I'm going insane in this country - the accents, the jaywalking, the food, the money, the poverty in the heart of Manhatten... suddenly I appreciate the UK much more.

So I have purchased an electric kettle, and set it up in the Carman basement, for the moment. I have also splashed out on a teapot, and one mug. (So far I haven't found any other mugs in the place, so bear that in mind if you wish to join me - $2.49 from the homeware store across the street.) I have brought two boxes of Twinings tea from the UK, and in the unlikely event that it runs out there are some brand names I recognise in the Westfield Market.

In the spirit of US philanthropy, I intend to donate this equipment for the betterment of Columbia University when I leave.