Boonville… not the novel

Boonville is a town situated in Mendocino County, about an hour north of Healdsburg (where I am currently based, seventy miles north of San Francisco). The reason I mention it is because this morning Char and I drove up there to visit our Anderson cousins, in the appropriately — and coincidentally-named — Anderson Valley. Bruce and Ling run the Anderson Valley Advertiser: an often controversial local newspaper; I don’t have enough time to go into that (sorry).

Boonville is also the setting, and title, of my cousin Robert Mailer Anderson’s first novel; of which I managed to blag a free copy in paperback, to finish reading before I meet up with Robert next week. (Robert, if you are reading this: I’m sorry — I truly meant to finish it before I left the UK.)

We waited a couple of hours at the Anderson compound waiting for Bruce and CJ to return from the dump. But they didn’t show — I did meet up with cousin Ben Anderson though — and so Ling, Char and I travelled up the Ukiah road about six miles to view Robert and Nicola’s 1,200 acre ranch. The views were spectacular, and the house itself reminded me of an upmarket IKEA showroom.

News from Menlo Park is that Jane is quite exhausted. Text messages to-and-fro seem to be a lifeline at the moment. She’s got till Thursday, so pray she’ll be okay, and then we have a week and a bit left to enjoy together; first in Seattle, and then in San Francisco.

(Boonville – A Novel, by Robert Mailer Anderson can be bought on Amazon, ISBN 0-06-051621-6 (Perennial, 2003))