A sprightly pensioner is making sweet music with a dashing toyboy she met on a dating website – after sealing their love by writing an album of songs together.
When budding songstress Chris Peet, 67, a former IT programmer, met Frank Wood—who at 61 is six years her junior—in November 2018, through the dating app Plenty of Fish, she could barely believe her luck at finding love again in her 60s.
Chris, of Urmston, Greater Manchester, was even more surprised when musician Frank showed her his home studio in Warrington, Cheshire, and, after 'having a bit of fun,' they found themselves in perfect harmony.
Inspired by their jamming session to celebrate their romance in song, Chris was soon strumming up lyrics about their love like, 'Online online, we met online. Yeah, we met online. 'N' everything's fine,' which Frank set to music.
Totally in tune, the golden oldies have now set their sights on gold disc stardom, after writing and producing an album's worth of potential hits—including Online, Life is Good, and Music Man.
“I started to write something and the words just came to me," said divorcee Chris, who has two daughters, teacher Katy, 31, and Emma, 29, who works in marketing.
Chris and her daughters (PA Real Life/Collect)
“The words to Online, all about how we met, just flowed. It was our story and even though I'd never written lyrics before I enjoy poetry and I've always been good at rhyming."
“The song more or less wrote itself in a day. It's just a true story, really."
Throwing a launch party in January at Katy's house, in Chorlton, Greater Manchester, the album has now had more than 200 hits on YouTube and fans can tune in on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
Frank playing guitar (PA Real Life/Collect)
Divorced in 2012, Chris was encouraged to join Plenty of Fish in 2015 by her daughters.
Over the years, she had “a few dud dates" before meeting Frank, who was divorced in 2005, in November 2018.
“I'd met one or two men, but nothing serious came of it. I kept an eye out to see if anybody appealed and that's when Frank popped up as a suggested match."
“I was immediately drawn to his profile picture and loved the fact that he was a musician and into IT."
With Chris speaking first, the conversation soon flowed, and they arranged to meet in person at a local coffee shop.
“We instantly seemed to be on the same wavelength, and I could tell we were the same type of people."
Chris and Frank (PA Real Life/Collect)
“There was a good level of nerves and plenty of butterflies, but from the start there was a certain attraction and no awkward silences."
Not wanting to part after coffee, Frank asked Chris out to walk his chocolate brown Labrador, Coco, before rustling up dinner for the two of them.
“What impressed me most was not only the fact the man could cook, but the quality of the food he cooked. That night he made a chicken stir fry and, over a year into our relationship, he's still the one that rules in the kitchen."
Chris, Coco and Frank (PA Real Life/Collect)
Ending their first date with a kiss on Frank's doorstep, soon the fledgling couple, who live around 13 miles apart, were seeing each other every night of the week.
And, not long after, in March 2019, it became clear that it was not just a passion for IT and coffee the couple shared, when Frank asked Chris to sing on a backing track to Elton John's Tiny Dancer in his studio.
“My singing is usually restricted to the shower, but Frank, being a musician, thought it would be fun to put it on a backing track in his studio. It was just for our own pleasure, really."
Things that won't get cancelled: - Converstation - Love - Self-care - Connection - Kindness Lean into the good stuff.— Plenty of Fish (@Plenty of Fish)1584404990.0
Bowled over by the pair of lungs his new lady had kept under wraps, Frank- who plays the keyboard, guitar and bass—thought the couple could “be onto something" and their musical juices started pumping.
Taking inspiration from their blossoming relationship, Chris wrote their first collaboration, Online.
“Whenever anyone left at work, I wrote them a little poem in their card. But that's as close as I'd ever come to song writing before."
Frank playing piano (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I never would have found that side of myself without Frank."
And, by November last year, the couple had produced eight songs together.
“Each is a mini story and we have tried to make them as catchy as possible."
Chris in the studio (PA Real Life/Collect)
“It's been very romantic and a total surprise."
After enjoying their music with Chris' daughters and their friends, they decided to officially distribute the album, under their band name DognDust—which comes from their nicknames for filter coffee—'Dog'—and instant coffee—'Dust.'
“We're both big coffee drinkers, so the name DognDust comes from the fact that we drink two types of coffee."
“The instant type that contains roast and ground coffee, which we call dust, and then we also have massive cups with dogs on which we use for our other cafetière coffee."
“So that's where the name came from. My dog, Coco, then inspired the logo."
Since their album launch at Katy's, which they enjoyed with 20 of their nearest and dearest, the couple have said that, while they do not expect fame or fortune, they hold out hope of hitting the charts.
DognDust album launch (PA Real Life/Collect)
“We're just happy writing more songs and making more music. We're not looking for money but, obviously, we wouldn't turn it down if it was offered."
Meanwhile, what remains most important to Chris is that the couple continue to make the music of love together.
“For our songs, mainly I write the lyrics and do most of the vocals, while Frank plays the instruments and does all of the production."
Frank and Chris (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I'd love to see Online picked up for a media campaign or something like that—maybe something focusing on online dating."
“It'd be great to spread our message—that getting older doesn't mean the end of love."