Noting all those little extras that so often go unnoticed in the day to day chaos of the average city life...
When I wrote those words, I had no idea I was predicting my future. How very prescient of me. I would start offering my psychic services, but New York already has quite enough of those, and at an average price of around $10 I'm not sure it would really be worth my while.
The signs everywhere, advertising the presence of psychics, used to be one of those little extras that I noticed. They stood out to me when I first arrived, and not just because they tend towards the neon end of design. Because they were different, they were foreign. I was foreign.
I'm still foreign - kind of. I have the accent but so do lots of people - nobody in Manhattan is actually from here, of course. I am in many ways just another New Yorker, rushing around all day and half the night, sharpening my elbows so I can make it here. Yup, nothing too special about me.
And because of that fact, because this city is crammed to bursting point with millions of other young people with a certain amount of brains, nous, talent and connections, I am no longer funny. Don't get me wrong - this isn't a pity post. I still make my husband laugh, and my friends, and my parents (yes, that's right, my mum thinks I'm cool). But when it comes to writing I've had a chronic case of writer's block, caused (I believe) by the 'I'm so great!' attitude that America generally, and this city more specifically, makes you cultivate. It's hard to spend all day working to convince people you're awesome then write about how you're really not, and all my best material comes from self-denigration. In London, where sarcasm rules, I'm funny (if I do say so myself). In New York, where they like to think sarcasm rules, I'm not (because, whisper it, it doesn't. NYCers are rank amateurs compared to Londonites).
So - I could just stop writing this blog, and for a couple of months there, it seemed like I would - had already, in fact. I stopped writing, and the blog stopped being written (wouldn't it be great if it did it by itself?!). However, I'm kind of vain, and I think I have something to say, and I think you all should hear it, and looking back over the last two and a half years, I appreciate the memories and the happiness and the nostalgia Condiments gives me. I also appreciate the improvement it's forced upon my writing, and I'd definitely like some more of that. Always good to get better at something you enjoy. And I enjoy this.
So, Condiments stays, but with a change of direction. Part one of the makeover takes place this Friday. Look forward to catching up then.
Happy New Year!