Sunday, May 01, 2005

unusual english day

i began this morning with a cafetiére of monmouth yrgacheffe, bought yesterday. it's a little different than my usual yrg, from gillies in new york. while it's extremely floral, as you'd expect, it doesn't have much of the citrus i'm used to in the gillies, which as long-time bccy readers know is markedly lemony.

pressing it does give it a great body. so that's fantastic.

i meandered down the big hill to main wimbledon to buy some fruit, hoping to find a nice english apple or something. i wandered through several stores -- tesco, sainsbury, the marks & spencer -- but all the fruit seemed to come from new zealand.

ah! it's a modern world everywhere. long-time readers know i'm fond of heirloom apples, but the best i saw was a nice stripey cox.

in the end i bought a real poilane pain de siegle and a dutch "conference" pear to go with the wigmore cheese from yesterday's expedition to the borough market.

as i came back up the hill i was enjoying the nice warm weather. i'd say it was about 70 degrees, maybe 75, just a gorgeous day with a light breeze.

however, this is rather warm for an english spring day, and around me the charming regulars at the local were just melting. it being sunday, they had all arrived for their standard english roast beef lunch.

the regulars here at little inn in the village proper where i'm staying are quite characters. it's like being in your own bbc show; they're just adorable, wonderful people who depend on each other with a certain warm but reserved english friendship.

by new york standards they scarcely know each other -- they aren't even always sure what each other do for a living -- but yet they see each other every day and constantly run little neighborly errands on each other's behalf.

for example, tim b. will drive mahmoud's car for him here or there on occasion; and when we went to borough market we couldn't forget to pick up a piece of cheese for tom o.

things like that. when we see mark's girlfriend mary on the street, she sits down outside the inn and talks to everyone for 20 mins. before going on about her daily business: that's the kind of little world it is.

nichola's the manager of the inn, and she went to the cotswolds for the day -- several of the regulars came out to help her pack her car for the trip. as a new yorker, this all seems like a dream to me, like a wormhole into a vanished, nearly 19th cent. world.

as they pass each other every day, they remain secure in the knowledge that they'll all see each other again in the evening at the bar, as they gradually filter in between 7:30 and 9:30. and then they'll proceed to making the joking small talk over guinness that seems a hallmark here. . .

myself, i'll be in my room washing my hair and talking to my teddy bear.

posted by fortune | 11:19 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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