Springtime

Sunday’s postΒ on loss and grief was quite serious, I know. I appreciate you having read it. As I have had some time to reflect on my feelings since posting it, interestingly I have found a bit of relief in my own words.

And spring is upon us:

Where would writers be without their families and friends to provide them with material? When I fictionalized my mother and my uncle, they were still living. Both died just after I’d essentially finished writing Distances in September 2015.

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Haste Ye Back (To Rothesay)

On Monday, the Mrs. had airline business in Scotland, west of Glasgow. Somehow in all my years here, I’d managed never to have visited Scotland. So I joined her – and grabbed some photos over the three days there:

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La Clusaz, French Alps

If you have seen Instagram, we have been in the Alps since Saturday…

We are about an hour and a half from Geneva Airport:

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Daily Mail Decides To “Ask The Americans”

The Mail has been out researching Americans’ opinions about their lives here in Britain. Get ready. Let’s have some Friday fun:

Screen capture of the Daily Mail.
Screen capture of the Daily Mail.

I’ll address my fellow Americans’ points in order. Here we go. To start:

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A Not So “Ordinary” Girl

A new follower caught my attention the other day. She did so not so much because of her amazing blog. Rather, I was struck by her utter lack of one.

In her WordPress gravatar she calls herself an “ordinary girl” and writes that she’s not social, but uses social sites to explore. She says nothing about her age or where she lives. She also notes she hopes to travel someday, but hasn’t had the chance.

Statue of Liberty and World Trade Center's Twin Towers, from the Liberty Island ferry. [Photo by me, 1991.]
Statue of Liberty and World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, from the Liberty Island ferry. [Photo by me, 1991.]

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The Woman Whose Name Is On New York Bridges

I open this morning by restating once again – to reassure you – that this is NOT a politics blog. But there are times I feel I have to swerve briefly into that (unseemly) arena. After all, we have heard so much about the U.S. presidential election that it was impossible here to ignore it entirely.

Street in La Clusaz, Haute Savoie, France. It's almost ski season again! [Photo by me, 2015]
Street in La Clusaz, Haute Savoie, France. It’s almost ski season again! [Photo by me, 2015]

If you’re exhausted by the U.S. one, well, France – which is of some interest here, as you know – is going to have a presidential election of its own in April (1st round) and May (2nd round) 2017. The Socialist candidate may be the incumbent president, FranΓ§ois Hollande. However it seems highly unlikely he will win a second five-year term.

And why? Recently, it was reported President Hollande has a 4 percent job approval rating. No, that is not a typo. I wrote *FOUR* percent:

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Weekend In Belfast

My wife and I ventured to Belfast for Saturday and Sunday. It was our first time there. It was also an eye-opening experience:

“Welcome To Belfast” over the terminal at Belfast International Airport. [Photo by me, 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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In Transit: Friday, 28-29 October 2016

Having slept several extra hours yesterday and this morning, I think I have largely recovered from flying back here to London from Newark on Friday night. Flying itself can also be “fun,” can’t it? Every time you do, there’s always something… or a variety of “somethings.”

The rental car, parked outside my dad's house.[Photo by me, 2016.]
The rental car, parked outside my dad’s house.[Photo by me, 2016.]

After dropping off the rental car, on the monorail to the terminal I ended up in a carriage with two relatively attractive twenty-something American women who were heading to Manhattan. We knew that because one announced it loudly. The more talkative blonde was animatedly telling her friend that she wanted a photo of herself dramatically standing outside of Tiffany’s – like Audrey Hepburn.

Overhearing her – again, it was impossible not to – I exchanged “knowing” smiles with an older, business-suited African-American man standing across from me.

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