“It was a bit of an elderly audience, wasn’t it?” Hannah says as I wait with her for her bus in the rain. We’ve just been to a couple of Jewish Book Week talks. The first one was “Women in Dark Times” with Jacqueline Rose and Helena Kennedy and touched on Marilyn Monroe, Rosa Luxembourg and honour killings. Then it was David Aaronovitch interviewing John Lahr about Lahr’s new biography: “Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh”.
“It always is,” I say. “All my interests are all crammed full of retired people. People our age don’t spend their evenings going to talks about early and mid-twentieth century historical figures, by and large.”
“So what will happen when those people in the audience die?” Hannah says. “Who will go to the talks then?”
“Well, we’ll be the old people by then,” I say. “If we make it, of course.”
This is one of the reasons why I find myself trawling for chaps on the internet. All the things I do for fun are the preserve of septuagenarians: history talks, book talks, conservation seminars, Rattigan matinees. Maybe it was those particular subjects: perhaps if Zoe Suggs or Russell Brand or Jennifer Lawrence had been talking about You Tube or revolution or The Hunger Games, then there would have been some younger people in the audience. Tomorrow I’m going to a lunchtime event by Lyndall Gordon, the literary biographer, at the Jewish Museum. That too will be bound to be stuffed full of retirees: she’s written books about T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Henry James and suchlike. And, of course, people my age are working or crawling around on the floor with their human larvae on a Wednesday lunchtime. Then on Thursday evening it’s a talk by David Starkey on Tudor times at the parental village centre. More elderly punters I would imagine.
Wonder what other girls in their thirties do to meet chaps in Real Life. Need to find an interest that appeals to chaps of my own vintage. Although when have attempted this in the past, it hasn’t worked. About nine years ago, started writing about a Formula 1 driver for a biography class. Watched every race, posted everyday on the Pitpass internet forum – until was banned for saying ‘am secretly engaged to Nico Rosberg’. Life is cruel. It was obviously a joke. Anyway – couldn’t help noticing that boys weren’t impressed by my knowledge of tyre regulations, marbling, launch control and so on. Remember attending a dating event and sitting in the corner, discussing the new tyre rules with a female chum all evening. The boys avoided us.
Anyway: tonight is first date with a new chap. He has already endeared himself to me with his first message: “Are you going to put me through the whole texting/ dating thing or shall we just cut to the chase and get married?” He describes himself as:
’36, 6 ft 1, athletic, English, partner in a financial services firm, atheist, Oxford physics and philosophy graduate, Libertarian(ish). Ranked third in the world at pillow fights.’
He is blond with green/grey eyes. Don’t think have ever dated an Atheist before. Hope he’s not Richard Dawkins…