I’m writing this from a sofa in Brooklyn, at 10.29 am, still in my pyjamas, after a breakfast that included steel-cut oatmeal with honey and berries and a giant mug of hot sweet coffee. Camparigirl has been bustling around the apartment with the vacuum cleaner (we’ve been here four days) and I now hear the sploshing of water – which means she has a mop out too. All of which makes me smile.
campari&sofa was created on another sofa, in Rome, three years ago. And, while we Skype every week and email all the time: we haven’t hung out together since. But the scene in our rented apartment in an almost-hip part of a suburb over the water from Manhattan, just proves that the more things change the more they stay the same. We could be right back in the eternal city or even further back: in our little flat, in Stockwell, living directly above the northern line – 25 years ago. Here’s why:
We are still thrifty. Especially when purchasing things that are not expected to last forever. Cue a discussion in IKEA on how much we should spend on tea towels that we are going to leave behind in the apartment. After much debate and with much jubilation, we settled on the 75c option which we figured would last for two weeks. Similar deliberations were had about plastic hangers. And we outright rejected The Guggenheim’s request for a $25 entrance fee. (Are they insane? Who the hell pays that to get into a museum?) This was followed swiftly by a horrified reaction to the $10 hot chocolate at the Neue and a sneaky use of their lovely bathroom for free.
Once we get home, we are going to stay home. Unless it is to hit pause on Netflix and run around the corner to purchase some tacos (and light beer); which we will consume, happily, back in front of the telly.
Great TV is a must. As is hitting the pause button frequently in order comment on/discuss the actions of the humans in the shows.
Chocolate is essential after dinner. It must be of the dark variety and we must leave enough for tomorrow
We both wish we had brought our slippers – because, frankly, the floors are just chilly. And our extremities suffer from the cold these days.
We work with what we have. Evidenced by my Havianas /chunky sock combo and her pink (bespoke) clogs which are currently acting as alternatives to the fluffy evening footwear of home
Reminiscences about the old days, favourite bands, great vs shitty bosses, long-ago boyfriends and cheap-and-cheerful-but-still-the-best-ever holidays are brilliant fun with someone who was actually there. Especially as we remember vastly different aspects of those trips, and can remind each other about events that have been completely forgotten. (Mostly by me, if I am honest. I am beginning to wonder if I have brain damage.)
There has been a few minor re-calibrations:
Most particularly with sound and vision – we have four pairs of reading glasses between us – and changing the channel on the TV or navigating the remote has become a ‘thing’. Takes a while and involves changes in spectacles. That is if we are able to find them. But – and as sofamother would say “this is a big but”: while we may not be able to read the small print – we definitely see life more clearly.
I have long known that I have hearing damage, which I am sure occurred in photo pits in stadiums whilst rock bands turned the volume up to 11. But it is hilarious to realise the same thing has happened with Claudia. I can have a whole conversation with her, without her realising it at all.
Which we laugh at – because age and generally screwing up on things has taught us not to take ourselves seriously. We also agree there are many, many assholes in this world and engaging with them is pointless. So while we may have to turn the volume up in some instances – we’ve turned down the bullshit down in others.
We have age related aches and pains, we discuss the pros and cons of living with grey hair, our digestive systems have changed and we debate assisted care vs. communal living options for the future. All of these thing would have felt like rocking chair agendas in the old days. Right now they feel perfectly relevant and the kind of conversation we absolutely should be having.
While we are sitting, on the sofa, in New York, in our pajamas at 6.30 in the evening.