Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Cold


We are finally, barely, getting some freezing weather. When I went out yesterday morning, there were icy crystals sprinkled like sugar over the leaves of the phlomis...


...and the bird bath was frozen over.

I hadn't brought in any plants, because the weather forecast didn't call for freezing temperatures, but obviously we got there anyway. Most things survived unscathed. Our little ornamental pepper plant got nipped, but I think it will leaf out again. Last night I brought everything inside or put it in the shed -- we're supposed to be pretty cold through the end of the week, with a possibility of snow showers.

Everything, that is, with the exception of our Chinese banana and Dave's tree fern. The banana is too big to move, and although its leaves will die back, it's frost hardy. Supposedly the tree fern requires some protection, but I'm leaving that up to Dave. Right now its fronds are still long and lush and it looks good; Mrs. Kravitz never does anything to hers and it's fine year after year. I wonder if we just don't get cold enough here in the city to do it any real damage.

While moving the smaller plants I realized that we have eight geraniums. How did that happen?!

Dave and I took Olga to the cemetery for her walk yesterday. It's always an extra bonus when Dave feels like accompanying us. I've also been plowing through my ridiculous stack of accumulated New Yorker magazines. I almost never read the fiction -- which is strange because I love novels, but anyway -- I came across a riveting short story by Rebecca Curtis called "Hansa and Gretyl and Piece of Shit." (I admit it caught my eye because of the title. William Shawn is rolling over in his grave!) There was also a fascinating piece about a couple of renegade metal detectorists in England (who sound like jerks, to put it mildly).

I still have four more issues to go!

34 comments:

  1. Like when we used wire coat hangers and their number inexplicably multiplied in the wardrobe, it sounds like the same has happened with your geraniums. Lucky you with only four more issues to deal with.

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    1. I honestly don't know where all these things came from! I know I found a few of them discarded by neighbors -- maybe I picked up more than I realized. LOL

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  2. I haven't read New Yorker for years, but always enjoyed it. And, oddly, although I too love novels and reading in general, I rarely read the fiction. Although I appreciate a well-written short story, I find myself always wanting a longer escape. Maybe that's why. I thought your first photo was of a velvet-leafed plant of some sort. Beautiful!

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    1. I agree about a longer escape. Short stories often don't seem very satisfying to me.

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  3. North calling London! Woke to falling snow this morning. Ground carpeted. Send fresh supplies immediately. Over.

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    1. Rations are on their way! Please use sparingly, since after Jan. 1 who knows what we'll be able to get from Europe!

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  4. "I'm leaving that up to Dave." Yes, Steve, sometimes it's good not to run after others - as close as we may be to them. Which is why, if I were in your position, I'd move that bloody banana thing - regardless. Don't.

    In weather? Here, at the South Coast of England, we don't have winters. By which I mean proper ones. The number of times I have seen snow since arriving in England amounts to sludge. When the Angel was about three or so, one morning we had snow. Like a few centimetres. OH MY GOD. How excited I was. Cease the moment. We built a (small) snowman (complete with carrot nose). Cue one of life's lessons - the sooner learnt the better: The melt. Till all you have left is a carrot and two pieces of coal (the eyes). The Angel learnt that lesson in one afternoon flat. Maybe he was lucky in as much as he hadn't had time to bond with an illusion.

    You can tell, can't you, that I grew up in the land of snow. Had to shovel our way out of the house in the morning. Every year my grandfather and I built magnificent snowmen. Six to eight footers. Which gave me a long, and wistful, time to watch them melt (see above) as December turned into January, January turned into February and March brought spring.

    U

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    1. We've had several good snowfalls in London since we moved here in 2011. When I say "good" I mean several inches. We even got a snow day off school a year or two ago! It often doesn't stick around long before melting, though.

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    2. Really? I don’t remember that many in wales

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  5. Enjoy...much better than relentless heat...

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    1. I don't know -- some heat sounds pretty good right about now!

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  6. My public radio contribution comes with a subscription to the New Yorker, but so far , every year, I've always refused it because I know the issues would pile up, unread, on my bedside table or under my desk, or ON y desk, taunting me, always goading me to READ and become smart, and I would always procrastinate because it takes so much effort to become cultured, and I'm happy being uncouth.

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    1. Well, it's probably better for the radio station that you refused it, so they can keeo all your money instead of using part of it to pay for a subscription!

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  7. Funny- I read the fiction if nothing else and I mentioned that story of Hansa in a post of mine last week. I will be remembering it for a very long time. And I read the detectorist article too! I'm probably far more behind than you are! I think of you every time I look at my growing pile of NY'ers!

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    1. Did you?! How did I miss that? Or did I just forget? I'll have to see what you said about it! It sounds like you're ahead of me, actually. I'm on the Nov. 30 issue now, reading about the "Wheel of Fortune" guy.

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    2. I'm not reading them in order. I just read that Wheel of Fortune one myself!

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  8. I don' know whether to laugh or cry when it comes to your frost! However, I know that wherever you are frost is a problem and in every place people have a way of dealing with frost unless it surprises you like this time.

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    1. Ha! Oh, I know it's nothing compared to yours!

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  9. we don't get any magazines, let them go years ago when we were hanging on by our nails financially and just never started any back up. It's warm here currently, high of mid-70s for today and I've got the door open though it's supposed to get cold again this weekend. the three big plants and the staghorn ferns are all back outside for these few days.

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    1. I used to get several magazines but now I'm down to this one weekly.

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  10. I read the story about Hansa and Gretyl and it just made me so angry. I suppose there are parents like that which makes me even angrier.

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  11. My son gets the New Yorker and then passes the issues down to me when he is finished. I don't read everything but do find a lot of interesting bits. I am always several weeks behind since I have to wait for him to finish. Keep going on your pile - there is lots of great reporting!

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    1. I'm glad he recycles his magazines. I wish I had someone nearby to give mine to. It always seems so wasteful to just throw them in the bin.

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  12. There is a chill in the air here too today. Not as cold as it is there but still cold to us desert dwellers. I saw photos of snow, lots of snow in Milan yesterday. That seemed a bit out of place.
    By the way, I forgot to mention, I have to load my photos on blogger one at a time too.

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    1. Yeah, apparently we're all having some kind of cold snap! Sounds like Milan is getting it worse than we are, though.

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  13. I would be so stressed trying to keep up with a magazine subscription - one more thing to guilt myself about!

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    1. Exactly! I can't throw them away but I already have SO MUCH to read.

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  14. We're drowning in them, please send help. I subscribed to Vanity Fair which was a mistake, I'm going to cancel that. NewYorker seems to always have one really really long article that's good, and I hate to miss them. I don't read the fiction, it's too esoteric. Or maybe it's just me. It's cold here. It was supposed to rain and be overcast, but at present there is not a cloud anywhere.

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    1. I used to love Vanity Fair -- I got it for five or six years in the '90s and early aughts. But I eventually felt like it was too celebrity-focused, and on uninteresting celebrities. (Paris Hilton)

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  15. My parents get a weekly magazine that they love, but I don't know if I could keep up with a magazine either. If it were expensive, I'd feel guilty if I didn't read all the articles, even the ones that didn't interest me. It's cold here too this morning. I don't like ice. Snow is OK once in a while, rare that it sticks around in the PacNW.

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    1. Well, that's the other thing about the New Yorker -- it's not cheap, especially from here in London.

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  16. Our bird bath has been freezing at night for a couple of weeks now but it thaws enough in the morning for me to flip the ice disc out and refill it. The other day I saw a Phoebe sliding his beak along the edge to get enough water for a good drink. Smart bird.

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    1. For now, ours seems melts during the day, at least enough for the birds to get some water. Birds ARE smart! They know what they need and where to get it.

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