Gallingly, I am in London for pretty much the whole of August (for dental treatment among other things) while most of my London friends have departed for France. Travis my GBF (gay best friend) calls me from the beach where he is surfing to gloat 'ha!, for once you are there and I am here!
But it's not all bad news. On Tuesday morning I am sitting in the local park eating porridge from Pret when William (tall, long-haired, looks like a rock star) one of the new aquaintances I have met through walking the dog, sits down beside me.
'You're back!' he says, pulling out his mobile. 'Are you free tomorrow night?'
'I think so,' I say.
'Right! Well, I'm going to phone my mate Dave.'
He's told me about Dave already - 34, speaks fluent French, great personality, has a house in France, hedge-fund manager, single.
'I just know that you two are going to get on,' he says. 'He's very unassuming. Very understated. You'll love him.'
Dave does indeed sound excellent. And so the following evening, molar pulsing with pain, I head to the bar in Fulham as arranged to meet William and his girlfriend. And Dave.
I see the well dressed crowd on the pavement outside the heaving bar and panic slightly. I've left all my good shoes at home in France and am wearing flip-flops and basically my dog-walking outfit but with a dab of Nars glitter eye pencil. The girls inside the bar are wearing colourful chiffon and smatterings of sequins and look like ....London girls. I look like a country bumpkin.
William is waiting for me outside on the pavement. He takes me inside and introduces me to Dave, who is, as promised, instantly likeable. We talk about France and Brits behaving badly in the French countryside. Dave is funny, attractive, intelligent, self-deprecating and very good company. He has a house somewhere between Burgundy and Reims 'so either way,' he says, 'it's well placed for drink.'
He asks what I write about and is polite enough given my crumpled outfit - I so wish I'd made a bigger effort - not to look surprised when I tell him fashion and beauty. He offers me a forkful of his seared tuna and later a bite of his chocolate brownie.
It's all going very well. He asks me if I once wrote an article about an exotic fragrance ingredient called oudh for the FT. I tell him I did, several years ago. It turns out that not only did he read the article from beginning to end, he actually bought the male fragrance in question. He tells me an hilarious story about visiting the perfumer (a friend of mine) and being charmed into buying half her shop.
'I was shaken down like a Christmas tree,' he laughs. He tells me he still has a stash of scented candles at home to show for it.
At the end of the evening, he asks to see my dog - Biff is waiting patiently in the car - and then escorts us to a taxi, asking if I need money for the fare. (Although I appreciate the gesture, I cringe: do I look like the sort of girl who can't pay her own cab fare?)
The following morning William texts me to ask what I think of Dave. 'Gorgeous!' I text back, since there's no point in pretending otherwise. 'Charming, funny and cute. Just as you said.'
I am hoping that William will text me back to say that Dave thought something similar about me. But he doesn't.