Tag Archives: ice-cream

It’s that time of year…

It’s a Sunday. I’ve just come out of a Sainsbury’s Local with a Taste the Difference pizza (and I have Carte D’Or ice-cream in a Tesco bag.) My phone rings. It’s a London number but I don’t recognise it.

‘Hello?’

‘Hey you.’ (It’s Crazy Yank. I think.)

‘Is that you?’

‘Yeah.’

‘For some reason my phone doesn’t seem to recognise your number. Maybe because I changed my phone recently…’

‘Or maybe because you deleted it.’

‘No,’ I say, laughing. ‘I didn’t. Weird.’

‘So what you doing? Are you travelling?’

‘No I’m just on my way to my boyfriend’s.’

‘Oh, you’re still with him?’

‘Yes.’

‘Oh man. How long has it been now? Three years?’

‘No, just a year.’

‘Well do you know why I’m calling?’

‘I have an idea.’

‘Do you know what time of year it is?’

‘Thanksgiving?’

‘Yeah, are you gonna come? I’m hiring out a place this year, Sas. Going to be about 60 people.’

‘Wow, that’s great. Well I’ll definitely try to come.’

‘Yeah, just let me know you know in a week or so as I’m working on my numbers. He can come too like he did last year if you like. Your guy. Just let me know.’

‘Thanks. Well it sounds like a lot of fun.’

‘How are you all? How’s Wonder Boy getting on at uni?’

‘Well, I haven’t heard from him much. He hasn’t come home once so I guess he’s having a great time.’

‘Is he coming back for Thanksgiving though?’

‘Yeah, he’ll be home for that.’

‘That’s good.’

‘Yeah, and work is so busy. Work’s really great.’

‘That’s great news.’

‘How’s your work going?’

‘Yeah, good thanks. Still writing for magazines, newspapers and doing shifts. Got some more travel writing jobs lined up too.’

‘Good for you. What happened to that New England trip?’

‘Oh that’s been postponed to spring but should be going hopefully.’

‘Great. OK you, well, I hope you’ll be able to come.’

‘Yes, thanks so much for inviting me.’

‘No problem. Speak soon.’

‘Yep, bye.’

‘Bye, bye.’

So my third Thanksgiving party, which is set to be the biggest and perhaps even the best to date, is in T-minus three days. There’s nothing left to say except: God Bless Crazy Yank.

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A-Z lodger survival guide: B is for Bonding

As a lodger, you must resist trying to speed up the bonding process (although in hindsight, biscuits could’ve really helped with this family as you will find out in a later survival guide post.) Anyway, bonding will happen at its own, natural pace.

Crazy Yank initiated bonding pronto. The man speaks, bleeds and urinates bonding with whoever he meets. The way in which he reached out to bond with me varied from his ‘Please act like this is your home,’ to his ‘I told you it would be fun living here,’ which he said repeatedly for the first six months whether I showed any signs of enjoyment or not. But with Wonder Boy and Slish, things weren’t so straightforward. And I’m not really talking about the usual monosyllabic, moronic teenage syndrome when I tried to talk to them. Often,
in the beginning, they look terrified when I was around. (Again, maybe it was the short hair?) I got used to saying goodbye and not really hearing one back. Conversation was as exhausting as walking in sand with dumbbells tied
to my feet.

And then? There was some sort of turning point. It was initially very subtle; they looked less scared of me and would initiate conversation with me a bit. Started saying goodbye. That sort of thing. I guess they got used to seeing Sandy Shaw – I mean, me – hanging around their pad.* Soon it was Wonder Boy’s sixteenth birthday. His main present was a XBox 360. This eased the bonding process. Wonder Boy and Slish actually wanted me to play on the XBox with them.

But what really sticks out in my head is at about the same time as that, the four of us went out for dinner for the first time together. This one balmy summer’s evening, we went to Nandos on the Chiswick High Road. And then we went for ice-cream at Foubert’s. And then we came home and, because no-one wanted to go to bed quite yet, we played Scrabble, mocking each other’s attempt to outdo each other, until about 1am. That, for me, was the real turning point in our relationship as a more comfortable, natural household. And I think we all
knew it.

*(Months later, Slish said she thought I seemed sad in the beginning. Well, I was finding it hard to deal with a break-up, London and the new job at the time… and of course was also saying goodbye to people who weren’t saying goodbye back.)

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