This is just a quick follow-up to my ‘would you let a man in your bed who didn’t know the difference between there and their’ post…

I have a google alert set up for my name (is that vain? probably…) and this afternoon I had an email to tell me that I was being mentioned on the ‘Forces Penpals’ website. Intrigued, I clicked through the link, and discovered, to my delight, that I am being quoted as a ‘relationship expert’ (if only they knew…), advising men in the British Forces to get their spelling and grammar up to scratch if they want to make a good impression.

It made me laugh quite a lot. I never knew I had so much power. Thanks to me, the Army will now be churning out thousands of wonderfully literate soldiers, penning beautiful love letters home from all over the world.

Ok, maybe not, but a girl can dream. And if it means that just one extra man takes a bit more care with his capital letters then it’s a job well done in my eyes.

Photo credit – Arslan

Thank you all so much for your fab suggestions for my online dating profile – I loved them all and was very impressed by how well you clearly know me already!

On Thursday evening I sat down to compile all the comments into a profile, picked a handful of the most appealing/chesty photos I could find, and officially ‘went live’. I feel a bit like a fridge on special offer in Comet now, but am trying to think of it as a sophisticated PR exercise, rather than a blatant selling of my soul.

Since Thursday evening I’ve had emails from six men – a mixture already of funny, sweet and downright odd. I haven’t got as far as actually taking out a paid subscription, so haven’t replied to any yet, but it’s giving me time to think about them and decide on my next move.

My main dilemma is just how open-minded am I supposed to stay at this stage? I dislike the way online dating makes me judge people, and I feel particularly shallow making assumptions based on pictures, but what else do I have to go on? Knowing that a man is looking for ‘a woman as comfortable in a pair of high heels as hiking boots’  doesn’t tell me much, and surely everyone likes a ‘cold beer in the sunshine’? I know I should remember that attraction can grow over time, and that I need to keep my options open, but I do feel I should discriminate in some way.

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I think it was Hamlet who wisely said “To date, or not to date, that is the question.” It was something along those lines I’m sure, and he was right, it is definitely my question today.

I’ve been single now for over two years. There have been a few brief flings in this time, but nothing I’d consider a ‘relationship’ in the sense that you call someone your boyfriend and feel happy about asking them to take the rubbish out or farting in bed.

During this time I have been through periods of proactive dating, where finding a partner has become my most pressing yet seemingly impossible goal. I’ve also had moments where the thought of having to go through the whole ‘getting to know someone’ process has just seemed too hideous to contemplate.

In the last few months though I feel like I’ve reached a healthy plateau. I don’t feel the sense of mild desperation I felt in 2008, when I was still new to singledom, I’m generally pretty happy most of the time, yet I still have the feeling that something is missing. I don’t need a partner, but that doesn’t stop me wanting one. (And it’s not just the implant removal talking).

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You may remember a few weeks ago I rose to the challenge to write a post including a camel, and even tried my hand at fiction into the bargain. Well, quite a few people liked it and wanted to know what happened next, especially my number one fan Brian. So last week while on my Arvon course I tried out my new writing and editing skills and wrote the next instalment. I also reworked the first part quite a bit, so here is the whole thing, from the beginning all over again. (It’s not long, I promise, my editing was harsh). Please let me know what you think – I can take brutal honesty – I had plenty of practice last week.

Amy lay on her back, covered by the shell of a car. Only the rise and fall of her chest marked her out from the other bodies. The sun moved slowly across the sky, as though scanning for some form of live. It shone through the broken car window onto her face, and she stirred.

Her eyes flickered open. “Well,” she thought, “that’s that then.”

They had seen it coming, it wasn’t a surprise, the only real unknown being what kind of survivor she would be. Would she battle on regardless, fighting fate at every corner, or would she just close her eyes again? As it happened, her instincts took over and, driven purely by thirst, she eased herself out from the wreckage.

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Hello – I’m back!

What do you mean you hadn’t noticed I was gone? I’m hurt.

For four days and five nights last week, (yes I counted every precious hour), I was staying at Lumb Bank in West Yorkshire, formally owned by Ted Hughes, and now one of the inspiring properties belonging to The Arvon Foundation. I was staying with 15 other aspiring writers, indulging ourselves in an almost-week of writing, drinking and talking about books.

Our live-in tutors were the writers William Fiennes and Mark Haddon and they were both fantastic – so experienced and knowledgeable and generous with their time. Plus quite fanciable, which is always a bonus.

The picture is a view from Lumb Bank. You can see why you might be inspired can’t you?

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Last night I gave in to my most self-destructive instincts and went to see Sex and the City 2, knowing full well that I would come out feeling poor, fat and completely lacking in style. It’s a bit like drinking – you know you’ll feel bad about yourself the next day, but it’s fun at the time.

I’ve read some pretty shocking reviews, and it has been criticised heavily for the product placement bonanza, so as I pulled up at the cinema in my TVR Tuscan I was feeling a little anxious, hoping that I wasn’t wasting my one child free night out per fortnight. I stepped out of the car, smoothed down my Chanel shift dress and checked the time on my Rolex, gazing admiringly as the last of the day’s sun sparkled across its jewel encrusted face. I was just on time.

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