My most memorable meal: Vivi Victory, food writer
January 21, 2013
Posted in Memorable Meals
The bond I have with my sister is incredibly strong. She’s 2 years older than me and I’ve always looked up to her since I was little. She was always a confident, sociable and feisty girl while I always felt awkward and lacking in confidence. I preferred to be out on my bike, reading or living inside my own wild imagination while she was out being a girl about town. As we got older into our teens I irritated the hell out of her. She was supercool and I was a supergeek and wished I could be more like her. Quickly realising I could only be me, I developed my own sense of self and style. Sadly we also drifted apart while we carved out our own lives and identities.
It came as a shock when she fell pregnant at 17 and the family was in uproar and turmoil. Slowly we re-bonded as the bigger her belly got the more she needed me. Her vulnerability opened up. Just silly things like shaving her legs for her as she couldn’t bend over helped bring us closer and when my niece was born we learned together how to care for a child which was both frightening yet awesome. For the first time in our relationship I felt that I came into my own and was able to become a support for her. During the first years of my niece’s life she started to become part of my world. I took her to rock clubs, introduced her to punks and metallers and eventually felt like were equals; both cool confident young women.
I went to university and she spent time building her family and nest. Our relationship became more low level. Her partner at the time subtly made it difficult for her to sustain relationships and shielded her from people which saddened me but I accepted it. Although I only spoke to her on the phone infrequently and our visits were short, our bond was always strong and our letters to each other were the glue for that period that kept us in tune. But I missed her.
After university I didn’t return to my home town so after being away from home for about 8 years I didn’t see much if her; only when I came home for holidays and even then it was a quick half an hour given her circumstances then. Thankfully she got out of that relationship and before I knew it she was at my flat to stay for a weekend. 2 days of catching up of 8 years of each others lives was totally do-able; we didn’t stop talking. It was a massive mix of emotions as we laughed and cried together while realising this gulf that stood between us had been so wrong. So to make it right I took her to my favourite restaurant in Manchester.
Sadly it’s no longer there but it was called Bawadis and was a Middle Eastern restaurant, cheap as chips and serving up the most incredible homemade, fresh, good honest food. Armed with a couple of bottles of red wine (It was bring your own, winner) we ordered like we’d never been fed. The owner flirted with my sister while I studied the menu. The meals were tapas sharing style and we ordered succulent lamb and peas, spiced potato, grilled halloumi, green beans in a delicious tomato sauce, Armenian sausage, the most incredible flavored rice, feta cheese salad and warm fresh flat breads which were to die for. Yep I remember each and every dish! Our catch up conversation was punctuated with the “mmmm’s” and “oooh’s” of the food. I was pleased that her mutual love of food hadn’t waned and we talked about recent delicious meals we’d eaten. The night before we’d exorcised any sadness, guilt and regret for ‘the lost years’ and that meal healed it all. It was bloody good fun and we shared stories and roared with laughter.
Ever since that weekend we never go more than a few weeks without seeing each other and between then constantly speak on the phone, text and email. I still look up to her as she’s a real role model for me. She’s beautiful, strong, inspiring, kind and wise and would knock anyone out who would dare mess with me! (She’s ripped so don’t even think about it!) Apart from my husband, she’s my favourite person in the world and I absolutely adore her.
Vivi Victory believes the food makes the world go round and as a vintage loving gal believes in home cooking while keeping it simple. She’s always loved food but only discovered cooking in her early twenties. Her love of food has been expressed in her blog which re-ignited her love of writing and is thrilled to have has been published in Vintage Life magazine (her favourite magazine) with her second article due out 31st January.
You can read more of Vivi’s food stories and musing here on her blog Vivi Victory or find her in the rather fabulous Vintage Life magazine.