Sunny Saturday

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience:
this is the ideal life.” 
Mark Twain

The sun continues to shine on this April day when really, we are into Autumn. The leaves are falling from the trees and/or turning from green to brown. The days are shorter, the mornings darker, but the sun continues to shine and still has a lot of heat in it.

Today was one of those days, warm and wind free (note this is the Windy City) and we took advantage of it. I am one of a group of four not-quite-old women who are close friends and who call ourselves MAS, the Mutual Admiration Society. I have written about this group of octogenarians who still consider themselves to be only middle-aged and often act accordingly.

Even though we meet regularly through the week for coffee or lunch, once each month we plan something special. Usually this entails visiting somewhere out of town but not too far away. One member has just acquired a new electric car and so was keen to show this off. Added to that we had not been on our news billion dollar highway, Transmission Gully, so we decided to go north out of the city.

Two of us had been to the Bus Cafe about an hour’s drive away but two of us hadn’t. We decided that was where we would go for lunch.

After parking the car we wandered along a garden path bordered with shrubs, flowers and trees until we came to the bus.

This was an old bus converted into a kitchen where take away coffee and food was served. Both the food and the coffee were presented in disposable (recyclable) plates and cups and both food and coffee were delicious. The food is all prepared on site and the choice is amazing. And different.

Then having clambered up into the bus to order, we took our seats in the garden. A large area with a selection of places to sit, outside or inside one of the many little buildings surrounded by bushes and hedges and of course, more little buildings displaying articles for sale.

Dessert for me was an Eccles cake. Do you know this pastry? If you’ve never heard of them, Eccles Cakes are small, round cakes made from flaky pastry that is filled with dried currants, candied lemon, orange zest, sugar and spices that commonly include cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.

And a little bit of history to titilate you. Eccles cakes date back to at least 17th century England.  A popular pastry even then, they eventually fell under the stern and disapproving glare of the Puritans. Inappropriately indulgent, sinfully tempting to the human soul, and inciting revelry at community events known as Eccles Wakes, the Puritans banned both Eccles cakes and mine pies (also containing currants). As legend goes, Oliver Cromwell himself made a public example of the deviant pastries by instating an act of Parliament that threatened imprisonment for anyone found eating an Eccles cake. But now back to today.

Did I mention two of my friends are shoppers? So lunch over we spent time wandering around the small buildings looking at the articles for sale and also of course, the plants available.

Then back in the car and we found a delightful garden centre. Did I tell you my favourite shop is a garden centre? This was not one of the large national ones but rather a small area loved and tended by a man (the gardener) and his wife (support staff). And I found the perfect gift for my daughter’s birthday on Monday, two pots and plants to put in them. Tomorrow they will be planted and placed at her front door. Photos to follow.

Then on to another favourite – Ruth Pretty is a well known Wellington chef/culinary artist. She and her husband live in a magnificently restored old villa attached to which is her culinary school, restaurant, and kitchens and shop. Not stopping for coffee having recently had lunch, of course, we wandered around the shop. Did I tell you they were shoppers?

From there we decided to make our way back home, stopping on the way to pick up my overnight bag that I had left behind in another friend’s car last week and then on to their favourite stores – the charity stores or as we call them OpShops aka opportunity shops. Well these stores bore me and on the odd occasion when I have been with them and have bought something, within a day or two the purchases are donated to the OpShop where one of them volunteers. This is now treated as a joke – “Don’t buy anything” I was told. “It will only end up in our store.” So I bought nothing.

And then it was back onto Transmission Gully and home. What a lovely way to spend an autumn Saturday with good friends.

Friends are the siblings god forgot to give us
Judith. Baxter, Blogger, Grandmother and Friend

So that’s it – ramblings from this ancient mind once again.

JB April 9, 2022

13 thoughts on “Sunny Saturday”

    1. Very strange things happened in the olden days. Perhaps in 200 years they were saying the same things about us. Thanks for the comment


  1. How I miss OP-shopping with good friends! And lunches out. And finding fascinating places. Covid has kept me pretty isolated along with hip surgery and lately a sick dog. All getting better now however and your post is inspiring me to get up and out.


    1. How is the hip? I hope you are recovering well and as for that poor little dog – what happened to her? Did I miss something in your house? And thanks for the comment. it was a lovely day out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s