As you may have noticed, most of the trips I go on with Randi are characterised by a lot of running about from place to place, so it was deeply relaxing to spend the long 4th July weekend staying firmly put at Randi’s childhood home in Yorba Linda, California. Mostly in their family’s swimming pool, to be honest, because it is for sure the best swimming pool I have ever seen in someone’s back garden, and the water was so warm! We basically only ventured out for food and an Angels vs. Mariners game, at which we received free Albert Pujols bobbleheads (no, me neither) and spent roughly one third of the time queuing for Philly cheesesteaks. (What can I say, I enjoyed my introductory cheesesteak in Philadelphia… where they make them more quickly.)
With a free morning in LA on Wednesday before my flight home, I also stopped by on Glamily favourites Jackie and Jeff. (I guess I don’t actually have favourites, but they are pretty great.) They treated me to breakfast on the beach at Santa Monica before taking me to the Getty Centre: a fancy LA art gallery built atop a hill which you ascend via a special tram, giving it a slightly rarefied above-the-clouds atmosphere as if you’ve just stepped onto the Starfleet Academy campus. Anyway, we saw a great exhibition on eighteenth-century European crowd scenes painted with tremendous detail. I felt sure that Wally must be hiding somewhere in there, but couldn’t spot him.
Oh, and I guess the other component of the weekend was being emotionally jolted around by the Doctor Who finale. I never really understood why the Cybermen were my dad’s favourite Doctor Who monster… until the return of the incredibly chilling originals this series, worthy of a Black Mirror dystopia. And it should be noted, amongst the all-American burgers and hot dogs and homemade sangria (well, maybe off-script there) on 4th July itself, three people started conversations with us about this series and Peter Capaldi and Bill Potts. Three people! Even in Yorba Linda, you’ll find plenty of sofas to hide behind.
This weekend we tried to relive some of the California sun-and-water magic by going to WhoaZone on Lake Michigan with Jason and Carrie. And we got so close! Alas, there were “too many waves” today to allow anyone to play, although curiously we were allowed to swim in the exact same waters alongside it. Still, a good beach excursion to Whiting, Indiana was had by all.
Two more random things:
- If you’re still reading this but secretly hankering for better stories from an upgraded sibling, why not donate to Tash’s team leading in Malawi? Everything goes to the Voluntary Service Overseas organisation and will help fund their work.
- Last night, at Karol’s impromptu birthday drinks, we ended up talking to his friend who works in a steel mill about how steel is made. It was like listening to an obscure Radio 4 programme about a subject you’ve never thought about before… in other words, it was terrific. I asked some stupid questions like “so what can’t we do without steel?” and learnt a lot. (He was full of praise for German steel in particular. Another win for Germany!)
Katie Self, Gillian Self, Alex Lawrence, Deborah Herrick, Julie Ann Self, Beth Dubowe-Lawrence, David Boss, Randi Lawrence, Andy Regan, Sharon Dinkin liked this post.