Views of the Monkeynut

by   Peter R. Lloyd-Davies

Road trip in Europe, 1963 New Hampshire 1998 How to hate high culture 2003
Europe 1997 New Hampshire 1999 On Kittens and Cuckoos 2004
Disney 2000 New Hampshire 2000 On the Theater 2005
Europe 2000 Seattle 2000 My Uncle Edward 2006
Southwest 2001 New Hampshire 2001 My War Journal 2007
Cape Cod 2002 Seattle 2002 The Current Unpleasantness, 2009 2008
Opila reunion 2002 New Hampshire 2003 More cat thoughts, 2014 2009
Christmas 2002 Toni in Alaska, July 2008 Why I can't afford to run for office, 2014 2010
Honk! - February 2003 The Geezers ride again, 2009 Socialism in South America 2011
July 4 2003 Thoughts on immigration 2012
Maine, August 2003 My thoughts on Covid-19 2013
Lake Winnipesauke, 2004 A conversation about George Floyd, June 2020 2014
Russell is 90, Sept 2004 2015
Europe, August 2005 2016
A mighty wind, 2006 2017
Turkey, 2007 2018
Xmas 2007 pictures
Mike's graduation, June 2008
Puerto Rico, January 2011
In and around Austin, 2011
Romping with the dinosaurs, 2012
Trip to Southeast Asia, 2012
We belatedly celebrate our arrival in Texas
Off to New Mexico in August, 2013
Big Bend National Park, April, 2014
Antonia in Cameroon, 2014
Europe, 2015
Skydiving, 2016
Our trip to Italy in June, 2016
Lynch reunion in Sugarland Texas, 2016
To New York to see Hamilton, May 2017
Total solar eclipse, August 2017!
One Big Holiday, in the Dominican Republic, March 2018
One big wedding, in Tulum, June 2018
Off to Tanzania, January 2019
To the Caribbean, March 2019
Our trip to the Northwest, July 2019
The wedding of Madeleine and Phil, October 2019
To Phoenix, February 2020

Views of the Monkeynut presents a vivid multimedia adventure unfolding the splendor of the Lloyd-Davies and Lynch atomic family, featuring, as the nucleus, Peter and Louise; as the electrons, Madeleine and Antonia. Discover the agonies and ecstacies of their latest travels, or study the history of their adventures from conception to the present through a vast archive of photographs, scientific facts, questionable rumor, text, graphics and videos.





New from the Monkeynut - Bruce is gone, June 2020 When Antonia was doing her Peace Corps stint in Cameroon, she adopted a tiny kitten whom she named Bruce. (Because his frontal silhouette looked a bit like Batman.) When she returned to America, she carried Bruce, now a one-year old cat, in a cat carrier on the planes with her. Bruce became a Texan, although he still had his native Cameroonian street smarts - he seemed constantly on the alert for a charging rhino or a black mamba. He was an outdoor cat and occasionally would limp home after a dust-up with another wild animal. But he was well-loved by Toni and Louise and me and even Mary, after a suitable period of adjustment.

Recently, he became withdrawn and began to lose weight. After numerous visits to the vet, Antonia concluded that he had probably contracted feline lymphoma. He continued to lose weight, although he would interact to a reduced extent with his family. Finally, he started having seizures, so Antonia sadly took him to the vet for the last time. RIP Bruce, beloved by us all.

Bruce in Cameroon Bruce in Texas

New from the Monkeynut - Protesting racial bigotry, June 2020 Because of the Covid-19 lockdown, I assumed that nothing was happening in the wider world and I made no attempt to keep current on the news, with the exception of Covid-19. At some point, Louise started to complain that we were approaching the end of times. I initially thought she was talking about the pandemic, but then she explained that a dozen cities in the U.S. were in flames. Good Lord! I hastily brought myself up to speed about the death of George Floyd and all the subsequent protesting. My thoughts about it here.

New from the Monkeynut - Covid-19! May 2020 Boy, did this come as a surprise! It is not uncommon for some dreadful infectious disease to emerge somewhere in the world, spread across national boundaries and kill many in its path. Then they go away. Two of these - SARS and MERS, both caused by coronaviruses - actually emerged relatively recently, in this century, and caused havoc for a while in some countries, but the USA was largely spared. So when China finally conceded that it was experiencing a new coronavirus outbreak in January, it didn't initially seem to be such a big deal for Americans. When March began, however, the disease was starting to get a solid hold in Europe and the numbers of infections in many countries became alarming. By mid-March, it was clearly on the march in the USA. Hardest hit, unsurprisingly, was New York City, a place where people are crowded into the subways, making it an ideal place for the infection to spread. I kept saying - hey! what's the big deal? A bad flu season sometimes kills close to 100,000 and it doesn't even make the front page. Texas didn't get much affected until the end of March, and mostly in the huge megapolis of Houston. Nation-wide, there have been around 1.5 million cases reported and deaths are already nearly 100,000.

While the number of deaths is likely to keep rising for a while, our efforts to slow the expansion of virus are also exacting a terrible toll on the economy. States are enforcing lockdowns, so that only essential business or those that can be run remotely are functioning. I fear that: 1) the lockdowns will not do much to protect us from the virus, 2) the effect on the economy will be a lot worse than many imagine, and 3) the attempt by the Federal government to throw money at the economic problem will cause even worse problems. Further ramblings and cogitation here.

New from the Monkeynut - We visit Joanne Fortune in Scottsdale, AZ, February 2020 Our friend Joanne Fortune, who lives on the frozen tundra of upstate New York, is spending some time in Scottsdale, AZ, so we took a trip out there to see her. The weather was beautiful - sunny and warm - and Joanne kindly ferried us around to see the sights, including Sedona and Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home. Pictures and details here.

New from the Monkeynut - Madeleine gets married, October 2019! Madeleine and Phil have been an item for over a year, so they decided that it was time to tie the knot. Rather than have a Grand Event in St. Patrick's Cathedral, with hundreds of guests, brass bands playing, dozens of bridesmaids in co-ordinated outfits, they thought they would just nip down to city hall and do it without any fuss or stress. Of course, there's no such thing as a wedding totally without fuss or stress - the families of the bride and groom had to be there, plus a few very special friends, and there had to be meals organized and of course everyone had to be on their best behavior. But this wedding went very smoothly and it was truly a joyous occasion. Pictures and details here.

New from the Monkeynut - Lynch Reunion in Chicago, August 2019. It is three years after the last Lynch reunion in Texas, so it was time for another one - this time in Chicago. The locations were divided between the south side, with the Coglianese family, and George and Rick's appartment in the city. It was so nice to renew aquaintance with family members who came from all over the country and we celebrated by consuming large amounts of food and drink.


New from the Monkeynut - Trip to the great Nortwest, July 2019. A number of our good friends now live in the northwest and we haven't seen them for a while. Therefore, a trip was indicated. We flew to Portland, then up to Seattle, with a side-trip to the Olympic peninsular. A very pleasant trip, reliving old memories and creating some new ones. Pictures and details here.

New from the Monkeynut - Cataract surgery, April 2019. When I have gone for my annual eye exam for the past several years, my eye doctor has been telling me that I have cataracts and that they can be fixed for free, courtesy of Medicare, with no pain, no fuss. I have almost no adverse symptoms - maybe it has got a little harder to read in low light, but - hey! - that's what lights are for. However, the prospect of being able to see without glasses for the most part is pretting appealing, so I finally told her to go ahead. Before the surgery, I had to select what kind of lenses I wanted. "Only the finest!" I said. Well, it turns out that Medicare only pays for them to put a piece of window glass in my eye, so that I should be able to see OK at intergalactic distances, but would need glasses for everything else. If I wanted lenses that would correct for the shape of my eye, with appropriate adjustments for astigmatism and focusing at a reasonable intermediate distance, it would cost me $10,000. (I would still have to wear reading glasses.) So much for free.

But the surgery was as advertized - no pain, no fuss. I had them done two weeks apart and in both cases I was astounded by the change in my vision, especially color. My goodness - the sky really is blue! My blue-jeans which I had thought were grey are bright blue! Who'da thunk? I can see distances just fine and can even work on my computer without glasses. And a simple pair of drug store glasses works fine for reading. The only down-side of the operation has been that my eyes seem to be sore all the time. I consume gallons of artificial tears, but they don't seem to help much.

New from the Monkeynut - Cruising the Caribbean, March 2019. Following our adventure in Tanzania, in March we had an adventure in the Caribbean. We signed up for a cruise of the Windward Islands - a series of smaller Caribbean islands, starting somewhat to the east of Puerto Rico and going south almost as far as Venezuela. The trip was sponsored by a number of University alumni associations, including Rice. The ship (boat?) was a modern sailing vessel called Le Ponant, holding only about 60 adult passengers, so this was not like a Carnival Cruise where you are stuffed in with a few thousand shipmates. We started in Grenada, heading north as far as Martinique and then turning south to St. Lucia, ending up in Barbados. Each day we could scramble off the boat and board a tour bus that would show us around whatever island we were anchored by. The weather was lovely and everything was just fine - except that I came down with bronchitis, was sick as a dog, and ended up missing about half the tours. So I can't say I got my money's worth, although it is definitely a trip I shall not forget. Pictures and details here.

Le Ponant, our home for a week

New from the Monkeynut - Tanzania, January 2019. In January, Louise and I had an adventure in Tanzania. Actually, Louise left before I did to do some screenplay research in Uganda, but then we met in Arusha, Tanzania, for a safari - the first time for either of us. We visited two major national parks, including the Serengeti, over a period of four days. We were signed up with Bobby Tours; they had no-one else wanting to do that same trip that same time, so it was just the two of us and the driver in a fine safari vehicle with a pop top so we could stand and take photos. And did we take photos, thanks to a new camera I purchased for the trip! We saw pretty much everything there was to see: elephants, lions, cheetahs, baboons, zebras, antelope, leopards and one rhino. A memorable trip!

After the safari, we flew to Zanzibar for some relaxation. We swam in the hotel pool, sizzled on the beach and walked around Stone Town, the ancient capital of Zanzibar. Pictures and details here.

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