The first sign I’ve been out of England too long came a while ago. I was in a conversation with someone about British conceptual artists and drew a temporary blank on someone I really should have remembered instantly. “You know…the stroppy one…really minging…lives in Shoreditch…put her bed on display with used condoms and stained underwear…fuckfuckfuckwhoisit…TRACY EMIN! How could I forget Tracy Emin??!!”
The second sign I’ve been out of England too long was during a conversation with Alec and Benny where we were reminiscing about London music venues.
Benny: Where was that place we saw Public Enemy again?
Me: Um…er…dammit I can’t believe I can’t remember the name. Alec, it’s the same place we saw Fugazi. What was the name?
Alec: Uh…hmm…oh feck I can’t remember either.
Benny: Northern line tube station.
Alec: A few stops above Camden, I think.
Me: In a dodgy area. But the venue was beautiful, probably a converted old theatre.
[Ten minutes later, when we had totally moved on in the conversation]
Me: I GOT IT! The Forum! In Kentish Town! Thank God!
[Yes, we are dorks.]
And the third sign I’ve been out of England too long came today, when I read this transcript of a recent speech made by Rowan Atkinson and wondered in a fit of obvious idiocy why on earth the Archbishop of Canterbury was making a speech opposing the religious hatred bill.