Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend...

“Ingratitude is treason to mankind.” James Thomson

Sunday 19 September 2010

Still alive.

So: hi! I neglected to mention that I’d be spending a month in the States with no wifi. And being that I am quite lazy, I need the wifi to do writing-type blog-related stuff. I need the laptop aspect of the laptop, not just the mechanism itself. You know, you can call it a laptop, but sitting in a small guest room at a small table to write next to photos of my mother's dog and my dead grandmother isn’t really stroking my 21st century creative self-delusion. Don’t fence me in, man.

There was an unfortunate spate of ill health which also made it impractical to think about anything internet-related. First, I was the carer, then the care-ee. I am still finding forgotten plates of dry toast in idle corners of the house.

Unfortunately, this trip was somewhat focused on and oriented around eating a great deal of delicious food, off which the edge was quite effectively taken by the unrelenting and unwelcome attacks of biliousness which have persisted for the last week.

I found it hard to enjoy New York. Something has happened to me since I was a fresh-faced youngster wandering the mean streets seeking excitement and intrigue. I have aged. I have both hardened and softened. I struggled to sleep in the hotel for fear of bedbugs and roaches. I was horrified by the omnipresence of urine. New York is like a giant urinal. Every pavement, doorway, steaming kerbside, cool shadow, scaffolded façade, grassy garden – it all stinks of piss. I felt offended to my core, particularly in my queasy hypersensitive state.

Anyway, that's not the whole story, but that's all there is for now. There's good stuff too, but I've sat at the table with my Grandma for long enough today.

The lovely man returned to London yesterday on account of needing to earn a crust, and I am here. It’s beautiful here, and I am enjoying my mother’s company, but I miss him. And I’m still worried about the bedbugs we may have brought home from our hotel.


  1. Glad to have you back! Worry not about bedbugs, you can sort out any offending articles when you get home.

    Hope you're feeling better soon ;-)

    Ali x

  2. New York is an acquired taste. You should give it another shot. You should. Let's go together, we can reek of piss together. Or whatever. I disliked it the first couple times I went. This time I drank a lot and spent an obscene amount of money, and I found it quite lovely. Next time come to SF. I will get you from the airport and spirit you away to the suburbs.

  3. Thanks folks!

    Ali, such a sweet and comforting thought. I am frantically researching if there is a way to clean my stuff - just what I brought to NYC - before I bring it in the house. Most of my clothes have had the hot dryer treatment and everything else is in plastic bags. Uuuurgh.

    BTB - In Jedi-like fashion I have studied and followed your drink-and-money method of enjoying NYC but was possibly hampered by a sick tum. I think the real problem is that Grandma has to learn how to move on. I misspent much of my youth in the East Village, but that city isn't there anymore. (Um, there's this rumour that in New York? stuff changes? My recent visits continue to confirm that it is no longer the 80s.)

    SF on the other hand is - to me - a tabula utterly rasa (and seems super-loveable), so I'm happy to give it a go! I'll text you when my flight lands. You're free now, right?

  4. Ah yes, the heat causes the odors of NYC to become more pungent and pronounced. Perhaps you should only come to NYC in the cold weather when such smells are dampened down a bit.

  5. My stomach really didn't do me any favours either. I was already primed for disgust, so it was inevitable really. x

  6. I would love to do NYC with your sometime... I'll show you my NYC, if you will show me yours?

    Bestest Wishes, as always!