Saturday, December 16, 2006

Buses, plus-fours, and food

Just in at the Dunoon library again, with a post of assorted thoughts.

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but the public transport buses around here are also used as the school buses. There's a bus that goes into town and gets there for 8:30am that is a school bus, but anyone else can take it as well. Then there's a bus that leaves downtown Dunoon at 3:20pm and stops at Dunoon Grammer School (the secondary school - ages 11 and up) and waits around while all the school kids get on. I generally try to avoid taking that one as I feel weird sitting in amongst all the teenaged, loud, kids. So if I'm in town on a school day and need to go back around that time I catch the 3:50pm bus. It also picks up some school-kids but not so many. However, when one driver in particular is on, the bus always makes a stop at a newsagent in Sandbank so that the kids can get off and buy snacks. I knew I was living in a small, unrushed place when the public bus makes an extra stop for kids to buy treats.

The hotel has some more hunters staying once again. Deer hunting, pheasant hunting, and fishing bring out a lot of our guests. Most come from "down South"; i.e. England. Now, if you are to picture the stereotypical image that most Canadians have of the outdoor sporting Englishman, I think it would probably be the slender man in a wooly sweater, perhaps a tweed coat, but most certainly he would be wearing short pants that I've been calling breeches (from fencing terminology) and long socks. Think Prince Phillip or another prince of choice out in the woods with a gun. Well, believe it or not (and I had trouble believing it), people other than royality still do dress like that to go hunting or fishing. The trousers are called "plus-fours" so I'm told (because they extend about 4 inches below the knee as I've just read online), and they often have little tassle-like things on the hems. I've yet to see anyone under age 40 wear them, or anyone Scottish, but I have seen women wearing them on a few occasions and loads of men. The posh-er the accent, the more likely the person is to wear plus-fours in my experience.

One of the hunters this morning thought I was from Quebec because he said that he could hear French in my accent. I told him that English was my native language as it was of all the people I grew up around but that didn't seem to sway him. A hotel owner up the road did tell me that she could hear similarities between my accent and that of a Quebecer that works for her but she didn't go so far as to say that I sounded French. It puzzles me as I speak French with an English accent so how can I speak English with a Quebec accent?

In my time working at the Coylet, I have been fed 5 meats that I had never consumed before. Those meats would be venison, pheasant, rabbit, duck, and pigeon (yes, you read that correctly - not the street ones, wild ones). The venison I don't find too different than beef - in fact, in effort to use up leftovers one day our chef made us meatballs and pasta in which the meat was venison and pheasant - our manager coined them "game balls". The pheasant I wouldn't really know from chicken if no one told me otherwise, and the pigeon is like a flakier almost nicer-than-chicken version of chicken. The rabbit I don't know if I'm super keen on - it's very strong flavoured, dark and chewy - I don't dislike it but it didn't capture my fancy. Duck, however, I really like.

Then, in addition to the meats, I've had black pudding once or twice, usually a leftover Stornoway black pudding that someone didn't eat at breakfast time. It's actually quite nice for being made of blood - you can certainly see the colour of it but it tastes alright. I couldn't eat a whole plateful of it but one slice, a few inches in diameter, is fine. I had haggis as well last week, which I've had before in PEI and liked then anyway.

1 comment:

bronwyn said...

Yo Miggy --
That's some crazy shit, yo. The sleepwalking, I mean. I had forgotten you did that until I read your previous post.
Do the weaker English hunters in the plus-fours have to go through the spanking machine?
Merry Secular Holidays!