Chapter 38 – Staying


Sunday, 7 February 2016.


Day 49


Remember Frederick? One of the two Englishmen who have been writing daily?

It’s late and Fred and Anna have been chatting for an hour.


…One misses the companionship. And having someone to cuddle at night. After my divorce, at first I dreaded bank holidays as it meant a 3-day weekend.

But over time, you find happiness in yourself, and start to enjoy life again.

Exactly. 🙂 Life’s too short to waste, but we’re still quite young!

See the positives. A chance for new love and adventures.

True, true.

So, have you had any dates since the breakup?

Oh, I’ve been on quite many dates. But so far, I haven’t liked any Finnish guys.

Too dull?

Quiet. Private. Mysterious. No touching, no flirting, no hugging. Or worse: a kind of awkward don’t-touch-me-just-pat-me-lightly-in-the-back kind of hug. Even when they like you and want to see you again!


I’ve had 6 1st dates (a few more with one of them).

6 or 61?

Just kidding.

 🙂 But, I’m back on the market.

I had 9 business-like, friendly dates. Coffee, walking, chatting. It felt as though I was walking a little bit of their life journey alongside them. For the most, it felt authentic and valuable. Btw, all guys looked 5-10 years older in person.

But hey, you have some great pics!

All recent. I’ve got them done by a photographer friend of mine. Oh, did I mention that I’m shy at first?

Mine are recent, too. No. How come?

I’m just the kind of person that is worth getting to know. I have a great sense of humour, but it takes me time to warm up with people I don’t know.

I believe you. I have that feeling about you already.

I think you need a physical and mental attraction with someone.

Definitely. If chemistry is needed even for friendship – how much more so for dating and intimate relationships.

Without chemistry, there is nothing. You need to look into their eyes and see them sparkle.


If you can’t get excited about the thought of waking up next to them, then it won’t work, no matter how many dates you go on. Or how long you try to stay together.

…Anna, we have to embrace being single. It’s fun.

You have a friendly face. And a great smile. And you seem talkative.

Haha. I have my quiet Finnish moments, too.

Sometimes I talk too much. I have so many cool stories to tell. But then I control myself and shut up.

Other times, I just enjoy being quiet. I admire the Finnish habit of feeling comfortable in silence, side by side. Small-talking is not a must.

Finns can ride a car together in silence and no one gets uncomfortable or offended. It’s not impolite.

In the UK, we fill the awkward silences by talking about the weather.

I love talking and listening to others. Asking questions. The interaction!

But then, when it’s my turn to drive (when carpooling with other teachers), I often wonder why women have to talk that much. When I’m just listening, sometimes I get the feeling 90% of what is being said seems unnecessary.

Silence here is uncomfortable. And I like people who are talkative.

Yes. But I have this artistic need to feel that what is being said has a deeper purpose – fun, important info, reassurance, appreciative words, support, love, emotions. Sharing something significant, etc.

Having said that, I also prefer people who like talking.

Yep. But the woman talks 60% and the man 40%.

I agree. Is that annoying for men? Be honest!

No. Women are natural talkers.

My dad talks more than my mom. But mom is the Finnish one!

I like talkative people, but some aren’t good listeners. They just focus on themselves.

That’s bad. It’s important to ask back. To listen.

So… what are you going to do after this chat?

You seem like a good listener, too.

I try.

Gonna chill out.

How do you like to chill out after work?

I play the guitar, read, chat to friends. YouTube. I don’t sing.

But you play! I don’t. I just like singing in the car, in the shower.

I’ve started to get better now. More time to practice after the divorce.

Frederick, I have to thank you so much for this lovely chat.

Monday tomorrow and I have to sleep my six hours. More later?

OK. Sleep well. Chat in the morning. Or later tomorrow.

Sleep well! Besitos.

You, too. X


Monday, 8 February 2016.


Day 50


Morning, Anna.

How was your commute to school. I get the feeling you have a long drive? My board games MeetUp is tonight. I’ll let you know what we play in the evening.


A few hours later.


Hi Frederick. Yes, you are good at deduction. I guess it’s those games of yours. My drives take over an hour, one way. But no traffic! Great roads and a beautiful countryside.

Glad that you’ll get to enjoy games later on. Let me know what you played.

I’m going to watch a movie with my son and going to bed early for a change! But only three lessons tomorrow. Yay!

I guess you live in the city but work in the sticks? Enjoy your early night!


They talk about work, kids, games. Sports, hiking. International friends. Blah blah blah.


I’ve done a long hike in Lapland. The Bear Trail. Have you heard of it? It has great infrastructure to stop to chill or camp, every three hours or so. Love walking!

Love jogging too, but I’ve been a bit lazy, lately. I play volleyball and go to the gym, too. A little fitter every year. What about you?

You must be very fit!

Unfortunately not. Definitely need to lose 4-6kg, but I’m sure I’ll eventually get there… Besides, I’ve had two c-sections. But that’s life.

I’m probably maintaining my current weight. Do need to push a bit harder, but working full-time and having the kids is grueling at the moment. My son’s football tomorrow, so busy day.

Oh, my teens are so big. We’re three independent souls here, who sometimes stop to spend time together.

I think I’ve got that to look forward to!


Later that night.


Hi Anna. Here are some ideas for you, since you’re newly-separated:


Visit a new city

Go to museums

Hiking 🙂

Start a new box set

Read a new book series

Find a new hobby


Check out MeetUP

The way you’ve got to see it, divorce is sad, but it also gives us that opportunity to do the things we’ve put off and experience the chemistry of new love.

Learn guitar?

Oh, thank you! That’s so sweet.

Great ideas!

I love reading




Meeting friends


Movies with company (don’t really do it alone)

I’ve been considering a new language course. Italian? It would be my sixth language. And an easy one to learn.

Ah! Chemistry of new love would be the best.

New opportunities. You’re right.

P.S.  🙂How was football tonight? 


© 2017 rf



Obs. Days 49-50 of stay! Now you know what you’re doing.




Author: TinderellaAnna

Anna is a character. Half-fictional, half-inspired in many, many true events. Half-European, half-Latin-American. She is happy, she is strong, she is a mom, a teacher, a friend. Despite the divorce - not of her choice - she is determined to be joyful, grateful, hopeful, sweet; believing that life is for sharing and that he is somewhere out there. But he will have to be as lovable as she is. After all, better alone than in bad company. Sigh: but better in good company than alone... Disclaimer: All names and places have been changed to protect the people who happen to be true.

3 thoughts on “Chapter 38 – Staying”

  1. I think, I’m a better listener than talker. Probably my curiosity. I know my self pretty well so I don’t need to hear my own voice, and by listening one could learn so much. This is something I value very much.

    Maybe, Finns and Swedes are not that different. I know the feeling of the comfortable silence, but I also no thecreepy uncomfortable one. I’m really most talkative when I am in a place and a company that I like.

    PS. … and me starting tonights conversation with commenting on the Stockholm weather. Almost feels a bit embarrasing after this read (but only almost). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Be yourself. Still waters run deep.

      I did find your weather comment very distant. Like between the earth and the moon, at least. Haha. Funny.

      I’ve been out with a Finnish orthopedic surgeon who is very calm and quiet in big groups, but a great listener, emphatic.

      Then, when I leave the table, he talks much more. Maybe I have too much life and energy for him. 🙂

      But then, when we talk, just the two of us, he talks at least 50% of the time. Everything from sports to culture to really deep stuff. Tears fall easily down his face.

      Liked by 1 person

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