Saturday, March 19, 2011


As some of my more "frequent" readers would be aware, it's been a while since I've blogged.

There are reasons for that.
Mostly because there has been something a little more permanent in my life.
I'm not going to go into it here and now, because it certainly, if not more than, deserves at least a post of its own.

However, now comes the part where dating is an option, or a necessity, right now.  This brings me back to an old post I meant to write many months ago.  I had drafted some of it, so I'll reflect and use this opportunity to cast back and learn from my own advice :)

A while back, I took a girlfriend of mine out to The Playground with me as she was keen to get 'back into the action'. She asked how I manage to start conversations, how I interact with a stranger in a bar.  We talked about the best places to sit, and conversely, the worst... She noted "There are so many rules".

Guidelines - they're just guidelines...

These are the snippets I live by in bars. Take it or leave it. It's not rocket science or ground breaking stuff, but it works:

  • Always do a lap of the bar before you get your first drink. This way you can work out the best real estate. 
  • Don't put yourself into a corner.  If someone creepy comes along, it makes it harder to get away.
  • If you see someone you want to talk to I find the trick is not to cramp their style by plonking yourself down next to them.  Rather, find a spot where you/they are clearly visible, make eye contact, hold it, smile, THEN look away.  Do this two, or three times max, but over time.  If he/she doesn't hold your eye contact, they're not interested, move on.
  • If you're in a conversation and it's dull, move on, but no need to be rude about it. (You never know, his gorgeous friend might show up later!)
  • If he buys you a drink and you're genuinely interested in the guy (or gal) then reciprocate, buy him (or her) the next drink. If not, don't let him buy you more than one.  Be polite, say thanks, and move on.
  • If you decide to go home with your new found friend, he (or she) is more than likely going to expect sex. You can do dating with sex later on, but you cannot do sex with dating later on. It just does not work. (See The Kid)
Some bonus pointers - but this is merely etiquette:

  • Keep politics, religion and money out of the conversation.  
  • If you don't know, don't pretend.
  • Be interesting, funny always helps.   Keep it light. Don't exclude anyone from the conversation, particularly, don't focus only on the person you're interested in...

Whilst this goes against everything feminists fight for... If you wear a low cut top that shows off how great your potential nursing capability is, then expect a guy to look. Lets be realistic here: Men Like Boobs. If you put them out there, they'll look. Don't whinge about it like its new news afterwards.  
OK, blatant staring is probably a little OTT, you might want to move on and find someone a little more subtle at that point.

Like I said, these are not rules, they are merely guidelines.

The Old Man

I have a thing for accents. I'm sure we've covered this before.
I'm not sure if it's the mystery, the unknown, the fact that it's something different to the norm, the excitement. I think you get the gist?
I'd recently taken a trip to New York. The myriad of accents in the States is like heaven to me.

I digress. I went with a girlfriend to the ol' Playground & was in a particularly mischivious mood. We parked ourselves at a large table, and were enjoying the scenery when the gentleman across the table caught my ear with his thick, brash Scottish accent.

He was chatting, at that point, to two young ladies who were as taken by this Old Man as I was. So I flashed him one of the cheekiest, best grins I had, threw in a wink for good measure, and went back to my conversation.

After a little while, the lovely Scot decided to join us for a drink. Now, I understand where the saying "the grass is always greener" comes from. Whilst listening to this dashing man was quite the pleasure, the content of the conversation was somewhat lacking to say the least. Rather, after a single drink it ended, rather abruptly, after he suggested we "head back to mine for the night" considering his wife still lived with him.

I've come to hear this tale time & time again, of the heart broken man, who needs to be cared for, who's (ex) wife has damaged and broken him (but of course still lives in his home). It's boring. Unimaginative. Dull. And put plainly, I'm just not that dumb!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On being Claire

I've never worked in the city before.  I've never wanted to, nor did I envy those who did. I do drink in the city though. I love the place. Sydney city is beautiful.

I now have the luxury of working, for a short stint, right on Circular Quay.  For those of you who have never seen the sun hit the sails of Sydney's Opera House, you must make the trip.  If you have not walked across the harbour bridge and seen the glisten of the harbour on a spring day, you must make the effort to do so.  If you have not wandered the bay of the botanic gardens...

I do this walk a few times a week, it's the luxury of working in the city, amongst the people who bustle around like ants, their heads in blackberries, shuffling their feet along.  Then there's me, chin in the air, eyes lit up like a child, absorbing these glorious sights, and the smells of spring.

There's a lane way out the back of where I work, a little dead end street, and at the corner in this lane way there is a tall bench with bar stools. The thing that grabs me particularly about this spot though, is the huge speakers installed overhead.  Let me paint the picture if I may. The bench sits in front of a large, curved red-brick wall. There are no windows in the wall, which stands maybe four meters tall.  There is always rubbish on the bench, left overs from lunch, so I know it is occupied at some point during the day. It is clean in the morning en route to work.  But at the end of every day, as I trundle off up the hill to catch the bus, from these speakers you can hear War of the Worlds, or some other narrative, blaring at immense volume from these over sized speakers.

I find this fascinating. The deep voice narrative to an empty corridor, adamantly finishing his tale.

But my trip home gets even more interesting that this, as when I get to the stairs at the top of the lane way, from time to time there are one or two smokers loitering outside the building that connects to ours.The first time I saw him standing there I had to double take. I looked back a second time, like a Cheshire cat, and grinned, as standing there, outside his place of employ, taking his smoko was none other than the Rollercoaster Designer.

I see him standing there from time to time, and he looks back at me with a vague recollection of some type, but he has no idea that I am Claire, with or without the e.