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Friday, March 24, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


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    Eileen Dight

    Eileen Dight
    Eileen Dight is a retired British specialist on trading in Spain, now resident in Ireland. Spanish- and French- speaking, graduate (at 46) of International Politics and History; former editor, interpreter and fundraiser. Her five sons and twelve grandchildren live in four different Time zones around the world. She has lived in England, Wales, Spain, France and Virginia, North America for 11 years. In 2012 she self-published her memoir Plate Spinner and Only Joking, 200 pages of collected jokes categorized for easy reference, as well as What’s On My Mind, her first 50 essays published in Like The Dew. All available on Amazon.com.
    Number of posts: 70
    Email address: email
    Linkedin: Linkedin
    Facebook: Facebook

    By Eileen Dight:


      stay vigilant but

      Stay Sane

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Mar 4, 2017
      Stay Sane

      We’re all exercised by recent events in America, even to the extent of disturbed sleep. I dreamed of America being violated, helpless to resist. This is not just America’s problem; it has the capacity to rock the world. Facebook is crammed with shared misgivings. My American friends, all Democrats, exchange tens of emails daily. Several attended the Women’s March in Washington. We are all in danger of burn-out, so I seek to restore peace of mind.

      searched then hugged

      The Real America

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Jan 31, 2017
      Table of Trumps Muslim Countries Banned

      Yesterday I mentioned to a British friend my concern (in the light of Trump’s edict banning arrivals from certain countries), that all our political views are frankly on record on social media outlets.

      I said ‘It only takes a few minutes to judge a person’s political stance by checking their Facebook or Twitter accounts.’ He thought I was absurd to be concerned. He hasn’t lived in the States or used Facebook so perhaps is not aware of the extent to which people express their views, or that Big Brother is likely reading their mail.

      greetings from ireland

      What a difference a year makes

      by | 7, Add your Comment | Jan 6, 2017
      What a difference a year makes

      A year ago, spending Christmas with my son’s family in Ireland, I finally decided to make the move. I’d been living eleven years in Harrisonburg, Virginia, near my youngest son. I was happy in America, comfortable, well established with good friends and plenty of activities. But my son had moved to Kansas in 2014 and I was long flights away from him and his brothers in UK, Ireland, Kansas, Arizona and Australia, all urging me to move …

      heavenly bodies

      I’ll see you in my dreams

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Sep 5, 2016
      I’ll see you in my dreams

      Disaster

      I dreamed that my husband and I had bought a caravan and were towing it up a steep incline behind his rather old banger. (In reality we bought a caravan twenty years ago and towed it to France.) We felt a judder in the tow bar and he pulled over cautiously to the left of the road, but at that moment the caravan broke free, rolled past us and as we’d just reached the summit, careened at gathering pace down the other side of the bumpy mountain. We followed it with mounting panic, hoping nobody would be hurt as it left the road and ploughed through hedges and fields of crops …

      electronic blues

      Learning Curve

      by | 4, Add your Comment | May 20, 2016
      Eileen iPhone Hello World

      Until a month ago I was a mobile phone virgin. I’d fooled around a little but my inexperience showed. In constant fear of making mistakes, I was timid, not in control. When we lived in the same town my son had given me a primitive mobile phone in an effort to keep in touch. Every few months when he or his wife needed to get hold of me to invite me for lunch or pick up a grandchild, the phone was invariably flat, turned off, in another handbag or glove compartment; frustrating for them.

      moving house

      Jumping Through Hoops

      by | 6, Add your Comment | Apr 24, 2016
      Jumping Through Hoops

      Moving is about more than selling one house and buying another, booking your move and deciding where to put your furniture in the new place. It’s challenge enough to move from one State to another, processing changes of address, telephone, utilities, medical care and all related paperwork, deciding what to give away or dump, misplacing things in the process, but an international move rocks your entire center of gravity.

      location. location. location

      This is moving

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Mar 1, 2016
      This is moving

      After making the decision at Christmas to move to Ireland, to live near my son Patrick with his wife Kate and family of four teenage children, I put my American house on the market a week later and sold it next day to the first people to view it. We complete in April.

      I flew back to Ireland for a week in February to look at two houses newly available in the vicinity of my son’s house in the small market town of Nenagh, twenty miles from Limerick, in County Tipperary.

      the things I do for love

      Stranded in Philadelphia

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Feb 29, 2016
      Stranded in Philadelphia

      On the way home to Virginia from a week house-hunting in Ireland, the ice storm and I collided on the east coast. After seven hours waiting for my connecting flight in Philadelphia to Charlottesville, it was cancelled and I was switched to a flight two days hence to finish my journey. My luggage was god knows where and I was obliged to wear the same clothes for three days.

      I was stranded in Philadelphia, a city no doubt full of interesting places to visit, but …

      familiarity breeds content

      My Irish Christmas

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jan 4, 2016
      Family group at Luke and Noras Christmas Day

      On the flight from Dulles to Dublin I sat by a woman returning from Las Vegas, where she had attended the World Freestyle fight between Conor McGregor, Irish Featherweight Freestyle Champion, and Brazil’s Jose Aldo. It took you longer to read that sentence than the fight lasted. Eyes brimming with enthusiasm, she told how Conor defeated his opponent in 13 seconds. For this triumph he was paid $500,000 but fifteen million more were set to roll in. I thought it an expensive trip for such a brief contest…

      timely tips

      Holiday Preparations

      by | 6, Add your Comment | Dec 16, 2015
      Buon Natale

      My nine year old grandson asked me last week, “Granny, what was the best Christmas you ever had?”

      Without hesitation I answered, “It was the Christmas when I’d just separated from your grandfather and moved into a different house a few days before Christmas. Your Daddy was 14. My three youngest sons were still in school, one was in college and one had left home. I’d put my last penny down on the house. We had no money at all. In those days we didn’t have credit cards and I never borrowed money.

      the way i see it

      Cataracts

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Oct 3, 2015
      Close up of an eye with mature cataract © Clare Gilbert, International Centre for Eye Health via by Community Eye Health via flicker and used under a Creative Commons license

      My eyes are super-sensitive, as I discovered fifty years ago when, walking on a gusty day on an unfamiliar city street, a piece of grit flew into my eye. I was in instant agony: blinking, holding the eyelid, eye watering and conscious of time changing. Seconds became nanoseconds of excruciation. I looked around with the good eye for help. In one of the most fortuitous coincidences of my life I was passing an optician’s shop…

      change.org

      Make it Happen

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Sep 14, 2015
      Make it Happen

      One of the internet’s main advantages is the opportunity to make one’s voice heard, however small. Our opportunity to support change has never been greater. If we can’t personally command attention, we can join with others to promote causes in common. I don’t look for bandwagons to jump on, but as issues present themselves I consider if my signature will advance a good cause. (If not mine, I don’t sign.)

      widening my american horizons

      Kansas Holiday

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Aug 16, 2015
      Granny and the boys at the baseball game

      For ten years I’ve lived in the Shenandoah Valley, enjoying it so much that when my son whom I came from England to live near, moved to Kansas, I chose to stay here. I’m keenly aware of this vast beautiful country extending from Virginia to California (twice visited) in the west and Montana in the north and I’ve another son and family in Arizona, but there are so many places in America I yearn to explore. When I told Virginian friends “I’m going on holiday to Kansas,” they mostly said “Huh.” I think it’s something to do with the fact that Kansas hasn’t got mountains.

      my write to reply

      Patriotism and Flags

      by | 6, Add your Comment | Aug 8, 2015
      Stars and stripes & union jack

      We’ve heard a lot about flags lately and I’d like to comment on the contrasting styles of American sentiment and British cynicism. This difference in style might also account for our nations’ different perceptions of each other’s sense of humor. We need a Special Relationship to reconcile our differences.

      I followed with interest controversy over the Confederate flag, admiring those who, understanding its history, agreed to its lowering; repelled by those who knew its significance to those whose oppression it represented, and wanted to preserve it anyway. Flags are indeed symbolic.

      a loving tribute

      The Run Around

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Jul 28, 2015
      The Run Around

      At the beginning of 1997 I bought a new car. It was modest in price and style, but automatic and practical for a woman living in London. It was easy to park, small enough to fit in the narrowest spaces and comfortable to drive: a navy blue Daihatsu Charade that would not attract thieves or envy. I got it at a bargain price because one of my sons worked for a dealership. It was zippy in traffic, when traffic allowed. British roads are narrower and more congested than American ones, this small island being packed with a population of 63 million. It was economic in fuel consumption and cost of insurance…

      are we there yet?

      Awesome Ways to Keep Kids Happy

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Jun 24, 2015
      Awesome Ways to Keep Kids Happy

      I clicked on this topic, interested to expand my ingenuity to distract children on a long drive or transatlantic flight. We played games to keep five boys from fidgeting and fighting during road trips when my (now middle aged) sons were small, growing up in England. We visited distant grandparents, camped in France and Spain in a Hiace van because we couldn’t afford air fares for seven…

      this i believe, i think

      My Irreverent Spiritual Journey

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Jun 8, 2015
      My Irreverent Spiritual Journey

      At the Unitarian Universalist church I attend I was asked to speak on Sunday about My Spiritual Journey. Oh God, I thought. Where to begin? When I was young I supposed that by forty all my opinions – political, religious, ethical – would be decided. At 78 I’m politically consistent but still adrift about a lot of other stuff.

      Growing up in a Catholic family in England, the nuns at school told us we were lucky to have been born in the One True Faith; I enjoyed this certainty for a while, but in my teens was already uncomfortable with rigid dogma. Papal Infallibility didn’t fit with the history of the Borgias or the Inquisition. When I was 15…

      england expecting

      What’s in a Name?

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Mar 31, 2015
      What's in a Name?

      In England the bookies William Hill are giving odds of 4-1 (a tumble from earlier 14-1) on the new royal baby being named “Alice”, unless it is “Arthur, Henry or James” (all at 20-1.) If it’s Alice the pay-out for the bookmakers will be eye-watering. My first reaction to reading this today was to feel dubious about “Alice” and to shudder at “Arthur.” I wondered how they could admire names that made my mouth turn down at the corners.

      It’s all about association.

      a northern princess

      Are there Vikings in your gene pool?

      by | 7, Add your Comment | Mar 26, 2015
      Are there Vikings in your gene pool?

      My father, born in the northern English port of Liverpool (a likely landing place for sea farers) was tall, blonde, with piercing blue eyes, a Roman nose and flat back of the head. As a girl I fantasized that he was of Viking descent, and I a northern princess with a fine thermostat: I was never able to tolerate a hot climate, feeling moribund when the temperature is above 85 degrees and at my best when there’s a nip in the air.

      racial injustice

      Long Way To Go

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Dec 7, 2014
      Eric Garner Protest - Rockefeller Center by Tina Leggio (TinaLeggioPhotography.com) via flickr and used a Creative Commons license

      One of my black friends confided in me this week that he was really demoralized by all of the events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. He was so devastated that it affected his mood, work and outlook for the future. This is a man who had a successful career, is buoyant by nature, sociable, outgoing and a humorist. He continued: “Specifically, the events in Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, NY plus the widespread disrespect shown to my President has made me — a normally optimistic person–very pessimistic about the future of race relationships in the U.S.”

      atlantic coast pipeline

      Save Our Wild Heritage

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Nov 17, 2014
      Save Our Wild Heritage

      It’s hard to talk in the same breath about the outstanding natural beauty of the Shenandoah Mountain and the plan to cut through it with an Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Yet the 550 mile Gas Pipeline proposed by Dominion Resources is a real threat to the natural, recreational and water resources in the area. It would drive through the southeastern portion of the Shenandoah Mountain in the Braley Pond – Hankey Mountain area. If the pipeline is approved, this could make a portion of the Shenandoah Mountain Proposal ineligible for designation as a National Scenic Area.

      we are here to help

      Caveat Emptor

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Nov 5, 2014
      Caveat Emptor

      When my phone rang a couple of weeks ago I glanced at Caller ID to avoid predictable requests for my generosity. I’m too polite to turn people down without explanation, which wastes my time and theirs. Sometimes they are so persuasive, I’m sorry I answered. The screen announced a caller with a “Private number” so I answered the call. A recorded Asian voice introduced himself as “Stephen Wright”, immediately arousing my suspicion.

      come the election

      It’s About the Climate, Stupid

      by | 4, Add your Comment | Sep 17, 2014
      The lobster boat “Henry David T” action at the Brayton Point Power Plant

      Readers of my articles on LikeTheDew will know that I’m not an advocate of defying the law, but I’m about to encourage this where necessary. Often focused on the joys of my grandchildren, this time I’m focused on yours too. I’m talking about Climate Change and our need to DO something about it.

      I was heartened to read about two activists who set an example in May 2013, protesting about the burning of coal in an attention-seeking move…

      sweet dreams

      Chicken Licken Learns to Ski

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Jul 19, 2014
      Chicken Licken Learns to Ski

      One night about three years ago when Jake was five, I was settling him to sleep with a book about Chicken Licken. I hadn’t met her before but Jake knew her well. When we got to the end of the book and he asked for another story, I was too tired to fetch another book, and didn’t want to disturb his sleepy state, so I made up a variation on this theme. We lay with our eyes closed, imagining.

      gardener’s world

      Nurturing Tender Plants

      by | 1, Add your Comment | May 19, 2014
      Jake swinging on the tree

      My son has gone to England on an extended business trip. His two sons in Virginia keep in touch with him most days by Skype. Jake (8) has a tablet and Connor (11) an iPad. Jake has a 6th grade reading age. His brother Connor is similarly advanced. When we talk we never dumb down vocabulary, although I sometimes check their understanding.

      When his father was three, I was reading a book about Paddington Bear to him, his twin and his four year old brother. “ ‘And Paddington’s hat blew off and fell into the river. Paddington was upset because it was a family heirloom.’ Do you know what an heirloom is?” I asked, knowing they didn’t.

      only in america

      TV For Dogs

      by | 6, Add your Comment | Apr 23, 2014
      TV For Dogs

      Around the clock, Channel 354 on Dish TV is devoted to hour long programs for dogs. I stumbled upon this when flicking channels, wondering why plastic balloons were drifting across the screen to no apparent end. It was emptier in content than the billiards my Mother with dementia liked to watch for hours. I read the notes: Dog TV provides “Active Camera Moments, Exciting Animations and Moving Objects to encourage your dogs’ playfulness when home alone.” Further, “It’s relaxing time! Research shows that soothing music and relaxing images help your dog feel calm and relax.”

      look at me

      I’m Invisible

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Mar 24, 2014
      I'm Invisible

      The first time I realized I was invisible I was 44, arriving at the Spanish border from France. At the age of 20-21 I’d spent 18 months living in Spain. Then I was blonde and foreign, and young Spaniards acted like fruit flies around a ripe peach. It was good for my ego and I got the message that Spaniards like women. I was English and Englishmen look the other way as often as not, out of shyness and ineptitude.

      who/what do you read?

      A matter of style

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Mar 7, 2014
      A matter of style

      A fellow writer asked me yesterday: What do you read? Which writers do you value? Who influences your style? This knocked me for six. It’s a Big Question. I have a long history in libraries and five bookcases stacked with a lifetime’s paperbacks (cheapskate) and short of trawling the shelves for authors’ names which often escape me, I didn’t think I had time to respond. IRS accounts waiting on my dining table reproach me every time I walk past doing something more interesting. But this intriguing question slipped into my mind’s cogs as they surreptitiously rotated.

      anxious mother

      A Hostage to Fortune

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Mar 2, 2014
      A Hostage to Fortune

      When they were small my husband used to say, “With a mother like you, Columbus would never have discovered America.” I knew I was over-anxious and didn’t want to burden them;  I could barely contain my anxiety when small boys walked along a pier by the sea peering down at the fish (I couldn’t swim) or stood on a cliff’s edge (I suffer from vertigo) but I could keep quiet about my night vigils when they were growing up.

      don’t delete the expletives

      Delicate Matters

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Feb 26, 2014
      Delicate Matters

      When my boys were growing up they learned rude words from their classmates (school is an education) and naturally I tried to filter out the most offensive. When a four letter word slipped out of their mouths I would always say “Please don’t say that.” After I explained that their meaning was offensive, and if it became their familiar vocabulary it would inevitably slip out when they didn’t want it to (like in front of a teacher), they were pretty accommodating. Their father however replied to my request not to swear in front of the children (without prevarication) “I’ll effing well swear if I want to!”…

      contrast british and american

      Sense of Humor

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Feb 21, 2014
      Sense of Humor

      “Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.”—Auden

      There is a distinct British sense of humor, often wry, dry and irreverent. It doesn’t rely on smut to be effective, although we’re amused by suggestion. We like the casual delivery, so leave your eyebrows out of it. Half the fun is subtlety. Brits like me enjoy the unexpected outcome, the double entendre, observations on human nature and misunderstandings; slapstick not so much.

      being remembered

      What’s your legacy?

      by | 5, Add your Comment | Feb 14, 2014
      What's your legacy?

      When his obituary appeared prematurely in the press, Mark Twain remarked: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” In the last weeks a number of deaths of celebrities have been falsely reported. Nothing but fame seems to connect the individuals whose erroneously reported demise has set the twittering classes tweeting. First I read on the internet that Michael Moore had died. I was dismayed at the loss of this useful member of society and great campaigner, and relieved next day when I discovered the report was false…

      how’s your neuroplasticity?

      Train the Brain

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Jan 8, 2014
      Neuroplasticity: Forming new synaptic connections between neurons.

      At 76 I find my brain getting foggy at times (along with most of my peers) during tasks which I once saw clearly. My main concern is to avert dementia which debilitates and aggravates us and them. So I was interested when a brain training product on the internet introduced itself to me. I read the blurb, played a couple of simple but stimulating games and recognized that this could help keep me mentally limber; then I hesitated about the expense.

      compare two experiences

      Naked and Afraid

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Nov 18, 2013
      Naked and Afraid

      You may have seen a series of reality shows on TV recently about two survivalists set down in hostile territory sans clothes, food, matches, water or shelter, and required to survive for 21 days. Each week a man and woman who had never previously met, removed their clothes and shook hands in a jungle, or on a beach, the Serengeti, a desert island, or wherever that episode was filmed by an unseen two-man crew. The fact that in the course of the episode participants each lost about 20 lbs. in weight and were seen eating maggots…

      write this, granny

      When I Grow Up

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Oct 27, 2013
      When I Grow Up

      I will live with Granny and I’ll have a mansion and a farm and a lot of money and Comcast.  I’ll have a flat screen TV and pictures of Bruno Mars and Obama and Daddy and Mommy and Connor and Gianna and Clay and Scot and a picture of Granny.

      We’ll have a large garden with flowers, pumpkins, vegetables, fruit and costumes for the farm animals on Halloween and Granny will be a Princess.

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