I have had a delicious few days doing this. I am positively brimming over with affection and good will for humankind! I slightly wish I hadn’t limited it to 10 (but must press on, 90 challenges still remain…)
I thought it would be hard; but actually when I pause to focus on someone it is easy to express what I feel for them, and a real pleasure to do it…. I have spent the last couple of days in a haze of blissful euphoria to have so many lovely people in my life and the chance to reflect on their brilliance!
So I have sent 7 missives out into the world (the other 3 are for my children and will go into their treasure boxes for when they are old enough not to scribble on them /lose them/ wipe their nose or arse on them), and I am now in a state of mild anxiety about how they will be received. It is a rather odd thing to do, these days , to write an actual pen and paper letter. And I don’t usually express such sentiments at all, apart from rather clumsily after several pints of lager. So they may be rather surprising to receive.
(Please note, the selection of the 10 was fairly arbitrary, so no one should be offended if they don’t get a random letter in the next few days!!)
This was the first one that I had real misgivings about; especially when I phoned up and booked a table, with the inevitable question ‘How many is that for?’ Er, just one. I feared there was a bit of stigma about it, and felt quite self-conscious about presenting myself on my tod, in a public place. I expected it to be highly uncomfortable and probably expensive.
But imagine my delight; it turned out to be an enormous pleasure! Excellent food, time to myself, and not in the least bit awkward. I went far enough from home to not fear bumping into a crowd of school mums, and found a lovely pub/restaurant http://www.thevillagepub.co.uk. The staff were friendly and betrayed no hint of an attitude that I was a slightly tragic figure for dining alone.
I found a corner-ish table where it didn’t feel as if the whole room were staring at me, I made myself comfortable, ordered a drink, accepted the menus, and only then realised – quel horreur – there were two men at the next table having an intensely personal conversation, loud enough for me to hear, and what could I possibly pretend to be doing that could hide the fact I was there???! Argh! I busied with the menu. I checked my phone. I went to the toilet. They were almost finished. But then! They ordered dessert! Help! The catalogue of personal tragedies ran on and on. Thankfully I had brought pen and paper, as I’d had the inspired idea to knock off another of the 100 challenges while there. So I could ignore the distressing chat, and instead absorbed myself in writing several of my 10 letters to tell people what I love about them, which was a delightful experience in itself.
I ate delicious cod filet with an olive oil mash, drank sauvignon blanc, and enjoyed the ambient lighting and rustic feel of the place. Since I didn’t feel at all awkward or out of place, I agreed to the dessert menu, and followed up with a splendidly delicious banoffee pie sundae. I was enjoying the time and space and letter writing so heartily that I ordered a coffee afterwards… In fact I was the last to leave; the waiters were hanging round the bar at the end of their night, and one clearly thought the place was empty, as he let rip with a ma-hoosive belch. His colleague hissed at him in reproach: ‘we have a customer’; which I thoroughly enjoyed.
So that is excellent; I am very pleased to report I have sufficient poise and self -assurance to go out and dine alone. I am officially ready to be 40!