Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The World of Internet Dating!

As I mentioned in my last blog,  this one is about my adventure into the world of, "Internet Dating "

Cyber love!

If you have read my first blog you will have seen that I was living alone in my old house in rural France.  Now I don't want you to think that I didn't have any friends. I had, still have some wonderful ones who saw me through my darkest days.  Still, in the middle of winter I was felling very lonely.

A friend came from London to stay for a week and it was he that suggested that I go, "Online". I had this idea that there was something weird, not quite the done thing about it. I wouldn't say that I thought it perverted but something desperate people did.

He had met his wife online, (they were in the process of getting divorced at the time, funny enough) and also his current girlfriend. Not quite the best advertisement for the process but what he said made sense: No way was I going to meet anyone living in the area I was and really could I see myself going to Toulouse, the nearest city, to hang around pubs and bars?

He showed me the site he was on and as he was scrolling through the females‘ profiles At first, I felt like a voyeur, a peeping tom.  But, as I read the profiles I realised that these were ordinary people looking for friends, some hoping that it would lead to love and long term relationships.

I thought let's give it a go, I wasn't actually sold on the idea, I didn't tell anyone as there was still some embarrassment in my mind.

What site to choose? Dating sites all say that they are free.  Not one for reading the small print, I thought, well it's not going to cost anything.  Let's see what's available.

I choose a French site, living in France it made sense, since I lived there.  The next big hurdle was filling in their questionnaire and writing a profile. How hard do you sell your self?  Is pushy good or the more modest approach?  Then of course comes choice of photos--ones that flatter leading to massive disappointment if you actually meet someone?  Or true to life and fear that it will be a deal breaker.

I posted my profile in both French and English.  The photos were recent ones and were actually of me, not of Brad Pitt. I sat back and waited for a flood of hits! It doesn't quite work like that, of course I got some woman interested in me, however as my expertise in online dating increased I realised that these initial contacts are generated by the site as part of getting you hooked into it.

You see 99.9% of these sites are not free, they are free to register but to reply to a response you have to pay. Each site has different ways of parting you with your cash.  Some charge just a simple fee, while others break it down-- so much to send cyber kisses, more if it's cyber bouquets etc.

Of course you want to respond.  That’s why you went online and of course the ego wants to see who you have pulled!

I started to send messages to various people that I liked, mostly based on their profile but human nature as it is I couldn't help putting a lot of store in the photos.

On the French site, which was pretty terrible though at that stage I didn't realise it, I received lots of spurious contacts. The old adage, " if it looks too good to be true it is" is worth remembering. When you are getting messages from 20 something year olds with a photo looking like a super model telling you that they have fallen madly in love with you from reading your profile, something is not quite right!  I had quite a few of those, as well as the normal scammers trying to get you to send money.

 The site was poorly policed that's for sure, though amongst all the sort of crap that was going on I did meet up with some nice ladies, I suppose they were coffee dates, allowing us to check each other out. Very low key dating but at least it was getting me out of my rut.  It was giving me a reason to put on smart clothes and interact with other humans.

As I said it was all low key.  No love at first sight-- n fact no one really floated my boat.  An initial contact some emails, phone calls, coffee and goodbye.

One of these meetings taught me that though a picture might paint a thousand words it might not be accurate! The case in point was a lunch date with a lady in Toulouse. I arrived at the restaurant early and took a table that had a view of the car park.  That way, I would be in a good place to abort the operation if necessary. I was sitting there when this old lady joined me.  I was about to say, "Sorry I'm waiting for someone", when she said my name and introduced herself.  Being the perfect English gentleman I kept a stiff upper lip and engaged in polite conversation til the opportunity arose to mention that her age and look didn't match her profile. Her reply without a hint of embarrassment was, 

    "La photo est un vieux mensonge d'one et tous les femmes sur leur ├óge, ils ne sont pas"
    The photo is old and all woman lie about their age, is that not so?”  Difficult to argue with French logic!

These were my early days of online dating and I was on a sharp learning curve, the other problem is that a lot of the dating sites are owned by one parent company so you get inundated with three other sites trying to get you signed up.

In part two I will explain how I found a wonderful truly free site that changed my life .  You won’t believe the crazy experiences I had!

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hijacked!

I was going to write about online dating but I have been hijacked by something called a "Cleanse". 
As I write this I'm in day six of a seven and a half day cleanse. Let me explain.  As we were eating and drinking our way through the holiday season and beating ourselves up over all the delicious, but not very healthy food and drink we were consuming, my wife made a statement that on the 2nd January we would do a "Cleanse”. I, the new adventurous me, with my open mind said, "fine lets do it," not really relaxing what a cleanse was.

Well my friends, I did understand that it was some kind of detox, diet thing, but I was not quite prepared for the intensity of this cleanse.

It started with the shopping list and I found myself pushing a cart round one of these organic type supermarkets loading it up with crates of organic tomato juice, jars of organic sauerkraut, flagons of organic apple juice and tons of organic grapefruit. (Pause while I drink my hourly cup of some type of organic juice).

There were other items needed, kilos of sea salt, baking powder and apple vinegar. Everything in the shopping trolley except black strap molasses. 
There was a secret ingredient that arrived by post from somewhere in New Mexico, made by a Native American medicine woman in her teepee. Romantically that's what I would like to think, but in truth came from a Homeopath. 

The cleanse, or this cleanse consists of starting the day with, what was delightfully called a "Morning tonic” which is made with a mixture of sauerkraut and tomato juice, followed an hour later by a broth made with tomato juice and herbs. Then for the next 3 days you alternate every hour with the broth and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. On day four you can add Apple juice into the equation, then fruit on day six.
There other enjoyable rituals, like for the first five days before going to bed you drink a mixture of olive oil and grapefruit juice.  Yummy! And soak in a bath of ether sea salt and baking soda or Apple cider vinegar.
Keeping the best bit to last, during the cleanse you give your self a minimum of three enemas of black strap molasses and water.

Now for me anything like this is deeply personal, to be kept within the family, not to be spoken about. So imagine my shock when my wife asked the shop assistant where she could find the molasses and when the woman asked what we wanted it for and my wife said proudly, "We're doing a Cleanse "' when I expected some other reason to be given to keep the "Secret"! Though, for the life of me I have no idea what one uses black strap molasses for.

You see I was ignorant of the fact that it seems that all Americans do a "Cleanse" of one kind or another and most of these there is a need to stick something up ones bottom and drink weird concoction. In fact it's not a taboo subject but on the contrary it's a conversation piece: “Shall we meet up?”  "Yes what a great idea, but not this week as we are doing a 'Cleanse’.” " Great I did mine last week, which one are you doing etc. etc. as details and results are exchanged.

Who would believe that I would be sitting in Hawaii doing a "Cleanse" with my beautiful wife, not I for sure. You see that's what an open mind and an adventurous spirit allows you to do.
Don't tell anyone but I am really feeling so great, I've lost all that holiday seasons weight and have loads of energy.

Time for another juice.

Stay tuned for online romance.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What the #%<¥...........lets get going.

Let me explain who I am and what this blog is about.

My name is Allan, I'm an adventureist (sort of), an experimentalist (sort of), definitely an all-round good  fellow...well, I am writing this myself!

I was living a good life in rural France, I had a routine that suited me, I was happy.  I believed that would continue for ever when a personal catastrophe hit me.  My wife died very suddenly with no warning, I was pulled into a downward spiral that saw me living life in a rut.  I couldn't see how I would escape. It just wasn't in our plan when we moved to France from the UK.  If there was a plan it was more likely that I would be first to leave this planet.. After the initial devastation of it and the weeks of feeling a crazy range of emotions I got my self into the rut where I got through the day with little or no contact with the world around me.

 Now routines are not bad; most of us have them generally forced on us by the fact that we have to work, however ruts are bad, really bad.  You get stuck in one of those bad boys and life can be a drudge.  As I said I was in one so deep you would need a ladder to get out.

What was my ladder?

The blogs that I will be posting will show that if you open your mind to new ideas, experiment, seek adventure, ruts and even routines will be a thing of the past.

I won't be asking you to find God, though you might find a god, I won't be asking you to lose weight, though you might. This is not about dieting, doing yoga, jogging 10 miles a day, though all these things you might want to do.  It's about opening your mind to new things, new adventures--the sort of thing that you always wanted to do but didn't. The things that you were too scared to do.

So hang on tight and enjoy the ride!