I’m fine.

I guess I keep saying that. I’m fine or me and the boys are fine.

In terms of the boys, that’s true, they’re busy and active. I do everything I can for them.

Me? Well, I’m sort of not. I had reached out initially and then found it all too much and now I’m just lonely. I’m tired as I’m busy with boys, but all I have is looking a t a phone screen or watching tv once they go to bed.

Lockdown life isn’t much different to life before it as I reach the boys bedtimes and then have to find something to watch on TV. I’m coming around to idea of just having a bit of time with dog and then an early night.

I occasionally try and internet search on how I’m feeling, but it’s negative usually and I end up looking at meme quotes on the images tab.

Not really a positive activity and not likely to be good for me. I think I’ve realised that maybe dating is beyond me for now and probably the future. For the minute I can’t get out the house anyway and for later, I’d have to arrange a different sort of arrangements for boys.

Thinking it through, I feel sad, I want adult company, but I’m not motivated enough to go and do anything about it.

I like when people reach in, but I wouldn’t know how to develop on that. To make friends or to make someone like me enough for more than that.

Looking inward, bettering myself emotionally and physically might help.

Although I have negative thoughts around that too. I could go and work out/lose weight, but to what gain?

Maybe vanity or pride, but I’d be setting myself a goal and probably inwardly detailing myself from the overall project.

Thoughts of ‘what to do’, have been with me since Lyndie died. I have no idea at times as to who I can turn to. Even for 10 minutes to go walk the dog without the kids.

I wanted to be more open and friendly and more ‘there’, but that hasn’t worked out.

I knew social media has its limits, I knew that people are busy with their lives too. I can’t force my way in and I don’t want people giving me company just out of pity.

I found a bit of comfort and solidarity from a charity group. I was chatting on the group pages on Facebook and doing okay, then it hit me how much time that took and how unreal it felt.

I also felt I was hiding from bigger issues that I needed to resolve.

So, I left. I quit the pages and tried to keep moving on. Maybe I was successful in jolting myself. I feel right now that I need another jolt, another push at myself.

I try sometimes to figure out if everything I feel is just grief or whether it’s deeper insecurities at work. I know my autistic self comes into play

I knew I was anxious and depressed as side issues to my autism. I knew those things existed. Perhaps grief and loneliness have mixed into those feelings.

When I’m honest with myself, I know life is about me and the kids. The type of person I need might be out there, but am I willing to make the effort, so I actually have the time

I see the grey hairs, I see my obesity in the mirror, I see the spots on my nose and can look and think ‘yeah, you’re no catch.

I don’t think even a widow would find me easy as company never mind anything else.

I want a hug, I’ve wanted held since September. But I sort of doubt if I can make that happen. Im struggling enough to chat right now

Star Trek: Picard.

Given everything else going on in my life I needed a distraction and this has been ideal.

I’m a Star Trek fan, the original series repeats as a kid, then The Next Generation in the nineties. I saw some Deep Space Nine but was more taken with Voyager.

With having Netflix, I’ve had a rewatch of TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY in last six months.

I’ve rewatched some Discovery, an odd episode of Enterprise and I’ve had a look at the TNG movies as well as the more recent reboot or Kelvin timeline movies.

By doing so, I explored the episode structure of those series, the general way it went from episode to episode with a reset to default after each event.

That leads into the two-parter stories in Next Generation and Voyager that were usually cliffhanger-and-resolution between the end of one season and another. These ‘event’ double parters proved amongst the most popular episodes of the run of both shows.

Deep Space Nine delivered larger arcs over a season interspersed in the episodes and leading onto the Dominion War seven or so episode arc.

It’s worth bearing in mind that in those days the shows were generally syndicated. Voyager the exception as it launched a dedicated channel Paramount had in a partnership.

Discovery and Picard have the benefit of a larger player network in the form of CBS in the States together with global players in either Netflix or Amazon Prime to co-fund production.

The narrative can be wider than episodes or arcs. It can be season long serial shows in a modern ongoing drama format.

That’s a big difference from syndication and being used traditionally as a slot filler against news or current affairs.

An evolution of the format, and an elevation of the shows toward being more of a prime time, or as now, selective viewing global audience.

Without spoilers, what Picard has delivered is a show that’s of our time, a grand story arc over a limited season of ten episodes.

It’s taken Patrick Stewart at his age, reflected hanging threads from Movies and TNG and placed the central character in a time where things have moved on.

The central event that creates the drama is the star or ‘sun’ in the Romulan home system going supernova.

That creates a change to the status quo that we left in Star Trek: Nemesis and the rebooted Kelvin timeline movies.

The genius in that is that the writers and producers have taken what they have been left and have woven a story.

Picard is living out a retirement on his Vineyard. He’s a man with a dog and memories. Obviously the loss of Data in Nemesis plays on his mind and is in his dreams.

Data was destroyed, but the story picks up on a young woman seeking Picard’s help and develops from there.

The series so far (I’m up to episode six) proceeds sedately, but develops the why and how of Picard’s actions, it fills the gaps of history, the jump from what happened after Nemesis and after TNG, after DS9 and after VOY.

As remarkable as the return to television that Star Trek:Discovery was, it was initially a prequel.

Star Trek: Picard is a welcome return to the future.

It’s a future that’s not the optimistic progress we saw in TNG. It’s maybe not as bleak as DS9, it’s a change in storytelling, possibly at odds with Gene Roddenberry’s original vision for Star Trek. Possibly not, depending on your viewpoint.

To me, it’s consistent with previous storytelling. The Federation, Starfleet and hopeful exploration of space have been well covered in the past and it can even be argued that Voyager did a better job of that than The Next Generation.

There’s an argument that ‘The Orville’ is currently doing that job and that it’s doing it very well.

Picard might not be an episode by episode Star Trek of the past, but it’s true to the character of Jean-Luc Picard, it’s true to Star Trek and it takes us into a different future, one where the Romulan home system has gone, one where the infamous ‘Neutral Zone’ has been breached and one where technological advances continue, but subject to restrictions.

Threats from antagonists like Klingons or Cardassians/The Dominion have been covered in wars and conflicts.

A Romulan Empire that’s fractured or changed is a new development.

An exploration of that change to the quadrant or in this case quadrants as both the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire covered Alpha and Beta quadrants.

There’s much to explore from that perspective and if parts of this first season of Picard are set-up, then it creates a wide palate from which stories can be created in season two. It may even give a jump-off for other shows or stories.

There are characters that can be reintroduced from the three shows in the nineties and story opportunities involving more than one foe.

Romulans were always the ‘bad guys’ that I enjoyed seeing. I saw them as Vulcans that were bad, an enemy that matched the federation but rarely took the first step to conflict.

Clever, scheming and an obvious antagonist to the open democratic federation.

Taking a step beyond Nemesis and beyond the Kelvin timeline movies was a braver move than a reboot or clean ‘new start’ storyline.

Much braver than a simplistic Admiral Picard TNG follow on or reunion type show.

Cleverer than simply giving fans what they think they wanted.

A show that’s taken a creative risk, that has taken onboard and developed the canon (or lore) of previous films and tv shows and that is consistent to that long history and that’s consistent to its central character and arguably the greatest captain.

I’ve found much to like so far in Picard.

I understand the criticism levelled at the show, but I don’t think it’s fair.

In my view it’s been worth the anticipation, it’s been well worth watching and the creators have much to be proud of.

Lyndie

Time passes and I get a little bit further on with things.

I’m still walking through quicksand or treacle day by day.

Lyndie is gone, I can’t say anything other than that. I miss her a hell of a lot. I daily think how she’d deal with the boys and deal with other things.

She got on with people better than I ever could. Whether a facade or not, they related to her and she dealt so well with things like that. She was better at listening and then killing an argument or shutting someone down. I end up talking over people on the phone.

I had my telephone hell today trying to call for a repair at the house. The mixer tap in the bath wasn’t working and not much hot water water getting out. A minor thing on its own but it made Bathtime for the boys a struggle this past week.

I originally had an appointment on Friday for plumber to come, that changed via the dreaded voicemail to next Wednesday and that would’ve been way too far away.

I called and got nowhere initially as anxiety grabbed me and I was all over the place after being n hold for ten minutes.

A later call and patient explanation of problem worked later.

The sort of thing Lyndie was great at.

I’ve had her in my mind recently, I think the trigger was seeing her grave with the memorial stone. Her name, dates, mention of her parents and her sons. In one way I know I’m not mentioned, in another I’m sort of okay with that.

I was her husband, we were married 13 years, although separated the last four.

I want her name still spoken. I want our sons to remember her fondly.

There’s no doubt in my mind just how much she meant to them and to me.

But, I have to get on with things. I cannot really stop.

I’ve been off work quite a while now and I have to grasp how to get back to work even part time and balance with the caring and parenting roles that I have for my sons.

I am both their dad and their carer and that places me at a classic catch 22 in applying for Carers allowance that Lyndie previously received.

I don’t yet know what basis I’ll be working in future, so I don’t yet know income or likely income and that means I can’t apply for universal credit and the Carers element of that.

Obviously I couldn’t do that whilst technically off on sick leave either.

I’m a little ground down with that. I need again to have Lyndie’s communication skills to go back and forth be it with work or those helping me with the application.

I come up short with that and expressing exactly what I want and how I need that. The practicalities of the day to day with boys and the times they go in and out.

Perhaps my frustration is with situation rather than with myself.

I know my functioning hadn’t been great recently and that I’m a little slower in doing and saying than normal.

I’m not completely grief wracked but, it’s a factor in how I’m doing at the moment and will be for a while.

There’s support and help out there and I’ve taken some. Maybe I need more, maybe I need some certainty going forward, maybe I’m overthinking and over worrying about my situation.

As I said, I think what she’d say or do. I don’t converse with her as such. I know she’s gone. I don’t think there’s an afterlife and I don’t have a religious conviction that she’s this, that or there.

It’s maybe not as comforting as convincing myself she’s looking out for us, or happy in heaven or whatever belief would work.

Her body stopped. It killed the mother of my children and a woman I loved. I know that, I saw that and it’s heartbreaking.

My own heartbreak is the loss of a friend and confidante, we still had issues from separating and it would be foolish of me to paint a picture of her that’s not truthful.

My boys heartbreak at losing their mother is greater than mine.

It’s something I struggle to completely comprehend as they lost that person and I’m not really a replacement for her in many ways.

I’m there. I’m their dad and whilst I’m doing everything I can, I won’t replace her, not for them.

I can’t sum this one up. I can’t end in a few paragraphs to summarise what this particular post is about. It’s about her and what she was and what I’ll remember. Thanks for reading.

Flat

I’m in my flat. 12 weeks ago this was my home.

I’m packing up. My life changed on Sunday September 1st.

My estranged wife died and I’ve lived at her house with the kids since.

Lyndie was 39. We were separated and had lived apart for nearly five years. As parents of autistic children we had to keep talking and we did.

I usually went over midweek on a Wednesday to see the boys and do their bedtimes. I also usually had them from lunchtime Saturdays until Sunday evening.

Her house was a place that I was familiar with. She had a number of conditions and at times she was bed bound. It wasn’t unusual for her to be so and either myself or the carer for boys would look after them.

It’s been a journey since that day.

Since I phoned 999, having to then tell her parents and all the phone calls and emails thereafter

The registration of her death, her funeral. Unpicking her arrangements, using her phone calendar as a guide.

I didn’t know everything about her.

That much was certain before she died and afterwards, the contacts and messages, some of which I struggled to read. Fixing her Facebook accounts, Unsubscribing her from email lists, Stopping auto scheduled amazon deliveries.

Then her notes, The things she wanted to say to me.

I can’t change anything. It is what it is. A certain amount of surprises in terms of her personal and financial situation.

I had to think of the kids first and foremost and what they needed, that meant getting benefits made out to me, Sorting Motability, pleading to the housing association to allow me the tenancy.

It’s not all done. I now need to clear my flat and sell it.

I need to apply for what was Carer’s Allowance.

I need to speak with my employer and find out about going back to work.

There’s the loss and grief of someone I loved. Regret at her moving out and guilt that she died.

I don’t know what happened. Her death is unascertained and there are further tests.

I cry sometimes and don’t know why. I stop what I’m doing and forget what I’ve been doing.

There are memories and words unspoken. There are arguments remembered and things that went wrong.

I’ve been told not to blame myself.

I’ve been told that I’ve coped well in keeps the boys in their school routine. I’ve been helped by the carer and her family.

But, it’s still like yesterday.

It’s fresh in my mind. Finding her, not feeling a breath. The touch of her hand.

It’s not easy, i still don’t know the whys. I know she struggled with her health in the past few years. We cancelled a week of our holiday in August.

We still holidayed together for the boys sake.

In these twelve weeks, I’ve had kind words and help and support.

I’ve had to deal with rumours of her taking her life and comments about my parenting ability.

I’ve had to read things I’ve not wanted to. I’ve had to make calls that I haven’t wanted to.

It’s endless and exhausting.

My focus has been my sons. They lost their mummy. Their light of their lives. Their encouragement, her smile, her hugs.

I’m no replacement for that.

I wasn’t an absentee father. I did anything asked of me for them. I know their needs and routines.

I’m still not their mummy though.

So it’s a flat to clear and it’s obvious that I lived enough to get by day to day in those four and a bit years. I hadn’t moved on and I was stuck after the separation.

The rooms and objects of my former home are now different to me. Not as familiar. Not as easy and safe.

My new home is ‘her house’ and will be for a while yet. The drama made by the housing association over me taking the tenancy meant that my grief was delayed whilst I worried over my boys being evicted and the upset that would cause to them.

It left me in limbo for six weeks. I couldn’t change anything at the house and I couldn’t start to pack the flat either.

My plans were knocked over in both senses.

My grief came back after I was allowed the house, I stopped worrying and started processing what had happened again.

My ‘alone’ had changed from evenings after work to daytime when boys are at school and then later at night when they’re in bed.

I don’t know where this new ‘normal’ takes me. For the moment I do feel flat.

Explain ?

I think I need off Twitter. It’s approaching 10 years and I guess I didn’t get anywhere with it.

Grateful for all that ever bothered reading.

Not sure all that instant expression was understood

It’ll take a while longer than anticipated to clear the tweets though.

Am I a good person?

Oh no Chic.

I know. But it’s been in my mind.

I think it’s possibly a feeling of helplessness and frustration. I’ve being trying to weigh up what my life is and place some sort of relative value on it.

But I get back to ‘bad things happen to bad people’ and then I get into a cycle of thoughts about where exactly I am and attempting to get to.

Maybe not quite giving in, but thinking to myself that I haven’t exactly got anywhere with anything and I’m sort of lost.

When I figure the sacrifices, I sort of still get lost. Time, money/debt, maybe opportunity.

But did I get what I deserved?

I guess. It’s pretty much me and my thoughts. The weekdays sort of run their course. Weekends go faster.

I’m trying to learn earlier bedtimes and more sleep but quite a lot of restless nights in there.

I wonder over the last six/seven years and the toll it’s taken on me.

The things that I muddled though and got past and the sort of feeling that I started broken and it’s still the same. I don’t suppose there’s a metaphor for the pieces not being fixed, but just arranged slightly differently.

I don’t suppose ‘more broken’ is possible. Maybe I’m back to the thought about a bulletproof vest merely having more holes in it than that first time it got punctured.

Damaged once is the worst and the subsequent damage, at the same velocity/force, merely places another mark on it.

I guess it’s a numbness sometimes.

‘Here’s another rubbish situation’

‘Uh. Okay.’

And so on.

Helpless and sometimes feeling oblivious to the impact of all those hits.

Already not having the balance of company, friends and family. So what’s another bad thing?

It’s not a feeling of being ‘worse’, maybe just another bad day on top of another bad day and being no closer to finding or having a good one.

I can wish that everything was better, but I’ve being holding onto that kind of hope for too long.

Which all brings me back to ‘was I unlucky’ ‘did I deserve it?’ ‘Am I a bad person getting my just desserts’

I wonder..

Jim Goodwin

This is too long for a tweet.

If there’s a right appointment at the right moment. It’s him for St Mirren.

Our cup winning captain, returning. Coming home.

The sort of thing that’d make every Man, Woman and Child that supports Saints an inch taller. Proud. Happy.

I’m not overselling this. He’s who we want. Who we need. The time is right.

We were fortunate to have Oran Kearney and he kept us up, did nothing wrong and sadly it was just one of those things. A good guy that I’ve seen nearly everyone wish well.

But Goodie. Home at Saints. That lionhearted skipper back to take is onward. To inspire and push us on.

We know he’s 100% we know what he means to us.

It’s so right and so needed.

We’re sick of ‘nine managers in nine years’.

Rae, Stubbs, Craig, Murray.

We’ve been unfortunate.

Things settled under Ross for money and opportunity to take him away.

Thankfully we’re still in that top league. Thankfully we have that platform created last season.

Thankfully we have our stadium and our facilities.

We are not down there staring up.

There is such a chance this season.

The building blocks are there. One more piece. To inspire. To lead. Into the future.

Star Trek:Picard

I’ve been very impressed with the two seasons of Star Trek Discovery and was a fan of next generation and original series.

A great thing about on demand TV is choice and being able to pick my way through the episodes of Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise that I hadn’t seen.

It’s also great for research and I liked watching Star Trek: TOS episodes that tied in with Discovery.

But Picard..

A 60 second trailer with a female voiceover had this as the words as far as I could tell..

15 years ago today, you led us out of the darkness.

You commanded the greatest rescue armada in history.

Then, the unimaginable.

What did that cost you? Your faith? Your faith in us? Your faith in yourself?

Tell us, why did you leave Starfleet Admiral?

Various sources have confirmed with the producers that it ties to the destruction of Romulus.

In Star Trek TNG, a two parter covers ‘Unification’ where Data and Picard are modified as Romulans to investigate Ambassador Spock.

Romulans appear elsewhere in the series with different stories involving Troi, Riker and a Romulan defector.

In Star Trek: Deep Space 9, ‘In the pale moonlight’, where Sisko and Garak engineer a incident to bring the Romulans into the Dominion War, I wonder if there’s an opportunity to have that tension created between Romulans and Cardassians in Deep Space Nine on play.

It leads to a number of episodes where Romulans are involved as an ally to the Federation on DS9 toward the conclusion of the show.

But apart from those episodes, where does that lead?

Firstly a twenty year time gap. In reality and the twenty-fourth century.

Picard is older. His fate was speculated upon at the end of The Next Generation with the two parter involving ‘Q’ and a past, present and future Picard working together to resolve an anomaly.

It was a retired Picard with a beard in that Vineyard in France as shown in the teaser clip. Elderly with a beard and a form of memory loss or dementia.

The new teaser shows an older Picard maybe not in uniform, not with a beard, but older.

The voiceover refers to an incident 15 years ago. 5 years after the events of TNG.

It calls Picard Admiral. Not Ambassador as had been speculated.

It suggests a retirement.

A rescue armada and Romulus.

A disaster and the speculation being that Picard commanded that mission.

And that’s the bones of it. Nothing in the 90’s series gives a clue.

We know about the Alpha Sector having the powers of the Federation, Klingons, Romulans and Cardassians.

We know the balance that there was between the various powers.

The appearance of the Dominion changed that balance and the Federation allied with the Klingons and later the Romulans.

Was the Romulan Star Empire on friendly terms with the other powers after the end of the dominion wars?

Or as suspected in DS9 that a new rivalry would arise?

Cardassia had to be rebuilt and all powers suffered from that war.

Add in Borg incursions in the film timelines.

Add in the Kelvin timeline of the rebooted movies and it’s plot about Romulus.

Do we assume losing Romulus shattered the Romulan empire?

Are there Romulan factions based on other planets grinding against each other?

Is there a tension between a rump state of what was the Romulan empire against the federation.

Is Picard some sort of arbiter who dealt with the aftermath of disaster and is called back in?

Presumably he’s not with the newest/current Enterprise and presumably he’s not with his TNG crew.

Where does that lead us?

1. Say a Berlin-Wall type event in the Romulan empire, where Picard is negotiating a settlement?

2. A treaty between numerous and fractious post empire factions?

3. The possible road map for shattered and numerous Romulan settlements joining the Federation.

4. A type of reunion with Vulcan and a push of a post-disaster Romulan empire toward the Vulcans and Federation.

I don’t know. I’m speculating as much as the Sci-Fi websites are.

Whatever the situation, it’s unique to Picard to resolve. It’s a sector where wars have happened, disasters have happened and there’s an opportunity to progress.

A suggestion that after the Dominion War that no Alpha Sector Power is greater than another.

Even the Federation would need time to recover its losses before thinking to administer what was the Romulan empire. Maybe the Neutral Zone couldn’t fall.

Maybe the Klingons are an issue, maybe a renewed Cardassia as a nuisance?

Unlikely that the Borg are in the picture, but as Star Trek’s scariest bad guys, why wouldn’t they get a piece of the action?

Lastly thinking ‘the unthinkable’ – is the Enterprise lost?

Was it destroyed in the catastrophe? Could it have been affected by the destruction of Romulus and perhaps Picard survived by being off the ship?

An off-screen destruction of the Enterprise would be a pretty big event to allude to through a series, but surviving your ship and crew would be a hugely traumatic experience and retiring to a vineyard would make sense.

Anyway, until the next trailer for Star Trek Picard, it’s all guesswork.

Killing Eve season 2

It’d be easy for me to heap praise on Jody Comer and Sandra Oh.

But, after being entertained in the first few episodes as it unravelled the ending of the first season and set itself up, it changed through the middle and end episodes.

In terms of direction, performances and visuals, it didn’t disappoint. In terms of Villanelle and death, it didn’t disappoint.

We got an exploration of psychology from seeing a murder out of ‘kindness’, through controlling relationships, addiction and truthfulness into what or who is a psychopath.

A dark prism to refract those subjects and at times, wholly uncomfortable.

The path of Villanelle’s journey is one things in terms of the story narrative, but also in the exploration of her motivations and her depth.

It touches desire. Both to have people and also for others not to.

It showed the depths to which she could reach to be someone other than herself.

It showed a strong self independence and self reliance, but weaked by her obsession with Eve.

But Villanelle isn’t the only one on a path, Eve takes that journey too, from tracking Villanelle to cracking who ‘The Ghost’ is and far beyond.

Eve’s path to this revelation and the ending is the ultimate study in who we may think we are and are capable of, and the reality of what we are and can do.

It takes the course of Villanelle and Eve’s relationship through the series to reveal the psychology at play within the script.

The depths of performance help, the subtlety is there in taking things beyond a cartoonish anti-heroine and the subject of her obsession.

Certainly Killing Eve could easily have kept to the formula of the first season and lapped up ratings and critical praise in a similar manner.

But, it took both Villanelle and Eve on a journey.

Maybe a journey of discovery is a wrong description but it took us through that relationship of hunter and prey, control, obsession, marriage, desire from a few viewpoints, voyeurism and where people go when they get their desires fulfilled.

The path through that is colourful, entertaining, at times funny and at times sick, but it nails the psychology at play inside people day to day in their relationships and motivations with others.

It’s not often that I’ll watch a box set of eight episodes in one go and stay up very late in order to do so, but this was certainly worth it.

Trying not to be single..

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/am-i-any-less-of-a-man-because-im-autistic-jrrd/

That article brought me down to earth and I guess resonated heavily with me.

I suppose that I thought things might work out for me in the long run and I travelled in hope trying dating sites and I’ve ended up giving in.

I had my fill with looking on line at people. And I lapsed.

I hated myself for doing it.

I feel stupid too.

This is despite reading about online dating and the ways the apps are designed to hook those doing exactly what I was doing. Looking.

The companies behind the apps earn zip if I see and match with a comparable person.

So it’ll show me 7’s and 8’s when I might be a six or a five.

It’ll show me people just that little bit away from me. It might show me to those that pay for the service or it might do so if both parties are paid members.

I read the magazine articles about ditching swiping and getting out and about and actually attempting at life.

I know I’m fooling myself and I’m not alone, hundreds of thousands of us are each day online and looking in vain.

We set ourselves for the fall with the nicest pictures or wittiest bios that maybe are us on a good day.

Anyway, below is my experience of scrolling apps and what I perceive that I see on the little screen of heartbreak…

The ‘nicest’ seeming ones are usually too many kilometres/miles away.

At worst,they’re visiting the city rather than being someone that lives here and haven’t turned off their visibility.

Some you look at the pictures and read the biography and think – oh that’s a pity. The finger lingers and you wonder if it’s even possible.

Other sites maybe state the town and you think, no that’s just not possible.

The thoughts of practicality and problems even start at that point.

The first picture the finger goes on is usually oldest/thinnest, last picture is closer to reality.

Scroll and scroll, oh she looks much younger there, and then the penny drops on the last few photos.

I usually swipe left on the ones that look like Hollywood starlets in every picture. I just think I’m not good looking enough, wealthy enough or have that lifestyle.

(Probably in truth neither are they, but I don’t know that.)

Othertimes, you look and can’t see anything that helps make a decision, it’s maybe yes/maybe no.

A lack of information maybe or a unconscious bias of some sort.

‘My children are grown up and I’m not interested in parenting yours (woman with older kids looking for men over 40)’

No answer for that as I juggle commitments with kids every week. I’m not free 24/7 for anyone.

‘I take pride in my appearance and expect you to too. (Interests gym)’

– again, what can you say? – apart from would you like to get out the gym sometime?

‘Lol – fill in later’

– posts two identical photos, Yeah, a woman of mystery…

Age 46′ – then below ‘I’m actually 50′

Probably the most frustrating as you know she’s a liar from first impression. May not be fair, but certainly triggers that finger to swipe left.

It’s photos, it’s visual, some seem too good to be true, others you look and think well why did you use that picture.

Some faces are recognisable over a few apps. Maybe years ago, looking and building the courage to try a ‘hi, I read your profile, it was..’ and then not even getting a reply, so second/third time around you think, ah why bother?..

Height – ‘4’7″ or 5’11” – I suppose it does matter, I’d be too tall at one extreme and not tall enough at the other, it’s pure practicality over any sort of dreams or other thought.

Sometimes height makes a difference., sometimes it makes none. Often I saw ‘x’x” ‘for those that think it matters’

To me it does, but I’ve certainly seen tall/small happy couples in the past.

So that’s my run through of what I saw. For my own good I know I need to delete the apps.

As tempting as ‘join and see who already likes you’ is, I can’t afford it and I must be realistic.

I have my life. I know I spend my nights alone and I know I reach out with tech.

I know I have my limits and I suspect another relationship won’t really help me.

I know I’m missing affection and companionship but can I afford to pay for two/three swiping sites and the time and thought and effort?

It might get me a few steps along the line. A chat, a date. But that’s maybes and perhaps and maybe that’s not going to work out for me.