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Personal: WTMS, Speed Dating and Birmingham

Last updated on February 23, 2009

Well, last Friday I went to a “speed-dating” event held by When The Music Stops in Nottingham. For those of you how aren’t familiar with the concept of speed-dating, basically what happens is that you are are all given a number (no “Prisoner” references please 😉 ) and all the women sit down at numbered tables. Then the men work their way around the tables staying for around 5 minutes at each table (or “until the (background) music stops”): after each table you add the person’s name and number to a list and then tick if you find would like to be “friends” or if you think there is a “match”. Then after the event, you are either sent an SMS text message to your mobile/cell phone or an email listing any people that your matched as a match or a friend (ie you ticked them and they ticked you). I believe the whole concept started off several decades ago to help Jewish people find partners.

Anyway – I went to the event and went around and ticked 3 women (out of 10) and then went to my hotel (as I couldn’t reliably get home at 10pmish at night on public transport). The next day, at around 2pm, I though “no messages,obviously no matches” so I booked on the next event (this time in my home town instead of 30minutes away) – but lo and behold a few minutes I had a match with “S” who lives around 1hour train ride away. We started texting each other and I must have sent in the region of nearly 200 messages to her during the week (given the fact that that Saturday I had over £18 credit in my mobile phone, text messages cost 10p and I was down to 63p on Friday and had to top up again!) – admittedly these were a number of “multipart messages” (where one message has to be split into 2 or more parts as each message is limited by the mobile phone network to 180 characters).

So we were getting on quite well and we spoke on Tuesday and things were going brilliantly and we were thinking how live would be like for us together in the future etc etc. Kind the typical thoughts people have when they think they’ve found someone they can spend the rest of their lives with. We arranged the we would meet on Saturday in her home town – so I arranged my train ticket, hotel etc etc and, on Saturday, I headed to meet her. She didn’t finish work until 5pm so I had a little time to relax in the hotel before hand…

Alas – that’s where it all went wrong for some reason. Despite being extremely communicative during the week, when we met up we hardly said anything to each other. She took me on a little tour around her home town (she’s been driving for nearly 2 years even though she’s 4 years younger than me!) and then we went to the cinema to see the film “Love Actually” – we talked a little bit before the movie, but hardly anything afterwards.

When we went our separate ways – her back home and myself to my hotel room – I sent her a text message which basically said “Many thanks for an enjoyable evening (as the film was good, even though it was just a little bit difficult to follow all the separate, but interleaving, plot lines) but I admit it could have gone better, but I do want to see you again”. I got text messages back from her saying things like “I’m so so very sorry…for my feelings” and “there was no spark” – it’s a shame, because she is a nice lass: but whether it was just the “wrong sort of meeting”, whether we just had too high hopes, expected to run before we could walk or something else I dunno. I’ve been texting her on my way home hoping we can be at least just friends, but we’ll have to see…

On my way home, I did decide to make a diversion to see the new Bull Ring Shopping Center in Birmingham and I’m not too impressed with it. Yes, it’s nice and spacious, clean, bright etc – but there’s nothing really to “set it apart” from all other shopping centers. The “Old Bull Ring” had all these little shops offering all manner of things, an area for kids to play (on the lower floor) and it was quite interesting to go around (although, yes, it was quite dark, a bit dirty and old and not that good looking): but the new Bull Ring is just “High Street Chain Shops”: you’ve got Debenhams, Selfridge’s, Borders (with Starbucks), HMV – basically all the shops you get elsewhere. Bit of a shame that’s they’ve got rid of the Bull Ring’s “uniqueness” in the name of progress (the little shops probably couldn’t even afford to pay the rent in the new complex) – but at least I no longer feel the need to even consider Birmingham as a viable shopping alternative: even the Palisades shopping “mall” (as it’s now called there) is beginning to lose it’s “tiny shops”. I think I’ll stick with Leicester and our two shopping centers and little “arcades” (rows of tiny shops).

I’m now on the bus on the way back to Leicester (the trains from Birmingham to Leicester aren’t running for some reason: I could have gone via Derby – but I just couldn’t be bothered) and I’m typing this up on my new laptop just for something to do…

Blarg – what a wasted 24hours 🙁


  1. could have told you for free that the new bullring is a complete waste of time, it seems like this big place but you just end up going round in circles.

  2. So did you enjoy the speed dating or not?

    I have some friends who are trying to persuade me to go with them. I am just terrified at the thought of having to come up with something different to say to ten or twenty different people.

    And what if you get no matches??

  3. Gill Gill

    I went to the Bullring on Wednesday for the first time since they changed it.What a load of rubbish.The old Bullring was better.I couldn’t wait to get back home,but years ago i used to spend most of the day there and do loads of shopping.Bring back the old Bullring thats what i say.

  4. I’m sorry to hear that your date didn’t go as well as planned. Did you only get one match for the event? Is speed dating something you would try again? I used to go speed dating all the time, it’s a lot of fun, and I then started my own speed dating company. We’re in New York, so if you are ever around, definitely look us up Speed dating is one of those things you should try a couple of times in life.

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