Sunday, September 29, 2019

This Green and Pleasant Land

Well, I'm back in soggy London, where rain was apparently the order of business all last week -- and Dave is looking at the forecast and it's not changing any in the next few days. I don't mind, honestly. I felt like I was baking in Florida. I could stand to cool down a bit.

My flights were mostly uneventful, except that our takeoff for London was delayed by about half an hour because Delta was waiting for passengers' duty-free purchases to be delivered to the plane. Doesn't that seem a little crazy? Holding up hundreds of people and an entire plane for the sake of a little shopping?

"I guess someone really needed their bottle of Jack," said the guy sitting next to me.

We eventually left without it. The flight attendants said shoppers would have to be content with a refund.

I watched "American Graffiti" and a recent Ethan Hawke movie, "Stockholm," while in flight. I hadn't seen "American Graffiti" in a very long time. It was fun to reconnect with that movie and all its  winsome stars -- Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams. Everyone looked so young.

I also read Fintan O'Toole's recent book about Brexit. It was quite interesting and revealed a few things I hadn't really considered before. For example, certain wealthy Brexit backers are ultimately trying to destroy nationhood as a concept -- to be replaced by a sort of global gated community for the rich and entrepreneurial. (The rest of us can go suck eggs, apparently.) Among the working classes, O'Toole likens Brexit enthusiasm to cutting -- the self-harm that makes people bleed but also makes them feel and gives them a focus for their otherwise diffuse pain. I thought that was an interesting comparison.

Now I am home, unpacked, and exhausted. Olga was very happy to see me.

Apropos of nothing, here's the ridiculous alligator I bought at Target a few days ago for my mom's bed. She laughs every time she sees it! I spent time with her yesterday morning before my flight, and after my brother, niece and I went to Waffle House for an authentic southern breakfast!

(Top photo: The Jacksonville airport, with a window mural of someone walking and carrying a bag featuring a map of the city.)


  1. "Grrr! Arf! Arf! WOOF! WOOF! Arf! WOOF!" says Olga.
    TRANSLATION "Time for a walk Daddy! Dave didn't take me for one walk while you were away. By the way - where the hell did you go?"

  2. I love the stuffed alligator. And coincidentally I met a friend at Waffle House yesterday too!

    Welcome home.

  3. Long after you've left, that silly little alligator will still be making your mother smile. It was a good thing to get it for her.
    Interesting Brexit observations and comparisons. So- do you suppose the Koch Brothers supported Trump because they knew he was going to tear the country apart and allow it to descend into a place where the United States of America is nothing more than a phrase?
    Ah well. We can all eat eggs (if not suck them) at the Waffle House, right? How I wish there were one in Lloyd.
    Glad you're back in London. Enjoy some cool for me.

  4. That alligator will be a constant reminder to your mother of your love for her. And of your sense of humor.

  5. That alligator is cute, I can see why it makes your mom laugh. Interesting perspective on Brexit. I heard another interesting take on our divided politics last week. It was at one of my lectures at ASU. It was more about the shift from a "we" society to and "I" society. I should do a post about it.

  6. Home Is Where The Dog Is. Welcome home.

    I was in Florida two weeks ahead of you and yikes -- "heat" is HOT in FLA. Here on the north shore of Long Island we are experiencing near-perfect weather. If there was a place in the world that was like L.I. in September I would move there tomorrow. Even if it's Galveston. I like the song.

  7. if science fiction tells us anything it's that we will eventually have a one world government. that is if the species manages to survive global warming.

    I've never heard of having your duty free purchases delivered to the plane but then I've never bought anything at a duty free shop at an airport. I just assumed you bought your stuff and carried it out. and yeah, delaying a whole plane just to save someone(s) some tax?

  8. Welcome home! Love that alligator. Reminds me of the stuffed elephant my mom had on her bed. It will be a loving reminder to your mom whenever she sees it.

  9. I thought at first that your mother had rejected that alligator and you had to bring it home for Olga, who would probably have torn it to shreds by now. Well, I have a vivid imagination.

  10. That alligator is just too cute. I can see why it was irresistible. I hope you can get some rest and I know Olga will be happy to resume her walks. Best to Dave. And, yes, baking and broiling here.

  11. I fell down the rabbit hole of YouTube a few weeks ago watching clips of American Graffiti - how I loved that movie. I bought the soundtrack, which as I expect you know is just a collection of music of the era in the film. But what music!

    Knowing someone who used cutting to deal with the pain of untreated depression, I'm not sure that author used the right comparison. Perhaps he wanted a more original comparison than "hitting one's head against a brick wall" but it doesn't sit well with me. There, that's my grump for the day :)

    Glad you made it home safely. I'm sure Olga and Dave are happy to have you home again.

  12. I just love that adorable alligator that you bought for your Mom. It should bring a smile to her face every time she looks at it. I'll bet Olga is super happy to have you back. We could use a speck of that rain. Not too much, just a speck. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  13. I wouldn't have been able to resist that alligator either - so cute!