Heading on holiday and hoping for a foreign fling? In the sunset years, for romance, read no-mance...

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Heading abroad and hoping for a holiday hottie? Don’t bank on it. I could pen a chic lit tome of my holiday no-mances that would have you choking on your Sex On The Beach.

The only one worth writing home about was the first, a sweet, innocent encounter between 15-year-old me and a Greek waiter of 18 (called Nondas; you probably know him). My mother chaperoned on every date, save our afternoon walks down the beach for a chaste kiss when she was too busy sunbathing to bother.

It ended up in a three-year exchange of letters. I’ve still got every one he sent in a neatly-tied bundle of my past. They were both an introduction to the complexities of the Greek alphabet and outpourings so ardent they had teenage me totally flummoxed. I was too young; love was all Greek to me. But for the speccy girl who had only just shed her brace and got herself a trainer bra, it didn’t half boost my street-cred at school. (I used to take them into Geography).

After that, though, romantic holiday encounters floundered. There was the Italian traindriver I met at Lost Property (my 12-year-old had left his Harry Potter on the journey to Pompeii). He kept turning up, phrase book and heart in hand. At the beach. At the hotel. At the flipping airport departure lounge. He spoke not a word of English. All he could do was smile. Stupidly, I gave him my email address. Queue a flurry of mail, translated into ridiculousness by one of those electronic servers. Stupidly, I replied, my innocent ‘Love Jo’ sign-off eliciting a description of how my eyes were as golden as the sun and my hair as blue as the sea and pretty much an offer of marriage.

Back in Greece again, over the age of 40 and clearly with single and desperate writ across my forehead, the only men going all agapi-eyed were wizened as olive trees and without teeth. They would plonk themselves at our table. On my sodding beach towel. Boy, now a teenager, would rush back from the waves to my rescue, Hasselhoff-style.

I’ve never had any luck with ski instructors either. Bloke will disagree and cite the hunky French Bertrand, but he was so attentive only because I’d got mild concussion.

I can quite see why a Cupid.com survey has found holidaymaking Brits would prefer a home-grown holiday hottie for a foreign fling. You’ll have to buy your own cocktails but they do comprendé if you tell them to sod off.