Sunday, 23 February 2020
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Jeffrey Epstein estate's bills, employees going unpaid over 'insufficient funds,' lawyers say: report

Added: 22.02.2020 6:34 | 7 views | 0 comments

Lawyers for late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s $600 million U.S. Virgin Islands estate said liens imposed by the local attorney general have left them unable to pay the estate's bills, employees at his various properties or for legal defense from his accusers, according to a filing made public Friday.

From: feeds.foxnews.com

From Chateaux to Battlefields: Walking the Paths My Characters Tread

Added: 21.02.2020 23:32 | 3 views | 0 comments


Next to writing, research is my true love. When I stand in the spaces I want my characters to inhabit, I can feel them and see them and bring their lives and their stories out of my imagination and into the structure of words and sentences.

The Hotel Scribe, Paris

To research The Paris Orphan, I started in Paris at the Hotel Scribe, where Lee Miller stayed during World War II and where Jessica May, my character, also stays. The hotel was used by the U.S. Army as the press office, and the hotel’s exterior is largely unchanged from that time.

Staying in the hotel for several nights allowed me to picture more vividly the scenes in my story set there, to see where Miller’s room was, and the view from her balcony. The hotel is very proud of its association with Miller.

A Chateau in the Champagne Region

From there I had the very difficult(!) job of staying in a chateau just outside Reims in France’s Champagne region, just as D’Arcy does in The Paris Orphan. How I suffer for my art!

It was a wonderful experience because I was able to wallow in the richness and lushness of the area. The extraordinarily bright pumpkins that D’Arcy sees from her window are the pumpkins I saw from my room at the chateau, as is the canal, the maze, the plane trees, the potager—or vegetable garden—and the butterflies. From inside the chateau, the black-and-white-tiled marble floor, the salon de grisailles, the boiserie, and the turret all came from the chateau I stayed at.

Crazy Trees—Les Faux de Verzy

I had heard about Les Faux de Verzy, the dwarf twisted beech trees that feature in The Paris Orphan, before I left for France. I was determined to see them, as they captured my imagination. When I told my kids we were going to spend the afternoon walking through a forest in search of crazy trees, they looked at me as if I was the one who was crazy!

But we had the perfect day. It was a little overcast and dark, haunting, mystical, magical even. We found the trees, and they were like something from myth. We all felt as if we were walking through an enchanted forest. As we left, my kids said to me that doing weird research things with Mummy always ended up being really fun! There was no way I could leave those spectacular trees out of the book.

On to Normandy

I then traveled to Normandy, which was a sobering experience. Standing on Omaha Beach, as Jess does in the book, deeply affected me. The beach is so very wide, and I could see the difficulty that any soldier would have had, jumping out of a vessel on the water, traversing through waves to the ocean’s edge, and then having to forge a way across that vast stretch of sand to safety. Almost impossible. I could feel how Jess might feel, standing there, seventy-odd years ago, a witness to the immense and terrible destruction of human life.

I visited the American Cemetery there, and then drove to Sainte-Mère Église, where there is a museum dedicated to the paratroopers. I knew little about the intricacies of battles and battalions, so seeing a mannequin dressed in a paratrooper’s uniform, plus all of the eighty kilograms of equipment they carried, and studying the maps of their campaigns and victories was hugely helpful in allowing me to better understand Dan Hallworth and what he might have faced.

In the museums of Normandy, I saw a lot of the equipment used by the soldiers and the personal items carried by them, which helped me to recreate life as it could have been: everything from U.S. Army jeeps and tanks, to long-tom guns, packs of Lucky Strikes, ration chocolate, Scott paper, and tins of Marathon foot powder—all of which appear in the book.

I was also able to see the accreditation papers, passport, uniforms, telegrams, diary, and war correspondent badge of Virginia Irwin, one of the female correspondents, at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, England. These were all items Jess would have required, so it was wonderful to view them.

And then it was time to leave Europe and to try to write down the story that was occupying all of my thoughts. It’s my favorite of all of my books. I truly hope you enjoy reading The Paris Orphan as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you.

For photographs and more, visit my blog on natashalester.com.au.

Best Hikes Along the Appalachian Trail

Added: 21.02.2020 23:12 | 4 views | 0 comments


Appalachian Trail signThe Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, inspiring millions to test their endurance and indulge in its beauty. Running continuously for 2,200 miles (3,540 km) from Maine to Georgia, it carves its way through wildflower fields, flowing rivers, and great peaks. But you don't have to thru-hike to get a taste of the trail. Here are some of our favorite day hikes along the way, from .

Best Hikes for Fall Foliage

Sam’s Gap to Big Bald

13 miles/20.9 km, 7 hours Pigsah National Forest, North Carolina: This long ridge hike in the gives you all those Smoky Mountain views—without the carloads of tourists.

McAfee Knob

8.8 miles/14.2 km, 5 hours Salem, Virginia: With its iconic perch and widescreen views, McAfee Knob has everything you want for an October hike.

Bear Mountain (CT)

6.7 miles/10.8 km, 4 hours Mount Riga State Park, Connecticut: This fantastic hike through woods and dwarf pines reaches a large rock pile where you can view fall colors for days.

Mount Greylock

6.2 miles/3.2 km, 5 hours New Ashford, Massachusetts: Summit this iconic peak in October and you’ll be rewarded with especially dazzling views.

Best Hikes for History

Springer Mountain Loop

4.7 miles/7.6 km, 3 hours Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Georgia: The southern terminus of the AT is an emotional beginning (or end), and it’s a doable climb for most.

Bear Mountain (NY)

4 miles/6.4 km, 3 hours Bear Mountain State Park, New York: This is where the Appalachian Trail was born. The views aren’t bad either—you can see New York City on a clear day.

Mount Greylock

6.2 miles/3.2 km, 5 hours New Ashford, Massachusetts: This hike has great views and a rich history, having been summited by literary greats like Henry David Thoreau and Herman Melville.

Katahdin

9.5 miles/15.3 km, 7 hours Baxter State Park, Maine: The northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail is a great American peak with equal parts danger and excitement.

Best Hikes for Waterfalls

Tumbling Waters Trail

3 miles/4.8 km, 2 hours Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania: This easy hike down steps leads to two simply beautiful falls.

Buttermilk Falls Trail

2.8 miles/4.5 km, 2 hours Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, New Jersey: Check out the tallest falls in New Jersey while ascending about 1,000 feet (305 m).

Race Brook Falls

4.8 miles/7.7 km, 5 hours Sheffield, Massachusetts: Climbing up these falls until you reach the summit of Mount Everett is quite the challenge.

Thundering Brook Falls

1 mile/1.6 km, 30 minutes Killington, Vermont: Take a stroll on a boardwalk to a pretty waterfall tucked away in busy Killington. Start planning your Appalachian Trail adventure today: [hbg-title isbn="9781640492714" summary="Whether you're stopping for a day trek or taking a weekend getaway, hit the road and hit the legendary trail with Moon Drive & Hike Appalachian Trail."] [hbg-post heading="What to read next:" id="578464,578939,578404" /]

From: www.avalontravelbooks.com

Virginia Democrats say they have reached a deal on 'red flag' gun law

Added: 21.02.2020 21:50 | 5 views | 0 comments

Virginia Democratic lawmakers said Friday they had reached a deal on a controversial “red flag” bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take away firearms from people deemed a threat to themselves or others, a measure that has been strongly opposed by gun rights advocates.

From: feeds.foxnews.com

Letting an F-bomb fly in public in Virginia used to cost you a $250 fine. Not anymore

Added: 21.02.2020 20:10 | 7 views | 0 comments

It used to be that if you dropped an expletive on the streets of Virginia, you could get hit with a fine of up to $250.

Tags: Virginia
From: rss.cnn.com

Virgin Galactic’s surging stock to fall back to Earth

Added: 21.02.2020 15:22 | 1 views | 0 comments

Virgin Galactic shares were up 222 percent this year through Thursday.

From: feeds.foxbusiness.com

Take a look inside Virgin Voyages' first cruise ship

Added: 21.02.2020 9:35 | 15 views | 0 comments

Richard Branson's luxury new liner is currently docked in Dover

From: https:

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