Category Archives: Sex/Love

Everybody’s Talking At Me

‘I am woman, hear me roar!’ In the top ten of cringe-worthy feminist phrases, for me this comes in at number one. I mean, seriously. Why does a woman have to roar in order to be heard? Why can’t we just be heard when we speak? I am a pretty ballsy confident woman but the trouble is, often I can’t be heard when I speak, even if I try to roar.

Being freelance, I have been the new girl on countless occasions. Trust me, it never gets easier. Many years ago, on my first day at a new company I wrote on a document, in 6-point font, ‘I am so small and insignificant, why can’t I speak to people, everything I say is stupid, they are going to find out I’m rubbish and sack me.’ Truly. Two weeks later I was told what a good job I was doing and had amazing new friends who are still friends today. Insecure? moi?

I was reminded of the agony of starting a new job when I spent my first week in Glasgow prior to starting a six month project there. Although it is the same company I have been working at for the last 10 months, it is a new office with new people and my social incompetence reared its ugly head. What’s worse is that they are a group of lovely people and having done the job for 12 years now, there really is no need for career anxiety…However, too often I found myself asking asinine questions, coming out with inappropriate, or worse unfunny, banter, laughing like a loony person at bad jokes or just being strangely quiet and unable to join in with the small talk. I think that is my basic problem – I don’t even know what small talk is. I can’t talk about the weather, or shopping or what you’re doing this weekend – I mean I can but it just feels so fake and insincere that I’d rather not, I’d rather talk about things that matter I guess, but that just makes me sound like a wanker. God, it’s tough to be me.

Here’s a cautionary tale. When meeting a new fella’s family and friends for the first time, do not do the following:

  • Do not scream ‘Fucking go, fucking Mo!’ into his mother’s ear, within 3 minutes of meeting her.
  • Do not tell his sister, who’s a wine expert, that all white wine is essentially ‘bitch diesel’.
  • Do not loudly label his best friend as ‘Officially Annoying’.
  • Do not beat the same sister later that night at arm-wrestling, twice, on both arms.

These may seem like basic obvious rules, and yet I was unable to abide by them and broke them in spectacular fashion. Hey, I guess it was more fun than just having a chat.

Having felt like the outsider all my life, as most of us do, and having never been able to banter and gossip like some people, I have pretty much accepted that this is just the way things are. Fortunately, usually after a couple of weeks, I have ridden out this storm of crazy insecurity and settled into a rhythm of semi-normality with people – or at least they’ve found my social fuck-ups endearing.

So, I really hope everybody keeps talking at me, even though I may not hear a word they’re saying and they are only echoes in my mind, I’ll get to where the sun keeps shining. I love that song, both heart-breaking and beautiful at the same time.

We sometimes need a reminder that we don’t need to roar, we just need to keep talking and we’ll get there eventually.

 

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Sticks and Stones

My nemesis, when I was 9, was also called Janey. One day she whispered something in my ear as we were leaving the lunchroom, and for the first time I felt a stabbing pain of injustice. I can no longer remember what she said (it was probably something like ‘you smell of poo’) but I remember thinking it wasn’t true but it could be perceived to be true and I didn’t know what to do to stop her from telling everyone else and being laughed at. I saw red. I leapt out of my seat and jumped on her, we pulled each other’s hair for approximately 5 seconds until we were separated and promptly sent to the headmistress. I was disciplined, she wasn’t. The injustice continued. Luckily this behaviour didn’t escalate too badly and I managed to stay out of her way for the next two years – but I was shocked by my reaction and my world had changed forever.

At senior school it happened again but the second time I knew better than to snap and I kept my head down, shutting out the taunts and staying in my dormitory at all times except for lessons. I read a lot of books during that time and learnt to play the Twin Peaks theme tune on the piano. I was lonely but it wasn’t so bad. Then one day it came to a head when the girl in question stole my brand new cowboy boots from my locker and took them to the common room. She was making everyone laugh about how stupid I was for wanting to be like an American. As I tried to snatch them back the red mist rose again and I pounced. This time the scuffle was broken up by her squirting peppermint mouth spray into my eyes, temporarily blinding me and making me run to the nurse. Ok, I know that stuff isn’t lethal and I may have exaggerated my injuries slightly, but it ended the fight, and strangely, she left me alone from then on. I was very lucky that my bullying experience was restricted to a few incidents, I think I would have had to be a much stronger person to withstand it for longer. There is a place that you have to go to in your head, a cocoon that you build around yourself and I think even today I am still chipping away to get rid of it completely.

The other day I was walking with a friend in Soho and a young, well dressed man and his girlfriend barged between us. The conversation went like this:

Me: (surprised) Ooooh

Him: (copying me, taunting) Oooh, Oooh, listen to her, Oooh Oooh Oooh Oooh.

Me: (unwisely) Ok, shut up you freak.

Him: (shouting) Yeah right, you wanna lose some weight love, look at you with your big fat belly wobbling under your dress it’s disgusting and look at your big fat ass you are so fucking fat, yuck put that belly away you’re disgusting. Hahaha…

Me: YOU F**KING C**T!

You’d think, being a writer, I might have come up with something a bit more inspired and articulate than that and I’m truly ashamed that I didn’t, but the red mist returned. His reaction to my stupid comment was so disproportionate, so hurtful, so personal, that I was shaking with anger yet powerless to do anything about it. I should mention that I had just spent 3 hours in the hair salon, was wearing a new dress which I thought was adorable and was on my way to a date. In a split second, that ‘man’ made me hate my body again, he had zoned in on my most sensitive insecurity and broadcast it to the whole street.

Anyway, I made it to the date that night and after a couple of glasses of wine I decided to tell him what had happened. He was sympathetic, ‘You’re not fat! What was he talking about?’ I didn’t believe him. Later that night he said, ‘You’ve got a gorgeous figure.’ I still didn’t believe him. What part of my brain’s twisted wiring has decided that I can believe what a complete stranger shouts at me aggressively in the street, but I can’t believe what this nice man who wants to keep dating me says?

Despite now being a strong, confident woman, I’m not sure I am that different from the 9 year old girl who first realised that people could be mean for no reason, and I was powerless to stop them. Contrary to the nursery rhyme, words can hurt, but this incident has made me realise that I only got hurt because I allowed myself to. That ‘man’ was probably filled with his own demons and self hatred and was projecting them back onto me. And he no doubt has a tiny willy too.

Therefore I have decided to interpret his words in this context, making them much less powerful and hurtful. So what if I’m a bit overweight? It’s just evidence of all the good times I’ve had and will continue to have. I’m sure I’m much healthier, both physically and spiritually, than he’ll ever be.

The truth is, sticks and stones probably won’t break your bones and words will only hurt you if you let them, it’s just a shame it’s not such a good rhyme.

Broken Home, Not Broken Family

The best thing my parents ever did (apart from have me, of course) was split up. I don’t remember much about the 7 years before my dad had an affair with a family friend, but I remember how our house felt – despite being a safe, comfortable family home, there was an underlying sense of unease that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

It was my mother’s second marriage and she had sworn never to marry again. She had married far too young the first time round and had two kids, my sisters, by the time she was 21. That marriage was mostly unhappy and marred by affairs, so when she finally found a way out and started to have the career she always dreamed of, the last thing she wanted to do was marry again and have another kid at 40. But she fell in love with my father and had me, so you can imagine her despair when she realised she’d been betrayed again. We had a tough few years – there were attempts at reconciliation and I do remember screaming rows and long nights of crying, but by the time I hit puberty, their separation was the status quo. I would see my father maybe once a month as he moved to a different town, but I had much more important things to think about, like schoolwork and boys.

I’m aware that this is a fairly typical tale of a kid from a broken home, but it really is only half the story. The remarkable part is that I never once felt unloved, or like it was my fault. My mother was never cruel about my father in front of me (God knows how she managed that) and I actually felt more at ease in my home now that the strange feeling of unease, which I believe was a symptom of their incompatibility, had lifted. I also had a beacon of support in my sister – or rather half-sister, if we’re being fussy. She invested an unbelievable amount of time and energy making sure I was okay and not adversely affected by what was happening. It was only years later that I realised she was giving me all of this love and attention at a time when her own relationship with the father of her first child was breaking down and she was struggling to get by as a single parent herself.

Now, 28 years later, I am surrounded by the most incredible, inspiring and mixed up family. I am close to my father who, after many years of it being ‘on and off’, is still with the woman he left my mother for, who I now call a friend. My sister is in a good relationship following two bad ones, which were not all bad since they produced two very brilliant daughters, to whom I hope I can repay a fraction of the support and love that their mother gave to me. My eldest sister has three gorgeous daughters, just got a PhD and is working hard at her marriage – and my mother is a towering matriarch of inspiration, even at 5 foot 3 and a half. She unsurprisingly never married again, but she lives for her three daughters and five granddaughters (yes, we are essentially a family of women) while still tearing around to social engagements aged 75 at a pace I can hardly keep up with.

I look at my parents now and can only see them as individuals. I can’t imagine them together as they are such different types of people. I am so thankful then that, whatever the catalyst, they realised this early on and didn’t waste time trying to hold onto something which was no longer there.

Families are complicated, but I know that most people’s lives don’t turn out the way they expected them to. Nobody I know sets out to make mistakes or bad decisions or to hurt other people. In order to live free of bitterness and resentment, we must learn to progress to understanding and forgiveness, to accept what has happened, learn from it and move on.

This may sound like therapy speak and sure, I’ve had some therapy and my life hasn’t all been plain-sailing, but the same goes for a lot of people I know who come from ‘stable’ homes, and I would argue that the love and affection in my family would rival anyone else’s. Therefore I’m grateful for my wonderfully complicated, not ‘broken’, family and I wouldn’t change them for the world.

 

Suspicious Minds

What I’m about to say is going to make me sound positively loopy but it’s about time I admitted it, I have some serious trust issues.

I’m not about to delve deep into my psyche and try to pinpoint that one event which made me so wary and distrustful, but I always assumed that as I got older, as I became more secure and happy in myself, I would learn to trust people and be able to believe what they said….sadly the opposite seems to be true and believe it or not, nowadays I’m nipping at Woody Allen’s heels for the title of ‘neuroticism’s top dog’. There are few people I trust. Most of my family and some of my friends but it’s taken me nearly 20 years to get there. The trouble is I don’t believe a word anybody says, ever. I read copious amounts of subtext into everything and always assume the worst. Admitting this makes me wonder how I can get through the day if I am constantly second guessing every statement, trying to extract motive and cut through the perceived crap which in all likelihood doesn’t exist.

When my boss says to me, ‘We think you’re really good and we’d like you to stay on.’ do I hear that? No, what I hear is, ‘We can’t find anyone good to do the job right now so would you mind covering until we do?’

I once had a boyfriend who asked me to marry him every other week. I naturally thought he was joking and always laughed it off, but what if he wasn’t, what if I broke a little bit more of his heart every fortnight?

The latest manifestation of my inability to trust came on Saturday morning when my date for the evening rang me up to arrange where to meet. After some small talk he asked, ‘Shall I come up your way?’ It took me a while to recover from my childish sniggering but then I thought about it and decided the only reason he would be offering to go out in my neighbourhood was because it would be easier to get back to mine so he could literally ‘come up my way’. I couldn’t have been more wrong…he was a gent and I was a bitch, I was the one spouting bullshit statements laden with subtext. I was the one who wasn’t being straight up. Until the 4th margarita when truth bombs started exploding all over the table – but that’s a story for another time.

This date reminded me that although I pride myself on my honesty, it only stretches so far. I am, for the most part, too scared to tell the truth, of saying how I really feel. If you say how you feel it just opens you to the possibility of pain and rejection, and the possibility of submitting someone else to pain and rejection and I’d rather not go there. If I don’t always tell the truth for these reasons, and I believe in honesty, then how can I expect anyone else to? It’s much safer to avoid reality and live a shallow surface existence. The trouble is I am scared that by avoiding deep pain, you forfeit deep joy.

Luckily I have noticed a small shift of late, which gives me hope. With all this public therapy I’ve been giving myself (and submitting you lot to) I am more willing to face reality, to be brutally, gut-wrenchingly honest with myself, and with others.  So I hope there is progress being made and the next time someone tells me they like me I won’t think it’s only because they want something from me, but I might think it’s because they actually like me. Just because. And if I like them, or if I don’t, I’ll just bloody tell them, just because. No subtext, no drama, just trust. There can’t be a much better motive than that.

Boys Boys Boys

“Boys and girls in the summertime love,
In the summertime love on the beach tonight
Say hey say me say you say what?
Everybody’s gotta stop, I say stop, don’t stop
I say you say me gotta get in the groove!”

I’ve been wondering whether I should announce that I remember the entire rap from Sabrina’s classic 1988 song, ‘Boys, Boys, Boys’ on my internet dating profile? You want to stand out from the rest of the crowd right? This is the minefield I have entered into this week…and it’s not pretty…but more of that later. In 1988 I was 11 years old. I was about to go to senior school and I had just started to think about boys. I was lucky then, that there was an anthem that summer which expressed how I was feeling, even though I didn’t understand what that feeling was, and I memorised every word. The realisation which has struck me fairly recently is that I have been chasing boys (they have occasionally chased me) for 24 long years. Now it might be time to find a man.

The trouble, of course, is my plan to go to New York. I am not really in a position to commit to anyone if I’m about to bugger off and I also have so little spare time, that I can’t imagine when I would fit a ‘man’ friend in. But on the other hand, I can hardly put my life, and possibly my future, on hold in the hope that a miracle happens and I do find a way to get to the best city on earth – where it is apparently even harder to meet men. I haven’t tried internet dating before so I guess I should give it whirl, if nothing else it might be fun to go on a few dates. I’ve never admitted this, but in the back of my mind, I am always aware of the fact that a psychic told my mother a million years ago that I would marry an American man. I just want to make it clear that this IS NOT the reason I want to move to New York as I am surprisingly contented with myself without a man in my life, but anyway that phantom thought is always hovering around my cerebellum. I’ve had enough of it so am going to see what London has to offer.

Last Saturday night I allowed myself to have one last hurrah with a boy. To clarify, my definition of ‘boy’ is never inappropriate and has more to do with attitude than age, this one was about 30. I was in paradise and as the breeze blew across the steamy dancefloor I spotted a tall, dark stranger. No, that’s not right. I was actually in Paradise (by way of Kensal Green) and I was so drunk and sweaty that I stumbled onto this boy’s toes and elbowed him in the ribs (he was about 5’5”), but he did have nice dimples, and tattoos. We started chatting, or rather shouting, over the heavy soul music. Then the seduction dance began, lots of fumbling and groping, and finally some filthy snogging. It was so romantic

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I wrote a poem about it. After about half an hour, I grew a conscience about my friends and told him I had to leave. He asked if he could take me out to dinner, I put my number in his phone, and shouted, “My name’s Jane, by the way!” his reply, “I know, you told me. What’s mine?” Blank. I don’t think I’ll be hearing from him any time soon.

Clearly I need to stop drunkenly meeting boys in bars, and start soberly meeting men in coffee shops – how interminably dull. In the last week, since joining the internet dating community, I have learnt 3 things;

  1. Most ‘single’ men out there are called Paul, don’t ask me why.
  2. Many men think it’s ok to take their profile picture in the toilet. It’s not.
  3. Being stinking rich is often listed as what they like most about themselves. I’d hate to know what they dislike most about themselves.

I have also learnt that internet dating is a full time job – like I didn’t already have two of those! First you have to review your matches, respond to initial interest and then think of witty banter as you get to know random strangers who you most likely have nothing in common with. And then start all over again. The other night I had that moment any internet dater dreads. When reviewing my matches I came across someone that I interviewed once. If memory serves he got the job, but he wasn’t very good and his contract wasn’t renewed…ouch. Hang on, if I can see him that means he can see me, think it might be time to start exercising the ‘block’ button. All this in the first week – I can’t imagine what’s to come.

Anyway, I do have a date with one of them next week, we exchanged so many messages this week I thought he might be trying to make me fall in love with him before meeting and discovering that he’s actually 82. But he finally asked me out. He is not called Paul, he’s not unattractive (when did that become an acceptable description?) and I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed him, so watch this space. I may or may not report it here.

 

Happily Ever After?

My first proper boyfriend dumped me a few weeks before my 18th birthday party. I was heartbroken and thought very seriously about cancelling the party, locking myself in my room and watching Running On Empty on repeat, fantasising that if River Phoenix hadn’t so tragically died he would definitely have come to my rescue and we’d have lived happily ever after.

I’m trying to remember what my ‘happily ever after’ looked like when I was 18. I’m sure it was much simpler than my life has actually been, and I’m sure I didn’t expect to have quite as much fun – or heartache – along the way, but there is something missing from my happily ever after. A relationship and children.

At 35 and single, I realistically have 5 years to make that youthful presumption a reality.

I always admire women who know for sure whether or not they want children. Recently I heard a story about a woman who decided with her partner, when they were 24, that they never wanted to have children. She got sterilised. They are now in their 60’s, still together, blissfully happy and don’t have any regrets about their decision. I also know women for whom having children has been the focus of their entire life and they have been unable to conceive. Although they get on with their lives it must be hard not to feel that something is missing. We don’t always get what we want and there are not always happy endings.

With the opportunities afforded to women nowadays, many of us forget to think about starting a family until it’s too late. After a certain age it seems there are two tribes of women in this world – the ones with children and the ones without. Of course they overlap and are still friends but they will never truly understand each other again. Where do men fit into this equation? They don’t have a time limit on when they can choose to have children and consequently many men I know don’t want to think about having children until their mid-forties – but of course they have to because we do, even though science has made it very likely that my generation will live till they are 100, women’s bodies have not caught up with this evolutionary miracle. We have (very recently!) come up with ways to make the blind see again, but we still cannot find a way for women to have babies later in life easily and safely. If I want to live ‘happily ever after’, I need to make a decision soon before my biological clock strikes twelve.

It is difficult, though not impossible, to make this choice without a partner. Unless you have an overwhelming desire for motherhood, which many women do, it is a real conundrum to know what to do next if you are unsure. Maybe that’s why biology has not yet caught up with us – the arrogance of youth makes you stride into parenthood without wallowing in this mad middle-aged fear of the future.

I’m not gonna go out and find a boyfriend just to get knocked up, that would be mental. But maybe I should open myself to the possibility of falling in love, of settling down, rather than living for the moment.  One of the best reasons I’ve heard for having children came from my sister – because they make you laugh. That’s pretty much all we can wish for.

However, I suspect I’m approaching this all too logically, after all life is full of surprises, and I may not be able to have them anyway, who knows? I have never approached any aspect of my life with a plan so I don’t think I’m about to start now but in order to face what’s next, I need to make peace with the fact that I may never have children.

You’ll be pleased to hear I didn’t cancel my 18th birthday party and when I returned from sobbing in the toilets something wonderful happened. The music stopped and a couple of the boys started to click their fingers and walk towards me. Then I heard;

‘You never close your eyes any more when I kiss your lips…’

I found myself surrounded by 8 rugby playing teenagers singing badly, trying to be like Tom Cruise and just trying to make me laugh, which it did. There is always a smile around the corner.

So, in spite of the fear and anxiety about facing what’s next, I don’t think I’ll cancel my plans for a happily ever after. It might just be a different one to the one I pictured with River *sigh*.

The Long And Complicated Road…To Nothing.

Firstly, I’d like to apologise. It appears that I have taken to bastardising song titles for my blog headings and I simply don’t seem to be able to stop, so if it offends anyone, I am truly sorry.

A few weeks ago I was visiting a very cool friend who lives on a houseboat overlooking Tower Bridge. There were four of us and we had a couple of afternoon beers before starting on that ancient discussion, boys. We were all single and as we talked about our various love lives one thing became clear…every one of us was plagued by a long and complicated nothing.

Most of us have one. It usually starts with a spark or attraction to someone or even stems from a relationship which we feel could really become something special, but for many different reasons it never fulfils that potential, and we are simply left with the bitter taste of disappointment and, essentially, nothing.

My personal long and complicated nothing can be summed up in two sentences. He loved me but I didn’t love him. Several years later I loved him, but he no longer loved me. It’s that simple. However it can often take me an entire bottle of wine to tell this story, and in my mind it is still not over, I have still not achieved ‘closure’ (if I’m going to live in America I need to get with the terminology), I probably never will. The crazy thing is it was never even a relationship, it was a complicated friendship, sure, but within the boundaries of romantic love it was always, basically, nothing.

What distinguishes the long and complicated nothing from an ex-boyfriend or a crush/affair which didn’t work out is almost indefinable, but its root lies in the fact that we believe that this one has a real chance, this one is ‘the one’, our soulmate and if this is what we believe, in our bones, then how can it possibly not work out? The answer is, we were wrong. We must learn to say these words – I was wrong about him. Or even better – game over, I lost. It’s okay, it doesn’t make you a failure – what makes you a failure is not being able to let it go. Not being able to recognise it for what it is. Nothing.

I have a strange habit of remembering lines from films which no-one else remembers, and not remembering the famous lines. In Wayne’s World, when Donna from Twin Peaks is running after Wayne, Garth stops her and says ‘Get over it, go out with somebody else.’ Donna from Twin Peaks (I can never remember her name) quickly takes this on as a mantra, repeats it twice and then grabs the first guy she sees, snogging his face off.  How I wish I could be like Donna from Twin Peaks!

I have, of course, been out with several somebody elses, and I have never become stalkish about my long and complicated nothing because I am too forgetful to obsess but in the dark times my mind always returns to him, wondering why? and what if? and if only… And all the other staple questions which give rise to life’s eternal conundrums and which basically mess up our heads.

I have come to the conclusion though that my long and complicated nothing, which has lasted for nearly FIFTEEN years now, has to stop. It’s not funny any more. It came to a head 18 months ago with several hand written letters and lots of tears and tequila, but I still haven’t let it go. I will always love him but he is a completely different person from the man I knew so well in my youth and what breaks my heart (more to say it, than the simple fact of it) is that I feel he has failed to fulfil the potential I saw in him when we were 21 – and if I believe that then I could never have been happy with him, or made him happy…I don’t know much but I do know that disappointment is not a good basis for a relationship. He is now with a girl who I suspect he will settle down and have children with and who I am sure makes him happy and I wish him well. It gives me hope that there must have been at least some honesty in my feelings for him as the idea of him being happy makes me very happy. But I must accept that this is no longer any of my business.

Now that I have decided to embark on this exciting and unpredictable journey ahead of me, be it New York or an attempt at a writing career (preferably both), the next few years are going to be full of exciting somethings so I need to remove all of the nothings from behind me – starting with the long and complicated ones so I can make room for that wonderful super-something which will inevitably (cock-eyed optimist anyone?) come.

I know that one day I will be able to echo the words that Fraulein Maria so wisely sang:

Nothing comes from nothing,
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth, or childhood
I must have done something good.

 

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…