Before writing this post I did some reading to understand a bit more about ‘The Versatile Blogger Award’ and to get some ideas for my post. In doing so I visited the site of the award administrator. It is interesting to note that the administrator has not really been active for over a year and yet the award continues. I think this is a nice reflection of the support within the blogging community.
When I first started blogging I noticed, with envy, a few people receiving this award and I hoped in time that someone would nominate my blog. So I would like to thank A Dating Dad for nominating me. I enjoy reading about a guy’s perspective on dating.
The rules of the award are fairly simple:
Share 7 interesting facts about yourself
Nominate 15 bloggers for the award
Well it seemed simple until I started trying to think if interesting facts that would not give away my identity. This is my list of facts which you may find interesting:
I have a PhD in a technical discipline that is traditionally male dominated. Surprising then that I can’t seem to meet any potential boyfriend candidates.
As the introduction to my blog states I live in South Africa. However I lived in the UK for 10 years which provided a few good travel opportunities.
I once went on a rock climbing holiday in Calpe, Spain.
I have abseiled off Table Mountain.
I used to be able to tell people that we have 2 1/2 cats because our neighbor’s cat spent so much time at our house.
I love roller-coasters
I have family scattered across 4 continents
The next challenge is picking 15 bloggers to nominate. My time is limited so I only follow a small number of blogs. Primarily dating blogs. Rather than picking blogs I rarely read I have settled on the following 8 bloggers who I enjoy reading:
I thought it would be fun to share some of the hilarious Tinder profiles that I have come across.
I think this is one of the best Tinder descriptions I have seen because at least it shows the guy is confident and has a good sense of humor. After all who can complain when a guy compares himself to a dog? Food for thought: would a dog make a better companion?
The first picture is followed by a few nice pictures of the guy who it turns out is black. Ironic when you consider my previous comments about how most South African black guys take themselves too seriously. Of course there is very little about his background and culture in the profile. I like how he has overcome the challenge black men face with a profile that grabs your attention and showcases his personality before revealing his skin colour. Needless to say this was swipe right.
While the rest of the Tinder bios are witty I don’t think it will be a surprise that I chose to swipe left. A key point to consider is context. I like the joke in the next one and if I saw it on Facebook or WhatsApp then I probably would share it. That does not make it a good Tinder bio. Are you trying to say that you want children or just sex? Will this just appeal to women who are desperate for kids?
I understand this profile picture even less. Is he badly in need of the toilet? Maybe he is just sexually frustrated. Not surprising if he thinks this is a good online dating profile picture.
I like this picture. It is a very funny drainpipe design. I can’t understand why some friends didn’t include something similar when renovating their house. Lol.
I have to say this is one of my favorite Tinder profiles for men. It is a simple, effective yet witty way of making it clear what he is looking for. Interesting that my favorite profile pictures both have a dog related theme.
A weekend that corresponds with a very sad time in my life came with a few surprising highs this year. The past weekend marks the 6th anniversary of my father’s death. So it was a rather freaky co-incidence that a family friend died recently and the funeral service was on the day my Dad died.
My Dad met the guy at work and he had two boys who are a similar age to me and my sister. We used to have regular braai’s (BBQs for non-South Africans) at either their house or ours in a very South African style. This pretty much involves the men standing round a fire and drinking beer for hours, finally managing to serve up some meat when the guests were due to leave. As a child I hardly noticed because the weather was good and we had lots of friends to play with.
The family friend was a very interesting character and could be very volatile, he would say what he thought, good or bad. I remember playing cards and we were able to make this guy keep missing his turn and he was getting increasingly irate. Of course the angrier he go the more we made sure he did not get a turn. My Dad was one of the few people who did not fall out with this family friend. I can’t say it was because he was chilled because my Dad could be load and vocal at times. I think the difference is they were from a similar part of the UK and perhaps the two men understood each other better.
On Friday Mom and I went with some other friends to the funeral service. I was surprised at how pleased the boys were to see us. I think they were a little unsure how many people would show up. They both live overseas and they were not sure who was still talking to their Dad. Nonetheless there was a good turnout. Afterwards we went back to their house for some food and a few drinks. Slowly people started leaving until only handful were left then we pulled some chairs into a circle and started to reminisce.
Sunday was our annual visit to Groot Constantia. Dad died at about 6 am on a Friday morning so after saying our goodbyes, we were home by about 8am. Not knowing what to do with the long day that stretched ahead of us. I think it was my sister who got the idea that we should go to Groot Constantia and to this day my Mom and sister are convinced that somehow it was my Dad that suggested it. The calm we felt there was just what we needed. We had a good laugh because we kept dashing to the toilet due to the stress. This year we had two people to remember. With hindsight it would have been fitting if we had invited the friend’s two sons. Still they had their own things to do.
Then on Monday evening I joined the two sons for a trip up Table Mountain. We had some drinks and watched the sunset. We caught the last cable car down and went for some food. We all had a really nice evening. I think it is a sign of true friendship that we haven’t spoken for over 20 years but still got on really well. I hope we are able to stay in touch.
This post started out as a story about how I had to cancel a date because I forgot and made other plans. I was going to write about the reasons why. I matched with the guy on Tinder in the middle of January and we had a brief chat. He seemed reasonably sensible and interesting. He told me he was property investor and traveled a lot.
He told me his friend had suggested Tinder but he could understand my reluctance to share my number. We chatted briefly an he asked to keep him posted about my availability for coffee near me. I was not quite ready to arrange a coffee date and suggested that he keep in touch.
A month later he messaged to ask if I was still alive. Then picked up the plans for a coffee date. I’m not quite sure why I proposed the following Wednesday rather than insisting we chat a bit more. I think I had read some dating advice suggesting that only a few messages should be traded before meeting for coffee. Maybe it was the fact that I want a proper boyfriend and not another text buddy.
Anyway I decided to give him a chance. But making plans with this guy proved to be hard work. Specifically getting him to provide relevant details. He asked to meet near his work, gave me the name of a very long road and promised directions closer to the time. I felt the need to make it clear I was not willing to meet at his office and he responded by saying there were lots of coffee shops. Not very helpful. At this point I was irritated with having to keep asking questions so I simply replied with ‘cool’.
On Monday evening, without thinking, I made other plans for Wednesday. It was only a few hours later I realized what I had done but decided the other plans took priority. On Tuesday morning sent him a message explaining and hoped he did not think I was too flaky. In spite of the fact that I had not heard from him since Saturday. By Tuesday lunchtime I still had not heard from him and started working on the first version of this post describing the sort of things that would have made me excited about the date. In doing so I reread our messages and started to question if the guy’s intentions.
He finally messaged and asked when our ‘new appointment’ would be. I thought that was rather strange wording and told him I was not happy meeting. He gave me his full name to google which actually did not help matters. All I could find were two rather strange Facebook profiles with virtually no activity on the timeline. I’m sure a property investor would have more of an online presence. At this point he provided the name of a restaurant but I’m not convinced it was the logical choice for a local businessman. Yet according to Tinder his distance from me fitted with where he said he was. Which meant I was feeling somewhat conflicted could he be honest just bad at messaging or were his intentions far more sinister.
While I was driving I realised that at some point during the day I had forgotten the purpose of a coffee date and thus dropped my criteria. It certainly isn’t: He probably won’t rape and murder me. The point of a coffee date is that because things are going well, you want to meet the guy in person and there is the possibility of something longer term. Let’s be honest if a guy can’t have good enough conversation to answer my questions and convince me his intentions are honorable there is no chance of building a relationship.
I have to be honest I did not manage to stay off dating websites completely during Anti-Valentines. Admittedly it was a rather quick decision and there were a few conversations in progress which I wanted to continue. Although nothing has come from those conversations.
I haven’t had much time to go job hunting but then February was always going to be busy. Having said that I did spot a few interesting looking jobs so I’m keen to update my CV. I have a few ideas for changes so that my CV provides a broader reflection of my skills. I really am feeling the need to do something different. I just need to find something which uses my skills and interests in a different way so that this move is furthers my career and increases my income. Interesting question: How do I combine my love of blogging with a career in Engineering and research?
A few nights ago my niece wanted to know why I was out so much these days. She was effectively telling me off for going out more often. Lol. This shows that my mission to embrace life is starting to pay off. I signed up for a local ballroom dance contest. Something that previously, I would have been too scared to even consider. Sadly my dance partner had to withdraw but I’m actually kinda relieved. I was struggling to figure out how I would find time to practice and not entirely comfortable dancing with a boy I hardly know. He was very sweet but I felt weird. Nonetheless it gave me the confidence to try more now things.
I signed up for a competition on the local radio. I have listened for a few years and I enjoy playing along, so when they advertised for competitors I figured why not give it a try. A few weeks later they phoned me and asked me if I wanted to compete that day. It was rather stressful but also rather fun. I didn’t get through to the next round but I answered a good number of questions. My Mom, my sister and my niece gathered round the radio to listen and my niece was super excited. Scary to think what she would have been like if I had got through.
Then a few days ago I was talking to someone where I work and we realized that we were both keen to visit some of Cape Town’s fabulous rooftop bars so I suggested we make a plan to go. We have a weekend in mind. Until recently I would not have dreamed of suggesting we go somewhere as she is a long younger than me. But we get on well and we have some common interests so why not. I invited one of the ladies from my office and somehow that led to plans for this weekend as well.
So all in all I am feeling very positive. I haven’t given up on dating. I want to fix my profiles on a few sites before I reactivate them and my plans for the following for weekends might create opportunities for getting some good profile pics. Also making plans to visit places which really interest me is the right formula for meeting someone who is suitable for me. Having said that I might try to keep the online dating at a slower pace and keep doing other things.
Last week I subscribed to a local gin club which sends out regular boxes containing the best South African gin and local produce based on a theme. Craft gin is something which has really grown in popularity over the last few years and there are a lots places opening to support this industry. Looking at pictures of some of the spectacular bars I can’t help thinking how romantic it would be to go there with someone special. Alternatively going with a few female friends, could be a good way to meet someone. Why is it that all my female friends are either married with children – or don’t drink – or both?
So when I stumbled across the gin box last week I figured I would give it a try. I could learn more about craft gin and who doesn’t mind the odd ‘gift’ showing up in the post. The website said that boxes are typically sent out in the first week of the month. Being the middle of February I assumed that I would get the March box. It turns out that the company is more efficient, and 2 working days later the February box showed up. With … surprise, surprise … a Valentines theme. So much for Anti-Valentines.
I’m starting to appreciate how much time I have been spending online dating. I few times recently I have found myself with a few hours in the evening and not quite sure what to do with myself. Especially later in the evening when I just want to chill and relax. I am starting to make some progress with some of my other projects but most of that is activities I do not have the mental capacity for later in the evening.
One of the reasons I started blogging is that I was curious about the idea and where it could lead. I also wanted to learn more about how to blog and use social media. Those who have been following for a while may have noticed that recently I have been trying out some additional features and different things with pictures and screenshots. Small things, that hopefully are making my blog more interesting. A priority is getting more traffic to my blog and I found a useful article on search engine optimization in the ‘Community Pool’ which I am planning to try out. Food for thought: How best to add blogging to my CV if I don’t want prospective employers visiting this site.
I also managed to find some time, over the weekend to look for jobs. In the process I realized that there are key differences in my LinkedIn profile compared to my CV so I need to review both. My CV is a little bit too focused on the type of role I am doing but I think there may be a few useful bits on LinkedIn. I would like to widen the search because staying in South Africa is more important to me, than staying in my current role. This means I am going to have to think more creatively about the jobs I apply for.
Overall it has been a good week and I’m glad I decided to go for the Anti-Valentines month.
Today is that day many singles dread. Particularly frustrating for me this year as I have been making an effort to meet someone. Ironically a few people I have met through online dating, wishing me ‘Happy Valentines’. In the spirit of this year’s Anti-Valentines it seemed appropriate to write about some of the other things happening around me.
Cape Town and South Africa seem to have been in the international news a lot recently. Plenty of stories about President Jacob Zuma reflecting badly on the country as a whole. There is also the embarrassing possibility of Cape Town running out of water. More recently things are starting to look more positive.
The water crisis is far from over but in the last few weeks Day 0 has been pushed back a month. Cape Town relies primarily on large storage dams for water. We have a winter rainfall so the water is stored for the hot, dry summers. Three dry winters and a growing population mean that the levels in these dams is very low. Day 0 is the point at which most taps in Cape Town are turned off and people will have to queue for water.
Over the last year the council has steadily been increasing the water restrictions. When you start to think about it, it is surprising how much water we waste. Water tanks have been appearing all over the place, and are used primarily to collect rainwater. Many grey water recycling systems have been installed. It seems that water saving measures are widely discussed at the school gates with many people taking pride in how much they are doing. 2 min stop start showers are now normal. This involves wetting yourself, turning the water off, then washing with soap, then a quick rinse with the water to get the soap off. It is encouraging to know these measures are working. It looks like we will make it to the winter rain. Fingers crossed there is plenty of it.
Today’s big story was the arrest of one of the Gupta brothers. President Zuma has been implicated in a series of scandals involving corruption and state capture. In one case it seems that money intended for poor black farmers was funneled to the Gupta’s. It seems that even one of Jacob Zuma’s sons will be arrested for his part. The people involved in these scandals have been described collectively as the Zuptas.
This time last year things were looking bad for South Africa’s relatively new and fragile democracy with various government officials including Zuma openly defying the laws and the constitution. The opposition parties have been working hard to make sure they behave. Finally at the end of last year the ANC voted for Cyril Ramaphosa, who campaigned on the basis of anti-corruption, as their new leader. I am not naive enough to think that this is the end of our troubles but it does seem to suggest that our fragile democracy is still working.