An Old Friend

The last 2 days have been a bit manic for me.  I had bought the boy a driving experience day for Christmas, driving his favourite car, a Nissan GTR, around a race track.  Today was the first date we could get it booked for, so yesterday me, the boy and my parents (as my Dad was to record the day in photographs) jumped in the car and drove the 5 hours from our home to Leicester in England.  After a long drive we were starving and we hunted around until we found somewhere to suit us all (me wanting vegan friendly food and the boy not liking spicy food) and we came across The Golden Dragon.  It didn’t look much from the outside, or the inside for that matter but it seemed to have a good choice for vegetarians so we settled on it.  Well, I really learned not to judge a book by it’s cover.  The food was incredible.  I’ve eaten in really high end, fancy Chinese restaurants that I thought were amazing but this place was unbelievable.  I had Salt and Chilli Aubergine to start, which I’ve never seen on a Chinese menu before but was delicious.  I followed that with Tofu with Sweet & Sour Sauce and steamed rice which was cooked to perfection and for dessert…..Toffee Banana.  I have had banana fritters before but I had never had toffee banana.  It’s basically a banana fritter that has been dipped in caramel which has solidified around it, so you get a hard outer shell much like a toffee apple with a hot banana inside. Two words….UH MAZING.  It really was one of the best meals I’ve eaten.  If you ever happen to be in Nuneaton, look it up.  To top off a great meal, I got a really nice message in my fortune cookie, one which suits me to a tee……

“Your feet will touch the soil of many countries”

I guess I am going to be a traveller forever.  After dinner my Dad and I went for a walk along the canal that our hotel was situated on.  It was filled with houseboats and as we were walking we got chatting to a man who was mooring his boat.  It turned out he had moved to the UK from Yemen 47 years before and he had recently turned 65.  He wasn’t happy in his job and had an epiphany of sorts that he should quite his job, retire and buy a houseboat…..so he did.  He’d never driven a boat before in his life.  But now him and his partner live in their houseboat and stay for up to a couple of months in one place before they move on.  It really inspired me.  It’s exactly the kind if life I hope the boy and I have one day…only maybe instead of a houseboat we will have a vintage VW Camper or Air Stream, travelling around America.

The boy really enjoyed his day of driving and I’m happy it made him happy, but the day meant a lot of standing about for me.  After that we were back in the car for another 5 hour drive.  Needless to say, I got home tired and a bit cranky and needed some home comfort so I turned to an old friend.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides came into my life when I was about 17.  I hadn’t known anything about it but pretty much chose it based on the cover.  I was literally hooked from the first line.  The writing is beautiful and the story is both captivating and devastating.  I’m not going into the plot right now.  Since buying the book I have read it at least once a year and I currently own 3 identical copies of the book (I pick them up in thrift stores just incase I damage one or I find someone worthy to pass it along to) and a copy of the book has travelled in my backpack on all the trips I’ve made.  Like I said, it’s an old friend.  I can dip in and out of it when I feel like it and know whole sections off by heart but I never tire of it.  In fact, it’s becoming more beloved to me as time goes by.  I also adore the movie adaptation by Sofia Coppola.  The imagery and styling that she uses make it look like one big hazy, soft-focused, vintage, 70s dream.  It inspires me.  I love the clothing, the Catholic statues, everything about it is just how I imagined it would be and Sofia really couldn’t have done it any better than she has.  Long story short, I also watch the movie a lot and tonight after a long day, I am looking forward to being in my pjs, drinking a huge mug of decaf green tea and eating some dark chocolate with chilli and letting my old friend, The Virgin Suicides, comfort me.

(images via weheartit)

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