile and Mr C...
The first one, with his lovely smile and sparking eyes, makes me want to break all the Rules. Ask him out, kiss him and... more. He lend me an amazing book that I read in 3 days, most days we caught up over lunch or tea  and would discuss where I was at and how we had each interpreted it. On many occasion I felt he was close to ask me out, yet, nothing. Every time he passes my office he gives a quick glance in and gives me a smile, I reciprocate. Yet, nothing. I am thinking that his nearing 6 months trip abroad might be the reason to his reticence. One should see.
The other part of my love triangle, with his cheekiness and flirtatiousness, well, let's just say that he knows how to make me blush and has now proved that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach; as I caught him in the kitchenette eyeing a birthday cake left there by one of our colleagues, I mentioned that he should have some, that cake was just too lovely to pass and we went on to talk about my cake that he had liked so much the previous week. "We just don't get to try enough of your cakes". So I promised some more for Monday, as it happens I have bought all the ingredients for a recipe I haven't tried yet, and yes, he has volunteered to be my guinea pig. How very kind of him.
In the meantime, it sure makes going to work far more interesting!

I leave you with my good friend Josephine Baker, J'ai Deux Amour.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

True men?

A lot of the Rules is based on primal behaviour, the fact that men are the hunters, does that make those 2 the ideal men?

Monday, 6 September 2010

A burden shared is a burden halved

Last night I went out to a restaurants second birthday, courtesy of one of my friends. He texted me Saturday "I have a +1 for the 2nd b'day of a Japanese restaurant. Cocktails and canapés. Tomorrow night. You're in?"
Me: "Well, I will have to cancel my 30 dates, but anything for you, cocktails and sushi!"
I although thought that this would be a good Rule Girl evening out. Meddling and meeting new people. I spent the day pampering myself (well overdue, the zoo was ready to come and add me to the Primate section!). I choose a nice pair of dark skinny jeans, a black loose top tight with a large brown belt and my brown high heels boots. I pulled my hair up for the trip in a bun to give them a bit of a wave prior to get to the party. All Rule Girl style, so far.
The Party turned out to be a much smaller affair than I expected and being a seat down one, there just wasn't much occasion for the mingling I was hoping for.
It actually allowed me to catch up with my friend. Properly catch up. And soon he was confiding how he too had suffered from a bad break up but still felt in love with the lady in question. For the last year and a half I too have been trying to get over someone who broke my heart and still find it difficult not to think about him and romantize our relationship. The truth is, you can't make someone who doesn't love you, love you. You can only do your best to live you life to its best and hope that one day you will meet the one person who you love and love you back equally. But sometimes it is easier say than done.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

One for a drink, one for a tease...

Thursday was one of those days that could have gone so bad but just flicked on the back of a charming man... or two.
Work was going bad, I mean really bad. I was stressed, grumpy and with PMS, the mix from hell. This last phone call had taken me to the edge and I needed chocolate before my next meeting. As I stepped out of my office building my next meeting was walking in. "I'm coming to see you, where are you going?", "I am not meeting you for another 8 minutes and I need Chocolate!".
As I was walking along the aisle looking for that special chocolate treat, Mr Smile walked in. He asks what I am doing here: "I am looking for happy pills to keep me from jumping off the roof!"
Mr Smile: "I think they have run out. You should try that, I discovered it the other day, it's quite nice" He hands me some kind of energising drink made of a mixture of exotic juices including one that I had used only as a medicinal cream for bruises. I had only taken £2.50 with me and the price of the drink wouldn't leave me enough for the chocolate macaroons I had set my eyes (and stomach) on, but to be honest I didn't really feel like I needed the chocolate quite as much any more. As I am queuing behind him he grabs my drink out of my hands and adds it to his bill despite my protest. Now, does that count has him buying me a drink or does he need to ask me out for it to actually count?
We walked back to the office and I went to my meeting, much more relaxed.
Later on my colleague and I decided that we deserve to go out for a drink, to be polite I asked Mr C who was seating on his own in his office.
He politely decline but noted how he admired my style,"Going out on a Thursday night like if it was a Friday!"
"Well that's just me, wild. And the fact that I am working from home tomorrow"
Mr C: "How come?"
Me: "Broken washing machine being repaired. With a bit of chance I should be able to come back to work next week with clean clothes..." (best cheeky grin)
Mr C: "Well that will be a nice change for us!" (his best cheeky grin)
And yes, again, you have guest it, I bid farewell and escaped... bright red!