It was good to have some brightness around today. I was just starting to prepare a marinade (parsley, garlic, rosemary, fennel, fennel seed, olive oil) for a piece of pork loin (a turkey is a little large for two people) when I had an email from England with the sad news that my much loved aunt Nancy had died half an hour or so earlier. So today was quietly spent feeling thankfulness for all kinds of things about her - her kindness, her enthusiasm, her interest in people and books and current events and films, her cheerfulness (despite osteoperosis), the way that she welcomed Alice into our family (we were so very glad to have gone and stayed with her last year, and to have escorted her for dinner to the local pub - all of which gave Alice the chance to experience some real English deep countryside), and - what could be more apt for today? - her huge capacity for gratitude. All of this with the strange distancing feeling that Thanksgiving isn't a day that - obviously! - registers at all in England, and it felt very vertiginous to be mentally in England for much of the day.