We went on a lot of dates - a first for me. Although now well acquainted with the first date, I have not been on a second, third or beyond date with a man in several years, and having mainly dated boys from Devon for the majority of my adult life I was in uncertain territory as we embarked on our first steps towards a relationship. There were some really fantastic dates, like the night I took him to see The Hurly Burly Show before explaining as gently as possible that my shows will never look so polished (see my Art of Fanny blog for the review), or the day we went and sat in a park by the canal for two hours, or the day we spent an afternoon in his room watching movies of questionable suitability and pointing out the plot inaccuracies, or the day we watched the Olympic Men's 100m final whilst discussing the possibility of Usain Bolt returning to Rio 2016 as a long jumper. Not exactly the stuff of great romance, but certainly the most fun I have had a very long while. My French man was reminding me that I'm not quite as old as I think I am (I blame the children I work with - there's nothing like a 13 year old with a better phone than you to make you feel decrepit), helped along by the fact that he is two years younger than me, and was still studying at university when we met.
After three weeks of dating he went on holiday for three weeks, and I was left to contemplate where exactly this was going. I enjoyed his company, we had enough similar interests to ignite conversations, but were different enough to have excellent debates* when we disagreed on something. I missed him while he was gone, but told myself very firmly that there was a fixed end date to the romance, and although certainly fond of him I was not about to get romantically attached when he was planning on leaving England for good at some point in the near future.
*arguments, followed by truly outstanding shagging
|About to discover sex toys and beyond at Cyberdog|
I had started my new job as a teaching assistant by this point, and he was finishing his dissertation, so I initially though we would not get to spend much time together. I hadn't factored in his approach to his studies, which very much centered around doing it all in three days and not worrying too much about it. Therefore we spent the majority of our time having fun, with an occasional deep and meaningful conversation thrown in every so often as we slowly began to realise just how much we would miss each other when he left England for good.
|The coat I bartered for in Camden market, proving that |
English girls are definitely better than...ALL other girls!
His final weekend in England was one of the best of my life* - he took me out to dinner; we went fur coat shopping in Camden Market; we went out in our best (and most hilarious) fancy dress costumes to Club de Fromage (most fitting, I thought); we had a thoroughly French brunch with his friends then spent a few hours wandering around Spitalfields Market buying random things; we went to watch Brave at the cinema, only to discover that despite speaking fluent English, he still does not understand a word Billy Connolly says. I made a hundred or more memories with him in a few days that I will treasure for a long time, including the moment when I had to say goodbye to him on the Monday afternoon.
|On the wall of the O2 Academy Islington - fame at last!!|
After finishing work I met him with a takeaway coffee and we made our way back to my flat, where he had been staying for a few days after giving up his own apartment. We sat in my room for an hour or so, lying side my side on the bed as I cried and he stroked my hair in silence. I don't think he was prepared for how sad I would be, which made me cry even more. At that moment I regretted not telling him how I felt about him, but it was far too late to do anything about that, so I told him I would miss him, and then didn't say anything much else.
Before he left he gave me a rose plant, despite countless warning from me that I can't keep a basil plant alive. let alone an actual flower that probably needs special plant food, or at least someone who will remember to water it. No matter though, as no one has ever bought me roses before. I found a space for my rose on the window sill, then walked him to the door with his bags. I asked if he wanted me to go with him, but he preferred to go alone. I was quite grateful for this, as my face had begun to resemble someone mid-anaphylaxis and I didn't want to have to travel back from the station alone, crying and hugging my scarf for emotional support.
We said a final goodbye. He left me, and I closed the door. I cried for an hour, then got up and went to the launderette to catch up on the backlog from a week with no washing machine. Life continued.
|Because I too am extra tough. Though alas, not German.|