drinking


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All photos: Merv K.

For the first of the summer Bank Holidays, I was determined to get away from London. Turns out warm countries always sell out first, so it was going to be Copenhagen, where I found at £100 flight.

I don’t know much about Scandi countries — they all blend together in my mind as countries with very tall blonde people. We watched the first seasons of The Bridge and The Killing to get a crash course in Swedish and Danish cultural differences. One is that the Danes are known for their laid-back attitude.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing, or my lack thereof. I’ve had loads of entries that I should have written, from my trips in the last year: Dublin/Galway, Menorca, Manchester, Verona/Venice and my discovered favorite city in the world, Seville. I was consumed with a frustrating job hunt in London that I just felt so out of keeping up with this blog that as the days went on, it just became easier to neglect documenting the good things that were happening in my life.

You know what a big part of it was? The pictures. I hate taking pictures! I know that’s not something one should admit in this world of Instagram and photo sharing, but I hate taking pictures. I don’t want to think about how to compose a photo. I just want to look at things with my own eyes and not have to think about uploading photos when I don’t have a smart phone. Even if I sorely regret not taking photos later.

As I get older, I will probably forget the things I’ve seen as I won’t have any photographic reference to trigger those memories. It’s already happening now. Ann will tell me things we used to do in high school and I can’t even recall them. It’s like moments from my life fifteen years ago cease to exist to me now. I probably should have taken more photos as a teenager.

So now that I’m re-committed to this blog, I start with Writer’s Tears. At a whisky bar in Dublin, I was totally overwhelmed with choice. Once I saw this bottle, I had to have a taste. I don’t remember what it tastes like, to be honest, but doesn’t it make a good photo for a blog by a former journalist? The end.

 

Had me my first Dutch punch at VOC and it was one of the most delicious cocktails I’ve had in a while.

Speakeasy of genever, here’s my latest bit of reporting on the Dutch spirit, for Toque.

 

A few weeks ago I helped serve at a dinner in conjunction with the Gwangju Design Biennale. For the starter, diners were presented with syringes filled with olive oil, vinegar and mascarpone

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How do you know it’s spring in London?

Pimm’s Cup served everywhere…

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I normally don’t do posts dedicated to one place but I haven’t had a meal like this.

Last night I went to #meateasy, a burger squat by Goldsmiths College in New Cross and had a burger that can only be described as that burger. The onion rings only completed that experience. The one that triggers an involuntary memory and transported me back to my childhood…

But hang on, I never even liked hamburgers as a child, let alone onion rings. Until about the age of 15, I only ate chicken nuggets and if that wasn’t on the menu, then it was a plain burger. If a condiment touched it (because condiments are weird and creepy) I would not eat it, even if my tortured mom offered to wipe it off. And I had zero interest in onions until the age of about 20. To this day I can’t order a McDonald’s burger because the thought of pickles touching yellow mustard and ketchup gives me the heebie jeebies.

No, that wasn’t it. Maybe what it triggered was a meta-memory I had as a child trying really hard to like burgers since they seemed like everyone’s favorite food but as much as I tried, just couldn’t get on the meatwagon. Maybe what I felt was the Inception of burger fantasies, the burger pill in the Matrix or I dunno, maybe I just have a faulty memory that makes things up as it goes along.

Or it could have been that I ate a really satisfying burger.

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Aghhh!!! It’s so hard to concentrate on writing when one’s face and body is itchy all the time. Ever since I arrived in London I’m like one giant itch ball. As I write this, my chin, upper lip, bridge of my nose, hairline and a space right between my back and right butt cheek need a scratch. About a month ago I went running and exploded in hives and had to hide in my room for 24 hours. My skin has not been happy for a few weeks now. Whenever I get into these itching episodes, I think about this New Yorker article. I know all about the torture of an itch.

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