“How’s Lara?”

Google+, you may have heard, is no more. Google is closing it down. Its active user base was dwindling and Google evidently saw no realistic hope of reversing that downward trend:

[Part of the Google+ shutdown email notification.]

I had given up on Google+ a year or two ago; but I had not actually deleted the account. I do feel sorry for its current users who found value in it and enjoyed it. I just couldn’t get into it; and neither, does it appear, did nearly enough others.

In comparison, I have since found Instagram – which honestly I had never imagined I would ever use:

View this post on Instagram

You are treated here to those “things” thanks to me being tagged by @soullasays. The photo itself is from yesterday, atop Beauregard, above La Clusaz.🇫🇷🏔☀️ . If you are in the mood, guys, feel free to tell us five things about you: @blankpagesofmine @laura_is_writing @_chloelaurent @adelearcherwrites @ms.s.cheffing @audreylisquit @patrina_morris @playingwithfashion @bingbangbooks . But don’t feel you have to reply. Believe me, I understand. My #6) above might well have been: “Oh, god, no! I don’t like being ‘tagged’ on Instagram!”😂😂😂 . #travel #tags #instagramtags #aboutme #humor #personal #life #France #scenic #beautiful #mountains #writers #authors #writersofinstagram #authorsofinstagram #expats #expatlife

A post shared by R. J. Nello (@rjnello) on

I had also anticipated I would not be writing much this week in France due to the fact four of us are unexpectedly sharing a small holiday apartment. So I had decided that I would at least read some while here. Besides my Kindle, I’d brought along a paperback:

[War and Peace. Photo by me, La Clusaz, France, 2019.]

On the Kindle, of course no one can see what you’re reading. Paperbacks are obviously another matter. The other night, my wife noticed me reading that one:

“How’s Lara?” she asked.

“Lara?” Then I realized, replying, “That’s Doctor Zhivago. This is War and Peace. It’s set a hundred years before Doctor Zhivago.”

“Oh, they’re the same,” she chuckled, realizing she had confused the two briefly, and turning that confusion into humor. “Men in uniforms throwing gorgeous blonde women dark looks. And being invaded. And fleeing their city homes for the safety of the country. And they’re both Russian…”


“I can be such a philistine,” she laughed. Then she paused a moment and added… “This is gonna end up on your blog, isn’t it?”

Gorgeous redhead, she knows me too well.😂

[Atop Beauregard. La Clusaz, France. Photo by me, 2019.]

Have a good day, wherever you are. And if you use Google+, consider joining us on Instagram: we’re lots of fun. And Insta doesn’t seem likely to be closed down anytime soon. 🙂