Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Humanoid Boogie

The other evening I was on the Heathrow Express travelling back from a week long business trip to Romania. Work has kept me busy these last few weeks and although that's not the only reason I've not been updating the blog it is certainly a contributory factor. Anyway, there I was, quietly reading Uncle Vanya in preparation for the book group meeting next weekend. I looked up, to stare pensively into the distance as one does occasionally when trying to absorb Russian literature. My eye caught that of a young lady who had been looking in my direction. She quickly averted her glaze. Almost immediately I found her attractive. Black jeans, pointy boots, nice top, big brown eyes and long, thick, dark, shiny hair. Physically, she was, I guess you'd say, larger than average but it was all in perfect proportion and just so very right. I went back to my play and she went back to her mobile 'phone conversations, obviously catching up with people as it appeared she had also been away for a while. I could not help overhearing her half of the brief conversations which were engaging, considerate and jolly and only confirmed to me that she was as appealing in personality as I found her to be in appearance.

For the next fiften minutes we continued to exchange eye contact. Sometimes I looked up just to see her look away, and other times she caught me doing the same thing. It wasn't some weirdo stalker-type staring thing. I'm sure it was mutual. Somehow, it just felt right.

The train pulled into Paddington and we both got up to leave our section of the carriage. I fould myself helping her to remove her large case from the luggage rack. Smiles were exchanged and then we found ourselves walking almost side-by-side up the platform into the melee of people on the main concourse waiting for their trains. I was heading for the taxi rank and I felt sure, that with such a large case she was going in the same direction.

I never talk to strangers. But now, as I weaved through the crowd I said to myself "I'm going to talk to this girl". All I had to do was think of the right opening gambit that might lead to a conversation. Nothing too witty or that might lead her to think I was in the habit of eyeing and chatting up strangers on a train, but nothing too cheesy either. Soon I would have to tell her I worked in IT and on the scale of cheesiness, that's right up there with the Stinking Bishop. In addition, her body language suggested a certain shyness and I did not want to appear too forward.

I knw my moment would come as I walked down the corridor that leads out to the taxi rank There would be the inevitable twenty minute wait and somehow things would develop. I exited the corridor to find a phalanx of taxis waiting, no queue, and thirty seconds later I was aboard and pulling out of the station.

The moment had been lost. This has been bugging me all weekend. I'm 43, single, but enough of an optimist to still believe that someone is out there for me. In those last twenty minutes I had concluded this was a moment not to be lost. Opportunities like this do not arise very often and if they do, I rarely feel so compelled to want to act on them but here I am idly wondering all weekend what might have been.

I suppose the best I can hope for is that somewhere out there, is a pointy-booted, black-jeaned, dark-haired young lady who also thinks, perhaps on that Friday evening in West London, a moment was also lost. Which is why I guess, we all go on.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rusty (Champion Thrust)

I got the bike. It had only done 1370 miles and straight after buying it I added 260 miles driving it back from Cornwall (his other home). It's got a radio...not sure why but there you go....and an electric screen which you can use like a modest fairing or, when in the up position, like a complete windbreak/deflector shield. And it handles - for a big bugger it's fantastically chuckable into the twisty stuff. another bonus is I will no longer have to faff around bungying my laptop and gym gear on the back as it's got all that hard luggage.

I also sold my other bike. Sad to see it go and even sadder when the guy 'phoned me one hour later to say it wouldn't start. I drove out to him and found it was only that he hadn't realised you needed to pull the clutch in to start it. More worrying was that he had already decided that it was too big for him and would I consider buying it straight back at a reduced price. This might have been possible if he hadn't dropped it sometime since I'd sold it to him and it now had some nasty scrapes on the previously unmarked bodywork. I'd looked after that bike - I'd had it from new for over six years so to see it in such reduced circumstances was rather saddening. I really hope he sells it on soon and it finds the home and owner it deserves.

This post is somewhat bike-centric, as was the last so another post imminent.