I’m online dating, somewhere between select’n’shag and meet’n’grief

As I create my profile, I’ve no idea what I’m really looking for. No, that’s not true. What I really want is the life I had before Helen was ill

“Dad, she’s way too nice for you!” commands Millie. “Look what she does; how she looks!” We’re sitting together scrutinising dating profiles, served up that morning in a happy, smiling, online lexicon of love.

Millie is joking, I hope. She has a point, though. So many of the women not only look lovely but also have jobs, interests and passions that set the benchmark high for a bloke whose idea of a good night in post-bereavement now involves greasing his car’s suspension (not a metaphor). I read of delightful women whose “musical” means near-concert-class pianist v my torturing Harry the cat with my sax. Others whose lifetime of working for charities contrasts with my own servitude to mammon and, of course, those whose “me on the beach” photo suggests a body toned and trimmed by pilates, not, as mine, by poppadoms.

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Alex Vidal