The fifth of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
..but I do know an excellent reason to stop reciting the poem after the first verse, after which it gets considerably less fun. Still, to celebrate Bonfire Night in an uplifting and non-sectarian manner, we took Cat’s advice and constructed a magnificent bonfire of beans, sausages and mash, accompanied by amazing mulled wine and a Bake Off finale. Sadly it was missing a little Trump effigy sitting on top, but it was delicious and filling all the same.
Meanwhile the outside world is getting colder, rainier and generally more miserable. The other day it went as far as snowing, which tricked me into playing music from the Spotify Christmas playlists already. Too soon? But… snow!
One person who is escaping the Chicago winter is James, who (as I previously grumbled about) is joining the Citizens of Nowhere brigade by moving to Berlin. We saw him off with sushi and karaoke, although I didn’t stay long enough to find out if anyone sung 99 Luftballoons. I hope so. Last weekend I also had brunch with Jason and Carrie, who better be staying put.
This weekend we caught up with Lauri, who is excitingly throwing off the shackles of suburbia, and ate an ungodly amount of chilli at the 2017 edition of Ellen’s Master of Peppers competition. Randi was pushing me to work out what the nearest British equivalent would be – they have cake-making contests at some village fêtes, don’t they? – but I have to say there’s something admirably American and civic at the grassroots democracy to select a winner. It’s the sort of thing you imagine that seventeenth-century Puritans in small Massachusetts towns would endorse wholeheartedly.
- Blue Planet II is increasing my respect for fish. Especially fish who can smash open clams on the side of rocks.
- I bought a new Kindle! I didn’t need a new Kindle in the slightest: my four-year old Kindle Voyage was still working perfectly, but I traded it in anyway (plus many additional bags of silver and gold) for a new Kindle Oasis out of sheer lust. In my defence, I am doing great on this year’s reading target. Bring on all the miserable weather you want, Chicago… I’ll be inside.
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