Conventions

This Inspirational Region

It was a pleasant week in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains, just outside of Windham. We did some necessary work inside of the house. We are returning to England on Saturday, so we are now with my father, visiting him at his house in northeast Pennsylvania.

I figured it was a good time for another blog post.

Back at our Catskills house the other day, late afternoon, I suggested we pull an old DVD off a shelf to watch it: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone:

[Photo by me, 2018.]

My wife – a big Potter fan – was shocked! I know so many of you who read and follow me also love those books and films. As you also probably know, wizardry, magic, etc., isn’t really my favorite genre; but I felt I should give at least that film another try. I hadn’t seen it in years.

Having watched that one again, I can say now that if I have a favorite Potter film, that first one is probably it.

While in New York, we also did some Christmas shopping. You never know what you’ll encounter when you’re browsing. I saw this in a shop in Kingston, which is just off the New York State Thruway – the main highway that connects Albany to New York City (a distance of about 200 or so miles):

[Photo by me, 2018.]

Obviously it is believed if one stamps “European” on something in America, that will help it sell.

That marketing approach always makes us chuckle whenever we see it.

Another European-ism has made it here too. The Danes it seems are having their impact internationally. “Hygge” has reached the USA:

[Photo by me, 2018.]

In simple terms, “hygge” is about living “a good life.” I’ve written about it in another blog post. If you’re interested click here.

That post is my second most liked post of all time thus far. Clearly seeking “hygge” is popular.

As you may have also heard, Wednesday was a national day of mourning and the state funeral for a former president of the United States:

[Windham Post Office. Photo by me, 2018.]

Losing a president is always a sobering experience for many in the US. While only president four years (1989-1993), George H. W. Bush had been a public figure all of our lives. He was not the most successful of presidents (and was defeated seeking re-election), but was considered a decent man. Given his age, his passing was inevitable. Barbara, his wife of some 70 years, had died only months ago.

Thus a useful reminder that, no matter how important or famous any of us are, we are all mortal.

So we could probably use some “hygge” now and then in our hectic world.

I always feel a degree of “hygge” here in the Catskills. This is a pre-dawn photo I snapped on Wednesday. It is looking towards Windham Mountain from our house:

[Photo by me, 2018.]

I had to crack open a window to get that photo. It was 12F (-11C) outside. WOW, that’s cold!!!!!!

I also love my books. That sort of cold also calls for a hot coffee in the kitchen. And that coffee always tastes extra good in this cup I have, which is emblazoned with a famous Thomas Jefferson quote:

[Photo by me, 2018.]

Indeed I feel much the same about books. Increasingly, I think I feel something else about them too. Now, I find no longer can I just read them…

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris. Click to expand.]

…I LOVE to write them (and I am pleased there are people who enjoy reading them).

[Photo by me, 2018.]

And the Catskills are a timeless writing inspiration for me.

Have a good weekend, wherever you are. 🙂

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