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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Brides, Follow This Path?

We noticed this yesterday. A word on this sign doesn’t seem quite right:

Sign, Trent Country Park, Enfield, London. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Sign, Trent Country Park, Enfield, London. [Photo by me, 2016.]

I’m not a grammar nut. In fact, I can’t stand pompous authors lecturing on adverbs (I’ll boldly go where I see fit in my own writing, thank you very much), or where commas belong or don’t belong best when I am crafting a point – or when to use a dash, etc., and so on. Go write your own literary “painting” your way for your readers, and I’ll write mine my way for mine.

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Feeling Fine In Chesham

Yesterday we visited with my wife’s octogenarian aunt (and godmother). She has lived in Chesham (in the Chilterns) nearly forty years. The town is the last stop on the London Underground’s Metropolitan line – with a tiny above ground station.

She lives just outside of the town. While we’ve been to her home numerous times, we’d never been into the town center itself, so we drove in and she took us on a short, late-afternoon stroll around. It’s very pleasant. I played “tourist” briefly and took a few photos:

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

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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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“Sorry, what was that you said?”: Our Shared English

I’ve learned it’s challenging writing for a potentially global readership. After all, nowadays, courtesy of Amazon and others, potentially anyone on the planet can tomorrow get hold of most any book. As an author, how to cope with that reality?

Screen capture of Dictionary.com.
Screen capture of Dictionary.com.

Language can be an issue. I’m not talking about a “foreign” language either. Rather, there can be “trouble” even with local variations on our shared language.

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Nomads On The Move

I know I’ve not even hinted at it, but we are moving house today. We’re relocating from just outside of Bath, temporarily back to north London. We suspect we may be living somewhere semi-permanently around Reading (pronounced Redding) in the near future – although that could well change. (This is all work-related. Yes, that awful reality.😉 )

Free Stock Photo: A set of keys isolated on a white background.
Free Stock Photo: A set of keys isolated on a white background.

So the nomads are on the move once more. As a result, I may be somewhat “unsocial” on here for a few days. Right now, I’m sitting in a lounge that is, well, chaos.

My desk has been taken apart. Boxes are everywhere. The removal guys will be here in an hour or so.

A new chapter begins. Have a good day, wherever you are.:-)

Underground Photography

Thanks for your understanding yesterday. I wasn’t going to post today, but as yesterday went on I felt progressively better. Today, I feel almost fine.

Pain makes everything else feel worse in life, doesn’t it? It “depresses” you. But when the pain lifts, you get necessary perspective back.

So back to “normal.” Or what passes for normal with me.😉

Moving right along, I don’t think these are potential future cover photos:

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Ten Years On: The Day’s A Blur

July 7, 2005 was like any other normal day. A few days a week I took public transportation – either overground train, or tube – to my university office in north London where I then worked. Other days I drove. I liked to vary the commute.

That day, I’d pre-booked the car in with a dealer for a routine service, so drove to work a bit early. Being near the college, they would send someone over to my office, collect it, work on it, and return it by the end of the workday. Ho hum.

As usual, by 8:30 they’d picked up the car and taken it away. I think it was on my desktop sometime around 9:30 when I first saw the BBC web site update: there were rumors of electrical fires/ explosions in a couple of tube stations.

Very odd stuff, to say the least. I remember colleagues shaking their heads.

Screen capture of BBC web site.
Screen capture of BBC web site.

And I remember one – the first one to suggest it – saying these sounded like bombings.

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The Lovely Canines In Our Lives

Our friends’ 11 year old female black labrador collapsed the other day. They got her to the vet. But before the vet could do anything, she was gone.

Hearing that sad news, I immediately thought of her as a puppy on a 2005 Isles of Scilly holiday she’d been on with us all. Funny how on hearing such bad news one instantly recalls that sort of thing. I have photos of her on a PC in America during that trip. She was an absolute little star.

Our own 10 year old hound (half English springer spaniel/ half labrador: a “springador“) is now living with my in-laws in London. We’ve moved and traveled so much in recent years, they had him for months at a time and eventually just took him in “semi-permanently.” Although he has been twice to France on holidays with us, that is the extent of his foreign travel; he couldn’t be packed up like cargo flown back and forth repeatedly to America with us: we wouldn’t have ever subjected him to that “treatment.” (I’ve read Air France allows dogs in the cabin, but they can’t be more than 10 kilos. We have thought, hmm, maybe a strict, pre-flight diet?😉 )

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