Sunday, December 7, 2014

Frosty, Sunny Day, with Santas and Violin

Yesterday we actually saw sun. I know, unbelievable, right?! We've been living in a gray shroud for so long that I forgot what it's like to walk around on a sunny day with a camera. Everything seemed so intriguing, full of color and mystery.

When Olga and I first went out in the morning, the sky was crystal clear and a crust of frost covered the ground.

Olga was so funny, prancing across the ice-covered backyard like a gazelle. She's not used to ice on her paws. We took a little walk, and then I attempted to clean out the bird-feeders (in which the uneaten seed had congealed into a grass-sprouting clod of moldy organic matter). I managed to empty one of them, but the other -- which I couldn't open -- remains a garden-in-the-air.

Then I set out with the camera on a photography walk for Bleeding London. I headed to NW10, west of us, and walked all day -- as long as there was light. I covered 72 streets and even forgot to eat lunch.

I saw numerous Santas flocking to central London for some kind of Santa pub-crawl. No wonder the old man is so jolly.

Finally, after walking all day, I went to Oxford Street to run some errands. When Dave bought his new black suit a month ago, the shop forgot to remove one of the plastic-clamp theft-prevention devices. We didn't discover it until yesterday when Dave tried to put on the suit for his concert in the afternoon. So I dragged the pants around with me all day in a backpack and took them back to the store in the evening. The clerk I spoke with was very apologetic and removed the clamp right away.

(Which raised an interesting question in my mind. A la yesterday's post about Ferguson and race perceptions, I wondered if she would have so readily accommodated me if I'd been a black man showing up with a pair of pants still clamped with a theft-prevention device. I did have a receipt, but still -- I wondered. And why didn't the crazy clamp set off alarms when we left and entered the store?)

Finally, I went to Primark to get a holiday sweater. I never wear holiday sweaters, but a coworker showed up at work this week with one that I loved, featuring the skyline of London silhouetted against a night sky. He told me where he got it, so I went for my own. Let me tell you, the experience was hell. Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon in the Christmas shopping season? It was literally pedestrian gridlock. The inside of Primark was equally insane, with hordes of locust-like shoppers throwing garments willy-nilly. In the end, though, I got my sweater. (Just £9!) I took a picture of it, but Dave thought only a video would suffice because -- oh yeah, I forgot to mention -- it lights up! You can see me modeling it for ten seconds here.

After those ridiculous errands I caught a bus home in the evening darkness, and I was so thankful to be able to sit down that I almost cried. At one point as our bus sat in traffic, my nerves a bit frazzled by the crowds, I looked over to my left and saw a man through an apartment window, serenely playing the violin. What a great urban moment! I immediately felt better.

(Top and bottom photos: From yesterday's walk.)


Sharon Anck said...

OMG, I love the sweater. Your story about the pants made me think of one of the first times I went to London. I bought an evening bag at Harrods along with a few other souvenir type stuff and instead of carrying them home I had them shipped. Two or three years later I was in Las Vegas one evening after a show with a friend who wanted to wander through the shops but, every shop I entered I set off the alarm. Security would check me over and of course find nothing but, after the fourth or fifth shop, my friend was a bit embarrassed by me so we quit the shopping thing. A few months later, I was digging through that evening bag when I found hidden in a seam, a security tag from Harrods. It wasn't an expensive bag so I'm not sure why it warranted a security tag but, I still have it. I've removed the security tag though.

mary i said...

I would so wear that sweater! I think it was worth going through hell for.Ok; I was raised in the north of USA.I then moved to the bible belt of the south.I love it here but sometimes these folks are a leetle backwards.I have learned to keep my mouth shut at times.'Nuff said.Have a good day..

Ms. Moon said...

You and your sweater are adorable!!!!

ellen abbott said...

I truly do not get the christmas mania. but that's a pretty cool sweater for someone else to wear. gret photos in the post. I think they deactivate those devices before the remove them. I could be wrong. In London a black man might not have been treated badly (don't know how racist if at all England is) but I guarantee, here, they would have confiscated the pants and called the police.

37paddington said...

I loooove that video of you in the sweater! Adorable!

A. Jesse Jiryu Davis said...

That first frost photo is so pretty!

Linda Sue said...

all of your photos are *sigh*! I want to draw the frosty brown leaves . Your video is superb, so cute!
The Santas are too sexy for their suits!
You have so much energy, a surplus! Please send me some!

Lorianne said...

Your story about the theft-prevention clamp reminds me of something that happened YEARS ago when I worked retail. I rang up a sale for a well-dressed black man, and when he handed me his credit card, he was careful to show me his ID as well. I made a light-hearted remark, saying I didn't need to see his ID because he looked like an honest fellow, but I was saddened to realize he probably showed me his ID because other store clerks *didn't* believe the credit card was his.

Nancy said...

Sir, you are a scholar and a gentleman. That sweater is everything!

Elizabeth said...

Oh, my god. The sweater! You! Dave's laugh! I'm in love with you both AND the sweater.

The Bug said...

That sweater is fabulous! I'm curious - did Dave wear the pants anyway? Sounds uncomfortable :)