Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Blog Award

Massive thanks to Pretty Young Thing for passing the following blog award on to me - I'm flattered! Check out her fabulous blog Daterview if you haven't already - great stories including making the most of being ill in hospital by chatting up a good-looking member of staff and subsequently Facebooking him! Plus she has one of the coolest blogger profile pictures I've seen - that's what I call eye-catching lipstick. Thank you for the award!

This award doesn't come for free though - it comes with a ten-question survey as follows:

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy about doing this? If you aren't anonymous, do you wish that you had started out anonymously, so you could be anonymous now?

I guess my blog is somewhat anonymous, but my name really is Matt and I really was born in 1979, so I'm not trying to disguise myself. If I were starting a blog now I might actually be less anonymous but I was in a different frame of mind last summer and I've just stuck with the habit since then.

2. Describe an incident that shows your stubborn side.

I have this thing about not wanting to let food go to waste and at times I've taken it too far. I remember one particular incident a few years back - I'd ordered way too much at a restaurant but carried on eating after hitting the point of being uncomfortably full for about half an hour. My insides took a while to forgive me for that one.

3.What do you see when you really look into the mirror?

Depends on the time of day - in the mornings I'm particularly likely to see someone with crazy hair, although this can happen at any time and lead me to wonder "Wow - when did I last look in the mirror before this?"

4. What is your favorite cold summer drink?

Water. I actually get told that I drink too much water. When I was in hospital last year I had this conversation with a doctor:

Me: How much water should I be drinking at the moment?
Doctor: As much as you want - it'll all help.
Me: OK, but I thought there might be like a maximum amount?
Doctor: No, go ahead and drink as much as you like.
Me: 'Cause like a few years ago I used to drink about six litres (13 US pints) per day and I just wondered-
Doctor: SIX LITRES? No, that's too much, you shouldn't do that.
Me (thinking): But you just said...

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

In recent months one answer has to be: read blogs! I think we're talking many hundreds of hours by now. Also go to the gym, see friends, watch films, eat (see Q2), drink water (see Q4)...

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life?

Generally I'm not someone who focuses a lot on future goals - I tend to think more about how I'd like to spend the present time.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?

I was an academic overachiever but wasn't very involved in other school activities. Towards the end I started ditching more but to be honest I think they let me get away with it as long as my test scores stayed high.

8. If you closed your eyes and wanted to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?

Some years ago I was in a car crash which for a moment I thought might be Game Over - I was incredibly lucky to walk away and in some ways I've looked at things differently ever since.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog, or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people and events?

I'm quite aware that I've only shared certain areas of my life on here - I started the blog to give back some dating stories after reading so many and I've mainly thought of the blog as being about dating rather than about me as a whole.

10. If you had a choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

At the moment I don't spend much time doing either, but I guess I spend more time on the phone so I'll go with that.

The next instruction is to pass this award on to bloggers you think are fantastic. I've only just realised that it doesn't specifically say how many bloggers to nominate, but previous recipients seem to be going with three so I'll follow suit:

Lifebeginsat30ty at Life Begins at 30ty - she was also top of my shout-out list the first time I received a blog award - at that time, as well as having a very engaging past-present-shifting blog, she had very kindly commented on more than two-thirds of my posts. Her blog has remained awesome and, of course, the last few weeks have given me even more inclination to list her first again...

Caleb at The Blog Experiment - Caleb and I first met as Good Cop Bad Cop commenters on the blog which started my whole blogosphere journey. He's full of wit and charisma and brains too - watch out world!

Pupa at just like your mama used to make it - she has recently started her blog but got hooked on some of the same dating blogs as I did last year and has been inspired to write exactly the kind of blog which grabbed us both - lots of well-written online dating posts. Hopefully there are lots more to come!

I could happily nominate lots more great blogs, including the other nine from my first award - most are still going and I hope that the others are coming back too!

Sunday, 13 February 2011


So, as some of you rightly noted when commenting on my previous post, I've been getting a bit tongue-tied on here recently. Successive posts have been growing shorter and less detailed. Not only that: I used to reply individually to every comment I received - I've really let things slide on that front!

There are two principal reasons for this. One I've already written about in an earlier post - I've become increasingly aware that writing in detail about present-day events involving other people (such as dates) wasn't going to work for me. I'm very much into honesty and I know that if I dated someone who then asked whether I had a blog, I would be straight with them, and they'd probably end up reading it. Therefore I wouldn't want to write anything which might seem like oversharing or an invasion of privacy - theirs or mine. I knew that I'd be likely to err on the side of caution in this regard, and sure enough I certainly have been!

I've very much enjoyed reading lots of dating blogs which don't follow these restrictions, so I hope this doesn't seem hypocritical of me. I'm not trying to say that there's anything wrong with anybody else's way of doing things - just that I have my own individual way of doing things and I need to honour that.

Secondly, and more to the point: my recent dates have of course been with someone who already reads my blog! In the beginning this was the whole point - Life Begins at 30ty and I went on a blogger-date and wrote about our experiences. But since then (as you'll know if you've read her recent post) we've continued to date each other. With each date I've realised more and more that I don't want to be blog-dating her - I want to be dating her. Thus I've been feeling more than a little self-conscious when writing recent posts.

While I was mulling these things over, she wrote a post expressing somewhat similar thoughts but in a far more eloquent way than I feel I'm managing - well, she was already one of my favourite bloggers after all! She also mentioned our pub quiz date (I had an unfair advantage with the numerous British sports questions, but she still knew more about Queen Victoria than me!) and our restaurant-and-river-walk date (complete with photo featuring the free light sabres which the restaurant kindly gave us!) and that we'd made plans to go to the cinema this weekend (I can exclusively reveal that we settled on watching just one film rather than trying to surpass my day record of eight!)

Hmm... I'm getting blogger's block again while trying to write the end of a post on blogger's block! Well, I wanted to say thanks again to you all for your encouraging and enthusiastic comments despite my lack of post details and comment replies - I really do appreciate them!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Blogger Date: The Sequel

For our second date, Life Begins at 30ty and I had decided to go bowling. This had actually been one of her suggestions for our challenge-theme first date, but I'd felt it only fair to warn her that I was on a bowling team a few years ago. Not one to be daunted by this - or by anything else these days! - she stepped up to take me on this time.

...and proceeded to soundly beat me! I got my comeuppance for my big talking! She even had the kindness to make me feel knowledgeable by asking me for bowling tips, even though at that point I was clearly struggling to stay out of the gutters. She's a good winner and I got to show that I wasn't a bad loser - or I hope that's what I showed! We then had a second game in which I managed to redeem myself a little, so we called it a draw (tie?) overall.

After finishing our drinks while watching little kids almost throwing themselves down the lanes with their bowling balls, we left to find something to eat. We went to a great pancake place which I'd never been to before - in fact I've generally only eaten small sweet pancakes so it was interesting to be presented with a massive savoury one big enough to be a meal in itself! We chatted and ate and chatted.

At this point I have to make a complaint about this date. In fact, about both of our dates. The time goes by way too quickly! I couldn't believe that more than three hours had already flashed past when I first looked at the clock on my phone. I don't think either of us wanted our talking to end but we both understood that we had work weeks to start the next morning so eventually we got the bill (maybe the staff didn't want us to go either!) and the end of the date was nigh.

Hmm, I'm reading back over this post and it seems rather brief. Blog readers, I'll level with you: I'm finding blog date blogging to be trickier than I'd anticipated! Maybe this is because I'm more accustomed to writing about dates from many years ago rather than current events. Maybe it's because I don't want to hog the storytelling while my co-dater has other exciting tales to share from earlier in her weekend before getting the chance to write her version. Or maybe it's because my main thought as I write this is: I definitely want to see her again...