Monday, 19 May 2008

Trundle Street- a Metaphor for Life

My eye twitch has stopped. Or at the very least, paused. Maybe it was the 16 mile walk on Saturday morning that wrung it out of me, or perhaps I'm just relaxed enough for the first time in awhile. I've been trying not to look at the computer for so long - printing out my course work when possible and reading it hard copy, in good light.

When on Saturday evening (jaunting out to buy toilet paper and milk) I managed to lock myself out of my flat, I panicked. It was one of those terrible, slow-motion moments when I realized just a split second too late that I had taken the wrong keys (I had removed my house keys for my walk that morning, and had neglected to loop them back onto the big ring). I lunged at the door just in time to hear it click shut.

Heart thumping, I borrowed the phone from the Internet cafe place next door. I managed to get a hold of one of the folks from the rental place, who told me it would be £100 for them to come out. Options swum through my head. I didn't have my phone but I knew if I could get to the World bar, someone there would have Paula or Susan's number and then they would save me. But that would have still left me without keys, so I decided to take the adventurous route and head to Port Glasgow to surprise John and get the extra set. I didn't have my phone but I had my wallet, and I didn't have a lot of money but I had my visa card. I was lucky that it was still early enough, and as it was, after two trains and a taxi, I ended up knocking on their door at 11 pm that night. John was at work but his twin brother Robert let me in and wasn't annoyed at me for me showing up so late out of the blue (I had emailed John but he hadn't received it, otherwise he would have contacted Robert to let him know I was on my way). Harley the Rottweiler was particularly happy to see me and kept walking around and between my legs and leaping up on me, licking my hands and shedding profusely all over the place.

I was safe. I was with friends and I was safe. But the best part of the experience was realizing all the options I had to be safe. Even if I couldn't get to John and got stuck half way, I knew I always had the option (thanks to Madame Visa) of spending the night in a hostel or even a hotel, where I imagined myself lazing through the evening eating sandwiches and watching telly and feeling like I was on holiday (I don't have a television so it's a treat (and a shock) when I do get to watch). There I would have stayed, found a place to email John with the address, and waited for him to come and get me, which I know he would have done as soon as he got the email when he got off work in the morning. Easy.

The experience allowed me to see my support network appear in my mind like a web. Work friends who would have come to my rescue and let me stay with them. Perhaps shaking their heads at what a dimwit I can be, but mostly glad that I was okay. Even if I had managed to lock myself out without my wallet, removing the option of going to Glasgow, I still would have been okay. Isn't it marvelous?! But as it was, Sunday morning came, bright and shining, and I got to spend a couple of giddy, cheery hours with John before coming home on the train. I smiled all the way into Glasgow Central, watching the new leaves bounce in front of an endless blue canvas. I bought myself a coffee and an apple cinnamon muffin and a newspaper and enjoyed the slow ride back to Edinburgh. I felt as if I had been gone for days.

Maybe I've been writing about adventure, accidental or planned. I was just going to write about breakfast, but it didn't turn out that way. I realize I am tossing John into the narrative quite seriously now. I've never been good at linear story telling anyway. The truth is, and I say it now in the knowledge that many will think me a complete flake: I am goofy, rubbery, quite helplessly in love. It's even better than the best breakfast - shocking, but true. But another time, another time.

To breakfast! Before I head out again for a shorter 7-mile trek (with keys!) I shall write a note about El Vergel. This was the wee restaurant Nif and I had read about in a newspaper pull-out of the best places to eat breakfasts in Britain. I find that seeking out a specific eatery just adds something special to a trip. El Vergel - "Latin American and Mediterranean Caterers." Known for their Spanish breakfast and now open on Saturdays!

And so we read our maps and took the bus and two tubes and read our maps some more and finally found it, this tiny place on Lant Street (which is near Trundle Street, a great street name if you ask me. A street where everyone just takes it easy. Sees the great web of life around them. No rushing.).

And we ordered:
Special Latin breakfast - free range scrambled eggs served in a mild piquant ‘salsa’ sauce, bacon or Spanish chorizo, beans, village bread plus tea or coffee. And I had guacamole as well and thought of Jacqui who loves guacamole.

Here is a photo:

I know it looks a bit nasty, but it was absolutely grand. It was such a small space, with one large wooden table around which strangers can become neighbours. But this was full so we took to the high stools on the sides. The food was homely and comforting and filling and glorious. I want to do more traveling like this. Even just in Edinburgh. To seek out a place that is renowned for something and then go and experience it. To allow my senses to be plunged into another world by someone with expert knowledge and understanding of that foreign place.

Now I walk. Here's to a long, lingering stroll on Trundle Street, with friends who invite you in for tea and others who help you when you get lost. And love at the beginning of it, love at the end. Love weaving like a drunk man and laughing in spite of everything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

simply beautiful. reading your exploits makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside :)