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Don't come back a wanker

  Sat 22nd August 2015

Kim was off her head the other night. In an admirable act of forethought, she maxed out her credit card on something in the week before it became illegal, and is blessed with ample stocks.

She left me a long message around midnight. I was asleep and didn't hear it, but turned my phone on when I woke up. Her voice was unintentionally sexy. I texted her to say that it was a pleasure having her in bed with me this morning. She'll literally will be in bed with me on Wednesday, in that unsexed way that is half compliment, half insult.


The woman from the dating site I was supposed to be meeting last week ducked out the day before, saying that she was leaving the site (she's still there) because there are "too many dickheads" and she's "not ready for anything." The crumb I was thrown was an invite to connect on farce book.

Thanks for letting me know. Although can I just say --- having been let down in this way several times before, I wish women would make up their minds before they go on dating sites whether or not they are interested in actually meeting up. Never mind though, I understand that you can sometimes get cold feet.

I'd rather not get in touch on FB. An impersonal, online connection isn't really what I'm looking for.

All the best and hope you have a nice evening.


To London, where my middle daughter was at a summer school at the National Youth Theatre. My youngest had been warning her about the effects of the city's miasma, and as we set off to the station, she opened the front door and yelled down the street "Don't come back a wanker!"

I am out of practice with London, and I underestimated the amount of time it would take to get out to Greenwich and back to Victoria. I missed my coach, so blagged the train instead, working myself up into that quality of lying in which you almost convince yourself. It was a hot day and I was pleased to notice a speckle of sweat on my forehead, which I hoped the guard would take as an indication of honest anxiety.

"Right, it's OK, just calm down. Just take a seat and I'll be with you in a bit."

We sped through Milton Keynes, Donna's home town, and I started mentally re-running, for the hundredth time, the Sex on the Stairs Session.

The guard came along. "Look, it's alright. You can tell the genuine ones. I'm happy to accept you've made a genuine mistake, so you'll be OK to Lancaster."

I had also lost my phone, so I asked to borrow one from the man sitting opposite me to inform Trina, who was meeting me at the station. The following day, I discovered that when he got off the train at Crewe, he'd texted her. "Hi this is the man from the train. Sounds like your friend's had a really awful day, so I hope you're going to take him out for a couple of pints tonight!" How exquisitely kind, searching and flirty.


I went back down a fortnight later to fetch her. I stayed in a hostel in Elephant and Castle, whose one redeeming feature is that it's far too rough an area for the hectares of cawing American tourists that waddle all over the canonised bits of London. (Do they not have long trousers in America?)

I went to a pub where groups of elderly black men with greying hair and pork pie hats looked as though they'd just finished putting down some backing tracks on a Cameo album. I got talking to someone about shoplifting; he'd been made redundant from his job as an assistant supermarket manager.

At closing time, he said that there was another real ale place a little way off. Rather disinhibited at this stage, I said "Would you mind if I gave you a snog?" "Not in here!" he said, with some alarm; and I felt incredibly stupid, finished my pint and bade him goodnight.


Trina had an early meeting in Burnley, and was staying in a budget hotel there. I was rather elbowed out from my house for the night. A Chinese girl, to whom I'd explained that there would be a room coming up in about a week to ten days' time, turned up to have a look round, then informed me that she'd like to move in that afternoon, as she had nowhere to stay.

I told her she could go on the settee for a few days. Then the other lodger informed me that there was a couchsurfer coming that night and asked me if he could sleep on the sofa. I asked Trina if she fancied a bit of company in Burnley, and moved the Chinese girl into my room.

In a beautiful old pub, we got talking to the blokes on the next table. It was slightly awkward as they were on a lower level, so they eventually all moved up to ours. The elderly man sitting next to me noticed I'd taken my shoes off. "Yes," I said, "I know it's not very classy but my feet are hot."

He bent down and massaged my feet for a few seconds. "I've got a foot fetish, you know. If I was to suck your toes, my cock would get hard."

A younger man with such a large chip on his shoulder that I'm surprised he could stand up straight, was telling us over and over again that he's been told he's one of the best songwriters in the country, and that he's a plumber's son and has lived in Burnley all his life. He kept interrupting us with question of the form "What about..." and then it would be Plato or Marx or someone.

I had ignored him up to that point but couldn't stop myself. "Oh God this is boring mate. I feel like I'm being quizzed about my knowledge of the Routledge Very Short Introductions series." This made him quite aggressive and he told us to "get out of Burnley", which had a comical opposite effect to that which he was trying to create.

We turned back to the mixture of conversation and foot massage. At the end, I gave the footman my card. The following morning, there was a message from him. "Hello, it's Ernest. I would love to suck your toes. I think you're a lovely man and if you would like to ring me and let me suck your toes, it's [number]. I would just like to do that and give you a cuddle and be kind to you."

8 comments

Comment from: smallbeds [Visitor]

Bloody hell. I was watching a permaculture video the other day and the Offshoots project came up and I thought, “this isn’t the Burnley *I* remembered.” LITTLE COULD I PREDICT THAT A FEW DAYS LATER etc. etc.

Sat 22nd August 2015 @ 16:44
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Permaculture in Burnley? :)

Sun 23rd August 2015 @ 11:03
Comment from: smallbeds [Visitor]

I *know*; but permaculture, like toe-sucking, can happen anywhere!

Sun 23rd August 2015 @ 11:36

The ’something’ can be a revenue stream, now that it’s illegal. Forethought, indeed.

Your response was elegant. My grandma from Italy used to say, “Either shit or get off the pot.” So, you could’ve said that.

How do you lose your phone? A modern-day catastrophe. And a clever chap to text Trina. You and I would have done the same.

No. We don’t have long pants–oh, excuse me, trousers. Caw! Caw! Caw!

Who’s the girl with the ‘please-go-away’ look?

Have wished many time I could accompany you on your pub nights, but never more so than in Burnley. I’m off to Google map it.

Another fine show.

Mon 24th August 2015 @ 18:35
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Well, Kim’s keeping it all for herself (and me of course). It was made illegal, following the usual lack of attention to the evidence, in April 2010 and there’s still plenty left! When my numbers come up I’m clearing that credit card for her. We’ve had a lot of fun on it.

The girl on the train is my middle daughter :) Remember her face because the photo’s coming down in a day or two under the Loobynet Privacy Code, chapter 4: Children.

People who say they want to see “real England” never get to places like Burnley. But that would be an enterprising destination for a tourist. You’d be welcome, but not if your trouser fabric ends above your ankles.

Tue 25th August 2015 @ 09:17
Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

I think it is a total requirement that anyone who stays for any time in London has to become a wanker. I try to stop myself but it can be hard work.

Tue 25th August 2015 @ 15:07
Comment from: [Member]

i ran into a foot man at work, of all places. He was so sincere in his admiration for a pair of leather boots i was wearing! The conversation continued, and he gradually opened up to me about his interests… i found it fascinating, although it really does nothing for me, either on the giving or receiving end. i appreciated his honesty, and sharing a glimpse behind his particular curtain…

In his continued efforts to enlighten me, he shared insights into more extreme games. Sending me a photo of a friend, he described the man as a “Well known area rug” - with “rug” being the term used for men who like to be walked upon… i don’t think i’ve ever laughed so hard at the turn of a phrase!

Fri 28th August 2015 @ 03:29
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

I wouldn’t mind having my toes sucked, but not by a bloke!

My man has rung me three times now trying to persuade me back to Burnley for the experience.

Tue 1st September 2015 @ 07:26


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