Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Looks or Personality- which is the worse Rejection?

I was just wondering about being... 

Would you prefer to be rejected on just your looks, or your personality?

I was on the train and this guy approached me and started talking to me. No problem, I'm a nice person, I wasn't going to embarrass him on a train. Well, I could immediately tell that I wasn't into him, he just wasnt my type looks wise. After asking me a couple of questions he asked whether we could meet up soon. So I decided to ask him a few questions. He wasnt an ugly person, perhaps his personality was "my type". Well, turns out he seemed kind of boring and I was no more interested in him than before I met him. However, it had gone too far, we had a conversation, and now it would be really rude for me to turn him down.

I took his number to save face, but as I got off the train it occurred to me- would it have been rude to reject him due to his looks or because of his personality? What would the every-day Joe (or Josephine) take worse?

The Notebook- a serious tear-jerker for Owl and I...

I came home and consulted a friend, who seems to share my view. She felt that once you started talking to a person, it made any subsequent rejection or turn-down would now be taken very personally. At the end of the day, we all want to be liked (even the those who act like they don't). If a person doesnt like us because of our looks, then whatever, we're not everyone's cup of tea. But if someone doesnt like our personality, or the other things we have to offer, well, that kinda sucks.

What's your opinion? Would love to hear your views on the blog, or Tweet us @grabaspoon.

Friday, 25 October 2013


So, to remind/tell anyone who didnt know. Before ELB my last long term relationship was a long distance one. Me in the UK, him in the States. Spending months apart, emotional hysterical goodbyes at airports, long lonely nights wanting nothing more than a hug. Been there, done that, could write the book.

So when we broke up I was kinda relieved that I didn't have to go through that anymore. Love isn't planned but I had a fairly good inclination that I wasn't going to put myself through that again.

ELB doesn't exactly live minutes round the corner, but a minute trip isn't too bad at all. (It'd be even less if I was a driver) My definition always was "If there was a crisis could you drop everything and get to them easily?" If the answer was no then it was a LDR.

So I consider myself very fortunate, ELB and I see each other pretty much every week, spending weekends together and the occasional weeknights at pub quiz's.

When we first started dating I had a big work event that meant I didnt see him for a while, but we'd only been dating a few weeks and it was actually very exciting to know at the end of it we were spening a few days together during our first "sleepover"

But now I'm on another work trip. In Scotland. I made the most of having travel paid for and am also seeing a close friend for a few days. Meaning I'm away from home for 9 nights - two weekends. And it SUCKS! I know I know I really shouldn't moan. And it's not that I'm majorly clingy or co-dependent. There's just something about this trip that has me feeling those familiar LDR feelings.

I've got a hoodie that smells of him, the teddy he bought me and I'm texting him non-stop.

I know there are many people much worse than me - I've been there. But it's all relative I guess. I'm used to seeing ELB all the time, and snuggling up with him on my precious weekends relaxing. So after working my ASS off doing 10 - 12 hour days for the last month it doubly sucks to be away from him.

I don't really know what else to say on the subject. I just wanted to comment on how weird it was and how much its making me feel a bit rubbish. So that's that.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Over-thinking being nice? THIS is a problem...

Just a quick post. I realise we haven't posted in a while. As with everyone in this crazy jungle of life, things just gets away from us sometimes. Owl has a lot going on with work etc and I was off everything "dating" for a bit, trying to mentally recharge.

Well, I'm back again, trying to navigate this scary and often frustrating world of dating. In fact, I just started seeing this guy, and we seemed to get along for the first few dates. However, he recently told me that his parent has been taken seriously ill. 

I have given him space because he seems to be completely focused on that (understandably!) The thing is,  I want him to know that I am thinking of him, and I want to be supportive. However, how supportive can I really be? I don't know him so well to visit his mum (I've never even met her- its only been a few dates after all!) And I don't want to bombard him with supportive texts and phone calls, I just don't know whether that would be useful.

"I made this just for you- hope your mum feels better"
I don't think this will work...
This is not a "shall I give her a mix-tape or house key?" dilemma. I want to show him that I care, but I don't want to bother him, or become overbearing. There is also the small nagging voice in the back of my mind that tells me that this would be a good excuse for him to use to back out of seeing me again. 

(No, I haven't used this excuse before... nor anything like it... ahem...)

Its a possible "He's just not that into you" kind of situation. I hate those. They have you second guessing the smallest things. They even have you second guessing second guessing.

Well, after a few days over-thinking it, I decided not to over-think it. I will send him a message, letting him know I'm thinking of him, then take it from there. There is nothing wrong with me letting him know that I care. That's meant to be a good thing. And if he doesn't appreciate it, if he's too busy to get back right away, if he decides that he thinks I'm overbearing well, that's fine. Because no matter what, I am being true to myself, and the man I will end up with after all this dating malarkey will understand that.

Until then? Well, I have plenty going on to pass the time. Overthinking is no longer on that list.

Panda x

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Chemistry is right, but what about the rest?

The more I meet people, the more I realise that having the right chemistry with someone is important.Two people need to have an unspoken connection between them for their relationship to work. But what about when only the chemistry is right? What happens when its the stuff surrounding the chemistry that causes problems?

Getting to know you...
A couple of days ago I was out with some friends, and got talking to a friend of a friend (you know how it goes). I think it started when I quoted a film quote (to be honest I'm still pretty proud of the reference!) and he got it immediately. A great spark was lit. It was great, we found out that we liked the same books, we enjoyed the same movies, we even had the same sense of humour (you guys know me well enough now to know that this is top of my list!) Even some of my friends commented on the energy between us.

There's just one teeny detail that could potentially get in the way. His wife.

Who would get on with this?
Now, I just want to make clear that other than chatting, nothing happened at all. As it stands, I draw a thick, red, poisonous line when it comes to wrecking someone's marriage. But we got on so well, so instantly, it was scary. 

This phenomenon has been happening a lot for me recently. I reconnected with a friend on Facebook (again, from a previous work role) who I get on with like a house on fire (btw I've never understood that phrase... no one gets on with a beloved burning home). We went to dinner and to the cinema, just as friends, and had a great time. Again, our tastes were similar, and the humour was on par. Unfortunately I'm just not attracted to him. Not even slightly.

It leads me to consider the opposite- what about relationships when everything is right except the chemistry? It isn't usually easy for me to find the right connection with a guy. Many of the men I've dated over the past 2 years haven't quite had what I was looking for, and yet, I have tried to compromise anyway, because they're "a nice guy". Each and every one of these relationships has died a rapid, sinking death. Clearly for me, chemistry is supremely important.

The universe has been playing some divine tricks on me recently when it comes to dating. Great guy, no chemistry. Great chemistry, married. What the heck?! This is probably some sort of message, or part of a greater plan of some kind. What I have surmised so far is that perhaps I need to be a teeny bit more specific about what I'm looking for in a man. Like, can I have chemistry and be attracted to the guy too? Oh, and also (if its not too much trouble) can this guy be SINGLE and AVAILABLE (although you'd think this would be a given!)

Saturday, 4 May 2013

The Thrifty Guy with no Shame (Dating history tale)

Dating history tales
Sometimes you just need to hear about the sad, wonderful, inspiring and often downright WEIRD dating experiences of others. This series of blog posts will recount a tale from our pasts - purely for your own amusement. Enjoy and feel free to read more here

So, I will begin by saying that I have NEVER been the type of girl to be concerned about money. It is important that a guy has ambition, and isn't afraid to work. My longest term boyfriend was unemployed when we met. However, there is a difference between having a lack of money and being downright cheap.

I met this guy in a club when I was in my very early 20's. He was really funny and made me laugh, and as you all probably know by now, this is the quickest way to my heart. So I gave him my number. Our first date was a quiet walk in the park. Nothing happened, but we got to know each other a little better. Turns out, he was a comedian (hence the funniness) and he was in his early 30's. No real problem there (I have never had a real issue with age) and the date was nice.

What are you, 12?
This is a date, not an outing!
So, second date time and we're planning on going to the cinema. I'm dressed nicely, in a cute skirt and top, nice handbag, hair done to perfection. He turns up in a baggy T-Shirt, baggy joggers and one of those pull-string Nike bags on his back. Erm, why did I bother even doing my hair?

We meet and he asks me if I want anything to eat, so I say that I fancy some Chinese. So we walk around and I pick a decent looking restaurant (I use the terms "decent" and "restaurant" fairly loosely here) and we sit to choose food. He says he's not eating anything, which I find a bit strange, why would you go to a restaurant and not eat? So I pick my meal and eat, and he practically watches me do so. Then, when the bill comes (it cant be more than £3.60) he stares at me and says "I'm paying for the cinema, so you can pay for the meal."

Now, please allow me to reiterate, I am not a money grabbing type of girl, nor do I expect a man to finance my existence. However, if you are trying to impress me on a date, the least you can do is pay for my meal. Especially when it is so cheap! A simple gesture I think, especially since we are both adults (one of us more than the other). To add insult to injury, the cinema tickets cost about £3 each! What sort of horrible budget date is this?

I didn't have any money on me at the time (I assumed I was being taken out!), so I had to go to the cash point, and I'm telling you, I had the urge to jump on the bus and just go home, leaving him with the bill. But I just cant do that to a person (plus, I don't want to bump into him at a comedy club and I end up in the firing line of some stupid joke). So I come back and pay for the meal.

A free ride in London
(providing you don't get caught!)
It gets better. So, we need to get to the cinema, and we have to miss a couple of buses because he has no money on his Oyster Card and he needs to jump on a bendy bus (remember London's brief fascination with bendy buses?) Are you freaking kidding me? By now, I just want to get to the cinema to see the film (it was Idlewild and I had a crush on Andre 3000 and a girl crush on Paula Patton). The bus was packed, so I spent 10mins with his arms around me (**shudder**).

Needless to say, I saw the film, but didn't see him again. I have my standards. Being so horribly thrifty on a date is a complete turn off. 

To this day I feel like I was part of a horrible social experiment, or recorded skit or something. He's been on TV before, and if I mentioned his Comedy name he'd come up straight away on a Google Images search. But I'm not going to, its too embarrassing for him (and I'm not a bad lady really). However, if you see this story played out on TV let me know and I'll happily show you a mugshot...

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Being 'out there'- meeting people beyond Online Dating

So, I'm going through my daily trawl of the dating website, of messages I have received. Don't be happy for me. Most of the messages I receive are daft one-liners, usually "hi" or something just as meaningless to me. I was feeling a bit lonely and thought I'd have a look at what the site had to offer.

I came across one guy who seemed interesting, and the site said we were pretty much a good match (based on all the statistical factoring and data configuration no less- Friends Bods will know what I'm on about). Anyway, I thought I'd take a mini leap and send him a message. Turns out, he had already messaged me last year.

"I like your breasts".

Hmmm. It was a frustrating one. I had read through his profile, looked at his statistics and thought this would be a mature person I could at least have a conversation with. I was wrong. Feeling a little affronted, I replied:

"Hmmm. Just read through your profile. Seemed a decent profile, then, as I opened up the message, I realised you messaged me last year. 'I like your breasts'. Well, most people do. Not the kind of opening line I cherish though."

He was quick to reply:

"Well when it comes to honesty I don't hold back. This site is full of people doing the equivalent of 'talking about the weather'. :) Good luck with your search!"

Is this what I'm searching for? Is this what I expect?
That got me thinking. What the hell am I searching for? I mean, in the grand scheme of things, I know what I want- a decent guy who treats me well, ambitious, funny, loving and caring blah blah. But do I really believe I am going to find it on a website?

He is right, the site is full of people "talking about the weather". I have met a couple of guys on there, those who were "highly matched" who ended up annoying the hell out of me after a couple of dates. I'm sure the site's master computer would argue that I have entered some details wrong, or that I am not being authentic online, or something. The long and short of it is, there is only so far I can go when "meeting" someone online.

At the risk of sounding like an old bag, I miss the days when I would go out and just meet guys. There were times when I would meet 3 or 4 guys on the same night, go out on dates with them, and then the following week start the process again. I know, this was when I was a little younger, and I had a different type of energy. And yes, I am probably looking for something different in a guy than I was 7 years ago. But I still miss meeting guys when out and about, using my instinct to judge his character, seeing his reactions to me, reading body language and so on. What happened to that?

Many a face I have made at an online message
As technology advances, are we doomed to hide behind laptops and smartphones, using computers to pick out potential mates, spend months "talking" through texts and messages before having any actual face to face contact?

On the flip side, I know a few people who have met their current partners online, and they aren't complete dullards, or douche-bags  This is only a teeny ray of hope for me though, because for everyone I know that has found someone good for them, there are 10 who make that "what the actual f*ck?" face every time they check their messages.

This is why I'm taking a stand. I'm making it my mission to be out there more. And I do mean out there- just like Charlotte in SATC. I want to see and be seen again. I want to be approached and have actual conversations with guys in real life. Remember those? Yes, its nerve wracking and frightening, and yes, its a tad awkward at first, but you know what? I got less "I like your breasts" comments face to face when I met guys the old fashioned way. That's got to mean something.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Feel the feelings

A year ago today was meant to be my Wedding Day. With the power of hindsight, I am so grateful it wasn't  But if I could whisk myself back 18months I would see a broken hearted and dishevelled girl sitting on my couch, with two boxes worth of snotty crumpled tissues around her and two years worth of memories on her laptop in front of her.

An Owl in a meringue...
I'm sure this sounds familiar to most. We've all been there in the heart of a breakup at least once. I'd like to think my situation was a little unique. Not only were we in a long distance relationship, but he was a "recovering" alcoholic and ex convict that I had supported emotionally (and financially) for the last 2 years. Jeesh you write it down like that and it suddenly sounds so awful.

But at the time, I was madly in love. And not only that, I was subject to my own worst flaw - always seeing and believing in the best in people. That didn't get me very far, but thankfully he showed his true colours before it became legal and he moved to my country, to my flat, to burden me and my loved ones with the rest of his problems for the rest of our lives.

Back to 18 months ago and me on my couch broken hearted. I could tell you "I didn't think it would ever get better" But that would be a lie. You see, I also believe in the strength of myself. And I refused to ever allow one pathetic excuse of a human being to decide the state of my mental health.

Because to be perfectly honest with you, it very nearly did. I had poured so much into that man. So much of my faith in humanity, of my belief in love, of my firm unchanging foundations of knowing someone can always change for the better....and had that torn up, spat on and destroyed in front of my eyes. Many many times over during the longest month of my life.

So there I was....the very soul of everything I had every believed in in tatters, and that could've been the end of it. I could've given up on love and trust and all of that right there. I don't think anyone would've blamed me. But I didn't. I refused to, My own pigheaded stubborness kicked in! That and my loved ones...

Wise words from Albus DumbledoreTo this day I don't think I would've made it without them. My friends and family reminded me every single day exactly why my belief system is one of the goodness in humankind and of love.

At the time I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I didn't know when it would stop hurting, or when I would be able to close my eyes and not see his face. I didn't know when the day would come when I wouldn't break down whilst washing dishes and I had no idea if I would even be able to love someone again for certain. But I knew it was coming....and that it couldn't be rushed.

It sounds so cliché but time is the biggest healer. But only when you accept what is happening. As I once told Panda, you have to "feel the feelings". Don't block them away, the quicker you accept them and work your way through them, the easier it will be.

Look at me. 1 year from the day I was supposed to marry that guy and I didn't even remember the significance of the date until 10:30 at night! I can't even picture his face or hear his voice properly any more.

I won't rehash all the clichéd advice. But I will repeat the piece of advice I can give to anyone.

Feel the feelings. 

That and never, EVER let anyone mess with your ability to love and care and cherish for another. Those things come from inside you...and if the ex wasn't smart enough to see those things in you, well, that's just all the more fortunate for the next isn't it?

And with this quote I mentally close off this board :)

Friday, 15 March 2013

A question about Online Daring Etiquette...

Just a quick one guys. It's all about online dating.

I'm not brand new to the activity, and I know how to sift through the horny and the hungry. I read men's approaches and decide whether they are worth messaging back, based on their profiles and pictures (sorry, I'm not going to pretend that looks don't matter!) Of course, I try to be outgoing as well, so I have made the first contact with guys I thought had a decent profiles and / or were cute.

So, I made contact with a guy who met both the criteria points, responding to some personal information on his profile to start a dialogue. It was about a day before he replied:

"Hi... Glad you liked my profile and you sound lovely. But you're not really my type of girl. Good luck finding someone! Take care."


Now, rejection of any kind is never easy to swallow. I appreciate that he was polite, honest and direct. But that made no difference. I was offended. I know I shouldn't have been offended... Or at least that didn't appear to be his intention. But it felt crappy, really crappy.

So, what's the general feeling around Online Dating etiquette? Is it better to ignore the person you're not attracted to or interested in, or send them a psuedo-polite message of rejection?

(Can you tell what side I'm on?)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Bohemian Boy (Dating history tales)

Dating history tales
Sometimes you just need to hear about the sad, wonderful, inspiring and often downright WEIRD dating experiences of others. This series of blog posts will recount a tale from our pasts - purely for your own amusement. Enjoy and feel free to read more here.

I was "sort of" dating this boy who was not my normal taste but a much needed 'palate cleanser'. He was my polar opposite in every way but that made it all the more interesting. I drew the line at this one though:

First time staying at his new place, I knew it would be sparse as he had only been there a week. However I did not expect the sleeping arrangements. Floor, duvet, 1 pillow -  no covers.

This would've been luxury!
Let's just take the time to think about this for a second. 1 pillow - between 2 for a girl who's used to sleeping  with 4 in various combinations. and 1 duvet to be both base and covers...just not gonna work!

But I put my 'big girl panties' on and made the best of it. "I can do this for a night - it could be fun!" (It wasn't)

It was even less fun the next two times I stayed over, including once after I had just worked an event all weekend and just wanted a bath and feather bed, and once when he was ill meaning neither of us got any sleep.

I mentioned it - several times. He honestly didn't see the issue. It was "bohemian" he said and even had the nerve to mockingly call me "Princess" (for wanting a bed? A hells yeah then I'm a Princess!)

Needless to say I stood by my guns when I said "Get a bed or I'm not staying here again"

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Tate Modern (Date spot review)

Tate Modern
Call +44 (0)20 7887 8888 
London SE1 9TG
United Kingdom

It was my first date with a guy I'd met on a dating website, and we'd spoken via text. I asked him to plan the entire date, and he was happy to. He told me to meet him at Southwark Station, and then we could take a walk to the Tate Modern.

It was about a 10 min walk from both Southwark and London Bridge Station, along the river and right opposite St Paul's Cathederal. I am very comfortable walking in heels, but if youre not, it may be best to walk in flats.

I cant say that "into" modern art. I dont know much about what is going on, and I cant always "read into" the connotations of a slash in a sheet of canvas, or a host of metal coils dangling from the ceiling. However, I didnt let that get in the way of my fun! We chatted about what we thought each piece of art could mean, then compared it to its actual meaning, and spent most of the time chatting away about our general likes and dislikes.

When we decided we'd had enough, he led me up to the 6th floor, where there is a darling bar. I didnt even know it was there! They have stools that face a window, giving you a view of the river and St Pauls.

I had two cocktails, and my date had a beer and then a glass off rum. It was comfortable and ever so fancy, with the option of dining at the restaurant. We were the until about 11pm, chatting away and enjoying a nice, casual evening.


  • Free to enter
  • Food and drinks available in the bar


  • Drinks were on the pricey side (cocktails typically £9)
  • Lots of walking involved

Great Date for?
  • Good first date- get to know each others likes and dislikes
  • Something different


Although it was free to enter, the food and drinks were rather pricey.

Romance rating

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Non-mushy Valentines!

I have seen many a post talking about how to be single on Valentines. All well and good - if I were single I'd be reading the crap outta those!

However the only other posts I've seen are the gooey, slushy, cupid-ey...vomit inducing posts. Now this is coming from a life long romantic. But even I am starting to get sick of the sight of this over-forced "romance". It feels forced and completely fake - as you may have seen on my previous post it's about the everyday romance

So where does that leave me on Valentines Day? I dont want to reject it on principle because I do like to mark it and remember that romance is important - but guys, I will totally be judging you on your originality!

What sparked this post was realising the new Die Hard movie is being released on Valentines Day. ELB commented to me that "There are gonna be some very annoyed women in that theatre on Thursday!" But actually....why should they be? Considering the crap rom-coms that have been produced lately if we were going to the cinema I'd MUCH rather see Bruce Willis being his awesome self! 

So c'mon guys. Don't subject your beautiful, intelligent and individual woman to the sterotype that we just want chocolates and flowers and an overpriced meal. (NB from Panda: "Although also never forget that every girl likes flowers!") and plan something she would really enjoy this Thursday.

If she loves chocolate instead of the "1/3 off supermarket special" why dont you book a chocolate making class for later in the month. Or plan an at home chocolate tasting? 

Sci-Fi fan? Tell her you're going to this summers convention and you'll even go in costume for her. (Yeah I'm not going to lie to you -that's my one!) 

Whatever you do, make it personal and dont feel pressured to eat another Love Heart or buy another plastic rose..

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Everyday Romance

Following on from Panda's post about Valentine's day being a chance for men to win some serious brownie points, I began thinking a little more about romance. And what really is romance?

Ok sure we've got the roses, the champagne, the fancy dinner etc etc. But these are things that anyone  who has seen a chick-flick and owns a credit card can do. For me romance is about those little every day things. More importantly than that it's about knowing the person you are being romantic with..

Sure the big gestures are always appreciated - don't get me wrong. But they will mean SO much more if you stop and think for a little bit about what she (or he) will really appreciate. What will show them that you have listened and paid attention to what they love and enjoy? There is no point committing to a 2hr foot massage if she is squeamish about having her feet touched is there? But remembering a throwaway comment from 6 month ago about that shower gel that reminds her of her Gran will win you more points than you know!

But it doesn't have to be big. The little things mean just as much - if not more because you can do these things every single day.

Walking past your significant others favourite bakery and picking up that shortbread biscuit she loves on the way home from work - just because. Does it drive your partner mad when you always leave your socks in the living room? Make a real effort to pick them up and put them in the hamper.

Seeing that they have had a tough day at work and even though it's their turn to cook, throwing dinner together (or at least phoning for her favourite pizza) whilst running her a bath. Has she been going on about seeing the new Ryan Gosling film even though you hate him? Leave tickets for that evenings show by the side of the bed for her to discover when she wakes up.

Get creative - does she love a certain TV show? Take her on a "themed" weekend away to the film sets (Game of Thrones is mainly filmed in Ireland for example) or on a smaller scale set up a "theme night" at home. If she loves "50 first dates" turn your living room into Hawaii with some paper leis, scented candles and BBQ style dinner whilst you watch the movie together.

If you have a skill or talent - utilise it. Sure not all men can play an instrument or compose poetry - but again get thinking. I once made a guy a website when we couldn't be together for valentines day. There was a playlist of songs embedded, a short video from me and silly things like picture from our favourite childhood movies. It was goofy and cheesy but I had a lot of fun making it and he loved it.

Ultimately it comes down to the amount of thought and effort put in. The most romantic things often cost very little apart from some serious brainstorming.

Oh and please let me not forget the obvious. Words. Honestly spoken words go further than anything else. Tell her thank you. All the time, for every little thing that you appreciate. Compliment her beauty. Genuinely tell her what you love and appreciate about her. Mix it up.

"I really admire the way you handled that really difficult customer at work. I know it's not always easy to keep your cool but you did and I'm really impressed"

"This dinner is delicious - I love your home cooking, thank you so much sweetie"

"You look stunning in that dress, it fits you beautifully"

"You are an amazingly talented musician. I could listen to you play guitar for hours"

Trust me when I say you shouldn't limit romance to valentines day. These little actions will not only make you feel good because you are doing something just for her, but you will start to notice more little things being done for you. Which will then probably increase what you do. Smiles for you, smiles for her, all round fuzzy feelings and the world being just that little bit better. Sure it seems like "effort" at first, but before you realise it they will become second nature to you.

And that's what TRUE Romance is.

PS. For real added points
Always always always wish her goodnight and good morning. Kiss her eyelids as she sleepily opens them, text her "Sweet dreams beautiful", call her to wish her a good day at work. Let her know you are the first thing you think about in the morning and last thing before sleep.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

"Night In" Giveaway winner!

First of all we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that took part in our giveaway. We didn't expect to suddenly see thousands of new readers, but to each of you lovely people that has now found us and is following us - we love you!

Seeing every new entry, comment and RT really made us smile and we were texting each other in excitement at each one that came through. We wish we could give you each something for being one of our first readers, but instead hopefully knowing that you will always be one of our special group of "original readers" is something? 

So without further ado we are very pleased the winner is....

Kathleen Hooper

Well done Kathleen!

Please drop us an email on grabaspoon(at) with your details so we can send your prize out to you. 

Once again, thank you to everyone that participated. And please please do stay in touch! We would love to see our little slice of the web grow as organically as possible, and not just through giveaways and promotions. 

If you like one of our posts, or appreciate something we say we would really love you giving us a little tweet or post comment. You have no idea how much they make us smile knowing that we have brought amusement and maybe some wise words to someone's day. 

Or if there is something you dont like and could see us improving, or something you think we should blog about that we dont currently - let us know. You are our readers and we want to make sure you enjoy what we produce. 

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Lots of love,

Owl and Panda xxx

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Electric Cinema (Date spot review)

Electric Cinema
020 7908 9696 
191 Portobello Road
W11 2ED

I first saw this place advertised on "I know a great little place in London"'s Facebook page. I lot of people I mentioned it to knew said they had heard of it many moons ago but then it closed down for quite a while (I think there was a fire). But now it is open again, flourishing and it is absolutely amazing!

Ideally situated on Portabello Road it is a very short walk from Ladbroke Grove tube station, but also not too far from Notting Hill Gate and a variety of other stations.

Top tip: Do not miss the opportunity to walk along the market singing "Portabello Road...Portabello Road. Anything and everything a chap can unload" from Bedknobs and Broomsticks

If you love old school glamour this is the place for you. We arrived, and even though I knew where we were going I was blown away with the beauty. From the old school pick n mix in glass jars to the retro till, to the red velvet curtains everything was glamorous and beautiful.

While we waited for the curtains to open (and there was me worrying about being late) we bought some fresh warm donuts. Now I never thought I'd say this but "Krispy Kremes...move aside! We have a new winner! I wont say much more - just experience the delight for yourself!

I had booked us one of the sofas at the back, but we have already decided that we will be returning at some point to try out the full length beds at the front! It was lovely being able to watch a movie (especially one as long as 'The Hobbit') in the same luxury you would at home. Actually more so....I know my sofa isn't velvet and I certainly don't own a cashmere blanket!

We decided to pass on the bar as it was fairly early and instead I snuck off to the corner shop to bring back some coke and popcorn. This is when we learnt we physically cannot watch a movie in the cinema without popcorn! A bit cheeky but they didn't seem to mind, especially as we had no option to buy popcorn there.

Overall a beautiful date that I was really pleased to have organised. If I had been taken there as a surprise or on a first date I would have been SERIOUSLY impressed.

  • Add a feeling of luxury and specialness to the traditional cinema date
  • None of this "armrest in the ribcage" nonsense when you try and snuggle up to your date
  • Distinct lack of children - almost purely an adults only venue (or at very least well-behaved children!)
  • The donuts!
  • Pricey
  • Distinct lack of slurpy drinks, hotdogs and popcorn
Great date for?
  • Special occasion
  • Impressive first date
  • Cosy couple date

Approximately £30 per person including the donuts, a drink and some sneaky snacks bought from the corner shop.

Romance rating

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The reverse cougar (Dating history tale)

Dating history tales
Sometimes you just need to hear about the sad, wonderful, inspiring and often downright WEIRD dating experiences of others. This series of blog posts will recount a tale from our pasts - purely for your own amusement. Enjoy and feel free to read more here. 

I had been single for about 18 months when my friend Jane's mother invited me on a speed dating-esque type night. She said she'd agreed to help out a friend to run it, we'd get a couple of free drinks and it could be a laugh. Having just recently seen "Yes Man" I thought "Sure why not - you never know"

So we get to this teeny little downstairs bar in London and it seems not much help is actually needed so we settle ourselves down with our drinks. A few women come up to us and all seem to know friends mum, and also look at me a little puzzled.

Then one woman introduces a man (Lets call him Adam) who seemed a bit quiet and asked if we mind if he sat with us "Sure sure, sit down". So we now have a good table conversation going and I suddenly start to note a few phrases being repeated:

"What's your username?"

"Oh! Did you post the XYZ thread?"

I have nothing against forum meet ups but whatever this forum is I am not a part of it so feel kind of out of place. And then comes the cherry on the cake when one woman turns to me and says "So who are you looking for here? Surely not much of an age difference - you must like them really young"

I smile politely, very confused and dart a sideways look at Jane's mum - who is laughing. I confess I have no idea what's going on before having to have it spelt out. This is a meet up for older women and younger men.

Again no problem with that in theory....except I was 22 at the time. This woman has a point, just how young do they think I want a guy? No wonder I was getting weird looks all night! Deciding to make the best of a weird situation I think to myself "at least the pressures off now. I can just have some drinks and a laugh" Well....drinks was the operative word.

Fast forward through 4 hours of dancing, drinking, chatting and more drinking to me, Jane's Mum, her friend and Adam playing drinking games at Jane's Mum's. (Jane had moved out) One by one everyone claims sofa space and passes out and I'm left with Adam. Before I know what's happening we're making out in Jane's bedroom and the only thought I have is "this is the most action this room has ever seen"

(Ohh forgot to mention - Jane's mum is crazy religious type. But by this point all I could think was "heck - she ain't my mum, and she dragged me into this in the first place!") Next morning the "older ladies" can't believe it. They clearly never thought of me as competition and there I was getting it on with one of their prime candidates!

I never spoke to him again, it was purely a bit of a laugh after a few drinks. But most definitely one of my weirdest hook ups ever. How do you get past the thought that he would've probably preferred my mate's mum...

Monday, 21 January 2013

Single On Valentines (need I say more?)

So Valentine's is creeping its way to you. Suddenly, everything is turning red, everything is flavoured with chocolate and you are still single. Panda feels your pain.

All your friends seem to be married, engaged, in a new relationship, having babies, moving in, moving away and just happy in general. And as much as you're happy for them (maybe 80% like Rachel in Friends) there is that small part of you that doesn't want to hear anything about it.

And its all because of Valentines Day. If your friends are anything like mine, they don't care much about it either. But all the same, you don't want to be a part of it- not because you don't enjoy it, but because you're bombarded with images of people who are happy in their relationships whilst you suck the cream out of a Cadbury's Creme Egg waiting for Easter.

I'm not bitter (even though I sound it), I just want some alternatives. So, after a little online research, I have found the following methods to get through the day without any emotional scarring. Who knows, maybe we can enjoy the day without feeling the urge to push a kissing couple into a rose bush.

Stay in bed all day
Not the most feasible tactic, and may cause some unwanted probing from work the next day, but a good way to block out the entire experience... You know what, I've changed my mind. DO NOT DO THIS. It'll probably do more damage than good.

Go Speed Dating
Hmmm... a possible choice, as long as you don't think it seems desperate. Could be a lot of fun, especially if you go with another single friend. Don't get your hopes up on finding love though. Apparently, according to the rest of the world, all the good men are in relationships already...

Movie with a mate
Owl has said that over the pond in the grand US of A, Valentine's Day is more of a day of appreciation, and is not limited to just couples. With this in mind, a friend and I have made a pact- this year we are going to spend Valentines Day together. We're going to watch The Dark Knight Trilogy, eat popcorn and drink cider, thus having no romantic urges and blocking out anything even remotely Valentinesy.

Celebrate Yourself
Not to sound all hippy on y'all, but the biggest love of your life should be yourself. So, instead of spending the entire day in bed, pamper yourself. Make plans to get your hair done, or a lovely massage or pedicure. Enjoy your favourite meal, go for a walk in your favourite place. Find what makes you happy and DO IT. Appreciate yourself more. If you had a boyfriend, you might have considered getting him a nice gift, like an aftershave or something. Use that money and spend it on yourself. After all, you're worth it, aren't you?

Being single on Valentine's Day doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. There is always a guy out there willing to take you out. The real question is, would you prefer to spend your time with him or by yourself. At the moment, with the guys I know, my choice is definitely me. I'm a lot more fun, and I love me loads.

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