I found Running by Jessie Ware to listen to while writing this. I really like it. Mary Epworth’s Black Doe is something else that I seem to be listening to a lot at the moment. Eating in Duck Soup, drinking in Mark’s Bar, being on Broadway Market on Saturdays, all also good.
I was given five Egyptian pound coins as change from a £10 note yesterday. I suppose I should be annoyed (particularly as I didn’t notice at the time and pocketed them in good faith), but I quite like them with their pharaoh head on one side and Arabic writing on the other. I read an article in the FT last weekend proposing that cash should be consigned to the history books. Apparently cash gives rise to far more crime than other forms of payment, and allows ruination of economies at home and abroad through printing or counterfeiting. I quite like bank notes though, especially the waterproof ones in surfing countries. Although it’s always annoying when, in Manhattan, you realise the fat bank roll in your wallet is $29 in one dollar bills.
I moved to London in April 2010 from the rolling green hills of Yorkshire. Harrogate is my home town, however my parents now live on a farm (not a working farm, although my father has taken to feeding the pheasants that come into his garden) in a village nearby. But I have also been lucky enough to live in Manhattan (new find this year; Five Leaves in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – old find rediscovered and happily as good as ever; Employees Only, West Village – go to both of them). I am sure I will live abroad again, but for now, London is the best place to be for my career and is providing a stimulating and challenging work environment. And I love London too. But it’s less fun to go to galleries, parks, museums and historic buildings on your own than with somebody else. And I am yet to attend the theatre, ballet or opera on my own. Plus you might have a phone on which Google Maps works. Oh, mine works on my Blackberry, but only when I at least have a vague sense of where I am going. Of course, when the transport system decides to randomly deposit me at a stop along the journey that has only previously been a marker of progress, it fails. But walking is the best way to see the city. Just not in circles.
I enjoyed the time my brother and I stayed in a hostel in Budapest. We shared a room with a young Australian couple. They were cool. We drank together and found some fairly grimy but fun club-come-park on the Danube playing grunge in the open air. It turns out Teen Spirit does go well with paper cups of Dreher and fairground rides. After three days we returned from the shower block one morning in suit and tie. The Australians were baffled when they found out we were moving out to a five star in the centre of town. “But why did you stay here if you can afford to stay there?” “Why not?”
Oh, and I am hopeless at being succinct.