Posted in Travel

Giving Thanks


So, Thanksgiving. What a uniquely American experience that was. I arrived in America a few days beforehand and all anyone could talk about, family, friends, strangers in shops was – “what will you be eating?”. Not what are you doing for Thanksgiving – oh, no, “give me a full rundown of menu items so we can compare notes”. This is very much my kind of holiday.



Everyone in Cincinnati at least has a wide and varied range of turkey and/or pumpkin-related decorative items for the occasion – I am not sure when they go up, but I can tell you that at the stroke of midnight on Thanksgiving Thursday, a team of silent elves apparently appears to spirit them away to the basement and replace them will full-on Christmas decoration. My cousin’s house was very tastefully decorated with little turkeys and autumnal accents around her spacious pad, like a Martha Stewart spread, I was most envious.



I really did not expect KISS to feature in my Thanksgiving, but as I sat in a very comfortable armchair between eating bouts, watching the Macy’s Parade, there they were, in all their facepainted glory, Gene Simmons getting his tongue out in a very sleety New York especially. The parade seems to consist of a bunch of giant blimps in various shapes and sizes, 85,000 marching bands and a whole bunch of people I have never heard of looking cold in a variety of coats, most likely available at Macy’s. I mostly loved the adverts, American adverts are so much more entertaining than ours.



And then – dinner. The big event. It was truly delicious, though some items are a little questionable – e.g. sweet potato and marshmallow casserole. Pretty delectable on its own, but oddly out of place with a turkey dinner. See also: pickled watermelon rind and croissants. Crazy Yanks.




My cousins though made it such a special and memorable day for us. After we’d stuffed ourselves silly, it was time for the National Dog Show from Philadelphia and a few cocktails. Most civilised.



I’m very thankful for my American family – both my great uncle Sam on the left there (he of the biscuit factory managing) who is sadly no longer with us, and my cousins, Anne and Jim who so graciously host us when we visit and are really the best fun. I’m so lucky to have them.

On a different note, the stationEry giveaway winner, picked at random, is…Claire from Claireabelle Makes! Whoop-la! Please email me your address to [mrspiquante at gmail dot com] and I’ll get that off to you.


I’m Claire and I live near Glasgow, in Scotland. I have strong family ties to Cincinnati, too and regard it as my second home. If I had to describe myself in five words, it would be thus: Does. Not. Suffer. Fools. Gladly. I’ve been cross stitching pretty much all my life, but professionally since 2005, first as Miso Funky, then as The Bellwether and now under my own name. I'm known for my witty, sarcastic and occasionally profane typographic designs. My work has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and on BBC television as well as numerous media outlets across the globe. At one point, I was kind of a big deal but I mostly just dabble in it these days when I have time. My website is a repositry of cross stitch charts, travel and food blogging and you'll find it at I also love to travel and eat, ideally travelling somewhere great to eat something brilliant. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly the Victorians and will absolutely beat you hands down in a quiz about the Tudors. Dogs are LIFE. I like being in water and have lots of ideas that will never see the light of day but would definitely be a winner on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. I love to give people gifts. I! also! overuse! exclamation! marks! sorry!

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