The lounge bar of the Dennison Arms was bathed in subdued amber light. Succulent aromas of steak and chips wafted tantalisingly from the kitchen and mixed with the heady scent of rosé wine in my long-stemmed glass. Dreamy music played seductively in the background, almost subliminally soothing my brain after a hard day at work.
My companion was dressed casually in faded blue jeans and a blue and white striped shirt, open at the neck to reveal a silver St Christopher necklace. He wore leather training-style shoes and a leather jacket. He held a pint of bitter in his hand and talked animatedly about his work, his home, his ex wife and his children.
He was a farmer and had a small dairy herd on a farm the other side of Pickering. Within an hour I knew that his ex had run off with the local Policeman, he lived in a huge four bed roomed farm house with his two kids and worked every hour God sends to make a livelihood. His daughter was a hairs-breadth away from sainthood whilst his cannabis-smoking son was a complete waste of oxygen and it was just a matter of time before the two had a set-to which would result in one of them leaving home. He described his cattle and their progeny in great detail including their daily movement around the fields and barns, and his concerns for the welfare of this season’s calves who appeared to be failing to thrive.
Being an animal lover and a country girl at heart I listened attentively for the first fifteen minutes, with less attention for the next quarter of an hour and spent the final half hour wondering if I should send the pre-planned text message to the kids to get me out of there.
In the end we decided to try a second date. He was personable enough and I had to allow him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was just nervous about meeting me and boring for Britain wasn’t his usual behaviour.
We met a week later in Filey and went for a meal at The Three Tuns. Hardly had the plates hit the table than his catalogue of woes poured forth. His son had failed to pay any rent again that week or contribute to the housework in lieu. Saint Daughter on the other hand had managed to work full time, cleaned the entire house from top to bottom, washed, dried and ironed every item of clothing the three of them owned, cleaned the cars, prepared delicious meals for the week and stocked the freezer, helped out on the farm and solved the world debt crisis. He was absorbed with a problem with his calves and went into graphic detail about the output from their bowels just as I tucked into my Scampi and chips.
We parted with the usual promise to text and chat online, although I must now confess to that being one of the biggest lies I have ever told. However I was still rather miffed when I heard not a word from him for over a week. It was simply a case of wounded pride, if there was any dumping to be done after the way he’d behaved it would be me doing it and not him!
Almost two weeks later I received a text message:
“Hi – sorry I’ve not been in touch. You know them calves I told you about I had to have the vet out to them and they’ve been really poorly. It’s shown me I can’t afford to take my eye off the ball at the moment. Good luck with your dating.”
Dumped in favour of calves – now that’s a first!!