Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Forget my doubts about Bonfire Night and whether it could possibly be different from the nights prior. It was very different. For more than an hour our living room walls were lit by pops and flashes and explosions. I could look out any window and see fireworks in any randomly selected direction on the horizon -- northwest toward Wembley, north to Queen's Park and Maida Vale, northeast to Westbourne Green, south and southwest to Kensington and Holland Park. I made a few videos, but I'm not going to put them online. I might even erase them. Videos of fireworks don't really do them justice, and I find that I never watch them afterwards. Fireworks have to be enjoyed live, don't you think? You have to be sitting on a picnic blanket holding something alcoholic.

Once again, I was glad we don't have dogs. Now I remember why Ernie got so worked up last year.

I didn't leave the house yesterday. I'm not sure how this happens, and I'm not sure it's really good for me to be so hermitic. I get up and I get busy with things like blogging, uploading photos, showering, cleaning, doing my sit-ups, working for the school, making breakfast and lunch, reading, Facebooking, and before I know it it's 5 p.m. and Dave is home. I suppose I really should make myself take a walk at least -- but I walked and ran both days over the weekend, so I was entitled to a day of rest.

Yesterday I finally cut down our tomato plants and threw them out. That experiment has ended for the year. On the way to the dumpster I ran into Chris and Linda, the neighbors who gave them to us as tiny sprouts last spring, and showed them that I was removing them. Chris said, "Well, we won't hold it against you." He was joking...I think. Surely he didn't expect us to keep them through the winter? ("He doesn't garden," Linda said, by way of explanation.)

Our amaryllis are turning yellow, so we've started to withhold water to help them go dormant. We'll begin watering them again in February or so. I just have to keep an eye on our pupating caterpillar and remember to save that leaf! My plan is to hang it from the wall near the window in the bedroom, on the north side of the apartment, where it's coolest. If I were going to pupate, I'd do it there.

I had a very strange dream last night about trying to find a mailbox to mail some letters. I walked into an office complex here in England and they said there were no mailboxes. They directed me to a site over some adjacent hills, an incredibly far walk. I was incredulous but began walking and complaining to Dave, who was with me, and then suddenly a huge piece of machinery -- like a cherry-picker or tree-trimming truck -- rolled down a hill in front of us and crashed onto the roadway. We tried to call emergency services but just as the operator was about to pick up I realized I didn't even know where I was. Then I woke up.

(Photo: I was taking a picture of that bench in Kensington Gardens on Saturday when the woman wandered into the frame carrying the little girl with a pink balloon. A happy accident!)


  1. Good morning, Friend In London.
    Lovely shot.
    Good morning.

  2. Well, I guess the caterpillar wasn't dead after all. Made its cocoon? Something like bonfire night would never happen in this city where fireworks of all kinds are banned. Not out in the country though.

  3. Bonfire night sounds like my worst nightmare. I am totally with Ernie when it comes to loud noises. Now Mike would be in heaven :)

    Mike cut down our tomato plants weeks ago, and finally brought in the geranium last week. Everything else will just have to fend for itself (i.e. die). That is one aspect of gardening that's hard to accept - that you can't (& shouldn't!) just keep everything alive all the time. Ecclesiastes was right - there is a time for everything under heaven :)

  4. I am grateful for deafness in Dexter the dog- He used to unravel on the fourth of bullshit, blankets and beer- and new years eve, which seems a big firework excuse here.
    Love the shot of the gardens!
    Love your weird dream- I can relate- Most of the time I don't know where I am...

  5. I think it's perfectly fine to have "hermitic" days.

    Huh, you stop watering your amaryllis? I keep watering mine, always have. They do start to get yellow leaves, and when the leaves die I cut them off and usually the flower bud is starting at that time. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to keep watering them. :)

    By the way, if you see a tree-trimming truck again in your dreams you might tell him to head my way and clear out my driveway!

  6. Ms Moon: Good morning! (And as I write this, it IS a good morning!)

    Ellen: No, the caterpillar wasn't dead! Surprise!

    Bug: Yeah, it's pretty loud and smoky. There is indeed a time for everything. Turn, turn, turn!

    LindaSue: Poor Dexter!

    Lynne: Well, funny you should say that. We've been debating what to do. The web sites all offer contradictory information. We'd decided to stop watering and let the bulbs go dormant, then repot them in the late winter. But I'd rather avoid repotting, and after your comment I'm thinking we'll just keep watering them and see what happens. The worst that can happen is they die, right?!