Friday, June 24, 2011

LITTLE DATING DIARY CAFE REVIEW #1 Brothers Espresso, Margaret St, Brisbane City

Okay first of all - this place was packed! I arrived at around 9:30 and had two meetings so left around 11:45am. The crowd died down a bit after the first rush who were mainly milling around waiting for take aways.

The vibe was very cool. A little bit Melbourne (aided by the fact that it just a little obscure and hard to find at first). The crowd was 70/30 - more men than women (bonus girls!!) and a mix of professional (I heard a lot of engineering& mining speak) artistic and the odd (grovified) government worker.

Staff were efficient and pleasant. Don't think they would have much time for matchmaking though - and that just wouldn't be cool....

Coffee okay.. I was a bit disappointed to be honest. My skinny latte (I asked for large so they served it in a giant tea cup) wasn't great. The milk had obviously been sitting in the milk jug and they had re-heated it (%^&$!!!) and not even well enough. I would be prepared to give them another go though. Obviously all those people wouldn't line up for bad coffee every day. The other coffee I saw looked great and there were certainly no complaints from my two clients.

I didn't eat but I must say the food looked amazing. Door stopper toast! Think I'd have to pass on that unless I was just coming from a workout. The scrambled eggs and smoked salmon at the next table looked scrumptious. The poor girl eating them must have felt extremely protective of her plate as I kept staring! She sort of shuffled in her seat so my view was hindered.

The exposed pipes and shabby warehouse feel was surprisingly cosy & warm. I spied many a lap top and could easily have hung out longer myself. I wasn't made to feel guilty about just ordering coffee and taking up a table either.

It didn't really feel like a typical "Brisbane" cafe. It was a cool (and warm) way to start the day. And would be a very cool way to get a date. At least you would know how they like their coffee!

Overall - GREAT for ambiance and a good place to meet. You will have to be a regular though to get noticed. Word of advice - don't go in a group. Go alone.

RATING OUT OF 5... 3 1/2

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Okay - if I hear the term "man drought" again I'm going to scream. There is no drought girls. It's a self fulfilling myth. 40+ men are not an endangered species, perhaps just a protected species....

I will admit (and work to rectify every day)that there is a discrepancy in the number of single women and men over 35. So many of my clients ask me why this is so. Truth is - I don't know. I have a theory though, of course! And yes it does start with that bloody biological clock that we all know & love/hate. And the panic button that sits right next to it on the shelf. Here's the thing - men don't like panic buttons. They run a mile from them. They like to feel relaxed, comfortable & unpressured. Hence the younger woman phenomenon is not always just about the way women look - but the vibe that younger women give off. They don't seem to want to put men into a time capsule and press the go fast button. Of course there are exceptions to the rule of this. And the generalisations are not coming from me - so please redirect your hate mail to But this is a common theme coming from men whom I talk to every week. A lot of these men would love to have children, but they don't want to feel like sperm donors. Once again - not my words....

The biggest thing I can say to women is relax. I know that is hard. Believe me - I've been there. I had M in my 20s and since have longed for another child - but only if I met the "right man". I will admit that my search for this man was consumed with wanting to have another child. It wasn't until I realised this myself and changed the way I was thinking that I actually met someone who is the man I would love to have a child with. I can remember at one point about 3 or 4 months before I met S, I called my sister and I was crying on the phone. I was grieving for the child (in my mind I always envisaged a little girl) I wasn't going to have. I said to R (my older sister) that I was "letting her go". Every date I went on after that point wasn't tainted by my father check list. I relaxed. And I mean truly. This takes work and being really, really honest and true to yourself. But it worked. When I met S (and we all know how that happened by now I think) I was in a good place. I had let "her" go but guess what? S asked me on our first date if I would ever consider having a child again. In fact - he went further than that. He said something to the effect of "we both have boys and that's fantastic. Do you ever wish sometimes you could have a girl too?" I nearly fell of my bar stool. I had a met a man who ticked all my boxes and he was now asking me the question I had previously subconsciously been asking all the wrong men.

The whole relaxed approach is not just directed at women with maternal cravings, either. It goes towards everyone men, women - young & old. If you've been single for ages - stop worrying about it! You probably have better wardrobes and far more stamps on your passports than your married friends with kids. You will have learnt so much about yourself and made you so much more interesting. Be proud of your singledom - not ashamed.

I've decided to start "LITTLE DATING DIARY" for several reasons. This whole notion of relaxed dating is one of them and paramount to my business. If you can get into your head, and then subsequently your life, that you are fine as you are - being single and happy, strong and excited about what life brings you every day - then good things - and amazing things will happen. I want to help you do this by suggested good places to go to meet people and to get a daily vibe that makes you feel great about your day. There's a plethora of coffee shops for instance that attractive men and women go to every day and they are not connecting with each other. What a waste!

What LITTLE DATING DIARY is going to do is rate for you good cafes in terms of vibe, potential attractive partners and the sort of staff that will help in the matchmaking for you.

This is what you have to do. First of all - get up earlier. Exercise if you can - so you are already feeling wonderful. Hard I know in winter, but it works. Plus you have earned your latte. Instead of ordering that take away coffee (whilst simultaneously checking your Facebook on your iphone or answering emails) - go in, sit down and enjoy your surroundings. Make this a regular occurrence. Oh - and look great! Dress up - and feel desirable. Okay so now you are mentally picturing getting up the same time as Lisa Wilkinson - but you don't have to necessarily. Perhaps you can exercise the night before. And get a new weekday make up routine that works for you but doesn't take ages to apply. Put out your clothes (and shoes!!) the night before so you don't have that decision (and hunting in the case of my shoes anyway) to deal with the next morning.

Go to that same cafe every day for at least a month (preferable at the same time)and see if you notice any men (this entry is largely directed to women looking for men - sorry - but of course the same applies in the reverse)that are also there. They may be ordering take aways initially but BINGO! if they start sitting down too. You don't have to approach them. In fact - don't! Be alluring - but subtly see if they notice you after the 3rd of 4th time and let them know that you notice them.

LITTLE DATING DIARY will give you tips and suggestions at least once a week as to the best places to go.

Follow this blog and my twitter and Facebook pages to see to see the first.

I have many more suggestions up my sleeve believe me....

I love what I do and the one on one dates that I organise are a wonderful facet to dating. But the whole concetp of angelfish connections is about mixing it up. Sure - let me introduce you to really qualified people - but enjoy the search yourself too. It can be fun! What I'm hoping LITTLE DATING DIARY is going to do it put some fun back into your life.

Talk to you soon. I'm off to spy on some more baristas.....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Time Out

I went on a date last night. A parent date. Not meaning it to sound weird I guess it’s necessary to define the word “date”. My good buddy tells me there are 20 different meanings to this word. I guess the one I am meaning is that M (my 11 year old son) and I fixed a time and a place to spend some time together – just the two of us.

It was rather spontaneous. My father has Season (well Life really but that’s an aside) tickets to the Rugby and couldn’t use them last night. As we have J this weekend one or both of the adults needed to stay home. I could have given them away (they are great seats & I’m sure there are some people I need to butter up at the moment). It came to me though that what I really wanted to do was to spend some one on one time with my son – not ferrying to and from school or supervising homework or telling him to clean up his room – but real time – talking and laughing and listening time.

We had a dinner at a restaurant where M would have, one year ago, turned his nose up at and refused. S & I (and a lot of credit has to go to S here) have been working on M’s palette and trying to improve his curiosity about food. It is working.
There were no single tables left so we were given two seats opposite each other on a long communal table with four other couples – two couples to each side of us. The man sitting to M’s left gave us and then M a good long stare as if to say “wtf?”. He didn’t look at me again as he was probably feeling my “wtf!” back good and strong and he knows a lioness mother when he sees one.

M told me his meal was “No offence Mum but the best lamb I have ever tasted”. None taken. It was slow cooked, braised lamb off the shoulder, literally falling off at the touch of the fork. It felt good and warming - both the food and the sharing. My Pinot and his lemonade went down well too and I put aside my PM ban of carbohydrates for garlic bread (by this I mean a whole garlic bulb with its head chopped, roasted and served with ciabatta bread or it’s Spanish equivalent).
After our peasant style meal M asked if I wanted to “go and explore” before the rugby started. I must have looked a bit dubious or at least confused. He explained that we “haven’t spent much time in the area” and that it would be good to “explore”. That word again. It’s a wonderful word. I felt like a kid again. Remembering that feeling of excitement regarding unknown terrain in terms of cupboards, trees and “Private Property Do Not Trespass” signs.

Leaving a Paddington restaurant though it was difficult to know what he meant – or expected. Window shopping didn’t seem to be cutting it. So we walked down to the ground. Perhaps the bogans outside the Caxton were going to be enough of an eye opener for M in terms of adventure. I tried as best as I could to shield him from this kind of “exploration” though. This time the “Private Property” sign was one that I erected and adhered to myself.

Once at the ground it was evident from M that my iphone wasn’t entirely welcome. I begged 2 mins so that I could check in on FB and talk to my best friend who was also at the ground. Somewhat sated I put it away. M’s look of approval my reward. I was hardly going to ask for permission to tweet.

We had a great night. I did sneak a few texts to my husband, which were apparently okay as they were “about the game, you’re alright Mum”. But M and I chatted & laughed and just loved hanging out. He was wonderful company. The real eye opener, though, was me. I was wonderful company. I wasn’t nagging or pleading or lecturing. I wasn’t hurried or dismissive or worried about anything other than the here and now (oh and the Bogans at the Caxton but that was only fleeting). I was a good date. I was a good parent date.

I tell a lot of my clients to spend time with their partners and spouses. This is becoming a well known catch cry in modern society. “Date nights” are common entries in our Outlook calenders. But how often do we do parent dates? Like any other kind of get-to-know-you scenario they seem to work better with one on one. I know this is hard logistically for many. Multiple children + minimal time combined with scrutinised entertainment funds doesn’t easily equate to one child and parent date nights. But if you can, try it.

I love this picture I found. Not only because of the action with the father and daughter, but because of the care and time the father obviously put into dressing her. And having fun with that. Not taking everything so seriously. I think that’s the key. I kept hugging my son and telling him I loved him. This is not unusual – but it was so profound last night I wanted to yell it out rather than whisper it. And I enjoyed myself. That is I found my own company a good thing. I found my inner explorer again. And I liked her.