Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Things to remember in November

Autumn days when the grass is jewelled...
November is traditionally a time of remembrance. We have Remembrance Sunday where we wear poppies, observe a two-minute silence, and think about the people who were killed during the wars. People like to say these brave souls ‘gave their lives’ but that sounds so graceful, like a present exchange. Romancing the world wars (or any war) glosses over how bloody awful they are for everyone. I always wear a poppy... and then realise halfway through the day that I’m wearing a pin... and then buy another... and lose it. Poppies are up there with pens, cigarette lighters, and umbrellas. They are all part of the grand Lost Item Shuffle.

In the UK we observe another act of remembrance in November, which is Fireworks Day. Here we traditionally burn an effigy on a bonfire and send fireworks into the sky, a custom held to remember that Guy Fawkes did not manage to blow up Parliament in 1605. We are basically having a nice evening out remembering a loser, folks. Don’t forget the jacket potatoes.

November is also that time of year when you must remember to pack your bag with all manner of warm items as the temperature plummets and sunny days prove a thermometer mirage. So far each day I have forgotten one of the following: hat, gloves, scarf, extra layer, umbrella (which classes as a warm item in my world as rain is cold). Forgetting a glove is particularly annoying. One hand is like a well-pampered Victorian, the other a shivering pauper.

I often find myself, after happily living off salads throughout spring and summer, trying to remember if I can indeed cook during November. You’ll see me in the supermarket, eyebrows in a knot, quizzically hefting a butternut squash, or prodding a pumpkin. There’ll be all manner of soup experiments and enthusiastic forays into recipe books – some meals successful, others bequeathed with love and best wishes to the cats.

The 11th month of the year is generally the time when I remember things that all year have been forgotten, such as dry-cleaning coats and wondering why I don’t yet own a pair of fluffy pyjamas, or slipper boots, or one of those enormous Snuggie Slanket things. Like a squirrel hoarding nuts, I take stock of all I’ve achieved (anything?), and launch tentative plans to finish This by December and That by January, vowing in the manner of Del Boy, that this time next year I’ll be a millionaire.

13 comments:

Freya Morris said...

Brilliant line: One hand is like a well-pampered Victorian, the other a shivering pauper.
: )

Out on the prairie said...

Lovely thoughts, I have all the extra goodies for cold in my van.Sunday was a salute to vets, and I get a bit teary thinking how many never came home from a cause they may have not fully supported.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post. I can relate. After surviving sweltering summers (Atlanta, GA) the concept of it turning cold somehow eludes me and I then realize I own nothing with long sleeves...
CLM

Debbie said...

I don't do the cold, but I do like autumn, and snuggling to keep warm. It might be nice to hibernate till spring.

Old Kitty said...

It's still mild for November, I think!

I just want to skip November and roll on Christmas! November is dark and lots of fireworks going on!

I'm gorging on apple pies. :-)

Take care
x

Deniz Bevan said...

I've always been partial to November as it's my birthday month. And I love wearing sweaters and stockings!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I have never realized before that November is a month of remembrance, but you are surely right! I'm thinking of our U.S. holiday the 4th Thursday of November, Thanksgiving, where we celebrate the abundance of the year and remember what we are grateful for.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I like November, as its Diwali for us. I even like the cold weather.

Jack Edwards Poetry said...

An interesting and entertaining post :)

All the best,
Jack

snafu said...

Nice word sketch of November. Kipling's works are much revered by soldiers, since he invariably told it as it is.

The Golden Eagle said...

I love your description of November. It's an interesting month. :)

Dr. kold_kadavr_flatliner, MD said...

Greetings, earthlings!! I shouldn’t be long, gotta run back to Heaven; however, in the meantime, take anything and everything you wanna from our wonderfull, plethora of thot to write the next great masterpiece -if- I can but kiss your gorgeous, adorable feets and cuddle withe greatest, human being ever to arrive in Seventh Heaven. Think about it. Get back to me Upstairs. …thewarningsecondcoming.com

Talli Roland said...

Gosh, I'd love to be a millionaire by this time next year. Can it happen? Well... :) Happy November!