For Instant Happy Woman?

While cat sitting for friends last month, I’d noticed this coaster on their dining room table. I photographed it because, being a man, I’m not entirely sure how to take this: image

And it made me chuckle. We saw them again last night; they have just moved house temporarily until they move permanently to Cambridge in August. So we got to see their “interim” place in Bath, and she had that coaster on their dining room table once more.

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Reminder: Airplanes Are Not The Living Room…. Or Another Room

With so many more people flying than ever before, and with space on board planes becoming tighter, people are, umm, closer than ever on aircraft. Perhaps too close. Rightly, Valerie wants everyone to respect each other a bit more: “Dear Couples Who Love To Fly”:

Screen capture, Valerie & Valise web site.
Screen capture, Valerie & Valise web site.

We’ve all endured clueless, inconsiderate idiots on planes. But reading her open letter also made me smile, because whenever I see something like it I also recall an experience I’d had some twenty years ago – the single, strangest one I’ve ever had on a plane. (And that includes having once also shared a row with a Frenchwoman and an Amish man.) I first posted this in May 2014, and thought it worth a repost here this morning:

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Free For Five Days

The British summer weather so far has been, mostly, superb. Today, here in Wiltshire, it’s supposed to be *hot.* I suspect we’re gonna wish we were still here:

Devon beach, with the wet hound. [Photo, 2015.]
Devon beach, with the wet hound. [Photo, 2015.]

I am also about 75 percent finished writing Distances. If I can keep this up, it will be completed by the autumn, which would be well ahead of what I’d hoped. Finishing that third volume has been a major target I’d been aiming for since I started writing in 2012-13.

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I Made Clauda “Lol”

Drove up to London yesterday and will be driving back to Wiltshire later. It will be a busy non-writing day overall. It’s shaping up as the sort of one I’m always of seriously two minds about, because a non-writing day is, fundamentally, a non-productive day in any novelist’s life.

Free Stock Photo: A cup of coffee with a stack of books.
Free Stock Photo: A cup of coffee with a stack of books.

But if you drop by regularly, you know I like if at all possible to find a few moments to post something every day. I like this site to be “alive,” and, as you also may know, sort of like a “daily journal”. In that sense, I feel this is worth sharing.

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“Foolish, Mr. Bond”

He is in Austria with his son, to see the Austrian Grand Prix.

She is with her daughter – recently turned 18 – on a long weekend in Split, Croatia.

Jet setters.

What we all do for friends, eh?:

Same cat. Using the top of the wine cooler, he likes sitting next to you at the kitchen island.
Using the top of the wine cooler, this one likes sitting next to you at the kitchen island.

Someone had to watch their cats, so we’re staying in their house.

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Left Side Of The Shelf

We’re visiting our long-time friends in Dublin for the weekend. Flew over this morning from Bristol. Haven’t seen them in person since Florida, last summer.

Settling in, I stumbled on this. And, no, I’m not referring to Larsson or Mandela:

Guest room reading, Dublin. [Sneaky photo by me, 2015.]
Guest room reading, Dublin. [Sneaky photo by me, 2015.]

Oh! Dear! God!

That? In our girlfriend’s guest room? I may never recover from the shock! ;-)

What Did Montauk Do To Deserve This?

It’s Friday. Yesterday was “heavy.” Let’s have some fun.

Before you read on, if you missed the earlier post on this subject, you may want to click here. The caveats and essential points are there, in “Part 1.” This is “Part 2.”

At the end of that “Part 1,” I promised an update if I changed my mind about The Affair. Well, I watched the 3rd episode. Update aside, I’m still not sure about it….

* * *

Presiding at his study’s massive wooden desk (it has to be massive), books on shelves behind him (evidently so we remember what he is supposed to be), the wildly successful novelist father-in-law calls “Noah” – who’s soaking wet from a swim in the pool – in for a hearty man-to-man talk: “So, how’s the writing going?”

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a stack of books and reading glasses.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a stack of books and reading glasses.

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Tourist Survey Submitted

I received an auto-email from English Heritage. They wanted to know what I thought of Stonehenge. The survey, they noted, would take only a few minutes:

Screen capture of English Heritage email.
Screen capture of English Heritage email.

As we know, Stonehenge is a site of sublime importance; it allows us a peek into our pre-history. It has baffled, fascinated, and intrigued countless generations. Unknown numbers of people have over the centuries devoted their lives to the study of it and still do.

The world famous stone circle, at Stonehenge. [Photo by me, 2015.]
The world famous stone circle, at Stonehenge. [Photo by me, 2015.]

And I was supposed to provide a couple of pages of quickie feedback? Okay, fine:

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“Darling, he’s written about us!”

Happy 1st of June. And we didn’t meet them halfway. We went to them. Yesterday, we drove to Christchurch (about an hour and a half away) to visit with a former neighbor couple there.

In a sense, it felt like “going home.” The town is much the same. And the house we’d owned for a decade until 2013 – well, there it stood. (They aren’t huge fans of the people who’ve bought it. We’ve never laid eyes on them and still haven’t.)

The husband (he’s about my father’s age) and I were alone at one point and chatting. He told me they were in Tenerife, in their flat (in the end, they didn’t sell it), and his Mrs. was sitting in the lounge reading Frontiers. “Across the room,” he said to me, “I hear this laugh, and she looks at me, points out a page, and says, ‘What did he do?! That’s me! The so and so! Darling, he’s written about us!'”

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a blank frame with drawing tools.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a blank frame with drawing tools.

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