The End

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Once upon a time there was a little girl who couldn’t wait to grow up, meet a boy and live happily ever after. Thirty (and a bit) years later, however, the girl realised fairytales aren’t real. There are no genies or fairy godmothers who grant wishes, the villains don’t always get their comeuppance and there are no princes or knights on white steeds gallivanting across fields on their way to save her. In this story, the princess learnt to save herself.

I started this blog when I was lonely. I was lonely physically; stuck inside a small flat with a young child dependent on me, a pile of un-payable bills mounting up on the coffee table and a circle of associates who didn’t really know who I was. I was lonely emotionally; I knew nobody needed to hear the whinging of a depressed single mother and even when I tried to speak up I felt like nobody really heard me. I cried alone until I ran out of tears. I was also lonely mentally; the long term victim of depression, the reluctant survivor of a suicide attempt and a woman confused by the hand life had dealt her, I couldn’t see how to progress beyond my past and its pain. I thought that if I found love, like in the fairytales, everything else would simply fall into place. A man would protect me, provide for me, accept me unconditionally for all my faults and flaws and turn the darkest of days into something reminiscent of a Disney movie. When I found a man, I thought, I would finally be complete. Hoping it would fill the gap until the love of my life finally made his way to my little self made cell at the top of the ivory tower, I created this blog. It was a way to air my grievances and make my confessions to a world that I was convinced wasn’t listening.

But, you listened. You listened in your many thousands, offering support when I was low, laughing through the crazy times with me and never once judging me as I once believed I should be judged. You, dear reader, made my life bearable. You made it better. For this, and the beautiful friendships I have made along the way, I owe you my eternal gratitude.

The man, for the record, never came. I learnt through a process of elimination and simple old fashioned bad choices, that being in a relationship was not the answer to the problems I thought I had. I was the answer. I am the answer. I finally got up, took a long hard look at who I was, what I was capable of and the discrepancy in between and decided that in actual fact, a man was the last thing I needed. I receive love in abundance, from my son and my friends. I love them in return to the fullest. I can protect myself, provide for myself, approve of myself and love myself unconditionally. I am single because I always choose to be.

It seems redundant to continue writing a blog about dating as a single woman in her thirties when I don’t want to date, nor am I going to be in my thirties for much longer. So this is where we say goodbye. I have recently started an organisation called The Refugee Language Initiative, a non-profit organisation that aims to provide quality English language skills to displaced people residing in refugee camps throughout Europe. Words, language, teaching, travel, humanitarianism. It feels like this is what I was always meant to be doing with my life. It keeps me very busy and, as my son progresses into adulthood and needs me a little less these days, I am happy to devote all my time to improving the lives of others. Just like you, dear reader, improved mine.

The End.

Update #98

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Maidan Nezalezhnosti at night.

Hey there! Its been a while since one of these updates, so I thought I’d round off the last month in this old familiar format before I get all deep and emotional about my recent self discovery in future posts. And yes, there has been some self discovery, something liberating and exciting but for now, here is all the gossip on the man front…

India – It was an awkward goodbye in the lobby of our apartment building. Neither of us wanted a big emotional farewell, but after the way we felt about each other and the intensity of the time we had spent together, a simple, ‘see ya later mate!’ wasn’t going to suffice. We’d shared one last joint on our balcony, sunning our bare feet against the terracotta slabs and watching our fingers dance as we held hands in silence.

‘I’m going to miss this,’ he’d said.

I asked him if he meant our stunning view across Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev and he looked at me like I was being a petulant child. He was right to. I knew exactly what he meant because I was going to miss sitting alone with him too. I followed him into the lobby and out the large oak door to his waiting taxi. We barely made eye contact as he put his bag in the boot of the car and issued instructions to the driver.

‘I’ll see you in London, yeah?’ he said as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me tight against his body. I looked up into his deep brown eyes and kissed the lips that I had sworn never to forget,

‘Maybe’.

Mr. Spudman – I text this guy when I returned from my trip, only to be told that he didn’t really want to get involved with a woman who ‘jets off’ all the time. Now although I don’t consider one month out of the UK to be an indicator of a jet setter lifestyle, I wasn’t going to tell him that and try to arrange a date. If he cannot handle an ambitious woman who loves to travel and will disappear for a weekend on a moments notice, which is exactly the kind of woman I am turning into now that my son is old enough to take care of himself, then he is absolutely not the man for me.

Tex – I never expected to be writing about this one any time soon, but I think life may be intervening somewhat and so I feel compelled to document this weird new turn of events. Firstly, I haven’t spoken to or seen Tex since our break-up bonus night sex at New Year. My son bumped into him the other evening and was surprised with how many questions Tex had about me. My son replied politely and was quick to give Mumma all the gossip when he returned home. ‘He still likes you,’ my boy said with a teasing glint in his eye.The following day,  Billy and I had a seemingly spontaneous conversation about what exactly went wrong between Tex and I. He didn’t seem to be prying for information for any particular reason; it was just a conversation long overdue given that Billy was instrumental in getting us together in the first place. These two innocent looking encounters must have sat in the back of my mind waiting for an opportune moment to mess with my head. That moment followed quickly. I, stupidly, downloaded a virus onto my laptop as part of a bundle. It wasn’t intentional and I kicked myself the second I realised I had done it. I’m relatively computer savvy so was able to eliminate most of the problems caused by said virus, but my laptop is still ridiculously slow and I don’t know enough to correct it without risking fucking up the entire thing. Cue Tex and his wizard like IT skills.

‘Sure, I’ll come over one night this week,’ he replied after reading my pathetic plea for assistance, ‘maybe we can grab dinner afterwards?’

I agreed. I’m still a little confused why, apart from the fact I really need my laptop fixed. How does this relate to life interfering? Well, as Jemima so quickly pointed out to me, I should have called Noel for IT assistance. He’s a total brainbox and the prospect of meeting up with him wouldn’t be causing me minor panic attacks right now, but after my son and Billy both mentioned Tex in the 48hrs prior to my IT fuck up, the man was stuck in my head and my subconscious made the decision to call him without me really thinking about it. So now I have to meet Tex, who has by all accounts, turned into a massive MDMA freak and is currently unemployed. I don’t know what life had in mind, but me hooking up with Tex again simply ain’t gonna happen!

Azerbaijan – I miss this kid! Although I have no intentions of repeating my nearly jail-able offense, I have smiled to myself on more than one occasion as I remember the attention this young man paid me in Ukraine, and continues to show me on social media. He will be studying in Istanbul over the next year or so and I am a little tempted to take up his offer to visit. My wanderlust is clearly stronger than my willpower!

Pakistan – This one sat in the background and laughed heartily as the drama between India, Azerbaijan and myself unfolded. He was highly amused and we shared stories of our dating and sex lives all throughout our time together in Kiev. Its sod’s law then that Pakistan, the man I connected with most in humour and in intellect, would decide he wanted to take me out on a date the day I left Ukraine. He says he’ll be in London soon, so I guess we’ll meet again then.

Mr. NYC – I hate how this one manages to charm his way back into my good graces without really trying! Our whatsapp communication remains constant, but occasionally he’ll say something or his timing will be off and I wonder if he really has any idea who I am. I worry he’s read this blog and has only remembered the filthy sex parts. I want him to see more than that. I’m dubious about meeting him if he only wants a fuck. As I said at the beginning of this update, I’ve made some self discoveries and although they haven’t put and end to the raunchier side of Lola, they’ve definitely added a few conditions. Plus, Mr.NYC and I still haven’t Skyped and its beginning to weird me out! I’ve no reason to disbelieve anything he has told me, but dude, I’ve watched Catfish! I’m not going to be one of the gullible ones!

The Mountie – Ahhhh Mountie, he’s never far away! He calls, he texts, he facebooks. I’m polite, but I’m not interested. Mountie had his chance, he blew it. Next!

There is very little else to say at this present time. I am working incredibly hard and have several new projects on my horizon that need a lot of attention. My trip to Ukraine put me in touch with some very ambitious and influential people and there are fantastic opportunities ahead for me if I just focus on creating them! I’m all about the networking at present and that has left me very little time to date. In fact, part of my recent self discovery is that I don’t want to date and maybe, just maybe, this blog is nearing it’s final post. But we can save that for another time. Be well, dear readers!

Sex: Yes. Oh yes!

Drugs: Apart from the occasional joint, I’m pretty sure my drug taking days are over.

Alcohol: I’m going through detox at the moment, by personal choice not enforced health benefits. I’ve just spent a month with people who have at least 5 vodka shots during a simple Tuesday evening family meal, my liver deserves a medal and a rest!

Mental Health: 10/10

Physical Health: 10/10

A Summer Fling

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I don’t even know how to start processing everything I have experienced and felt over the last few days. It is my birthday today and as I sit here considerably closer to 40 than I was when I started this blog, I realise I have achieved absolutely nothing when it comes to learning about men, dating, relationships and, above all, how I personally relate to all of those things.

I finished teaching at a rural school in Ukraine last week and found myself back in the capital city, Kiev, with India. Everything in this country is unbelievably cheap when compared to prices in the UK and I have found my meager wage more like a king’s ransom here. With this is mind, India and I splurged on a luxury apartment in the heart of the city, close to the most important and historical landmarks and within easy walking distance of the lavish nightlife. With a maid service, 24 hour personal concierge and in-room spa and sauna, we had found our own little haven away from the realities of our lives that would eventually separate us for ever.

India stood in the doorway of the bathroom, gazing at me as I stood half dressed on the balcony, smoking a cigarette,

‘Come to India…there’s this beach…I’ll meet you and take you out…’ he said.

‘No you won’t,’ I replied, ‘because if I ever come to India, I won’t be telling you’.

He’d pretty much accepted my ‘all we have is Ukraine’ speech, but every now and then he pushed to see if I’d changed my mind. My heart had remained constant…I wanted magic words to make everything alright for us to be together, for every hurdle to instantly disappear and for our happily ever after to simply fall into place. My mind, however, was the one in the driving seat. India and I could never work. Our summer fling was all we had and I was determined to make the most of it.

So far we have walked the lengths and breadths of this city in a sweltering summer heat, taking in the beauty of St.Sophias and St.Michaels and standing in awe at Independence Square, the site of Ukraine’s violent and bloody revolution only two years prior to our visit. We have sat outside cafes in complete silence, drinking cooling glasses of juice and watching the people go by and we have met up with mutual friends for rowdy dinner dates and nights spent laughing and dancing in obscure mob-owned nightclubs. But so far, my most treasured moments of our time together, is when we’re lying beside each other in bed, India’s strong arms wrapped around me, our legs entwined and the cushiony softness of his lips resting on my forehead. The moments where I feel completely safe and completely adored.

We have to part ways tomorrow. I don’t want to and I don’t know how I’m going to cope, knowing that I will never see him again.

‘You better remember me forever,’ he tells me, constantly. He doesn’t know how difficult I’m going to find it to forget.

So yes, nearly 40, holed up in an apartment with a twentysomething in Eastern Europe. Still falling for the wrong men, the unobtainable ones, the temporary ones. Still knowing I should avoid these hopeless situations like the plague, but still succumbing to my inner romantic and letting them happen anyway. No forgetting, no regretting.

Somebody’s Forever

‘So here’s the deal. I’m going to let myself fall completely head over heels in love with you. We will have a relationship that is utterly romantic, utterly filthy and utterly perfect, but it all expires on our last night in Ukraine; with absolutely no expectations of anything further’.

It was the only way I could think of to control the overwhelming feelings India had stirred in me. Nothing about our relationship was practical or realistic and in order to survive the inevitable heartache I had to acknowledge that. Long distance relationships work for some people, but we don’t just have oceans to conquer. We have age, careers, culture, family, our entire existences are designed to be complete opposites. I wasn’t going to deny whatever it was that bought India and I together in the first place, but I also wasn’t going to let it sweep me away and leave me a crippled, sobbing mess in a couple of weeks time. This would be a perfect summer fling, a collection of incredible memories, a heartwarming ‘what if’. This could never be anything more.

‘You’re impossible Lola, you know that?’

India understood my logic but seemed somewhat reluctant to let me give up on the potential for something more, so easily. He’s young, I thought to myself. He doesn’t understand that something as perfect as this cannot last forever. He doesn’t understand that trying to force it passed it’s time limit will only ruin it. This way is better, I’m sure of it.

‘So you don’t want to keep in touch at all after Ukraine?’ he asked, dumbfounded.

I had to remind him that I’m a woman and I can be emotional and sentimental, I can live in a romantic rose-tinted bubble if I let myself.  No matter how smart or logical I may seem, remaining in regular contact with him after this trip would only give me hope of a reconciliation in the future. I cannot live with that hanging over my head. I cannot have him give me even the slightest bit of hope because for a man like him, I’d wait a thousand lifetimes.

‘I’ll do whatever you ask and I’m happy to live in the moment but please know that if you change your mind, I’ll be there. I know its soon and you don’t have to say anything back but, I love you Lola. I just needed that out there’.

In trying to assure me he respected my wishes, he had planted that seed of hope. He used those three little words that I never thought a man could ever use about me. We’re both intelligent people and we both know how crazy our situation is but the heart wants what the heart wants and no amount of rationale is going to change that. All we can do is be practical about it. I needed him to know we can love each other now, just not forever.

My phone let out a light beep just as my head hit the pillow. It was a message from India. I was sleepy but couldn’t wait until the morning to see what he had sent me. As I scrolled through our lengthy conversations I saw the image that told me, maybe, finally, he was beginning to understand what I meant,

‘This is you in a nutshell, Lola…

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Falling In Love With India Pt.2

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Self destructive behaviour is my go to after a rejection and with a skinful of incredibly cheap and tasty Ukranian vodka and the soreness of losing out to another woman, Azerbaijan’s advances towards me were met with great enthusiasm. Young, gorgeous, drunk, he completely fitted the profile for a Friday evening with a miserable and dejected Lola. Luckily for us, he was one of the few people designated a single bedroom instead of a bed in a four person dormitory and it wasn’t long before we slinked away from the rest of the group and were holed up necking local Ukranian beer and discussing all the usual nonsense that drunk intellectuals discuss.

Relaxing on his bed, first he slipped an arm around my shoulder, then I tucked my feet up near his thighs. Another arm made it’s way to my waist and my fingers perched tentatively on the collar of his light grey T-shirt. Our faces were so close as we spoke that soon enough, Azerbaijan could control himself no longer and he kissed me. It was hard and intense, accompanied by a slobbery sound I’d only heard before when dog’s drank from their water bowls on hot summer days, but Azerbaijan was really sweet and clearly into me. I vowed I wouldn’t sleep with him and that a little heavy petting was perfectly acceptable given the circumstances. This was a feelgood factor hook up and was not to be taken any further. The tremendously large bulge protruding from his khaki shorts was not going to sway me into having sex with him….it really wasn’t….I’m not that shallow nor am I that easy to turn on…I had willpower….we would not be having sex…OK, I totally slept with him!

I couldn’t help myself and nor should I have to. Azerbaijan and I were two consenting adults letting off a little sexualised steam and where he lacked in the sloppy kissing department he more than made up for with finger work. I kissed him harder to surpress my moans of pleasure as he worked me into a jittering frenzy,

‘You’re so wet,’ he whispered in my ear.

‘Get a condom,’ I replied, my voice raspy and wanton.

We whipped our clothes off at lightening speed and Azerbaijan took my nipples in his mouth, each in turn. I could feel the heat from his bronzed skin against mine and revelled in running my fingers up and down his back. His body was slender yet toned and defined, with small wisps of black hair scattered across his chest. As he climbed on top of me I guided his hard cock inside me, a sharp intake of breath as I realised the pleasure of his girth.

For the record, ‘am I doing this right?’ is not something a girl wants to hear as a man pumps away between her thighs. It most certainly wasn’t great but it could pass as sex so I wasn’t really too concerned until he uttered those immortal words. Here I was, lying in a single bed at a hostel, fucking a 22 year old from Azerbaijan and it hadn’t even crossed my mind that someone this good looking hadn’t lost his virginity yet.

‘Have you done this before?’ I replied, desperately trying to hide the panic in my voice but failing miserably,

‘Once,’ came his reply.

I’m a bad cougar, a very, very bad cougar. Guilt swept over me faster and more intensely than the orgasm his fingers has granted me moments earlier, but we were way passed the moment of no return. I had defiled this sweet young boy and the only way I could make myself feel better about it was to take his cock out of my dripping wet pussy and put it in my mouth. No, I don’t understand my logic either but at the time it seemed the lesser of the two evils. With my exemplary blow job skills I was sure I could satisfy Azerbaijan and save us both the embarrassment of continuing with the mediocre planking sex.

‘That was the best, the best I’ve ever had!’ he beamed as I swallowed down his hot cum and wiped my mouth on the back of my hand, ‘you’re so sweet Lola, you’re so amazing!’

Bless him. I fell asleep in Azerbaijan’s arms that night as he peppered my neck and breasts with what seemed like hundreds of tiny little kisses. When we woke in the morning, our legs were still entwined and his arms were wrapped tightly around me. He was, of course, hard and eager for round two but now that I had sobered up the idea of taking this young lad back down into the Lola pit of filth filled me with guilt and I contemplated handing myself in to child services. Alas, a kiss goodbye before I crept out of his room and directly into the shower was all I offered him.

‘Lola, Lola! I need to talk to you!’

I was coming out of the dining hall after breakfast when India cornered me in the courtyard. I’d forgotten I’d drunkenly text him the night before, expressing my disappointment that he’d chosen the American over me. Now was the time of recompense. I should not have been so hard on him when I never had any ties to him in the first place.

‘What’s this about me and the American girl,’ he asked, his brow furrowed and his dark eyes piercing a hole into my very soul. He looked devastated.

I explained what had happened the night before, how the American girl had told me herself that he had been flirting with her and a hook up was on the cards. When neither of them could be found several minutes later, the whole group had assumed they had sneaked off together for some privacy. India was mortified.

‘Never. That never happened and never would happen. I don’t like her like that, shes not my kind of girl at all. Come on Lola, do you not know me better than that?’ He seemed genuinely hurt. It suddenly dawned on me how insecure the American was, how she knew nothing about the friendship between India and I and how after one drink too many she was most definitely the kind of girl to make something like that up to boost her own street cred. She was young, naive and desperate. I wasn’t angry at her for it, all young girls make silly mistakes like that, but I was angry at myself for believing it. I’m not a silly young girl. I should have realised sooner. I should have found India and spoken to him instead of jumping into bed with someone else. Now I not only had to apologise for jumping to conclusions, but I had to risk losing him by telling him the truth of where I’d been that night.

‘I need to tell you something…’ I started.

‘You don’t owe me anything,’ India interrupted, ‘I know about you and Azerbaijan. Its OK, but I’m not losing you again. I’m totally into you Lola and I need you to know that. I’m 100% all in. I’m going to prove to you how I feel, I’m going to work very hard to improve your self esteem and I’m going to treat you properly’.

The Indian accent has never really been one synonymous with seduction and charm, but as the words rolled from his soft, velvet lips, I succumbed. I wanted to fall into his arms and find comfort beneath his skin, to share a body with him and dissolve myself and my sins into his very bones. I have no idea how any of this is happening. I cannot explain the connection we have. I am fighting with everything I have to not use words like fate and destiny. I am more aware than anyone how utterly ridiculous and reckless all of this sounds. I did not come to Ukraine to find a man and I certainly did not come to fall in love with someone after only knowing them for a week, but if it was going to happen, if it IS going to happen, India has me. I’m 100% all in.

Falling In Love With India Pt.1

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I’m here in Ukraine as a volunteer. I’m here to teach English to children. I’m here to network and make contacts who can help me open up English classes in refugee camps around the world. I am most definitely not here to fall for a man young enough to be my son nor am I here to find myself embroiled in an intercontinental love triangle and yet, that is exactly what is happening. For those of you that thought this blog was a little on the light side when it came to filth and frolics recently, strap yourself in, because this is going to be a bumpy return to the seedier side of Lola and her dating dramas!

Given that this volunteer program in Ukraine consists of 200 volunteers from 38 different countries, it was inevitable that a few of us would overcome the language barriers and indulge in some extra curricular flirtations. I am not the oldest volunteer here by a long shot, but I was still happy to leave the summer romances to the twentysomethings of the group. That was until the first day of training when Mr.Azerbaijan turned my head with his tall stature, mop of black wavy hair and huge friendly grin. We worked well together and were at ease with each other’s tactile behaviour. I wasn’t stupid enough to miss the attention he was getting from the young, attractive Ukranian girls so as I prepared myself to take a back seat, I stumbled across Mr. Pakistan, who grew on me thanks to his wit and intelligence and the prospect of snuggling into one of his big bear hugs. My options for a little more than some flirting were apparent but as lovely as these two guys were, I was still very much focused on my mission and wasn’t intrigued enough by either of them to waiver from my cause.

Then, I met Mr. India.

Our first meeting was at a local market in Volodarka, a very rural area a couple of hours outside of the capital, Kiev. A group of us were on the hunt for vodka, champagne and cigarettes for that evening’s entertainment and as a relatively new recruit, India had tagged along. He was undoubtedly good looking, but in the chiselled and pristine way that doesn’t usually get my attention. Despite being a handsome young man with obvious intellect and an excellent grasp of the English language, he bypassed all the young, pretty volunteers and made a beeline for me. At first he asked my advice on the area and made small talk to build up a rapport. As soon as we were engaged in a comfortable pattern of walking and talking around the market, he began using lines to impress me; showing me pictures of his motorbike collection, asking about my interests and appearing to be in full agreement with many of my opinions. I mentioned the gathering that was to take place at the lake later that evening and invited him along.

I never made it to the lake. The mosquitos here have taken quite a liking to me and I didn’t want to brave an evening by the water, so chose instead to hang back with a few other members of the team. We all descended on Pakistan’s room around midnight and somehow I found myself wrapped in his arms on his bed while the others chatted and giggled around us. It was only when Swiss and Dutch got into bed together with a girl from Catalonia that I decided to exit their dormitory and make it back to my own bed. I’m as liberal as they come when it comes to sex, but my internal moral compass told me listening to foreign teenagers enjoying a threeway was a little too much for even my palate. I was in my pajamas in the kitchen grabbing myself a glass of water when India called me. It was 2am.

‘Where are you? You didn’t come to the lake’.

He sounded disappointed. I explained that I was in my dorm, rocking some sexy Batman Vs Superman pajamas.

‘Whats your room number?’

I liked him, but I wasn’t prepared to give that information out just yet, particularly as my strict American Christian roommates would be less than impressed with me bringing back gentleman callers at all hours of the night,

‘I’ll meet you in the foyer’.

Four hours later as the sun came up, India and I were still curled up on the sofa talking. It was one of those nights where you talk about everything and anything; life’s ups and downs, your hopes and dreams, your fears and mistakes. We confessed things to one another that surprised us both but only served to bring us closer together. India was definitely flirty and mentioned more than once his interest in older women with an hour glass figure and wasn’t shy about confessing his attraction to me, but not once did he over step a boundary or make me feel uncomfortable. If anything, I felt completely safe with him. It took less than twenty four hours for my opinion to change.

With the benefit of hindsight, I shouldn’t have been so gullible. With the benefit of hindsight I should have fought for what I wanted, but when an American volunteer came running over to me full of excitement because she was about to hook up with India, I let him go. She was a young girl I had grown quite fond of and her self esteem was at an all time low. If a drunken rendezvous with India was what it took to make her feel better about herself then I was happy to stand aside. Well, not happy, but I chalked it up to experience, reprimanded myself for listening to all of India’s guff about how much he liked me, and moved the fuck on. In fact, I moved right on to a keen and naked Azerbaijan.

To Be Continued…

The Selfish Humanitarian

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Darfur Dream Team School, set up by NBA star Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets.

‘Why is your mum going to Ukraine?’ I heard my son’s friend ask him.

‘She’s going to save the world,’ he replied.

He wasn’t being flippant. For some time now my son has been saying he expects me to become the little old lady who gives up her worldly goods and spends her final years feeding orphans and rescuing stray animals, ‘a Stanley Kubrick version of Mother Theresa’. This is a vast improvement on the years when he called me Anne Frank, because of my tendency to lock myself away in my attic bedroom for days at a time and do nothing but drink Red Bull and write. I did some of my best work then, but probably not some of my best parenting. The image he has of me now is so much better than I ever could have hoped for.

I’m going to be spending some time during September in the refugee camp in Dunkirk, France; teaching English and investigating the provisions for education and child welfare. I think I might take my son with me. I’m aware that its not a holiday destination that most 16 year old boys would choose, but I want my son to see exactly what it is I’m doing and what I’m working towards every time I disappear out of the front door with a rucksack and hiking boots. In the meantime, I will be spending the month of June in Ukraine researching a summer camp program they are running to teach impoverished children how to speak English. I have meetings with education departments and government officials, time in the classrooms to spend with the children and a tour of restricted provinces to assess child welfare in regions that are now commonly referred to as ‘ human rights black holes’. I have a project in mind that could benefit so many disadvantaged children and some days I feel I am on the verge of doing something incredible. Other days I feel I am in over my head and would be better off giving the whole project to someone more competent. Mostly, I just like the feeling I get when I’m working towards something so much bigger than myself.

That’s selfish, right? To gain some self worth and a buzz of excitement for doing something worthwhile for refugee children? Surely we should all be dedicating a portion of our lives to helping those less fortunate and although it should be something we do willingly and not as a chore, gaining actual pleasure is a twisted and self absorbed by product of a good deed well done. I suppose I shouldn’t beat myself up too much about the personal benefits, after all, even Mother Theresa had the whole ‘God’s going to reward me for this shit’ going on and I’m still doing more to help humankind than a lot of other people.

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Children playing at the school inside Dunkirk’s refugee camp, thanks to former British headteacher Rory Fox and his organisation edlumino.org 

Despite the feel good factor, I am doing this because I can. I’m fully aware that not everyone would be able to wander into a conflict zone and feel no fear. I know that the sight of blood and guts and poverty and undernourishment are too horrific for many to comprehend and I know that facing a woman who has just been a victim of sexual assault is something too awkward for many to bear. I know that the fact that I can do these things is a rare gift and believe that, when combined with the horrors of my own past, I am perfectly qualified to bring a little bit of light into these people’s lives. I want to set up education centres for children in refugee camps around the world that provides them with the opportunity to learn the English language through play. Hopefully this can give them a stepping stone towards a better adulthood than their parent’s had to endure and a chance at making a real life for themselves in the strange lands they have found themselves since fleeing their own homes. I so want this to be a success and what Lola wants, she usually gets.

So please, dear reader, forgive me if this blog takes a backseat to my professional life for a while. There may be the odd date and the odd drama that I can amuse you with in the future, but if things get a little quiet here at Dating Dramas of a Thirtysomething it is not because I am neglecting you. I am simply saving the world.