Saturday, November 26, 2011

All I can do I've done

There are easy ways to date one's life, if you like, to look back at eras and how things have changed, to have that moment of fancy I was actually there, what would I have thought if I'd seen myself here today. Birthdays and other similar family landmarks in the year spring to mind. I've written about this before, in one of the easy contexts.

Yesterday, though, I realised a sparkling new and exciting way to do the dating: red wine. Yes, folks, it's Beaujolais Nouveau time of the year. Rejoice.

Please, I am an absolute pleb when it comes to any knowledgability about fine things like, well, wine for instance. I have friends who talk with gravitas about the various regions in France/Italy/Spain, I mean winewise, and their comparative pros and cons and so on and so forth. I tend to sort of hrm smile and drink quietly whilst they do so. On the other hand, I have recently adopted the tactic of saying, Me, I am a total pleb when it comes to knowledge about fine things like wine and so on, unlike you people.

Attack is the best defence. I still have a massive load of chips on me shoulders (yes, I'd like salt and vinegar with them please, proper malt vinegar like you can get in any chippie in Britain - or shop, for that matter - and which is virtually un-come-byable over here) and it's time I fucking exorcised that feeling of inferiority. Seriously. Name me one good reason why I should be ashamed of being inferior? There.

So yes, anyway. Beaujolais Nouveau. A hrm light, easy-drinking red, with a fruity nose and, hm, hm, a plastic bottle, this year - it's got an environmental reason behind it, I believe (the other one we can get in this country being in a glass bottle, but it has already sold out most everywhere). And most importantly, always dished out, globally, on the same day, year after year. I bought two (plastic) bottles yesterday (having consumed two glass bottles during the previous couple of weeks). For some reason, I remembered the first time I ever bought some; this would have been in 1988, a full what 23 years ago, in London's fair North Finchley, a place of many personal buried memories, some of which have seen daylight on these pages before, as well (and please, as an aside: that post has quite freakishly become the defining post of this poor near-abandoned blog, to be sure. Even on the most dry periods when nothing whatsoever has entered or indeed left these quiet halls, someone somewhere goes to that post, not because I wrote it, but because of a certain person mentioned in it. This, I find, is an intriguing little thing which seems to support the global village theory).

But I digress. Wildly, and, it would seem, fairly continuously. I bought some Beaujolais Nouveau yesterday, I bought some Beaujolais Nouveau for the first time ever 23 years ago, I know this because I remember the occasion and it will have been very easily exactly or as near as dammit 23 years ago, given the stuff is always available at the same time of the year, as I mentioned some miles above. I was 21; I had read about Beaujolais Nouveau some vague number of years previously in - the shame of it all - a Reader's Digest magazine/booklet/periodical/whatever, and as I happened to pass an offie on my way home, walking through Tally-Ho (what, Square? Can't remember. Corner? Circle? Nah, it's gone), I saw it in the window and walked in and bought a bottle. We were five people flatsharing, give or take a girlfriend or two, and whilst very little wine was ever brought onto the premises, everyone agreed it was a lovely idea and had a glass, and as we were quite a few, there wasn't a great deal for everyone, and it was generally agreed I should have bought two bottles whilst at it.

And this is me now, 23 years later, waving at the 21-year-old myself, hello Anna, this is Anna calling, you will be alright, in the end, after a fashion, don't worry honey, it will all hurt like fucking buggery (sorry guys, this blog should carry a rating for language) but in the end, you'll be, as I said, sort of okay. Weirdly, I was studying at the time, too, as I am again now - and holding onto the fact I had managed to land up in a relationship, although my exceedingly shitty self-image had lead me to believe I never would be good enough for anyone (this is the younger me, right - and not going into what the me of now has to say about that matter, only that the view is more mature now).

And now we just need to wait and see if I'm around in 23 years to latch onto something I have, quite innocently, done this year for the first time or somehow otherwise memorably, whether the 67-year-old me is actually currently waving at me in the future saying, don't worry honey, this is Anna calling, it will all be okay in the end, after a fashion. Ooh can hardly wait, don't you agree?


Navas said...

Being an ex-almost-local-to-North-Finchley-person, I can tell you that it is Tally Ho Corner..still there of course, just where you left it.
It's odd doing something again a long time later. I've done that myself recently. In my case with an even longer gap than yours, I returned to Portobello Road, the scene of free rock concerts under the "Westway" (a motorway which passes over Portobello) in the early 70s, when I was a student. I went for quite different reasons this time though, but it did bring back those vivid memories of loud music, ringing ears and patchouli oil. What would I have told the 20 year old me that was there? "Je ne regrette rien."
Nice to "see" you again Anna :-) I don't often hang out in these parts.

Anna MR said...

Ah, hello Navas; nice to see you, and hanging around these parts as of late would have been a fairly dull and futile exercise, given that not a very great deal at all has taken place in these parts for a considerable time.

You went back to a place - and I know that to be a weird thing yes. Just to split hairs, I didn't really (physically, actually) go anywhere at all (except Alko, the monopoly-offie we have in this uncivilised country where the people cannot be trusted to buy their wine from any shop except the one and only licensed and owned by the state booze shop). But for some reason, this year buying Beaujolais (which I started buying again last year, I think, having come out of a ten-year-stint where red wine - the mere thought of red wine - would give me the most god-awful migraine, making the whole enterprise of buying it rather a waste of money), I remembered the first time of buying it. I think my brain has a quirk that makes it want to section life into equal chunks marked by something or another - an aspberger-spectrummy thing, mayhap? - and this time, it was Beaujolais which sent my mind spinning into the times near Tally-Ho Corner (yes, of course, Corner, thank you) and my life then and my life now and and and.

Yes, you see what I mean. But what-what? You don't regrette rien? Navas, how unusual and interesting. Man, I regret such a bunch of things that I cannot even begin to list them. I don't regret where I've landed up being - no. But man, some things along the way...oh man.

But that might be the subject matter for another post. Don't hold your breath mind, for I have earned my exceedingly-unreliable-blogger spurs, and for a good reason: I am an exceedingly unreliable blogger.