“Somebody throws a Brick against the Door of my Carriage”

Last night, the BBC’s “Grand Tours of Scotland” series focused on women travelers. It included a look at walking in the countryside and even took us to Gretna Green – where couples still “run off” to for marriage. It also briefly reviewed the time when women did not normally travel alone because they usually weren’t allowed to.

Screen capture of BBC iPlayer "Grand Tours of Scotland" page.
Screen capture of BBC iPlayer “Grand Tours of Scotland” page.

At one point, the presenter shared how 19th century women needed male chaperones, and in explaining that did so including a clear inference at how unnecessary and sexist that was, a “need” concocted by men purely to keep women in their place.

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Reading At 38,000 Feet

Releasing us to be free to use our mobile devices on board planes has been a real travel blessing and stress reliever. True, most long haul flights now usually have decent entertainment systems. And I usually have a good read of British Airways’s HighLife print magazine, which generally has entertaining articles – including one each month by the BBC’s John Simpson, writing on his travels over the years.

Still, it’s great to be able to just continue to enjoy our own electronics and e-readers, too. For Friday night’s flight to Heathrow, in an “old-fashioned” moment, I’d packed this paperback I’d grabbed off my Catskills bookshelf. I’ve had it for longer than I care to remember, and it has made trips across the Atlantic before….

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At This Journey’s End

Hello. I’m typing this on March 11 mid-afternoon here at a lounge in Newark Airport (in New Jersey), a few hours before our flight back to the UK. I think it’ll make for blog post on arrival “home” in England.

Around us on the sofas and chairs in the busy room are assorted people, some “type type typing” or “tap tap tapping” their mobile devices feverishly. I’m using my iPad with its Bluetooth keyboard. My wife across from me is on her Microsoft Surface. Some travelers are conversing quietly. Some kids I see are also engrossed on I-somethings. Some people are eating. Others are watching TV. (Nancy Reagan’s funeral is on the big set.) A couple I see in a corner are snoozing.

Sitting a few feet away from me is an American couple in their 20s to young 30s. Understand, I’m not trying to single out my fellow countrymen here – this lounge is full of other Americans. These two, however, seem to think everyone else has to hear what they’re yammering about.

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It’s Not Just About Enjoying “Downton Abbey”

The other day, we had a vital Amazon delivery:

[Photo by me, 2016.]
[Photo by me, 2016.]

It arrived while I had been doing bits of work around the house. My London-born wife was out. That’s one of her preferred teas here in the U.S.

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If You’re Lost In Your Writing, Seek Out Yourself

That post in which I included two 18th century paintings pretty much sums up my outlook on here. I enjoy posting a mix and mishmash of stuff. This blog’s supposed to be a “journal” that’s built on my writing, but I’ve discovered over these last three years that lots more touches on that than I’d originally thought.

Excerpt from "Frontiers," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Frontiers,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.

That comment in 2014’s Frontiers stems from a “Madame de Staël” observation once made by a friend longer ago than I now care to remember. I recalled it while writing that novel and decided to fit it in not only because I liked it, but also because it well-reflected what I so enjoy: chatting with friends about whatever strikes us as interesting – particularly over a drink, or two, or…. uh, who’s counting.😉

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Fleeing Abroad (Or Loudly Claiming You Will)

Clauda Tanios has turned one up again:

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

My initial reaction: have any of them actually checked with Canada?

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Under The Streetlights

We’ve moved around so much in recent years our dog now lives with my in-laws. While walking him last night, I snapped this guy slinking around under the streetlights. You see them all the time after dark in outer London (the other night, I saw two of them together), and they always keep an eye on you from a safe distance:

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“An attempt to explain to the English reader….”

Last year here in London at my in-laws, I stumbled on a virtually pristine 1948 British published hardcover of Raymond Chandler’s famous The Big Sleep. Yesterday, I found another 1940s hardcover; it’s condition isn’t quite as good, but it still possesses a mostly intact dust jacket. It’s a 1944 book by a British academic:

[Photo by me, 2016.]
[Photo by me, 2016.]

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And You’re Sure The Minitel Could’ve Gone Global

It’s interesting, and pleasing, when an “old” post suddenly re-attracts attention briefly – usually thanks to visitors coming in via searches such as Google.

You may not really know why they have exactly. However, that renewed attention may lead you to wonder if it could use a “repost.” Those work best, really, if the original was not “timely” and based on some particularly current issue, and especially if newer followers may have missed it the first time.

So why not? I posted this lighthearted piece back on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Now, as for today, October 2, 2015, have a good Friday…. wherever you are in the world.🙂

R. J. Nello

Intriguing web page that was shared with me yesterday:

17 signs your soul belongs in France

As with most such lists, some observations – even if trite – should ring a bell:

4. You can spot Americans in France from a mile away. They’re wearing a t-shirt, and probably speaking English loudly, as if the reason they’re not being understood isn’t the language barrier but that they’ve yet to make themselves sufficiently audible. Also, they’re likely smiling. Who does that?

It’s Saturday, so whether you are American, or not, let’s, uh, risk a smile.

* * *

Reading that paragraph, Woody Allen films immediately jump to mind; but noting Americans’ distinctive national attire while traveling abroad is not all that new. That said, another giveaway, on men over “age 55,” is they are wearing white sneakers, blue jeans, and a baseball cap (sometimes with the name of a…

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The Cult Of The Naked Tourist

You may have heard about this band of thoughtful world travelers:

Screen capture yesterday of the BBC web site.
Screen capture yesterday of the BBC web site.

At least for once there wasn’t an American involved. Nor are they facing long prison terms. That BBC article goes on to explain:

They were jailed for three days, but their sentences were back-dated to reflect time already served.

Evidently snapping naked pics at tourist vistas has become “the thing” lately. Because there always has to be something. The respected British travel writer, the Independent’s Simon Calder, has also pointed out:

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