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Heart Searching: Love failed to bloom at garden centre

After five years of widowhood I decided to advertise in Time Out. I received such a witty reply that I rang him, and we arranged to meet. As we had discussed gardening over the phone, I said I'd be carrying a copy of Practical Gardening. So there I was on the Underground escalator, easily spottable (and, as it turned out, ridiculously overdressed). A man looking as if he had just assembled himself in jumble-sale attire turned to me and said, 'Jane?' I managed to smile. He suggested going to a garden centre, so I duly followed him - it took him over an hour not to choose a flowering quince. I knew then he was bad news.

After that I tried local ads. I had one date with a guy who was pleased to have met me since that had made him realise he wanted to go back to what he described as his 'Fatal Attraction' relationship - thanks, mate] Then I met a man who said how much he had enjoyed the sight, when a schoolboy visiting Madame Tussaud's, of the woman with a hook through her stomach (he had relationship problems with his mother and adoptive mother). He also liked women with boobs bigger than mine]

My most recent ad reads: 'Tough man wanted by intelligent impecunious unshaven large woman for conversation, cuddles and classics. Slimmist sexist wimps not wanted.' Not the ingredients for a large mailbag] All I want is a mutually beneficial relationship, but it seems like an impossible dream.

Jane, Essex