An American in London

If you have read my blog before you know how much I love to travel. This is all thanks to my wife, because even before we were married she showed me how enjoyable it can be to travel. Part of the joy that I have in traveling is meeting new people, learning new customs, experiencing new things, and trying new foods. Part of the reason I enjoy going to Europe is for the history and how similar, and yet different these countries are from America.

A perfect example is the game of football. While they carry the same name, football refers to two different games between the United States and Europe. In Europe “football” refers to the game we (Americans) call soccer. In Europe there is no game like American football. While the two games are very different, there is one common factor between them. The passion that the fans have about their teams. And this comes through whether watching the game in your local pub or bar, or sitting at the game watching it in person.

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This past week I was lucky enough to experience American football in London when the Philadelphia Eagles played the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Eagles have been struggling this year, like a lot of teams after winning the Super Bowl the year before. This game was no different, but at the end of the game they were the winners with a final score of 24-18. It was an incredibly exciting game, and our seats were good enough that we were sitting quite close. The pictures below were taken with my iPhone and I did zoom in, but hopefully this gives you an idea.

Truthfully, as incredible as the game was, the really special part were the people that we got to meet. I sat next to a Minnesota Vikings’ fan, and there were also fans of the Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks, Greenbay Packers, New England Patriots, and other teams. Everyone was incredibly friendly – no matter which of the two teams playing they were rooting for. This was a Jaguars’ home game, and they had a lot of fans there, but everyone really got along quite well. And the fact that this game had a record attendance of more than 85,000 people didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm.

Before the game, Christine and I had a chance to talk to a some British fans who were there as much to enjoy the game as they were to root on either of the teams. This also gave me a chance to see some of the foods they eat at a game – like a two foot long sausage with pulled pork and macaroni and cheese. Throughout the day before and for a couple of days after we ran into Eagles’ fans who never shied away from a chance to give the Eagles’ chant. Even at a showing of Hamilton (the musical) we went to see on Monday night.

I took the opportunity this trip to get a haircut and cut-throat razor shave at Ruffians. And we also took a tour of Parliament, the Banqueting House, the Queen’s gallery at Westminster Abbey, the British museum, and after a tasting at Newby Teas a tour of the Chitra Collection. This was a special showing of a private collection of tea pots, cups, and full services. The collection was amazing and a special opportunity being able to visit it. And then we capped off the visit by celebrating our Anniversary with a formal, afternoon tea at one of our favorite hotels – the Savoy.

London and the UK are one of our favorite places to visit. But, it is traveling in general that Christine has shared her passion for. It is the opportunity to learn about new things, new people, foods, and seeing new things. As long as we have been drinking tea, I learned new things about the differences in teas – like the exclusive white teas or green teas. I also learned about the shadow cabinet positions that the Opposition party holds.

I don’t know where our next adventure will take us, but I am looking forward to it. Our vacations may not always be relaxing, which is just fine since it means we are experiencing new things. I don’t know if I would have ever had the chance to experience some of these things, but I will be forever grateful that Christine chose me to share it with. You may never thing you have the time, or the money to travel, but I will always recommend it. Every time a vacation ends I am happy to be home, but I am even more happy to review the photos and be reminded of the experiences of that trip. I hope you can find the opportunity to create your own adventures.

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Father’s Day

As Father’s day approaches I find myself thinking about “it”. About being both a Father and being a child – or in my case, a son. My Father isn’t a young man anymore, and he isn’t as healthy as he used to be. I was reminded of this even more when I recently visited him. He is older than I remembered and frailer than he used to be. But that is what happens when we get old.

My Father hasn’t always had an easy life, but he has had a good life. He hasn’t always had money, but he has always shared what he has. He always made sure that his family was cared for, and not just his four children, but his growing family. His twenty-plus grandchildren and at least as many great-grandchildren. It is still a growing family, and it is an extended family. My mother always “adopts” new family members, because they might be away from their own family. Or just because they need a hug. My Father wasn’t really one to give hugs when I was young. That was my mother’s job, but I always knew he loved me. 

My Father taught us about the important things in life. To love the people close to you. And appreciate the blessings of having those people in your lives. He taught us to work hard, and to care about the job we do, to be proud of it. No matter what it is we do, make sure we do it the best we can. Ultimately, that is what is important – people will always listen to what we say, but our actions are much more important.

When I meet strangers and I tell them who my parents are, their faces tend to get a little brighter and their smiles a little broader. Then they proceed to tell me how my parents helped them, by opening their home to these “strangers”. To inviting them in and making them a part of their family. There was also an extra seat at the table, and extra bite of food, and even an extra spot to lay their heads.

The other night before dozing off my Father reminded me of some of his experiences as a child growing up in small town America. And it reminded me of going back to see the house I grew up in. As with most kids – we think our house and the trees around it are huge. It also reminded me of going back to visit it as an adult and seeing the house wasn’t as big I thought. I smile when I think of how our memories are different as children and as adults.

My Father is struggling with his failing memory, and sometimes I can see the confusion in his eyes. But when he smiles I can still see the life in his eyes. I don’t see an older man looking back at me with tired eyes. I see the Father I love, and I hope I can be as good a person as he is. I hope my Father is proud of the man I have become, as I am of the man that he has always been.

During my last visit, my Father’s physical therapist visited. He comes three times a week and they work on being able to stand up. It was maybe fifteen or twenty seconds each time, and despite the obvious pain my Father didn’t give up. Later, my Father commented that he would “keep on, keeping on.”

When I left to come home it was very late at night. I looked in on him, and saw him resting peacefully. I was about to go in and kiss him goodbye but I was afraid I would wake him up. So instead I gave my mother an extra kiss for him. I will call when I get home, because my mother asked me to. But, also so I can tell him again how much I love him.

As a Father I hope my kids are happy, and I hope they know how much I love them and how proud I am of them. They are two young, amazing people with their whole lives ahead of them. They can do anything they want, and I only want one thing for them. The same thing I have always wanted – for them to be happy. And when someone asked me about them recently I summed up who they are as ‘good people’. I love spending time with them, and maybe soon I will start telling them about my life growing up in small town America.

As they begin their adult lives, I want to tell them about the mistakes I have made. About the lessons I have learned. And if I do, I hope they will listen. But ultimately they have their own lessons to learn. And while I may be their Father, and as much as I want them to learn from my mistakes and experiences, I know they can’t. We are all our own selves, our own individuals.

Maybe that is the lesson my Father wanted me to learn all these years. That we are all individuals, and we all have our own lessons to learn. And no matter how much the lessons might hurt, or get us down, we have to “keep on, keeping on”. That we can’t ever give up on this life – its the only one we have. Because at the end of the day, we have a lot of blessings in our life. And I know that I don’t need a Father’s day to celebrate it, because I am blessed with a wonderful family and that makes every day a Father’s Day!

New Year

As Christmas has passed and I await the New Year I find myself reflecting on the past year. Like so many others we consider what went well, what didn’t, and what we want to “fix” for next year. I don’t know why people always think we have to fix things in our lives. I don’t consider my life broken. I look back at the year and instead think of ways to improve.

Sure there are the obvious choices of places to improve. The cliches that come with New Year Resolutions. Let’s be healthier, happier, more positive, and enjoy work more. Who couldn’t use a little healthy eating, or working out in their lives. Fortunately, I have a good support partner who is just as determined as me to improve. So, we will start off the year right by doing the right things – eating healthier and working out more. Skip meats, use the elliptical unit for something more than a conversation piece.

I’m pretty happy with my life, so don’t feel the need to “fix” it. But, there are always way to improve things. I’m generally a pretty positive person, always looking for ways to see the positive side. Unless I’m driving, then I am positive no one else on the road can drive but me. That leaves me with work. Some days it’s a job, not a career and I don’t really feel like going in. But it’s a good job and I take pride in my work – both in the outcome as well as the effort. I like to think that I am improving things and making it better and easier for the people I support, but I know there is always room for improvement.

If you are reading this, thank you. It’s been awhile since I posted to my blog and this is one of my resolutions. To do more of it – more writing in general, more positivity, and more blog writing. I’ve had an amazing year of travel, seeing and experiencing new things. And I look forward to the 2018 adventures that we will have. This isn’t just a new year, its a new opportunity to write a new chapter in our personal books.

I hope that as you look back on the past year you see the many good things and use those to carry you in to 2018. Enjoy this New Year in any way you can. And don’t forgo the list of resolutions. Let’s all stick with them. Together. I hope you have a good year full of joy, happiness, love, and success.

Holidays

As the Christmas holiday passes by we can look around at the opened presents, the decorations and lights no longer special, and the leftovers clogging the refrigerator. All of the buying, cooking, and planning are behind us. Now we have the memories. Whether there are four people for dinner or a houseful for multiple meals, we were surrounded by family and friends. For some, it’s a tradition to visit family and use this as a time to reconnect.

As much as I enjoy getting gifts, especially from my now young adult children, I enjoy giving even more. Christmas isn’t about the shiny new “thing”, it’s about giving. It’s about letting someone know that you cared enough to find just the right gift. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Some of my favorite gifts are the homemade ones. The gift doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to say that you love the person, and that you were thinking of them.

Maybe for some it is a “requirement” to spend the time with our families. To rekindle the days of love and happiness. To laugh about the silly things we did. To discuss what the future might hold, and what we can look forward to in the coming months or even years. But, it’s the part of Christmas that I look forward to the most. This is the time to put our phones down and talk. To sit longer over a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

My wish for the coming year is that Christmas is not the only day for that. My wish is to make the time to linger over coffee. To visit with our families and deepen the bonds of our love, support, and caring for each other. To press pause on our busy lives and just enjoy each other’s company. Here’s to a year full of joy and happiness, with plenty of reasons to linger over one more cup or drink.

Leeds Author Event 2016

Have you ever been told about a party in an off-hand way? Such as “hey this should be fun”. And you think that does sound like fun. And then you think – it’s too bad you can’t go. That’s the way I felt when I first heard about the Leeds’ Author Event. It sounded like it would be fun – so many authors all in one place and then a masquerade ball. All for a good benefit too. But, come on! I live in America and Leeds is across the pond. There’s no way I can go. So I wrote it off.

Then I heard a few more things and saw the list of authors. Some of whom I am friends with on Facebook. And again I thought – wow that would be fun for sure. But again – I live in America! There is no way I could actually go. Then one cold Saturday morning in January I got a little curious and started checking things out. An hour later I had a plan in place to get there. And then it wasn’t a question anymore about going to Leeds. It was now a fact.

I worked all day on Thursday March 3rd, jumped on a plane and the following morning touched down in Manchester – during a snow storm. About two hours later I arrived in Leeds and after checking in went to visit to the Royal Armory. Since I was leaving early on Sunday morning I decided to arrange for my taxi back to the airport.

My first realization that I was in for a special weekend was when I saw two young ladies approach me smiling. The dark haired girl said “are you David E. Gordon? The American author?” and smiling I nodded as a glimmer of recognition edged it’s way into my mind. Without warning the blonde girl jumped at me and wrapped me in a big hug and said “It’s me Georgiana!” Well – I don’t know a Georgiana, so I just smiled. Realization set in and I was hugging Francesca Marlow. Of course, it took about 20 minutes before I realized – with a little help – that the other woman was Victoria L. James.

We made our way into the hotel bar and met several more attendees – authors, bloggers, and writers. But, I nervously awaited the arrival of someone I thought I would never actually meet. Claire Allmendinger is my editor and without her I likely would not be a published author. I had an idea of when they were supposed to arrive so I headed out to the lobby on a whim. I looked through the crowd of people checking in and there she was – Claire. We hugged for a long moment – neither of us believing this would ever happen.

I spent the rest of the night meeting more authors and friends from Facebook like Lisa Fulham, Eleanor Lloyd-Jones, Cameron Lincoln, and so many more. We had a great time as we talked, laughed, drank, and even found a way to have dinner. Even if the first two places didn’t work out – at least I got to see Leeds from the ground up. Whether we drank the wine or splashed it on Lisa we still had a lot of fun and went to bed way too late.

Saturday was really cool for me as I had never been to an author signing. Especially one with about 30 or 40 authors. It was so cool to see the effort these people went to for the signing. With banners and swag all over it was hard to imagine all of their hard work. I have written two books of my own and taken part in two compilations. I carried both compilations with me so that I could get as many signatures as possible on my copies. I was also quite pleased to sign copies for my fellow authors who had their copies.

If the day was special, the evening was even more special with a masquerade ball to benefit the Mind charity. The hostesses Jo and Rachel from Hourglass Events did an amazing job with the event. The music was fun and it didn’t stop until very late in the night. It took awhile for me to get on the floor also, but once I saw “the worm” in person I just had to dance. There were give-aways, good food, and quite a few drinks consumed. When I finally went to bed that night I slept well and dreamt of what an amazing trip this had been.

There are a lot of lessons I could take away from this trip. About an author signing event, about how a well planned event is run, and about the hard work that an author always has to go through. The job doesn’t end when you type “the end” in fact some would say that is when the job actually starts.

But, what I will always take away from this trip is the adventure. The next time there is an opportunity to go somewhere or do something I haven’t done, my response won’t be “no I can’t”. Instead, I will start by saying I can – and then find out if I can’t. Too often in life we spend more time saying “I can’t” and not enough time saying “why not”. And if you have the passion to do something, to experience something then do it and experience it.IMG_3639

Life keeps moving

I have been thinking lately about writing a blog post and the theme that keeps coming to mind is “life goes on”. Today on September 11th for a lot of people it didn’t. And I am also sure that for a lot of people that day it felt like life couldn’t go on. But it does. 

As I look out at the dark skies I am reflecting on my life and this idea that “life goes on”. It sure does. Some days it feels like time is flying by and before we know it anything week, month, and year have passed us by. I saw a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald that said “you are never too old nor too young to start”. 

I consider myself a perfect example of that. A little more than ten years someone fabulous came into my life and taught about all of the fun things in life and traveling.  I never had the time or inclination to travel. Now we travel so much I do feel like a gypsy. It doesn’t matter where we go, but that we are going. And together we can have a good time. 

A few years ago I was bored and started to write. With some starts and stops I did something amazing a year ago and published my first novel. Then a few months ago I published my second. And I am now working on my third. And I enjoy telling the story of my characters. 

Life doesn’t always give us what we want. Sometimes it gives us what we need. There are hundreds of quotes or “words to live by”. I think the simplest thing is to remember that life will keep moving forward. We just have to be willing to enjoy the life we have. And to have the strength and courage to try something new. 

I think it’s better to say “I tried” than to say “I can’t”. Smile every morning because today is another day and there will be another reason to smile. Share that smile with a stranger. Say “good morning” or have a good day to someone. Two small words can make a difference in someone’s life that we will never imagine. 

But mostly – just have a great day. One day added on to the day before and added on to tomorrow can make for a great week. And now before you know it, it’s been a great month and a great year. 

This is me smiling and wishing you a “good day”!! 

   

ANOTHER CUTTER – Release Day

  

Another Cutter by David E Gordon
Author: David E Gordon

Genre: Thriller/Suspense


Synopsis:
Fortune, family, love…

Secrets, hidden pasts, dangerous liaisons…

How much would you risk to protect the people you care about the most?

Self-made billionaire Robert Cutter made his money investing in struggling companies. When one of his most valued and trusted employees begins to act erratically it pulls Robert into a swirl of dangerous situations. Things escalate quickly and not only puts his life in danger, but that of his family and close friends.

Robert now has the life and family he never imagined for himself. He has to choose between protecting his immediate family, and those he considers “family”. As the past and secrets are revealed, Robert finds himself questioning things at his very core – his decision-making.

And protecting his family may just mean losing the family he never knew he had.

Buy the Book

iTunes
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Author Bio

I live in Southern New Jersey with my amazing wife, who is also my best friend. We live just outside of Philadelphia and about an hour from an awesome selection of beaches. It was on a beach that I wrote my first short story and I love to spend as much time as possible there. There is something so invigorating about the sun and the blue skies.

When not working on writing books or my blog I am a husband to an amazing woman, and a father to two fantastic young adults. I am also a corporate finance professional that spends the rest of my time helping executives and business leaders improve and grow their business. It is some of this experience, which has helped bring this story and the sequel to life.

Please also check out my blog at WordPress Blog

Social Links: 

Facebook: Facebook

Goodreads: Goodreads

Twitter: @DEGordonAuthor

Goodreads Book Link: Goodreads Book Link

Excerpt:
The Mayor was seated at one of the couches and stood as Robert approached. The admin offered a drink, which Robert declined. The men shook hands and Robert noticed that the aid left the office with the admin. There were several folders spread across the table in front of them, along with a tall glass of orange juice. He had heard that the Mayor was cutting back on his caffeine.

“Robert… may I call you Robert?”

“Yes sir, Robert is just fine. How can I help you today?”

“First, I wanted to thank you for stopping by on such short notice. I heard you were in the building and I had a meeting cancel on me. So this seemed like an opportunity I couldn’t pass up on. I understand that your soccer tournament was incredibly successful. My nephew was on one of the teams and his family came for dinner on Sunday. I hope we will see many more of these types of tournaments, they are vital to the kids in our communities and highlight so well the good things being done.”

“Thank you, Sir. That is very kind of you, and I am glad to hear your nephew enjoyed it. My son had a wonderful time as well. But, I don’t think that was why you really called me in here?”

“Very perceptive as always, Robert. No, it’s not. There is a couple of things that I wanted to discuss. The first is that the city will be awarding you with a Man of the City award. This usually goes through a media person, but I wanted to tell you myself. This is not a politically motivated award at all. Please believe that. What you did for that neighborhood, the park, and the kids all over the city is nothing short of amazing. I am personally proud to know you. Thank you.”

As the Mayor continued to speak he reached over and shook hands with him again. “My media group will be reaching out to your folks. I will defer to you as to how we do this, but I was hoping you would accept it at a fundraiser I am having in a couple of months. The fundraiser is actually for the Policeman’s Widows and Orphan’s Fund. Given your history I thought that would be appropriate.”

“Thank you, Mr. Mayor. That is incredibly kind of you to say. I will do my best to be available. Have your team call my office and I will make sure that Jennifer knows to make me available.”

Before The Mayor spoke he handed Robert a file. “This is for your eyes only Robert. There is an opportunity for an investment that I think you might enjoy. Because of the investment itself the city has to be involved. While not owners, partners, or investors, the city has a vested interest so we sit on the board. As I said, this is highly confidential and has not been publicized by anyone. Those involved are doing their best to keep it as quiet as possible. As you will see when you take a look, as soon as the process is officially started it becomes public knowledge.

I will warn you of one thing should you decide to move forward. Because of the investment it requires intense scrutiny by several very public organizations, including the federal government. I am only telling you this because of what Moffit is up to. Between me and you, he is on a witch hunt for no apparent reason except that I know he is up for reelection next year, and he may have a serious competitor.”

“Thank you, Mr. Mayor for this opportunity. I will take a look at it carefully. I hope you did not put yourself into any unfavorable positions by giving me this. You have been an asset to this city.”

The Mayor chuckled at this. “Thanks, Robert, I don’t usually get business approving of my politics. And no, as an interested ‘silent’ partner the city is permitted to recommend people for the investment.”

Both men stood and shook hands briefly. “Robert, I will keep an eye on the DA but I can’t do anything more than that. Unless of course he steps out of line.”

“Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I look forward to hearing from your media team and it will be an honor to accept the award from you.”

Other Books in the series

  

Cutter 

Synopsis

Power, fortune, and prestige…

Greed, threats, and dangerous liaisons…

Nothing is worth your life, but is your life worth living?

Self made billionaire Robert Cutter made his money investing in struggling companies. Plagued by “accidents”, it becomes apparent that someone is trying to kill him. Injured by a concussion in one of the accidents, the agonizing realization is that his not-so-perfect past is coming into clear focus. 

Cutter has everything a man could ask for – money, women, cars, houses, and power. But, with the latest attempts on his life, he starts to rethink his life and evoke change.

Soon he begins to realize that was important is no longer that significant.

He thought he had everything, but he had nothing.

Buy Links
Amazon.com – Amazon US

Amazon.co.uk – Amazon UK

Nook – Nook