Thursday, 3 July 2008

Step away from the crumpets

I am still in London. It is still great. Even fifteen fragrant minutes in someone's armpit on the Central Line has not dimmed my enthusiasm. I was in Liverpool Street this morning and still remembered how to weave and snarl with the best of them. Phew, Belgium has not made me too nice.

A number of observations on my erstwhile (you don't get to say that enough, I find) home town:

The manufacturers of cheap chocolate, ever attentive to my novelty seeking ADHD personality, have continued to innovate. Creme egg bars, people? Mint Chocolate Oranges? Gourmet KitKats? Pushing the boundaries, Nestle. Thinking outside the box. I approve. I am planning to purchase, photograph and comparative taste test a large selection on my return to Belgium, so that is something for you all to look forward to, no? Any recommendations, UK dwellers?

Dancing in front of fellow Londoners was a bit like dancing in front of my oldest and most mocking friends and sneery siblings (my siblings are NOT sneery, but if I had a slightly older brother I can just imagine how he would stand and laugh at me). Embarassing and stilted. I feel like I can get away with enthusiastic and inept grooving in Belgium but here I felt like everyone KNEW I can't dance and never dance and was thinking 'What. are. you. doing. Stop it, you look ridiculous.' Yes, I am paranoid and over-intellectualising, but I was definitely inhibited. Admittedly Jack Johnson is not the danciest of music either. He was very lovely though; impeccably punctual, tidy and polite, with his towels neatly aligned just as Violet had promised me. Rock n roll! I am mocking, but it was great. The sun shone and he was excellent, and sang a lovely song to his wife about her mobile phone falling in the loo. We've all been there haven't we.

I am having to fight my desire to basically purchase all of London, put it in a million carrier bags and bring it back on the yurostar. Not just the obviously lovely things like Marks and Spencer yoghurt or Fresh Pink Jasmine scent or Benetint. Everything. Falafels, socks, Hula Hoops, mangoes, stationery, twelve pound boxes of cereal from Selfridges (yes, really. I had to give the CFO cardiac massage when he saw that), pan scourers. I feel like, if I can just cram enough tat into my bag, I will be bringing a bit of London back with me, and maybe I can nurture it and make it grow into my very own micro London to keep in the back yard. 'Look!' I can say to guests, 'There is the tiny prostitute offering blowjobs to commuters in Elder Street! And there is tiny Boris being kicked in the head by a gang of tiny hoodies! And there is the tiny number 52 bus mounting the pavement to crush a group of Japanese tourists!'. It could rival Mini-Europe but with more grit. Yes, I miss London (though Boris is making me miss it less). Anyway, the CFO has predictably made it his mission not to let this happen and is man marking me whenever I make a break for a shop in order to stand and look disapproving and ask me WHY I think I need a robotic cockroach. He has also filled my bag with rocks.

The London corridor of ennui is filled with fresh faced summer interns in new suits. They are exhaustingly attractive and filled with enthusiasm and think the law is like Damages and Glenn Close is going to glide round a corner with that spookily immobile face and give them a riverfront penthouse. I am resisting the urge to whisper bad things in their ears. They would not believe me anyway. Instead I am marvelling at the ready availability of Tetleys tea bags and REAL MILK and drinking tea until my bladder explodes.

And on that delightful image I shall leave you my chicks.

15 comments:

girl with the mask said...

Jaywalker- I will tell you this now. Those Creme Egg bars? A total let down. It is best you are forewarned.

x

Jaywalker said...

Girl - You know, I kind of suspected as much. It's all about the egg shape, isn't it. Anything new to rival my friend and yours, the Galacy Caramel?

Jaywalker said...

That's Galaxy, obv. English keyboard, messing with my typing.

Léonie said...

How about a Pret Love Bar? Sample one for me!

I was sorry to hear about your shoes in the last post. I am glaring at people's feet with a flinty-eyed expression just to check.

(Love Bar Love Bar)

Jaywalker said...

Oh, Leonie, thank you darling for your kind words. I am soldiering on thanks to the support of my friends on the internets.

And now I will go find one of these Love Bars of which you speak. Here's hoping the chocolate chunks are present and correct.

Léonie said...

I await your Love Bar verdict with heady anticipation...

Marianne said...

Crumpets! New cheap confectionary! Boots and its wonderful array of eye drops and earplugs! Smelly commuters! Liverpool Street (my home station)! Sooo jealous, enjoy my friend, enjoy. And yes please to the cake drop-off!

Oh, and prostitutes on Elder Street?! Surely not, I used to live on Folgate Street and didn't notice any funny business?

x M

Jaywalker said...

Goodness Marianne, we were neighbours (Spital Square!). We probably even saw each other at A Gold or Story Deli or fought over fairy cakes at the Upmarket or something... Let me know if I can bring you anything.

And yes, absolutely, to the prostitutes. My colleague who lived there came into work one morning and announced "my wife witnessed three blow jobs last night".

zoe said...

Cheddar cheese .... oh my. The reason that I try not to shop in London is because I would go mental. I allow myself to do that in only one shop: M&S. Their clothes actually fit me unlike the rest of London's shops.

girl with the mask said...

A fellow Galaxy Caramel lover- I've always liked you you know.

I think Cadbury should just sell the Creme Egg filling. Mmmmm. That would be good.

I suppose it is worth me mentioning that they've put the blue smarties back in. That was an exciting day!

zoe said...

The blue smarties were taken out?? They were the best sweets on earth to give to some brat on his way home to his parents and then give them the hell that he'd given me.

Jaywalker said...

Z - I admired several pairs of trousers in 'short' length today and thought of you.

Girl - blue smarties back eh? I will test them out on Fingers on my return.. Belgian orange smarties do not taste of orange. This is very wrong.

Leonie - I have the love bar, but I am saving it up for my comparative taste test. It does look rather appealing..

Anxious said...

When I was "exiled" in France, I took a large poster of the tube map over with me and stuck it on the wall to remind me of my London.

Of course, in my day, M&S still existed in France, so I could get proper tea bags, bacon, marmite, crumpets, peanut butter, etc...

Marianne said...

Hang on, just to get crazy stalker ish- Spital Square? There's only one building in Spital sq isn't there? We lived in a flat on the corner of spit sq, entrance on folgate. Spooky!

Speaking of which did you ever go into Dennis Severs' house? I couldn't bring myself to, I was too scared as our bedroom was right next to his in the attic!

Jaywalker said...

Marianne
Yes, we lived in that poor lonely building on Spital Square next to the car park. Crazy we were so close! No, I never went there either. Too scared of breaking something....
Anx,
Yes, there was even an M&S in Rouen when I lived there. Damn them for closing, damn them damn them. I have returned to Belgium with a bag full of yoghurt and falafels, because I am a fool.