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This was the best piece of advice that I ever received about romance, about what to do when you are paralysed with feelings, caught in yourself.

I fell in love with a girl once. She was beautiful intelligent, lets just put it this way, I could write an unending series of nodes about how I felt for that girl. I was awkward, self conscious, unsure of myself. I went back home for a few days and was telling a friend of mine about my problem. He said "just kiss her, if it works your problem will be solved, and if it doesn't work she won't be offended". I kissed her, it worked and my head over heels stumble took flight.

It was like stepping off the edge of a cliff, it was scary but he was right, what offence could come from one attempted kiss. He explained that it is almost expected, it is almost a compliment. The secret is in not being a stalker, not being annoyed at a possible rejection, of going through the fear and passing out the other side of it.

The friend who gave me this advice died in a climbing accident about 18 months later. He had given me this gift, a world of self confidence, a way of thinking, of not being afraid. Perhaps that added to it, the weight I gave to the advice, the idea lived on and so not as to besmirch his memory I try not to be afraid when I meet people who set my head spinning (I'm not always successful), I try to grab the life of it, to make that one step.

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