Unexpected Interruption

We are on a short break in Devon. Problem is the rental house doesn’t have the promised internet.


And getting mobile net on the phone in this rural coastal area is unpredictable at best. I’m sitting outside a shop right now, and just had a pile of emails come thru! I was able to check Twitter as well finally.

You feel so lost without the net nowadays. I’m seeing if anything can be done. If not, well, I’ll get lots of writing done on my down time.

Hopefully, all will be back to normal next weekend. If not before, see you then. :-)

An Immigrant Heritage

If I’m given the chance, I’m unsure if I would vote for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for president. I don’t know enough about his politics. They seem deeply conservative, and I’m annoyingly moderate.

He seemed to say some stuff many here in the U.K. disagreed strongly with when he visited recently. However, I am willing to hear more from him. I’m always willing to listen to every reasonable candidate of any major party, and as a governor that by definition makes him “reasonable.”

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

A separate – and disturbing – issue has been the mockery directed at him on social media (and even in some U.S. mainstream media) for his apparently not being “Indian enough” or even attempting to be “white.”

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Destination Bulgaria

And people wonder from where novelists get material? The ex-husband of a friend of my wife’s is buying a house in Bulgaria. He’s planning to move there permanently (it’s not a holiday home) in early August.

It’s “Melvin.” Naturally, relocating to Ukraine didn’t happen. Now, out of the blue, it’s Bulgaria.

Screen capture of Wikipedia.
Screen capture of Wikipedia.

I bumped into “Melvin” yesterday during a post-cat-sitting stopover at our girlfriend’s house. That girlfriend and her new husband are VERY GENEROUSLY letting “Melvin” flop there until he moves abroad. But I wouldn’t be surprised if when the time comes she drives him to the airport to make sure he actually leaves the country.

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“Can’t You See I’m Trying To Write A Blog Post?”

I’ve got that cat in my lap now:

How am I supposed to write a blog post this morning?
How am I supposed to write a blog post this morning?

I give up. I won’t get a post written right now. However, the cat-sitting duties end today.

Have a good Monday. :-)

“There never will be anything more interesting in America than that Civil War never.”

Following the murders of nine African-American churchgoers in South Carolina, old social media photographs of the white supremacist arrested for it naturally surfaced almost immediately. In one, he’s wearing jacket patches of the apartheid South Africa flag and the white minority government Rhodesia flag. In another, he’s posing on a car displaying the Confederate States of America emblem.

His embrace of the latter has revived arguments inside the U.S. about the post-Civil War tacit understanding under which the United States became one country again:

Screen capture of Vox.
Screen capture of Vox.

That Vox piece is the sort of thing that leads one to wonder if supposedly well-educated members of the media have ever read a serious history book?

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The Many Shades Of Envy?

Another installment of that book series is upon us. A Newsweek reviewer (interestingly, by name a man, although the books do appear aimed primarily at women, and are written by a woman; but I don’t want to disgress down that path here), disparages it this way:

Cinemax softcore masquerading as fiction

Really? So then it’s perfect to adapt into a possibly “award-winning” cable TV series? Just shift the tale and main characters to, say, Rhode Island?

Evidently this effort is told from “Mr. Grey’s” perspective. You must know him by now. He’s the fictional character some appear to confuse with an actual person.

A couple of weeks ago in the Telegraph, Michael Deacon (again, a man; and again I’ll leave the issue there) had fun with it. He “imagined” its opening chapter. Here’s an excerpt:

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Surviving The “Wobbles”

You never know what out there will provide eventual story material. Subconsciously, I’m always on the look out. In a real sense, I’m always working.

I try, but I can’t usually just switch my mind “off.” I find I pay attention to most “everything.” But I know I also have to do so without everyone around me suspecting I’m paying attention to, uh, “everything,” of course. ;-)

River Avon, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire. [Photo by me, 14 June 2015.]
River Avon, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire. [Photo by me, 14 June 2015.]

Case in point: Mass last Sunday included Psalm 92. Perhaps unsurprisingly if you know the first two novels, this line grabbed my attention:

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Layover From “Hell”?

When U.S. airspace was temporarily shut beginning on September 11, 2001, quite a few flights were diverted to Canada. Thousands of travelers were stranded for days. On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the New York Times remembered Gander, Newfoundland’s “plane people”:

They’re called “the plane people” here because on Sept. 11, 2001, some 6,700 passengers on 38 planes descended on this piney little town of about 10,000 people on the northeastern end of Newfoundland….

Of course the suicide hijackings that destroyed much of lower Manhattan and killed 3,000 were wildly outside the norm. We know that. But the “diversion to Newfoundland” thing has happened since the beginnings of the transatlantic “jet age” in the later 1950s.

Nonetheless, the other day CNN (and it seems quite a lot of other media) reported this:

Screen capture of CNN web site.
Screen capture of CNN web site.

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“Chaque mercredi soir”

I got quite a bit of inspiration over the last few days. So I want to get on and write. No “big” blog post this morning.

But this is probably much better anyway. I thought I’d share it with you: Parisian Audrey Lisquit’s blog. As she describes it:

C’est une petite pépite déposée chaque mercredi soir. Une petite parenthèse pour sourire, rire, prendre confiance.

It’s a little nugget filed every Wednesday evening. A small parenthesis to smile, laugh, gain in confidence.

Yesterday she published a translation of an earlier post. Normally, she writes in French. If you can handle some, she’s funny and sharp and worth following:

Screen capture of one of Audrey's posts.
Screen capture of one of Audrey’s posts.

I hope you have a good Monday [ugh, Monday, I know], wherever you may be. :-)


UPDATE: June 18: Last night, Audrey posted a translation of another post. Here’s “An American in Paris” in English. Enjoy.

An 18th Birthday Party

Sixteen years ago, in the middle of our wedding vows in a nearly silent church in north London – assisted unwittingly by my Italian-German aunt, who had kept giving her sweets – the 2 year old had loudly demanded of her mother, “Mummy, I need to poo!”

It didn’t make the wedding video, which was her Danish mother’s greatest fear.

That mum has now been a close friend of my wife’s for nearly 20 years; and she has become my friend, too.

And that toddler – whose father is English – who yelled at our wedding about needing to “poo” has just turned 18. Last night her bash was held in a hotel function room in Bristol.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a present with happy birthday text.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a present with happy birthday text.

She’s now also about 5 ft 10 and (we noticed as we studied her among her friends) resembles Taylor Swift. We hadn’t spotted that previously. And we would never say it to her because we don’t know how that might be received. ;-)

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