Monday, December 15, 2014

Taking a break; making some plans

When the posts dry up at the ScootCommute, you know I'm busy, busy, busy, looking after business.

It's not that there's any shortage of things to share with you. Quite the opposite.

Sunday, I got to take a break.

First I'll fill you in on how we chose to spend a restful Sunday. Then I'll share the blog posts that will be coming just as soon as I can free up some time to think, write, and shoot some pictures.

With nothing on the agenda, Susan and I lingered in our nice warm bed (we have a heated mattress pad. Don't have one? You have my sympathies). Once we got up and got going, we headed out for a nice tête-à-tête breakfast at Quartier du déjeuner on St-John's boulevard in Pointe Claire.  

Over our last round of bottomless coffee, I asked Susan whether she was up for a stroll through the art galleries on St-Paul street in the old city.

This Sunday was by no means a bitterly cold day, but it was certainly damp, and solidly overcast. Susan considered my suggestion carefully, clearly not relishing tramping along cold slushy streets. The saving grace was that the snow still draped on the trees turned the landscape into a never-ending series of postcards wherever you cared to look.
Fletcher's field, seen from Mount Royal avenue, looking west towards the mountain.
We parked on St-Nicholas street and made our way east on St-Paul's narrow 19th century sidewalks, dodging ice patches and puddles.

The galleries were invariably warm and inviting, and we had them mostly to ourselves.

We share a love of art, even if we are rarely on a wavelength where a painting, the price, our shrinking wallspace, and our budget align. Our taste over the years has evolved to the point where we tend to agree on more modern abstract art, or cityscapes.

Now good modern art is pricey. Today there were only one or two works in the two-to-three range that appealed. And a good handful in the eight-to-thirteen range that were all but tugging at our heart strings. Since we're talking not ones, tens, or even hundreds, but thousands, we came away wistful and empty-handed. That's our usual situation when we do the gallery stroll. It's good therapy though. The art gives our spirit wings, and the abstinence builds character.
What if art did rule the world?
Not quite ready to head for home, I set a course northward to the Plateau. If I couldn't buy a painting, I could certainly afford a couple of great cappuccinos.

The answer to our craving was as simple as 1-2-3. 123 Mount Royal West, that is. Café Plume.  If you're keeping track, Café Plume is number 4 on the top 5 list of cafés in the city compiled by Ms. Tastet. She bears her name well and does her father proud.
Unfortunately, Susan doesn't share my taste (or Élise Tastet's taste for that matter) in high-end micro-roastery espresso treats. She enjoyed the chocolate chunk and peanut cookie, but left me to savour the other half of her coffee. I couldn't let that heavenly coffee go to waste, now could I? Can you spell b-u-z-z-z-z-z-z-z?
So there you have it.  

Oh, right, I mentioned that there were blog topics begging to get out of my brain and into the virtual ink.

Busy time has coincided this year with an avalanche of stuff that screams for thoughtful and comprehensive reviews.

I have not one, but two very different riding jackets from Motorcycle House that I will review shortly.

The reviews will be two-parters. The first instalments will be technical reviews focusing on purpose, fit, and finish. Since riding is out of the question, the follow-up pieces will be ride reviews in the spring focused on how each of the jackets performs on the road. Well not on the road exactly. Crash tests are out-of-scope. At least that's the plan.

I think you'll enjoy the reviews. The jackets are very different, yet, as you might expect, share some things in common.

I've also been approached by another outfit interested in some product reviews. That one is still in the works.

And then there is a tale of Peter Sanderson's continuing generosity to share with you. Suffice to say that when Peter and Chantal left Vespa-land for Beemer territory,  Peter parted with a bunch of basically pristine OEM Vespa parts for a song.  Those precious parts are screaming for a post of their own.

Finally, Jim Mandle is working on a crazy scheme that three or four of us intrepid bloggers wouldn't rate as more than a snowball's chance in hell of working out. And now the odds-makers have upgraded his hare-brained scheme to 50-50 proposition. Let me put it this way: whether Jim's plans pan out or not, there will be grist for really interesting posts to come on that score. I don't dare say anything more on that topic for now, since it's better left hush-hush until it's a go, or a story.

In the meantime, if you crave moto-stories that are more than well-worth reading, check out the side bar.

In particular, if you need inspiration to undertake a life-altering adventure, be sure to follow the following incredible moto-madness journeys:
  • Michael Strauss' multi-continent ride from Johannesburg to Italy and the French Riviera;
  • Stephanie Yue's grand counter-clockwise USA tour that has her currently in southern Calfornia;
  • Ken Wilson's reprise of the Cross Egypt Challenge (got to find a link); and
  • Mike Saunder's epic ride from his home in the D.C. area south to Key West, then north to the Arctic Circle, and down to California.
Michael and Stephanie tour on Vespa GTSs, and believe it or not, Mike accomplished his amazing feat on a 50cc Honda Ruckus. Ken has more mileage on his Vespas than any other human ever, or so it seems to me, though his Egyptian tour was done on shifty Vespa-style scooters that look like they might be Stellas. Ken and Michael met up in Italy just a few weeks ago, after Ken wrapped up his second trek through the Sahara.

You come to expect that serious adventure-riders will be on BMWs or KTMs.

And that's part of the magic in these amazing road trips.  All on scooters, most on Vespas.  Totally counter-intuitive, totally true.

Take care my friends, and watch this space, there will be lots of interesting posts to come.


redlegsrides said...

Looking forward to the future postings....I need to get motivated as well.

Trobairitz said...

It sounds like you had a lovely Sunday with the wife.

Looking forward to your posts when you have time.

David Masse said...

The thing that really suffers is catching up on everyone else's blogs. It bothers me not to keep current.

David Masse said...

Thanks Brandy.

Those reviews and other posts are going to slip to the new year I'm afraid.

RichardM said...

I guess it's hard to get motivated about a riding blog when the weather isn't very conducive to riding. Soon you'll have a cappuccino review site.

David Masse said...

True, I have a tendency to seek pleasure in food, particularly when pleasure is in short supply elsewhere :(

SonjaM said...

What a lovely day with the wife. I remember you mentioning that you have a thing for art. Sometimes looking is nice too, even if one doesn't have the necessary pocket money to buy ;-)

Conchscooter said... -hit the translate button (unless you speak Greek).

Better get riding!

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