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Landlady: The future’s black and beardy …

Much as I hate to end one year and start another on a black note, there were many things about 2014 that really annoyed me. Since when did we turn our backs and allow the UK – well, the South East at least – to become so homogenised? December last year brought the sad new that Madame Jojo’s in London had had their license revoked, thus thrusting the final nail in the coffin of lovely Soho, which used to be a place where anything could – and generally did – happen. I should know; I spent most of my teenage years and early twenties there proving the pudding. I even used to have a nightclub there in the nineties ... sold off to accommodate Cross Rail, a train line which will no doubt hurtle more bland people with greater efficiency from the suburbs to their high-earning jobs in the city.

I’m afraid that New York, always ahead of the UK in the style stakes, has suffered a similar fate. My native New Yorker friends regularly bemoan the fact that their once edgy city has now changed beyond recognition, giving way to beige, paunchy homogenisation. When I was visiting last, my friends painstakingly took me to all the remaining ‘old school’ venues they could still find among the chain stores and pretentious bling. I was increasingly irritated by the rash of New Yorkers crowding the pavements, restaurants and – somewhat bizarrely – department stores, with nasty little ‘toy dogs’ they treat like hairy children.

Back in the UK, we adopted ‘Black Friday’ for the first time last year. Whatever next? Thanksgiving turkey, anyone?! Independence Day perhaps? But the trend that really got my goat(ee) last year was the ‘beard and tattoo’ look prevalent all over Brighton. A word to the wise guys – not one of my female friends, either old or young, fancies guys with beards. Similarly, women these days often seem to favour the ‘boiled egg with painted on eyebrows’ look, which, although keeping beauty salons in business, is yet another pall-bearer to the coffin of originality. If we carry on, the entire future will be black. Let alone Friday. Happy New Year, everyone!