Tag Archives: Manhattan

Teenagers. ‘Nuff Said.

manhatttanThe Teenager is off to New York in 9 days for a school trip, so he needs warm clothes.

Sounds easy, but this is the same Teenager who refuses to wear jumpers (too naff), hats (yeah, right) or gloves (I’m not, like, a kid).

So our weekend shopping trip to town was meticulously planned and of course fell spectacularly apart.

‘It’s cold in New York, you need warm clothes.’

‘Is it colder than Glasgow?’


‘S’ok. T-shirts will be fine.’

‘Get dressed, we’re leaving in five minutes.’

Thump, thump, strop around upstairs, sound of clothes being flung around the room.

‘Right, I’m, like, ready.’

I look round. ‘Get back upstairs this instant and take those shorts off. It’s minus 2 outside.’

Grunts, strops, thumping back upstairs. Comes slouching back down in trousers (and a t-shirt) and magnanimously agrees to get in the car.

Town. Seventy shops later, my nerves are frayed and I’m on the verge of yelling in public. Shop seventy-one and I yelled. ‘There’s nothing wrong with the zip. The only thing that’s wrong is that you’re stropping and trying to do it up with one hand.’ A small crowd gathered, pretending to look at the Bermuda shorts nearby, earwigging.

‘Ok. Okkkkaaaaaay, I’ll take it.’

So we got the jacket. Eventually. Only two jumpers to go. Hours later, I took them up to the desk, where a chirpy young man bagged them up.

‘And how are you enjoying this lovely day, madam?’

‘Oh, wonderful, thank you. I adore shopping with my sullen, sulky son. In fact, I wish I did it more often.’

He looked scared and glanced surreptitiously under the counter where there was no doubt a panic button.

On the way back to the car, I had to stop to get some stuff in for dinner and made the mistake of asking The Teenager what he fancied.



‘Small one?’


Fine. I’m going to wait in the car. Keys?’

I waved him off and took  my time schlepping around the Tesco Metro, admiring the plastic tubs of ready-peeled kiwi fruit and chopped coconut. My phone went.

‘Can’t open the boot.’

‘Just press the button on the key fob.’

‘Can’t. It’s disappeared.’

‘What, the car or the key?’

‘The button to open the boot.’

I ended the call.

He’s having salmon for dinner. With broccoli.

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First We’ll Take Manhattan…


We made it. Thanks to a tribunal payout, I treated The Teenager to five days in Manhattan, a city I used to love and live in.

He was overwhelmed. The view from our hotel room, the vast array of fast food outlets (natch), the endless shopping for t-shirts, the atmosphere. It was a film set come true.

We sailed around Manhattan, circumnavigated the Statue of Liberty, saw the whole city from the top of the Empire State building, wandered the streets, peered in windows. We chatted to NYPD cops. To Starbucks employees, bar staff, random Minions (see photo),

For me, New York reignited my love of life. Life and energy were  everywhere. I spoke to a mother and daughter from North Carolina, putting in place a bucket wish list. I spoke to Irish bar-tenders who had moved there and lost everything in the storm but were still trucking on, plus he makes the best martinis that side of the Atlantic (The Hyatt, off Times Square).

Anyway, yes, New York was a breath of fresh air. After over two years pretty much house bound through job loss and loneliness, I realised that life goes on. And on. It happens whether I like it or not. I have been a bit of a hermit. So here’s what I will take home with me:

  • Life is waaaaaay bigger than my little world.
  • I can wear what I like, when I like. Even if I am fat ( I know, I know).
  • There is a whole world out there, ready to explore.
  • MS may curtail stuff, but stuff it.

Fair play, MS reared its ugly head. And then some. I was in Macey’s and felt the earth move (really).

After panicking and looking around me I finally got the picture. It was me. I was on the top floor. But, hey, I had a brand new Ralph Lauren trench coat. MS be damned. I went back to the hotel and admired my beautiful coat before conking out for three hours…..

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