Well, it finally happened. On a dull and windy day in Portugal, there was no other option but to try something new. Having long harboured a desire to play golf but fearing the threat of obsession, it was time to have a lesson and see what all the fuss was about.
Frankly it was marvellous. I understand how difficult it is even to hit a ball off a tee, let alone in a straight line and in the air with a seven iron. But I also understand how much satisfaction could be derived from playing and improving. I loved topping, missing, slicing and hooking the ball to all parts of the practice range. I even did it right once or twice. Not bad for an hour. Tremendous frustratung entertainment. Suffice to say, I will be back for more. Soon.
Went to New York to celebrate my 40th birthday. A magnificent city on first view. Most gratifying was the fact that the image of Yellow Cabs and their drivers as you see depicted in multiple movies is pretty much entirely accurate. Have no real view on New Yorkers after just a week (the ones we met were fine…) but food, drink, hotels, parks, architecture, sights etc. All to be recommended. Ground Zero a very sobering place. Weird to stand and look over the site of it all. Would be eerie without the traffic to bring some noise. Anyone walking by or visiting could barely find a word to say.
You know that saying: Britain and America, two countries separated by a common language? (or something like that). It’s absolutely true. For three days, speaking my brand of English got me frowns and confusion in response. Clare pointed out that typical English prevarication doesn’t work – directness was king.
So, eventually, I replaced… ‘Yes, thank you, could I please have a glass of dry white wine, cab sauv or something like that, whatever you have really, and a beer, what sort of beers do you have?’ with ‘Dry white wine. Large glass. Beer. Sam Adams. Please.’ Amazing how those expressions cleared. The funny thing is, in any country with a ‘foreign’ language, we think nothing of adopting an accent and trying to speak as the locals do if we can. In the US, there’s this attitude that ‘we gave them the language, dammit, the least we can do is demonstrate how to speak it.’ And I admit, I do retain that attitude. Trouble is, on the ground, it gets you nowhere. Speaking as locals works like a charm.
But no one will ever convince me to leave the ‘u’ out of humour, colour etc. Or to sprinkle ‘z’s around like confetti when an ‘s’ is clearly sufficient. Humbug.