Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Birthday Card

Back in October, my dad and stepmother mailed me a birthday card. But they sent it to our old address in Notting Hill, the apparently vacant (according to the neighbors) apartment where we used to live. I have long wondered whether any of our valuable mail has been piling up there, on the floor beneath the letterbox.

Well, on March 4, my dad and stepmother got my birthday card back, with a handwritten note on it that said "Please return to sender -- no longer at this address."

So apparently whoever has access to the apartment now has sifted through the mail on the floor. That's good to know. Dad and June resent the card, and I received it on Friday -- and to be honest, I thought they'd already mailed me one, so I didn't miss its absence.

My brother had an interesting idea about Olga's recent bout of wooziness. He asked whether she was exposed to exhaust fumes during her extended period in the dog walker's van. I think that is a very good question. I sent the dog walker an e-mail suggesting it as an unlikely possibility, sort of as an aside, so in case there is a problem I can rest easy that I've done something about it! He hasn't responded -- maybe he's insulted, or maybe he's checking it out. Who knows.

I keep realizing, in little bursts of disbelief, that I haven't yet done our American income taxes. I really do need to get that show on the road. Even if they're going to fund a Donald Trump presidency, which I still refuse to believe. Despite the apparent insanity of American primary voters, I still think Trump can't win in the general election. A certain segment of the populace obviously responds to his bullying, incendiary rhetoric, but I think most people see him as, at best, clueless, and at worst, a potentially dangerous reactionary. I hope I am right. Otherwise -- apocalypse!

I saw a kid at school yesterday wearing a Kasich shirt. An interesting choice, I thought.

Bravo to Obama for moving ahead with his SupCo nomination -- a centrist with past Republican support! I can't wait to see how this unfolds.

(Photos: Top, a house on my walk home from work. Bottom: A snakehead fritillary, a new addition to our garden.)


  1. There are a lot of angry people in this country who've found someone who echoes their views in Trump, part of what makes this country a scary place to be.

  2. Your next-door neighbour would love those trees, pollarded to within an inch of their lives.
    Not a particularly attractive house with all the bins gathered in front, though I must say the front door looks lovely.

    And the snakehead fritillary - beautiful.

    Ms Soup

  3. I was thinking of Olga last night when my son mentioned the Babesia virus that has entered the UK. Hopefully it isn't that.

    Good to know that someone took the trouble to sort through you mail though. They could just as easily have dropped it in the recycle bin.

  4. I love the idea of an English schoolboy walking around in a Kasich shirt. It's not that I'm a Republican - heaven forbid, especially this year! - but a shirt like that is just the sort of thing that would seem exotic and thus have the kind of panache that impress others in his class.

  5. Like you, I don't believe that Trump could actually win the election even if he does get the nomination. However, given all the vitriol he has stirred up I'm wondering what type of clashes might erupt when the election results start rolling in. On the subject of the Supreme Court nomination, I heard an interview with Orrin Hatch this morning who sounded very much like a petulant child stomping his foot and saying "no, no, no". I saw an interview with E J Dionne about a new book he's written titled "Why the Right Went Wrong". It sounded interesting enough that I may have to read it.

  6. Surprising that you have to do american taxes when you live in Britain. My daughter lives in chicago but doesn't have to do Canadian income tax. As Canadians we are very worried about Trump and his unthought out ideas.

  7. My wardrobe is filled with "Kasich" clothing. It's my favourite brand and much cheaper than Matalan, Tesco or Next.

  8. SupCo nominee will NOT work, it is the pledge of the Republicans, if any one of them betrays the pact their careers will be shredded, so they must play along because they do not want to be left out on the streets of America...God forbid they have to seek out a real job! Becoming quite ugly here, needless to say. Glad you got you happy birthday finally! I wonder why your old flat is still vacant? I would think that would be prime territory!I am SO relieved about the pooch. we do worry.

  9. E: Economic inequality makes a lot of people angry, but Trump isn't going to solve THAT problem!

    Ms Soup: Aren't those trees crazy? I think that goes beyond mere pollarding.

    Parrots: Yikes! I hadn't heard about that virus. Something else to worry about!

    Marty: Well, he's an American expat, actually. But still, funny to see it here in London!

    Sharon: Orrin Hatch has been around long enough to know that he ought to be ashamed of himself.

    Bug: Isn't it? We saw them on a TV show and decided we had to get one!

    Red: All American citizens have to file tax returns, regardless of where we live. The arm of Uncle Sam is long! We don't necessarily have to PAY, though, depending on the circumstances, like how much we earn and where we live.

    York: It will be out of style in about four months, if not much sooner!

    Linda Sue: It may not work, but I enjoy watching the Republicans squirm through their completely irrational resistance to the nomination.

  10. Glad you made contact with Olga's walkers. I hope they respond!

    I read an article just a couple of days ago that said Trump is doing well not because the primary voters are nuts but because they are angry about loss of jobs (which you touch on in your answer to e). I couldn't remember where I saw it but you seem to have come to a similar conclusion anyway. It is somewhat comforting. Somewhat!

  11. Whatever anyone else says, I personally think Obama's supreme court pick is brilliant.

  12. love the snake head fritillary. and if you still have to pay US income taxes being an expat, do you also have to pay taxes in the UK?