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.