Sunday, 5 July 2009

Visitor's Guide to London Wallowing

Sometimes you need to go somewhere that really suits your mood (well I do), and since there aren't many dark, damp caves in London, I headed for the scene of many past miseries, Liverpool Street Station. Liverpool Street is full of piled up Burger King wrappers, ugly shop signage and murderous one legged pigeons. It's my number one destination for misery. I sat on the concourse for a while, enjoying the filth and the bad temper and the smell of pasties. Then I walked up Bishopsgate, all stained and busy and full of old chewing gum, and across Spitalfields market to Brick Lane, and enjoyed the stalls selling single shoes and Happy Meal toys, the scent of tramp wee and sweat and Starbucks and rotting fruit and the varied tapestry of crazy people weaving up and down. I got stuck behind the bin lorry for a while, and that was particularly cathartically disgusting. After that, I sat down in a dusty doorway on Cheshire Street next to an abandoned can of Red Stripe and had a good cry while girls with severe haircuts and oversized white framed sunglasses wandered vaguely past.

In comforting London fashion everyone ignored me so when I got sick of sitting on the doorstep, I wandered off, still crying, down Sclater Street where the bike thieves hang out, then back onto Commercial Street and along Bishopsgate, where I walked along the raised row of shops by the station muttering to myself like a crazy and back into the station. I paid 30p to splash some water in my face in the Ladies, then promply wasted it by crying again on the Central Line platform watching the filthy mice scuttle around the tracks, and keeping going on the train all the way to Notting Hill Gate. Then I had to stop because it's nice round here and the pastel coloured stucco houses are not conducive to snotty wailing.

I'm ok really. Well all except my right shin where I fell into a train and I have a lump the size of an ostrich egg, and my left foot which I seem to be trying to flay down to the bone just by picking and worrying at it. I'm hopeful tomorrow will be a Regent's Park, Red Lion Street, St Christopher's Place kind of day, albeit spent in the Mothership of Tedium in the City.

Where's your favourite place to wallow, London or otherwise?


screamish said...

oh god. What's happenned??? I need to go hunting thru your last posts. oh god god god.

??? hope you're/everybody close to you is ok...

Judi said...

A dark movie theater, a sad movie. Even if it's not a sad movie- nothing like bawling your way through "Night at the Museum 2."

Pochyemu said...

I'm lucky in that I have the talent of being able to wallow anywhere. Here? Wallow. There? Wallow. Everywhere? Wallow wallow wallow.

@eloh said...

Not often, but the shower, where no one can hear or see.

Are you in London?

Persephone said...

One of few things (perhaps the only thing) I'm going to miss about younger daughter's school is the park just below it, a canopy of maples with a large rock in the centre. Very good for uninhibited weeping. However, the reason for weeping usually involved events at said school, so maybe I won't miss it so much.
In Victoria, BC, where I used to live, you could wail down by the ocean and the sound of the waves could drown you out. I am reaching the age, however, when I can weep pretty well anywhere and no one will notice. It's a strange kind of perk...

The Spicers said...

I find the beach at the end of my street is good for wallowing and/or clearing the head. After a long walk out of sight of other people of course...
Hope you're OK.

Margarita @ said...

The shower is my fave place to wallow... I hope you're okay.

GingerB said...

I wallow best in my car. Maybe this is an American thing but I believe people can't see into my car, largely because I can't see into other people's cars, or maybe because I don't look. Either way if I want to not just seep tears which happen any old place but to actually make sounds, I go for the car, every time. It lacks the whole water splash on face clean up option, but you can put your sunglasses on and hit the drive through at Starbucks to get time and caffiene to reover some.

Be good to yourself, Emma.

wv: ranch

L. said...

I like to wallow face down on the bed like a teenage girl. I hope you feel better, though.

screamish said...

oh...maybe you're just wallowing after all. phew.

good wallowing background, though.

Laura Jane said...

Alarmed at reports of wallowing in misery. Is it Things? Brother? Or opportunity without being beholden, in the presence of or answerable any others currently who believe they too have a right to be similarly miserable?

Are you actually in London, or just pining nostalgically and forlornly in the current mood?

Answers with similar eloquence please.

Failing that ..... tissue? Hope things improve x

Laura Jane said...

Oh, and I'm quite good at wallowing in the car, or in bed, or the shower

Lucy Fishwife said...

Are you OK? If you're likely to be anywhere south of Hammersmith, you know (more or less) where I am... I usually wallow on the sofa. With a hangover. Invariably on a Sunday afternoon. Tea is provided at intervals by Mr Fishwife, who does that eye-rolling "Tchuh, women" thing in the process.

Otherwise, get yourself up to Marylebone High street and take your mind off Life by wandering round V V Rouleaux, fondling every width and colour of velvet ribbon in the entire universe. XX

redfox said...

Face down on bed like a teenage girl is a perennial favorite here as well. I am trying to remember other places I have wept wallowingly lately, and the only example I remember vividly is the day I found out I hadn't gotten a certain extremely desirable academic post, when I sat at my home computer (where I'd received the email informing me) and let tears drool down my face for hours. So I guess the answer there is "in the spot where misery strikes me."

Joan said...

oh my god. Will no-one scoop up this girl in their arms and rock her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...?

Cities are shitty places. Dear Jaywalker, please go somewhere green and calming with a good friend and get some soothing advice. You're in turmoil and you need to look after yourself properly. Yes, I am old enough to be your mother.

Unknown said...

Regents Park definitely for a wallowing walk with my dog (and a packet of 10 silk cut ultra if I'm really wallowing! Shh, don't TELL anyone!) Then to St christopher's place for cheese and wine and chocolate fondant at Carluccios (large glass or 2 of wine) sat outside with my dog.....
Misery loves company...

If you are in London, I'll buy you a glass of me! (I'm living by Regents Park at the mo, and I'll do anything to avoid working or cleaning or anything useful!!)

connika said...

Hi Emma - I can remember feeling very, very sad when I lived in Glasgow for a few years. The darkness, the rain, the sound of windscreen wipers, the orange street lights that never seemed to go off - I remember coming out of a paino recital and not wanting to go home, wanting instead to sit in the gutter forever. I did go home though and although it took a while, looking back, things began to change from that time - I realized I could no longer live where I was living and the decision was made that night to move on.

Jessica said...

Edinburgh. I use Edinburgh as a pretty place that I mostly ignore while huddled under the covers of my hotel/hostel room bed with a book. It's perfect because it's often cold and rainy outside, which kind of defeats the prettiness of the place.

One time however it was sunny, and I sat in the park and ate some pre-packed Sainsbury's cherries, and felt carefree and happy. But that was once.

I'm hoping to give Dublin a tryout soon though. I hear it too is pretty, and rainy.

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