About The British

I’ve lived here now nearly 20 years. I love this country. It has some of the best people in the world.

Flag of the United Kingdom.

Others out there may become emotional and raise their voices when angered. In contrast, the British tend to turn “frosty” and quieter. And the British definitely don’t scare easily.

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My Novels, My Characters, My Business

You may know I try mostly to keep a relaxed tone here. I’m not interested in being contentious. However, there are times when even a romance-history-fiction novelist has to speak up on suggested public policy initiatives and plant a flag, and I apologize in advance.

On the writing desk, side by side. [Photo by me, 2017]

Back on Sunday night, the TV Baftas here in Britain raised this. Specifically, quoted in the Huffington Post UK, actor James Nesbitt declared:

“…I am delighted to be presenting the award for Best Actress tonight, particularly as I am wearing the badge for ERA, which is the campaign for the Equal Representation of Actresses.”

He continued: “Currently, for every one female role, there are almost three male roles. This is an inequality that is not only about our industry, but it is an inequality that is absorbed by everyone on their screens every day.

“As the father of two children – two girls – this should change.”

I watched him say that live. I’ve needed several days since then to think about my reaction to it. Because as a novelist, I’m underwhelmed.

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If You Are Age “20”…

As you may know by now, America had a big day on Tuesday. The result was not to everyone’s liking, of course. We have by now seen a great deal of this sort of reaction, this one described by Chy, at The Lost Mango:

Donald Trump is United State’s newest president. A lot of my friends cried because of sadness and fear regarding the future of our country. As you can see in the photos below, a lot of students in my university protested.

As many of you know by now, this is not a politics site. You don’t care about my personal opinions anyway. Nor really should you.

But before I go back to talking travel, fiction books, history and romance as I do usually, let me say this much…

I have a new blazer. Selfie. [2016.]
I have a new blazer. Selfie. [2016.]

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Thank You, Mr. President

There would be no U.S. presidential election today had it not been for him: George Washington, 1732-1799:

View of George Washington's Mount Vernon, his home for most of his life, and where he died. Virginia, U.S.A. [Photo by me, 2011.]
View of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, his home for most of his life, and where he died. Virginia, U.S.A. [Photo by me, 2011.]
Mount Vernon's kitchen. [Photo by me, 2011.]
Mount Vernon’s kitchen. [Photo by me, 2011.]

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And If Only Humphrey Bogart Voted?

The highly regarded political polling and prediction site FiveThirtyEight reported the other day that if only men voted, Republican nominee Donald Trump would overwhelmingly defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton and win the U.S. presidency:

271 state electoral votes are needed to win.
270 state electoral votes are needed to win.

However, the outcome would be vastly different if ONLY women voted. In that scenario, Clinton would, uh, thump Trump:

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View Of “UK Resident Of American Origin”

As you may have heard, a man with a knife slashing at people killed sixty-four-year-old American Darlene Horton and injured half a dozen others in London’s Russell Square on Wednesday evening. If learned, as of this writing his motive has not yet been made public. (“Mental health” issues have been cited by police.) As to a description of him circulating in British media, including on the BBC, ITV news’s Charlene White took issue with it on Twitter:

Via Wikipedia, one uncovers that Ms. White was born in London. That same source also states her parents were “Black Carribean.” Given her tweeted reference to Jamaica, I will assume for discussion’s sake that means they were born there and moved here to the United Kingdom.

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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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Freedom Of Speech, Until…

You never know who is reading you. Something I wrote about the Catskills a couple of years back attracted a response from a Turkish woman. She wrote to me that she knew the area well: she had attended (of all places) the State University of New York at Binghamton!

We had a laugh. She had also left the US recently and was living once again in Istanbul, but remained interested in south-central New York state, where Binghamton is located, in particular. Occasionally, she’d ask me about the snow and frigid temperatures – she didn’t miss either in Istanbul! she always said – and inquired harmlessly about other aspects of life thereabouts. She also knew I-84 pretty well, and we’d joked about that “endless” and “dull” highway.

Free Stock Photo: Flag of Turkey.
Free Stock Photo: Flag of Turkey.

We ended up following each other on Twitter. She tweeted mostly in Turkish, which left me mostly at a loss. But she did offer an occasional observation in English and/or a link to something in English; usually it was innocuous and apolitical. Often what she shared was humorous.

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“Retro-Fittings”: Not Creativity In My Book

We have learned that Star Trek’s “Sulu” is to be “re-imagined” as gay. Believing that to be “right…for our times,” Guardian writer Ryan Gilbey is clearly pleased by that writers’ decision. Interestingly, however, LGBT activist, and original “Sulu” actor, George Takei, is clearly not:

Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.
Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.

Mr. Takei’s disapproval obviously disappointed Mr. Gilbey and quite a few others:

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Tell It To Elizabeth I

The contest to be Conservative party leader in the House of Commons, which almost assures succession currently to the prime ministership, has now come down to a choice between two women. So it is almost certain now that the United Kingdom will have its second woman in that highest government office. You may also have read about the debate in British media set off this weekend over comments made to The Times newspaper by one of them.

Both women are in their 50s. Andrea Leadsom, challenging presumed frontrunner Theresa May, stated to the paper that she, Leadsom, has “a very real stake” in the future of the country because she had children. (May and her husband did not.) Leadsom doesn’t attack May directly, but if you listen to the recording of her observations, Leadsom’s inference is plainly obvious: she holds that she’d be a better prime minister because she has had children:

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