Thursday, September 20, 2012
A Season of Change and Mini Review
Let's hope there is a bit of Indian summer in the days ahead as the change in weather has been all too swift. In the blink of an eye I have gone from shorts and 'light as a whisper' tops to layering up and pulling the hood of my fleece over my head on morning walks with Deacon. Last night I came in from the dark, which is way too early these days, and fell straight back in to a tradition at our house - look for the nearest person to torture with your freezing hands.
The garden that we worked on to the point of exhaustion during one of the hottest summers I can remember is wilting and the squirrels are eating up everything in sight. The Sun Valley maple tree that we planted is showing hints of the red flame meant to be the last hurrah of the garden before everything is naked and covered in frost. Squirrels are collecting stores of fruit and nuts, lately we've seen a few struggle with crab apples larger than their little head across the road and between cars. I hold my breath the whole time and cheer when they make it safely to the other side. Would you expect anything less from an animal lover who has to tell herself that small furry things lying motionless on the side of the road are really just taking a nap?
I was a tiny bit disappointed with my last read, Beautiful for Ever by Helen Rappaport. The story of Madam Rachel in Victorian London selling snake oil creams and lotions to wealthy society ladies sounded fascinating but I was a bit bored by the end. It read more like a newspaper story to me and lacked the atmosphere I was hoping for. More description of sooty walls, jostling carriages, foggy nights, whiffy side streets and clanging chains in Millbank to put me firmly in the scene would have been welcomed in a story tailor made for me. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the wonderfully animated and delightful Lucy Worsley and a passionate Amanda Vickery. A cup of tea and some spare time spent watching clips of either historian on youtube are joy unconfined! To Helen Rappaport's credit though I now have a reference for the character of Mother Oldershaw in Wilkie Collins' Armadale which I'm really looking forward to reading sometime this winter.
The photo above was taken last weekend in front of The Potting Shed, tiniest and most quaint floral and gift shop you could ever image. R and I were in Toronto last weekend and while we were walking out of the parking garage we passed a couple getting out of a car with plates from New York. "You're a long way from home" I said. "We are from much further than that!" came the reply. This couple were on holiday from France and had driven from New York to Niagara Falls and then decided to continue on to Toronto. Quite the journey. At the end of October I will be making a journey of my own back across the pond - chocolate, books and tea, oh my!