Archive for November, 2010

When you live far from Europe, even if you’re trying to adapt to new ways, you try to recreate your own little European world as best as you can. For me, most of the time, this is a food related thing. I don’t exclusively feel homesick for France any more, as I haven’t lived there for so long, but rather a general European homesick, and my cravings can be Spanish as well as English, but also Italian. A good piece of gorgonzola, for example, is a taste of home; even though I’ve never been to Italy. It seems that anything from the Old World can treat episodes of homesickness when you are in the New.


Like it or not, shops are part of our everyday life, and we all need some kind of treat from time to time. Mine are good tea, stationary, books, second-hand silk and chocolate.

  • MUJI: mucho sushi here but no MUJI, so none of their perfect little brown notebooks.
  • MARIAGE FRERES: the best tea shop I’ve ever been to.
  • OXFAM: my favourite one being in Chelsea world’s end, thrift shops are quite good here though.
  • PAUL: I would never have thought that I’d miss this quite generic French franchise, but now, I would pay good money for a decent pain au chocolat or a big pistachio macaroon!


I’ve had to leave all my books in England, and I had to favour yoga related books, because I’ll need them for my training. In some way, travelling light is practising non-attachment to earthly things, like that Guy Named Dave is doing with his 100 things challenge. Also, it’s true one fills one’s bookshelves again very quickly, especially with thrifts. I do, however, miss some of the copies I’ve left behind:

  • I forgot my Ginette Mattiot, the French food bible, my edition is battered but I always travel with it. I’ll have to find a new edition and it won’t feel the same.
  • My Joseph Roth books and the Lydia Davis copy that Raquel gave me this summer


Another thing I would never have thought that I would miss is English pubs. I really do now, as here we can mostly find bars with $7 a pint on average! I miss the casual and cosy aspects of pubs and how you can meet your friends for a nice  and witty chat.


In my previous inventory, I’ve listed some of my favourite objects I’ve been able to take with me, but of all we’ve left behind here’s what I find myself missing most:

  • my Japanese cast iron teapot, it had followed me everywhere and I packed it during my move.
  • Ed’s good Global knife.


The list could be long but the most obvious on it is bread, butter, cheese, yoghurt, chocolate and wine.

I miss my friends tons of course, but I also miss a little black and white devil called Charlie. But I know he’s happy and enjoying his new life in Spain, and that’s the important thing.

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