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Showing posts from February, 2015

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Have Broom Will Travel [memoir]

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Halloween 1995, Batman and me
My history is littered with Halloween fails. Before I became a mother the question of what I was going to be for Halloween terrified me.


1958:  Halloween on a blazing hot afternoon in Tripoli, Libya. Age 5 All the military brats from Wheelus Air Force base were going to a Halloween party in an airplane hangar just outside Tripoli. Lots of civilian kids—mostly Brits and Yanks—whose parents worked on the base in various capacities were invited which meant my brother and I got to go too. Our dad, who spoke Arabic fluently and had been with British Intelligence during the war, had something to do with managing the PX on the base. My brother went dressed as a hobo, his cheeks smeared grey by my mother with a piece of burnt cork, while his friend, the older boy who lived next door, dressed up as a woman—a pillow stuck down his sweater shaped into clownish balloon-sized breasts and big red sticky lips. I went as Minnie Mouse in a cheap, cellophane-thin, store-bough…

Cuddling with Oscar

What are you doing Sunday night? Please don't say live-tweeting the Oscars! I know it's what we do in 2015, live tweet everything, share our every thought with the world but I won't be doing that. I'm not putting it down—I tried last year and it was an epic fail—I just don't have the capacity to watch and tweet. Even though I reserve the right to insist that as a woman, YES! I can do two things at once, I can multi-task—and bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, I am woman, W-O-M-A-N— but maybe it's time to leave the live-tweeting to you crazy kids under 30. Not to be a whiner but arthritic hands don't tend to fly across the tiny telephone screen with any kind of accuracy. I'm always missing the best things—the JLaw stairway fall, Alec Baldwin bungling Idina Menzel's name—as I'm stuck staring at my phone, furiously trying to correct auto-correct.
Read the rest of this post on Chapter1-Take1.






Dash It All Downton — You've Done it Again

Downton Abbey has done it to me again. Stirred up a longing, a feeling of homesickness for Englandso intense it's threatening to turn into a full blown case of Philopatridomania. A word that ends with mania is never a good thing: Philopatridomania is an 'insane' desire to return home, 'excessive' homesickness. Blame it on Downton's outspoken socialist, Miss Bunting! She's leaving the village behind—and Tom Branson with it—heading for a job at a school in Preston, Lancashire.

Preston! 'That's where my dad was born' I squeal to the flat screen. My insanity has not progressed to the point that the screen answers back so I turn to google, looking at houses and flats 'to let' in the north of England, wondering what a maisonette is and what exactly they mean by a one bedroom double?

I've been to Preston once, back when I was twenty, when I met my Grandma Good for the first and only time. It's funny, isn't it, how we call the grandpar…