Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Lonely hearts1

I’m used to receiving tons of emails telling me that a little blue pill will put the spring back into my step or I’ve hit the jackpot in the Burkina Faso National Lottery. The spam filter on my account picks up most of them and after they’ve been screened by MI5, I’m only troubled by a trickle. Now Facebook is getting in on the act. Hardly a week goes by when I don’t receive a private message from ladies in faraway lands looking for love and, no doubt, bowled over by my sharp wit, winning smile and Judy Garland vinyls. This is the kind of thing:

“Hello Am linda, i saw your profile today and became interested in you, i will like to know you the more, and i want you to send an email to my mail so that i can give you my picture for you to know whom i am. Here is my email address (xxxxxx{at} yahoo.de) I believe we can move from here. I am waiting for your reply in my mail don’t send it in the site. Remember the distance or color does not matter but love matters allot in life Note!!! that am not always online on facebook, so do not contact me in facebook contact me directly in my email address at (xxxxxx{at} yahoo.de)”

“hello, My name is Alina, I saw your profile here as i was just browsing through facebook, I will be much pleased to have communication with you,I have a very important thing to discuss with you please reply me on my email address:(xxxxxx outlook com) because am not always on facebook but we can communicate through my private email ID, i will send my pictures to you and more details about me. God bless you.”

Spot the similarity? Me too. Whether it is just an attempt to scam me (and a thousand and one others) out of my bank account details or a genuine international mating game for the lost and lonely, you’d think they’d do their homework first before barking up the wrong tree.

From Little Acorns…

From Little Acorns…

Jack and John in EphesusOnce upon a time in another life,  this seasoned old cynic met and fell for a handsome young man with razor-sharp wit and a glorious smile. His name was John. We collided in a long-gone dive in Earls Court called the Copacabana. He stayed the night and never left. Eight years in to our fine romance John fell ill, quite suddenly. Within just six weeks he was dead. He died in my arms. It was quite a Hollywood moment but not one I care to reprise. That was 10 years ago today. Even though I’ve been given a second time around, I still miss him.

John liked a slice of Turkey. We’d visited many times. When Liam and I first pitched our yurt in Anatolia, we bought an olive sapling in John’s memory and put it in a patio pot. It did remarkably well and bore fruit in the first year – a lean harvest but a harvest nonetheless. After we decided to wade back to Blighty, I asked Annie of Back to Bodrum fame if she would take care of John’s little twig in her Bodrum garden.  Annie went one better and offered a sunny spot in the olive grove of her fabulous country pile.

My old mucky mucker, Ian, and his much younger squeeze, Matt, were our final gentlemen callers in old Bodrum Town. Back in the day, John, Ian and I had been the three muskequeers blazing a gay trail and frightening the locals from Ephesus to Antalya. Annie invited the lot of us out to her rural idyll for a spot of lunch and bit of aboriculture. She knows quite a lot about both. A gorgeous sunny afternoon of feasting, wine and gay-boy banter was polished off with a tree-planting flourish. Notice me proudly holding the big spade. Don’t be fooled. Annie’s husband did all the hard graft. All I did was plop the tree into the hole and pat it down like the Queen at an opening.

Now there is a little corner of Turkey that is forever John.

Thank you, Annie.

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