Tuesday, 2 July 2013

From Portland Oregon to Santa Cruz California

Leaving the lush green of Oregon I flew south to San Francisco. A mini coming home, since David and I have lived here on several occasions when he was on sabbatical at Stanford University. Here I gained my Californian driver's license (triumph of empowerment!) and here David and I lived together for the first time outside a European environment, free from some of the heavy baggage we were both burdened with about fifteen years ago...

Sad to leave Anne and her family and friends in Portland; there is never enough time to share all the life I would like to. But we got to skype Judy in Dubai and David in Turkey, oh the wonder of modern technology, yes, I have to admit! And very nice picture of me and Anne taken by Scott, her husband, on Facebook... Below, Scott and Anne and their elder son, William.

Plane from Portland (raining) to San Francisco (cloudy). In Menlo Park (easily reached on a shuttle from SF airport) I stayed with my dear friend and excellent poet, whom I call Chaya though her mother and others called her Sherry. We had a ball! She is a wonderful cook, making the food she presents a joy for the eye as well as the palate. We talked books, listened to some wonderful CDs (Mario Lanza singing Puccini...) and watched some goldie oldies such as Top Hat with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers... Oh nostalgia... Here a pic of Chaya and one of me, outside her apartment in Menlo Park.

It was hot but with a delicious breeze (see Chaya above) but apparently the day I left the temperatures went up to 100 Fahrenheit and life cased to be comfortable!
On one of our expeditions into Menlo Park I found a perfect pair of tiny heeled shoes to wear at the wedding. Photo to come, I hope!

With surprising ease I travelled from Menlo Park to Berkeley (shuttle again and then the BART) where I was met by Marijke, a friend of many years, born in the Netherlands but now living in the US for 34 years. She lives in a house filled with wonders: beautiful prints on the walls, cupboards home to curious ceramics and glassware, and everywhere books, books, books. .. I was completely happy.
Below, a picture of Marijke and me.
Right:  North Berkeley living room...
My cousin Nomi and her boyfriend as well as the daughter of Nomi's sister who in fact is no blood relation of mine (this is getting complicated) drove up to Berkeley for lunch and the five of us spent a fascinating afternoon talking about art and architecture and design and finding out who knew people we knew (great fun this!) and then drove into the north Berkeley hills in search of a house Nomi remembered from her dreams (I joke) which of course we never found, but did see striking buildings and at one point gazed down the wooded hills and across the glittering waters of the Bay to the Golden Gate bridge in the misty distance, with the mauving mountains beyond. Spectacular.

And in the late afternoon drove down the not-too-congested highway towards Santa Cruz (terrible traffic crawling in the opposite direction).
And here I attend yoga classes and walk again on the pavements strewn with mulberries and pine needles and crunchy leaves. And watch the Pacific breakers tumbling against the rocky shore. My early memories from before I could remember!

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