My friend and I, being the groovy literature students that we are, were discussing what makes a good novel. We decided that it is a novel that changes your life in some way, it can be big or small, but it changes your perceptions irrevocably. One of the books that did this to me was Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls: I spent most of it disliking the protagonist, and then the ending threw me somewhere completely different and hovered over me for a good few weeks afterwards, infiltrating my mood and actions.
Stories that I read when I was young also stayed with me and encouraged me to write my own (if anyone wants to read The Secret Key I will give you a signed copy). Harry and the Wrinklies was a wonderful escape. Sophie’s Stories were also great. Independent, feisty and uncompromising, Sophie was a force to be reckoned with. When faced with the rhyme, ‘Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace, Grace is a little girl who wouldn’t wash her face’ she questions the fate of poor old Grace and the story behind her refusal to wash her face and resolutely ignored the message.
Patience might be a virtue, but it definitely has its limits, as my Warwick gals and I found out when we went to Zizzi’s. I hadn’t been out to eat in a while and was super excited to go and try out my New Year’s Res of making a decision and sticking to it. We ordered (I went for the Calzone Pollo Spinaci and only changed my mind like 3 times so it was all going well) and we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited for over an hour. There was one waiter for the whole restaurant, which had 4 huge tables and was jam packed (quite surprising for a Tuesday). It was sooooooo loooooong. I had forgotten what I ordered so when it was sat down in front of me I thought I had ordered a giant Cornish pasty. It was actually really good – such a full-flavoured creamy sauce, and beautiful circles of pink salty ham on top, although I only vaguely remember chicken in a couple of mouthfuls. It also came with a garlicky tomatoey wowzy sauce that brought out the calzone in all its glory. But I still remember the wait. So does everyone else who was there.
So patience was off the menu that night. Perhaps we should have done a Sophie and asserted our authority above and beyond refusing to pay the 10% extra. But I enjoyed my dish. So next time, Zizzi’s, I’ll bring a book.