North America

Notes from a Crisp & Cold Saturday

Last year we were standing under the star-ridden skies in Northampton. My in-laws were visiting and we had concluded a day in Blenheim by trundling to the Racecourse on a crisp and clear but chilly night. It was July 4. Guy Fawkes Day. Guy Fawkes. Guido Fawkes, the prop-up man who had failed to blow up the British Parliament on Nov 5th in the year 1605. The failure of that plot meant that the country celebrates it – the Gunpowder Plot – annually with bonfire and fireworks, mulled wine and hot chocolate, under starry skies.

The passage of time. Today we are sitting and watching Stranger Things, an American sci-fi show in America. I have developed frozen shoulders as a result of the show because I am thrilled and creeped out. We are hooked, okay? We watch it late into the night and I cannot wait to catch up with it the next day. A strange fever.

On a complete aside, I was out for a run on a windy cold evening and watched the waters of the Hudson transform into a sheet of molten silver from a distance. As I neared it, and Adi joined me later on, we were mesmerised by the silhouette of a solitary duck emerge with a big fish in its beak and scoff it within a second, just like we would a plate of scones. We watched it slowly drift away across the waters into the lavender-grey sky.

There are many squirrels out there in the park still. A lot of babes with their tiny bodies and sprightly personalities. The chill in the air seems to have made their tails bushier like they own their personalised coats of sable. One particular boy was busy in his alcove on a trunk. He watched us but he was not that bothered. There was the business of chomping which he did with great precision. About 40 chomps in a minute. Then he stretched his tubby body across the bark, hung off it with those tiny hind legs, and continued devouring his nut like a little yogi.

On another aside, this weekend’s instalment of my pre-birthday gift is a throw soft as butter, silver with undertones of beige showing through. Needless to say, I am thrilled. It is the build-up that makes it count. Here’s to November!

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  • AJ

    That’s quite the change in lifestyle!!
    It’s great you’re spreading out your birthday. I always find the anticipation is the best part!

  • 3sistersabroad

    I was just talking about Guy Fawkes to a friend. We in Australia used to celebrate it until about 1968 when they deemed it was dangerous. We our family had a vacant block next to our house. My parents owned it. The whole street would come and enjoy the fun. Huge bonfire with a Guy Fawkes effigy that we would put on the bonfire. Spinning wheels, rockets…etc…it was so much fun.

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Your parents owned an entire block? Why that is an extremely useful thing for you and your neighbours. You went the whole hog with it from the sound of it. I would not have known if you had not told about it so thank you. xx

      • 3sistersabroad

        Yes they did, well a block in Australia is probably different to what a block is overseas. Its a parcel of land…which you put a house on. My parents ended up selling the block. They were 1/4 acre….which is huge in todays standards. I had a cubby house on both….one where our family home was and one on the spare block. The blocks were next to each other but both 1/4 acre each. so Mum and Dad actually had a half acre. The neighbors kids and I used to play Secret 7 etc….Growing up back then we had so much fun.

          • 3sistersabroad

            When I think back to my child hood I guess I did have a wonderful childhood. We didn’t have computers, phones (apart from the home phone) watches. Mum would tell me to come home in time for dinner. I always did. Somehow I knew, was it my stomach talking to me or was I able to “tell the time” by the sun setting.

          • 3sistersabroad

            hahaha we had the wooden spoon. My father had a copper stick. round and long and it hurt like hell. It was used for storing the clothes in a huge copper pot that had a fire underneath. Before washing machines thats how our washing was done. The fire also heated up the water for our showers. Dad used to chase me for a little way then he would go back home and I would go to my friends up the road. Going home when I knew that he would forget about it. hehehe

          • Dippy-Dotty Girl

            A copper stick…umm I think I shall think twice about complaining about the rolling pin then. I love the sound of these traditional ways of living, washing clothes in copper tubs, …you were a wise girl and your dad was inevitably teasing you 😛

  • Shweta Suresh

    The way you write is so powerful. I could almost see the duck drift across the waters against the background of the lavender-grey sky. That squirrel is adorable! 40 chews in a minute!? Whoa! I love that throw. Here’s to an awesome November. ?

  • whatismaria

    This is beautifully written as always and that squirrel is just way too cute! It’s funny, because for the longest time I believed that people celebrated Guy Fawkes night because he TRIED to blow up the houses of parliament, not because he failed, and was confused as to why such a celebration would even be permitted by the government :’) and I need to start watching stranger things asap because I have heard so many positive reviews about it!

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Please do Maria. You cannot escape its spooky clutches!
      The squirrel had two watchers enraptured.
      Ahahaha you know I would like to confess that I fell prey to the same thought when I first got there – about Guy Fawkes 😀 We are two brilliant girls! xx

  • Osyth

    How I love the description of the Hudson and it’s solitary fish gobbling duck…. absolutely mesmerising prose. And your throw is delicious …. quite the same ghostly hues as the paler squirrels sable tales ?xx

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Aw thanks 🙂 The sight of the duck and the fish stumped us. I have not seen a duck gobble anything other than worms or crumbs. And the throw is my It thing right now 🙂 How is your weekend going? xx

  • Amielle

    I’ve been hearing good reviews about Stranger Things! Anyhoo, I think I’ve only seen a squirrel once and that was the time I was in the US. I don’t there’s squirrel in the Philippines or UAE. Hahaha

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Oh yes Amielle, go for Stranger Things. You will be hard pressed not to speed your way through the episodes. As for squirrels, they are one of my favourite little animals. Their sprightliness is infectious. xx

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Hah well now we are all done and missing it! Gah. I wish Season 3 would be out already. Those squirrels … Adi played with them yesterday till it became too cold suddenly as the evening crept on. xx

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Ahahaha I believe you are still watching it? We get addicted to shows so easily that we finish watching things all too quickly! Forbearance is not our strong suit.
      Thank you Mia. You are a love to say that. The throw is so pretty. I have all the potential of turning into a crocheted-and-faux-fur-throw hoarder. xx

  • iwannabealady

    Your throw is beautiful and just as you described it. I always admire people who go out running when it’s cold. And the image of you running with foggy breath outlined by the Hudson is a very pretty picture. Glad Adi is joining you 🙂 We’ve just completed Stranger Things and now we are on to watching the after show where they talk to cast members and directors. I’m still sad that the season is over; some parts are still lingering with me.

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      The darned thing is that Season 3 is going to be released maybe late next year!
      Thank you Lyz, I am enjoying its snug warmth. Running in the cold is fun, you know. It tickles your hair and ears and when you return home I love the way the body thaws. My hands have a tendency to turn into blocks of ice even now when it is not even anywhere near peak winter. Adi has no option now. He showed himself to a doctor this weekend who told him that his wife is right. He needs to start running and working out. That is one sorted out doc. xx

  • lexandneek

    Sar and I visited London during Guy Fawkes! We were often approached by teens asking “Coins for the Effigy”. We really didn’t understand what it was until we got home and researched it. Another memory is of people wearing poppies on their lapels. Your blogpost brought so much memories of the visit. BTW, Hope you are enjoying the lovely throw – perfect for a snug! 🙂 – Neek

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      You experienced both very British celebrations 🙂 The poppy is a symbol of remembrance of WWI and I love the way veterans and the youth wear it with pride even today. We have one tucked into our drawers. I am always happy to hear that a post reminds you of your memories. The connection is sprung.
      I am indeed tucked into it as I clack away on Bertie. Hope your weekend has been restful. xx

  • Paula

    You got some great pictures of the squirrel! They are so fast and can be hard to photograph… well, for me anyway. That throw… oh how warm and comfortable it looks. That should keep you cozy this winter! ?

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Thank ye dearest Paula. The squirrels here are not scared of humans. I mean they do scamper away but they watch you closely before they determine it is time to move. My favourite bit is when they peer around barks at you like children playing hide and seek. Otherwise they continue with their nut chomping with such concentration. Adi played a bit with some yesterday. It was hilarious to watch them.
      And that throw – yes, I am all set in its fuzzy warmth. xx

  • TheresaBarker

    Hi Dippy-Dotty Girl! I noticed you mentioned “going for a run,” and my ears perked up, since I am just teaching myself/learning to run. Do you have any suggestions on starting as a novice? I already walk 30-40 minutes a day with my son, but I wanted to get a bit more aerobic fitness than you can from only walking, so I decided to try it. I recently found out you can do a walk-run interval thing that helps build up the body’s fitness to full-on running and so I’m trying that (about 6 weeks now). But I’ve been asking experienced runners for suggestions on getting started, etc. Any thoughts would be welcome! 🙂

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Hey Theresa, that is a wonderful thing to switch to from walks. It can only do you good. First of all you need a sturdy pair of running shoes with thick soles to protect your feet. Then I would say take it slow like you are doing and start pushing yourself to jog real slow for longer periods. But the whole time do listen to your body. When it tells you, stop, and keep walking till you are ready to have a go at it again. Have fun with it! 🙂 xx

  • Sheree

    Pre-birthday gifts? You’re a very lucky girl. Love your throw. Just the thing to snuggle under while watching scary tv.

    I’ve given up with my beloved but then no one was ever going to be as great a present giver as my Dad. He was incomparable.

    • Dippy-Dotty Girl

      Sheree, I am not complaining though I am not that fussed about gifts. I just love the thought and Adi has been pampering me since the month began. I know what you mean about your father. Mine is a great pamperer too. When I was growing up, my favourite memory is of him getting me cream rolls everyday during exams, without asking for it. My mother would frown upon it but she was put in the corner when it came to such things.
      Your beloved is your great gift for life 😉 xx

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