It was one of those reflective moments, just like the days when TV had the potter’s wheel. There I was, sat in one of the many fine restaurants on Gerrard Street, in the heart of London’s Chinatown, before me a bowl of roast duck and roast pork noodle soup and a pot of china tea. Something comforting about soup, don’t you think? Just like Jewish sons remember their mama’s chicken soup with knaidlach, I’ve long regarded the authentic noodle soups in Chinatown (not the ubiquitous noodle parlours, you notice, though if Chinatown is not handy you could always try Wagamama though it’s usually packed and certainly not as restful) as perfect nourishment for the brain.
So it was. The moment that soup was placed before me I had to pause and savour its perfection: the rich soup, a fine sheen of fat on the surface like a rainbow reflected in a puddle; the gloriously textured noodles – with bite!; the succulent meat, chopped fresh to order, layered on top. If you’ve ever seen the Japanese western movie, Tampopo, you’ll know all about reverence for noodle soup turned into an art form.
Anyway, the cleansing effect of the noodle soup helped me see with clarity. See what, you ask? Kind of life-changing really. I’m now almost complete in my divorce, I’m done the same sort of business for well over 17 years, I have my country cottage and two lovely kids, I love my acting and writing, but what next in this roller-coaster we call life? How about clear goals: to be sure I find my soulmate, my partner for life; to take the plunge and make a living from the things I enjoy most; to travel to more places while I’m fit enough to do so; and maybe, as we sup the last of the soup from the bowl, just maybe to find contentment in what we do without having to strive for more?