love

My dating profile

It is only for a laugh really, as I am happy enough with Susan and a lot of crisps. But this is what it says on a dating site:

About me: Hi, I am like Henry the cheerful vacuum cleaner, except that I am no use for getting stubborn dust out of carpets. I do have a smiling face though and a long flexible plastic nose. The result of a childhood accident. Not really of course, the power of suggestion. I am quite a successful IT consultant with the usual big car, solid gold house ekcetera, but there is one thing computers can never provide. Love! Unless it is one of those sex robots that you hear about, in which case they can. But those robots are expensive, and there are question marks over electrical safety. So I am looking for a real human girl, at least until sex robots become more affordable.

About my match: After some bad experiences, I have decided I am looking for someone with mostly her own hair and teeth, and a human face. Some monkey faces considered, if it is a good looking monkey.

Do you like wandering aimlessly around London looking at blackbirds and drinking pop, or sitting on the sofa laughing at comical television programmes. If so you could be one of my chosen five girlfriends. I am not a Mormon. Just greedy.

Single and lonely

And likely to stay that way. The people who write in to the commuter newspapers about people they have seen on the Tube I mean. It is always

To the beautiful young woman in a red dress, I was the overweight sweaty businessman with a bad combover staring intrusively at your tits between High Street Kensington and Wimbledon. How about meeting up some time?”

or

The fit boy called Dave or Damien, or something beginning with D, or N, I was the pissed-up slapper that snogged you on New Years Eve on the platform at Charing Cross. You gave me your number, but you must have made a mistake writing it down, because it turned out to be a pest control company in Hackney. Please get in touch!”

I often wonder if anyone ever actually replies to those ads. This one is stranger than ficktion though that I saw in the paper the other day:

You: the guy throwing up on the Northern Line at East Finchley on 9 Feb. Me: the ginger girl whose jeans got in the way. Wish I could’ve told you how the remnants of WKD Blue brought out the blue in your eyes. Drink?”

What is the thought process here? She’s wondering why she never meets any nice guys, and then a lightbulb goes on. “What about that drunken tramp who spewed over my clothes? Why didn’t I get his number!”

You do know I'm an evil hypnotist?

This looks quite intresting:

Eye Gazing Parties

Here’s the idea: An even number of singles meet in an attractive space over drinks and world beats.

After a fun mini-lesson in the art of eye contact, the group splits into pairs, and each pair spends two minutes looking into each other’s eyes, no talking, just soaking in each other’s essence through the windows to their soul.

The pairs switch up every two minutes, for a total of 20 gazes during the evening with ample mingling time between the gazing sessions.”

I have to say, you lost me at ‘world beats’, but the whole prospeckt sounds terrifying anyway. I do not want anyone soaking in my essence, or least not till we’ve spent a bit of time together. Eye contact is a very powerful thing and somehow having too much of it would put me off I think. Surely that is part of the excitemint of being with someone that you fancy, and you do not quite know if they like you, and then you find them unexpecktedly looking at you over the mayonnaise. Or having a peek at your legs when you go to the bar. Surely gawping into each other’s face like a pair of mentals would ruin that fun.

Tim Ferriss wrote about this in his Experiments in Lifestyle Design blog: Dating Without Speaking: The Weird World of Eye Gazing Parties.

I first met Michael because I was studying Cuban salsa in South America at the time.” Thank you Tim. Tim is also the national Chinese kickboxing champion, TV actor, breakdancer, Princeton engineering lecturer, holder of the Guiness World Record in tango, businessman, author, speaks six languages, and is cordially detested by everyone he knows. I should imagine.

If you go to such an event, as I did for the first time last Tuesday night, it becomes clear how uncomfortable most people are doing this. I don’t think it’s necessarily the best way to meet your match (and it can attract some strange people, especially in SF), but it’s a very telling social experiment.

For the next two days, test gazing into the eyes of others—whether people you pass on the street or conversational partners—until they break contact.”

I don’t think I will actually, because if you try that in London, people will probably kick the shit out of you. Or if it is a girl, get her brother to kick the shit out of you. The unpleasant alternative is that if they like you, they might try to follow you home.

I love you

keithlard's wizzo night out

It was Pub Standards so I went along with a bunch of people and had a very enjoyable evening standing outside a pub (as so many people seem to do lately) chatting drunkenly with everyone, meeting a few new people, and generally chilling out. I think that is allowable. Goodness knows I have had the crappest time ever lately due to some things that I have not gone on about, due to not wanting to go on about things. I see this journal as a ray of hope for those in sadness and gloom, and an unfailingly cheery friend is just what you want sometimes. So I try to be that.

Anyway, that is by the by, as I had a wizzo time, then some of us went for curry, which was delicious, and then I successfully negotiated my way out of going clubbing, which I hate, and headed for the last tube.

I did not make it though which is annoying, as then you have to get a Knight Bus, due to the lazy and shiftless staff at Tottenham Court Road station closing early even though trains are still running. It was OK though as a special magic coincidence happened.

A few weeks ago I was on the now-legendary N20 to Finchley where there was a girl chatting on her mobile, she was obviously very cross at the person who was presumably her boyfriend, and calling him all types of names which frankly I would be ashamed to say in front of people. I think everyone on the bus was probably earwigging this conversation pretty good. I do not say that she did not provide a deal of entertainmint for us all the way from Highgate to Finchley. I almost wrote about it at the time except it seemed a bit mean making fun of someone obviously having a really shitty evening and being really upset.

I was waiting at the bus stop in Tottenham Court Road when I heard a familiar voice and yes, it was the same girl, chatting on her phone again, this time she did not seem to be cross. Normally I do not accost strangers as I would not like it if it was me, and I am British and also shy, but I went to say hello and told her that I remembered her from last time I was on a Knight Bus. We got to chatting and it turned out she is actually really nice, perhaps I just caught her at a bad time last time.

As it was we kept each other company throughout the interminable hours which it seems to be obligatory to have to wait for the N20, at last it turned up and… drove straight past. Well this was pretty annoying obviously, still perhaps he was full up, or just enjoyed tormenting tired and fed-up people who have waited an awful time at the bus stop. Jenna and I decided to cut our losses and share a taxi, I know it is a bit flash but sometimes you would pay a powerful sum of money just to be home, you know?

So that was grand and it turns out we live quite near one another in London’s exclusive Finchley! So it is nice to have made a new local friend, and to solve the mystery of the legendary Angry N20 Girl, and to hopefully have cheered up someone having a fairly rubbish evening.

In a way I am like a kind of modern saint, except I always imagined that saints would have less curry stains down their Google T-shirt.

keithlard's one-step weight loss programme

Here is my famous one-step weight loss programme that I have invented. It is this:

  1. Do a lot of bikling.

It is not working at the moment as unfortunately I am addicted to BEER. It would be all right if the only beer you could get is fizzy dishwater like Carlsberg or Fosters, but now that I know delicious posh beer such as Leffe, Duvel, Erdinger, Bitburger, Etalon and Orval exists, I cannot stop drinking it.

And as you know BEER is a gateway drug to such as CURRY, which is fattening and bad for you (at least the nice ones are). Also SNACKS eg popcorn, pistachio nuts ekcetera. So basically I am not losing any weight at all even though I am cycling over 100,000 miles a day.

It does not matter though if you are having fun. I chatted to the sweet girl that works on the checkout in Tescos, she seems really intellergent and nice eg the type of person that you could talk to about stars and birds and PHYSICKS, I never know about that type of thing though in case people are not intrested. Most people are not.

I think if you do not read any papers or know about any pop groups, like me, there is a lot of left over space in your head for thinking about Go and LISP and phillersophy and genes and the Moon and children’s sweets from the 1970s and such. Unfortunately it has also used up the space reserved for making small talk with pretty girls which is why I usually find myself either uncharacteristically silent or suddenly blurting out something like ‘Imagine if we were like snakes and you could dislocate your jaw and swallow a whole chicken at once! That would be mental!’

It is usually at this point that I’m asked to leave the store by security.

Online dating and how to get over yourself

Typical profile from a dating site:


i am complex and intresting and like foppish indie bands that you have never heard of. i am a delicate balance of conflicting emotions, demanding, loving, at times wistful, sensitive, poetic, philosophical, sensual. i’m a lover, artist, friend, warrior, poet, mystic. i am 14 years old and avoiding my gcse coursework.’

It is reading men’s profiles that I find the most intresting and at the same time repellent. Perhaps I am jellus but I find myself raising an eyebrow in mocking approbation when I read about how they are doing a PhD at the Institute of Extreme Cleverness, play the drums in a trendy rock band, write award-winning TV shows, sell their watercolours through a small privately owned gallery, and are basically immeasurably sophistercated, rich and successful. I cannot help but add sarcastically in parentheses, ‘yet mysteriously I do not have a girlfriend’.

I think if it was a woman I would be far more attracted to someone who said ‘I am a bit confused and mixed up and perpetually feel as though life is an exam that I’ve forgotten to revise for, I lead a semblance of a normal existence but underneath the cool exterior I am hiding under the duvet chain-smoking, glugging cold saké out of a beaker and putting on make-up as a hysterical displacement activity’.

A little vulnerability is appealing. It is no good saying that you are a cross between Einstein and Paul Gauguin as we will assume you are either a fantasist or a narcissist.

Keithlard, or Virtue Rewarded

I am reading Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. It is wizzo. In my expert judgment it is nearly as good as Jane Eyre, except it is not.

Your friend and diarist is rarther tired, having spent all day working on the booth at a trade show. I could not sleep last night as I knew I had to get up early, so lay fretting and flumping from side to side trying to find a comfy bit of pillow, but they had all turned hard and unyielding. So I was a bit worn out when I arrived at the show at 9am, and after ten hours of smiling and welcoming search engine marketers, demoing the product, keeping a watchful eye on our rivals’ stands, handing out complimentary T-shirts, answering really hard technical questions, and being interviewed and filmed for the Telly, I was ready to curl up and go to sleep in the nearest corner.

I did not though, as there was a really cute girl on the stand next door, who I had been trying to muster the courage to go and talk to all day, and cursing my stupid shyness. I am no good at marching up to cute girls and saying “Hi! I am Keith! What is your name? I am friendly and unthreatening!”, otherwise I would probably be married about fifty times over by now. Finally she came to our stand and said hullo, and I leaped into action, as I am fine if someone else breaks the ice. In fact I can be a one-man charm offensive when I get going, as some of you will be able to testify :D

Anyway luckily she was really nice as well as super pretty, and amazingly enough I got up the nerve to go and chat to her in the pub after the show, even though she was with all her workmates who I do not know. I dare say this all seems rarther ridiculous if you are blessed with the ability to mingle, but I am not. Once I worked in the same office with a girl that I fancied for about nine months before being bold enough to contrive to bump into her at the printer. I probably had a brilliant conversational gambit worked out, but due to bad co-ordination of mouth and lips it came out as ‘shmrrpl msmphh smnt?’. Needless to say that did not lead anywhere, as she probably thought I had some kind of disease.

So over the years I must have got better at this stuff somehow, as I do not seem to dissolve into silent embarrassmint any more when talking to cute girls, even if I am a bit sticky getting going at first. Probably by the time I am 76 I will have mastered the art of saying hello. Anyway today just goes to show that you do not get anywhere being quiet, and sometimes a little bit of nerve can get you a long way.

I am tired though and must nestle into my tiny bed, goodnight :>

PS I have walked 32 miles in four days (most of it round the Business Design Centre in Islington :D)