Since “Day 1” I have known broadly how Conventions would end. Back on Friday, I summoned up the courage and wrote it in detail – the final chapter. While writing one always also surprises oneself, too: as I worked on it I realized I could toss in an unexpected (and in my humble opinion, great) last twist.
After the dust had settled, re-reading it in its entirety, I found the chapter to be – accidentally – a combination of happy and sad (and poignant). That’s striking a bit of “lucky” balance. I’d “signed off” for the weekend well-pleased with what I’d managed.
Rahul Singh is doing some social media research. The other day he sent me a list of questions about my social media use. He consented also to my sharing my answers in a blog post.
In fact, he said he was fine with my replying in public. If you would like to help him out, you see the questions below, and he’d love for you to share your own answers with him. He is on Google+ here, too.
So to his questions, followed by my answers in “block quotes.” Enjoy!🙂
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:
This is quite a serious post. There is no levity in it. Based on what I’ve seen – we’ve all seen – in the last week and a half, I simply want to say this.
United Kingdom voters, as you probably know, voted on the 23rd of June by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union.
That EU referendum, we all also know, has bitterly divided politics here in Britain.
It’s decidedly one thing flinging insults at total strangers you disagree with – “insane,” “idiots,” “racists,” “Hitler,” “old white trash” – on social media. But this? We’ve discovered friends of ours – she, a non-British EU national and staunch “Remainer,” married to him, a British national and vocal Brexit “Leave” supporter – are practically on the verge of divorce over the referendum’s outcome.
Well, that’s that for the time being. My brief visit to New York and Pennsylvania is winding down. I’m heading back to England today.
It has been good seeing Dad. He’s doing okay now, eight months after Mom’s death, so I’m not leaving feeling lousy about leaving him. He told me, “I’m adjusting to the new reality. That’s what the hospice newsletter said anyway.”
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.”
Mrs. N: “The bragging about grandchildren is like a tennis match. Back and forth trying to top each other. Haven’t you ever noticed?”
F-in-L [to the man on the phone]: “Well, and my eldest grandson is at Oxford.”
I’m going to the U.S. next week for a ten day visit. Yes, I’ll make sure the house in the Catskills is still standing. Fortunately, we know it is: a helpful friend nearby keeps an eye on it for us.
In any other year, I wouldn’t be going right now without my wife. The true reason I have to is because I want to spend some time with my father in Pennsylvania, who has a birthday while I’m there. It’s his first since my mother’s death in October.