London, I’m learning, isn’t any one thing. Other cities I’ve lived in have been mostly one thing. Berlin: dark artsy Neverland. Sheffield: grungy student paradise. Melbourne: affluent hipster metropolis.Continue reading
The train from Marseille to Avignon was a pleasant 90 minutes. The south of France looks like Spain, and reminds me of family holidays when I was a kid – walking along in flip flops and baggy shirts down to the beachfront restaurants for an evening meal, the night air warm, crickets chirping in the bushes.
I met Seth at the station. I’d been running late, and when I found him outside he was leaning on a railing, shaven-headed, grinning at me through a pair of dark sunglasses.
“Hello mate,” he said, when I came in for a hug.
It’s always nice to be back.Continue reading
I’m on a train rocketing across the south of France, and from the window I can see the ocean and hills and a rusty abandoned car with lime green paint. Daniel Bedingfield has come on shuffle somehow, and it’s making me feel like a wide-eyed young girl on a 1990’s road trip.Continue reading
I’m growing fond of Streatham Hill. It’s a buzzword for ‘shit’ around much of London, which I quite like. I ask somebody at a party where they live and they say ‘Pimlico’ or ‘Balham’ or whatever, and I say ‘nice’, and then they ask me where I live and I say Streatham and they say ‘oo’—the same sort of ‘oo’ noise people make when a footballer on the telly trips up and his shin bones burst through his calves.Continue reading
I’m bald, I’m bruised and I’m swollen; I look like a kiwi left behind in a lunchbox in the ruins of Chernobyl.Continue reading
I look like a toad. I look like a sack of flour that’s been hung from a butcher’s hook and thumped until it burst. I look like an unkempt ballbag, recoiling in the sunlight for the first time after a long winter bundled up inside a pair of long johns.Continue reading
It’s been five and a half months in Strasbourg. This blows my mind. Half a year here, and still life feels like a waiting room; waiting for my French to improve, waiting for solid friendships to form, waiting for our money to stop fluctuating quite so madly.Continue reading
Strasbourg is quilted with snow. We were supposed to go hiking in the mountains yesterday, and we got up early to dress ourselves in layer upon layer of old ski gear. When we got to the train station, however, we found our train cancelled due to some trees having collapsed onto the tracks.Continue reading
France’s version of the Job Centre is called Pôle Emploi. It’s pronounced ‘poll ump-LAH’, or something like that. It seems to change every time a French person says it. It certainly changes every time I say it.Continue reading
What’s the most elegant place you’ve ever had a panic attack?Continue reading