Mall Rat

Not much to report about today. Char and I travelled south to Santa Rosa this morning. Dropping me off at a shopping mall Char sped off to take care of some appointments and messages, while I wandered around a sleepy mall as it was in the process of waking up after a long weekend (yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and a public holiday).

There were NO bookshops!

There were a couple of record stores, however. I picked up a couple of t-shirts, and a handful of CDs, including the remixed version of Megadeth’s first album (now sounding phenomenal), Testament The Gathering, Danzig 4, Kings X, Eddie Izzard and a string quartet playing Iron Maiden songs.

Picked up by Char; lunch in a window-less restaurant (!) called The Nutty Irishman (indeed!); shopping for tomorrow’s breakfast at Raley’s and then home for an afternoon nap. (That’s right! I am living the fast-paced highlife here in CA.)

No news from Jane though. I got a text from her late last night (Monday) to say that she had gone out to a bar after the evening session and that she was now beginning to get into the course. Either that or she was drowning her sorrows in alcohol. I guess I’ll find out on Thursday afternoon when we meet up again in San Francisco.

Mah Jong Monday

Today has been a lazy day, and an enjoyable day. Nothing to rush about. I’m on holiday. I finished reading Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure this morning and am now ploughing my way through cousin Robert’s novel Boonville, in between a couple of writing projects, a visit to Char’s neighbour, BJ, to check out some software he’s developing and discovering that he wants to learn how to play Mah Jong.

A quick phone call to Carol revealed that I had remembered correctly her comment, during a visit to Inverness, Scotland, that she owned a Mah Jong set. So this afternoon Char and I dropped by her house to pick it up. Made in China (so the box says) the set is a complete, Western set adorned with Arabic numerals, completely plain white dragons, and a unique set of four flowers and four seasons. We play at 8pm tonight.

All I’ve heard from Palo Alto so far today is that Jane has been on the EIGHT panel (an experience she described as ‘scary’) and is in sore need of three things: sleep, heating and TV. Hopefully, our couple of days in SF, before we fly to Seattle on Saturday, will give Jane a suitable dose of the trash-TV that she needs to unwind.

I’m not long off the phone to cousin Zack. I descend on Robert and Nicola’s guesthouse on Wednesday at two.

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.