“Crazy, all the lovers have been tagged,” sings Michael Stipe in the raw, despairing R.E.M. song that is a current favourite of mine and which shares a title with this entry, during which I’ll impart some feedback from my part of the country, with as much angst but not half as much eloquence as those Athens, Georgia forefathers of alternative rock.

I’ll admit, recently it feels as though somebody else is doing all the “tagging” – there has been a dry spell of sorts, and not just pleasant atmospheric conditions. But that is not to say that I am as despairing as the Michael Stipe vocal. At least not yet. With the onset of Spring the literal dry spell has been lovely – conducive to flip-flop wearing in fact – and as if by process of evaporation a bevy of beauties have risen from their dorm rooms to lie about campus, catch Frisbees and tans, and my unnerving glare.

Since my recent admittance to singledom, my first visit in over four years, making eye contact and smiling has been my most aggressive form of philandering. During those four years, I’ll admit, I always listed flirting, alongside basket-weaving and shepherding, as one of my hobbies, but now that it is dalliance with amorous intent – and my very sex life depends on it – I am just no good.

About thirty girls in the North West of England are smiling back at least, but awaiting my second move. And whereas in California, where I spent last year, a simple “hello” in my English accent would elicit a phone number, I might have to step up my game this time. I fear if I don’t soon I’ll be elected Mayor of Singledom, a position of authority without the perks. And so tomorrow, as blog turns dating show for the day, I will pick one from the flirty thirty and make my second move. And then maybe I’ll have some positive feedback. Stay tuned, Shiny Happy People. This is about to get interesting…

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