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Posts Tagged ‘cappuccino’

 

The splendour………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The joie de vie……..

We rushed down the passage like Lord Cardigan at the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’…..our mission was not to defeat the Russians but just to get to the park on time for Josh do his morning ablutions. It was early and I quickly slipped on his harness and summoned our lift. Josh had the uncomfortable look on his face and I knew that speed was of the essence. We ran out onto the Rue Jean Levesque and crossed over to the park at the church Marie le Reine. This majestic building towered over the street with its slender columns and intricate marble sculptures. We watch and wait and take in the cacophony of noise. The bleary- eyed commuters scramble out of buses and taxis tear round corners. Dogs are an unusual sight in Montreal and Josh caused many somber faces to crack a wry smile as the words ‘bonjour monami’ tumbled out.

I had a sudden craving for a croissant and a piping hot cappuccino. There were plenty of places in this town where they served this fair but it had to ‘fit the bill’. It had to be an establishment full of character with the French flair. This holiday was about making memories ……French ones! So the search was on….down to the OldTown over the cobbled streets and past the Basillica Notre Dame. The bells chimed out as we ran down the narrow alleyways. There it was, it fitted all the criteria! A charming Parisian café with a patio all decked out with the fragile wrought iron table and chairs. It would serve me well when it needed to be extracted from my memory bank, revisited and savoured. We sheltered under the umbrella as we watched ‘the usuals’ pop in for their preference. A limousine pulled up and well coiffed gentleman jumped out. His trousers were perfectly pressed and his hair slick. He was obviously en route to the airport and was going to indulge in one more cup of ‘his favourite’ before he had to fly off somewhere. Next came a lady all decked out in a sensible but tight fitting grey suit with a swish ‘up style’ hairdo. She carried the telltale pile of legal books and leather portmanteau which gave her profession away. She ‘tickered’ along and just made it up the stairs as a bicycle came swerving around the corner. This was most certainly a young student who was late for lectures!

So the walking, eating and watching continued around the streets of Montreal. There were plenty of opportunities to visit the shops with ‘solde’ emblazoned on the windows. I found some herringbone stockings to add to my collection! We took off our shoes on a hot afternoon and cooled ourselves in a fountain. It started a trend and soon we were joined by many a weary Montrealite. We walked past the magnificent buildings with their Doric columns, curved archways decorated with Fleur de lis and magnificent patterned wrought iron gates. We savoured the splendour of this beautiful city.

On our last morning we chose to walk through a different park. A solid brass statue of a soldier on a horse stood proud and bold. It was elevated on its plinth of rock surrounded by a brilliant display of well manicured red geraniums. The brave soldier was a memorial to the battle of Paardeberg which took place in the Anglo Boer War.  Here I was in the city of Montreal, on the other side of the world and I was reminded yet again…. how small our world really is. We are all connected in some way! You can find the connection if you just look for it!

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Summer flowers line the streets.

They are standing on top of the high rise buildings in Toronto today in search of the sun! Even the breakfast television anchor man was perched on some skyscraper, as he babbled on about the local news. The Torontonians are in ‘summer fever’ mode and the excitement is tangible.

Outside patio furniture is being dusted off and carried out so that it can catch the first rays of summer. I catch the flash of turquoise, cerise pink and yellow in the shop windows to tempt me. Restaurants are competing for clientele and some have even added hanging baskets of cascading geraniums to their outdoor rooms. Graceful umbrellas extend their arms out and create peaceful havens in the hustle and bustle of the city. Newspapers abound with fliers advertising all that is related to summer. As I enjoy my cappuccino at my local café, I overhear a couple discuss their escape up to ‘cottage country’ this weekend. There will be a mass exodus of boats, fishing gear and summer revelers as they enjoy a long weekend.

Monday is a public holiday as Canadians still celebrate 24 May as Queen Victoria’s birthday. We are rather low on the public holidays here as we only have about 6 a year. So thank goodness for Queen Victoria and the colonies! It all began with 5000 residents way back in 1854. They sang ‘Happy Birthday’ outside Government House in Toronto and the queen liked this so much that she declared it a public holiday. Over the years the celebrations have varied from the usual rush north to the cottage, athletic competitions, firework displays, gun salutes, carnivals and the good old barbeque.

We are going to fall into the latter and I have bought the boerewors from the South African shop and a few ‘lamsvleis sjoppies’. The chops are from New Zealand but I am sure we will still pick up on the flavour. So on Monday we are going to light up our braai. We will join in with our neighbours and friends and toast Queen Victoria with a fine glass of South African red in one hand and a piece of boerewors in the other…… here’s to SUMMER.

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