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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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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Conference Call

Recently my wife started doing customer service consulting work at a major airline. Naturally she has quickly had to pick up the company’s approach to it: good and bad. Yesterday, she shared with me some “highlights” from a Friday phone-in, in which staff from locations around the world addressed operational problems over the previous 24 hours and how they were/are handled.

That staff is understandably a varied, international bunch. A “Giuseppe” called in from Italy. “He sounded like you would expect,” she said.

A South African in Cape Town spoke a million miles an hour, she noted. Over what was at times also a poor phone connection, she said she had some trouble understanding him. “I had to keep asking him to repeat himself.”

And there was a guy in Mumbai (Bombay). “They handle mostly email and web inquiries there,” she told me.

It’s actually fascinating, she says. In just a few days so far, she’s learned a great deal about the internals of how an airline functions in customer service terms.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a business man sitting in an airplane.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a business man sitting in an airplane.

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No Break Is Ever Really “A Break”

[Slams head down repeatedly on desk. Finished, I sit up, half-dazed, and despising the universe. And my mind wanders….]

….That’s bl-ody not gonna work. That bit is awful. It’s the French Revolution, not the Clinton administration!

I’m not a 9th grader. This isn’t middle school creative writing. I’m supposed to be a multiple-degree adult – a serious novelist, writing serious historical-romantic tales.

And that next paragraph is too familiar. Didn’t I pretty much write that same thing in Distances? Accidentally plagiarizing myself? Good grief, that’s pathetic.

Okay, true, it was mine to begin with. So I could only be accused there of being unoriginal. But I also do so HATE plagiarists.

And no way Marie-Thérèse would do that anyway. Not in her household.

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Guys And Cars

Ah, the weekend. Yesterday, I did what guys are apparently supposed to do on a Saturday afternoon: I vacuumed and cleaned the inside of our car:

Our Audi. (Photo by me, 2016.)
Our Audi. (Photo by me, 2016.)

It’s an Audi. It’s a better drive than our last one here in Britain: the Volvo. (It finally bit the dust.) I like it.

But I have a confession to make….

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Yes, Finally, Instagram

During my troubles with “G” earlier this week and my brief wrongheaded thoughts of abandoning WordPress (until I learned the details of what had happened, and that it was NOT WP’s fault, so I’m staying), which I wrote about yesterday, on the spur of the moment I created a Tumblr. I’m gonna keep it as an adjunct to here and took my first – minor – “tumbles” yesterday.

Just before I “tumbled” the first time, I noticed a tweet from Adele that linked to her Instagram. (No, no, no, not that other Adele. I mean the talented author.)

I had once sworn I NEVER would do it. However, we do learn: never say never. Yesterday, I created my own Instagram – years after it seems everyone else on the planet has:

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The “Mysterious” Foreigners

After our Tuesday hike, we had a relatively quiet day yesterday.

Street scene. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Street scene. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. [Photo by me, 2016.]
And, importantly, courtesy of the Spanish (Canary Islands) sunshine….

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Refreshments In A Petrol Station

Our walking guide yesterday was an English guy who has lived here in Tenerife about 10 years. He knows his stuff. Led by him, we spent a pleasant – if windswept – day hiking again among the steep hills away from the coast:

Ocean view. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Ocean view. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. [Photo by me, 2016.]

We were two of four walkers. The other two were English: a retired man from Sheffield, and a woman from Bolton.

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Sí, An Old Fashioned

WARNING: If you are under age 21 and in the United States, click away now.😉

After a 4 mile trek along an edge of Tenerife yesterday afternoon, sometimes working our way through meandering groups of multinational holiday makers often drifting around aimlessly, a bit tired and warm we decided refreshments were in order. We happened to notice a decent looking restaurant with an ocean view. A set of outdoor chairs and a table had our names on them.

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