As the more observant amongst you may have noticed, things have been rather quiet on the Speckled front recently.
An exceptionally busy last term at Renowned Military Academy for Speckled Lad coincided with my decision to put into practice the advice I’d been given by PolitiGal, and just put a little more work into my love life. Thus it was that whilst he was doing all sorts of running round in the mud, and deciding which regiment it was that would give him a “decent chance” of seeing action in War Zone before too long, I was embarking on a variety of dalliances with varying degrees of success.
And so, despite regular phonecalls, until the recent Commissioning Ball, I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the Lad since we’d gone shopping for suits in January.
Even the day of the ball wasn’t the nattering-in-corners catch-up that Speckled nights out so often are: with the Lad tied up with parades and formal lunches, I was left in the (admittedly excellent) company of his grandmother and brothers. And even when we came to the champagne reception, there were numbers of people vying for his attention - from brothers and their girlfriends to platoon members and commanding officers.
Being a gal who’s able to hold her own in most social situations, I wasn’t too fussed: I‘m more than happy to be hurtled round a dodgem track by Speckled Lad the Youngest, or to stand at the bar knocking back champagne with Speckled Lad the Eldest’s new girlfriend, filling her in on family stories (not all of them, though, obviously).
So, big group toasts and the unveiling of the pips were pretty much as close as I got to SL for most of the evening. But, as has been previously documented, it wasn’t as if I was stuck in a corner contemplating life, the universe and the perfect goats’ cheese soufflé. And so, at the end of the night, when I made my way outside to the Speckled Collective, sitting round a table with cigars and whisky, I was in fairly chipper spirits.
“So Miss Blonde,” said SL the Youngest, “I saw you talking to a boy… Didya get his number? Didya?!”
I took the whisky from him, and sat down. “Yes, SLtY, I did.”
“And are you gonna call him? Are ya?!”
“I don’t know,” I said, taking a sip. “I could do. Or I could call the guy who, er, gave me his card earlier.”
“What? Who?” Speckled Lad said, narrowing his eyes slightly.
“I dunno - just some guy,” I said. “But let’s not get too excited. They can stay on the back burner for now, just in case my date on Tuesday goes tits-up.”
“What? What date? You didn’t tell me you’re seeing anyone.”
“Lad, lovely, I’ve been seeing people since the beginning of the year…”
Speckled frowned. “But I thought you and that guy broke up.”
Everyone shifted in their seats slightly.
“The Nut and I? We did. There have been several dates since then, though…” I took another sip, thinking that more booze was probably the only way out of this particular sticky situation.
“You’ve not told me about them. So who are you seeing?”
It wasn’t a brand new discussion. It’s not the first time that Speckled Lad has maintained total radio silence on the prospect of he and I, apparently confident that should he turn round and decide he wants something to happen, I’d be there, ready and waiting. And then, on finding out that our plans don’t concur, stroppiness ensuing.
And, given the apparently inevitable display of bad temper, it’s probably little surprise that I’ve chosen this time not to discuss my love life with SL - especially given that ultimately, none of the dalliances have really gone anywhere.
It was, though, the first time we’ve had the conversation in front of an audience. And as far as I’m concerned, the last. Between journalists and clients, I put up with enough egos and tantrums at work - I don’t need them in my private life too.
Which is just as well. Because there’s been a stony Speckled silence since…