Ah, where were we…oh yes, seated at our table enjoying a wonderful meal.

“How come you’re single?” I ask (in genuine wonderment).

“I think the girls in this city just don’t know what to do with a guy with manners” he laughed.  “I have no problems talking to girls, I’m friendly and I do flirt, actually, one of my clients told me what the problem is, she said, ‘you can talk to women easily enough but, you don’t close the sale that’s the problem’ perhaps she’s right”

“What does she mean by that?”

“She means I should make sure I get a number or at least let the girl know I’m interested, you know, ask them out”  he replied.

“And why don’t you?”

“I think it’s because I don’t want to offend them if they’re not interested, I don’t want them to feel bad or awkward” says the Pancake Man.

Seriously, where did this guy come from??? Good looking, polite AND fun and funny, interesting, adventurous, articulate, charming, tactile…  and worries about a woman’s feelings!  I could feel myself staring, oh Lord, pull yourself together Stephanie, he’s 10 years younger than you!  I could feel myself starting to blush.


I bent down to my handbag and retrieved my notebook, yes I really had brought my notebook, I had asked him to help me with my research, remember!

“Er, so, er…” I continued to stumble through my list of questions, asking him about his views on dating, being single, the changes in society etc., regularly referring to my notes and even scribbling in my little book!  Arrrgghh I’m cringing now at the memory.

So the night went on with me trying desperately not to appear like one of Harry Enfield’s Dirty Old Ladies uttering the immortal words “oooh, young maaan!”

Eventually we left the crowded bar (after I absolutely insisted on paying for everything – Fatal Flaw #938). We found ourselves in another bar a short distance away.

Much quieter.

With plump, leather sofas.

Tucked in a cosy corner of the room.

There, sitting very closely together I could barely breathe.  He was still very tactile and he began to question ME instead.

The questions were a little risqué but not intrusive or rude, they fitted the moment and all the time

he was talking to me, I kept staring at him, well, staring at his lovely, full lips and wishing the Lord up above would make him lean in towards me, take my hand in his and gently kiss me…





But instead, back in the real world I reached down into my handbag AGAIN and brought out my notebook…AGAIN and bring the conversation back to RESEARCH…


“Because, dear Stephanie”, shouted the voice of reason in my head “that’s why he’s come out, to help you with your REEESSEARRRRCCHH!”

Far too soon it was time for us to leave and I really, REALLY did not want to 🙁

I was flummoxed, I wasn’t even playfully flirting, I was overheating, panicking and anyway, what on earth was wrong with me.  What had happened to Brazen Stephanie?

We arrived back at the train station after much deliberation (me) of what he would do if he missed the train.

“It’s ok Stephanie, I like adventure and what’s the worse that can happen, I have to get a hotel room” he says.

“Yes but, I could drive you back I mean a taxi would cost a fortune and so would a hotel here and what if you did miss the train, I don’t know if there are any buses from here, where is it you live, can you get a  connection, shall we look it up…” – Fatal Flaw #5968, not letting him be an independent man and assuming he would fall apart if he found himself in a strange town after missing the train home!

“It’s fine, really it is” he insists.

We walk to the platform and it’s the moment to say goodbye.  There’s a bit of lingering going on and a few seconds more it would become awkward.

“Well” I say “it’s been a brilliant night, thank you SO much for coming out.”  I step towards him and put my arms around him and hug him, tight.  I could feel the muscles in his back, there was no flab on him at all.

“Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed it too Stephanie.”

We break the hug and there’s more lingering, I swear.

“So, er” he mumbles, looking at me.

“Close the sale” I hear the voice in my head say.

“Yes, so er, keep in touch?” he says softly.

“I will” I reply, smiling benignly.

“Pancake Man, come on close the sale”

“Er let me know you get back OK” he says.

“I will” I nod, sagely.

“Close the sale, close the sale, close the sale!”

“Text me when you get home so I know you’re home safe” I add calmly, while my head screams: