Lawyers Against LonelinessThe Lawyer Shopping Channel

“As an expat unlikely to be able to travel home to England as planned this Christmas I am ordering gifts from small businesses online,” writes Sharon Murray all the way from Blake Cassels & Graydon in Vancouver.

The Lakes Distillery near Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria offers an attractive range of gifts for those sending gin, whisky and liqueurs to friends and family in the old country. They even have nifty miniatures in Christmas crackers.

“I visited The Lakes Distillery when I was in England last year and have ordered online from then since then. Although lockdown means that the distillery and bistro are closed at the moment I exchanged emails and spoke to Charlie, a super helpful lady who arranged for my orders to be placed, wrapped and dispatched in early December.

“I’d love to hear about other small businesses offering online ordering to expats – let’s shop local (to home).”

Previously: Cogito Books |  Lutyens and RubinsteinThe Book House | Letter Box Hamper | Designs by Kate WhyleyPet Hates ToysCocolulu | Biscuiteers | Vinegar Hill | Gander Market | Rennet & RindCocoa May 

Dog of the Day

Kelly Newman at Shakespeare Martineau writes: “I saw Bertie the cat in the Dog of the Day slot. That Bertie is a cat… so I thought it worth me sending you a picture of my own Bertie, the baby cockatiel. No, he isn’t a dog but he’s as cuddly as a puppy and super, super cute.”

The Lawyer Watches

Three Identical Strangers

When Bobby Shafran arrives for the first time in a New York community college, he is greeted by students as if they have always known him. It turns out, he has a twin brother he never met, Eddy Galland. Both were adopted. Their reunion turns into a national media story splashed in the pages of national magazines and in talk shows. But the story quickly takes on an absurd turn when another man, David Kellman, is struck by his resemblance to the duo. When he reaches out to them, the three young men realise they are triplets separated at birth.

Three Identical Strangers, a 2018 documentary by British director Tim Wardle, dives deep into the circumstances behind their story. The uplifting, feel-good narrative of their reunion is quickly replaced by the disconcerting reality around their separation. The documentary heavily draws on interviews with a reporter who found that the triplets were sent to different families as part of a secret study, and the researches involved in the project.

Wardle, who used to be head of development for documentaries at the BBC and later at production company Blast, crafts a carefully-constructed movie which, like a matrioska, leads the viewer into the deeper layers of this unsettling backstory. It does a great job of describing the forces behind these children’s destinies, with revelations that shatter established beliefs scene after scene. The personal accounts of the protagonists, and the reconstruction of their family histories, sets out tough questions on the eternal “nature vs nurture” debate, what makes us who we are and the ethical implications of certain scientific efforts.

Three Identical Strangers, 2018, running time: 96 minutes. Available on Netflix and to rent on Amazon Prime.

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