Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I’ve noticed before that the Acadians appear to be significantly tidier than the rest of us. Houses and front yards on Isle Madame and its sisters – Petit de Grat, Janvrins and a cast of smaller islands – are neat and tidy; roadsides are uncluttered by litter. We know right away we are not in a Scots part of Cape Breton: stop signs tell us to Arret, road signs all start out with Ch, which stands not for Charles as I pretended to imagine, but Chemin. The Acadia flag flies proudly everywhere.
We stayed – for a bargain price – in one of the simple but charming trio of two-bedroom cottages at Robin’s on the southside of Arichat harbour. When fog permitted, the cottage commanded a fine view of Arichat village. Robin’s hostess, Anita, was the first but by no means last of several friendly mesdames to enhance the visit: on Saturday morning she surprised and pleased us with a delivery of milk, butter and fresh raisin bread.
After the day’s exertions we stopped at the Arichat Coop to buy the wherewithal for a sumptuous Sunday breakfast. At the adjacent NSLC outlet another friendly madame kindly informed me that a medley of Vitamin B6 and magnesium oxide are the clear thing to fend off future kidney stone attacks. Seldom do my beer store stops reap such useful intelligence. We left Stony’s Takeout with a feed of seafood and clam platters, sufficient to founder a horse. Back at the cottage we submitted to another bananagrams thrashing at the hands of Lynn and Louise.
It was a weekend made all the better for having been comprised entirely of simple pleasures. Now of course the usual fog and drizzle have returned. But don’t mistake me – I’m not grumbling – the prospect of another of Mary’s smacks upside the head has me in my very best, cheeriest form.