Apologies. This is just a quick post tonight as I have run out of time and, frankly, I need to go to bed. I had a post in my head but that will have to wait until tomorrow when I can do it justice.

I’m feeling a little lonely and down at the moment and whinging isn’t the done thing. Choir, where we’re practising opera choruses and Brahms waltz lieder, is guaranteed to cheer me up and lighten my mood and it’s just as well as I am feeling isolated and beleaguered. It’s a long story but I think everyone’s frustrations are backfiring directly or indirectly on me.

I quite like to go to the pub with other choir members but I’m quite introverted and shy – yes really – never believing that anyone really wants me around. Now of course, I know that this is massive overthinking on my part but there it is. So I’m reluctant to go to off to the pub – remember it’s getting into my car and actually going out of my way to be sociable – unless someone has directly said “Gita, are you coming to the pub?” Maybe I need things spelled out for me, just to be sure.

Of course, I’m always one of the first there and there’s never any social awkwardness on my part as I settle into conversation. It’s fine when it’s one of the women but I invariably sit next to a man and, generally, he talks AT me. I am polite, of course, and can come over as completely transfixed by his sparking conversation even when it lacks even the tiniest smidgen of lustre. What is it with these men that they feel entitled to have someone listen to them without having to do any real work? And where are all the charming men, the shimmering anecdotes, the tinkling of light hearted joshing?

It is in this way that I have passed several hours now, listening and nodding, listening and nodding and looking delighted at some of the dullest men on earth. Tonight was no exception: the brother of a choir member whom I barely know plonked himself down next to me, complete with Nordic walking sticks that he’d brought to choir, and told me all about his 150kg weight loss; his gastric sleeve operation; the after-effects of his gastric sleeve operation (in graphic detail); his psychiatrists; the Nordic languages he knows; modern music and 5 hour long Phillip Glass operas. Thank goodness that after a while his sister got up to go, taking him and his Nordic sticks with her. I seem to attract socially awkward men.

In the meantime, every week without fail, I look down to the other end of the table, to the cool guys who’ve arrived 25 minutes after me and they’re all having the most riveting conversation and throwing their heads back with laughter that doesn’t look fake. They’re all taking turns to talk and they all look like they’re enjoying the conversation. Every week I long to be down at that end of the table. Do you ever find yourself tuning in to the other end of the table, and longing to be there? That is me.