The Happy Holidays banner has been strung up across the streets of Bayonne. Mini snowflakes and golden balls, trees wreathed in fairy-lights are making the evenings a little festive on a certain stretch of Broadway where I pop down for my regular fix of coffee. I am suddenly reminded of the sight of Oxford Street, glittering with dozens of sparkly snowflakes dripping like ornaments upon the busy streets of London where people huddled in their long coats and boots would be clacking down the pavements past windows displaying the best of their Christmas booties. Then onwards to a bar, a gourmet pub to grab a few drinks and then a lovely, hot dinner. The gigantic Christmas trees twirled with shiny strings of fairy lights winking back at us from the fresh market square in Northampton and the one that stood tall and proud before the grand old All Saints’ Church. Let’s see what New York City has in store for us.
Meanwhile the evenings are cold and windy. On days I feel like the wind can lift the scalp straight off my pate. There are a handful of lunatics like me who brave it and continue their daily jogs around the park. A few days ago on the windiest day of all, I took Adi along the Hudson, who refused to give into this strange madness, huddled into his jacket and scarf and cantered home with single-minded determination to get back to the cosy warmth of it.
I have not seen late November so beautiful and golden yet in my life. These are the mixed blessings of life, in Bayonne. My heart fills with some unknown emotion as I lay my eyes upon the trees in the park across from my windows. They are still flaming red and golden, possibly because they are late bloomers who might not have been showy starlets in the early stages of life but later on do startle others with their quiet elegance.
Bands of smoky blue clouds with silver linings, flaming sunsets, quiet sunsets, streaky sunsets, lens flares, gulls gliding in the icy winds above the Hudson, learning to crochet, undoing long woven strips to get this caboodle of knitting in place, reading books on covering fashion in Paris, slipping into Diana Gabaldon’s alternate world of reality through the Voyager, roasting meats and veggies, letting the lemon and verbena candle perfume the air in the rooms, … these are how the November days are slipping by in a harmony of solitude, colour, light and warmth.