EEE, if only I’d known then what I know now!” said Brian, with a glance at his female companion Annie, who gave him a loving look.
“Yes, you know it all when it’s too late,” agreed Ron, smiling at Ellie beside him. Her eyes met his and sparkled.
We were in Blackpool Cricket Club, enjoying its award-winning cask ales while catching up with sport on the big screen. Beyond our pavilion window Stanley Park stretched out in all its glory – the biggest, green recreational space outside of London.
Brian and Annie had just got in from a walk in the park.
“It was wonderful,” he told us, “signs of spring coming at last.”
“Just how old are you, Brian?” I asked.
“80-something,” he muttered, genuinely unsure and not caring to be reminded.
“Old enough to know what’s what,” observed Ron, no spring chicken himself but still with a twinkle in his eye. Ellie stirred restlessly.
Upstairs there were preparations for an evening disco with karaoke; youngsters coming and going in their party clothes.
“When I think of all that time I wasted trying to meet girls in clubs,” Brian went on. “Now, I’d tell any young man, ‘If you want to meet women, get yourself a little friend and go to the park’.”
“I still enjoy a dance,” said Ron, “but know what you mean. Shall we let them play, as long as they don’t get jealous or over excited?”
They let Annie and Ellie, both terrier bitches, have a playful romp around our chairs.
“That’s all you need to do as a young fella,” Brian explained, “exercise your dog - and all those other dog owners come over for a chat. Never met so many lovely ladies!”
I haven’t a dog and am younger than sprightly Brian or well-groomed Ron.
But I, too, can offer you lads some tips if you still don’t have a Valentine.
Personally, I found night-school classes a better meeting place than night clubs.
Enrol yourselves on a yoga or arty class and you’ll be surrounded by eligible companions. On a memorable typing course I found myself the sole male in a charming class of 30.
Then there are local sports clubs to join.
Friendships – and partnerships – formed there can last for life.
What’s more, lads, once among the girls you needn’t work hard at choosing the best partner.
Finding the right one is easy ...
She’ll pick you!
* To read Roy’s novels and humorous memoirs, visit Gazette reception in Blackpool,
Plackitt & Booth at Lytham or royedmonds-blackpool.com.