Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thoughts from the Road


I am staying the night in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. It is a pretty wee town, picturesque and prosperous, judging by the fine old buildings and the number of boats at anchor in the river. I was in the original Glasgow back in the day, I must say I am more impressed with the New World version. Cleaner and more hopeful.

Does anyone else do this? I see that Strawbella's (the car's) odometer is about to click over on to a major number with lots of zeros and I get all excited. I really, really want to see all those 0000000s tumble over at the same time. I get ready about 100K beforehand. The tension's unbearable. Will she do it? Will it all go smoothly? What if she gets stuck? And yeah, somewhere near Springhill, NS, the monumental event takes place to cheers from me. 170,000K is now on the smooth face of Strawbella.

And in New Brunswick, just past me, is where I always think of my friend Burt. Burt saved my life back in the day. He was one of those New Brunswick country men at odds with the city around him but making the best of an uneasy co-existence. He liked nothing better than being out in the woods and me along with him. He often caught our supper in a nearby stream. A great trouter. I learned a whole pile about simple living off Burt at a time when my life could not have been more complicated.

He would show up at my door on a Sunday morning, just when I'd put down a self-important busy week and haul me and the dog off for tramps through the undergrowth followed by, very late in the day, a peculiarly Canadian supper called a hot chicken sandwich - layers of cooked chicken slathered between two slices of the whitest bread ever, untoasted, with a mound each of green peas and french fries: all of this business covered in thick brown gravy. I was too starved to ever refuse.

(to be continued)

8 comments:

  1. Hey, you're in the land (town actually) of my birth! Kiss the ground and see if it kisses you back. Wish I could recommend a good restaurant but it's mostly all chain stuff there now. However, on your way into North Sydney, I can recommend Bras d'Or View restaurant as you get near to North Sydney, or in town itself, just across from the Marine Atlantic terminal, Robena's, a great diner - nothing fancy but good solid Cape Breton food. Safe home.

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  2. ALso my first adopted home (at least 15km outside of there) My second adopted home is Newfoundland which is why i've been enjoying your blog so much - I feel we have a lot in common though I don't have your way with words!
    Sadly we'll be leaving here next Monday - hopefully after the storm has passed by. Hope you have a good safe crossing!
    Linda Pullen

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  3. New Glasgow looks a lot more appealing than the original, much of which is still scruffy, ugly and violent, despite a few valiant makeovers here and there.

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  4. New Glasgow : I'm always tickled by place names in this part of the world, given by early settlers and so ridiculously different from the originals - I've seen Rome, Naples, Athens, for instance - tiny, often ramshackle, villages.
    New Glasgow looks good though!

    Happy Trails WWW and ansa !!

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  5. That meal sounds pretty horrid; I'd have to be starving to enjoy it!

    But I must ask: where does the name "Strawbella" come from? Rather unusual and if you've written about it, I've missed it.

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  6. Fun to read this all the way on the other side of the world in Hawaii.
    Have you ever heard of moco locos? I thought not. A moco loco is two scoops of white rice, a hamburger patty, one or two friend eggs, all topped with brown gravy. Your Canadian sandwich reminded me of this local treat. Hungry? Really fast calories. Now everyone goes to MacDonald's, of course.

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  7. Veep:
    Rather a messy kiss back I have to say....:-)
    Now I never took you for a Glaswegian, new or otherwise! Lovely spot to call home!
    I might try those recommendations another time, Maria is calling all our names tonight!
    Ah Linda, you should have announced yourself sooner, who knows? Thanks for the kind words on the blog. Good luck on wherever your trail is leading you, will you be back soon?
    T: Baltimore Maryland was my biggest disappointment as MY Baltimore (in West Cork) is wondrous and the USian version not so much.
    SG:
    Fab name! Though I got to thinking whose stubble? :-)
    My grandduaghter named my car, she thought it the colour of strawberries and loved the name Bella from the story so linked the two. I thought it rather clever!!
    Hattie:
    Moco Locos, enough to give me a tummy ache, though when we're hungry who's complaining?
    XO
    WWW

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  8. REAL stubble! I live on a farm in Saskatchewan. But I DO love the way your mind works!

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