I am sorry. I am still struggling at the moment. I am finding everything a little overwhelming. I am focussing on my job, as a way of getting through. There is a quote I love from I Capture the Castle, when Cassandra is moping, self-indulgently following a broken heart;
'Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.'
There is an element of truth in that, in trying to look outside of your own colourless misery. Indoctrinating my class of 28 mini mackems in the world of gothic ghost stories, Tudor beheadings and haiku poetry is rather an effective diversion from my own sorrow.
But, I don't want to dwell on my maudlin self-obsession. Shall I update you on my farcical internet dating adventures? Please grant a degree of artistic license to my use of the word 'adventures'. So far this year, all my dating adventures have taken place from the comfort of my sofa. Usually whilst I am in my pyjamas. Often accompanied by a snoozing lurcher, a plate of crumpets and an expression of mild horror.
One observation though, gentlemen, please, if you are considering dabbing in internet dating, choose your Nom de Plume carefully. I am currently being stalked via match.com by a man who calls himself Alistair666. It is, I am sure you'll agree, a rather disturbing choice. It has shades of Ted Bundy. I expect Alistair666 lurks in the subterranean world of his mother's basement, surrounded by flickering candles and decapitated, naked Sindy dolls. I am picturing a small, neat bearded man, dressed in a black polo neck, with long, but perfectly manicured fingernails.
As well as satanic mummy's boys I also seem to be attracting a gaggle of oafs with football themed codenames: SAFC4EVA, NUFC-FAN and the like. It doesn't seem a very intelligent way to woo a genteel primary school teacher. I always assume these cads will;
1. Smell of stale pies and damp umbrellas.
2. FORCE me to watch Match of the Day on a Saturday night (rather than The Killing/ Wallander)
3. Have track suit bottoms tucked into their socks.
There have been other memorable codenames, COULD-IT-BE-MAGIC, for example. Judging by the rogue's profile I can pretty confidently say it certainly could NOT. Not unless Barry Manilow was picturing a 46 year old mortuary assistant with a penchant for tank tops when he wrote that particular classic. Could it be Tragic would have been more fitting.
I did find one particular codename terribly endearing though. It was just so unashamedly Geordie. His name? 'Give-It-A-Gan'. It made me ponder whether I should change my own codename to 'Howay-the-Lads'
I also came in for some vitriolic internet dating abuse. One rogue was utterly outraged that I had specified a minimum income for potential dates. I am no Anna Nicole Smith. I am not looking for a Texan oil billionaire with a dicky ticker. I just want a man with a job. It doesn't seem unreasonable, does it?
'How DARE you discriminate against me!' the fuckwit railed, in his email entitled
I also wanted to tell him he had more urgent worries than his failure to earn £35K. The fact that he had appeared to have drawn on his eyebrows with a magic marker pen should have been a more pressing concern. His anger at me was also terribly hypocritical. In his own dating profile he said he wanted to meet women between the ages of 25-39. He was 45 years old.
I was touched to receive this dating email from a 65 year old god-botherer. I imagine he was called Godfrey.
'I have just returned from a trip to Lourdes with my mother. I prayed for a lovely lady. . . and here you are!'
But, in the midst of all the idiot savants, satanists and serial killers, I have actually started communicating with someone. Let's call him Mr Beanie. He seems nice. He is erudite, good looking, works in education (not a teacher though. . . thank God). There is a problem. He is 29. I am 40. Christ. I tell myself maybe it will not be an issue, but of course, I know it already is. He uses phrases like 'catching some zzzzzzzzzzzs' and speaks of his love of 'sneakers'. He has several flat mates. He wears hats. He spends his holidays snowboarding and surfing. Sigh. I can't help but think I'd end up doing his washing, nagging him about the state of his bedroom and telling him to pull his jeans up. I shall keep you updated.
Anyway. I shall sign off with two recommendations. Firstly, this really wonderful blog post by Tired Dad. Trust me, you'll love it. It is genius.
Secondly, a trailer for a new Jane Eyre film. It looks so pleasingly dark, gothic and erotic. Of course, the film will inevitably remind me of my own Mr Rochester. I have lived through my own torrid, brooding Bronte-esque melodrama.
Let us examine the similarities between Jane Eyre and Parma Violet Tea. . .
- A monosyllabic, swarthy anti-hero who stoically battles misanthropy, depression and unkempt nasal hair. (check)
- An inconvenient Mrs Rochester. (check).
- A saintly, demure yet spirited school teacher/ governess (check).
- A bleak and desolate landscape (check . . . come on, a Northern council estate has its own chilly austerity).
- Simmering repressed and unfulfilled passion (check).
- A happy ending . . . hmmm. Fuck. Most unlikely.