When people say something ‘changed their life’, I appreciate it’s often an exaggeration. However, as I sit here typing this, my life couldn’t be much more different to the one I was living a year ago.
In two weeks time, I move to London. I will be leaving my banking job, to try my hand at turning ‘being single’ into a full-time career. No, I’m not becoming an escort! I’ll be writing advice and articles for newspapers and magazines, and setting up my own dating-related company in the capital. And to top it all off, I’ve just been named Head Judge of a national dating industry awards ceremony – the UK Dating Awards.
So … exciting times ahead. But even before those major life-changing shifts, life at 30 Dates HQ has been pretty random and varied in recent months!
Last month, the blog hit a record for the number of individual viewers, and blog hits, across the month. It’s an achievement I’m particularly proud of because the nature of the 30 Dates Challenge made it very easy to lose readers after my 30th birthday. However the stats suggest we’ve not only retained the majority of the blog’s original readers, but widened the readership right the way around the globe. So thank you for continuing to follow!
This time last month, I was driving back from Liverpool, a nine-hour round-trip to the Hollyoaks set, to interview the lovely Jeremy Sheffield and Nikki Sanderson about the current abuse story in the show. I had a great day – it’s one of my favourite shows, and the actors were so down to earth and approachable that the interview was really good fun. After we’d finished, the show’s publicist took me on a tour of the set, so I got to take a sneak peek at scenes being filmed that won’t hit our screens for another few weeks. I was introduced to cast members, and even got to pose on Dodger’s infamous bed!
The following week, I met comedienne Gina Yashere – one of the most successful women in British comedy – for breakfast at a London hotel. Over bagels and a veggie fry up, I chatted with Gina about both hers and my love lives, and then was fortunate enough to watch her stand-up show live at the Udderbelly Festival later that week.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend I met up with Keavy and Lindsay from B*witched, for a spot of girly afternoon tea. Two and a half hours in, it was easy to forget I was in the middle of an interview. The girls were so friendly and candid about their love lives and opinions on dating, that it felt like I was spending the afternoon with old friends.
Later that night I headed to Bounce in Holborn, where together with fellow UK Dating Awards judges journalist Matt Chappell, and reality TV star Purdey Miles, I took part in DoingSomething’s record-breaking ping-pong dating event.
Aside from the normal dating-event reviews (some odder than others – Society Dining), for my sins, this month I’ve also agreed to take part in a charity auction (more on that, and how much I’m crapping myself about it, to come!). So next week, men will be bidding to go on a date with me (arrgh!!!).
And then there are the phone calls I’ve received in the past month!
I started the month with a phone call from a production company in Los Angeles, pitching an idea where I date my way around the States! The next day, a separate production house contacted me, with an idea where I would be a modern-day, reality TV Carrie Bradshaw, living in a house in LA with three other single women, and telling the world about my dates.
Finally, I want to share with you just some of the oddities of the 30 Dates inbox! As I’ve mentioned before, I get all kinds of weird and wonderful spam – normally offers of huge sums of money from Russian oligarchs and Nigerian princes! However I’ve been party to some extremely odd emails from ‘real people’ too!
I started the month with some pretty crazy emails from the Ringleader, pretending to be different girlfriends and prospective girlfriends of his. And finished the month with an ex-girlfriend of a male friend of mine, who had sent me two guest posts, from an anonymous account. At first I had no idea who the emails were from. It’s rare that readers are completely anonymous with me, even if they don’t want their names published on the blog, so I did wonder when I got the emails, if it was someone I knew. The two articles were particularly man-hating, and not really in the positive singleton spirit of 30 Dates, so I sent a polite, but friendly, email declining the offer. It was only three days later, when I stumbled across a new Twitter account and blog that she’s set up, that I realised who had sent me the email. The man-hating anonymous emails, which she’d been hoping I’d post on here, were about one of my friends! Really NOT the way to deal with a break-up!
In my role as Head Judge of the UK Dating Awards, I’ve already been sent some extremely strange emails – revealing a weird mafia-like undertone to the British dating scene (which up until now I thought I understood relatively well!). And I even had one of the country’s most omni-present male dating coaches sending me crude sexts at 3 in the morning the other week … despite the fact he’s apparently in a relationship?!! (The irony being he makes a living teaching men how to approach women?!)
So what craziness do I have to come next month, aside from a change of job and a flat-move?
Well, tomorrow I’ll be on the other side of the interviewer’s mic – a student on the very same journalism Masters course I did several years ago has asked to interview me about dating! Small world! And then over the next month I have interviews with two writers, a reality-TV star, and another trip up to the Hollyoaks set planned, so watch this space.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that 30 Dates will be announced in the short list for Cosmopolitan’s Best Sex and Relationship Blog Award, to be announced at the start of July.
And then of course there’s our 1 year anniversary here at the blog (longer than any relationship I’ve ever had! 😉 ). We’ve got lots of exciting stuff lined up to celebrate the month of July, here at 30 Dates. So keep tuned, for what will no doubt be another weird and wonderful month in the life of 30 Dates blog.
Thanks everyone for your continued support!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx