We had a howler of a storm last night -- driving rain and fierce wind. I think I can honestly say I've never seen such wind here. In fact, we even had damage from Storm Eleanor, as the gale was called. It knocked over the heavy, cast-iron mantelpiece we leaned against the fence on the patio, sending several terra-cotta potted plants crashing to the ground. I haven't surveyed the scene in daylight yet. (It's still dark out as I write this.)
Otherwise, life is returning to normal around here. I took down the Christmas tree on Monday morning -- packed away our scant collection of ornaments and wound up the lights to take them back to work. The Christmas tree stand gets returned to work today, too.
And then Dave and I pushed the tree out the front door and carried it several blocks to Fortune Green, where Camden has a collection point for tree recycling. I think they get turned into mulch. Unfortunately, many Londoners seem content to dump their Christmas trees on random street corners, where the council has to come and get them later.
I also sprayed the geraniums for rust, which has returned this year. It must be a winter thing. The leaves start looking anemic and orange-brown lesions appear on the underside. They need to be pruned this spring anyway, so I'm not too concerned.
Another thing that's returned are the spots of black mold on the wall behind our living room couch. I'm surprised because we've been running the heat and the apartment should be relatively dry -- I'm not sure why mold would crop up, unless there's moisture seeping through the wall. I set up a fan to run now and then which will hopefully help keep the wall drier, and I'll let the maintenance guy know. (Just to cover myself -- I don't have any illusions he'll fix the problem. Thank goodness we don't own this place.)
Finally, I picked up Dave's final Christmas presents from the post office:
No, you are not imagining things. These are actual socks imprinted with Olga's picture. I got them from an outfit called Pupsocks -- I uploaded a couple of photos of Olga when I ordered them online, et voila!
It took longer than expected to get them -- they were supposed to arrive by Christmas -- and Pupsocks has taken some flack online for failing to deliver their orders on time. But I don't mind waiting an extra week or two, honestly. It was worth it.
How can you not love that?
Dave does love them. Olga, however, seems less certain.
(Top photo: Portobello Road, a couple of weeks ago. I love the old sign on that shopfront.)