‘They haven’t heard from you in ages’
‘It’s just plain lazy’
‘Pull your finger out and get typing’
The chorus of voices has been swimming around my head for over a fortnight. Do I tell them about next door’s apple tree - the one I stared at from the studio window, through the seasons, through the years - getting brutally hacked down to a stump just before Christmas? Or what about the Boxing Day episode on Stoke Newington Road, where the whole neighbourhood came out to watch a morbidly obese corpse get removed from a second story window? There was also the afternoon in Temple: we were scowled at by men dressed as pirates as we sat in the private garden. How about sneaking in to a 16th Century masonic hall only to get escorted out by nervous security, not before we had a good snoop about? The list goes on and on and oh you must be envious of my eventful, interesting life. Dying to hear more, no doubt. Well I hate to disappoint but I’m not going into any of it. Nope. I’ve just been subjected to one of those ‘update from paradise / news from our holidays’ group emails.
It’s one thing to have the sunsets in Goa & cocktails in Tulum pop up on your Instagram feed. There’s just about enough of ‘me in the 90s’ and ‘check out my London night’ posts to balance them out. And it’s okay to fall asleep in a big, empty house knowing one of the flatmates is out in LA for a month whilst the other has just jetted off to Ibiza, or receive the more subtle ‘I am away on annual leave and won’t be responding’ auto reply. You can just pretend everyone’s caring for aged relatives out in the sticks or that you’re so successful you can afford to live in a Victorian terrace alone.
It doesn’t really matter that we had to cancel last year’s trip to Lanzarote cause of lack of funds, or that we missed out on the big group trip to Mexico for NYE. C’est la vie. There’s always next year! Cause this one finds plenty of ways to stay entertained and stimulated within the M25. Like going down to Crystal Palace on a beautiful, crisp winter’s day. I’d never been there before and wow, crammed enough action in to that afternoon to rival any trip abroad (ahem).
But you know what, the optimism required to a) keep oneself distracted or b) turn a blind eye, takes a hell of a lot of effort. When your vitamin d levels have plummeted, your feet are soggy and cold, when you’re waking up to another week without the faintest idea how the last one rolled by so quick, when you’re watching the unopened post pile up on the kitchen table, trust me, the disgruntlement can sneak up and bite. It’s like a little flea at the ankles. Once that fucker takes a nip, the itch is guaranteed to spread.
I think I knew what the email would be like. It landed last night and completely out of character, I waited until this evening to read. Talk about rub it in your face and I quote ‘we are trapped under a sapphire sky with an emerald line of jungle on a golden beach with a brilliant diamond in sparkling all day on a green amethyst sea ..’ and it goes on bla bla bla sunshine, smiles, amazing food until finally wrapping things up with a ‘Don’t expect to be back in touch until our return in Bangkok, just know we are well and enjoying ourselves immensely!’.
WELL GOOD FOR YOU. I’M THRILLED. KEEP UP THE STELLAR WORK.
You know fair dues, checking in, letting us know you’re still alive, but you could leave it at that. A simple, ‘Hello, alles ist gut’ would suffice. Spare me the details, I didn’t ask! There’s a reason y’all haven’t heard from me since you went away. Guess what, I don’t want to know! Cause of course you’re having the time of your lives. It’s all we’ll be hearing about for the next 12 months. But let’s save the sharing for when we’re all back under the same grey skies, ‘im feiern und feue’ (in fete and fire).
Love & thanks. ;)