Thursday, June 22

Great to be back.....

... I suppose.
I've done a bit of writing today (I know, I can't believe it myself).
Just watching The Ghana Vs USA match. What a relief. In Georgia, actually America, it seemed no one gave a damn about footie! I'm not exactly a hard core fan, but I (whilst olgling the Brazilian, Italian, Spanish and Netherland team thighs) actually enjoy the world cup. It would be very humbling (or anger inducing) for a hardened british footie fan (flags on car etc) to see this; SOME PEOPLE JUST DONT CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL. One well known talk show host in America even made a joke about the game saying; "And they wonder why no one here takes it seriously". Well at least its one sport Britain have a shot at... pardon the pun...
This morning, I woke up very cold and had the heating on for around 3 hours as I sat in my fluffy nghtshirt and wrote (it was almost an alleged 20 degrees outside). I just feel so inspired to write write now and although I only wrote a bit - it was probaby some of the best stuff (I feel) I've written in a long time. Elle's back!
For now anyway.

Go Ghana!

Thursday, June 15

Damaged cornea/soul food/My first openly racial incident in Atlanta

Hi All,

I'm still here.
We did the Martin Luthur King museum which was very, very moving to both me and my friend.

Also had some real old style southern cooking at a place called busy Bee Cafe (yes, my jeans dont do up now....) lovely soul food cooking. Don't know If I've mentioned this, but Atlantans are sooo polite and lovely. The staff in shops, all of 'em... talking of shops... no... I MUST remain in denial. So what if it's bread and water for the next month as I pay off my shopping madness.

16th June

On the way to a comedy store yesterday, I started rubbing my eye and then it felt a little strange - as if somthing was in my eye. This soon turned into a slight headache. The next morning I felt really bad so off I went to ER and they said I have a corneal abrasion!Over a hundred dollars spent on medication alone, my eye is feeling a little better now. Gee! The last time I went to USA in 1997 for three months I contracted adult chicken pox!!! Am I allergic to the place?Nah... hope not...

17th June
Went to Justin's. P Diddy's restaurant for a drink and a half. I am aware my time in ATL is drawing to a close.

19th June

As the two weeks draw to a close, my friend and I decided to have one last bigass breakfast in a local fast food joint. The waitress rolled up as normal and as usual, my friend and I were overwhelmed by the sheer choice of food on offer - even for a mere breakfast - pankcakes, french toast covered in caramel, sausages... This obvioulsy took some time. So the waitress appeared to drapt in reinforcements in the form of another waitress. I thought this odd and then she explained why she'd done this;
"I thought as she's also from Africa, she'd know what you eat..."
As the steam poured from my friends rather tiny ears, I decided to quiz the waitress, further.
ME: "What WE eat?"
WAITRESS: "Yes, African people."
ME: " We have travelled from London, England."
WAITRESS: "Oh, REALLY?" (she looked perplexed to say the least).
ME: "So what do they eat in Africa then?"
WAITRESS: "All kinds of strange stuff..."
The conversation soon mutated onto the Japanease who SHE claims ate "weird raw stuff".
She then proceeded to let us know how she liked to call her black collegue (who she'd drapted in to 'help' us) Shaka Zulu.
After the'd seen "all that dancing" in the film of the same name twenty years ago. Unfortunatly, the said young lady has never pulled her up about this and even has the name Shaka as her name tag....
Not much to say here.
However, I kept my cool as I saw it basically as ignorance. And I'm pleased to say, we probably educated this lady. Especially as my friend proceeded to remind her that salmon is also a raw fish (which the wauitress admitted she liked) meaning such practices were not just confined to other races. She is now also aware that people of colour actually exist in England and that I regularly have tea with the queen...

Monday, June 12

Greetings from Hotlanta 2

Hi Guys,

Still here and lurrrrrvin it!

Went to an underground poetry night last night and it was fabuloso!!!!!!!! There is sooo much talent in Atlanta here. Whilst alot of poetry in UK is deemed as a place where older blokes in chourderoy jackets and innapropriate jeans hang out, this experience was the total opposite, Trendy folk from all over america, reciting poetry reflecting their angst at the world today. An eye opener and totally riveting. At one point, the MC shouted "Who's traveled the longest to be here tonight?" some poor sap said "New York!" to which my competative streak replied "England!" To my horror/delight the MC then said I should come up and collect a prize!!!! Which I did (a lovely smelly candle) whilst wishing I had worn something a tad more flattering...

One thing that has surpised me here, is the apparent harmony. Across the road from a heart thumping club full of young people dancing to the latest southern rap group, was an open male gay club. Across from that, a group of four rather manly women trotted on heels higher than the empire state building, quite openly. As they accosted us, it was clear to see they were men in skirts. And lipstick. Such unity! For some strange reason though they asked us if we had any marijuanna????!!!!
Err... NO!!!
I'm a clean living British girl thank you very much!! I seemed to bond with the only man not dressed in a leather mini skirt. Perhaps he's not into women's clothing I hear you cry... But he did have on a blob of neatly appllied lipstick... (I should have asked him for tips as mine aways ends up on my teeth!)

After yet another mall during the day (am almost bankcrupt - so many nice things and oh, the exchnge rate is soooo right....) we did The Cheescake factory. Ohmigosh!!!! It was fab. This beautiful building filled with all the cheescake flavours you could ever think of. Hunky valet attendants too. Instead of pigging out on half of them, I remained very British and reserved and just stuck to one - with chiken wings and celery sticks of course.... NOW THATS WHAT I'M TALING ABOUT (OK, I am begining to even type in American). You see I really want to move here guys. So much so, my need was read by a stranger whilst I was busy purchasing a 12 pack of smooth dohnuts in Publix the other day (Atlanta's answer to Tesco). I got talking to one of the staff. Told her (in jest) that I'd lurrrve to live here and she beckoned the manager over who then proceeded to tell me about the great benefits the company offers. I WAS BEING INTERVIEWED ON THE SPOT. Being terribly British, I couldn't just correct them, oh no... I had to wait patiently, as he reeled off all he had to, as my dohnuts began to wilt. What with Greencards and that little problem of having no place to live, It probably seems a bit of a longshot.
Plus, once I get back into the swing of things back home, job, annoying dates, bad weather, i'll forget all about it... wont I...?

As i envisaged my waistline getting bigger by the end of the week, decided to get the obligatory 'lounge by the pool bit' over and done with. Also sat in the hot tub as the sun blased around me. Yes, I am a woman of colour but this beautiful sun has added another shade to my skin, most definately... Where I was a weak milk chocolate before, a lil' bit more cocoa has now been mixed in, darkening the mix a little (yep, crap analogy, but you get my drift hopefully).

Talking of food (again) I have also experienced a full, fresh lobster to myself (with the obligortary buscuits, corn bread et al) all for aroung $20 (around 12 quid!). I'd be lucky to get a lobster tail for that price in london (Vegetarians, I'm sorry!!!! for this,
but I wasnt cruel enough to pick out the lobster though - I couldn't do that.)

Have bought quite a few books. I can stay in the bookshops for hours, although I missed the addition of small independant bookshops I remember from Santa cruz California circa 1997. Bigass multinationals just dont thrill me. Anyway, i now have a soul food and southern cookbook (have never cooked form a cookbook before, but I just love southern food now, gotta try em).

Saturday, June 10


Hi All!

3 days ago, I waited patiently in a long ass traffic jam on the way to Gatwick airport, frantically biting my nails, a common theme running through my schitzo mind ; 'This cant be happening to me again. No way. This cant be happening to me again. No way. No way, No waaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy. I can't BE ABOUT TO MISS MY BLOODY FLIGHT, AGAIN
The road works went on forever. Building a poxy bridge. A BRIDGE??
I finally got to the airport, almost knocking a couple of people down on the way into Check In... heart beating a trillion beats a second. And with only a few minutes to spare, I think I made it! I wanted to vomit and faint as the sour faced airport personell scanned my documents. Even as I struggled to remove my laden with metal belt for the security scanners and it wouldnt budge, I knew I couldn't yet relax....
Smart move, because when w
e got to Cleveland for the connecting flight, more trouble lie ahead.... I answered the necessary questions, got my thumb scanned etc, all good, a little banter with the 'sweet' customs lady (she also had a gun). But as I looked for my friend - she's being interrergated by customs and what looks like a state trooper!!! And alas, the palpertations begin again and the paranoia sets in... we are going to be sent back to England. Or she is and I'll have to go with her because it's her family member we will be staying with....

The bored customs/troopers must have been waiting all year for passengers like us to pass through as they all seemed rather excited at the prospect of interrogating my friend. Perhpas the most excitement they'd had in yonks? Someone felf very powerful hat night , went home and gave their sposes a right seeing to, no doubt.
Running like ninnys to out connecting flight, we make it in time and step onto a 'plane' that resembled my fridge - so blimming small... LIKE THE WORLDS SMALLEST PLANE.
But when we get to Atlanta, I realise that plane is the smallest thing I will ever witness again in this country.

Big apartments, big pools, big cars, big people (sorry) big on politeness, big trees. Especially big are the portions. Of food. And as my jeans will now quite painfully tell you ... things are getting bigger and bigger.....

I'm like a spoit kid in a large toy store; "I'll have that and that and that.." HELP!!!!
Luckily, I have just returned from a 3 mile run/walk which will only go to justify a thorough gorging of a Brewsters ice cream cake/waffle/tofee sauce concoction.

And the restaurants.
Everything comes with Blue cheese, gravy and busicuits; EVERYTHING.
Back in England - i'm an organic eating, 1.5 litres of water a day living machine - here, I am a mere vessal for as much sweet things I can find - and there are plenty.
The weather is beautiful, hardly falls below 90 degrees, which is loverly as I stay in the subs which has loads of trees, so there is a slight breeze. Luvvin it!

Monday, June 5

Hi all.

It's been ages! Apologies.
I've ben soooo busy doing not that much. I'm actually packing right now for my trip to Atlanta. The ATL baybeeee. I actually can't wait. However, its gonna take me and my mate a thousand years to get there. We're stopping off at Ohio for a bit (cheapo flight, you see).

Still watching Big Brother, but I promise you that is not the reason for my absence. Anyway, I sent in a revised version of my first 100 pages to my agent today. At least if i'm away, i wont have to think about it her popping it into the bin........