The Nashville Diaries, part III

The reminder of my time in Nashville was spent profitably, with many root beers, tacos and great friends. 

The entire root beer research could be summed up by:
Kroger’s own brand root beer: terrible and to be avoided.
Everything else: pretty great.

With a special mention for Sarsaparilla, which is the best. I still don’t know what Sarsaparilla is.

Saturday’s back porch party was a whole lot of fun. The sun went down and the fairy lights came up, and I sat sipping root beer in the warm night, catching up on old times and new with some of my favourite people in the world. Much insect repellent was applied, as Ryan’s pre-party deck-spraying had not proved to be effective at keeping the mozzies at bay.

JJR proved to be a leading authority on insect repellent, as he is on many matters, and also regaled us with tales of his recent roadtrip to New Mexico.

Flying home a few days later, I found myself randomly upgraded to an emergency exit seat, with effectively infinite legroom. This pleased me greatly.

Across the aisle in the central block, there were two N Irish girls, with an American lady to their left.

The American lady was volubly excited to learn that her travelling companions were Irish. I overhead the beginnings of the “I have relatives from Ireland!” conversation. 

Meanwhile I was trying to work out how to ask my own neighbour to remove his elbow, which was protruding over our shared arm-rest by 3-4 inches.

“I had a DNA test. You can get that done with your saliva now y’know…” floated over from my left.

“Hey man, I’m going to have to ask you to move that…” I began, pointing at the offending elbow in my airspace.

He moved his arm and grunted an apology. And then, shortly after, crossed his legs in such a way that his right foot was now encroaching on my lower airspace. But I was rich in legroom, and I didn’t feel the need to mention it.

“I’m three-quarters Irish, one eighth Polish, one eighth Dutch!”

“Where were your relatives from?” enquired one of the N Irish girls, politely, as we always do, in these circumstances. 

“Oh… I don’t know! Their name was Lynch!”

Well, that’ll help.

Midway through the flight, I glanced to my left and noticed that the Irish girls had retreated. Somewhere. They didn’t reappear for the rest of the flight. It was a full flight. I am fairly convinced they were hiding in the toilets.

Today it’s my day off. I decided to spend the middle part of it driving out to North Berwick, with Steampunk’s Communal Work table in mind as a destination.

There are more direct routes to North Berwick, but the Golf Coast Road remains my favourite. I have tested the mettle of most of my cars through Longniddry, Aberlady and Gullane, and the bends and straights in between. But particularly the bends.

Just as I was passing Longniddry Bents, the blues groove of Gary Clark Jr.’s When My Train Pulls In kicks in. It inspires a head bob, not a completely horizontal tennis-watching-style one, but more of a shallow ‘V’ shaped one, with the chin hitting the bottom of the ‘V’ on the beat. It’s very very hard to not head-bob to this tune.

I find myself behind a slow-moving Volvo, still head-bobbing. When the overtaking opportunity finally arrives just before Aberlady, I turn Gary Clark Jr. down a little so as to better enjoy the sweet engine note which comes when the accelerator is floored in third gear.

Despite several of these moments occurring recently, I am still well on my way to attaining 2-leaf status on my dashboard plants. It occurs to me that vegans might not enjoy this car so much. Looking at those plants all the time must make them hungry.

Later in the afternoon I bus it up to Lauriston Place in an attempt to give away some of my blood. However, not for the first time, I am thwarted. Perhaps the insect repellent hadn’t worked, but whatever, having suffered from a tummy upset on my return from Nashville, I am persona non grata. West Nile Virus, maybe. I catch a 44 home again.

This evening will be spent at the opera. Nicola is going to be there, and has promised to wear face glitter and leopard print. It’s a while since I’ve been at the opera, but from memory I am confident she’ll fit right in.