Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lunch in Burnstown

It's 4:30 p.m. on a damp and dull Saturday afternoon. I'm sitting at my desk in my study, the windows thrown open, having just got up from a nap on the green leather couch in the fire place room, where I was lulled to sleep by the mellifluous arias of an opera on the French CBC radio station. When I awoke, I lay inert on my side, glancing about me and staring out the patio doors onto the cedar deck, drinking in the rich gem tones of that exceedingly comfortable room and the soft colours of Autumn beyond.

We were slow to get going this morning, though I was out of bed at 6:45 a.m. and Denis had been up since before five o'clock I am sure. In an effort to lubricate the gears, I drained a pot of strong coffee which Denis brought me in my study, while I dealt with my email and some related business matters of a clerical nature. I'm always sending stuff from my office to the house, to back up files or update information. I also re-visited the web site where yesterday I had constructed a new Ontario corporation, inwardly relishing the speed with which I had done it and the accuracy of the documentation produced. These tools of the business are unmistakeably clever! As some reporter on the radio predicted earlier this week, everything is becoming web-based these days. Even my prosaic ramblings are now captured in part on my Google blog site.

I listened to my heart today. I put aside for once the urges of my mind to accomplish this or that, the insatiable drive to produce and account. It may also have been that I was too withered by what had been a week of sleepless nights and general anxiety (a story for another day). After breakfast we agreed to motor to Kanata to pick up the DVD which we had ordered and which we were told had arrived, Stanley Kubrick's "If", which I first saw with a boarding school chum a hundred years ago when I was seventeen years old at the Toronto-Dominion Centre.

While we were in Kanata we flew about the Farm Boy store, gathering smelly cheeses, hot salamis, whole wheat and nan breads, exotic stuffed olives, trendy granola, salted nuts, English crackers and a rabbit which looked alarmingly reminiscent of a rabbit, sadly for it stretched out in its pink headless flesh and amputated limbs under plastic wrap.

Normally, once we had loaded the car with these provisions, we would have hurried to my parents to conduct the ceremony of our weekly visit, but today I suggested instead we return home then go to Burnstown in McNab Braeside Township to check out a new coffee house an acquaintance had lately mentioned to me. We could perhaps have lunch there. The drive along the back roads of the Villages of Blakeney and Pakenham is always pleasant and picturesque. At this time of year, the farm houses are surrounded by a carpet of yellow and orange leaves, and the mown fields look particularly vast.

We had no difficulty locating the Neat Coffee House (as it is called) in Burnstown. As you might imagine, the Village of Burnstown is not very large, and indeed the metropolis is basically clustered about the intersection of Calabogie Road (Hwy. #508) and Burnstown Road (which eventually leads one back to the equally grand Villages of White Lake and Waba). Our arrival at the emporium was preceded by four others, two of whom (a nice looking middle aged man and an older woman, whom I surmised were not related by blood or marriage) sat awaiting their lunch, the others (two young girls dressed in fashionable clothes) sat glued to a computer screen in the corner doing something or other. After an examination of the food and beverage menu posted high above our heads at the long cash counter, we both ordered a vegetable wrap and salad, and a glass of milk. The young and attractive girl who took our order then retired from the counter to another adjoining plank of timber, where she began preparing our food, which I later observed her putting into a wood oven. Meanwhile, we sat idly at a table, drumming our fingers and amusing ourselves by casting our gaze about the place which, in addition to the usual collection of local art in these places, housed numerous vessels for coffee production and drinking, presses, flasks, thermoses, cups and saucers. Once our food arrived, we tucked in without delay. It was good. Afterwards we resisted the temptation to try one of the many sweets which they heralded as baked on the premises, lemons squares, fudge brownies and butter tarts, among others.

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