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Showing posts from April, 2018

TERRACE BLOOMS TWO WEEKS LATER

We had an African Grey Parrot who was quite the talker. Named Pushkin. He could recite Blake:

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies, Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, Dare seize the fire?

No foolin'. Perfectly understandable. And on bright, sunny days such as we've had recently in the south of France, he was known to say:

The sun is shining. The birds are singing. And Pushkin-bird is happy as a clam.

No foolin'.

We gifted Pushkin to a friend when we moved across the Pond but we get regular updates. Meanwhile, the sun is indeed shining. The birds are indeed singing. And the plants on the terrace are happy as clams.


TRUMP CLEANS HOUSE AT FBI

Frustrated that probable political fallout prevents him from firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or former Director of the FBI and current Special Counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump announced a sweeping reorganization of the FBI, firing Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in an early morning tweet:

"Just like Rosenstein and Mueller, Mulder and Scully have been in bed together from the beginning. BAD NEWS! YOU'RE FIRED!"

When told that Mulder and Scully were television characters who couldn't possibly be FBI agents and therefore he couldn't fire them, Trump replied,"So what? I'm a television character and I became President of the United States. If you're not careful, anything can happen."

Indeed...

(For those of you who don't watch television, Mulder and Scully were fictitious FBI agents who spent eight or ten seasons chasing extraterrestrials. And they did spend time in bed together.)

For more of my writing on Americ…

CAPESTANG TO QUARANTE ALONG THE BACK ROAD WITH PICS

I call it exercise of opportunity. The weather had turned sunny. I hadn't been out walking as much as I should have been. So when I had to drop off the car at the shop in Capestang in preparation for its CT (or MOT if you are a Brit or State Inspection if you live in an American state that inspects cars), I decided to walk back. We're a friendly group here in Quarante. I had several offers of rides. But the walk is only about 5 miles. (Imagine that. ONLY 5 miles. What has come over me?) So I decided to just do it. Here are a few pics, not at all a comprehensive review, but enough to give you a feel for it.

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON VISIT IN PICS

Regular visitors to this space will remember that Cathey and I recently visited Stratford-upon-Avon to take in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Twelfth Night. As someone who appreciates language and writes for both a living and for pleasure, that pilgrimage checks off an item on my bucket list. Hardly on a par with climbing Kilimanjaro when all it took to get there were an easyJet flight and short train and car rides. But important to me on a gut level just the same.

Had Shakespeare been an American author and had Stratford been a small town along the Hudson River an hour or two north of New York City, the place would have been transformed into a tourist trap. An avalanche of gaudy advertising and cheap trinkets would have overtaken any bit of remaining history.

Stratford seems to have managed to avoid that trap. To be fair, we arrived in February, not the height of the season. The groups of school children and camera-laden tourists that we encountered
were to be expected al…