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Showing posts from January, 2017

Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 59: The birthplace of Alfred Hitchcock ... and David Beckham

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The Birds mural by Mateusz Odrobny & Ana Mill   Image credit: The Guardian
If it's Friday we must be back in London.Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings We're currently following the Central Line. Here are the previous days. This is Day 59
Just when I thought I couldn’t walk another step along the route covered by the Central line, I find out from my pal with the googly eyes that the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock hails from these here parts! Born above his father’s greengrocer’s shop at 517 High Road in Leytonstone, Hitchcock is the area’s most famous son but don’t tell that to David Beckham who grew up in the area too. 





While Hitchcock’s boyhood home was knocked down years ago, in its stead there’s a gas station—sorry— petrol station and a nice …

Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 58: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

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If it's Friday we must be back in London.Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings We're currently following the Central Line. Here are the previous days. This is Day 58.
Huzzah! Following the Central Line we've made it out to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Admittedly it’s a bit out in the boonies but it’s the site of the 2012 Olympics and home to the London Aquatics Center where you can swim in the same pool where Michael Phelps won four gold medals, earning the title of the worlds greatest swimmer.

If you prefer to stay dry—and it’s not the winter season— you can take a boat tour through the park. 

Or take a ride on a Swan Pedalo! You can have your gold medal winning swim lanes, that, my friends, is my speed.
Hate the water? There are guided walking tours ava…

#27: Last Dance [short story]

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First Dance by Jacqueline Osborn


Last Dance
I wrote this short story after my dad died in 1992. It was published in SKYLARK, Purdue University's literary journal; I was so thrilled I framed the acceptance letter. I still have that letter hanging around someplace. Not literally hanging anymore, I packed it away in storage during one of our moves. Like my memories, it's in there somewhere.

I wish I could give you this stuff in order, begin at the beginning. If I could do that, I'd write a book. Instead I have to grab at what glimpses I can. It's as though all the places and people stuffed inside my head are like yards and yards of once beautiful fabrics, ripped from their bolts and shoved into one large bin. Velvets, jewel-toned satins, richly-textured tapestries, billowy silks. Cotton, denim, gingham and chintz. They're all jammed in there together, some faded now, some in tatters, a loose thread here, a trace of a connection there. A smell, a smile. So many stories, …

Garlic & Gauloise: More French Memories [Also on iTunes and SoundCloud]

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Tristram & Islolde: N.C. Wyeth 
I’ve been taking you back to Bandol with me lately. First came The Walk, then came Le Kiss. Here’s the final part of the story. The whole story is now available here and on Soundcloud and iTunes so you can start at the beginning if you like.


Garlic & Gauloises

It felt like we’d left Bandol and the beach far behind us. We had to be very close now, close to this place out in the middle of nowhere where Michel was going to take me dancing. Finally I could hear voices, shouts and real laughter; a boy’s hoot, a girl’s bell-like tinkle. Someone called out Veronique, Veronique, Vero! There was an answering cackle and something else, something in French that I didn’t understand. Whole words, snatches of sentences, floated through the still night air, loud enough for me to hear except that they were in French, and so, much like the sea breeze on this hot summer night, they fluttered and fell away before I could grab hold of their meaning. 
But the music. Th…

Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 57: Mile End

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Park at Mile End Image via SublimePhotography.com
If it's Friday we must be back in London.Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings We're currently following the Central Line. Here are the previous days. This is Day 57.
One of the first London suburbs, the East London town of Mile End feels worlds away from bustling London. Still, Mile End isn’t without its points of interest. 





The nearby Queen Mary University of London located houses a cemetery in its midst. A strange thing place for a cemetery but yes, the uni came second, the graveyard came first. One of the only remaining Sephardic cemeteries in England, the Neuvo, or Novo Beth Chaim Sephardic cemetery was first used by Spanish and Portuguese Jews—making their home openly in England after centuries of perse…

Above Ground on the London Underground—-Day 56: The East End of London [From the Cereal Killer Cafe to the V&A Museum of Childhood]

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If it's Friday we must be back in London.Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings We're currently following the Central Line. Here are the previous days. This is Day 56 . I’m starving! Time for brekkie. I don’t know about you, but I don’t start my day, not every day anyway, with what they call the full English breakfast: fried eggs, stewed tomatoes, sausage, toast, beans (beans, ugh) black pudding (blood sausage, yikes! but my dad loved ’em) and, oh I dunno, mushrooms, avocado, etc. My dad would have added fried bread.

Not my breakfast. I’m a cereal woman. Usually Cheerios with a sliced banana. Sometimes porridge. That’s oatmeal to you, Yankee. To be honest, calling my Quaker Oats “porridge’’ is one of my few remaining shout outs to my British heritage. Another …