Just a quick story of generosity I experienced yesterday. I was on my way to stay with Jay and Amie Marshall and their delightful daughter Alison at Bridgetown in Nova Scotia. I had 55km of undulating country to ride in mid to late afternoon from the Digby Ferry terminal and I was carrying the extra weight of my luggage and camping gear etc. Through emails I had told my hosts I would bring some wine to have with dinner. I decided I wasn’t going to buy the wine until I got closer to my destination as I didn’t want the extra weight until I had drunk a bottle of water or two. So I plan to call in at Annapolis Royal which looked big enough on the map to warrant a liquor store.
When I get there I stopped to ask a local where the liquor shop was. This bloke was up a ladder painting his house, and only too happy to engage with this stranger. He asked where I was from etc, and he became even more interested when I told him I was going to St Johns in Newfoundland. As it turns out he had used to live there, but his wife left him and he gave up his job as the fitness instructor for the Canadian Army (he was built like the proverbial brick dunny), to move closer to his daughter in Annapolis Royal etc etc. (I said this was going to be a quick story didn’t I…sorry….you could stop reading if you want to).
I finally get around to asking where the liquor store was, but this bloke puts down his paint brush, scurries down from his ladder and said “I have a better idea, I’ll give you a bottle” Then he proudly added “I made it myself”. There I was thinking not for the first time how wonderfully generous these Canadians however I still think I better get a backup bottle just in case. Despite my protests he ducks into his house and brings out this bottle, with floaties in it….he reassures me it just part of the wine making process and just needs to settle for a bit and it will be fine. “It’s pretty good stuff…19%..if you have ever had sake, well it is a bit like that. Once you have a couple of mouthfulls you get used to it”.
Well I knew I had to get another bottle now so having finally got the instructions I make my way around to the liquor store only to find it closed and it is now after 5.30pm and I had limited options to go elsewhere before Bridgetown. So now I had this home made stuff which was now in first place…how will I explain this to my hosts, will they believe me? Bottle of wine given to me by a complete stranger?
So Jay and Amie if your reading this, although the chocolate was a poor substitute for a known good quality wine, I am curious about the home made stuff so please let me know what it is like if you are ever game enough to open it.