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."

7 comments:

Mary said...

I remember Berni Inns. Sad your culinary delights were not delightful in UK at this time I think you would find things have changed since then. keep up the English connection is so readable. ope you are feeling better today.

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Oh that made me laugh! I LOVE reading about your time in England! I remember Berni Inns too! Did your sons like England too? Did they find school very different? See Sandi, I have a million questions for you lol.....

LivingTheLife said...

Sandi...
I am rather enjoying your mini-novel on your time in England...I wish I could have been there with you...I think we could have had a great time!! I have wanted to visit England all my life...have always had a fascination with it and all the history there. I have a friend that is from England now living in Australia...she tells me I was misplaced when I was born...that I should have been born in the Motherland...among the English Gardens and such...I too, would have loved that...so one day...soon I hope to visit for an extended amount of time...in the meantime...please keep your stories coming...I love them...all!

Blessings...
Teresa

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I'm laughing along too!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Sandi, how exciting to be visiting London! What a great chicken story. Wonder what was in there?? I would have been concerned too.

Rhoda

Kari said...

Okay, what the heck is with the black chicken? I hate to say it, but I'm thinking a visit to the U.K. just might be the diet I'm lookin' for. lol

I'm enjoying this "virtual" trip to England so keep it coming. (That way, when you and I head over to visit Sophie and Jayne and Mary, etc., etc., etc., I'll be better prepared. Okie, doke?)

LivingTheLife said...

Sandi,
Thank you so much for your heartfelt post to me...tonight...you really do know how I'm feeling...I am so sorry for your loss as well...I hate that you had to loose your brother at such a young age...and how tragic for you to have to be on call that night...I am so sorry for that....you are so right, though...when you commented that you prefer to remember them smiling, isn't that just the best way to remember...in the picture of my brother that I posted...well...that is the look I always think of when I think of him...with that mischevious look in his eye...cutting across the room at ya...and that sideways smile...he was a handsome man...I used to just DRIVE him nuts...b/c ever time I saw him...I would tossle his hair...he had the BEST hair! He could never understand why I always did that...I think he really hated it most times...but he would just grin and bear it...I would tell him...well, Gosh Gary you're the only man left in my life that has hair...(besides my sons and nephews)...my lovin hubbin is a bit folically challenged...so I enjoyed bugging big bro. Thank you again...so much...you always are so kind to me...your friendship means the world to me...honestly...I think we might have a lot in common...besides the fact we are both nuts for Kari!! lol

God Bless you...
"T"