Day #161 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Mad about this…Are you, too?

Day #161 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Mad about this…Are you, too?

We’re still working on a few issues on our new site. Mainly, we’ve been getting many email messages from readers who fortunately had access to our email addresses. They can’t load our link. To them, it appears we are down. Obviously, for those of you seeing our new posts each day, this is not an issue. However, many readers need to empty their “cache” to bring up our same web address:

Today’s photos are from this date in 2014, as we boarded yet another cruise. Please see this link here for more.

We spotted several popular attractions on our way through London to the Harwich pier, including this church.

This transpired because we changed our hosting company from Blogger to Hostinger, although our web address didn’t change. Those readers’ computers or devices are “remembering” the old link pointing to the former hosting company. I hope somehow those readers who don’t have access to our email can figure out that we haven’t stopped posting and are still here, hoping to be so for more years to come.

Otherwise, all is moving along well. As mentioned earlier, I am going back through each of our 3,000 posts and correcting errors. I started making corrections beginning on the post on March 15, 2012. But, as of today, I am only up to October 12, 2012, with lots more to go. It takes at least an hour to edit 20 posts. I will be at this for months to come.

Buckingham Palace.

Between walking, posting, editing, and handling other general business stuff, my days are full until finally in the late afternoon. We can take a break to start streaming a few shows and escape from our confinement reality.

There’s a harsh reality that’s been on my mind, especially after reading the text in the “year-ago post” mentioned below in this post.

Big Ben was to the right in this shot, but I could not get the photo in traffic.

It wasn’t that I’d suddenly and miraculously started feeling better after enough time had passed since I’d had open-heart surgery in February 2019, which at that point had only been 6½ months earlier. It was because I was finally off three heart medications with side effects that were stripping me of any possibility of a quality of life.

At the rate I was going at that point, we’d surely have had to return to the US, for me to sign up for Medicare to become the proverbial patient, frequently visiting the doctor with a plethora of chronic symptoms and given more medication to treat those symptoms, rather than look at how these three drugs were impacting my life.

Ferris Wheel in London is referred to as the “Eye.”

It wasn’t easy to stop taking these drugs, and I didn’t do so lightly. I spent hundreds of hours in research, determining the potential risks if I stopped them. After following strict guidelines on how to wean off of these three drugs, finally, on this date one year ago, I was free.

The change in my pain levels and lack of mobility dramatically impacted my state of mind and hopefulness. After I stopped the drugs, I no longer needed to be lying down most of the day, no longer felt listless and sleepy, and could bound about the house with the similar zing in my step before I had the dreadful surgery.

A quick shot was taken from the taxi of the Tower of London.

Although my legs tire easily while walking due to persistent vascular disease, I continue to work past it, hoping someday this will improve. Otherwise, in the interim, other than a typical ache or pain here and there, not uncommon at my age, I feel good. No doubt, certain positions precipitate a pain in my chest where my sternum was wired back together, such as when getting in or out of bed. I expect this discomfort to last indefinitely.

However, I’m mad. Sure, I may have been given extra years of life having had triple cardiac bypass surgery with three arteries 100% blocked (heredity), and for that, I am grateful. But, I didn’t feel bad before the surgery, other than a pain in my jaw which ultimately proved to be the warning sign of cardiovascular disease. Women, pay attention. This is a common symptom for women, whereby men may be more inclined to have arm or chest pain.

Not sure as to the name of this memorial as we zoomed past.

In any case, why am I mad? Simple answer, folks, which many of you will relate to….time is passing while in lockdown, chipping away at any possible time I have left on this earth. I am 72 years old, and now, I have spent five months in lockdown in this hotel in Mumbai, India. We could be looking at five, six, or seven more months trapped here.

Will we end up wasting an entire year of our lives, at this later point lost, sitting in a hotel room, when we could be out seeing more of the world, more than we have in the past many years of world travel? What a waste of precious time! I believe this bothers me more now than it would have if I’d been 20, 30, 40 years old. But at 72, one could easily be wasting 10% or more of their time left on this earth.

A memorial near Buckingham Palace. With WiFi restrictions, we’re unable to look up the names of these monuments.

This is not intended to diminish the sorrow for those and their family members directly impacted by the horrors of COVID-19. My heart breaks for all of these people, as well as those who’ve lost their jobs, financial security, and countless families with children unable to attend school who are missing a vital aspect of their growth and development.

On top of that, the sad scenarios worldwide of wars, looting, rioting, shootings and unjust, befallen upon citizens and peacekeepers from every faction of life. It’s heartbreaking. There’s war transpiring in India right now at the India/’Chinese border. We live in trying times.

At last, our ship, Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas.

But, everything is relative. And a family stuck indoors without being able to go out to dinner, a movie, bowling, or sporting events, requiring their young children to wear masks and stay away from other people, has its own set of woes and frustrations. This can’t be good for their young emotional state, let alone that of their parents.

All we can do at this point is “our part” to avoid infecting others by social distancing, wearing masks, and making every attempt to stay safe and healthy until this scourge in human history eventually wafts away.

We always appreciate having a sofa in the cabin as opposed to lying on the bed when relaxing.

I pray for all of us, our safety, personal freedoms, and our dedication to hope for the future. Be well

Photo from one year ago today, August 31, 2019:

Colorful buildings create a pretty scene on the narrow roads in small towns in Cornwall. For more photos, please click here.

Day #160 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…The frightening reality…

Day #160 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…The frightening reality…

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Today’s photos are from this date in 2014 while wrapping up our final day in South Kensington, London, England. You’ll find our total expenses for the 15-nights in a hotel below:

Here are our expenses for the 15 nights in London:

Hotel:              US $3,312.26, 1,995.40 pounds
Transportation:          455.29,    274.28
Tours:                        451.81     272.18
Groceries:                 240.34     144.79
Restaurants:              850.46    512.34

Grand Total:     US $5,310.16, 3,198.99 pounds
Daily Rate:         US $354.01, 213.27 pounds

Yesterday, we walked down this road toward Bobo’s Bubbles to do our final two loads of laundry.

Each hour, while walking, I listen to podcasts on my phone. At this point in time, I am not interested in much other than those podcasts that are educational and informational, often a variety of videos from immunologists from all over the world. I do so in an attempt to determine which countries we may possibly visit when we’re able to leave India.

Of course, leaving India is entirely predicated on how India is doing with COVID-19, their infection and death rates which at this point are increasing like a raging fire. Yesterday, by happenstance, I stumbled across this India generated video with a immunologist from Harvard, born in India and interviewed by an Indian news/podcaster.

Occasionally, we spotted a brick building mixed among the white buildings.

This video, found here at this link, This is not a conspiracy theory-type podcasts but a well researched and highly informative report on the statistics for COVID-19 for India and the projections by this highly qualified medical professional. The prospects for us leaving are not looking good.

In essence he’s stating that the reported cases in India, with a population of 1.3 billion, is only reporting 15% of the actual cases when many get the virus, don’t test, and subsequently don’t report their case. In reality, based on statistics gleaned from countries and researchers throughout the world, this could mean there are currently 200,000,000 to 500,000,000 cases in India.

This was the shortest (height) car either of us has ever seen. I can only imagine that getting out of it would require rolling out the door onto the street and then standing up.

This threw me for a loop. I can see why our hotel doesn’t want us to go outside. There is a very high percentage of contagion in Delhi and Mumbai, the two largest metropolises in the country. Opening the airports for international flights is highly unlikely anytime in the near future.

One might think, “Why would they be so cautious for flights leaving India?” The answer is logical. The international airlines are not about to send empty planes to India. To warrant the resumption of international flights it must be a two-way process. India is not about to allow international travelers into the country. It certainly makes sense when worldwide, so much of the virus has been brought into countries via flights from highly infected countries.

South Kensington consists of one pretty street after another with parking always at a premium.

Citizens of the US, regardless of where they’ve been, are on “no fly” lists all over the world and will continue to be so for an indefinite period. The prospect of us leaving India anytime soon is grim.

We accept the fact that if at any point, we cannot stand being here another week or month, most likely we can find a way to get on one of the repatriation flights for US citizens to return from India back to the US. Finding an affordable holiday home in a nice area in the US at this time is impractical and costly, far more than we’re paying here. Also, we’d need a rental car which is outrageously priced in the US for extended periods.

In London, there are no large trash bins for residents in which to place their garbage.  Instead, they place the bags on the sidewalk or street where they’re picked up a few times a week from what we’ve seen.

The alternative would be to find a hotel comparable to this hotel in the US which most likely will be more costly than here. Plus, the travel required to get to a location we’d prefer could result in numerous flights at numerous airports with added risk of contracting the virus. We’d simply be trading one confined location for another. The US is still in the #1 position of most cases of the virus in the world. We don’t want to go to the US due to my high risk status.

At least, here and now, we are as safe as we can possibly be. There hasn’t been a single case of the virus in this hotel. We don’t go out to grocery stores, pharmacies and other shopping. We can get most of what we need from Amazon India which items are sprayed with disinfectant when they arrive and are delivered to our room. We wait a few days to open any package.

Wildwood had a comfortable ambiance, but the food and service was mediocre. See the post here for food photos and prices.

Breakfast is included in our room rate and our dinners are never more than US $20, INR 1463, per night. There is nowhere in the world we’d be able to eat for this low cost. Besides, during these lockdown conditions throughout the world, we can’t justify paying more than what we’re paying now.

Complaining? No. Observing. Reality. Safe. Healthy. We’d OK


Photo from one year ago today, August 30, 2019:

Look at the numbers of sailboats moored in this bay! For more photos, please click here.
Day #159 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Using hotel rewards…

Day #159 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Using hotel rewards…

Note: We’re experiencing duplicate main photos in old posts, which our developers are working on resolving. Hopefully, soon this will be changed. Thank you so much for being patient as we muddle our way through “new site” challenges.

Today’s photos are from the National History Museum in South Kensington, London, England, on this date in 2014. Please see that link here.

The time to venture downstairs to the reception desk to pay our bill seems to come more quickly each month. Although we’re affording the costs of living in a hotel, we still cringe over the nightly rates for the room and evening meals. Breakfast is included. Taxes are 28% on top of the room rate. The tax for our meals is 18%.

This is an actual bee, and its size is shown.

No, we don’t have the expense of a rental car, entertainment (duh!),  or wine and spirits, all by-products of being in lockdown now for over five months. The “rent” itself is higher than we usually pay for a holiday home, but in those cases, we must add the costs for a rental car, groceries, entertainment, and wine and spirits.

In essence, we’re paying less per month than we would have paid living in a holiday home. Of course, the perks are considerably less, if not non-existent. As we’ve mentioned repeatedly, we cannot access any of the hotel’s usual facilities, not the health club, the restaurant, the bar, the daily newspaper, and sadly no access to the pool or outdoors.

Photos through the glass are less vivid.

Subsequently, paying the monthly hotel bill (including dinners) at approximately US $4,000, INR 292514, is hardly a sum we relish in delivering. However, with the utmost gratitude, we’ve had a clean and safe environment during the trying times of COVID-19 while trapped in India. On top of the above sum, we pay for insurance, prescriptions, vitamins, website charges, streaming services (more now than usual), cloud storage fees, and a variety of odds and ends, mainly toiletries.

As members of, we’ve accumulated several “free” nights using the link on our site. The amounts determined by the value of the free nights are solely based on our average room rate for the nights we’ve recently used and paid, plus a nightly fee of US $10, INR 731.

Insect displays in the Charles Darwin research area of the museum.

We booked three free nights using Tom’s account from August 29 to August 31, 2020. Then we booked the first 12 nights in September using 12 free nights. All 15 nights reflect a shortage since the room rates and taxes were higher than the value we’d accumulated for each night. Thus, we paid US $481.08, INR 35181, for the 12-nights, including taxes, but not our meals for this period.

The room prices online vary nightly by quite a significant amount. We attempt to check pricing several times a day to ensure that we get the best possible price when we’re ready to book again. We’ve observed the nightly rates increasing and more and more time passes since the onset of the lockdown as more and more in-country flights become available and more in-country business travelers frequent this hotel.

Flying insects.

We have to accept the reality that we could be living here for many more months. There is nothing on the horizon on any news sources in India that international flights will be resumed any time soon. As of yesterday, India, in the number three position in the world, has more new cases and deaths from COVID-19 than the US or Brazil, both in the number one and two positions, respectively.

There were numerous paintings of animals from artists throughout the world.

These facts don’t bode well for India, allowing incoming and outgoing international flights. There are a few flights to the US, UK, and Dubai but, we aren’t interested in flying to any of these locations with the high incidence of the virus.

Nonetheless,  we don’t forget for a minute that we are safe, in a clean and hygienic space, and have little responsibility other than to care for our personal needs, laundry, exercise while continuing to manage our site. I am working one hour a day on the edits on the past almost 3,000 posts, and although it’s cut into my much-needed free time, I’m getting through it day by day.

Stay safe and healthy. God bless.

Photo from one year ago today, August 29, 2019:

Ruins at the shoreline at an overlook in Falmouth, England. For more photos, please click here.
Day #158 in lockdown in Mumbai, India Hotel…Cleaning up old posts…

Day #158 in lockdown in Mumbai, India Hotel…Cleaning up old posts…

Note; We hope everyone can find our site. I have no way to get a message to our readers who may be having trouble getting our usual link to load due to the necessity of emptying the cache on your browser. Your computer remembers our old hosting site, Blogger, and not our new hosting site, Hostinger, making it impossible for you to log in. If you clear your cache, the problem will be resolved, and no harm is done to your other settings. I have contacted our web developer to see if there is a way we can handle this on our end, but I don’t think there will be. We only hope you’ve found a way to find us. We still are at

Enjoy our photos, yet again from South Kensington, London from this date in 2014, and found at this link. There are numerous food photos on this particular post from dining out in the area.

A prehistoric creature, at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London.

Since our new site went live, a few issues occurred that prompted me to make a tough decision to go back through every one of almost 3000 posts to correct any errors. There are 147 pages of 17-18 posts each. I will have to go through each post, one by one. I started yesterday from the first post on March 15, 2012, and have completed two of the 147 pages. I plan to do one page per day.

This is referred to as a Football Fish.

Another issue is that all old posts show a duplicate of the main photo at the top of each page. I’ve contacted our web developers today to see if they can correct this. Hopefully, soon this will be resolved. Please be patient with us as we work through this issue and a few other remaining issues.

More fish from rivers, lakes, and streams.

At this rate, if I do one page of 17 posts per day, I will complete the editing process in about five months. I finished this same process of correcting old posts about four years ago. However, with the recent transition to the new site, many lines and paragraph issues occurred. Also, in reviewing old posts, I’ve realized I’d missed many grammar and spelling errors in my past mission to correct the mistakes. Now, my goal is to correct everything. No doubt, it’s a daunting task which each day will take about an hour.

A lizard that puffs up the frill around the neck to scare off predators. This could not be very safe.

At first, I thought I’d do this each day before preparing each new post. But now, two days later, I realize I’d instead do it first thing in the morning. It’s not a pleasant task, like preparing a new post is for me. I’ve always been one to get the complex functions out of the way first thing in the morning, leaving me free to enjoy the remainder of the day’s tasks.


I was very disappointed to see how many errors there were in the old posts. I had no control over the line and paragraph spacing going wonky in the transition. But, the typos and grammar errors were all on me. It’s frustrating to face a 3,000 post string of errors when I think back over how hard I’d tried at the time to prepare each post correctly.

Komodo Dragons are found on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, and Flores. We’ll be spending four months in Bali, Indonesia, in 2016, where tourists have spotted Komodo Dragons on occasion. Komodo Dragons are of the species of Monitor Lizards, two of which lived in our yard in Marloth Park, South Africa. Please see this link to see our photos when they made a rare appearance by the pool.

I do not doubt this new process; I’ll still miss a few corrections; Fortunately, WordPress, as opposed to Blogger. Is more aggressive in reminding writers to type correctly and avoid making errors. This is a tremendous help. I’ve been using the apps Gingerly and Grammarly the past few years, but even they have missed several mistakes I’d made.

More marine life.

I give myself a break on this because I realize I am preparing the equivalent of an essay 365 days a year, at times during challenging and stressful periods, comparable to those most recently. These scenarios are a breeding ground for making errors.

We saw a smaller version of similar crabs at the beach in Kenya which is on the eastern coast in Africa.  They moved so quickly. We couldn’t get a photo.

I laugh when texting family and friends over spellcheck changing words to unintelligible words and phrases, often leaving me in stitches. Then again, I usually type incorrectly since I’m slow when texting on my phone. I bet many of you relate to this laugh-worthy scenario.

Many of us lobster enthusiasts would appreciate a lobster of this size on a platter.

We love technology. But, technology is only as good as our skills to use it. I am not adept at web development, although I played a significant role in designing our new site. I am slow at typing, even after all these years of banging away on a keyboard. I pick away at a keyboard in a meager attempt to avoid typing errors. Even that hasn’t worked so well.

After many visits by Zebras in our yard in South Africa, seeing this lifelike rendition made me miss them.  Click this link to see Zebras that visited us in South Africa.

I am hoping to get done early enough today to watch an episode of The 100 on Netflix before 3:00 pm when Tom and I try to have time to start streaming a few shows together. We’ll see how it goes. Of course, whatever I do is interrupted by the necessity of walking every hour for at least ½ mile, .8 km,  to reach my daily goal of 5 miles, 8 km.

We saw Rhinos in the wild in Kenya. Some of the displays of Rhino were taxidermy.  There was a sign stating that the horns had been removed and replaced with man-materials. Please click here for a few of our Rhino photos from Kenya.

Through all this recent sadness over the loss of my sister and the stress of getting this site up and running, I’ve never missed a day of walking. Knowing this may be beneficial for my heart is my sole motivator. Consistency is important.

Ah, my heart did a flip flop when Tom spotted this warthog.  The first time either of us had ever seen a warthog was in October 2013, in the Masai Mara, Kenya, while on safari.  Of course, later in South Africa, we joyfully saw them each day.  Click here for the first time we saw a live warthog (scroll down the page).

Have a healthy and peaceful day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 28, 2019:

While on a walk in the quaint town of Falmouth, Cornwall, England, we encountered these vegetables for sale in a front garden. We selected a zucchini and a small pumpkin. We left the money in a jar sitting on the table. For more photos, please click here.
Day #157 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…A lovely meeting in London in 2014…Terror in our favorite place in the world…

Day #157 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…A lovely meeting in London in 2014…Terror in our favorite place in the world…

Note:  If you are able to read the posts on our new site on your smartphone, but not on your computer, laptop, or tablet, please empty your cache and you’ll be able to see us on those devices. If you don’t know how to do this, please email me with the operating system you use (Windows, Chrome, Safari, etc) and I will send you easy step by step instructions. Voila! The problem will be solved!

Today’s photos are from August 27, 2014, while in South Kensington, London from this link.

My lunch salad in the hotel dining room on a very small plate was US $10.77, 6.50 pounds.

Hello, again! Wow! I’m learning more and more each day about using WordPress and I’m liking it. No doubt, I could spend months learning every aspect of it. But, for what we do each day, it’s proving to be a relatively easy and enjoyable process with less system-generated errors than we previously experienced with Blogger.

I’m noticing most of our old posts, moved over from Blogger, are seriously impacted by inadequate paragraph spacing. I am contemplating going back over each of our almost 3,000 posts and correcting them, one by one. If I do 10 a day, I could finish in less than a year.

Liz’s vegetarian lunch in the hotel dining room.

No offense intended to Blogger. Good grief, they served our needs for over eight years since our first post on Match 15, 2012. (See the link here). Overall, it handled the massive size of our site without an annual hosting fee, whereas we now have to pay for hosting. With confidence and optimism, we signed up with Hostinger, a web hosting company for 48 months, hoping good health and mobility will keep us on the move and able to continue posting.

We continue with our plan of posting photos from years past and right now we are working our way through the 16 nights we spent in South Kensington, London in August 2014, thoroughly embracing English culture, art, and dining. The old notion that English food wasn’t palatable has changed dramatically over the decades.

How thoughtful of Liz for this useful set of organic products to prevent and treat insect bites, always my nemesis.

We found English food to be delicious, interesting, and often gourmet with a wide array of international flavors. We particularly enjoyed the popular local “Sunday roast” which generally consisted of meat, beef, pork, or lamb, falling off the bone with au jus, along with a plethora of various roasted vegetables. I skipped the potatoes and other starchy root vegetables and savored every Sunday’s treat, as did Tom.Liz’s husband Dave sent this bottle of beer for Tom.  Tonight, we’ll chill it on ice and he’ll drink a toast to Liz and Dave for their thoughtfulness.

It was a year ago we spent over two months in England and we never hesitated to partake of Sunday roast at local pubs and restaurants. A few times, we prepared our own Sunday roast, using selected pot roast cuts of beef, a meal we’ve always enjoyed with carrots, onions, whole portobello mushrooms with big chunks of fresh garlic and spices. What a treat!

My mouth is watering as I write this. We haven’t had a morsel of beef since we arrived in India seven months ago, five of which we’ve spent in lockdown, dining on the exact same meals over and over again. Not only do we miss an occasional glass of red wine or a cocktail, but also such simple meals as a bun-less burger, topped with crispy bacon, sliced tomato, and onion, lettuce with homemade sugar-free ketchup. We haven’t had a salad in months.

Tom’s Calzone at Bella Italia in the neighborhood.

And this reminds me to get on with the story about today’s photos when six years ago, we met a devoted reader and new friend Liz, who took a two-hour train ride from Bristol to South Kensington to meet with us at our hotel. Again, here’s the link to that post with today’s photos.

Not only was it utterly delightful to meet Liz on that date and share both lunch and dinner with her, later walking her to the train station in the dark, but the continuation of that friendship over the years since that time. Last year, in October, while staying in Wales for 11 days we had an opportunity to see Liz once again, this time with her husband Dave when we all dined at a fabulous restaurant along the river. More on that in October.

My dinner at Bella Italia of two small chicken breasts in a pot of red sauce with a side of grilled vegetables.

Please excuse today’s main photo for being blurred. Guess who took the photo? Speaking of photos, I’m chomping at the bit to be able to take and share new photos. Who knows how long it will be before its possible? It could be many months from now.

As for the above mention of “terror in our favorite place in the world,” we’re referring to yesterday’s fire in Marloth Park that totally destroyed three bush houses and damaged a fourth, supposedly from the cigarette of an installer of a thatched roof. High winds caused the fire to rage so quickly, nothing could be done quickly enough to save the bush houses. Due to the dry terrain during this time of year, there’s always a high risk of fires. We were always mindful when cooking outdoors to ensure safety. A fire could destroy the entire conservatory with horrific consequences.

Liz’s dinner of vegetarian cannelloni and a side salad.

Not much happening today. After a good night’s sleep last night, today I feel refreshed and more energized than I’ve felt in many days. Hopefulness prevails.

Be well.


Photo from one year ago today, August 27, 2019:
                                     Sunrise over the bay in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. For more, please click here.

Day #156 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…A special thank you to our web developers in India…

Day #156 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…A special thank you to our web developers in India…

Note:  If you can read the posts on our new site on your smartphone, but not on your computer, laptop, or tablet, please empty your cache, and you’ll be able to see us on those devices. If you don’t know how to do this, please email me with the operating system you use (Windows, Chrome, Safari, etc.), and I will send you easy step-by-step instructions. Voila! The problem will be solved!

The staff at the reception desk are helpful and friendly, maintaining their cool when disgruntled guests complain about the WiFi charges.

Today’s photos are from this post on August 26, 2014, while we were in South Kensington, London, England staying in the lovely Regency Hotel. To maintain the continuity of the dates of the past photos we’re sharing, today’s hotel images may not be as attractive as those in the past and those upcoming in the future.

But, today’s post is not so much about England and more about the process of working with our fantastic web developers over the past few months, ironically located here in India. Here is some information about the company below:

“We are a digital marketing agency that specializes in optimizing websites to increase their visibility by improving their keyword rankings on search engines and promoting businesses on the social media platform to generate popularity and help establish them as a Brand. Our services include SEO, Social Media Marketing, PPC Marketing, Website Design and Development, Social Media Management, Hosting, Content and Maintenance, iPhone and Android Mobile Application, and many more.”

Although our room is more significant than a ship cabin, it’s small, as shown in this photo.

Almost a year ago, Kate, our dedicated representative and web developer, contacted me by email. Each year I get dozens of inquiries from such companies, asking us to work with them. With Blogger instituting many changes and the editing issues we’ve been experiencing for years, we knew we had to make a change.

Also, our prior web developer had long since gone out of business, and we had no one to ask when we were presented with issues. Also, our advertisers needed a new look as well as updated links. Long ago, when our former company suggested we switch to WordPress, a popular blog posting platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, I refused to do so when I feared long delays in making the transition and in losing the stats and readers we’d accumulated over the past eight years.

The lobby lounges are pleasant and comfortable. WiFi wasn’t available in the room.

When Blogger sent a message stating their platform was making changes in July 2020, we decided it was an excellent year to make the difficult transition. Also, we noticed Blogger was incompatible with many smartphones, making our site and our archives challenging to read and manipulate. This resulted in the necessity of posting a procedure for viewing our site on the phone at the top of every post, which is now no longer necessary. Our new phone platform is seamless and easy to view and manipulate.

Although Kate and I only communicated by email, there was something special about her responses to my endless questions. Ironically, when we first communicated almost a year ago, I had no idea their company who’d revised our site was located in India, one of many sister locations of the worldwide company, The SEO Company USA.

The hotel’s exit to the street.

It was only when we finally started working together in May, while already in lockdown in Mumbai for two months, that I put two and two together and realized that Kate and her company were located in Mumbai, not too far from our location. Small world. We couldn’t have made a better choice.

I would admit that the process would have been more straightforward if we had started a new site from scratch. Add the fact that I wasn’t the easiest person to work with under these circumstances: demanding, bossy, impatient, and persistent, making this process all the more challenging by my impatience, and constantly worrying about being able to continue to post to ensure our worldwide readers could continue to see new posts daily. This added to the stress of getting this accomplished.

An additional lounge area in the lobby.

However, Kate and her support developers remained calm, communicative, and patient with me throughout the detailed process. At times, I felt I was “yelling” in email messages. And yet, Kate and her staff remained steady and reassuring. Of course, the most challenging part has been in the past ten days when my dear sister Susan passed away in the middle of the night when only hours before we were going “live.”

A lack of sleep and the profound grief attributed to my persistence and impatience over this past week and a half, the most challenging time in this process. Had these dates not coincided, I am confident I could have stayed calm and patient, my usual demeanor. At that point, my only worry would have been getting the new posts uploaded daily to reassure our readers.

The lower-level dining room in the hotel where we had the included breakfast.

The concept of moving over almost 3,000 posts, and thousands of photos, was an outrageously complicated and time-consuming process, unheard of in the majority of most blogs and website development. We are in awe of our chosen company’s expert knowledge and determination in accomplishing this monumental task. All of our archives are organized and easily found and viewed in the links on the right side of the home page.

As of now, we’ve worked through most of the “kinks” and edits, and both Tom and I are confident we made the right choice. Kate and her company will continue to provide service over the first year at no additional fees if we request any changes or corrections.

The bar and lounge area adjacent to the dining room appears comfortable and inviting.  The bar and restaurant staff have been kind and helpful in providing us with ice as we requested.

I won’t post the cost we’ve paid for this service. Each blogger/company’s needs are different, and the service is priced accordingly. But, I must add, we can’t imagine we would have been provided better pricing by any company in the world. The endless hours they worked, days, nights, and weekends, were beyond my comprehension. The prompt response to my endless inquiries made me wonder if Kate ever slept. She was always right there beside me through this process.

Should you have any website design, development, and optimization needs, this is the person and the company to contact:

Name: Kate Miller
Phone No: +91 8431344070
Luckily, guests can enter through the front of the building as the work is being done.
Kate uses Whatsapp, and thus, if you are not in India, communication will be accessible through this free downloadable worldwide app or email, if preferred. Despite the time difference, you won’t experience any difficulties in communicating. Kate and I only spoke on the phone once during this entire process. Instead, we communicated through email and texts.
We are grateful for the attention to detail and exemplary service we’ve been provided through this process. Thank you, Kate, and the staff for your expert work, patience, and diligence. Maybe now, we can sit back for the next eight years while we hopefully continue soon. In the interim, the daily posts will continue.
Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, August 26, 2019:

Arriving across the bay in Falmouth, England, we captured this view looking back to our holiday house. For more photos, please click here.

Day #155 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Yesterday marked 5 full months in this hotel…

Note: Our site is still coming together. There’s a huge white space being addressed in the bottom portion of the homepage, which we hope to have tightened up soon. This has been a work in progress which we’ll continue to fine-tune over time. In the interim, there will be a new post each day on our homepage in the upper left-hand corner below the headings. Feel free to comment on any posts. We are receiving many at this time. Thank you for your patience and for staying with us during this period, both during the upgrade and, of course, during this seemingly never-ending lockdown.

Today’s photos are from August 25, 2014, while we visited South Kensington, England.

And so we begin today’s post…

First off, no words can express how appreciative we are for the warm and loving wishes and prayers from readers worldwide for the loss of my dear sister, Susan. The comforting words have meant the world to us as we work through this challenging period of grief.

With the high cost of driving in London, most cars we see other than taxis are high-end vehicles, such as Lamborghini, Bentley, Ferrari, and Maserati.

Tom was also very close to Susan, and it was a big blow to him as well. Often, over the years, while she and I talked on the phone, he would participate in our lively conversation, yelling out humorous and enthusiastic morsels, often leaving the three of us in stitches. Our mutual love of travel, world affairs, philosophy, and ancestry kept conversations between the three of us quite entertaining. We will miss her, more than words can say.

There’s row after row of ornate white apartments in South Kensington.

And here we are, back to our routine of hotel living, definitely less stressful, now that most of the issues with our new site have been resolved and continue to be resolved. I’ve continued to walk approximately 30 miles, 48 km, each week through all this stress. Lately, it’s been a struggle, but I knew it was essential to continue.

We had no trouble finding the distant Laundromat, Bobo’s Bubbles.

Today’s photos are from this date, August 25, 2014, while we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves in South Kensington, England, staying in a beautiful hotel, The Regency, conveniently located to restaurants, museums, window shopping, and laundry, all of which we visited on foot. Taxi fare was expensive, and thus, we’d opted for this convenient location that never let us down.

The boulevard outside the Laundromat.

It was a long walk to the laundromat, but we filled an empty wheeling suitcase with dirty clothes. Tom wheeled while I navigated in and out of the streets to find the nearest facility. We sat in chairs while we waited for our clothes to wash and dry.  We folded everything on a big table and neatly placed them in the suitcase. Able to use several washers at once allowed us to be back out on the street in about 90 minutes.

The Royal British Society of Sculptors.

Nowadays, with COVID-19, I doubt we’d want to visit a laundromat. In the future, most likely we’ll only choose holiday homes with at least a washer, a dryer being of less importance. Wow! I could sure use a washer right now. Although our clothes smell fresh from handwashing, the items we aren’t wearing, still sitting in our luggage, smell musty. Once we get somewhere other than here, we’ll have to wash every item in our bags.

On a walk on a Saturday while in London, we stumbled across a Farmer’s Market open from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on weekends. The smells were amazing.

Ah, when will that be? It doesn’t appear international airports aren’t opening anytime soon, flying, at least not to any countries we’re interested in visiting. Yes, some flights to Dubai, the US, the UK, and a few other European countries. Still, they only allow Indian nationals to return to India or fly out for a specific reason, not including us. No flights are for general tourism at this point. South Africa is still in lockdown, and we can’t see flying there anytime soon.

If we could’ve cooked our meals in London, we’d have purchased some of the items for sale at this Farmers Market.

Friends we made on a cruise, who’d asked us for some advice when they began traveling the world over a year ago, have purchased a home in Florida and are busy outfitting a house they’ve bought with household goods and furniture. They had also sold everything they owned and now are starting all over. We are happy for them based on their enthusiasm to be settling back down.

The produce looked too perfect to be organic.

But, again, this is not us. We can not conceive of such a thing when we still, regardless of COVID-19, are hopeful for the future. We may not be able to cruise as often as we had in the past, nor will we visit any big cities where the virus is rampant. But, we still perceive many options will fuel the passion we both feel to see more of the world.

It was around 1:00 pm when we arrived.  We wondered if these chickens had been sitting outside for the last four hours.

As mentioned in our heading yesterday, it was five full months ago since we checked into this hotel on March 24, 2020. Indeed no cause for celebration. We’re reminded how grateful we are to have avoided contracting the virus. Hospitals here are packed and scary. The overfilled private hospitals, which we heard this morning, have been forced to take the overflow from the public (free) hospitals. Patients are lying on cots, 12 or more to a room. It isn’t very comforting.


These baked goods looked appetizing!

We are grateful. And although this past week or more had been horrible with the loss of my dear sister and the stress of getting this site up and running, we are now settling back into our routine with a little more ease and hope for the future.

The larger bread was priced at US $8.12, 4.90 pounds.

Stay safe. Wear masks. Be grateful.


Photo from one year ago today, August 25, 2019:

There is an endless array of shops and restaurants in this delightful area of Falmouth, England, one year ago. For more photos from this date, please click here.

Beautiful orange flower

Day # 154 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Grief…Saying goodbye…

Note: We are working with our web developer on many issues on the new site. Please bear with us as we deal with these issues. Thank you for your patience.

Grief. For most of us, it becomes a state of being with little respite until sufficient time passes, interspersed with a plethora of memories that finally releases us to carry on with our lives. In its place remains a lingering sense that changes us forever, on occasion tossing us back into the deep throes of sorrow that can take hours, days, or weeks to free us once again to be able to carry on.

If only we could allay our sorrow with the comforting knowledge that our lost loved one would never have wanted us to suffer from their departure from our lives. 

We can ask ourselves, are we suffering due to losing them or for their loss of more time to spend on this earth? Perhaps in most cases, it’s a combination of both, especially when it comes to the horrific loss of a child, who’d yet to fulfill a life’s promise.

Frequently, we hear others say, “They lived a full life.” or, “They were old and it was their time.” But, comments such as these offer little consolation or comfort to those who have been left behind.

Regardless of one’s age when they pass, losing them is a sorrowful and profound experience. I am feeling this now, selfishly perhaps, that losing my dear sister Susan will become a part of who I am and who I will become in times to come.

For me, the hardest part right now is the heart-wrenching knowledge that she is no longer there, that I can no longer check the time difference to see when would be a good time to call and hear her voice. I called often over all these years while we lived all over the world.

The last time I saw her was in December, a mere eight months ago. I had made her a cheese pie (not a cheesecake), a favorite family recipe, and brought it to her from where we were staying with son Richard in Henderson, to North Las Vegas, a one-hour drive each way, visiting each day. 

After spending a few hours talking and laughing, it was time for me to go to avoid rush-hour traffic on the freeway that passes by the Las Vegas strip. She sat on the edge of the bed and said, eyes filled with tears, “This will be the last time we see each other.”

I shook my head, as tears welled up in my eyes, “No, we’ll see each other again!’, I insisted, “We’ll be back before you know it.” With a huge lump in my throat, I hugged her goodbye, refusing to let go, while neither of us could hold back the sobs.

She was so right. On August 16, 2020, at 3:14 am, with her daughter Kely and our sister Julie at her side, she took her last breath. Julie and Kely told me that during the night, they were reading our most recent post to her when she finally let go.

The two of them have taken such care of Susan, providing her with love and comfort for so long, driving back and forth from California to Nevada. Oh, that I could have been with her too, holding her hand, giving her yet another dose of love. 

But, that was not to be in times of Covid-19, not in this world, not in this life. I will carry on with the knowledge that I never hesitated to assure her of my love and devotion. 

I could spend hours espousing the qualities and virtues of this kind, brilliant and interesting person, my sister Susan. But, I will leave that to our reader’s imagination, since it’s so easy to indulge ourselves in praising those who have left this world. 

The secret is to indulge them in our loving perceptions while they were still alive. And this… I did, we did, as she had done for us. We left nothing unsaid. A few months ago, while she was still able to speak, she asked me, “Have I told you how much you’ve meant to me all of my life. Have I said enough?”

I assured her that every word of love she had spoken was taken to heart by me and by others she has loved and who have loved her.

Grief. In time, its rough edges will soften leaving behind those indelible memories that we treasure until our own time comes to fruition. May you rest in peace, my dear Susan. You will always be at my side.


Photo from one year ago today, August 24, 2019:

The year-ago photo will be posted once photos become visible on all past posts. This is being worked on today. Thank you for your patience.


Day #153 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…New site is here!…Many corrections coming….

This is St. Mary’s church in Bampton, known as Church of St. Michael of All Angels, as shown on the series, Downton Abbey, where Mary married Matthew, Edith was jilted at the altar and eventually Matthew was buried.

Our new site is now “live,” although, there are numerous errors I am working on to correct. If you are having trouble finding us, clear your cache and you’ll be able to find us at our usual web address at Also, I am unable to get the main photo to show for today’s post on our homepage. I am leaving our web developer alone on Sunday and will ask for help to have this corrected tomorrow.

Also, you will notice a number of other discrepancies that, over the next week we’ll correct and adjust as needed, including the huge white space at the end of the posts. The massive size of this blog with almost 3000 posts attributes to the reason this has been such a huge undertaking over this past week.

The cemetery at the “real” church in Bampton, St. Mary’s.

We give full credit to our web developers who diligently worked hard with this substantial obstacle, with me frequently pestering them in the background to get this up and running. 

Under most circumstances, I am very patient. But, this process left me in a tizzy when we received countless email messages from some of our readers throughout the world wondering “where the heck was our most recent post.”

The altar in the church where Mary and Matthew were married.

We surely understood everyone’s frustration and thank all of you for hanging in there with us during this trying situation.

Today, we’re adding a few photos from August 22, 2014, (although today is August 23, 2020) from the time we spent in England visiting the Highclere Castle, the home of Downton Abbey, and the accompanying visit to the quaint town of Bampton, England where the village scenes were filmed.

The podium in the church was a carved bird of prey.

Here’s the link for today’s photos which should come up with our new site:

A stained glass window in the church.

I can’t wait to have this all resolved and be able to return to our usual daily posts, continuing to share past photos of our worldwide journey over the past almost eight years while we wait to be able to leave lockdown and fly to another country, yet to be determined.

Otherwise, all is still the same. COVID-19 continues to be on the rise in India with little reason to believe it will improve anytime soon. All we can say is that we are grateful to be safe, regardless of how inconvenient it may be.

A sign outside the shop, which appears as a hospital in the series.

May you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

Take care.


Photo from one year ago today, August 22, 2019:

A pier for docking private boats in Stockholm, Sweden on the final day of the 12-night Baltic cruise. For more photos, please click here.


Day # 151 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Never knew how hard this would be…Photos from St. Petersburg…

Photo of a canal at the Peterhof Fountain Park and Garden in St. Petersburg, Russia. For more photos, please click here.

Unsure if this post will get online today or in the days to come, I’m spending less time posting photos, captions and text. I’m at a loss as to when our site will become “live” again, enabling our readers to continue to read new and old posts.

Real gold leaf was used in these buildings.
Based on the huge size of our site, getting it uploaded is proving to be a long and complicated process. Each day, the web developers ask me to be patient while trying to get the site back up, and I remain frustrated regardless of these reassurances. Had I known this would transpire, I don’t believe I would have been willing to make such a substantial change.
We toured many exquisite buildings such as this.

It’s been incredibly challenging because I am also dealing with the loss of my dear sister only days ago. Of course, continuing to be stuck in this hotel room isn’t making it any easier. Listen to me whinging (whining, complaining)!

One of the many beautiful gardens.

Little did I know how dependent I’ve become over the years of the comfortable routine of preparing a new post each morning for the past many years. My routine has been thoroughly out-of-kilter recently, so I decided I’d schedule a new post today, even if it may not be online anytime soon.

An elaborate fountain in a man-made pond.

Many readers/friends often ask how I manage to “make myself” prepare a new post 365 days a year. Oddly, it never felt as if it was a task or obligation. However, I’ve always made it a priority when we had plans for any particular morning.

More fountains with extensive detail.

We’d often planned to return from sightseeing or other outings in time to prepare a new post since I’ve never felt like doing it in an evening. Once 5:00 pm comes, I prefer to be off my computer and out of my head.

One of many towers in the park.

A nice dinner, great conversation, in regular times a glass of wine with a pleasant evening on a veranda overlooking our scene-of-the-moment has always been a priority, not only since we’ve been traveling but also in our old lives.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and the facility was packed with tourists.

Now, in this particularly odd situation, stuck in a hotel room for five months, we still partake in good conversation but are seriously lacking in the scenery, the wine, and the veranda.

Instead, we hide away, engrossed in a few good TV series on one of several streaming services we are using at this time. Right now, at night, we’re streaming Lucifer (just ok) and the engaging, The Man in the High Tower, free on Amazon Prime.

Another stunning fountain.
In the late afternoon, we watch mindless drivel, nothing of great importance. We watch the light, silly show, Schitt’s Creek, which is always good for a chuckle or two during dinner.

After posting each day, my recent viewing obsession for about an hour, I watch The 100 on Netflix. Tom doesn’t care for dystopian; sci-fi type shows, so I am on my own on this. I know I’ve mentioned this in the past, but if you like sci-fi (or not), this show is the best TV series of this type I’ve seen in years. I watch it with my laptop on my lap, using my earbuds to disturb Tom.

A couple dressed for the era, charging fees for photos.

Hopefully, our new site will be up and running soon. Today’s photos are from the Peterhof Fountain Park and Garden in St. Petersburg, Russia, one year ago.
Have a peaceful day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 21, 2019:

Beautiful house on the waterfront in Helsinki. For more photos, please click here.