So … jet-lag appears to have hit me five days late! Am wide-eyed, and anything but bushy-tailed, staring at my alarm, knowing it’s set to go off in about 45 minutes, so I figured I may as well put the time to good use.
It’s time to ‘award’ some prizes to my Thirty (now infamous) Dates. My summer was filled with some unique and special moments, and how better to celebrate them, than with a round-up of some of the best and worst bits!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have The Oscars. Here at 30 Dates, we have ‘The Cupids’ 🙂 And unsurprisingly, there are thirty of them!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
1) Best First Impression – Date Seven – The Challenger – with his confident text messages about being my best date ever! Runner Up – Date Eight – The Fake Pimpernel – The first Date to phone me rather than text, and his cryptic ticket corner text message was amazing, but the fact I confused him with The Original Pimpernel all got a little confusing!
2) Worst First Impression – Date Twelve – The Enigma – who rang me to ask me out, got sidetracked and basically hung up on me! (Impressive when you realise he still scored 10/10 for the date!) Runner Up – Me! When I completely confused The Fake Pimpernel and The Original Pimpernel, and talked at crosswires with The Fake Pimpernel for almost twenty-four hours!
3) Best Meeting – Date Two – The One with The Sign …. who unsurprisingly met me holding a sign! Not only did he set the tone for the next 28 Dates, but he was an amazing sport and really embraced the whole blind date meet up. Runner Up – Date Thirteen – The Original Pimpernel – who sent me a text describing himself as having ‘slightly reptilian features’, only to appear dressed in a crocodile onesie!
4) Worst Meeting – Date Twenty-Three – The Oxford Blue – who appeared forty minutes into the sushi-making masterclass, with everyone around me knowing I was on a blind date! Runner Up – Date Sixteen – The Argentine Matador – Who was forty-five minutes late as he had just flown across Spain before arriving at the date.
5) Best Dressed Date – Hands down Date Twenty-Nine – The New Yorker – with his bespoke suit and monogrammed shirt cuffs! Runners Up – Both Date Twelve – The Enigma and Date Twenty-Seven – The Superhero Alter-Ego were wearing outfits that I would describe as ‘very me’
6) Best Pre-planned Activity – Date Twenty-Five – The Big Kid – Harry Potter World was brilliant, and the Butterbeer was amazing and awful all at once! Runner Up – Date Eighteen – The Fresh Prince – Champagne Afternoon Tea at The May Fair was a brilliant date.
7) Worst Pre-planned Activity – Date Eighteen – The Fresh Prince. Sorry but the Toilet Tour was poo! Runner Up – Date Fourteen – The Upgrade – The samurai movie sent us both to sleep at Somerset House!
8) Best Surprise Date – An easy winner – Date Twelve – The Enigma – for a date that felt like he stole it straight out of my head! Runner Up – Date Twenty-Seven – The Superhero Alter-Ego – who managed to get a table at The Ivy on a Friday night, two days after I’d unsuccessfully called up to try to get a table for my birthday!
9) Worst Surprise Date – Date Twenty-Eight – The Voice – when he downsized a yoga date, to just a short brunch on a Saturday morning.
11) Worst Meal – Date Fifteen – The Booby Prize – We ate breadcrumbs and lumps of fat – a Spanish dish described by Signor28 as something ‘paupers used to eat’. Runner Up – Date Twenty-Six – The Jet Setter – We weren’t fans of the Mozambique cuisine at Dine Mile High.
12) Oldest & Youngest Dates – So I broke the 25-35 rule a fair few times …. Date Three – The Burlesque Dancer was 38, and both of my American Dates (The New Yorker & The Hollywood Actor) and Date Thirteen – The Original Pimpernel were all 24.
13) Best Free Activity – Date Thirty – The Hollywood Actor – Technically not free if you include the flights there, but trekking to the Hollywood sign was really fun and something I’ll remember forever. Runner Up – Date Nineteen – The Best Man – Notting Hill Carnival was so beautiful, colourful and a really unique side of London life.
14) Best Value for Money on a Date – Date Three – The Burlesque Dancer – The tickets to watch Scarlet Vixens perform at the Reading Fringe Festival were only £5 and saved the night! Runner Up – Date Five – The One with The GSOH – Tickets to watch Adam Buxton perform were less than £15 in a really intimate venue.
15) Worst Value for Money on a Date – Date Four – The Model Brother – Sorry but I think £25 is a rip off to take a lift up to the top of The Shard. The view’s nice, but there are many similar ones around the city which are cheaper or even free. Runner Up – Date Eighteen – The Fresh Prince – We didn’t pay for our Toilet Tour tickets as there was a special offer on, but £18+ to stand outside public looks is quite literally a p*ss take! And the tour guide actually revelled in the fact she never donates to the free loo at one of the churches! (despite making around £20 per head to take people there to see it!)
16) Funniest Moment on a Date – Date Twenty-Five – The Big Kid – When he thought we were still inside the production hanger, and that the weather was ‘really realistic’! We were outside!!!! Runner Up – Date Twelve – The Enigma – Realising The Enigma had told the HintHunt owners that I was a famous journalist.
17) Most Awkward Moment on a Date – Date Ten – Mr Twenty40 – When he started talking about the people around us on the Tube at the top of his voice. Runners Up – Date Eleven – Stitch – Explaining about the Challenge, and then the blog, to Stitch – sending him into a tantrum! Date Twenty-Four – The Exhibitionist – every time I made a joke and it was met with tumbleweed silence!
18) Most Awkward Moment of the Challenge – Staring silently into strangers’ eyes twenty times over at Shhh Dating! Runner Up – When the IT Crown speed dater admitted ‘Oh my god, I’m so out of my league’ two minutes into our four minute-long speed date!
19) Most Romantic Moment of a Date – Date Twelve – The Enigma – Catching his eye through the crowd at Euston Station, from the other side of the courtyard. Runner Up – Date Sixteen – The Argentine Matador – Walking through the streets of Madrid in the early hours of the morning together.
20) Most Chivalrous Moment of a Date – Date Twenty-Seven – The Superhero Alter-Ego coming back to meet me when the wrong taxi picked me up at 2am from The Ivy. Runner Up – Date Fourteen – The Upgrade – giving me all the blanket at Somerset House while we watched the outdoor movie.
21) Most Chivalrous Moment of the Challenge – When Date Ten with Mr Twenty40 was going disastrously, The One with the Sign actually texted me to offer me an ‘excuse call’ to get out of the date!
22) Best Moment on a Date – Date Twelve – The Enigma. HintHunt is amazing. Runner-Up – Date Twenty-Seven – The Superhero Alter-Ego – Realising his idea of ‘going traditional’ was booking a table at The Ivy.
23) Best Celeb Spot on a Date – Date Eight – The Fake Pimpernel – sitting in the front row at the Circus with Madonna … not that F-Pimp even believed me at first! Runner Up – Date Twenty-One – The Stallion – Watching on as Boris arrived on his bike at National Paralympic Day, though the Italian Stallion had no clue who he was!
24) Worst Celeb Link on a Date – Date Twenty-Five – The Big Kid …. used to date a Cheeky Girl!
25) Best Celeb Spot of the Challenge – Chatting to the case of the Broadway Musical First Date, after the show while I was in New York, and taking a selfie with Zach Levi.
26) Best Moment of the Challenge – Getting contacted by Guardian Soulmates to write Dating Tips for them, and speak at their upcoming Dating Events! Runner Up – Getting an hour and a half long apology from Henley Boy … even if in hindsight it probably was all rubbish!
27) Worst Moment of the Challenge – Realising I was the Rule, not the Exception, and he clearly just wasn’t that into me, at LAX when the Henley Boy sent his unnecessarily brutal final message. Runner Up – Getting the brush off text from The Enigma, standing at Reading Station, waiting for a train to my date with The Fresh Prince.
28) Epiphany Moment of the Challenge – Date Seventeen – The Pupil – turning what could have been a really awful date into something positive. Runner Up – The final few weeks when I really started to appreciate how much fun being single can be. Something others also noticed – an incredibly hot guy I know chatted me up with the line ‘You must realise how attractive you are, why else would you be going on 30 Dates’. Not my motive for dating, but did put a pretty big grin on my face!
29) Favourite Blog Post – So I know general consensus is The Return of The Henley Boy – Part One (though some of the HB Haters now love The Return of The Henley Boy – Part Three, for obvious reasons!). However as a writer, the post I enjoyed writing most was Goldilocks & The Fairytale Couple.
30) Best Kiss – A close call, but the winner is Date Eighteen – The Fresh Prince – who swooped me drunkenly off my feet as we left the May Fair Hotel, whilst I was moping about my rejection text after my second date with The Enigma. Runner Up – My second date with The Enigma, when he kissed me on the balcony of The OXO Tower restaurant, looking out over London.