Skip to main content

JANUARY 2015: nostalgia and the here and now of London (and riesling)

I got a little annoyed with January and everyone wanting to have a ‘dry January’. I had worked all through December and I wanted to have fun for the beginning of the year. Luckily I had a few trusted friends who were equally unimpressed with the dry Jan concept. But of course, everyone was broke (including myself) so I decided that it was going to be a month of drinking good wine at home. 

That’s the thing with London, there is always something good to do, there is always somewhere great to be; it’s a tricky city to be in, when broke. And January is such a sad month, that you want to brighten it up with fun, but you don’t have the money to do so. When I went back to uni to do my PhD I used up all my savings and really didn’t have time to pick up extra work, so even though I graduated six months ago, I’m still playing catch up and living pay check to pay check. Therefore despite the December work slog, I was back to being broke by January. And I know that I’m not alone in this boat. 

I do think it’s getting harder in London, there are so many people my age (early - mid 30s), with good jobs, and still living precariously. I think rents are ridiculous in London, they have risen so much faster than inflation; with the financial crash in 2007/8 pay has been frozen in many companies, yet rent and cost of living still rises. I felt I knew more people in my 20s who were buying flats than I do now. 

My January plan was to cook healthy and drink well. What dictated my cooking was simple -  Highbury Vintners. We went there one afternoon and they had a sign in the window that said ‘Dry January’ over a number of bottles of dry rieslings. So, there you go - I decided to drink resiling in January! And I love a good bowl of spicy, asian inspired food to go with my riesling.

My desire for good wine and not going out in January was all about the here and now, and having to come to terms that at 33 I’m not as grown up as I wanted and thought I would be. I’m not financially secure, I’m not secure in my career - although lots of great things are happening and I have every faith that I will be. But thinking back to my mid 20s, I thought I would be ‘sorted’ by now. I am learning that you never really are ‘sorted'; and sometimes you need to take different journeys than you thought, to get to where you actually want to be. But, in opposition, my interest in riesling is all about the past. 

Why I love riesling is to do with the first time. The first time I had a glass of riesling poured for me, I stuck my nose in the glass and inhaled petrol. The scent of petrol was so strong that I was instantly taken back to my childhood, on the rivers of Sarawak, with dad, going up river in the longboat and the smell of petrol on the air from the boat’s motor. So my love of riesling is purely emotional. Funny that a german wine (which that first one was) would make me think so vividly of the jungles of Borneo. 

I now like and appreciate a wide range of riesling, and some of my favourites are from New Zealand - so also a touch of home and nostalgia there, too. 


Popular posts from this blog

How do we decolonise? A series of questions

I have been thinking a lot recently about how we decolonise our thinking, especially around food and drink and to be honest I have no answers but I do have a series of questions. I have a some specific streams of thinking. I am also concerned with the indigenous identity, and how it is one that sits within many other spaces. “Commonly held beliefs of the white culture attack commonly held bliefs of the Mexican culture, and both attack commonly held beliefs of the indigenous culture. […] she learns to be an Indian in Mexican culture, to be Mexican from an Angle point of view.” Gloria Anzaldua, Towards a new consciousness. Because to me this is the essential strip back we need to get to, to understand what colonialism means, and how we untangle that. But how do we engage with that language in the UK where indigenous narratives is not a known language, because ‘native’ does not mean difference? How do we connect globally with the understanding of indigeneity? There is the

Rice, and everything else

I want to tell a story about journeys. Journeys that are circular, that fold back on themselves. For Gawai this year I had a conversation with my dad about rice, and about celebrations, and on Instagram I told a story from a Gawai. It also made me think about my name – the journey my name has gone on, and how I have moulded myself to others, to audiences I meet on my migration and how I fit into what feels comfortable for others. To be complicated means having to explain myself a lot, which is both ok and annoying. I sit with both those feelings. The story of rice is complicated too, its about farming and eating, it's about gods, it's sacred but also it's everyday.  This piece is a journey too; it is a snap shot of different things that to me, make up a whole. This is my history. My name is Anna Sulan Masing. [I haven't edited my dad's words, because these are from back and forth chats, and I like imperfection that modern technology of rushed emails and

The world for some spice

This is a bit of a rant, it was going to be a twitter thread but I realised I had more to say that a few posts so thought I would take the liberty of this space - after all, that is what it is here for. But, the editing - typos, spelling, phrasing etc - will all be a bit off, as I write this in rant and in rush. Two things happened yesterday that are connected, and another thing this morning that is adjacent to the same thinking.  Firstly -  I listened to Take A Bao podcast (which I am going to write about more Kavey Eats blog for next week), and I was reminded how it is pitched for a global audience, it is talking about global food trends, but what makes is so great is that it completely takes out a western-centric narrative.  This isn't a food podcast that explores politics, it is a gentle, interesting look at various interesting foods and drinks. It just takes the assumption that Asian foods are interesting to all, and that to talk about it we don't have to exotic