How to survive the school run when it’s -12c

We’re back in New York after a wonderful Christmas break in the UK, and now adjusting to the reality of a school run in our first New York winter. This morning the building’s thermometer read -12 degrees Celsius.

The cold has brought some fresh challenges to the school run this term. Normally we drop B off for the morning at her little local nursery, leave her pram there, and then T scoots beside me on the way to her school. But it’s simply too cold for scooting now, T’s eyes keep filling with water (not sure if it’s the cold or the wind chill – probably both). So I’ve assembled the gigantic double buggy, and bundled them up like little Eskimos.
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Skating in a winter wonderland

There’s something so iconic about ice skating in New York. It feels like you’re in a film.

Some old friends flew out from London last week, and gave us a great excuse to hit the classic tourist spots. See the Rockafeller Center Christmas tree? Tick. Admire the 5th Avenue window displays? Tick. Go ice skating in Central Park? Tick.  Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island? Tick. Go out for a bit of live music at Cafe Wha in Greenwich Village? Tick tick tick. It felt v gratifying to be the local rather than the tourist, and made me realise how much of the city I’ve explored and am now a part of.
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Exploring Ellis Island

Apologies for the unusually long silence since the last post. Realised it had got out of hand when a friend emailed to check everything was OK. No cause for alarm, folks, just the combination of a busy Thanksgiving, buying and wrapping Christmas presents, and last but not least, taking on the extra challenge of making B a quilt for Christmas. It’s coming along pretty well, actually; have been reading up on quilting blogs for all the different stages involved (sooooooo much preparation), and it’s nearly finished. When it’s done, I’ll upload some photos as have so enjoyed the project. But it has sucked up all the time usually spent on this blog….

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Just my cup of tea – Tea & Sympathy

It’s cold. Minus 5 degrees celcius cold, with winds that T says “steal my air”. We have to allow an extra ten minutes to get the girls layered-up before school, and the doorman now gives a quick check in case I’ve forgotten to zip up B’s fancy 7am Enfant blanket again, before he shoulders the door to push against the wind.

One consequence of this cold snap is that my need for proper tea has doubled. Even headed home for 45 minutes the other day in order to make myself a cuppa before the afternoon school run. Which is NO JOKE in these temperatures, by the way.

Since being told recently by one local cafe to please stop asking for boiling water, I’ve largely given up ordering tea here, as it’s just so disappointing. Until an Anglophile school mom took me to Tea & Sympathy.
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Walking on words – Library Way

 

Sometimes it really pays off to watch where you’re walking over here. Whilst feeling a bit cross to find that the famous New York Public Library’s Reading Room is closed for renovation, I stumbled across a beautiful collection of bronze quotations set into the pavement outside.
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Our first American Halloween

Fall is celebrated much more in New York than our Autumn back in the UK. Shops stock golden-leaved wreathes from September, celebrating Harvest Festival, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

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Winter is coming

“Winter is coming”, say the Starks. Actually, it’s the school moms who have been warning me that winter will come “super-fast and super-cold”, so I’ve been stocking up on kit.

One pair waterproof snow boots each? Tick. Umpteen sets of thermals each? Tick. Balaclavas for the wind? Tick. One pair snow-proof mittens each? Tick. Two pairs woollen tights each? Tick. Phenomenally warm second hand pram blankets from 7am Enfant? Tick.  Fancy 7am Enfant fixed stroller gloves for me? Tick (yessssss).

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Spotted – dainty red shoes for the dog

It’s been a week for spotting strange sights. Yesterday both girls went potty over a little fluffy dog, Bella, who was twinkling along in – wait for it – red rubber shoes. 

Have been teaching the girls to first ask the walkers, “Is this dog friendly?” before swooping in for strokes and pats. We couldn’t resist making a fuss over Bella, who enjoyed the attention and even rolled over to wave her little red shoes in the air. All most extraordinary. Her dog walker explained that the three large black “English Labs” with Bella were all part of the same household, but that only Bella needed the shoes. Apparently her paws “act like swiffers“, and bring all the New York street muck into the house.

I’m still snorting.
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