This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
This is our second article about life as a singleton – Grace wrote recently about ‘Internet Dating for the over 50s’. I was looking at the stats for how many women over 50 are single and was very surprised. Women are by far most likely to be single later in life – roughly half of women aged 65 and older are unpartnered (49%), while those aged 30 – 49 are the least likely to be single (19%). Roughly three in ten women aged 18 – 29 (32%) and 50 – 64 (29%) are single. So how is Sassy Singleton doing in her new life now that she is back on the dating scene?
I still dip in and out of dating, but to be honest, it is not my full-on interest anymore as I am happily building a new life in Dorset. I work at a local food bank and volunteer at an animal rescue centre. With that, a part-time job and frequent visitors, there are certainly sometimes not enough days in the week.
I met up with a chap I must have been in contact with years ago. He texted me out of the blue. He had since been in a relationship that hadn’t worked out. He seemed to think it was karma that we had met again. I actually didn’t remember much about him. It probably happened when I was taking my dating professionally and kept excel spreadsheets detailing everyone I was talking to.
We have had some lovely days out, especially during this warm weather and, as he is pretty much retired, catching up in the week has made it easy. Actually, our last date was far from easy. He picked me up and we drove to Bournemouth, only about 15 minutes away, and it was heaving. The pictures you see on TV of the packed beaches were definitely the case on this stunning sunny Wednesday.
There was a cute beach bar/cafe that we found had only been opened a few weeks. Large bean bags and sail shades provided respite from the heat. A couple of cold beers and paninis were just perfect.
Then a drive up the coast on a visit to Hengistbury Head, one of my favourite places around here! We parked the car and took the teeny land train that takes you along to the spit covered in the most picturesque beach huts in pastel hues that sell for hundreds of thousands, walking out onto the softest whitest powdery sand. It still feels like it is from a bygone era where beach life is simple and felt like a million miles away from Bournemouth’s congestion, noise and chaos.
We sat on the beach with ice creams and caught a ferry over to Mudeford to sip ice-cold rosé while watching the world go by and the children with their crab nets and buckets.
Not to blow my own trumpet here, but by now, I had about four comments from other women. I do love it when we “big-up” each other. I love complimenting others on their dress, lipstick or shoes. I love seeing the smile it brings, and I know how it uplifts me if someone says something nice. For the record, I was wearing a fabulous stone and white gingham check long maxi dress with frilly straps. I teamed this with ridiculously high beige wedge espadrilles and a straw hat. My gentleman companion had carried my wedges as we walked on the sand, but these were firmly back on my feet for the ferry. As we returned back from Mudeford, we discovered we had missed the last land train back to the car park 1½ miles away. I certainly wasn’t expecting to walk 1½ miles in those shoes.
Luckily down here, we have Beryl bikes akin to London Boris bikes or whatever they are now called. However, between both of us, with two phones and two downloaded apps, we could only release one bike. It was suggested that I take the bike, and my companion would jog behind me. Realistically I was not dressed for either walking or cycling. I gamely tucked my maxi dress in my knickers and wobbled off on my way. I could hear the poor guy huffing and puffing behind me. He’s a big guy, and I think it has probably been quite a while since he has done any exercise. I stopped every time I couldn’t hear him anymore in case he dropped down from a heart attack. By the time we met up in the car park, he was very red in the face, dripping with sweat and pretty much unable to speak. Oh, and we were an hour late for our dinner reservation at Rick Stein’s. We arrived both fully recovered but by now an hour and a half late. The staff were beyond excellent and still found us a brilliant table to watch the most glorious of sunsets at the end of an eventful day…
So if you want to find out what happens next in Sassy’s quest to build a new life in Dorset, then subscribe for free to our magazine ~ click HERE.
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