Fancy some Fish and Chips on Friday?  he typed.   That would be lovely, I typed back.

We don’t actually talk very often, but we type a lot to each other.  Sometimes we watch whole programmes on the telly together too, whilst sitting miles apart.

Yes I know, we should get out more.

The exchanges are fairly succinct.  Celebrity MasterChef, for example, is accompanied by  ‘that looks like shite,  or ’not enough jus with the lamb’  and ‘shovel it in Greg’………..highbrow stuff.

Then, in the middle of our ‘conversation’ we both nod off on our respective sofa’s, until the next time.

I first knew Dicky in the mid 80’s when he was my window cleaner.  He was a handsome bugger, and he came with his own set of ladders. He could charm the birds off the trees and into his bed.

He was and still is, a cheeky chap, and although he will deny it, he had the pleasure of many a young lady, back in the day. But I wasn’t one of them.

Damn it.       DICKY DOWNES

Whilst we’ve always kept in touch, to be fair, we don’t actually see each other very often. I think it’s been oh at least twice this year, and possible twice last year.

But strangely enough, we are still quite close. I’d trust this man with my life, he is a very special bloke.

Over the last 30 odd years, we’ve flirted with the idea of becoming a bit more of an item. We’ve pipe dreamed about going here and there, doing this and that, and sometimes even the other.

But it’s never happened and never will.  Our moment has passed, and we both know it.

Nope we are just good friends, always have been, always will be.  However, it is quite surreal that by the power of Facebook, a simple selfie, and a fairly innocent throwaway line resulted in us becoming engaged by proxy, accompanied by many MANY messages of congratulations, wishes of happiness and that old chestnut, ‘Shall I buy a new hat’.     champagne

In fact, it got so out of control, that my ‘just good friend’ had to issue a statement of denial!

Honestly, if we’d been on Twitter, we’d have been trending.

It went something like this.

We took a nice leisurely drive to West Mersea. It wasn’t our first destination of choice, but it being a nice sunny Friday evening, the world and his wife decided to cause a bit of a kerfuffle on the A12, and so, as older people do, we decided to play it safe and take the back roads to a more familiar Essex backwater.

We talked our way onto a reserved table, promising not to be long, and did indeed have two very large portions of Skate and Chips, washed down with a bottle of pretty decent Merlot.

At the agreed hour, we adjourned to a bench outside, overlooking the water and it was there that the confusion selfie was snapped.

It was as they say, all over in a flash, and fed onto Facebook in seconds with the cryptic tag line of

30 years later………we didn’t want to rush things.

Then, my companion put his phone away, we finished our bottle of wine, and had a little stroll round, watched a few boats bobbing about and some seagulls swimming, and then went home for a nice cup of tea. We know how to live.

Yes, by 10.30, we were both yawning, the excitement had all been too much. Bed, and a good book was calling us.  That’ll be separate beds, and separate books.  Just to be clear.

However, while we were taking the scenic route back home, our picture had gone a tad ‘viral’ amongst the man Dicky’s Facebook friends.

And so by Saturday morning, 229 people had kindly liked our picture, and there were 80 congratulatory messages from people possibly all hoping for an invite to a wedding that wasn’t going to take place.

It was quite cheering to know that so many people approved of our unreal relationship, even Dicky’s son succinctly wrote that I was ‘fit’.

Thank you to my nearly stepson. Nice one.


However, much as we hated to disappoint everyone, not to mention dismissing the possibility of many gorgeous gifts, (and maybe even shedloads of money), it would have been rude and unkind to have misled all those potential wedding guests any longer, and so apologies for confusion were hastily added to the hundreds of comments and we became quietly un-betrothed.

Sadly, in 30 years of friendship that was the first picture, of Dicky and I  ‘togevver’, I’m guessing it will probably be the last!

Still it was nice while it lasted!


H60. Older man younger woman Back in the day, when those of us who were a ‘child of the 60’s, were fluttering our Mary Quant eyelashes, and dancing round our handbags to Tamla Motown tunes, it seemed so damn cool for us to be seen out with an attractive, older, more worldly wise man.

Somehow, when you were 18 and freezing your tits off on the back of a Vespa, and some charmer nearly twice your age, came along swanking it big time, offering you a lift home in his Ford Cortina, you pretty soon started riding pillion in a frankly more pleasurable way.

And yes, ‘back in the day’, I too enjoyed liaisons with men considerably older than me, and far from feeling used and abused, (as apparently so many women 40 odd years later, now conveniently feel), I had a great time.

I went to places other girls my age only read about in magazines, I ate in good restaurants, and shopped in the West End while my mates were shopping in the market.

But whilst I eventually married a man my own age, girls who took the plunge and got hitched to ‘the much older man’, often come to regret it now they are in their early sixties, and living with men in their very late seventies and beyond.

We know that men age more quickly than women both in their hearts and in their heads, but in later life, when you are stuck in a marriage with a man who acts more like your Grandad, you do mind, and it does matter.

Most of us ladies who are only just saying ‘Hello Sixty’ with our bodies, are still saying ‘Hello Thirty’ in our heads.

Yes OK, physically our bunions are killing us, and we’ve got those annoying black things ‘floating on’ in our circa 1950’s eyes, but mentally, we are still feeling sexy, sociable, fit and flirty.

But that handsome devil who schmoozed his young bird’s knickers off all those years ago, and eventually put a ring on the Third Finger Left hand, isn’t bearing up quite so well. Now, there is a gaping chasm of years, which grows wider by the day.

Yes we are up for anything. We are getting into book clubs big time, and look forward to spending 10 minutes talking about the book, and 2 hours talking about sex, mainly fuelled by Prosecco.

Meanwhile the old man is at home enjoying quality time in his shed, thinking about a different kind of grinding on his home made lathe, with a bottle of Old Bob. Yes, he’s living his dream.

She see’s  a party as a time for dancing, he see’s  a party as much too noisy, and spends half the night sitting outside nursing a pint. Just as the night warms up, he demands to go home, while she isn’t feeling the Cinderella vibe. Her dancing shoes are just warming up.

Miss Sixty see’s a lively restaurant as full of atmosphere, it’s a time for chatting over good food, whilst the octogenarian husband complains that he can’t hear a thing above the ‘racket’, and grumbles that people should be eating and not making so much noise!

But it doesn’t end there. The man who is now approaching his 80th year, can’t comprehend why his still sprightly wife in her 60’s doesn’t think, and feel the same as he does, and the repercussions it has on their marriage and home life can be devastating.

A man born in the 1940’s will undeniably still be ‘old school’ in 2015, more set in his ways, and less able to accept that times have changed, and his wife has changed too.

With more and more ‘silver surfers’ on the internet, social media is there for the taking.  Mrs Sizzling at Sixty now has her eyes wide open to sites that sell sex toys, and forums that mention the fuck word without a five minute warning.

If his erectile should be dysfunctioning, then at the click of a button she can secretly swap her man for a different man for a night of pleasure, with no penalty to pay.

(Himself will still think that Tupperware parties are alive and kicking in Kettering, he’ll be none the wiser)

The next day, because she’s got pretty sharp at that writing lark, she can share her ‘adventure’ on her blog, as Mr Complacent has no idea how to turn a computer on, he still prefers good old fashioned pen and paper.

Instead of her longed for retirement adventures, disappointment and resentment sets in. They retire to their own separate corners, him to the garden to talk to his plants, she to her computer where she will talk to her Facebook friends.

The once charming man older man, has morphed into a grumpy much older man. Because he can feel her slipping away, the once endearing trait of taking care of her, takes on a more sinister air, and becomes more like control.

‘Have a good time, and I’ll pick you up at 11.00 and drive you home’ becomes ‘where are you going, how long will you be’?

‘You look so sexy in that dress’ changes too, ‘that dress is far too short for you at your age’.

For women, today’s sixty is yesterday’s 40, and no matter how much the younger wife loved her older husband when they first tied the knot, he is the one who becomes needy, while she becomes more confident.

Yes, just when the older husband needs his younger wife most, he makes her want him less.

Who is the worldly wise one now? While he’s living in the past, she’s still planning her future, maybe this time with a much YOUNGER man.

Do you know anyone who sometimes struggles with the differences an ‘older husband/younger wife’ relationship brings in those retirement years?