Adventures in Boston and Portland, Maine
Published: Thursday, 11 August 2016 17:43
Jackie Kemp in Boston: Photo by Rob Bruce
“Large, hot Earl please,” the waitress yelled in a cafe this morning. I smiled, seeing in my mind’s eye a dashing peer of the realm with a twirling moustache, like a character from Blackadder, rushing out of the kitchen. But no, just a tepid tea in a paper cup. Spending time in Boston this week, where my husband is working, I have been reminded of the saying, attributed to George Bernard Shaw, that Britain and America are “two nations divided by a common language”. At the library when the attendant said: “check your bag, please,” I opened it thinking she meant she wanted to look inside. But she meant it had to be put in a locker.
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A Walk on the Beach after the US Election
Published: Saturday, 28 November 2015 17:31
Photo: Rob Bruce
Nov 28, 2016.
Like many people we got out of town soon after the election, seeking the balm of nature. We headed for Cape Cod, to take a walk on the beach.
Friends Rory and Mary from the UK were with us - they were in Washington eight years ago the night Obama won and wanted to be here again to usher in history. The polls were in tune; taking our cue from the media we were confident of another victory for the Democrats.
The night of the vote, we had arranged to meet in the Fairmount Hotel in the centre of Boston where the Mass Dems were holding an eve of poll reception. As soon as I walked in, around 8.30pm, I could tell something was wrong. The others were slumped in chairs in the lobby, looking as if someone had hit them over the head with a copy of “Stronger Together’, Hillary Clinton’s hefty book. ‘What’s the matter?’, I asked. “Florida,” they answered grimly.
The atmosphere in the hall was sinking fast. Media types on stages in the centre were hooked onto phones and staring at screens with disbelieving faces. Some women in party hats who were clearly ready to welcome a female president looked close to tears.
Read more: A Walk on the Beach after the US Election