Thursday, June 12, 2008

Safe Territory

Remind me to relay the conversation about Nicki dating a Navy man some other time.

I just read a blog post over at The Radical Write, who's a friend of a friend, where she talks about associating certain items with friends and loved ones. I do that too--stupid little things, like the Mach 3 razor that's accompanied me for the past six years, purchased when my brother got sick of me stealing his, or the pen from the hotel in Salem where my parents stayed when they took me to Massachusetts for my internship. Things that have been with me for so long I take them for granted unless I stop and think about it.

Then there's the stuff that stops you dead in your tracks and conjures up a memory so vivid that it hurts, right about where your solar plexus is. This happened the other day when a well-meaning friend sent me a link to a website ( that sells British food here in the US--not just McVitties or Cadbury's, but proper British food, like bangers and Bistro gravy. Which is on my list of things to buy when I get a kitchen, so I can have "real" bangers and mash.

But the thing that got me the most was the Robinson's squash. I blogged about squash, oh, years ago now, as one of the things I liked most about Britain. (also: note the reference to breeches and periwigs. sigh.) Basically it's condensed fruit juice: one liter of squash will make ten liters of juice. A splash in a glass will liven up any quick drink of water. There's no squash here in the US, of course, so instead I make Crystal Light instead. And it tastes good. But I'm not thinking about the taste--I'm thinking about walking through a Sainsbury's, giggling at the Aisle of Tea, trying to figure out what some of the products are by their description or the pictures on the packet, getting eggs off the unrefrigerated shelves and buying milk by the half-pint. I'm back in London, back in the most mundane, ordinary, boring parts of living in London, and those are the moments that drive me crazy. That make me have to stop, mentally turn myself away and refocus on the task at hand.

It's okay. London is still there. It's okay.

And when I move to my new place, I'm gonna shell out for the squash.

1 comment:

Samantha said...

Or a photo found while rummaging of two much younger donning a dog collar and black hair...the other gangly and geeky in some gaming shirt. A photo taken at some past picnic. We've all moved so far so fast...

I still smile happily whenever I spy the TGI Friday's buffalo wings in the freezer aisle too.