Today I had to explain what a scone was, and what constitutes a cream tea. This was to a chef as well!!! Cream tea, strawberries, cucumber sandwiches and Wimbledom are meaningless here it seems!! I was never really a tennis fan, and certainly never ate cucumber sandwiches for it, but these traditions have to be acknowledged at least! This is how I used to serve them last year at Doctor Coffee’s Cafe:
And this is Miri and I making some for the 13th Ave staff tomorrow as a demo.
It takes moments like these to make me really remember I am in Foreign Parts. Prince Charles and Camilla are visiting Regina for the Jubilee, apparently, and I hope they are sufficiently aghast that such traditions have not reached this far across the commonwealth!!
In all seriousness though, it is sometimes easy to forget that I’ve travelled halfway round the world. My job is not that different, I am still coffee-obsessing and cleaning toilets(!), still baking Ugly things, still swearing at PhD revisions, and still going to rum-fuelled parties and talking bollocks all night… I have more or less got used to the accent here too now and have caught myself referring to my “apartment” not “my flat” or to “the mailman” not “the postie”. But then, for all my newfound familiarity, some things still knock me sideways with their strangeness. Like lack of scones. And less daft things: I took Miranda for an early evening walk at the Wascana park on Sunday. Over here, it was Mother’s Day then, so technically I got two this year since I think I nagged Carl into getting me something for Mothering Sunday back in March in the UK! Anyway, Miri soon fell asleep in the pushchair (I REFUSE to call it a stroller. I rarely ‘stroll’ with it. Neither do I perambulate with a pram. I do, however, push a chair along.) When she was asleep and virtually invisible in the chair from behind me, these blokes came past, saw the pushchair and shouted “Happy Mother’s Day” at me! Very sweet. But that would NEVER happen back in Darlington!! The chance of any bloke remembering Mother’s day, let alone genuinely sending greetings to a complete stranger would be unheard of!
It is also Hot, in May. Today it was STONKINGLY hot, in fact. At the moment, it is 10.35pm and I am sitting outside on the steps up to my flat with the laptop, touch typing because I can’t see the keyboard, wearing unattractive shorts and an old t-shirt. It is a gorgeous evening, but so warm I almost feel like I am back in Nicaragua!(Except there are fewer Giant Flying Bugs, and the beer is about seven times more expensive!!!). No horrid orange glow of light pollution, no wail of police sirens or drunken chavs shouting incoherantly, yet I am still obviously in a city. It being quiet, and above all, being this warm at night is something I am never going to get used to, and I love that. I would love to retain this “holiday” feeling for as long as possible!
I think I put too much baking soda in the scones though.