November, bright or drear?
Seventh November Blog. 18-11-14
The weather always confounds us. Grey and drizzly one day, bright and sunshiny the next. Of course, in southern England, at this time of year, the sun rises much further to the east and south. Looking face on at a clock, in high summer, the sun rises at the 9 on the clock. Whereas at this time of year, not quite mid-winter, it riises about 5 to 12. Conversely, it sets around the 4 mark. ( Solstice on 21st December, it will set at nearer the 3 mark. Whereas in summer, the sun sets much closer to the 6 on the dial. We get more summer light due to how high up on the globe we are, The Meridians. Much nearer the Arctic Circle than you might think.
November sun comes for a visit,
Clouds have rolled back for a while,
Brightening the dreary city,
Making everybody smile.
Autumn breezes dropping slowly,
Feel the warmth, unseasonably,
Raindrops drying on the branches,
No shiny surface, reflectively.
It’s one p.m. The sun dips gently
Fading down to evening glow,
Northern Hemisphere, winter sunshine,
Seldom puts on such a show.
I can’t believe the weathermen,
They told us cloud and rain today.
Instead, rejoicing in the balmy
Unexpected warmth, we play.
Taking doggies out for walkies,
Sitting, lunching in the park,
As we used to do in summer.
Very soon it will be dark.
Then we say to Mr Sunshine,
Thank you for a lovely day.
Please come back and heat us gaily,
For soon your light will be far away.
Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. November, 2014
I like ‘on the spur’ poetry. Getting in the mood via weather or well, any topic really. This sun is really joyous, for the time of year.
It is now 4. 30 p.m. and almost fully dark. Gets dark early in my neck of the woods. As I mentioned, the nearer we are to the Winter Solstice, the earlier the darkness comes. Like, around 3 p.m., but we have a little longer to wait yet. Of course, right up in the Arctic Circle, there is not much daylight at all in winter.
We are already having a mince pie between us. A really nice one from Waitrose. There are good nice mince pies, and not so nice mince pies. Of course, it all depends on personal taste buds. I like them rich, not too sweet, a little alcohol like brandy, cherries, nuts and, moist. Not too much sugar on the pastry either. I only get half of one, and even that I have to watch. The tiny pies, I could have a whole one. Depends what make they are.
The chocolate log, we usually get from Tescos. The chocolate is good and crisp, the sponge is moist enough. Just a thin slice not evey day. Either half a pie or a sixth of a log. We have not gotten around to sausage rolls yet. I can have more of those if I do not eat the pastry, or very little of the pastry.
Tradition is always to the fore at Christmas. I guess, here in England, that is the time when people get together most with family and friends. In the US, I am assuming that Thanksgiving is the day for getogethers, more than Christmas. It means more to them than Christmastime. So many films portray Thanksgiving. One or two really stand out. “Broadway Danny Rose” and “Trains, Planes and Automobiles”. There probably are more but those are the titles that are in my head right now.
So I guess winter is the time when there was little to do outside in the cold weather. Indoors, work was done on horse harness, mending tools, for the women, making new clothing to replace worn out accoutrements for husbands and sons, making food that would last, be ready at a moments notice. The Christmas pudding and later, the Christmas cake, were things that were made and kept for weeks. If they had the wherewithall to make them.
You only have to read some Charles Dickens to see what the poor had at Christmas in those days. Yes, I know writers often exaggerate, but I think he was not far off the mark, most of the time. Does anyone read “A Christmas Carol” these days. The film versions are plentiful in December, but the book, where it all began, and gave a few people a lot of cash, because of the writing.
Ah, I knew you would be wondering when I would get back to writing and writers. Well, you cannot say I have dipped in with a nonentity! I have just been told that “The Cricket in the Hearth ” was set at Christmas. Never read it. Am also told it was a short. So, anyone have any ideas about more of Dickens’ work set around the Christmas Season?
Tea getting cold. I do so hate cold tea. Must have it, and coffee, hot. Of course, we can find no end of films set in the Season of Goodwill. Most famous I would say is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. More modern times, and even that is old now, “Home Alone”. Don’t you just love that one? All the different nuances, the robbers, so well portrayed, the old neighbour, seeming nasty, but was only lonely. The arachnid let loose! So much in it. There are lots more that I cannot name but you have to admit, that “Elf” was funny! Then I just remembered “The Santa Clause”. So, it’s a t.v. set holiday, …. so what?
Jingling on the hearth rug,
Whoever has a hearth?
Living in a tower block,
It really is a laugh.
How can Santa hike his sack,
Without a chimney breast?
And reindeer down in Gunnersbury?
Not quite the Yuletide Fest.
But kiddies still believe
In the magic that we spread
Of reindeer flying, oh,so high,
And presents on the bed.
So that is where he lays them!
Or under the Christmas tree,
Wherever he can find room,
So the kids will have some glee.
Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. November, 2014.
A tad early, perhaps? Oh well, happy days.
Be careful out there everyone.