Old San Juan

We decided earlier this year that we would take a holiday somewhere we’ve never been: Puerto Rico:

We flew down here from New York on Thursday. A major impetus to doing this were cousins of mine, whose family roots are in Puerto Rico. Years ago they had suggested we give it a visit.

When I wrote her asking for some suggestions a couple of months back, one cousin practically overloaded my Messenger:

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Lisbon, Portugal

I should be writing, I know that. I have a novel that is now “overdue.” And I am working on it afternoons in the hotel.

But this is just too much to resist and remain locked away all day. We are here only until Sunday. Thursday and Friday, I was out and about at this “secret” destination – which you knew already if you follow my Instagram. And obviously this post’s title gives it away: Lisbon, Portugal:

I even got in a required selfie:

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Springtime

Sunday’s post 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, François 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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