And Finally the New Website

I have finally managed to set up the much promised new website. IT Guy helped with some of the more technical stuff then it too me a while to figure out how to get things looking and working how I want. Actually there are still some refinements I want to make but I decided that I was ready to start sharing the website. Suggestions for improvement will be appreciated.

The new website is going to be more of a travel and lifestyle website. I have added a small twist on this approach which will hopefully add interest.

To start off with I have decided to be careful with my identity so there probably won’t be any photos of me but in the future this may change. One important concern is making sure having a blog does not cause problems for my professional life.

For those who are keen to keep following me, please email me through the contact page and I will send you a link to the new website.

I met a guy offline

After a nearly a year of online dating I was starting to despair of meeting anyone sensible.  There was Import-export guy who showed so much potential and then ghosted.  This was never going to be the last ghosting.  Then there were a few examples of a nice guy but no chemistry.  Then most unexpectedly, I met someone in an offline setting.

I debated even going to the funeral on the Friday.  I had a lot of work to do and I was not sure it was really necessary, especially when it it seemed my sister wasn’t going.  She arrived after the service with her kids.  I knew it was right that Mom should go and the deceased came to Dad’s funeral.

Both Mom and some friends we went with, commented on the fact that the sons cheered up a lot when they saw me.  They told me later that they used to look forward to coming round to our house.  My sister and I were a lot more fun than the children of their Dad’s other good friend.  With hindsight I guess there were additional reasons why the older son cheered up.  I will call him IT guy.

I can’t explain why I asked for his number as we were leaving.  I thought it would be nice to stay in touch and I could not find either son on facebook.  I knew Mom had the email address of the younger brother.  IT guy messaged later in the evening to make sure that we go home safely.  He also thanked us for staying late.  I think it made the situation easier for both sons.

On the Saturday Mom went on a mission to dig out some old photos and I ended up taking photos of a few and sending them to IT guy.  He thought most of the photos of him were embarrassing and laughed at one of his brother.  He mentioned that they were going up Table Mountain on Monday night and this would be followed by a meal.  Would I like to join them.  We had strawberry daiquiris and watched the sunset.  It was a lovely evening.

The following day he returned to Dubai but the messaging continued.  It became more flirty and within a few days he made it clear that he was interested in more than just friendship.  It turns out that he has fancied me since we were kids.  So much for my determination to find someone in Cape Town and avoid another relationship by text.

 

Stress related sillyness

It was one of those days where things kept going wrong and in the end I just had to laugh at myself and my ability stress myself out.

Last week one of the project funders requested a meeting in response to our request for an extension.  Of course the boss then asked for a presentation detailing the work to date.  I always find this kind of situation stressful which is not helped by the fact that I am feeling very insecure about how the project is going.  The plan was to put the finishing touches to the presentation and send it first thing this morning.  I drove all the way to work only to discover that I had left my laptop at home.

The reason for being distracted when I left the house starts over the weekend and the new guy.  I will call him IT guy.  I finally started my post about how we met on Sunday.  By the evening I was starting to feel insecure about publishing because I had not heard from IT guy since the Friday evening.  In all honesty that should not really have been an issue, based on what I know of his schedule and where the relationship is.  Nonetheless memories of other ghostings started to haunt me, not to mention messaging issues marking the beginning of the end with Import-export guy.

So take stress about work, mix it with stress about IT guy and add the stress about not feeling in the mood to work on this blog and by the evening you end up with one nervous wreck.  I tried to distract myself but I kept watching the clock waiting for a message.  One thing I have decided, in a similar way to Guy 0 and Import-export guy, I am probably getting too committed to soon.

So I was very bemused to wake up this morning and find that I had a received a few messages last night including from IT guy at a fairly sensible hour.  There could have been a technology blip but I think it is mostly likely that I was so wound up I forgot to actually check my phone occasionally.  Still not sure how I managed to plug the phone into the charger without noticing I had messages.

So this morning my head was spinning with the idea that I let myself get so stressed him not messaging that I missed his message.  That my evening would have been much nicer if we had traded a few messages.  That last year’s ghostings may have affected me more than I realise.

So I decided to grab a decent cup of coffee and a sheet of paper I needed before heading home.  I managed to leave my access card at the coffee shop and had to go back.  I joked with my colleges about a 90 min round trip for a sheet of paper.  They laughed at me when I had to come back for it and told me to be very careful driving home.

On the drive home my thoughts turned to the fact that I bumped into a college at the coffee shop and she sent me a WhatsApp about my access card before another round of panic set in.  That helped me to focus on all the other positives in my life and reminded me that I am more than capable of dealing with this meeting with the funder.

We won’t mention that when I got home I tried to put the coffee cup into an overflowing bin and then had to clean up the spillage. Lol.

Karoo Roadtrip – Part 2

Introduction

I have now set-up an Instagram account to go with this blog although I am still figuring out how best to use Instagram.

I started this as a dating blog but I don’t have many dating stories right now so I thought I would share some details from my recent trip.  Having said that the story behind the trip is relevant to my dating story.  A few months ago I wrote about how a typo with ‘u’ in place of ‘I’ really upset me because I took it to mean the guy I was interested in, at the time, was telling me I needed to get a life.  I realised that I was relying too much on online dating to fill a gap and decided it was time to find other ways to be sociable, which is why this trip happened.

Days 1 and 2 of the Roadtrip

Visiting the Karoo is one of the less well-known tourist options but it is defiantly worth it if you have the time.  It is a semi-desert the size of Germany and makes up a large part of South Africa’s interior.  It is comprised of the Great Karoo and the Klein (small) Karoo.  We used the 4 days over Easter to visit part of the Klein Karoo.

We set out on the Thursday evening after work.  A series of delays and bad planning meant that we got stuck in the Easter traffic going through the Huguenot Tunnel.  We stopped at the Dam Diner and Bar in Worcester for a rest and food and finally arrived in Laingsburg very late.

A shelf full of interesting plates and crockery
We stayed in the rather quaint Laingsburg Country Hotel

After a late breakfast, the next day, we headed for the Karoo National Park.  The Park had a fascinating fossil walk and we were particularly intrigued to find fossils older than the Dinosaurs.  To fully appreciate the park you need a 4×4 because most routes are not accessible by regular cars.  Even the roads deemed suitable for a car were mostly dirt roads and rather bumpy.  Nonetheless the views were spectacular and we managed to spot various animals, mostly various antelope and even a few zebra.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We spent the night in a lovely guest house in Beaufort West, which is just outside the park.  Karoo lamb was the must for our evening meal.  The following morning we took the scenic walk round town looking at various historic buildings.  This included the birthplace of Christiaan Barnard, the first heart surgeon.  We then headed for Prince Albert which is a small dot on the map and were pleasantly surprised by this charming Karoo town.  After a brief stop it was time to take on the Swartberg Pass, deemed one of the most spectacular drives in South Africa.  The drive up the pass was a little scary as much of the road was only wide enough for one car and there were some very tight turns.  Fortunately there were not many cars and most of them were pretty good about passing.  Equally impressive was when we neared the far side of the pass and could see the valley on the other side.  It was very green compared to the dry and rocky landscape we had been driving through.

A view of mountains near the top of the pass
The Swartberg Pass

After crossing the pass we headed for Oudtshoorn.  The main Oudtshoorn points of interest are the Cango Caves and Ostrich Farms.  So of course we had to have some Ostrich.  Then on to Calitzdorp another small town or ‘dorp’ and our stop for the night.

Useful Websites

http://www.karoo-information.co.za/routes

http://karoospace.co.za/category/beginners-karoo/

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/mar/17/alternative-city-guide-the-karoo-south-africa-holidays

Trying to break-up nicely

I finally accepted that things with Artisan guy could not go any further I’m not sure that break-up is really the right word because things never really progressed as far as a relationship but I can’t think of a better description.

Another round of silence coincided with me meeting someone new (but that is a story for a later post).  I was glad of the silence because it meant I could focus on the new guy.  After nearly two weeks he texted me and we spoke on the phone.  It turns out his latest phone was broken and he was waiting for payday to buy another.  I had warned him the phone was faulty when I gave it to him.

We made plans to meet for drinks.  Something that had been half arranged a few weeks earlier.  It was late and I was tired so I agreed even though my head was spinning.  Even with the new relationship, little more than a week old I knew that it would be unfair to let Artisan guy think that things could progress any further.  The main challenge was figuring out: What is the nicest way to break-up with a guy?  In the end I send a text cancelling the drinks and explaining that I did not have strong feelings for him so it wouldn’t be right.

It took him till lunchtime the following day to respond.  He thought I was joking at first and I had to explain that much as I thought he was a great guy I did not have the sort of feelings required for a relationship.  I felt really bad because I do think he is one of the good guys.

He is looking for his forever girl but I couldn’t see that working for me.  We are very different people.  I have a PhD while he left school early to attend a technical college.  His version of travel is places in the Western Cape, while I have visited numerous countries.  He is happy with what he is achieved in life (and there is nothing wrong with that) while I am restless, looking for the next big adventure.  So my greatest fear is that unintentionally he would hold me back or in the end we would find that we could not make things work.  In the end we agreed to stay friends.

The new guy was a bit quieter in the few days after I broke up with Artisan guy and I briefly wondered if I was too hasty.  Having said that the ease with which I made the decision to break-up suggests that it is something I should have done ages ago.

For now we are friends.  I enjoy chatting to him.  My worry is that I think he still has hope that he can win me over.  Perhaps I am being selfish.  It might be kinder for me to end things completely so he can go back to looking for his forever girl.

 

I gave Badoo another chance

After Anti-Valentines I decided to unhide my Badoo profile.  It has been hidden since December.  Badoo is the first online dating platform I tried so far and based on my experience I would say that is the one of the mostly popular dating apps in South Africa.   

Certainly there is a lot of activity and I have chatted to a lot people actually looking to meet people as opposed to romance scammers.  You can use most of the features for free and combined with it being a mobile app means that it attracts a wide range of people.  Some of the most interesting people I have met, including Import-export guy, came from Badoo.  Also some of my funniest dodgy character stories. 

A hidden profile allowed me to view other profiles and continue to message people while avoiding messages from people who don’t interest me.  Nonetheless Badoo works best if you have a high popularity by chatting to lots of people.  

It was not long before a lot of people liked me and there were numerous messages.    Most of them were ‘… wants to chat’. They have not even bothered to say ‘Hi’, just clicked a button.  I checked the profiles and could not find anyone who interested me. 

There was one guy who messaged and after about 2 messages asked to WhatApp.  He sent me his number and asked that if wanted to WhatApp I should send my name and surname.  I ignored his request and after a few messages he tried again.  And no, a kiss is not going to make any difference.  In situations like this I have found the best option is to simply stop responding.   

Of course inevitably there was one whose relationship status was ‘complicated’ and when asked he told me he was in a relationship but that things weren’t going well.  So he was looking for someone to give him support as well as someone he could have fun with and explore the surroundings.  So I told him that I don’t date people in a relationship, that friendship was the only option.  This was the response:

‘We try tht no hard feelings.  Maybe sme day when get to know you may change the idea’.

So my suspicion he wanted more than friendship was correct and clearly my attempt to put him off was too subtle.  I decided to test how far the friendship idea went by asking if he would tell his current partner about me.  Surprise, surprise, the answer was no, some things should remain private, he wanted to handle things his way.

It turns out that he lives in a very dodgy part of town and works as a cashier at the local petrol (gas) station.  He claimed it was very interesting but I’m not convinced.  His world is so small he has not even heard of the shopping center near me.  At this point I figured there was not much point continuing the conversation.  I told him that I did not think that friendship was going to work and tried to ignore him.  Clearly not one to take a hint he tried to get my attention with messages such as: ‘U v gone scarce. Sadly missed’ and a few days later: ‘Am I being ignored for real’

So it seems that Badoo is still full of colourful characters.  The challenge is finding one that I actually want to meet for coffee.

Karoo Roadtrip

Well the last few days have been very busy.  I started writing a post on Sunday and I still have not managed to find time to finish it.  Yesterday I set out on a short Karoo Roadtrip with a friend from work.  One of the outcomes of my efforts to be more sociable is that I am doing more with one of my friends from work including this short roadtrip.

Long straight road
The Road to Beaufort West

The Versatile Blogger Award

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

versatile-blogger-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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. I once went on a rock climbing holiday in Calpe, Spain.
  4. I have abseiled off Table Mountain.
  5. 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.
  6. I love roller-coasters
  7. 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:

  1. Back in Stilettos Again
  2. Single Girl Swiping
  3. Life and Dreams of an Unchained Heart
  4. Unleashing the Cougar
  5. Blessed with a Star on the Forehead
  6. Sensuality, Sex and Something else
  7. KalifornicationX
  8. ann st vincent

 

Funny Tinder Profiles

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. 

This DOG Needs a home, Cute from one angle only, loves staring out the window, See BioMore details from the online dating bioWhile 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?    

 

Men are the best cooks because with: two eggs, one sausage and a little bit of milk he can fill a girls tummy for nine months

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. 

A cartoon picture of a cross face

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. 

A drain pipe in the shape of a man peeing

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 picture of a dog holding a bone and text saying Wanna bone   

 

Remembering Dad and my childhood

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.

An image of a South African braai or BBQ
A South African style Braai (BBQ)

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. 

An outside view of the Jonkerhuis Resturant at Groot Constantia
The Jonkerhuis Restaurant at Groot Constantia

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. 

The lights of Cape Town from Table Mountain
The lights of Cape Town from Table Mountain