Hello California

We needed to alleviate our inner city guilt. We needed to bank some family seaside tales to regale the kids with when they’re smoking pot at 15 with a stinking attitude and matching odiferous room.

So my husband’s job came up trumps and we’ve moved to San Francisco, from Bristol (UK). We landed last week and here is what I have learned (Week 1):

  1. That almond butter costs 26 bucks a jar. I had a pulmonary attack and bought it anyway.
  2. That popping in for a quick 5 minute Doctor’s appointment for a sore throat results in the most thorough GP consultation I’ve ever had. She had me at ‘what is your spiritual background?’, nipping closely at the heels of ‘and what do you believe happens to the body when we die?’ I felt the tiniest of tears forming, (but held it back), and formulated some intense, spiritually intellectual retorts as quickly as a ferret up a farmer’s backside.
  3. That being ill and jet-lagged, and spending your first week in a new country, doesn’t bode well with two children who have decided this is the point to turn truly feral. The freedom has sent them crazy. My earth mother ambitions of sauntering the streets in chuckle shoes with a baby on each hip has been eroded in just 7 days. I’ve signed up to Urban Sitter and am scanning the beautiful Mexican lady-sitters like crazy.
  4. That there is an app for absolutely everything and pretty much everyone you meet is at it (tech-wise) now or did it already in the 90s (apart from me — I’m just freeloading).
  5. That buying a new car for the first time ever, produces a momentary frisson of excitement that quickly evaporates as children decide to continue feral state of play in moving vehicle. This is further compounded when eldest child, Chunks No.1 (CN1), excitedly presses automatic garage door clicker too early — resulting in a slightly crumpled car. After a moment of shock, we wet ourselves belly laughing for a good 20 minutes, hoping that Daddy-Chops won’t see it — then turn the choons up LOUD.
  6. That I have developed a fascination with muso-biographies — not the most highly revered of literary tomes, but easy to read and interesting nonetheless because they are real, and most are fucks-ups as much as me. I feel better reading this. I’ve just raced through Viv Albertine’s wonderful book: Clothes, Music, Boys. But it wasn’t her raucous, sex-fuelled race through the 70s with key members of The Clash and The Sex Pistols that took my breath away, but rather her candid exploration of the mundanity of motherhood and her quest as a 40+ woman that stole the show. Get it. Read it. Know that you are not alone. (I did download her latest album after this, but I have to be honest and say it won’t be keeper).
  7. That the beach is really, really good for the soul.
  8. The light…oh the Californian light.


Clothes, Music, Boys by Viv Albertine


Humanity by Prince Lincoln — one of my all-time favourite records

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