Max called me on Tuesday night asking if he could come over the next day to finish installing the valves on my radiators. I told him I had to go in to Geneva but would leave the back door open for him and to let himself in through the garage. So when I got back from Geneva he was pretty much finished up and I'm now done with workmen for a couple of months!!!! We got chatting over a cup of coffee and I told him I was looking to do both my bathrooms, probably next spring, and he was just full of ideas from projects that he had carried out in other homes. He gave me quite a lot to think about going forwards so I have a few months to have a look around and see what I might want/be able to afford and how much upheaval it might entail. It's exciting stuff!
Then yesterday morning, as I was getting in to my car to drive in to Geneva for lunch with a friend, my phone pinged and I got a WhatsApp message from an old flame, Luis, wishing me happy birthday!! After my husband left me in 2010 I had a brief foray into internet dating and as weird as it was for me (I'd been married 26 years after all), I actually met up with probably eight men for coffee or dinner and dated two of them - a sexy Spanish lawyer in Lausanne and Luis - a lovely Panamanian (now Swiss through his ex-wife) engineer working in Berne! We dated briefly but the problem (for me) was that (1) he lived in Berne (which is about three hours away by expensive train) and (2) he is 12 years younger than me!!! I am more than wary of dating someone that much younger than me because I honestly don't see much future in it when there is a big age gap. However that notion is pretty ridiculous really as my friend is 13 years older than me and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. What attracts me to a man is his intelligence and his humour. I also need a man to be his own man and know his own worth - all qualities these guys possess! Anyway, back to the plot. I wrote a quick message back to thank him for the birthday wishes, saying I couldn't talk right now as I was about to drive in to Geneva. At that, he texted back saying "at last, it only took me two years to get an answer from you"!!! Say what? Now he did, indeed, text me birthday wishes on my 60th birthday last year when I was in Sicily. I wrote back to thank him - and then that was the end of it - nothing, nada, zip - which I found pretty strange because why bother getting back in touch so many years later if you don't at least intend to keep up the communication? I was intrigued by his comment about my not replying so asked him what he was talking about. At that he sent me a screen shot of his message from last year and the one from yesterday with no response from me in between! I wrote back and said I did indeed write back several times but that he hadn't responded - ever!!! So we went back and forth for a while and I thought I would just send him a screenshot of my messages which, weirdly, I still had in my phone - and it was at that point that I discovered that I had two mobile phone numbers for him! Turns out, he had switched phones (and numbers) sometime ago and I had been sending my replies to his old number - the one that either no longer worked or now belonged to some poor sod somewhere else in Switzerland who must have been wondering who the hell I was!!!
Anyway, with that mystery cleared up (and both of us feeling somewhat less "wronged"), we have been chatting back and forth today catching up on the last 8-9 years!!!! He is good company and we have so much in common but I don't know if or where, if anywhere, this is going. Maybe I'm a chicken but I'm not sure how I feel about his renewed "enthusiasm". He actually asked me to move up to Berne to be with him (this was in 2010) and he would "take care of me". I told him no way, I had a mortgage, a kid still living at home, a pension pot to fill and no way was I giving up my financial independence! So it pretty much fizzled after that, more on my part than on his, I have to say! After that my friend and I got together and the rest, as they say is …. just how life turned out, I guess! He's now 49 to my 61 and while it's nice to be back in touch it still feels kinda weird to be "chatted up" by someone so much younger. And like I said, it really isn't a case of the "older woman with money and a passport" in this case because (a) I ain't got no money anymore and (b) a British passport? Really? Right now? As I was saying, he is Swiss and earns good money as an engineer! Yikes, I really don't think I'm cut out for dating any more!
And in other news, I understand there is a possibility of a new post opening up for a part-time staff counsellor at work (or something to that effect). Now this would have been right up my alley when I was still at work as it involves knowledge of the staff rules and regulations and those of the pension fund and the medical insurance, all of which I had - and guess what, feelers have been put out to see if I might be interested in it! The idea is that it would be part-time and pro bono, and while that wouldn't bother me I really don't know if I want to get into all that again even on a very limited basis, as I really don't want to start doing that God-awful rush-hour commute again. One of the "big bosses" asked me something along these lines sometime ago but, like I say, it isn't a lack of goodwill on my part, but more the idea of that dreadful commute, and the fact that my retired life is filling up nicely and I'm loving it!
And talking of filling up my time, I had my second Italian lesson last night, and now have to work out the best way to discipline myself to get my admittedly very limited amount of homework done to best effect! But, as I was driving home last night in the dark I started to get a little worried because I was having real difficulty finding my way on the unlit backroads - gosh, I thought my bloomin' eyesight had suddenly gone totally to pot! It was only when a couple of people flashed their lights at me that I realized I hadn't got my headlights on!!! That's a relief, at least, to think I'm not suddenly going blind! Senile maybe, but not blind!
Then this morning I had another pilates lesson, and while I did have my doubts about whether I would like this class, this morning, for definite, I absolutely loved it! I'm already starting to feel like I might just be strengthening my shoulders and core/lower back muscles just a little as it is already so much easier to stay in a seated position with a pretty straight spine for a good while - something I found more difficult previously - probably as a result of poor posture!
Then after the pilates class I settled in to watch England's second match in the rugby world cup. It was against the US and they absolutely nailed it - end result 45-7 to England! It was an exciting match so I was happy. Their next match is against Argentina, which could be a whole new kettle of fish but one I'm looking forward to all the same!!! After that I set to and cleaned my front windows and frames before putting up my new curtain rods and the newly-washed curtains - and then - bloody hell! I finally got those babies hanging and the bloody things had shrunk - by about 20 inches!!!! Damn and drat! So now I have to go out and buy new curtains. Aaarrrggghh! Not the end of the world I guess, but I'll have to be more careful when it comes to washing curtains next time!
And finally, just in case Anne in Alabam' is reading this, I don't know if it was deliberate or not but I tried commenting on your latest blog post but seemingly "comments are no longer allowed". I thought you might want to know just in case! Cheers!