John Lewis!

If you read WordPress blogs you usually see ads at the bottom of a post. We, the bloggers, have no control over those ads (that I’m aware of). They are bought by advertisers to appear on WordPress generally.

Frankly, many I’ve seen are just awful. They look at times like cheapo nonsense at best. They are often not the sort of stuff you would want to be associated with you or your content.

However, yesterday I happened not to be logged in and opened one of my recent posts for reference to something else I was writing. When I scrolled to the bottom, I almost fell off my chair. I couldn’t believe the ad!:

Screenshot of an ad below one of my posts.
Screenshot of an ad below one of my posts.

John Lewis!

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Through Ayot St. Lawrence

We took a (longish) walk yesterday from the new house over to the historical village of Ayot St. Lawrence:

Yet another two-way English country road. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Yet another two-way English country road. [Photo by me, 2016.]
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London Vlogger Has Not Been Kidnapped

Welcome to our continuing 2016. The last Friday in July. We simply have to end this week with this:

Enfield? I used to live in Enfield. I have relatives there, too!

Imagine if she lives around the block from them? Or right near our old place?

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“In My Life”

We’re off later to see what will be our latest house starting on Friday. Another moving week ahead.

As I told my dad the other day on FaceTime, “It’s in Hertfordshire, which is pronounced Hartfordsheer.”

“Is that near Midsomer?” he joked.

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To “The Honorable Ezekiel Gilbert”

Yesterday’s post was depressing. The present day isn’t exactly doing it for me lately. I thought let’s have a retreat to the past for this one….

Main entrance. George Washington's Mount Vernon. Virginia. [Photo by me, 2011.]
Main entrance. George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Virginia. [Photo by me, 2011.]
But naturally there were troubles back then, too. Moreover when it came to communicating with our representatives back in the U.S. as to what we abroad were witnessing, there wasn’t even email! And we definitely couldn’t “@” them on Twitter!

We would have sat down and composed an ink-splotted letter by candlelight that we hoped might get to its destination in two or three months if we were lucky….

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Back To Britain

Hello again from London! Once more I’m “home” in the United Kingdom….that is also evidently on course to leave the European Union eventually: how our world changes unexpectedly. Incidentally, my Atlantic crossing reading….

[Photo by me, 2016.]
[Photo by me, 2016.]
….from back when the world was dramatically changing in another way. In yet another sense, we are also so privileged to be able to fly the Atlantic in about 8 hours. In the 18th century, it took weeks by sea – if you even managed to survive to get across it.

For Friday evening’s flight from Newark, I got lucky. I was upgraded to a window seat in premium economy – a benefit of being a frequent flier and of perhaps flying alone. I suppose it’s just easier to move you around when alone than if you are in a party of two or more.

For a time, I also thought I had hit the lottery in another way: I had no row-mate in the other seat. That didn’t last, though. About fifteen minutes after take-off, a flight attendant escorted a Finnish woman from behind in economy to the previously empty aisle seat next to me.

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“Absolutely, Tom Cruise would be perfect!”

Tom Cruise playing the “Jack Reacher” character infuriated many devoted readers of the book series. I know about this mostly based on what I’ve read about the controversy. Also my wife loves those novels, and she explained why he wouldn’t have been her “first choice” for “Reacher” when she’d read initially that it was to be Mr. Cruise in the role.

The biggest (no pun intended) complaint regularly seen is that the relatively diminutive real-life Mr. Cruise in no way resembles “Reacher.” The character is apparently nearly 7 ft tall and consists of pure muscle. Some on “social media” were quick to point that out:

Screen capture of Facebook.
Screen capture of Facebook.

Yet in fairness to any filmmaker, casting a “superman” is always a challenge. When a fictional character is outlandish, trying to locate a human actor who largely resembles him/her on the pages, let alone one who can also ACT well enough, is naturally not easy. Making that task even tougher is when it’s also supposed to be the STAR of the potential film, for it’s then suddenly necessary also to try to find one from among a very small pool of actor possibilities who will hopefully also FILL cinemas.

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Grandparent Wimbledon

Father-in-law [on the phone yesterday, speaking to an old friend (also in his 80s) who’d just lost a brother, and now moving on subject wise]: “….You have our condolences. How’s your son? My youngest is doing much better, and his three are marvelous….”

Mrs. Nello [in the next room with me, overhearing, observes like a BBC sports presenter]: “The opening serve from Dad. It’s in. No return. Dad’s up, 15-Love.”

Me: “What?”

Mrs. N: “The bragging about grandchildren is like a tennis match. Back and forth trying to top each other. Haven’t you ever noticed?”

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of an older man playing tennis.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of an older man playing tennis.

F-in-L [to the man on the phone]: “Well, and my eldest grandson is at Oxford.”

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Perils Of “Predictive Text”

Ah, texting/instant messaging on our phones. Part of the great communication revolution. A wonder of our time in history.

You may recall a “Valérie” from the conference call(s) post about my wife’s airline consulting role. Given that, this Messenger chat we had yesterday was perhaps, uh, unintentionally hilarious. Having opened an exchange between us with a reference to “Valérie,” my wife was reminded how “autocorrect” and/or “predictive text” may catch us out at times:

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