Regular readers of London Living will know that the lack of time available to Londoners is something we have looked at before. It was the reason behind our PA for the Day competition, aimed at giving Londoners more time for themselves.
Many of us Londoners feel the strain of trying to fit too much in. We work too much, play too much, and spend too much time on the Tube (for those non-cyclists amongst us). This got us thinking about Londoners’ love lives and how, as in any big city, a lack of time can sometimes get in the way of love.
With that in mind, we sent one of our reporters, Jess, down to Shoreditch to maximise her time by spending one evening having no fewer than 14 dates.
Impossible, you say? Not with the popular so-called ‘hipster speed dating’ event Last Night a Speed Date Changed My Life. Often held at trendy hangout The Book Club, the event this time was held at Queen of Hoxton, just a few yards down the road. Over to Jess for her diary of the experience…
“I had never considered speed dating before, but when my flatmate told me she had booked tickets in a moment of boredom, I secured myself the spare ticket and decided to come along for the ride. Always interested in pursuing my favourite hobby – boys – I was quite excited to see what might happen. However, on the day itself, fresh from work, with the Monday blues and a streaming cold, I was not feeling my most enthusiastic.
Quickly swilling a drink with my flatmate for Dutch courage, we were escorted downstairs into a thankfully dark room, lit by candlelight. We were given name badge stickers to stick to our chests, which I promptly and purposefully lost within minutes. Unfashionably early and worryingly sober, we downed our second glasses of wine as quickly as humanly possible and befriended two girls who looked as nervous, if not more so, than us. We shared concerns that we had forgotten to ‘revise’ and that we would not have anything to talk about and discussed whether ‘what’s your favourite colour?’ was likely to be a conversation starter.
We needn’t have worried. As the boys started to arrive, some of them actually surprisingly attractive, we stopped worrying and started eying up the potentials instead, until our hostess directed us to our seats and informed us that ladies would stay still, whilst the men would move around the room every four minutes. This appealed greatly to my sense of laziness. We were also given scorecards and pens to make notes about our date – after all, we were going on fourteen of them.
The whistle began, and we were away. Needless to say, conversation started off fairly tamely with plenty of ‘what do you do’ and ‘where do you live’ – and quickly descended into innuendo, flirtation and mild chaos.
The standard of participant, it must be said, was higher than I expected – though inevitably, the stereotypes popped up; the dull IT guy, the awkward short man, the funny (too funny?) one. A weird moment arose when a very serious man knew my full name (despite my discarded name badge) – weirdly enough, it turned out he went to my primary school and remembered me from when I was ten. I was mildly creeped out as I didn’t remember him – and no, he wasn’t cute. During a visit to the toilets later for a group gossip, it transpired that at least 50% of the girls had him labelled as ‘serial killer eyes’. Great.
The evening was undoubtedly exhausting but also a lot of fun. I decided to be strict, and only wrote down four names as potential follow-ups; my flatmate wrote down nine. Nonetheless, I was pretty pleased with myself a few days later when an email revealed that I had a 75% hit rate – three out of my four choices liked me back!
No exciting news to report as yet, but with my schedule, fourteen dates in one night saved me an awful lot of time (and bar-hopping) and for a tenner, was an absolute bargain I’d highly recommend to any single Londoners out there.”
Do you have any novel ways of saving time in London? Let us know below.