As they say practice makes perfect. I want to practice my English and writing a blog in English seems like a good idea. My spoken English skills have taken huge leaps forward but I hardly write in English apart from chatting on my mobile. Also as I’m still spending most of my days without the Mr, this is just another way for me to show him I care. I know he’s reading.
On our last trip to England he suggested I should start writing a blog about sticky toffee pudding. Imagine us sitting in an old pub, being as ungodly as we only dare, having cake for lunch. I chose sticky toffee pudding like I almost always do as long as it is on the menu. Mind you, I do make sure we mostly go to places where they serve sticky toffee pudding. I started commenting the tasty experience I was in the middle of and he suggested I should write about this. Not only about sticky toffee puddings, may there be plenty of those in my future, but also about the small cultural clashes we face and about how I see the world.
I had my first ever piece of sticky toffee pudding on my first ever visit to Scotland. We had driven through the Highlands and ended up stopping in a town called Dunkeld. After a lovely stroll in the park next to the cathedral and through a narrow street of pretty white houses we ended up to a local hotel restaurant where we decided to have an afternoon tea.
The place, which I only recently googled to find out to be Atholl Arms Hotel, seemed literally quite wonky in my eyes. Here in Finland everything is always straightforward, buildings are geometrically correct, modern and practical, everything is done by rules and regulations and as everyone knows Nordic design, which is where an average Finn grows into, is best described with the words simplicity, functionality and minimalism. On the moment I stepped into the building my senses were filled with perceptions which were totally unseen and very extreme to me. First of all they had dogs in the hotel lounge. The dogs were running free and well-behaved. There was some children too even though the adults might be enjoying pints. How absurd is that for someone who comes from a high rule society. As an icing on the cake the floor of the lounge area was rolling like waves formating slight hills under the checked carpeting. Extreme!
I was totally stunned. How can anyone, not to mention a great nation, function like this. It was mindblowingly charming and fabulous for me. Behind my apparent calmness my mind was working hard and trying to reorganise all the blocks to their places. I was suspicious about the menu and only ordered tea. Mr had sticky toffee pudding which to me looked anything but appealing. I gave it a go and tasted a spoonful.
Mr won’t ever forget the look on my face. He describes it as my Cheshire cat smile. Since that very moment I’ve loved sticky toffee pudding. It was a total sugar overdose! As much as Mr hopes I won’t lose my Cheshire cat smile, at least that much I hope Britain never loses its wonkiness. Atholl Arms Hotel, please never do anything to correct that floor. It’s perfectly lovely the way it is.