12 October 2016

Birthday Books


 Having my birthday fall during the Thanksgiving long weekend has all sorts of advantages.  The humidity of summer is gone which means the sweaters you couldn't wait to cast aside last May are fabulous again.  There is no limit to the amount of pumpkin pie you can eat, fall fairs reeking with the aroma of candy floss and woodsmoke, and the trees are literally making a show of themselves.

Kip is quickly learning that a ride in the car can lead to goodness knows where.  On Monday we went for a hike along the trails of Burlington's botanical gardens.  Throngs of other people had the same idea.  Being able to feed a chickadee while it's perched on your hand is the popular thing to do, but it is a bit funny to see so many people standing along the paths with their eyes and palms to the sky...waiting.  It's a bit like a spontaneous art installation project and a lovely one at that.


Despite the fact my actual birthday was not on Friday, it was close enough to finagle a couple of new books under the pretence.  Last month I had one of those dreaded experiences in which you realize a fabulous bookshop is around the corner, but when you walk up to the door it's closed.  Venturing back with one hundred percent certainty that Archetype Books was open, we spent an hour browsing and talking books with the owner Natalie, whose reading tastes are a lot like mine.  I wanted to choose a stand-out book to mark the occasion so the minute I spied Weatherland by Alexandra Harris my browsing stopped there.

'The weather is vast and yet we experience it intimately, which is why Alexandra Harris builds her remarkable story from small evocative details.  There is the drawing of a twelfth-century man in February warming his toes by the fire.  There is the tiny glass left behind from the Frost Fair of 1684, and the Sunspan house in Angmering that embodies the bright ambitions of the 1930s.  Harris catches the distinct voices of compelling individuals.  "Bloody cold" says Jonathan Swift in the "slobbery' January of 1713.  Percy Shelley wants to become a cloud and John Ruskin wants to bottle one.'

 If a snippet like that doesn't make you want to cuddle up with the book and a pot of tea for the evening then what will?  As for Tea & Cake London by Zena Alkayat. it's going to help me plan my next trip across the pond.  And after the amount of indulging I managed last weekend, looking at cake is what I'm disciplining myself to for the next little bit if I want to fit into my fall wardrobe.

Oh, and I almost forgot...the fluorite bookmark was made by The Bookmark Lady (Celia Pursley) and purchased at the fair in Vineland.  The colour reminds me of stormy water - perfect in its current location.

14 comments:

  1. What a lovely picture, Darlene - it is so lovely to watch puppies growing up and taking such an interest in the world around them, and making their humans stop and take an interest too.

    Lovely books too, and very you.

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    1. It's true, Jane! Although, one day we had to cross the street because we couldn't convince him that a child's ride-em car wasn't a big bad monster! Can't wait to see what me makes of Christmas ornaments dotting a few lawns...

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  2. Happy to assist with your cake research!

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    1. It goes without saying, Mary! Next treat is on me.

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  3. Happy birthday, Darlene! And I've always liked the idea (and timing) of your Thanksgiving...though what I really want is to have both yours and ours...

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    1. Thank you, Audrey! There can never be too much of a good thing, can there. And you've just reminded me that I need to write 'pumpkin pie' on my shopping list...again.

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  4. Enjoy your birthday, Darlene! I have Weatherland on the tbr shelves & hope to get to it soon.

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    1. Thank you, Lyn! Oh dear...I've just remembered that while we're hunkering down for the chilly weather ahead, you're gearing up for some heat. Well, this could be the perfect book for reminding you of cool breezes and frosty windows!

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  5. Sounds like a lovely way to celebrate, Darlene! Happy birthday.

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    1. Any excuse, Claire...let's be honest! Thanks for stopping by, Claire, and I hope you enjoyed your long weekend.

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  6. Happy birthday Darlene. Love the joyful photo.

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    1. Thanks so much, Ana! It's not easy to catch Kip being still but the ducks helped to hold his attention for a few seconds.

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  7. Thanks Darlene - Tea and Cake London has just solved a Christmas present dillema for a London friend!

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    1. You're welcome, Michelle! Your friend will be thrilled with their gift. I especially like that there are lots of places mentioned I've never heard of. There's even a place to enjoy a slice of cake and cup of tea while you watch a burlesque show!

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