It has come to my attention that I’ve been neglecting my blog slightly over the festive period. Never mind the fact that the person (*cough*Mum*cough*) pointing that out for me was actually in the same room receiving live tales of my time in New York and leafing through my very numerous collection of photos.
I cracked and decided to go home for Christmas. When I first went out to New York in March I told myself it would be a whole year, and I wouldn’t go home to visit. Like a test of stamina. And then, after a few months, I realised that purposefully putting myself through a needless test of ‘staying power’ that I probably wouldn’t enjoy was a stupid idea.
Most of the Christmassy stuff in New York happens around Christmas, and not actually on it, anyway. Because even the New Yorkers decide to start being nice to each other on Christmas and chill out and spend time with their friends or family so it wasn’t like I missed much.
Before I left we did stereotypical New York things like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (big), Central Park in the snow (cold), and ice skating (which I watched, because I flat-out refuse to do it. And particularly not to pay through the nose for the privilege of clinging to a wall and screaming in front of small children who are better than me). The weeks leading up to Christmas involved lots of lights and ice and stuff. Interestingly, New York seems to think that some of its holiday stuff is more famous than it actually is. For example the ‘world famous Lord and Taylor window displays’. Lord and Taylor is a department store that is not world famous. Their window displays are window displays that I had never heard of until I literally walked past them one day. This kind of thing persists across the town – it’s kind of like me insisting that I’m a world-famous singer. I am. As long as the shower counts as ‘the world’. In my analogy New York City is a shower. Somewhere along this train of thought I had a point.
One final, very important point about Christmas in New York. Or America more widely. The music is shit. Destiny’s Child is not acceptable Christmas music. There is no Wizzard. No Slade. No Chris Rea. No ‘Fairytale of New York’. In New York. Honestly, USA. Sort yourselves out.
So, Christmas at home, then. I left on the Friday night before, and came back on the Sunday afterwards. In that week I managed to see not only all of my family, and a few of my friends, but also all of my dentists (who are important. This shit isn’t covered by my US health insurance. And they think Brits have bad teeth). I also performed the very important task of napkin-folding for the Christmas table (I was supposed to help with peeling, crossing the sprouts and wrapping sausages in bacon, too, but I slept through all of those). And to top it all off I ate cheese at every opportunity. Honestly, if I was that efficient in my everyday life in England, I would be way more socially proficient, employed in a silver-service restaurant and obese than I am now.
I came back, had one and a half days at work, and then it was New Years’s, over which time I have been playing host to the fiance. Well, some of the time. For a few days we were cat sitting for friends in Brooklyn. Much to the cat’s displeasure. He doesn’t like me. And all I’ve ever been is desperate for his affection.
Most recently we have been enjoying Winter Storm Hercules. I use the term ‘enjoying’ especially loosely. He’s been hanging around, and we’ve all been shivering. Please enjoy this photo of a giant pile of snow, with me included for scale. This is in a car park.