Well, all I can say is that I must have been feeling very wine fuelled and generous when I ticked man number 1 at the speed dating!
Positive points about the date: the pub and the food were fab. I can highly recommend the Crab Mill at Preston Bagot, owned by the same people who own the Boot at Lapworth. Delicious food and lovely atmosphere. My pasta starter was particularly delicious!
Negative points: pretty much everything else! I shall deliver my verdict on the evening in the form of words of advice for any men who might read this, although I know that all my male friends are great and would be much better than this on a date.
1: complement your date on what she's wearing. Failing to mention anything about how she looks is an error, even if she has only spent 5 minutes getting changed and throwing on some makeup.
2: when the waitress brings the menus, allow your date to look at the specials first if there's only one copy. Ditto when they ask if you've finished with the bread - ask your date if she's finished rather than just assuming.
3: don't just waffle on about yourself all evening. You may be fascinated by cars but if your date isn't, don't just ignore this fact and talk about them ceaselessly all evening! Special note: the phrase "I never go on holiday so that I can upgrade my car every year" is decidedly not attractive.
4: don't alternate the car conversations with drivel about all the times you've ever been drunk. I don't want to hear about the time you drank 20 pints/the time you stayed up drinking until 7am/the time you bought a £300 bottle of port between all your friends.
5: on the same point, don't spend the evening complaining that you can't drink lots because you're driving. If you suggested this venue you have no room to whinge! Also, don't suggest that next time the date will have to be in Hinckley so you can drink lots and stagger home. Believe me, there won't be a next time, and if there is you can bet I won't be going to Hinckley and kipping on someone's floor.
6: on the same theme again, don't drink a pint and a half if you're driving me home. Sticking solely to soft drinks is the only sensible thing to do when driving, and it's not impressive if you drink that much and then complain about it, and then tell me that you'd be driving much faster if I wasn't in the car.
7: don't subtly let me know that you're a male chauvinist and a homophobe. I am neither of these things.
8: when your date has got so pissed off with you that she stops making an effort in conversation and her responses have become limited to "yes", "no" and "mmm", take the hint and end the evening. Don't under any circumstances use the phrase "Oh, say SOMEthing". Very major error.
9: when your date finally does find a bit of conversation she can contribute to and starts saying something, don't interrupt her with more drivel of your own. She will lose any last shred of respect for you and start wishing she could stab your eye with a fork.
10: when you leave the restaurant and some music your date likes comes on the radio, don't immediately slag it off as rubbish before driving very slowly round the car park so you can point out all the Bentleys and Porsches. Ignoring her interests while wittering on about your own is not clever. Especially if your personal favourite happens to be country music.
So let those 10 points be a lesson to you all! Believe me I could have gone on, but I really think I've made my point. I'm sure all of you men would behave much better...I'm hoping I can find someone who deserves me a bit more than he did!