What a difference a year makes. This time last year, I just arrived in NY, fresh from a month-long break and full of hope and promise about life in NY. This time this year, no month-long break but here I am, back in London, full of hope and promise about life in London.
Not going into details about why I decided to move back, but I think overall London offers a more sustainable pace long-term. And please, I offer no guarantees on where I will be this time next year.
So to follow up on a couple of things...
1) Eligible men in London - Hmmm, this one hasn't quite worked out. Eligible Bachelor 1 turns out to be a commitment-phobe possibly also with a fear of letting people get close. Eligible Bachelor 2 has taken a leave of absence and will only be back in London in August. And Eligible Bachelor 3, we are probably better off as friends. So if you know of any other eligible men in London, I scrub up well, am able to make fairly interesting/funny conversation and can tell my martinis from my whiskeys. Do let me know!
2) I now have a flatmate in London. He's French, Jewish and most definitely a ladies' man. At the time of writing, he was last seen getting ready to go "hunting" and that was about 48 hours ago. He will definitely be an entertaining flatmate...
3) In the past year away, I actually grew closer to a couple of my friends in London than when I was actually in London. Talk about absence makes the heart grow fonder. Anyway, now that I am back, I have managed to catch up with most of my friends. Some of them have moved on, getting married or settling into very long-term relationships. And whilst they remain interesting people and good friends, they're ermm...kinda...less fun to hang out with. So I am on the look-out for new friends in London too. If you know of any interesting and fun singles in London, do let me know!
4) Boy have I missed the English capacity to take the piss! Being back here made me appreciate the English self-deprecating sense of humour more than ever.
5) The restaurant scene around Bayswater has improved like 300-fold! And that is significant given that they already had Gold Mine* when I left for NY. There is now a great little Italian takeaway joint, Arancina, which has fresh pastas and pizzas. There is Bodean's, a great American-styled ribs joint. There's Cafe Anglais, Rowley Leigh's latest venture after Kensington Place. And there is Hereford Road, which has been touted as the St John of the West. Hardly surprising given the chef (Tom Pemberton) used to work there and the menu is strikingly similar. But I have a lot more confidence in the place as it occupies a great space in a very good location; I think it will mature into a very fine restaurant which I will be proud to call 'my local'.
And last one for today, in a NY-LON comparison, London flats seem to be poorly heated or poorly built for heat conduction. I'm freezing!
* In my opinion, the best Chinese restaurant in London.