Friday, 5 October 2012

Road Trip-The Pater Calls 'Shotgun'

Finally able to move after ingesting a platter of samosa and bhaji last Saturday. Feel sufficiently refreshed to pen the third and final Stratford run for the year.

We drove ninety minutes West to pick up espresso cups and saucers.  Now I know what you're thinking. Why would you drive three hours for drinking vessels? Surely there must be a supplier closer to the home front? Perhaps, but, what could be better than a drive through the countryside, good conversation,  a lakefront walk and a feast of samosa and Rogan Josh?

One has the choice to stay home and paint the cupboards and ceiling and walls but these are not fair weather activities.
(Editor's note-there is never a good time for painting.)
(Editor is hoping for a crap weekend in Nov. in order  to get on with the painting.)

After two weeks, the tea cupboard lay bare and it was time to stock up.  So it was only natural to pay another call to Distinctly Tea.  I had asked about their Polish pottery on my last trip to Perth.  It being a seller of tea, I naturally enquired about coffee cups.  Of course, nobody had asked about this before and why would they?  This is a tea shop, after all.

Service being what it is there, I received two followup calls to say they were working on it and that the goods were on route.  It felt more like a rare diamond find than anything else.

After a late night and an early morning workout, what I wanted most was a nap but the open road called. Riding shotgun was the Pater-his first trip into Perth. For him, the lure of good food more incentive than the tea.  What a shocker.

Good run up Oxford 6 and not too many comments from the backseat driver.  Police out in droves today; filling in month end quotas?  Good use of traffic circles.  I fear Hamilton will see another half dozen traffic lights before the year is done.  A circle recently went in Flamborough way.  "They" were worried about the seniors and how they were going to cope with it. A little credit, please. 

Harvest time and farmers had brought out the "big guns".  Lots of expensive machinery on the roads and in the fields.

The first thing the Pater noted was the streets.  The city doesn't bow to the grid system.  The grid is the failing of most North American cities. Buildings located at polar opposites and sometimes nothing in between.  The grid channels you down one path and you never stop to discover anything else in the city.  You cannot meander on a grid.
Free parking and complimentary horse drawn carriage rides around the city. Refreshing not to have to feed a meter.
Made a bee line for the shop.  The Pater duly impressed by the selection.  He's a Pekoe man and confessed as much to the sommelier.  Black, white, herbal, red, green.  What to choose?  Bukhial Assam-new to me and had to look it up.  The kettle is just about to boil, in fact.

I have previously included the "Distinctly" link.  Here's another for Tweed and Hickory.  An online retailer of a mix bag of stuff but they do have a very comprehensive section on tea.  If you're trying to make sense of the labels, this tea guide will help.  Just click on the white tabs and recharge your grey cells.
Decided  on the poppy and pansy cups.  Do not like getting espresso served in tureen sized mugs.  By the time the liquid reaches your lips, the drink has gone cold.  It is essential to have the right size.

Took a walk through the Shakespeare Gardens and chatted with a couple of fishermen down by the river.  Slow moving water with several species lurking in its depths.  Stonework very reminiscent of the UK rural routes.  The Pater felt transported back in time. 
Key question-did Shakespeare actually write those plays? The facts tell us no.
Then who did?
Bill-did he or didn't he?

Disaster struck.  The Raja is closed 'til dinner.  The lights are on, the door is open,  the sandwich boards are telling us they are open.  Website indicates that they are open.  Wait two hours or press on?
We pressed on.   Out through Shakespeare and down 107.   Success at Tavistock; no U-Turns necessary.  Found India Village in Ancaster which proved challenging to find as I couldn't remember the name nor where it was located.  It's important to have some starting point.
Family business who are on first name terms with their customers.  India Village offers cooking classes so if you have ever wanted to master the art of a good Vindaloo, now would be the time. Excellent cocktail sized samosa.  Enormous portions.   They will customize your dish-mild, medium, hot.  Not sure how you add more heat to a Vindaloo.
Home.  Eyes becoming heavy.  Ran down my To Do List but with an exercise class, a day of fresh air, and two platters of dinner behind me, fell asleep in the chair before there was an opportunity to do anything else. Didn't see daylight for twelve hours.
How am I to cope with the Thanksgiving feast?  I'm told it will be five courses. 
Next time-The "Caker" blog.