It's like a burger, but it's like totally like square, and that. Crazy!
I'm so excited. I've just had a Wendy's burger. Obviously, it wasn't Wendy's at the point of eating, it was mine. Let's be clear about that at the outset.
OK, so what was special? Well, I think you may have a clue already, it was the shape of the burger. See, what they've cleverly done is come up with a USP - something every great product is naked without these days. USP stands for "Unique Selling Point" and Wendy's is that their burgers are square, rather than round.
This is really quite something - apart from one simple fact. The buns are still round!
I didn't know how to hide my disappointment when I see the clearly circular bread adorning the beef. It was a let down of gargantuan proportions. I'm actually still pretty depressed about it. That said, the taste was delicious. Lovely whole beef in the burger and a load of fresh sliced onion and tomato.
The fries were great, although I had some better ones the day before from a place called "Five Guys". Those ones were spicy fries - and they really were spicy. Spicy and crispy, and fluffy inside. Not sure how big the chain is, but you'll find them all over the east coast of the USA. Luckily for me, Heinz tomato ketchup is available widely here, so I can enjoy my favourite accompaniment with each lovely fatty fry.
Thank you for reading. I'll try not to be a food bore, but no promises.
I can hardly believe how delicious this was - I am so so lucky!
OK, so I woke up...
I woke up again....... then the door opened.
Nothing to be scared of, as it was someone bringing me nothing other than a home made McMuffin. Not just any old McMuffin either - it's like my dream McMuffin - so good it isn't even like a McMuffin. The eggs are scrambled, just like McDonalds should. I mean, does anyone really like the strange circular congealed mass currently provided with McMuffins?
Anyway, I digress.
The simple fact is that this breakfastly kindness was brought to me by Bonnie - and I am completely delighted with it. It was delicious and perfect in every way. I can't think of a nicer thing to wake up to.
I may have poorly legs, but my taste buds feel grrrrreat!
Now then, how about this. Not one, not two, but three kinds of sweetener at the coffee place today. Not sugar - sweetener. America is changing. Last time I was here, sweetener of any kind was all but unheard of. Now, it's not only here, but there is a world of choice available.
I'm pleasantly impressed, because I do not need to bring my sweeteners along with me anywhere, I am very well provided for.
For the record, I go for pink. Sweet and Low. A nice blend of saccharin sweetener which suits me very well. What next, a sugar menu, perhaps?
I only know two things about the secular Easter. One is that there is a bunny around, somehow. The second is that we give and receive easter eggs - round chocolate eggs which contain little bags of smaller chocolate things, or perhaps Jelly Tots.
Yesterday, we saw from our elevated position, a bunny walking up Front street, collecting for some worthy cause. Proof positive, if proof be need be, that the bunny part is still true. Sadly, it seems that the wearing of fancy dress is necessarily accompanied by some charitable cause these days. I wish we were back in the halcyon days when a man could put on a bunny costume for little or no reason - but the biting reality of these present times is that it is quite wrong to dress up as a bunny if one is not collecting for cancer relief, Barnado's or NCP.
I'm pretty sure I'm right on this.
The second part is related to the "Easter Eggs" themselves. Put simply, there is no longer anything inside them. Included in the packaging are a couple of standard chocolate bars, but no special treat exists at any point inside the Easter egg.
I feel rather let down by the companies who make these yearly treats. Sad that they can no longer be bothered to manufacture the delights that used to reside within.
And so another mainstay of my life disappears. Feel free to respond to this posting, detailing the makes of eggs which do have a lovely treat inside the egg. I'd be so glad to know who is taking the trouble to do this, if anyone.
Often the hardest part is deciding what to order...
In NBTS, one of the most reliable ways of getting a good hot meal is to go to our only conventional restaurant - The Shaj. The excellent Bangladeshi cuisine offered here is coupled with friendly service and and ever-present "After-Eight" mint with the bill. Maybe they think it will sweeten the pill slightly. I really don't know. All I know is that it tastes nice, and fulfills my need to have "a sweet taste" in my mouth following a savoury meal.
But I digress - the real point of all of this is that it was Jason's Birthday meal tonight, and a goodly (although not necessarily Godly) number of us gathered to eat a lot of food in order to mark the event.
It's never possible to be completely sure that everyone had a good time, but I feel pretty convinced that most of us enjoyed ourselves in one way or another. If nothing else, the food was excellent. Unlike so many kitchens we observe receiving the thoughtful and tender ministrations of sliver-tongued Michelin starred chef Gordon Ramsey, this one was clearly able to produce the highest quality food in very reasonable time and to not only a full restaurant, but also a demanding take-away demand as well.
So, respect where it is due.
After this delightful experience, which left most of us full to bursting point, we were eagerly ushered back to Jason's house for generous dishes, brimful with steamed and suet puddings, all adorned with thick custard.
Maybe this is a trick the Shaj would do well to learn. After all, there's nothing the people of the north of England like more after their exotic main courses than traditional stodgy puddings covered in custard.
We need to remember that this all happened because it was Jason's birthday last Thursday - and we really do wish him well in the next year he lives - and well done for making it this far, it can't have been easy. I know that for him, birthdays are important, although I sense that age is becoming less so.
As we cheerfully collide with the mornings that rush up to greet us, it may be no bad thing to remember afresh that this is not a trial run - and each year is precious. Each day is precious. Each hour is significant. Birthdays always make me acutely aware that time will slip through our fingers unless we launch ourselves into life with a little more energy - especially when we least feel like it.
So, I guess that's my little challenge to you. At the very least, stop wishing time away. At best, grab hold of each and every drop of life as it attempts to slide by unnoticed. If, in the end, life turns out to be a game, I suspect this may be the way to win.
Words cannot adequately describe my joy and rapture upon biting into this work of sin from France.
Happily unfettered and already deeply into my "eating" week, Jason's present of a Breton Tart (well, two, actually) not only hit the spot, but pretty much smashed it.
The taste is difficult to describe, but a good place to start is "buttery". If you have eaten a Baclava, this will help with the texture - although the tart is more chewy than mot Baclava. A syrup runs through it, and the crust is, at time, almost pure caramel. There is no way that this is anything other than naughty to eat.
Liz spotted the danger signs and quickly shoved the second one into the freezer for later enjoyment. Thank you Jason and Antonia (and family) - we love our presents.
I am slightly more perturbed by Jason's present of a sharp knife to Liz. I'm pretty sure it'll all be OK, but I will confess to a slight uneasiness.
Now, I must return to the rather frantic and slightly desperate activity of "packing for a foreign holiday which involves air travel."
It's OK, folks, don't worry. All is well. Having served my initial 4 week foodless sentence I am now afforded a week of "greens and whites". This essentially means that I get to have some chicken or fish and some green salad for one meal a day, instead of a diet drink.
Next week I am back to the grind. How weak and loose my interpretation of these rules is able to get will be revealed on my trip to Tiree with Jason over the next few days. I promise to try quite hard to be fairly good'ish.
Tuesday is d-day again, strict Cambridge diet rules for another 4 weeks. I will stand firm. I promise.
In the meantime, I will try to establish an internet connection from HERE, and let you know how the trip is going. It's a long drive to Oban tomorrow, then a longish ferry out to Tiree first thing Saturday morning.
I'd be a stinky liar if I claimed not to be looking forward to it.