A belated update on our Friday house concert at Brookside Cottage (hey, we've been busy!).
After our previous week's MacDonald Bridge delay, we decided to start of very early (especially on a Friday) to give ourselves time for traffic jams getting out of the city. Turns out we were a bit over-enthusiastic, though, because we got to Hubbards in no time at all -- and before our host, Maggie, had said she'd be home! So we did a little toodle through town -- a very sweet, picturesque place, for sure!
We drove in to Brookside Cottage, which is, indeed a brook-side cottage! We wish we'd gone there before it got dark, to see it in all its glory. Maggie had given us excellent directions (much better than MapQuest, which would have had us going north of Enfield, about an hour and a half the wrong way!), and as we came around the final corner, she had a sign for "Brookside Cottage" all done up in sparkly lights, just to be sure. We parked the car and then headed across the footbridge -- also done up in sparkly lights -- to the sweet little cottage.
Inside, Maggie, mom Pat and cousin Sally were cooking up a storm -- it was everything my real estate agent would have loved: the smell of cinnamon and cookies baking. What a welcome! Since we were about two hours early, we had lots of time to get set up and get to know everyone -- including Pumpkin, the cat who spent much of her time hiding under Maggie's bed, but did make a few appearances. All three of these women have had some great adventures, it seems -- Maggie is quite the world traveller, and Pat has joined her on an expedition to the Antarctic, while Sally has toured much of our own continent on her motorbike since retiring. They all had a great sense of humour and were tons of fun to spend time with!
It was a small but mighty "crowd" -- ten people, though I don't think there would have been much more room in there, it was pretty cosy! Maggie's original thought had been to present house concerts in the summer time, with artists performing on the porch, but silly us, we were there in November. :-) But that's just fine with us -- a smaller group means we can get to know everybody better!
Once again, though, it felt like we were following Taylor's ghost. We were Maggie's first house concert at the Cottage, but Taylor was supposed to play there in October, four days after she was killed. It really hammers things home, sometimes... we have to enjoy all these moments while they're here!
Ah yes, and the obligatory food and beverage report: Maggie et al had brewed up some lovely mulled wine, plus laid out a lovely spread of veggies and dips, oven-fresh cookies, etc. Guest Prisca brought a large Toblerone to share (mm-mmm!), Bob and Julia some mini chocolate-covered cheesecakes, and somebody else (sorry, forget who!) brought chocolate brownies. Decadent! We tried to save ourselves for after the show, though couldn't help a few nibbles at intermission...
After finally being able to enjoy a glass of that yummy-smelling mulled wine, we packed up our stuff, bid adieu to our host(s), and headed back to Hali. Unloaded the instruments at Mom's (still not home from her babysitting duties), and headed around the corner to Freeman's, where the kitchen is open until 5am -- our kind of place! We wanted to try some of the local suds, but they're renovating, so the only pump operating was Rickard's Red, sigh... I had a three-cheese penne with spinach salad, both of which were very good (except that I forgot to ask for no bacon, so had to fling bacon bits at my sweetie), and Don had the "Hot Little Italian" -- yes, with my permission! :-) It was another penne dish, but chock full of spicy italian sausage.
Alrighty, I've got to go over to Tarah & Daniel's house to look after Lilly and Wyatt now (feel sorry for me? don't think so...), so the rest of the weekend will be reported on later. (But yes, there was "the" cake -- not the same as "the" bread, since my mother makes it!).
Thanks, as always, for reading!