For example meeting my Kiwi friends who had just run the marathon for the CatWalk charity: as if it wasn't enough for someone to organise 13 of us to go from bar-to-bar-to-restaurant, we picked up seven more bods - and were happier for it.
The cast of characters included Helena, whom I first met at age four on my first day at Big School. We were going to be nuns together, but with seven kids between us now, maybe that's not going to happen after all. We were also pupils of the Mrs Shirley Dibble School of Ballet, Helena danced the Scarecrow to my Tin Man. Turns out her husband, James, is rather famous on Youtube for finding a cute baby Kiwi under some pine needles. As you can imagine, I was green with envy. Not being competitive, but has Helena won the husband prize?
Sipping happily at the Ace Hotel, we were all quite pleased one of us had secured a big table next door at Michelin-starred The Breslin, so in-demand with the likes of Chelsea Clinton, Liv Tyler and the Z's that it doesn't take bookings.
We were waiting for our Kiwi friend Angus who lives in New York. He's the mavericky off-the-grid sweary bloke you might have already met on my blog.
Kiwis are far from being a bunch of sheep, but we try to be accommodating. "Where should we go? Oh don't mind...whatever everyone else wants..." I notice Kiwis say "Oh yeah" a lot and even "No" becomes: "Oh yeah, better not...if that's okay." (They also say "absolutely" and "gorgeous" heaps.)
Someone might point out that we're a good target for old sheepdog Angus who arrived scattering our plans to the back paddocks. A "spanky feed" (posh dinner) was not for us, said Angus who is anti obvious-cool. Let's go. So we all hopped into a convoy of cabs down to Soho to a delicatessen called Katz's.
|Kevin, me and new Kiwi cab friends Sarah and Catherine in front of Katz's
The first thing people say to Kiwis: "Oh I met a New Zealander ten years ago - called Sue - do you know her?"At this point we Kiwis get unnaturally huffy: "Heck, there's four million people in New Zealand! Why on earth would we know this person?" Of course it turns out the person was our cousin or next-door neighbour for 20 years.
Skiting - or showing off - is positively unpatriotic. Resulting - in my case - in being clueless about "marketing" myself. At a recent party a literary agent asked me: "What is your blog about?" Although people ask me this all the time, I answered as though this was the first time I'd ever heard it: "Oh, whole bunch of stuff about the rubbish I do in my day: kid nonsense, travel nonsense, oh you know usual ramblings..."
At this point the agent glanced furtively towards the nearest door. I pressed on: "It's about nothing really...just bits and bobs about my day." And the final nail in the coffin: "My friend calls it Funny Ado About Nothing, although it's not always funny. " At which stage I could see her mouth forming the ultimately damning words: "Oh well - At Least You're Having Fun With It" as she turned heel.
Our taxi dropped us in front of Katz's Deli. Sandwiches??? Under lights so bright you could have performed surgery on the tables? When we could have had a "spanky feed" and maybe spotted Jay Z and Beyonce?
|Angus showing his corned beef sandwich
|Kiwis in Katz's
In other words Angus was spadanged (knackered) and piked (dropped out).
Just the two of us then. Better get on the blower to my other mates.