Looking Glass Language

a word bird reflects on life & language

Absolutely Shoreditched…

Image copyright Charlotte Cory

I seem to be unable to step foot on the grim and grimy pavements of Shoreditch after dark without getting drunk (or ‘Shoreditched’, as I’ve now christened it). See image at left by Charlotte Cory, from her ‘You animal, you’ series, which bears an uncanny resemblance to me the morning after the night before, and can be found on the walls of the Hoxton Hotel.


This tendency to overdo it whenever I head to Hoxton seems to stem from the period when I was working in Shoreditch, reeling from a break up with a long-term boyfriend/business partner. Hedonism seemed the way to go, and it was fun and frantic time of excess, irresponsibility and freedom – a kind of long-delayed adolescence. A dozen years on, I’d thought all that was far behind me, but the last fortnight has proved me wrong, as two successful client presentations in the Old Street area have ended up in decidedly messy evenings…


I’m starting to think I may have a Pavlovian response to being back on these mean streets.

But – reluctant to admit that Shoreditch can still ring my bell – I have another explanation. I blame the food, or rather, the lack of it. Everyone knows that if you forgo the tacos and enchiladas, a couple of glasses of Tequila can have the same effects as a bottle… And I’m frequently unable to eat when I’m out on the town, as I have a serious and frustrating allergy to garlic, which can make eating out positively dangerous. (Unfortunately, I love spicy food – I can think of nothing more delicious than Thai street food – but these days I have to resort to making my own, and it’s just not the same!)

When I first moved back to the UK from the south of France 18 months ago, people often remarked on how difficult it must have been for someone like me, a foodie who’s allergic to garlic, to eat out in France, but it’s actually much more difficult to eat out in London, where there’s a wealth of great world-food on offer and it’s hard to know whether there’s garlic in a dish (or in its bouillon or vinaigrette) or not. In France, however, chefs still tend to follow the rules, so if Larousse Gastronomique says there’s no ‘l’ail’ to be used in a recipe, few chefs worth their salt would consider adding it. .

Anyway, back to Shoreditch… For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working with a London / New York consultancy on the positioning and tone of voice for an East-London based quango. Twice now, I’ve holed up at the Hoxton Hotel with the design team for the day, polishing the presentation in advance of the late afternoon meeting. The first time, I grabbed a quick burger at 3pm, after the chef assured me that it contained no garlic. Unfortunately, he was wrong, so my lunch went down the loo, and I conducted my 4pm meeting itching all over, with a headache and an empty stomach. The second time, I settled for a bag of Hula Hoops. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_garlic/After each successful presentation the clients insisted on taking the branding team out and plying us with wine and tapas. Having effectively had no lunch on either day, and unable to risk the tapas, it’s probably no surprise that I got absolutely Shoreditched…


Single Post Navigation

Comment here

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Something amiss? Listen to this...

The Seed Factory

Flexible workspace for small businesses to rent in Aller, Somerset


Fit For The Future


meraki: the soul, creativity or love placed in something, the essence of yourself in your work

Adventures of Hal

Fran, Gareth and friends explore the world on Hal, our 35ft yacht

Things I think about while I drive to work

Random topics and conversation about how I view the world I live in

Curiouser & Curiouser

My curious little blog.

Knowingly Undersold

Selling discount truths at an exorbitant price! (Wrap your mind around that one)

David Baker's Novel Factory

Novel = New, Work of Fiction: Fact + History = Factory

A Road Travelled Twice

Twice across Europe by bike and more

Mike and the Marathon

I’m running the 2013 London Marathon for ICAN

A Few Kind Words

adventures in language and life


a word bird reflects on life & language

Helen Weavers's Blog

Stuff I think about...

%d bloggers like this: