Tuesday, July 17, 2012


The airline departure lounge at Heathrow. Next to us a young English football player and his wife. In the thirty minutes  waiting for their flight no less than 17 people ask the footballer for his autograph. 4 foul mouthed Englishmen ( clearly not believers that a gentleman should only swear on the rugby pitch or when under direct enemy fire), 4 even more drunken Italians, a South African couple " could you just sign these for our children ? ", two Americans, two Japanese, three ( exceedingly polite ) Germans and an apologetic older couple who want something to give their grandson. So Wayne, and Colleen, I have to take my hat off to you both for your patience and well mannered acceptance of constant boorishness. Not even the riches of Croesus could possibly compensate for the complete loss of privacy that fame brings.

Pancakes.How difficult is it to make pancakes ? They are a culinary adventure too far for the breakfast kitchen at the fancy hotel by Boston Harbor. Great big thick things appear , Gooey and undercooked in the middle. By contrast the pancakes at the Taj Hotel on Boston common are perfect. Pipping hot, light, fluffy and no relation to Ms.Betty Crocker. The best in the world ? Angus is happy. ' The font ' has oatmeal.

Dinner at a restaurant in Boston . A man arrives and tethers his two dogs to a tree. He then sits at an outside table a few feet away from them, chatting happily to his guests. Shortly after three goldens arrive and are tied to an adjacent tree. By the end of the evening there are eleven dogs asleep on the sidewalk, all looked over, all well behaved. We strongly approve .

Deepest Maine. A furniture maker on Route 1 north of Rockport. Exactly the same style of breakfast table and chairs that I sat on as a child in Scotland . Hand made and at a price that's reasonable. Who would believe that such craftsmanship still existed in the North East ?

Bottled water. If the waitress tells you that they don't sell sparkling water look under specialty cocktails. Maybe it's a Maine thing ?


  1. So of course the two wire-haired fox terriers were well behaved. I strongly approve too....
    Toodle pip!
    PS Gail travelled through Heathrow yesterday too, and was disappointed not to see Wayne and Colleen on her way through the ten extra layers of security checks.

  2. Buzzy McDuff would like to know why you need your water to sparkle. He says it makes his nose tickle and much prefers his fluids to hold still. Overall, we strongly suspect it was not a Maine thing but rather, a 'dumb as a stump' waitress thing.

  3. Buzzy McDuff would like to know why you need your water to sparkle. He says it makes his nose tickle and much prefers his fluids to hold still. Overall, we strongly suspect it was not a Maine thing but rather, a 'dumb as a stump' waitress thing.

  4. Reasonably priced handmade furniture, that would be a 'Maine thing' too.

  5. It sounds like your visit is mostly idyllic! Pancakes cooked well are definitely fantastic.

  6. gentleman that he was...
    thank heaven wilfee didn't ever have to be tethered to a tree
    to enjoy your company while having a coffee and croissant!
    there are benefits to the france profonde for sure.
    i love these little vignettes. almost like being there.
    tammy j
    ps... i find it endearing that the exquisitely gourmet font enjoyed oatmeal!
    (or porridge as my gram called it.)

  7. Mangled pancakes, what a horror story. These little scenes of New England are delightful.

  8. I bet the font is thin!

  9. Funny. I had trouble finding sparkling water last time I was there.

  10. Many celebrity figures realize that besides their God given talent, they owe their fame and popularity to their admirers. They realize that something so seemingly insignificant as an autograph may mean the world to and adoring fan. As the old saying goes, when they don't ask you for your autograph it's time to worry. Still, I am shocked at the way this couple was approached by the loutish fans. And the foul language! Probably alcohol. But of late, I've seen more drunks in airports than on New Years Eve. What's going on?

  11. Way back in junior high, a girlfriend and I attended a Letterman concert. She pushed us to go backstage for autographs; we did - Tony Butala spelled my name wrong, my friend pointed it out to me and when he inquired if it was wrong, I said no, it's just perfect! I spelled my name wrong for two years after that :).
    the vignettes are wonderful and the terrier story superb. What a lovely image of 11 dogs snoozing on a sidewalk while owners and friends converse.

  12. Not telling the name of the fancy hotel by Boston Harbor? Come on..can't be that fancy if they don't know how to make pancakes.
    And I'll leave the sparkling water in Maine comment for another day. Were you served tap water?

    Zach's mom

  13. I often get odd looks when I ask for sparkling water here in Arizona. I think they tend to refer to it by manufacturer name (wonder if you had asked for a bottle of Pellegrino if you would have better luck) or they call it mineral water here, or something. I am not quite sure. I just know that when I ask for sparkling water and am not greeted with confusion but simply a bottle of the stuff I am pleased.