Sunday, September 11, 2005

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, goodbye 

This is the end, beautiful friends... Smacked Face is a Londoner, not an Aucklander - there's no point blogging a dead horse. It's time to saddle up the old nag one last time and ride off into the sunset.

Before I go though, one last favour - I'm homeless and destitute here in Auckland. I'll be calling upon the good people at the bFM Accommodation Guide come Monday, but to anyone with links down under, put the word out and find us a nice pad, will you? Ta.

Taking Reilly's advice in the comments box below, I may one day return, in mostly MP3 format, to this site: smackedarse.blogspot.com. But that depends on finding a flat, getting broadband and, erm, a computer. Etc. Etc. For now, the final curtain.

I'd like to thank Reilly, Mses Cam and Spiller, Quentishtown, 'Cough-Up' Fleming, Davey D, Junior Cow, Scotty, Jake, Tahlee and all the maniacs at the Whitehorse, DC, Chuck Pettifogspot, MikeyRay, Nick Speakers, Ms Mursal, New York City Boy and Girl, Ms Green, the Scottish Dobber, the Welshman, the Frenchman, Pretty Nick, Ms Smith, Uncle Gay and Northern Monkeyboy, the Pigeonholders, Eli B, Tom, Asad and Ravi Reverberations, Charlene Ramsay, Tokyo James, Jimmysupreme, Si Grigg, James Headphone Sex, Papa Cool and the Glaswegians, Twitch and Wilkes at Optimo, the Friends With Benefits, the Random Friendsters, all the sidebar bloggers, anyone else who's made an appearance on these pages I've inadvertently left out, my party people: the Booze, Disco, Etc crew, the Buy None Get One Free crew, the Southsidesoul-diers... But most of all, the venerable Ms G, without whom none of this would have been possible - or at least, not half as much fun.

See you in the next life then. xxx

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Making the transition 

So here I am in sunny, small-town Nelson - and believe me, it's sunny. I fell asleep in the sunshine yesterday afternoon and woke up with a tan. And it's still practically winter...

Taking some time out with the mother module has proved to be a good decision - it's given me time to recover from the sickness and the jetlag, and to acclimatise to being back in the motherland, without feeling like I should be out catching up with people and hitting the bars and cafes of Auckland, because I'm not quite ready to step back into the social whirl just yet. (And, because Mum's British, I can whinge to my heart's content about my homesickness for dear old London town without incurring the wrath of angry patriots.)

The New York stopover was also a wise move. As well as finally realising my long-held desire to see the Big Apple, it's also been invaluable in easing the London-Auckland transition. I'll explain in a minute, but first, allow me to wax lyrical about New York, New York, because it was mind-blowing.

If you're going to stay in New York, you could do a lot worse than the heart of the West Village, in the very street where Sarah Jessica Parker's character was supposed to have resided in the banal tripe Sex And The City. On every corner there's a bar or cafe - or in our case, a Marc Jacobs store - and the food is simply incredible. Hopefully New York City Boy and Girl will fill me in on all the names of the places we ate and drank (Jeollado does sashimi so fresh it's a wonder it's not still flapping, that I do recall), but wow, what a gourmet's paradise. Brunching, lunching, dining and late-night drinking -I'm amazed they didn't just pump me full of hydrogen and send me home blimp-style. (And let's not even mention how I lost my heart to Dean & Deluca...)

But yes, NYC rocks, especially when you've got local guidance. It's incredible how much you can experience of the real culture when you're not trying to do the tourist thing, but are just happy to wander about and go with the flow. With no agenda, I was free to spend two heavenly hours sitting and watching the fabulous roller disco in Central Park, as the DJ kicked out such classics as MFSB's Love Is The Message, Jimmy 'Bo' Horne's Spank and Hamilton Bohannon's Let's Start The Dance (my calling is obviously as a roller disco DJ - Rollerjen must ride again!). Big thanks to NYC Girl for the Lower East Side vintage clothes shopping tips, and how happy am I that I got to see CBGB before it's lost for ever.

Anyway, my point about my Big Apple stopover was that it really highlighted what London lacks. Don't get me wrong, I love London to bits and always will, but when faced with New York's genuine friendliness, openness and helpfulness, you realise what a harsh, cold, repressed city London can be. And as I sat in the blazing sunshine enjoying a super-relaxed and delicious New York brunch before heading to the airport, I realised this eye-opener was exactly what I needed to keep the blues at bay.

That feeling was only reinforced yesterday, as I walked into 'town' (ahem) here in Nelson to do the necessary bureaucratic shit involved in relocating - renewing my driver's licence, reviving my bank account, getting a NZ mobile number... I did it all in half an hour, and that included the walk to and from Mum's place.

And when the homesickness kicks in and I wail for the London I left behind, I just have to think about things like this, and realise it'll all be OK.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Transition, Underground Resistance

Thursday, September 01, 2005


(Continuing on a theme...) See, I really wanted to go out on a bang, with - for once - a series of intelligently written, acerbic social satires, in order to leave something vaguely worthy for posterity. But I'm rapidly turning into a bag of emotional jelly, and can only compare myself to Montgomery Burns in his 'radioactive alien' mode ("I bring you... love!") - and, like Mr Burns' flying monkeys, all thoughts of intelligent commentary have gone out the window (and landed with a 'thunk').

Because I'm leaving my mates. And when a quick, casual meal down the road for a couple of pals suddenly turns into an impromptu dinner party for a dozen or more, and your local opens up again for one final round and singalong, then you realise what a truly wonderful bunch they are.

Hmmm. Getting sentimental. Time for bed.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Going Back To My Roots, Richie Havens [MP3]

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?