I woke up to the soft sound of pin-prick rain on Friday. I wasn't worried though, matey at the weather channel had already declared the day would turn out nice...I wove through the traffic, gliding effortlessly from gear to gear, fully engaging with the possibilities brought to me by my new clutch - and then the sun decimated the last of the clouds and bore through with a vengeance. What a great day to bring the milkshake machine out of hibernation!
The Taste East organisers thought it would be great to put Jimmy next to the City Farm enclosure. There were sheep, a mini donkey, a Shetland pony and the biggest hen you've ever seen - talk about Big Momma's House, that bird let everybody in E1 know it was her time to shine...and then there were all these excited looking punters. It's what's so nice about going to a new spot, you get this fresh delight from people as well as surprise visits from those loyal to the cause from day dot.
Robin from Dos Hermanos staggered over claiming Man Flu, but was soon looking much more buoyant after a shot of Venezuelan hot chocolate - positively tittering he was at the last sighting; my Suffolk buddy Roland from Flaming Cactus then rolled up to chat summer festivals. He said I can swing by his commune-like homestead on my tour (he's from a pretty tripped out part of the county). Then came Will from The Boy Done Food, someone whose genuine love for food and cooking is so much fun to be around - that and the way he was sizing up the miniature donkey as a possible carriage to his next destination.
Vee-Vee helped me in the van and we really started knocking out some serious milkshakes: white chocolate & banana; Black & Whites; T.C.M.Bs. The hot chocolate floats worked well for those who go wild at the sight of that creamy scoop of vanilla surging up through the hot chocolate, settling at the top and gently rippling out its lightness into the dark.
And the truffles. A bicycle shop guy from over the road kept on coming back for more. He's half Venezuelan and seemed both thrilled to have made the discovery as well as a little shocked at his inability to limit it to just one visit.
I told him to enjoy the confusion and to make the most of it while he could, the main thing is to give yourself at least one treat every day, right?