The day after the ball, I felt fine. I did not harbour the dread that follows a night of self-abasement. Still, the picture of my pasty visage was a giveaway. I had shamed myself. The newsletter was quarterly so I would have to endure its presence in the canteen for some time. I could destroy every copy but they would only be replenished by a keen intern.
Houses boarded up, a mixture of soggy bits of paper, puke and cigarette butts carpeting the streets, people in all kinds of bad states passed out in shop fronts if they were lucky... That's the sight I was met with when I arrived at the Notting Hill Carnival in the early afternoon of Bank Holiday Monday.
'This is the perfect breakfast drink', our otherwise tactiturn barman announces as he puts a Prestige Fizz - Bombay Sapphire gin with vermouth, celery, cucumber and mint topped with champagne - on the 30-foot-long bar.
That's because the transition won't be instant - the years of deciding the details of a split will be a grim and drawn-out sigh. English public opinion is already becoming adversarial on the subject of negotiation with Scotland, regardless of the outcome of the vote.
It was then I realised why being double the average age in that venue was such a shock to the system. The disdain I felt was merely a thinly veiled disguise for my jealousy. I was just envious that I haven't got the energy to get that excited on a Wednesday night.
One of those characters who could be anything from mid 50s to mid 70s under his unkempt, dirty beard and shock of unwashed, greying hair, Mikey told me he had been a part of the Soho sex trade since he was a teenage lorry driver, bringing in box loads of porn from Amsterdam, the fruit and veg of the performers buried under a mountain of actual fruit and veg.
Being cultured isn't easy. You have to go to things, absorb those things, tell people about the things you absorbed and pretend they have enriched your life in some way and then answer questions when people start asking you stuff.
If you have some collateral, that doesn't mean you shouldn't invest. And I may have a solution for you - dealing in modern art and vintage late twentieth-century furniture. You may think this is the reserve of the posh and rich. But, as a one-time working-class lad from East London, I can tell you it absolutely is not.
When people ask me if I ever have Botox and I say, 'Yes, but more in my armpits than in my face,' they look understandably confused. There aren't many wrinkles in the armpits, after all -- but these days Botox is about more relaxing wrinkles.
Six months of house-hunting in London and I still haven't sealed the deal. But I have met estate agents. Dozens of them. And it is almost unsettling; they have not been the rude, arrogant, cretinous benders-of-the-truth that the generalisation might suggest. They are different. Or, more accurately: indifferent... I wanted to interview one of these guys to see what the market looks like from their end...
You don't very often see pimps visibly plying their trade in my neighbourhood these days, which is both a sign of Westminster Council's success in its relentless campaign to crack down on the sex trade, and, perhaps, an affirmation of what the local girls proclaimed loudly and with varying degrees of success in court, after the dodgy police raids of last December.
There has for some years now been a great deal of interest in Sweden here in the UK. I think this stems largely from the fact that Swedes seem like a happier, more successful version of us... What is their secret? It could be summed up in one word: 'lagom'. Lagom is a uniquely Swedish word with no direct translation into English. It means 'not too much, not to little'.
Times goes at a different rate in the country. It seems only yesterday that we drove out beyond the M25, and the cat pooped on my lap, and we began our new life in a house of flies and dirt and no door-handles. It was actually ten months ago.
I am earning money already and learning how to manage my finances. Whereas if I had gone to University, I would have around £66k debt to pay! To make matters worse, Computer Science graduates are earning less every year, they are earning on average £2,261 less today than in 2007. Instead, I will have earned over £66k creating a difference of over £132k!
The carnival has changed. For my parents, it was a place where they could assert their duality - as Jamaicans living in England. For me and my sibling, it was an opportunity to wave a Jamaican flag alongside others, whilst pretending we were in the Caribbean. Now, the carnival feels like a great big raucous party.
On a recent trip across America, I naturally felt like a stranger in a strange land. Things have moved on and changed a lot during the years of my travels. But some things never change, and I found myself in hundreds of casual conversations across the continent, engaging in the same sort of message repeatedly, a message about things I never knew when I grew up there...