Quiet Day

Today we laid low and lived the life of luxury on Pacific Heights. This was the first day that Jane managed to get the option of a long lie; the extensive building-work in the area however conspired against her and she got up around 09:00. But from then on in we really did nothing much.

I came down to the office to check e-mail (7 pages of spam/virus attachments on my webmail) while Jane watched Spiderman on one of the cable movie channels. I then got on with writing up my memories of Will Reynish (a good friend of mine who died in a climbing accident a couple of years ago) on my Psion 5mx. It was for this reason (writing) that I upgraded from the Series 3mx. Quite a few Americans have commented on what a cool looking machine the Psion is, particularly its usable keyboard. (Are you listening Psion?)

Jane’s parents hiked up Pacific Avenue to join us for lunch. I say ‘join us’, what I really mean is they brought in lunch: a couple of ham sandwiches and three enormous and delicious American chocolate-chip, and peanut butter, cookies. We gave them the tour of the house, cupboards and all.

In the evening I heard Robert and his two kids, Dashiell and Lucinda, playing in the garden so I padded down the steps in my socks to pass on a parcel delivered by FedEx that afternoon. I ended up playing football (soccer) with Dashiell; Robert carrying Lucinda was in goal (between two trees). Jane came down and joined us just before Zack returned from the office needing to print some work for a meeting in L.A. tomorrow. Zack and Robert are currently working on a TV pilot based on Robert’s debut novel Boonville. So we followed Robert and Zack up to Robert’s study, the view from which is phenomenal (I may have already written about it). I returned to the guesthouse briefly to fetch the camera.

Robert then disappeared to get ready for the ballet; Zack took us to explore the basement. The basement is equipped, as I am sure yours is also, with a half-size basketball court, and sauna. Beneath the basement is the garage. We declined to take the lift back up to ground level. (And I’m not kidding!)

This evening Zack drove us over to his sister Jessica’s at Castro for pizza. We had a fun evening. Robert’s brother, Wayne Anderson and family (three lovely kids, Audrey, Julian and Miranda) also turned up, as did Jane’s parents. The topic of conversation over dinner was interesting. It ranged from the cost of public transport in New York, through American history (particularly the Spanish missions in California), to who invented the Caesar Salad!

Sadly such erudite conversation must come to an end, so here I am back in the office at the guesthouse updating my blog. I booted up the Dell PC this time to see if it too was connected to the net — and by jings! it is. I feel so much more comfortable typing on a PC. Folks here are amazed that I really know only one person in the UK who owns a Mac — all my family use Apple here: iMacs, iBooks and Apple PowerPCs.

Tomorrow is sadly our last full day in San Francisco, and yet there is so much still to do. Jane needs to walk over the Golden Gate Bridge, we need to visit Union Square and buy Jane some obnoxiously expensive souveniers (jewellery?) and … well, find out tomorrow what we get up to.

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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