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BARRIE HUDSON: There’s a time and a place for romance, you know
DATING website eHarmony has put out a region-by-region list of people’s favourite romantic places.
It names the White Horse at Uffington as among the best in our vicinity, while the Adver itself chipped in with suggestions closer to home. These included The Ridgeway, Coate Water, Lydiard Park and Barbury Castle.
Based on my own observations of people out on romantic dates in and around Swindon, I can think of a few other locations where you might want to go if you’re planning on being unselfconsciously affectionate with the person of your dreams.
The supermarket, for example. If you and the person you love – or even just fancy a bit – are suddenly overcome by the desire to embrace or kiss one another passionately, don’t hold back. No, you feel free to have at it with as much gusto as you wish, even if it’s a Saturday afternoon and you’re right in the middle of the main entrance.
Lose yourself in the moment, even if one of you ends up chewing Juicy Fruit when you started out with Spearmint and vice versa.
No, really, we insist. We don’t mind having to inch our trolleys round you like hapless motorists negotiating roadworks. Nor do we mind having to answer the questions of our saucer-eyed children as they witness the spectacle.
So what if we weren’t planning to tell them about the birds and the bees for another five years or so?
Or perhaps you’ll be overcome by passion as you stroll the aisles. Don’t let that location put you off, either, and make sure you glare at anybody who tries to take an item from a shelf you’re blocking.
Obviously, you shouldn’t do anything too amorous, as procreation in public is indecent and illegal. Go home if you want to start a family. Then, when the kids are about two or three, you can always bring them back to the supermarket and encourage them to have tantrums and cough on the produce. You know you’ll want to.
Also, when they do have a tantrum, don’t forget to slap them so as to induce an even worse tantrum.
Another great place for passion is the local cinema or theatre. See if you can make a noise like anteaters sucking farmhouse chunky vegetable soup through a hairnet, or a person with no teeth bobbing for overripe tomatoes in a bucket of custard.
Don’t worry about putting fellow cinemagoers or theatregoers off with your romantic antics, as the extra sound effects enhance our experience whether the film is a tearjerker, a horror flick or something artistic that won rave reviews at Cannes.
If you think you’re going to need a break during your romantic interlude, you could always smuggle in giant bags of crisps and eat them with your mouths open so we don’t notice a sudden silence and think you’ve died.
Don’t limit yourselves to stationary locations when desire overcomes you, not even if it’s broad daylight, not even if most of the other seats are taken up by 90 kids on a school trip, and not even if they end up filming you on their mobile phones when they’re supposed to be filling in a worksheet about church architecture, rock formations or the Industrial Revolution.
The rest of us will just hide behind our newspapers and magazines, staring at the same article for the last three stops until Paddington, Cardiff or wherever and hoping against hope there’ll be no delays.
Oh, and of course, wherever you happen to be, if another person so much as glances at you, remember to accuse them of being a pervert.