A day to rest (and eat)

Sunday was a good day. I followed the great deity’s example and on the seventh day rested from updating my blog.

In the morning I went to church: St Paul’s, Healdsburg. A small, wooden Episcopal Church. I should rephrase that: an Episcopal Church congregation housed in a small, wooden building. I’ve been there before; a couple of times before, and have kept in touch with their Rector, the Revd Canon Marvin Bowers and his family since my first visit in 1989. So it was great to catch up with him again over lunch, after the morning service. I also met up with a couple of deacons in training, Roger and Libby, who, it turns out, are good friends with the Revd Ian Hopkins, in whose parish I live in Edinburgh; they were all at college together at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Lunch was delicious and the company was alive with laughter.

Around 4pm I wandered across the road to the Healdsburg Museum and hooked up with Charlotte again. We drove over to her cousin, Carol’s, and once cousins Don and Diane turned up we gathered around a booked table in a local Chinese restaurant for an evening of good food and word-games.

Meanwhile, in Menlo Park Jane has finally come-to after the cross-Atlantic journey and exhibiting her EIGHTishness. We send a stutter of text messages throughout the day and just keep up with how we’re doing. In the evening Jane was able to blag her Mum’s payphone card and ring me. Ironically, the sound quality of this call from the south bay area to Healdsburg (maybe a distance of 80-90 miles) was terrible; I spoke with Mum, in Scotland (about 5,000 miles away) was crystal clear.

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))