Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sandi Takes Eastcote
I couldn't wait to get to London and take some walking tours (and ride a double decker bus and oh oh, a London Taxi). I was pretty adventurous, but couldn't take the chance of not being at the hotel when the boys school bus (I still can't get the image of that very comfy red and silver school bus out of my head) discharged their young passengers. So, map in hand I spent the first few days walking about Eastcote and talking to the villagers. Everyone I spoke to had relatives in the US and as I was told exactly what city in what state on what highway, I nodded as though I knew exactly where that was, as these wonderful people expected I should. I always ended up at Bernie's Inn drinking that delightful glass of coffee and chatting with the waitresses. (Yes, glass of coffee...a tall fluted glass of coffee topped with double cream...oh the thrill of it.) The one problem my mother always complained about with me was that I never met a stranger. Now a days that could be very dangerous, and maybe even as I grew up, but I was lucky for the most part. After exploring the town one day I came across an Italian restaurant called Antonio's and determined that we would try it out that night. While Bernies was fantastic, you can only eat steak so many times a week and my kids didn't even like steak. One of the waitresses became so concerned about Wallace's (Jr) apparent revulsion of meat that she made him a dish of Mac and cheese and brought it to work with her one night. Her name was Doris and the look on my son's face was a marvel to behold. Here was Mac and Cheese and I think it was the first time he had been full since we arrived. That weekend we found the Wimpy's and I ate the worst hamburger I had ever eaten. There was an unavoidable taste and odor of fish about the meat that I just couldn't get over. The boys thought it was fantastic, though. The next time we went in I ordered fried chicken strips and they ordered, of course, hamburgers and fries ("I'll gladly pay you Wednesday if you'll buy me a hamburger today " was Wimpy's anthem). Anyway, so I order the chicken strips and cutting into the first piece, find it is quite simply black on the inside. I raised shocked eyes to Mac (WTHF) and said "what kind of chicken is this?" He looked at my plate and said (the brute was laughing at my discomfort) "why, I believe that's yard bird and they left the yard in". Well, I ate my salad and pushed the chicken around the plate and the waiter came over to check on our progress. He saw that I had not eaten a morsel of chicken and very concerned began to cluck over me and remove the plate and bring me yet another portion of the same chicken. When I cut into it, of course it too was black in the center. Now, he was bound and determined that I was going to enjoy my meal so he whips THAT plate off the table and returns with ANOTHER PLATE OF CHICKEN STRIPS. Okay, I have it figured now, so I take a napkin and wrap the chicken within it and taking another napkin dab lightly at my lips. "Ah, Madam finds this to be to her liking?" he asks. Pretending to swallow, I say, "yes, that really was quite unusual." We left the restaurant and WTHF was bent double with laughter. "Where would Madam care to partake of lunch, now?" he asked, still laughing. "Just take me to Bernies, " I demanded, "I need a glass of coffee."