Monthly Archives: March 2012

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do… too…

Just a few days after I announced to a select few (anyone who would listen) that I was planning to write a blog, a friend who writes a successful blog and is about to have her first novel published gave me some advice.

Her: ‘You have to be prepared to write every week.’
Me: ‘I can do that.’
Her: ‘What’s it about?’
Me: ‘Me. Trying to move to New York and be a writer.’
Her: ‘Great! Good subject, I think there’s already a blog like that on Marie Claire.’
Me: ‘Brilliant!’

But inside I was crushed. Now, I’m well aware that there are very few original ideas in the world and pretty much everything’s been done before. I’m also aware that there are a million women wanting to move to New York, and probably half a million blogging about it, but how can I possibly compete with an established blogger who reaches thousands of people each week? Another word of advice resounded in my head, know your enemy.

In the name of research, I have spent the last five hours of this gloriously sunny day, stalking the entire back catalogue of this blogging competitor and I have to report that there is no competition. She is just like me. IN MY DREAMS! She is everything I’ve always wanted to be, but was never quite cool enough to be. She already lives in New York, making a living from travel writing and taking photos of bands, cool bands. She is attractive, she is funny, she is younger than me. I try to console myself with some of the cool things I’ve done. At least I’ve got my PADI Open Water. I click on the next blog. So has she. And she did it for free by writing a feature on it. I’ve probably seen more of the States than her thanks to my life-changing roadtrip last year. Nope she’s been to pretty much all the same places, and more. What is worse, much worse, is that I don’t hate her, I can’t… she is self-deprecating and sounds normal. So, I have no choice. I must use her as an inspiration – age aside, I’m sure she was in my shoes once, and often has many of the self loathing thoughts that we all have, even though she is perfect. I will take some advice from one of her blogs entitled ‘Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone’ and find a way to move to New York and stop banging on about it, just do it. Next week I will be setting out my 5 point plan. Genius = 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration from my new idol.

Talking of perspiration, it appears that Spring has well and truly sprung. Aside from the obvious change in the weather, I know this because having spent the winter hibernating and finding the idea of having sex far too much effort for the return, I now want to rip the clothes off any man who crosses my path. It is so bad that I walked past a male colleague the other day who had just been for a lunchtime run and I found myself trying to INHALE his sweat. Something needs to be done about this and soon.
Other reasons I know it is Spring are as follows:

This time last year I was in New York for 2 months studying screenwriting. It was the worst Spring New York had had in years…while London basked in an early summer. I didn’t care though, I was in New York. There’s no guarantee this weather will last in London, but it does make the city so much more enjoyable, so please keep shining, sun, as this may well be my last Spring in London.

So, as dusk approaches I might actually stop stalking and leave the house. In fact, strangely, this exercise has reminded me of how much I have done, and how exciting it is to have a project. So what if someone else has been there, done that…I’m wearing the ‘I ♥ NY’ t-shirt, and, despite looking like a muppet, feeling pretty damn lucky.

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A Soiled Romance

“I can’t keep it in, can’t keep it in…I gotta let it out, gotta let it out” Cat Stevens jeers in my ear. Sometimes the shuffle on my ipod is frighteningly on point. I manage a half smile at this thought which is undoubtedly more of a grimace as the truth is I am desperately trying to clench my bumcheeks together to prevent dropping my guts all over Kensington High Street. Filching that baguette from the work canteen seemed like such a good idea at the time, but the old wheat intolerance has decided to (apologies) bite me in the ass at a most inconvenient time. A Starbucks shines on the horizon like a beacon and I try to make it across the road just as the traffic lights are changing. A man in a white van intentionally speeds up, gesticulates wildly at me, and forces me to jump backwards into a puddle, nearly losing control of my sphincter muscle and my dignity.

Just three days earlier, I was walking – nay striding – down West 4th Street, after having had two strong coffees with a male model friend I met the last time I was in New York. I never drink coffee, what with it being a natural laxative and my having inherited my mother’s constitution, but hey – I was in New York, and the slices of pizza I’d been having nightly had not had any effect so I knew the coffee wouldn’t. Everything is different there. I am different, better. On I strode… strided… glided through the city, until I came to an intersection where I, as I seem wont to do, stepped out into the path of a white van turning the corner. This time though the driver stopped to let me cross, I smiled, crossed, and he drove on. Or so I thought. The next moment said white van driver, was at my shoulder and in a thick New Joysey accent said, “You only get one chance to make a first impression…” reaching for his phone he continued, “Can I take you out for dinner some time?” Boom. Only in New York. Predictably, I faltered, made 110 excuses in 5 seconds, shook hands with him and waved as he shuffled off rejected, back to his van with the door swinging open, in the middle of Broadway surrounded by angry, honking New Yorkers. Clearly I am only better at some things in New York. Remember the Impulse advert from the 80’s, ‘When a man you’ve never met before suddenly gives you flowers…’? I used to believe that this was simply what happened in life, regularly. When I grew up I quickly discovered that it wasn’t and you were more likely to get Tango-ed in the street than be given flowers by a stranger, but nevertheless a small part of me had faith that it would happen one day, and then it practically did, and then I spectacularly blew it. I usually would have wallowed in my closed-heartedness but for once I didn’t, it proved there is still hope, I was elated.  Oh and, for the record, I didn’t shit myself.

Fortunately I don’t shit myself on Kenny High Street either, no thanks to Starbucks which is just closing as I arrive and won’t let me in. I eventually find my relief in the mega store which is Whole Foods, situated in the old Barkers Arcade. As much as I love Whole Foods and its very New York philosophy, I find myself idly wishing it was still Barkers, that classic department store where Biba made its name. The truth is I am torn between two of the greatest cities on earth. So, what should I do? My heart is telling me to make the move, and that is the one thing I have learnt to follow over the years. Sure, I foolishly let a potential husband from Hoboken slip through my fingers last week, but there must be another way? Answers on a Statue of Liberty postcard please…