Diary – The Boyfriends visit. Part 1
I can’t go to New York so New York comes to me
My first day back in the coffee shop for over 2 weeks, although for some reason the regular shop has started closing at 3pm so I’m at Eat in Brindley Place. The Boyfriend went back to New York on Tuesday after 2 lovely weeks.
He is right about UK coffee; it’s not good, just tolerable. He tried coffee at Eat and said it worse than bad. I should have listened but I didn’t want chai as it gets cold and goes down too fast so no good when I want to write for an hour or so. Never again. Will take my new favourite coffee shops tip and ask for an Americano in future, not filter. I always thought it was pretentious to ask for anything other than ‘coffee’ but better some pomposity than cold, disgusting coffee. Shame Urban Coffee isn’t just a few minutes less for me to walk to them every day although they are closed at the weekend anyway. BF liked it there too although I think he was being a little generous about the coffee. I still like it.
Back to the matter in hand, our longed for 2 weeks were glorious. Perfect in fact. All went to plan. Well all went to plan in that we were flexible with our time. In fact he’s so laid back already but I had to put it in my head the priority is to spend quality time together; we don’t have to be anywhere, do anything except when there were pre-booked trains to catch or when we were being day trippers. On those occasions I gave him plenty of warning of timings and he was always ready before I was, offering to help if there was the faintest hint of ill-disguised panic in me. We generally just communicate really well and appreciated the time we had – as twee as that sounds!
One of my favourite things about him when we first started dating is that he is a great listener; he takes everything in but then he would, he’s a journalistic writer.
I now know this isn’t always the case. He forgets what I’ve told him just 5 minutes earlier. Typical of this is when I suggest the itinerary for the next hour as we are getting ready for the day. He’ll say ‘OK’ but by the time we have got outside, he doesn’t know what’s on the agenda. Or he’ll forget my friend’s names.
I now realise this is no big deal and I do spout a lot of names! What matters is he remembers the big stuff; out of the blue he brings up his concern that I’m not as close to my family as I was before I went to New York. It’s because he dislikes the fact that he seems to have drifted from his siblings in recent years too. He remembered my Embassy date and was worried when I hadn’t contacted him immediately afterwards. And he knows my birthday along with those of his other family and friends.
Most importantly he knows what I taught him; the nick name for Chelsea FC – the Nancy boys!
He’s sensitive to my needs and knows when I’d like a hug but is also aware that I have managed to look after myself all these years and don’t need to be wrapped up in cotton wool. Not sure if he’d know how to do that anyway so I guess we make a good match.
He absolutely could not care less if I pay or he pays and he doesn’t feel the least bit uncomfortable when I want to treat him. It didn’t matter to him if we stayed in a youth hostel or the 4 star hotel I chose for his birthday treat of 3 days in London when he first arrived.
Had we been in New York for his birthday, I would have done the same thing and offered him the choice of Rhode Island or Atlantic City or anywhere he wanted to go for the weekend. Albeit if it was the former he would have had to drive.
Sometime after I told him this in London, he reluctantly confessed his family have a property in Rhode Island!! He doesn’t like going there as it’s full of married couples, a fact I didn’t notice when I went I visited some years back.
Still, I hope we make it there one day.
The big revelations for him were that everyone isn’t indeed depressed in England, he didn’t want to chat to English hooligans after all (after I pointed them out on our first day in Birmingham’s Broad Street when we had failed to go to the ‘wrong’ side of London to spot them) and that English food is not that bad at all. It is in fact very good. A fact that I have been repeatedly telling him for 8 months as food is the only thing I missed whilst in New York. By food of course I really mean Marks and Spencer food so I am delighted he loved M&S and I managed to feed a few ready meals to the man who would never eat ready meals. Not as stand alone packs but we mixed and matched items on the days we didn’t want to cook or eat out. On the last night at home before going back to a London hotel for the Heathrow farewell, we had Italian. He didn’t think M&S could pull of his Italian but they did. Of course, M&S lasagne is what started it all of for me back in 1985 so it was a fitting last meal.
After all my teasing that I was looking forward to his cooking, he only cooked once on the first night at home. He made his chicken dish with spaghetti and it was the finest chicken I have ever tasted. Next day it was my turn to make Sunday roast lunch which just about took his breath away. Not the cooking, even though it included my customary leek and cauliflower bake that is guaranteed to make adults and children who don’t normally enjoy cauliflower, ask for seconds, but the fact that I actually could cook.
I had made a version of this for Thanksgiving dinner in Jersey last year but other than that I hadn’t made it in years. I could have done a better job with the vegetables if I was in my own kitchen then too.
I had already made him Irish breakfast that morning and we went on to enjoy a few cooked breakfasts after that.
He is an excellent dishwasher and never needed to be asked!
Part 2 to follow.
August 27th 2009