Three things I learnt in my 3 single years

In my post about what I learnt from a 4 year break up I mentioned that I also learnt ‘lots of other things, about myself, the kind of person I want to be and the kind of person I want to be with.’ This is true and here’s a breakdown of that journey.

Single Year 1: Learning about myself

In my first year of being single, amidst the initial trauma of a break up, the first thing I learnt is that I knew my own mind enough to have made the right decision. While I was stuck with some feelings of guilt, the focus shifted to what I really wanted in life. Where did I want to live? What kind of career did I want? I realized I could be anyone I wanted to be and anywhere in the world. I only had myself to consult. This was liberating but also overwhelming. Should I quit my job and work on yachts in the South of France? Or should I get a job in a cinema on a ski slope and learn to ski? I seriously investigated any kind of life that was nothing like my current.

I concluded that I didn’t want to live in London anymore. I was stagnating there and I wanted an adventure. And that’s how I got plotting to move to New York. I had a goal with a unique focus and it made me feel like my own person again.

What I also noticed about that year, on reflection, was that I sought male attention. I wasn’t used to being alone and made a string of bad dating decisions. I dated more than one person at a time, I hooked up with a friend, I had my first one night stand. All a disaster. I slowly realized that I was affected by the behavior of these men I supposedly didn’t care about. The common advice for singles is ‘make the most of it’ but I would be more selective if I had to do it over again.

Single Year 2: Learning about the kind of person I wanted to be

Freshly arrived in New York for my adventurous new life, I adopted the ‘yes man’ approach. I said yes to everything. I didn’t necessarily stay friends with all those people I met in the early days but sometimes I met other people through them. I also did a lot of solo travel to locations I’d always wanted to go to, like Mexico and girls trips to party places like Ibiza. I even went on a mom daughter cruise around the Caribbean and discovered that my mom was a very cool person and travel buddy.

Girl Time in Ibiza

                                                               Girl Time in Ibiza

Party Boat with Mom

                                                             Party Boat with Mom

While on this busy exploratory streak, I also learnt that I had some work to do on myself. There were things I was fearful of, things I was angry about and things I didn’t know what to feel about. I decided to self examine more. The easiest way to do this (if you live in the US and have health insurance) is to go to a therapist. I don’t say the best way, just the easiest. If you can’t afford a therapist, I would suggest setting a timer at home and talking to yourself as if there is a therapist listening on a chair opposite you. One hour of uninterrupted time with yourself will tell you everything you need to know.

With a little bit of probing I learnt that I could let go of certain emotions and stop fearing certain others. I felt much calmer about life in general, less like I was racing against a clock or competing against a sea of un-named faces. I spent more than a year away from my family that year, fighting against the balance of what was expected of me and what I wanted to give. By the end of that year, there was still lots to learn but I felt like I knew what I was striving for. I’d made enough mistakes to see what needed more work but I stopped self-flagellating.

Single Year 3: Learning about the kind of person I wanted to be with

In my third year, I decided to reset. I was looking for discipline and rigour. I was tired of saying yes to everything, tired of eating out and staying out late. I moved into an apartment by myself, stopped drinking for a month and signed up for a cycling training program with New York Cycling Club, doing long distance rides in a group every Saturday for 10 weeks. I felt fit and strong and focused. I stopped dating (for a bit) and I don’t recall but I apparently told a friend at the time that I wanted to be in a real relationship. So I know that I knew what I wanted.

I spent the Summer with friends going to the beach, sailing, cooking at home. I didn’t realize that in amongst this group of friends was the person I would end up being with. We would talk about everything, including what we were looking for in a person. I recall citing a list of ’10 things I was looking for in a man’ to him on a car journey home.  Things like ‘quietly confident, ambitious, must think he’s won the lottery, good face’. I remember it fleetingly crossing my mind that the American fit the description of most things on my list other than thinking he’d won the lottery (he showed no interest at the time). I think it was this exercise of actively naming what I wanted and recognizing that there was someone in front of me who represented the majority of the criteria that prompted me to explore the option when it became available.

7-10 of The 10 things I look for in a man: Feed me, take me to the beach, take me on a boat (please):



Don’t get me wrong, three single years is a long time to learn all these lessons and if I were to find myself single again, I hope I wouldn’t have to re-learn all of them. I was also 3 years away from 30, trying to make a life in a new country, hating my job and at one point adjusting to the idea of having a very sick father. But we all have things going on all the time and break-ups and being single probably won’t come at a good time. Whatever your circumstances, I guarantee it will be a great time to learn about yourself.


Following the Yellow Brick Road


When I left my homeland seven years ago, I wasn’t running from anything. I hadn’t been stock-piling food for fear that South Africa was ‘going the way Zimbabwe’ had gone. I believed, and still do, that the country has a bright shiny future. I was following my own little dream – to see the world, to meet weird and wonderful creatures and learn clever things. At least I think that was my dream, but it’s all so long ago now, who can really remember? The days and the years speed by, the lessons change and the faces rearrange. All I can be sure that lingers on is the desire to see the world, to discover new places and people out there on the untrodden road.

There is a price to pay for all this newness and adventure. For every fascinating foreign encounter, a heartfelt homely one is forfeited. For every new relationship forged, an existing one is neglected.  All the energy we expend in adjusting, adapting and acclimatizing to new environments is used up and cannot be invested in other things. Emotionally, I live in two countries and service two sets of relationships. It’s important to recognize which of these are transient and which have really got your back, and invest in them accordingly. A big bad city like New York really helps to put things in perspective, you learn quickly that for all the wow factor, people here are self-involved and unlikely to invest in you. When a hurricane hits, that person you thought you had a really solid relationship with, is unlikely to invite you to stay in their guest bedroom on the Upper West Side.

But that ‘s just the flip side of why people come here in the first place, in search of self-sufficiency and self-expression. The anonymity afforded by a place that is not your own can be a convenient guise and fuel for freedom and re-invention. Or it can just be fucking lonely. It all depends on what you’re hoping to discover on your path at that point in time. And herein lies my massive conflict: I want to be invisible but I want to belong, I love my family and my country but I also love living here. In such unclear-cut cases, one has to make a choice –  to abandon one world or to inhabit two simultaneously and dedicate a little more energy to a double life. For me, this is a privilege rather than a sacrifice. It affords me the luxury, of one day, when the going gets too tough, to be able to click my heels and wake up in a place where the sun is shining, the language is colorful and the love is abundant.New York, I adore you, but there’s no place like home.

I’m a Proud Legal Alien

Having morphed into a consummate New Yorker in just six months I wasn’t too sure how I would feel about being reunited with my ex-city. But stepping off the Heathrow Express onto the grey cobbled backstreets of Paddington, I was overwhelmed with a fondness bred out of familiarity. Rush hour was in full swing, with commuters in their Burberry trenchs muttering customary ‘pardon mes’ as they scurried past.  Luckily the men are never in so much of a hurry that they forget their manners – I had one heaving my suitcase up the stairs before I’d had a chance to feign weakness. Ah, gracious home to chivalry and, what’s that smell!? Pie!  The pervasive whiff of Cornish pasties made me mourn all the other great British products (mainly Waitrose, Asos and the BBC) now lacking in my everyday life.

Mmm. The British are So Wise.

For the next few days I re-kindled my love for London. I found myself lured back into the same smelly pubs and Kings Rd clubs crawling with Public School boys that made me want to leave the city in the first place. But this time my experience was brightened by nostalgia.  Here, in the land of my father’s birth, I was understood without any repetition or clarification required. It was liberating to be able to drop a sarcastic witticism without its literal meaning being dissected (typically the response to my brand of humour in New York).

Even McyDees is Witty in Britain

Besides the cultural nuances, there are some distinct differences between London and New York and how their people live. Some of these, I believe are purely a result of the physical environment: Manhattan is small and compact compared to sprawling London, meaning you can cover more ground in a day or even an evening. You can walk to most places or hop in a taxi if you are rushing (you often are, given you can fit more into the day). This means that while New Yorkers are busy, busy, busy, they tend to be left with more energy than Londoners, who are fatigued before they even surface from the tube.

A good illustration of this is a typical Friday night in London versus New York:

In London you emerge exhausted from a long week of work, fall into the nearest pub with your colleagues and have a good old moan over five white wine spritzers before staggering home again at 8pm, most likely to your boyfriend who has just performed a parallel ritual in some other part of town.

In New York you emerge exhausted from a long week of work. But you might workout (its literally survival of the fittest in this town) or if you’re feeling defiant you might pop home for a nap. Then you’ll take some time to transform yourself into a fresh un-work look for a whole new chapter of Friday – the Night, which consists of dinner, drinks and possibly dancing.  If you have a boyfriend (unlikely given the competition) he too will be out. In New York in my experience, couples also venture out to socialize on a Friday night – I suspect they are just more likely to have opted for a nap first.

Maybe it’s this relative ease of existence that translates into another stark contrast between Londoners and New Yorkers. Londoners are notorious for moaning about their city – the sticky tube, the gloomy weather, the silly mayor.  New Yorkers LOVE New York . I love NYC logo is not just for tourists, it’s proudly displayed on everything from dry-cleaning to the plastic bags used for take out. When people ask me how I like it here and I say ‘I LOVE New York’, their eyes sparkle – right freakin’ answer!


Non Touristy Tees

Maybe it’s because of these two features – an abundance of energy and a fanatical love of their city, that New Yorkers pride themselves in being walking Time Out guides.  Any New Yorker worth his salt (artisanal preferably) knows what exhibitions have just opened, what restaurants are ‘trending’, what restaurateur they were opened by (and the chronological order of the places he opened before that), where to buy the best local organic grass-fed nitrate-free uncured bacon and what dj is playing in what hidden warehouse in Williamsburg. If you don’t know these things or worse, don’t find them of interest, you will struggle to obtain authentic New Yorker status. In London, all you have to know is who got knocked off X Factor at the w end, in New York the stakes are a bit higher.  But then so too are the rewards.

Come and see us in the Hamptons! Part II

By the end of the Summer I had been exposed to four distinct mini breaks in the Hamptons.

My image of life there prior to these visits was limited, predominantly infused with scenes from Gossip Girl.  My most recent impression was formed by a South African friend’s declaration that ‘New Yorkers are excited by the Hamptons because they’re used to really small houses’.  The inference being that those of us South Africans who weren’t raised in shacks are used to big houses and are therefore very unlikely to be impressed by the size of dwellings in the Hamptons.

Wrong! While the most affluent South African and American playgrounds may share pristine sandy beaches, lush polo fields, an abundance of privately educated school boys and social acceptance of drink driving, they cannot be compared when it comes to sheer ostentation of property size.  Plettenberg Bay’s most lavish residences would fit in the pool rooms of some of the estates I spied out there.

These monstrosities are literally the foundations that dreams are laid on. At one very-large-house-party, a man pointed out to me that just by virtue of their presence the guests were likely to be wealthy. Not an observation a wealthy person is likely to make was my first thought, but admittedly a good place to hang out should you wish to become rich by association.  The competition will be fierce if you are hoping to go the marriage route but at least you don’t have to beat about the bush. It’s quite acceptable to ask things like ‘do you have a boat?’ and if the answer us yes for the follow up question to be ‘can my friends and I come sailing with you next w end?’. The men are just as ruthless. At another party that resembled a wedding in a botanical garden but was really just a ‘small beach party’ I was introduced to quite an attractive man. After two minutes of small talk, his wingman arrived and announced that they were going to do ‘a lap’.  I was familiar with the concept – the rapid reconnaissance mission you do in clubs, parties and the like. I was not familiar with this normally discreet activity being verbally acknowledged and performed in order to avoid me. I had been identified as the female equivalent of a non boat-owner  – a non-model.

Happily, even us non boat-owners and non-models who manage to slip past the heavies in the driveway can enjoy free canapés, cocktails and sunsets. If  people are too busy lapping the room to have a conversation with you, at least you won’t go home hungry or thirsty. In fact, if you’re extra lucky you might even take home some schwag – that’s American for free shit. Turns out even the rich and famous love a goodie bag.

So what did I bring home with me from the Hamptons this Summer? A bit of a tan and some new acquaintances (I’ve actually heard myself saying ‘we met in the Hamptons this Summer’ when asked how I know someone). But more importantly I feel like I’ve returned from a pilgrimage to the essence of the American psyche. From Labor to Memorial Day, the Hamptons are a non-stop celebration of the great American lifestyle –  athletic, free and plentiful. This is where you know American dreams have been realized.

The Dating Fatigue Experiment – Part II

Most frequently asked questions about my New York life: are without fail: ‘Have you started dating yet?’ or ‘What’s the dating scene like? The answers to those questions, respectively, are yes and confusing. If you recall, a few months ago I pledged to go on one date a week for 4 weeks. I like to think I fulfilled that mission, even if it was all with the same person.

Despite my small sample size, I did manage to emerge with some interesting findings:

You can date someone for several months without a) really getting to know them and b) it being a relationship. Dating in New York is a sport. Something you do on a regular basis to to ensure you keep your eye in. Just another enjoyable way to pass the time. As an American, you’ve been doing it since childhood, so you understand all the rules and are probably quite good at it.  The rest of us need a few things explained in order to participate. The most critical rule that I’ve had explained to me by American girls is ‘The Conversation’ (or sometimes ‘The Talk’) According to this rule:

  • The Conversation determines the exclusivity of your relationship
  • If you have not had The Conversation you should assume he is seeing other people
  • The Conversation is usually initiated by the woman
  • Men do not like having The Conversation
  • The Conversation should not be initiated too soon
  • The Conversation should be kept light hearted (is received best when introduced with humour) and appear unthreatening.
  • The Conversation is not good pillow talk

My own attempt at The Conversation was admittedly amateur and ignored many of the above principles, but then in my defense I’ve not been playing this game very long.  In fact, I didn’t really even want to have The Conversation – I was more concerned with what was happening in the present than about where things ‘were going’ but then I suppose that’s one and the same in Dateland. So I went for a simple yet strong opening question: ‘Like, I was just wondering, what are we doing – are we dating?’ (trying to play the ignorant foreigner card but perhaps too threatening and not light hearted enough in hindsight). In response to my question he did two things: First he positioned himself on the moral high ground by affirming that we were in fact dating inasmuch as he was not dating anyone else (I like to think of it as dating by default). Second, he gave me a full run down of his frantic Summer schedule, including business trips, expected visitors and w ends in Montauk. He concluded by saying that he should have more free time in the Fall. Naturally, in response to that I said I would clear my schedule beginning October and look forward to romantic walks with him in Central Park as an abundance of golden leaves fall softly around us. Like – NOT!

And so out of this little experiment the number one rule of American dating is revealed: Do not put all your eggs in one basket – or at least not until you’ve had The Conversation. Critical learning if I’m to be in a relationship by the Fall.

Come and see us in the Hamptons! Part I

I’m told that there exists a great guide (sadly only published in German) called something to the effect of  ‘An Idiots Guide to America’. In this guide they caution that when an American says to you ‘You simply haaave to come and stay with us in the Hamptons darling!’,  this should in fact NOT be interpreted as an invitation. Though it may sound like it, they don’t want to get to know you better in the intimacy of  their sprawling Summer home on Long Island. They just want to let you know that are fortunate enough to have a house in the Hamptons. The same applies to ‘You simply haaave to come and stay with us in Aspen darling!’ … and so on.

I wish I’d known this a few months ago. When the guy I was dating (and yes I know that we were dating because he confirmed when I asked him 2 months in) alluded to having a house in Montauk for the Summer on our very first date, I naturally started packing my mental w-end bag. Silly me. Firstly, he doesn’t ‘have’ a house there for the Summer. He has a share in a house. Secondly, it wasn’t an invitation. He just wanted to let me know that he was someone who ‘Hamptoned’.

Luckily, he’s not the only one with a share in a Hamptons house.  Access to one is not as exclusive as you might think. It works pretty much the same way as a regular apartment share. Someone rents the house and auditions roommates to live there with them for the Summer. Of course, most non-exclusive people like me have jobs they have to go to during the week and so only go up on the w-end or every second w-end. And so, the parallel Summer housing arrangement is born. You have your city roommates and your Hampton’s roommates. When someone introduces their roommate to you in the Hamptons, they mean their Hamptons roommate.  And as in the city, when a roommate isn’t occupying their room (or bed), you get someone else to sublet it.

This is how I’ve come to find myself in the Hamptons – by knowing someone who knows someone who has a ‘share’ and is happy to maximize w-end rental income. If you think about it, if you hang around in New York for long enough you’re bound to happen upon someone who knows someone, who has a spare bed in a share.  Don’t misunderstand, I’m not being blasé, I’m thrilled to have stumbled upon my very own secondary connection to prime beach property in my first year. For all its glossy mag pretension, Long Island is undeniably pretty. It has pristine beaches, quaint harbor towns and ridiculous houses with sunsets, rolling lawns, swimming pools, tennis courts and hot tubs. Perfect if you just ‘have to get out of the city!’

I love a good cliché and America lives up to a lot of its on-screen projections. As a result, living here, I often like to pretend that I’m in a movie. So I made sure when I first caught the train out there early one Friday afternoon along with the rest of Manhattan, I was armed with all the essentials: Fun Friend, floppy white hat, oversize shades and whatever stripey yacht clothing I could find.

The Hamptons welcome lived up to my cinema standards. Upon disembarking in Bridgehampton, Fun Friend and I were greeted by 3 charming Ralph Lauren poster children who were clearly waiting for a lift from their mom. They wanted to know if our boyfriends were coming to pick us up. ‘Yes’, we said, ‘and they’re very big and strong’.  It is the ultimate playground and the inhabitants behave accordingly.  The island reeks of decadence of course, but tolerance for trashiness is reassuringly low.  I witnessed a great example of this when our group was invited to a house (read mansion) party being hosted by some young successful start-up founders.  In attendance was us and literally, a coach-load of University of Texas girls who had been flown and then bussed in as poolside entertainment. They were very excited to be there and had donned their skimpiest butt-hugging shorts, neon heels and push-up bikini tops for the occasion.  I hate to judge but I did find myself thinking that if I was a guy and was basically paying chicks to attend my party, I probably would’ve picked classier ones, models even. The start-up founders obviously realized their mistake the morning after, because the next night the sent the guys in our group  a text to reassure them that they’d ‘gotten rid of them and replaced the house with new girls’.  Disappointing for the Texas crew, no doubt, but not a bad little graduation party after all.

The whole outing was a major cultural eye-opener. While I’m very happy to have access to the beautiful playground that is the Hamptons, I’m thrilled to be doing so in a couch surfing capacity with my Fun Friend in tow. At least when you’re paying for your pillow you can’t be sent home after one night for not being fun/pretty/skinny/classy enough.

The Dating Fatigue Experiment. Part I

So on Saturday, having just posted a blog full of wise intent – I self quote: ‘Break all communication with men, rely on them for nothing’, I met up with a guy friend and he gave me some alternate wisdom. Apparently when you find yourself (for example) in a ridiculously futile text messaging scenario with a guy and want to swear off all men for life, you should, in fact go the opposite way and embrace the world of Dating–for–Dating’s sake. I needed to give myself dating fatigue – nothing better for clarity.

I had, up to this point always wholly rejected this approach. What is the point of spending an awkward evening with someone you can’t imagine ever having anything interested to talk about with or ever wanting to kiss.  I like to think that this  in-built aversion stems from my Europeanly romantic sensibilities. It is certainly not a commonly shared value here in New York. Here dates are not about the person, they are very much about the date. Where did he take you? What did you wear?

But my friend had started to make sense, if I made a point of saying yes to everyone who wanted to take me on a date, I would either very soon be so sick of it all and not want to be with anyone or I would have met someone great. Either way, ridiculously futile texting scenarios would be avoided.

So we shook on it over an Original Sin Cider in Soho. I would go on at least one date a week for four weeks, after which I would surely be cured. I was excited. I would date all types – the guy who ‘loaned’ me his YSL scarf to keep me warm, the guy who whipped Gwen Stefani into shape after she gave birth,  the dull French guy, the ad exec turned artist guy, the top chef guy – all the guys I’d sidestepped before.  What had I been thinking? If I’d started this experiment in January I could’ve been fatigued by now and ready to focus on the important things in life.

Anyway, carpe diem etc so out I went that night subconsciously ready to line up Date 1 with the first toad to show interest.  I felt a bit more relaxed about it all as my guy friend had also told me that, just because they buy you a drink or dinner, it doesn’t mean you have to see them again or even kiss them. How had I missed these critical details before? In my new super nonchalant state, the thing that I’d been waiting to happen all along happened…

I met someone I literally had too many interesting things to talk to about and someone I could definitely imagine kissing.  My first thought was: Crap! What about the other 3 dates?? I don’t want to waste them. But then I may not have to. Afterall, this is Manhattan and my Mr Interesting and Kissabale might be dabbling in a very similar experiment and on the lookout for his weekly quota.

Happily, something tells me this one might be taking a slightly longer term view. That something could’ve been that when he asked me if I was going to the Hamptons in the Summer,  and I replied I didn’t have any plans to, he very swiftly mentioned that he has a timeshare in Montauk…

Quite frankly, I can’t think of anywhere better to be fatigued this New York Summer!

The Unseasonal Pool Party

The full-blown pool party – it’s a concept I’ve dwelled upon only on some deep subconscious level  since knowing I would move to the US – land of the Playboy Mansion and the Bellagio. Being Winter in New York, I thought I had loads of time to psyche myself up for a wild w end get away to Vegas where gorgeous half naked Play Things strut around palm lined pool sides whilst their bronze bods are hosed down with  fountains of Cristal.

My window of preparation closed on me quicker than expected. I found this e mail in my inbox from one of my new dude friends this morning:

I’m having a few friends over to Le Parker Meridien near 56th and 6th Ave, 7pm – 10pm.
Heated rooftop pool + fun little suite. Cocktails and swimming etc.
Please come and bring a girl-friend. We have TOO MANY DUDES.

Shit. On the one hand, that sounds phenomenal. On the other, he definitely said SWIMMING. Which means, not fully clothed. Honestly, I can’t think of anything more unappealing. I don’t even like stripping down on sunny beaches with real friends. I learnt to swim after I started school, I’ve never owned a bikini I feel good in and there is invariably some sort of hair situation i.e. at least one area that  is not in an optimum growth phase for public display.

Thinking, however,that it would be selfish to hog such a cool invite , I forwarded it on to my roommate. The American one from Pennsylvania who didn’t want to live with guys because of what her parents might think. She would definitely not want any part of this carefully constructed perve-fest. Well, getting home tonight I realised she may be 4 yrs younger  but she has obviously been in NYC a lot longer than I have. She wanted to know whether I thought it would be cool if she got there before I do. Like, when next are we going to have access to a heated pool in the middle of Winter? Plus her spray tan from Beach Bum that she got last week has not quite faded yet and..oh yes, and she is 4 yrs younger than I am and has the body of a nymph.

I might need a few cocktails before I literally take the plunge into the same rooftop hotel pool I swam in 2 years ago on my only visit to NYC with my only long-term boyfriend. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some fratty Texan dudes, my vanity or my roomie’s enthusiasm stand in the way of my Vegas pool side training.

My Début in the Grosse Pomme

Its been a whirlwind two months. Early on 2 Jan I washed the last of London’s New Years revelries out of my hair and hopped in dodgy looking mini-cab to Janna’s house where she was waiting with my most expensive possession – my Giant road bike and as usual some great advice: ‘Wear this’ she said, handing me my faux fur Carrie theater coat… ‘and take a picture of yourself in it as you arrive at JFK. Then get on one of those tourist night buses and ride up and down Manhattan in it until you feel like you belong.’

I have since worn the coat and ridden on a Manhattan bus, but not in that order. Too many other  things have happened:

I subletted a room in a 3 bed loft in Chelsea in Jan with an aspiring Zumba instructor (hardcore Franco-Americain female energy broker by day) who still drags me along to multiple gym classes in a row and is living proof  that Franglais is a great language in its own right: ‘C’est tellement great having you to stay – genre, on cook, on parle’.  She lets me use all my fave French words without any of the tricky grammar.

I almost moved in with a seemingly mentally fragile photographer woman who claims to have discovered Cindy Crawford and has the Polaroids to show for it. The deal breaker came when she proclaimed her love of  London and proceeded to boil me a cup of tea in the microwave. We’re still friends though and she’s going to help me pick out a good camera.

I did move in with a musician from Pennsylvania I met in the lobby of a swanky Financial District bachelor pad. We decided we would be better off without the bachelors and recruited an Australian foodie to join us in the West Village. The American is very excited to be forming our own ‘United Nations’ and learning about things like Vegemite and how to pronounce words properly. The Aussie and I are very excited about braaing on our exclusive rooftop and jogging and cycling on the West Side High Way which is 3 streets away and runs all along the Hudson River to New Jersey if you have enough energy.

Just last night we picked up 4 antique chairs left on the pavement outside our  local restaurant (after a quick check for bed bugs of course).

I’m yet to go on a proper New York date. I’m tentative. Men here say things like ‘do you want to get out of here?’ or ‘should we just get a room?’ and they’re usually not the men you want to ‘get out of here’ or ‘get a room’ with. I am convinced I haven’t seen a blow-me-away hot specimen since arriving (something New York women complain about a lot). Which is why, two Saturdays ago when I did see one and he was kindly offering us his taxi, I kindly offered him my number. Sadly, I don’t think I had it fully committed to memory at that stage yet as he hasn’t called.

I had my first exposure to New York ‘society’ at a fully catered bar-manned loft party in Tribeca where champagne literally flowed and little canapes of seared tuna, wasabi and other yumminess followed closely behind. Apparently not enough bundles of tuna yumminess though, to prevent me from staging an Irish exit and needing assistance from our charming neighbour in Number 9, up the five flights of stairs that lead to my door. A piece of the puzzle he chose to reveal at our housewarming a few nights ago to all who were interested. Apparently I was very appreciative and offered him two continental style cheeks in return for safe delivery to my door. My mother would be pleased to hear I haven’t lost my manners.

I’ve had breakfast alongside Ethan Hawke at La Grainne, eaten more pulled pork than I can stomach and spent more money on cocktails than I care to count.

I’ve seen Christopher Wheeldon’s new ballet at the Lincoln Centre, Diego Rivera’s murals at the  MOMA, listened to poetry readings by rap artists in Brooklyn bookstores and partied in secret locations to electro house music with the producers of Flight of the Concords.

I’ve hailed cabs, had manis and facials and approached boozy brunches like you would the rain in London – as if it’s been happening all your life.

It’s still Winter here but the sky is clear blue and the sun shines so brightly you need to wear your oversize designer shades to protect against the glare. These little things make it easy when people ask me how I like it here. I love it. To celebrate my two month anniversary I’m indulging in one of my long-standing New York fantasies – cheap Chinese take-out in a small white carton. I like the destiny my fortune cookie suggests: ‘It may be those who do most, dream most’

It may just be…