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Is Old Fashioned Romance Dead?

February 14, 2017

Is Old Fashioned Romance Dead?

When I was in my final year at school, students were given a choice to replace one session of PT with community service - halleluljah, I thought and I jumped at the chance!  For a start many of the community service choices were INDOORS and it was the winter term so swapping warm and cozy for cross country running was an absolute no brainer!  Especially as I was born in Cumbria which is famously wet and windy.  (it's a great place to go kite surfing by the way - its permanently wind)

My assignment was to a small local charity that provided supported child care to kids with severe handicaps.  It was a heart wrenching experience.  Many of the children were completely dependent and would remain so for their entire lives.  Yet they experienced small miracles every day that were joyous to see - and made my 15-year-old self much more aware of the endless opportunities available life ahead.  

It also lead me to answer a call for a volunteer to walk someone's dog!

I know, if you are still reading, that there doesn't seem to be any old fashioned romance here, but bear with me - I am getting to the point!

Walking home from my community service I passed a notice board outside a local warden-assisted living community and there was a notice on a small pink card which read "WANTED Dog walker for small well behaved and much loved dog. Will pay in tea and biscuits".  I'm not sure why but I detoured into the warden's office and asked about the card.  It had been up a while, it was faded from the sun, and apparently should have been taken down as no one had answered it.  The warden took me to meet Lily (the dog owner) and "Rusty" the dog.  Both were very sweet and very elderly - Lily was in her late 80's and "Rusty" was about 14 but with a lovely nature and obviously well kept. 

Lily was starting to become too frail to take Rusty out for the walks he needed and had fallen over a couple of times.  Luckily without breaking anything but she was sporting a few lively bruises to her face when I was introduced to her.  We hit it off really quickly and I took Rusty out for his first walk there and then.  Over the following weeks I would walk Rusty almost every day, go get shopping and spend some time with Lily drinking tea and eating biscuits which she made herself (and were delicious, a worthy reward).  Most of the time Lily would read to me from her collection of letters that were between her daughter and the WW2 pilot she had become engaged to during the war.  Lily had several large biscuit tins full of them, all tied in ribbons, sorted by date and read in order like a diary.  

Lily's daughter had been in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) during the war.  She had met and got engaged to a pilot after a whirlwind romance in early 1941.  During the period of the letters a pilots expected life span was very short indeed and every day could have been their last.  The letters were written with a gentle breathlessness that would melt even the hardest heart.  It was like hearing a conversation you know you shouldn't be listening to - like overhearing someone else's phone call that you just can't tear yourself away from.  As every day passed I was more and more intrigued as to whether these two lovers would ever have their happy ending - there were no hints in Lily's apartment, no wedding photos, no family pictures of grand children.  Just one portrait photo of her daughter in WAAF uniform.

It took nearly a year but we did come to an end of the letters in the tins.  Sadly it wasn't a happy ending, the pilot was killed in action over Germany and Lily's daughter was killed on the same day in a car accident on the airbase where she worked.  Neither of them would have known of the others demise - which I think is a strange kind of serendipity.

Can this kind of romance happen in today's tech-driven, instant response, snap-chat era?  After all these letters passed between two people who didn't meet every day, didn't live together and were separated because of stressful jobs and the challenges of the war.   The communication wasn't instant then as it is now, but the need to engage emotionally through the written word was necessary.  Modern romance isn't dead, it just operates on different communication platforms.  What's more challenging is making the time, which takes more effort, to really connect with people at a deeper level than just 140 characters or the "now"ness of instragram or snapchat.  

In the new world of easy 24/7 communication, the one thing that has surprised me is the amount of hate that is transmitted.  There are a lot of angry judgemental people out there.  So when talking about romance, I was really thinking about LOVE.  And that all starts with learning to care for yourself - think positively about yourself and, whilst doing no harm to others, being kind to the real you.  Living the life you want to, being the person you want to be and loving yourself for who you are shouldn't be a dream.  The start of a good old fashioned romance can be in loving yourself.  How you treat yourself will reflect how people treat you.

 

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Size Guide

20d and 50d Tights and Stay-ups

Beauty Tights

70d Tights

Dress Size

Dress Size

Dress Size

Small

8-10

8-10

10-12

Medium

12-14

12-14

14-16

Large

16-18

16-18

18-20

Large +

20-22

20-22

22-24

Leg Length

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L1 up to 5’6” and L2 for 5’7” and over

For over 5’9” choose the size up

Seamless Tights

Heights

Weight

Average dress size

Up to height 5'4"

55kg / 8st 10lb

8-10

Up to height 5'4"

68kg / 10st 10lb

12-14

5'5" - 5'9"

61kg / 9st 8lb

10-12

5'5" - 5'9"

74kg / 11st 9lb

14-16

5'10" - 6'0"

63kg / 10st

10-12

Seamless tights are very stretchy and soft and will suit the leg length typical of the sizes above