Don’t get me wrong, I am really happy with my life. I have three amazing (grown-up) children, a circle of fascinating friends and an ex-husband who has become someone who’s advice I value and trust. With the exception of my poor departed dog, Ruby, I can honestly say I feel a real sense of gratitude for having such a fulfilling life.
Of course, it is not without its challenges. Launching a magazine is no mean feat, but my business partner and I are making great strides with our publication and whatever stresses we have they are far outweighed by the relationship we have with our community along the river because of it.
Sometimes though I would like to turn up at a restaurant and feel like I did not have to go into full scale ad pitching mode or start hunting for compelling editorial from my tribe.
In other words it would be good to go out for dinner with someone interesting, order a great meal, have a glass of Gavi de Gavi and chat about something challenging with no commercial strings attached. I think that is called dating.
Several years ago – pre-magazine – I went on a date with an Argentinian fashion retailer (surprisingly, a heterosexual) and it was fun even though he was a little over exuberant. I am parking that thought right there. Since then I have been too focused on work to take the plunge again, but the truth is I need a break from staying in and watching The Crown three times over.
So, I signed up with OurTime, an online dating service for the over fifties. Believe me it took some doing since I am a technical luddite. Read elsewhere in this magazine about how I nearly shut myself in the boot of the Tesla X I was test driving.
However, it all went very well. I logged on at 11.00am and by lunch time the views had started coming in.
Basically, there are views, favourites, winks and messages. I think this process replicates real life where your paths cross with someone, you like them, you like them more and then you set up a dialogue. If, like me, you are surrounded by your offspring talking about likes, shares, what’s apping and snap-chatting it helps to think this way.
Anyhow, I soon got the knack and was off to the races (I live in hope of Ascot this summer). By that evening I had 650 views and sensed an impending addiction. I nearly missed the second episode of the BBC’s House of Saud, A Family At War, because I was messaging two men, both of whom thought I resembled Emma Peel in the Avengers. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was. The only mishap happened when I replied to a man in Provence in my limited French and accidently sent the message to someone in the Home Counties. I apologised to my English admirer but heard nothing more.
So, I shall be keeping you updated on the escapades of an online dating newbie of a certain age. So far, I have erred on the side of caution but I may have taken the plunge by the time the next edition comes out.