December 23, 2011
2011 Frontpages & Stays
2010 Frontpages & Stays
2009 Frontpages & Stays
2008 Front Pages
2007 Front Pages
2006 Front Pages
2005 Front Pages
2004 Front Pages
2003 Front Pages
2002 Front Pages
2001 Front Pages
2000 Front Pages
1999 Front Pages
Click on flag for Foto Show; click on country name for text and photographs.
Click on any photo to see it enlarged. It will appear as part of a slide show of all photos on this page. The image size can be changed by clicking on the plus and minus buttons. In the upper-left corner of a slide show click on either of the small-blue triangles to see another album (sets of photos). One of the albums is of us in Rome (and some of our food). Two more show us in Florence in January-February and us in Morocco in November.
We're a week into an 18-day stay in London. Our journey here was from Paris via Morocco and northern England. Transportation costs are rather funny these days. In the old days we didn't research them much because prices were mostly set by governments and it was the same for all comers. But deregulation and the rise of low-cost airlines and their traffic-management has changed all that. Consequently it cost us about the same to fly from Paris to Marrakesh as it would have cost to take the Eurostar from Paris to London. Our flight from Marrakesh to Manchester was only a bit more; overall it is as if, in planning to go to Darlington from Paris we got to have a trip to Morocco thrown in for free.
This posting is actually three-in-one: Along with it there are two other front pages, July 25 and October 29, that were written long ago but never got posted. There just never seemed to be the right moment to finish off what was started. The best aphorism that we've learned in a long time came from an article about Facebook. That team and organization is always changing things, often to the consternation of Facebook users. Facebook's motto is “Better done than perfect”. So now you'll get to see some pages that have lots of rough edges but they are at least out there.
Not publishing a front page doesn't mean we haven't been working on the web. In fact, in certain aspects we have been ahead of where we might have been if we'd done things the old way. This may seem a negative to you when you look at what it is: Now before and during a trip to some places we create a set of outline pages: one page for each city (or major site) that we expect to visit along with another that manages a photoshow of our best pictures. (In fact, this has gotten so standardized that Gerry is looking into generating these pages using PHP, a popular programming language for web development.) The good news is that we have far fewer broken links; the perhaps disconcerting news is that many pages are initially empty. We created that way sets of pages for our go around northern Italy in July and Morocco in November. In each case many of the pages have write-ups and, sadly, a hefty number don't. As in the ad that asks “Does she or doesn't she?” for you to know which is which you'll have to look.
The two months that are covered by this front page were about equally split between being on our own (Morocco) and being near and seeing friends (England). When we arrived in England we started by visiting a neice in Stockton for a few days, making a quick visit to Bradford for Jan to see what had happened since she graduated, and then to York to old friends for another day. Then it was a two-day birthday bash to celebrate sister's 50th and brother's 65th. One was a week early because that was the time when everybody could get away for a week end and the other was a few weeks late. Then came two weeks in Darlington of catching up in detail with family that we hadn't seen for a year – two days in a hotel eating every meal with the siblings wasn't enough. And then off to London for more of the same, but with friends and not family. Christmas dinner, just two days off, will be a repeat of a reunion last year, hosted by friends Mick and Dinah.
As usual, we close by asking “What's next?”. In the short term we know the general idea but not the details: see more of London and perhaps, if Jan can be persuaded, go off to Trafalgar Square to be part of the New Year's crowd. Just a few days ago we celebrated the first night of Hannukah by going to a lighting of the Menorah held in front of the Golder's Green tube and bus station. That crowd, about 150 people, was easy to handle. Half a million? We'll see.
The longer term is equally known. Month's ago, even before we bought our Morocco tickets we booked a flight to Newark (USA) for January 4th. We haven't been in the USA since September, 2007. Our trip there was part of a round-the-world flight that started in Sydney in January, 2007 and ended in the same city in October that same year. Our last days in the USA were spent sampling the beaches and other wonders of Hawaii. Our flight 10 days from now will be to colder climes. We're hoping that the weather will be as temperate there as it is here in London. A year ago it was mostly freezing, with ice and the remnants of snow everywhere. This past week it has warmed so that hat, gloves, and fleece are in temporary storage.
Once in the New York – New Jersey area we'll start another round of catching up with old friends. We'll successively stay with friends in Scarsdale, Middletown, and Hamilton while seeing them and many others. One event Gerry is particularly looking forward to is a Sunday brunch he has organized with three other guys; he was the best man for two (many years ago) and went to the wedding of the third (also many years ago). All four have many things in common: three are immigrants of long standing; three are ex-physicists (different three); etc, etc.
Even before we got to London we started to get various people's annual letters; in London the arrival rate has picked up. In the last few days we've written ours and it will be on its way to friends and family at the same time as this is posted. It provides a more comprehensive view of our 2011 than a series of scattered (and sometimes repetitive) web pages. You can download it here. At the end it explains that we're hoping to buy an apartment in the Washington DC area and settle down there for a while. Who knows? Maybe we'll stay there even longer than the nine months we spent in Berlin in 2008-2009. (Want to tempt us? Offer us a house sit!). Here's our summary of these past years (with apologies to Joe Khajadourian, Ross Golan, and Alex Schwartz):
To Each And All, to All and Each, we wish a
Humungous Happy Hannukah