Yes I have a confession to make! Though I don’t think it’s a bad one!
When I first booked my flights to Australia three or four months ago, I had various reasons. I hadn’t been on holiday properly for almost two years, and the craziness that has become 30 Dates meant that I never really stop. Even after work, most nights I’m doing something for the blog.
I was last in Australia six years ago, and in my three months over here, I made a whole heap of incredible friends. Friends who I’ve been promising to visit again for years. Friends who’ve got married or had babies since I was last down under.
Finally, this year I set myself a second dating challenge. 30 Dates Around the World. It seemed the perfect excuse to wrack up some dates, and experience dating in one of my favourite countries.
A lot can happen in three months. Especially when you’re single. And do you know what? I like to think that’s the most exciting part! When you’re single, you never know who is going to come into your life, or when!
You may be able to see where this one is going!!
Back in October a friend set me up on a blind date. As you can probably imagine, I’m pretty blasé about blind dates these days. And so I didn’t think twice when I agreed to meet the Rugby Boy at High Street Ken station. I was crazy busy with Awards stuff, but I knew I needed to take a break. I had no plans that Saturday afternoon, and I figured going on a date would mean I gave myself a proper break. I never expected it to be more than a first date.
That first date started really badly. First off, I got the time wrong, so sent him texts warning him that I’d be 15 minutes late, when in fact I was running 15 minutes early! Talk about looking keen! The Rugby Boy is ridiculously tall (tick!) and had told me I’d easily spot him in the crowd at the station. So when I ended up walking in right behind him, I just approached and tapped him on the shoulder (or more likely mid-back … he really is crazy tall!)
As he turned around, the first thing he said was “Did you just follow me?!” in a rather accusatory tone … Not at all what I’d been expecting, and to be honest it put me rather on the back foot! I mumbled an incoherent response and followed him downstairs to Urban Golf – the location for our Saturday afternoon date, inside the station.
I never thought I would say this in my life … but thank god for golf! The first half hour of the date, as we sat in the bar, waiting for our green to free up, were particularly painful. Unbeknown to me, our mutual friend had described me to the Rugby Boy as a ‘dating expert’, and needless to say he was a tad nervous. He essentially spoke at me about his work for thirty minutes, barely pausing for breath, or to ask me a single question. (I obviously later realised that the reason he didn’t ask was because he knew!)
Eventually as we go the hang of Urban Golf, punting golf balls at a video screen, we both relaxed a bit, and ended up having quite a lot of fun, just in time for our game to end! Typical.
Urban golf turned into drinks, which turned into dinner … and seven hours after we’d first met, came the awkward Tube date ending I talked about in a previous blog post.
Despite a rather bumpy first date, I liked him enough to agree to a second one, and the following week The Rugby Boy cooked dinner for me. A few days later we drank our way through the cocktail menu at the Cadogan Arms, and then on Fireworks Night we headed to the Battersea Park Fireworks together.
You can see where this is going!
Right from the start I had told the Rugby Boy about Australia. That I was heading away for six weeks. That I planned on doing dates in several Australian cities as part of the blog.
And one of the reasons I liked him so much was because he was so chilled about it all. Our first month of dating was crazy. I was up most nights with the Awards, and had been cramming in pre-Christmas celebrations with friends and family. My ‘spare’ time was few and far between.
Yet despite all the madness, the Rugby Boy has been incredible. Incredible, patient and rather adorable … though he probably wouldn’t appreciate me saying that! He’s watched more Hollyoaks episodes than any straight adult man I know would ever admit to. He’s sat up to the small hours of the night, supplying Nandos and conversation as I made seating lists and table plans. The day after the Awards, when I could barely string a sentence together from exhaustion (unfortunately not even an exaggeration!) he took me to the Tate for a celebratory glass of bubbles with an incredible view of the City. And he not only helped me get to Heathrow Airport last weekend, but he walked me right to the Departure Gates.
We’re not going out. Not yet, anyway! And as far as he’s aware, I’m spending 6 weeks on the other side of the world going on blind dates for 30 Dates. But the thing is … this blog has always been based on honesty. And to be perfectly honest, right now, I don’t want to date anyone other than the Rugby Boy! Yes, I’m technically still single, and yes, the dates are just a bit of fun … but a big part of being single is also appreciating a good thing when you see it … and doing your best to see where the good thing leads.
So, despite being on the other side of the world, with six weeks of dating potential … I am hanging up my blind date license for a while … and instead, I’ll just focus on telling you guys about all the cool stuff you can do in all the places I see along the way.
I do hope that’s ok … I have a feeling you guys will forgive me! 😉
As for me and the Rugby Boy? … I guess I’ll have to keep you posted!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx