So after all those deep and meaningful thoughts, political and spiritual, back to the task in hand. Dating.
And this date, it had been agreed, would take place at breakfast time. Like all great and ‘alternative’ ideas, this one was all fine until my alarm went off at 6.30am.
6.30am, with my hair to sort out, my make up to fix, my outfit to iron, my face to wake up, my brain to come round, a Tube journey to take – all this and more before the sun had even risen. Who thought this was a good idea? Me…
In my head the lyrics to Deep Blue Something’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s played themselves through my mind on repeat. Who in their right mind meets for breakfast? Brunch – yes. Breakfast – no. At breakfast no coffee has yet been consumed and the vitalising effects of caffeine haven’t been felt. At breakfast the blood has not yet spread beyond your vital organs to clear the previous night’s pallor from your face. At breakfast conversation should generally be kept to a minimum.
Just before I got off the Underground, I looked in my mirror to see if my face had caught up with the rest of me yet, and woken up. I was vaguely horrified to see that it hadn’t, and that my mascara, blusher and eyeliner all kind of looked like they were just hovering over my face, waiting for it to catch up and meet them. I inwardly groaned – there was absolutely nothing I could do about this, and hey, at least my fringe was behaving itself for a change.
Factoring all of this into the calculations, and the fact that my companion, a lovely Texan visiting London for a few days, also had jet lag, means that this date, all things considered, went exceptionally well.
Perhaps the location helped. We met in Mayfair, at a place recommended to me by a colleague called Cecconi’s, that almost made breakfast at Tiffany’s look cheap. When we arrived at 8am, we were asked if we had reservations. Reservations! At 8am! The waiters were suited and booted, the menu was comprehensive, and the food was immaculately displayed. We both had lovely plates of french toast with maple syrup which was completely scrummy.
And the coffee was served quickly. All these things definitely went towards making it a pleasant way to start the day.
It was informative too. Here are some observations I learned from my American date:
Londoners are skinny (in spite of the fact that the government has recently told us we’re all obese and need to sort ourselves out)
London is really multi-cultural
You can’t get iced drinks in London (it is 8C here at the moment, though, and the mercury is still plummeting)
I also realised, mid explanation about the Eurozone crisis (check me out! I’m pretending to be economically savvy now! See what happens when you catch me at the start of the day!), how unnecessarily complicated it is to an outsider that we are part of the EU – freedom of travel and work, but under EU law – but not part of the Euro – even though we’re part of the bailout. And that EU citizens can work here without a permit but can’t vote, but Commonwealth citizens can vote, even though they need visas…
AND I got to use my Royal Family trump cards:
Yes, I have seen the Queen close up (when I was 15); yes, she is short.
Yes, I have also stood near to Prince Harry (this year); yes, he is tall; yes, he is handsome.
That is probably as good as it gets!