The civility surrounding tea and cake has proven once again sufficient to quell my passing dietary timidity. Perhaps the indulgence is now viewed as no more than one of entitlement for those of us suffering the incremental weight of age and physiotherapy. Indeed only moments ago while attending upon Ms. Emma Thompson, Physiotherpist at Almonte General Hospital for my weekly post-operative instruction I chanced to speak with Jean-Guy Legault, Pharmacist who is likewise engaged in recovery from recent knee replacement. Miraculously he had both knees done within the space of about two months. Seeing his comparative sylphlike figure on the recumbent stable bicycle absorbed in similar physical therapy afforded me moderate encouragement and advancement, a certainty then unwittingly punctuated by our mutual acclaim for the cake-style donuts at Beckwith Kitchen, Carleton Place (seat of the celebrated cheese-cake style Key Lime pie about which I have lately raged). From these idle but stimulating vacillations it was but a skip to Tea and Cake in Almonte where my late mother was wont to travel with my sister Linda and my niece Jennifer for an occasional and uplifiting afternoon outing.
The Canadian alliance with Britain and the monarchy is readily appreciated through the practically imperceptible percolation of tastes and invigorating customs encompassing afternoon tea and cake. Make no mistake however the products about which I now speak are of unsurpassable attraction and social prescription. Denis enlarged his clinical morning preoccupation during this first week of June to decipher a feature for afternoon distinction of tea and cake. The Beckwith Kitchen latest rendition of a donut is nonpareil. For one thing, I do not believe there is a donut hole to speak of; rather, the production is basically round like a miniature inflatable tyre. And the manufacture is cake-like rather than the customary doughy mixture. The whole is adorned with the finest powdery sugar.
But here I confess the side is coffee not tea. I am certain there is a case to be made for either or both. Lately my preferences have swung back and forth; but on balance I have clung to the narcotic stimulation of caffeine. In the result the centre stage is overtaken by neither tea nor cake. Yet the ensuing invigoration is not able to be exceeded in quality or degree.
Naturally the matter of having the “other half” arose not long after the first induction. It is here perhaps that the uncommon report of restraint or limitation first confronts the barrier of decorum. Regrettably the height of breeding enacts a conventionality which invokes modesty. There is simply no alterative. Etiquette is the suitability of a person, rank or occasion not unlike the singular conduct associated with a funeral. Not that I am suggesting tea and cake are precedent to finality. But it certainly revokes the liability of having mistakenly saved it for the funeral.