In the City of Hearts

The birthday month has been kicked off by dinner and dessert at Denny’s. We stopped at the diner last night on the way home from Worcester when Adi observed: ‘You have the heart of a trucker. You want to drive a RAM And you have taken a shine to Denny’s. Now all we need to do is set you up with a farm.’ I do not think I need to quibble on that, cuz really, I will take all of that. The RAM, the farm with a menagerie that shall comprise an elephant, a horse, a pair of Cotswold sheep, a donkey, a hippo (highly smelly, so what) and a couple of big dogs, please.

The RAM, if you are not familiar with all things American, is a breed of pick-up truck that appropriately enough has a logo of a ram with massive curved horns jutting out from its bonnet. Its maws tower over you – it seems taller than Adi who stands at 6’2″ – so that it made me gawp the first time I laid my eyes on it. Is there any doubt that one should want to sit at the wheel of a RAM – to look down its substantial nose upon others? The fact remains however that before daydreaming about pick-up trucks, I have to polish up my antiquated driving skills. Soon. In the meantime, a woman can and will dream.

I spent my a brand new November day roaming around the city of Worcester in Massachusetts. Now this was the central part of Worcester which was several degrees pleasurable to the eyes than Downtown Worcester which had looked threadbare when I explored it a few weeks ago. I found a local bakery where I gagged upon a cup of maple cappuccino (I never learn not to experiment with flavours), redeemed only by a flaky multi-grain croissant stuffed with eggs and cheese. Then I walked its streets which were not cramped by the practicality of boring numbers but sported signages with names like Fruit Street and hearts adjoining them. The logo is a nod to Worcester’s status as the Heart of the Commonwealth. Also Valentines’ Day business in America took off in the city where a local stationer’s daughter, Esther Howland, started selling Valentines’ tokens.

On Sunday, a couple of days before, a magnificent storm had ripped through Massachusetts. On that evening we had chosen to drive through it because Adi had to reach work early the next morning in Worcester. Torrents of rain came fast at the windscreen buoyed up by furious gales, and the poor wipers were hard pressed to handle the onslaught of the night. I was imagining uprooted trees, cows and pigs flying through the air because the ranting and raving of the wind was overwhelming. It was not as dramatic as that however. No cows or pigs or even trees flew but trees were veritably uprooted and leaves stripped mercilessly off trees as you can well picture on that night of extremities.

The effect of the storm was visible when I sauntered into Elm Park in Worcester. The park was rambling enough to create the illusion that I was in the middle of the woods. I shuffled through beds of yellow and red autumnal leaves and then beds of spruce spines strewn with nuts and pine cones. As I became aware of the presence of the others – chubby squirrels who with their shyness made me think that they really need lessons in nonchalance from their counterparts in Bayonne – I contemplated about the ways one can use those nuts to make squirrel nut butter and sell them in stores. I cannot claim originality to the idea because the night before I had watched a pair of girls on a reality show called ‘Shark Tank’ ideate about their brand that they had called Squirrel Nut Butters or something like that. (By the way, if you watch Shark Tank, have you seen how fantastically gruff that bald fellow Kevin O’Leary is? He is wonderful! He made me guffaw when he called a girl in a yellow coat a flat yellow pancake because he thought her business idea was gobshit.)

Anyway, so I picked a few nuts which I believe are macadamia, ferreted out scarlet leaves that showed promise of ageing wonderfully within the pages of my book and soaked in the blessed quiet of the canopy above my head along with that brand of fresh green fragrance that is typical to the woods. It is a delicious feeling that – to be cocooned in the solitude of nature.

2017-11-01 04.27.16 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.17 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.18 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.30 1.jpg

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

2017-11-01 04.27.32 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.19 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.29 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.30 2.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.28 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.26 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.24 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.21 2.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.21 1.jpg

2017-11-01 04.27.25 2.jpg


Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

71 thoughts on “In the City of Hearts

  1. Dinner at Denny’s and a Ram truck? Welcome to farm life! Is Denny’s an okay place? I’ve never been to one. Is it like IHOP?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now I am lost. Adi says it is. I have not been to an IHOP yet. But really the food at Denny’s so far has been good. The pancakes – I could make love to all day (on a very cheesy note) – and the skillet dinners are wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Step away from the flavour experiments in coffee …. really, please! Mind you, it’s a good excuse to comfort eat a stuffed croissant (as if an excuse was ever needed). I mentioned a run I did in Worcester last year with a truly caning hill. I was wearing my magic Allard brace at that time after double breaking my leg and severing the perineal nerve in Edinburgh. So I was very unfit but it was a great run for an inspiring cause – here is a link to this year’s run which was actually on Saturday. But irrespective, Holy Cross Academy is lovely set high on it’s hill and worth a visit if you are in Worcester again. It’s a private university (that thing that snooty New England is rather fond of ?). A Ram a diner and a farmstead …. welcome to my dreams my dear Dotty kindred xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No flavoured coffees, the Ram, a diner and a farmstead…we are soul sistahs born apart in very varied continents! πŸ™‚
      I had to look up the Allard brace. Breaking a leg and severing a nerve…your only consolation must have been recovering in the dark beauty of Edinburgh. If there is consolation to be sought from anything during such painful times.
      Ah I left Worcester day before or I would have found my way up to the hill and this snooty-patootie academy πŸ˜› But I might get a chance again in the next few weeks and I shall take advantage of it. Hugs. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nooooo …. I left Edinburgh having visited A&E and been told firmly by the starchy Scots nurse that I had a mere strain. Next day I went by train via Crew to Liverpool and had lunch with my youngest daughter who ordered a wheelchair at Birmingham ((thank heavens). Two more trains and I was in Oxfordshire with my mother for 3 days. Then I flew back to Boston. It was only a month later that I started making a fuss because the issue was getting worse and worse. I was SO fortunate to have great healthcare in the US which sorted me and also that by a sheer fluke the ankle break was healing perfectly by the time they did the MRI. The exploded fibula was responsible for the nerve damage and my lovely surgeon made a fantastic case to our insurers so we got the Allard for $38! I am fully well now but running that 5K was a seminal moment because for a while I thought I would not walk normally again. The best thing is that now I can run and hike with out Allan the Allard and he is safely stowed in the boot of the car as a reminder! Hugs back to you and keep being the brilliant girl you are embracing your new placing and making the most of it. I know how hard it can be. Though if I was told I could have a farmstead and a RAM – now that would change my POV instantly ? xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Starchy Scots nurse, mere strain and then an exploded fibula. That sounds more painful than I can imagine. Poor you. How those journeys would have weighed heavy on your injured self!

        Allan the Allard must have been a boss fella but the thought of doing without him would have been a wonderful relief.

        You are a brick as they say πŸ™‚ As you rightly talk about tuning our POV, there are these selling points to trade in for the pints and the sheep. Have a wonderful weekend darling Osyth! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Of course they can ….. hey may not know it but you know the British sensibility is nothing if not adaptable and pliant! And there’s always Scotland … so much space ? xx

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hmm an old English gentleman once told us how he left London once the Americans invaded town with their working-lunch-and-no-beer-lunch ethics. Shocking. I took a shine to him. Was the spitting image of Magneto.
        Ahahaha Scotland indeed. Tantalising. Adi can be the brown man in a kilt. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m sure Adi would cut a dash in a kilt…. Two Brains would never be persuaded because he doesn’t like showing off his skinny limbs (typical physique of a good distance runner) … ??? xx

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Tee hee. Two Brains has two brains. That explains the wisdom of it. I once saw a Scottish cousin-in-law of mine in a kilt, his massive thighs all over the place, and I am ashamed to say I guffawed at a funeral (Adi refused to acknowledge me). xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I’ve never had maple anything that seems wrong! Croissants are made for jam, in my opinion. Can’t imagine a savoury filling, but maybe I should be more adventurous πŸ˜‰ . Glad you enjoyed the latter πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We have a ton of RAM and Ford F-150 truck owners here because of the ranches nearby with horses and llamas. They are quite tough. I could see you driving one down one of our streets but you would need to wear dark glasses and have a scowl on your face πŸ˜‰ A moustache might help too ;-P – Heehee Neek

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you caught me out πŸ˜€ They must be acorns. I am glad I did not do a squirrel on them.
      Those steps are my favourite moment. I stood at the foot of them and thought of all the possibilities that lay ahead. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve recently set my sights on a Nissan Titan. Have you seen them? They’re huge! That’s one way to ensure you won’t be run over on the highway, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Lori’s is actually more 50’s. The waitress calls you honey, and you almost expect her to wear curlers in her hair and have a fag dangling from her mouth…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s