Travel

Sweet Autumnal November, I Was Waiting For You.

I have a natural affinity for November. I was born on the 9th day of the month. With the passing of this day every year, I spot tangible changes in myself. Physically and mentally. It is a bouquet of mixed emotions. Wisps of grey hair, fine lines upon the forehead, a wistfulness that the years are going by in a jiffy, the recognition that I am changing as a person too. Subtle changes. Like how I used to love being social. Now I am content in the company of my husband, the geese and the squirrels (they who have taken the place of the English sheep and horses). The gulls have started arriving too. And it would be terribly amiss of me if I did notΒ tell you about Yah Yah, the shaggy Great Bernese I meet almost every other day when she returns like a frisky girl with the wind in her black and white locks, her tongue lolling out a cheery how do you do. If you believe that canines could beam, Yah Yah does as she presses her big beautiful body against mine, and I coo to her as I proceed to gather clumps of her hairs on my running gear. Could I have any quibbles with life?

And there are the colours at their ripest best outside the windows, drying away in sunshine so liquid, as I write. Suddenly autumn has unleashed her uncommon splendour upon us. I noticed it last weekend when we drove into a town called Monteclair at the foot of the Watchung Mountains, which might be called mountains, but are really low-lying volcanic ridges covered with thick vegetation. In this town which the British settlers from Connecticut adopted for their own in the mid-1600s, and in which the Dutch arrived eventually, buying land off the Lenape Native Americans who hunted there, we had exquisite Thai food and shivered in the wind as we walked about its streets lined with old Tudor facades, now-desolate theatres framed in timber and episcopal churches with medieval touches in stone.

Closer home, the trees along the avenue on which we live, have turned colours. With all the wind that the gods seem to breathe our way, they are shedding leaves in twirls of golden yellows and russets. It is a most heartwarming sight. Kicking those piles of leaves in the air, even more so. Then, bringing bunches home to Adi’s amusement, to be pressed into the pages of books, and some to curl up at leisure on the dining table. Simple are the pleasures of life on this earth and I could ask for no better.

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A sea of clouds bound for somewhere and touching upon us on the way
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I bring to you some vignettes from the parks of Bayonne

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Evenings by the Hudson

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Scenes from Montclair, a New Jersey township…

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72 Comments

  • BillGFL

    Such joy in the beauty of God’s creation! Interesting that this post came the same day we arrived here in Waynesboro, VA as we explore the area for our new home. The explosions of color around us here in the mountains are similar to what you are finding along the Hudson. Thank you for such a visual treat!

    • dippydottygirl

      You are quite so welcome. Nature is the best gift mankind has. Unfortunately we are yet to come to terms about how to respect it, and we take time, but surely we shall get there.

      The mountains of Virginia as your new home sound grand. Cheers and all the best!

  • Sarah

    Yes dogs can smile πŸ˜‰ And I’m currently doing the same with leaves! Autumn is the most charming season I think.
    Happy birthday by the way 😊

    • dippydottygirl

      So we have more than the fan in common πŸ™‚ Thanks Sarah! Love and hugs, fellow leaf-collector and autumn lover. xxx

  • thewonderer86

    Happy Birthday Dippy! I think dogs beam all the time. Talking about the small pleasures in life, they have got it sussed. Reading this post it suddenly struck me that you might like a book by Annie Prolux – ‘Barkskins’ – I’ve just started reading it and it’s fab.

  • Natasha

    Happy Birthday Arundhati! What a beautiful season to be born into πŸ‚πŸƒπŸŒΈπŸπŸŽ‹ one of my favourites indeed and yes, how could I forget that splendid Spring is a cherished one too!

    Back to your blog after eons and such a treat to the eyes and soul. Thank you.
    I hear you on that bit about spending more time with the family, than the rest of the world
    Have a blissful life always.β™₯️

    • dippydottygirl

      Hiya Natasha, yes it has been some time, so thanks for coming back. Also, thank you for the sweet words too and empathising. I hope you have a lovely weekend and end of the year. xx

  • josypheen

    Happy Birthday!

    You were born in such a lovely golden time of year! I love that you take the time to notice and appreciate it. I hope your next year will be full of joy and wonder (as well as squirrels and geese!) πŸ™‚

    • dippydottygirl

      Hey Josy, thank you. I was born in a golden time of the year, in a land that was very gold, but not with leaves. It is again the nature of travel I suppose that it brings you to places where you can see trees fold up for the season, but in a most poetic way. Naturally every fibre of my being soaks it up. Thank you for the squirrel-ly and geese-y wishes. Sending love and wishes for a beautiful weekend. xx

  • InspiresN

    Happy birthday my dear !!Wonderful to have it fall on a Friday to have an extended weekend celebration πŸ™‚ what a great time of the year, I love it as well ! Magnificent captures .!!.

    • dippydottygirl

      Thank you Caroline. πŸ™‚

      There has to be some give. Heh. Though I think autumn is all too fleeting. Trust you have been good. xx

  • Sheree

    Apologies! Very, very belated birthday wishes and I’m quite sure you don’t look older, merely more interesting, and beautiful!

    Fabulous fall colours in your lovely photos.

    • dippydottygirl

      Aw thanks, Sheree. Mighty nice of you. It is conflicting to feel old, but at the same time I am not too cut up about it. It is nice to age slowly when you have your love by your side. But I do wonder about how the years have wings.

      As for fall, it came and left like a shooting star. xx

  • TheresaBarker

    “. . . some [leaves] to curl up at leisure on the dining table. Simple are the pleasures of life on this earth and I could ask for no better.” so well said! And I loved the photo of the stone church, so evocative. πŸ™‚ Nicely done, as always!

        • dippydottygirl

          Thanks Theresa, you are always so generous with your compliments. I have just been not so inclined to post and I have no idea why. Maybe I will do one soon to just back into the groove. How about you?

          • TheresaBarker

            Oh! Such a good feeling to hear you are thinking through your writing, as I m also! Somehow it feels better to know we are in the “same boat” with another writer. You’ve been blogging for quite a while now, if I remember correctly? What got you started in blogging, may I ask? Because I also remember you have a journalism career in your background as well, is that correct?

          • dippydottygirl

            We are in the same boat. The waters turn turbulent and you have to work hard to keep afloat. You know what I mean.

            Yeah it has been a few years and I was a journalist for a long time. Actually I did not want to be one by the end of it and look how it has come true. Life is startling. I started blogging because the Internet has a longer memory than me. And Theresa, my friends remember more stories of mine than I do! Naturally I needed a place to record my travels, which I could access with one click if I reach a ripe old age.

            How about you?

          • TheresaBarker

            “The waters turn turbulent and you have to work hard to keep afloat.” So eloquently said!

            I was feeling like the inclination to blog had become quiet. It is ironic because when I started in Summer 2013 it was a creative jump-starter, I felt that having an audience “out there” in WordPress reassured me so that I could do my own non-blog writing. It was a lifeline, really! At first I just posted fiction, no personal information, and then later as I read more people’s blogs, like yours, I realized the wonderful connection-feeling one gets from learning more about the person behind the words. That helped me start to branch into sharing more about myself and my process. I’m thinking now about doing a combination of posting about my writing process and discoveries along with excerpts from my work. I recently had a conversation with a fellow writer-artist during nanowrimo who pointed me in that direction, so I may give it a try again! πŸ™‚

            For you, I imagine you miss your beloved Cornwall, still being there in NJ. I think about your life there when I do my small running program here, which I am still doing. πŸ™‚ Do you have any idea how long you and Adi will be there and whether another move is coming to you in the future? πŸ™‚

          • dippydottygirl

            Aw so happy to hear you are continuing strong with running (isn’t it the most exhilarating feeling?) and thinking once in a while about me too! I do miss Cornwall and Britain so, Theresa. I miss Northampton. I miss our life there. Thanks for asking. πŸ™‚ Adi and I are here for now. Who knows, maybe someday we can get back to where the heart is? Life is beautiful and strange.

            I think blogging comes in waves. The urge to blog that is. Once in a while we fall behind because we want to. And that is just okay. After all this is our platform. So I hardly ever apologise. It is great to know that you are diverging into posting about yourself too. You can always edit what you don’t want out there. It is a lovely thing to know what is happening in others’ lives besides your own. To be a voyeur has its joys.

            I am sure you will find the perfect balance that you seek in posting about your work and your personal life. I know you will. πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend ahead. xx

          • TheresaBarker

            Dippy Dotty Girl! You are so wise. When I think about all the travel you have done in your life, and about how much travel shapes your writing in a beautiful way, I think, it’s no wonder that your writing and expression are so powerful.

            Thank you for the wonderful encouragement about blogging and about writing! “It is a lovely thing to know what is happening in others’ lives besides your own.” I agree! Very well said.

            Have a wonderful weekend yourself! πŸ™‚ I hope you have good moments of enjoyment among the near-freezing temperatures this time of year!

          • TheresaBarker

            Hi Dippy Dotty Girl, here’s another comment I thought I responded to, forgive me if this is duplication, but I’m going to re-respond to make sure! I hear the longing in your voice for your beloved Cornwall and Northhampton. πŸ™

            I love your reassurance about blogging having its own rhythm. I was just talking to a writing colleague on Friday who is finishing her first novel – she’s been working on it off and on for ten years (!) and hearing she was a bit fretful about not having a blog ready to provide a platform for readers to demonstrate to a publisher. My thoughts were: wrong reason! I tried to encourage her not to judge herself on whether or not she had started her blog even before she has completed the edits of the novel and tried submitting it to publishers. (She was also fretting about trying to get the wordcount down under 125K, which I also tried to reassure her about, but I think my comments fell on deaf ears.)

            Blogging is an expression of our creativity and the desire to communicate and be part of a community, eh? Thanks again! xx

          • dippydottygirl

            Don’t worry about the duplication. πŸ™‚

            The fact that your friend has published a book after a decade of working on it, is an accomplishment in itself. She should surely not beat herself up about blogging. It is after all an extension of our lives and should be an enjoyable addition instead of a chore. I hear you on the community front. It is one of my favourite things just as this is. Our conversations from time to time. I adore these. xx

          • TheresaBarker

            So nicely said! The community is such a gift for me. I wonder that we can feel so connected across the bits and bytes of our blog-based community. It’s a beautiful thing! XX

          • dippydottygirl

            Again well put, ‘bits and bytes of our blog-based community’. It is indeed a thing of beauty. xx

          • dippydottygirl

            The only thing I miss is the buzz of writing stories and meeting new people. It used to inspire me to inordinate (and silly) degrees. So I went through phases of turning cheesemaker, parkour trainer, ice cream maker, chef, mixologist, … you get the drift. It was a good life, unreal at times and nosy, but good. Thanks for asking, Theresa. πŸ™‚ xx

          • TheresaBarker

            Wow! So many different little mini-lives, I think that’s wonderful. “They say” having a lot of different experiences like you’ve described makes an interesting writer. Now I know!

            I feel something similar about not being around people and being part of a team as I used to in my working life. I spent some years as a computer scientist working on high tech projects, and being on teams has its drawbacks but also can be very stimulating. Just having done nanowrimo helped me feel more connected to writers than I have in a long while, as writing is a solo effort but one still needs to feel part of a community. – Something blogging does too! πŸ™‚ Thanks for filling me in, Dippy Dotty Girl!

          • dippydottygirl

            You worked as a computer scientist, eh? That is great to hear. Yes, everything we experience adds its own dimension to our thoughts, isn’t it? It is so good to hear that nanowrimo helps you connect to like-minded people. After all, our hearts flower in the right atmosphere and milieu (as campy as it sounds!) xx

          • TheresaBarker

            Hi Dippy Dotty Girl, thought I’d responded to this and I don’t see the comment in my reader, so I’m re-responding! I love that you have had so many roles – that says to the writer in me, wow, what a great background for writing! Parkour trainer? wow! And that buzz of writing stories and meeting people – I would miss that too. πŸ™ Have a really great day there in NJ. !

          • dippydottygirl

            I am sorry this was confusing. I am annoyed on your behalf! But I just saw your lovely detailed comment. Got back home after a long cold day in the city, so got delayed in my reply. Thank you for taking the interest. I hope your week has started well. xx

          • TheresaBarker

            Thank you! I love the image of you coming home after a cold day, I can feel the chill too. Hah! Yes, it’s starting out to be a very lovely week, I’m having some nice writing progress and things are feeling promising. Good way to feel! πŸ™‚ xx

          • dippydottygirl

            That is the best way to start the week. On a note of productive writing and feeling optimistic. Here’s to you.
            (I did eat a whole lot upon getting back home because I barely ate while walking around. I feel like a content piggy now.)

          • TheresaBarker

            “content piggy,” I love that! What a warm and cozy phrase. Interesting about the week. Right now I’ve got a schedule where the start of the week is a bit heavy on commitments and the later part of the week more open . . . and I find myself at the end of a Tuesday feeling breathless. Might have to think about that somewhat! spread it out a little, maybe. πŸ™‚ Speaking of which, have a great week, Dippy Dotty Girl! πŸ™‚ xx

          • dippydottygirl

            Hahaha you are sweet to think so!

            I do not like the flow of writing to be curbed by anything and it does feel a bit unsettling. Like I am stealing time away from my writing. But that is also because I am plagued by the need to write and rewrite till the cows come home and leave and return! You know the endless cycle.

            Breathless Tuesday, hmm, maybe tomorrow could be more about tea and the laptop to let the creative thoughts flow. You too have a lovely week. Cheers! xx

          • TheresaBarker

            … Dippy Dotty Girl, tell me you are working on a book! πŸ™‚ I have this image of you and your so-many stories, travel or non-travel, perhaps photos to go along with … if you have the energy for it. Your writing is exquisite, and accessible, at the same time. Just sayin’! πŸ™‚

          • dippydottygirl

            I am. πŸ™‚

            It is taking time, lordy lord, but I am striving. You are generous to think and say such wonderful things, Theresa. Love and hugs. xxxx

    • dippydottygirl

      Amor, how are you? Thank you for indulging me. It is really my pleasure to catch snatches of autumn’s last hurrahs for you. πŸ™‚ xx

        • dippydottygirl

          You are a brick! I am well too. Just gearing up for the year-end holiday which starts soon and hoping all remains calm in Paris. xx

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