Fall-ing in love

I have gushed about it a fair bit on the gram now. I cannot be happier about living in fall. It is an era by itself, you see. Those luscious green trees from summer..

..morphing into several pops of colours,

to adorn homes,

and lay out a carpet of the most magical wonders,

for you and me to stop and look closer and unravel one of them,

and feel celebratory,

for here you can find, on your most casual walks, all those magical things you read about in your childhood, come alive from books.

You don’t have to do much to enjoy all of this. You only need to step out..

..and it is all there, waiting for you. Right at your doorstep.


You’d think it cannot get better than that but mostly it does once you turn on your oven or stove and bring out your tubers and roots.

“What is it you love about fall?” they asked.

“Let’s go for a walk and I will show you,” I smiled.

Of welcoming and bidding adieu to our first winter in UK

What excited me us most about moving to UK was winter. We love Europe and had always read and heard of the gorgeous English countryside but our hearts screamed for winter and just the thought of experiencing seasons. Singapore’s tropical weather and rainy-humid climate all through the year meant that we escaped to cold climates during winters. Such was our need for the cold. Naturally, we felt ecstatic. Also, while I love myself flowers and fall (oh, I love fall!), winter really is my aesthetic. I cannot get enough of feeling cold, being wrapped up in layers that leave me feeling perpetually in a state of “hug”, spending a good portion of the day brewing coffee and tea, forever having my kaDai out for that last minute bhajji/bajia, huddling in the warmest corner with a book, stepping out only to be met with a fiercely cold wind hitting and numbing the face leaving you feeling noseless.. I could go on.

So when people told us very politely about how we will now be facing “London weather”, we did not flinch a bit. We are somewhere amidst the last traces of winter now and I already miss it. None of the weather was remotely as “dreadful” as people made it out to be. On the contrary, the winter has been soothing and except for the short daylight, we loved every bit of it. I missed a good chunk of it as I was away in New Zealand for a good time enjoying spring and its blossoms but I was back for Christmas to hop on the winter bandwagon.

As I write this, it is getting to spring now. The super markets are full of petunias, tulips and a diaspora of blooms. The wild flowers in our yard have started to bloom from nowhere! I was not even aware that there were plants with such gorgeous flowers and to watch them appear miraculously on one fine morning, out of nowhere obvious, has been beautifully surprising. The root vegetables are replaced by berries and lots of fresh greens. Those big boots and huge cloaks are replaced by thin cardigans and denims and sandals. The entrances to the super markets are lined with the essentials for barbecue.

And all this has been utterly beautiful to witness. I really miss the winter but I love myself a spring and the joy it brings to so many people. There is nothing quite like watching people being happy for the weather. I cannot believe I am saying this, because a year ago, I used to wonder what it is that makes people talk of weather all the time. But I know and appreciate it better now. To be observant and perceptive of the changes around you is indeed appreciable. And in a way, that has made me very thankful for the weather and for all the privilege I have to experience the seasons comfortably.

A few days ago, we walked along the Ockham and Wisley Commons with gay abandon. After more than a week of warm sun, that day was quite chilly. We being us, headed out to enjoy that chill. We got our large coffees from the local bakery at the entrance and walked endlessly. Some days make you happy for no reason at all and this is definitely one of them.

Taking the plunge.

It has been almost a year since I “started” this blog. I find it funny that I am writing now considering how this has been on my mind for so long. I have been toying with the idea of what my first post on this blog would look like, sometimes looking at photos from my travels this year (there have been quite a few of those this year, I tell you) and making repeated mental notes to write about them. Or, like yesterday when I was rearranging my wardrobe and wanted to write about this saree. Yet, it has taken this long, why?

Sometimes I wait too long. To make that perfect beginning, to want keep this place a reflection of my best. Now, this is really funny because, I intend for this space to be an honest me. After all, it is my life and times. Yet, I crave for a fantastic start. Like, when I start writing in a fresh notebook. I cannot tell you the amount of effort I put in making sure that the first page is my best writing, my best work. Sometimes, it takes too long. And something snapped. I don’t want to be that person anymore. I want to just start – and let it flow, uninterrupted by my unnecessary obsession for a “great” start.

So.

We moved. Again. From Singapore to UK. Surrey.  I still travel to sunny Singapore, am still a graduate student. And well, Singapore will always be my home, wherever I am. I found a third home I guess. At least I am warming up to the idea of UK being home. Before the big move, we heard all kinds of jokes from friends in Singapore about the 5 days of summer that London has, on how we must enjoy the sun while it lasts yada yada. Even the electrician who came to fix some stuff in our UK home didn’t understand why we would move from Singapore to England. I wish I could thrust this weather at them and see what jokes they make now. It has been so hot and sunny for two months now, sans the humidity that Singapore has in abundance (that we do not miss at all). I am not a sunny person. I mean, I enjoy sunshine but it does not decide my mood. I dislike hot and humid. I love winters (okay this maybe coming soon, but for now, I love them). It has been okay so far. I do like sunlight until 9 PM, so we are enjoying it (while it lasts).

We have found a home, all our shipment is unpacked. It was pretty daunting to see how much two people who do not have a hobby of collecting anything, can accumulate. I am not looking at you, books. Tsundoku is my thing, it adds value to our lives. At least I have convinced K of it. Seriously, all the travel and moving has made me watch videos on small homes and minimalism. I have not shopped for 2 months now, or maybe, three. It is liberating. That’s fodder for another day.

The thing is this. You don’t need much else to be happy about, in Surrey. There are so many wonderful surprises you encounter on a random walk in our neighbourhood, like this.

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If random walks lead to a gorgeous sunset behind that veil of green climbers, I am all for you, Surrey. I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us and what we make of you and our time here.