Boatwif Blog

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Roses in strange places

To Stratford in January for a glut of plays and theatrical experiences… This habit of galloping off to Stratford-upon-Avon early in the year for some theatre performances seems to have become a tradition. “When are you going to Stratford this year?” folk asked. “What will you be seeing?” Months ago (at least six!) a deal was brokered, ten tickets for The Tempest to be booked for a January Saturday matinee,       a matinee so that the Cleddau and...

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Forty Seven

“So what number is it then?” asked Local Nephew. “47…” “47. Phew…” Here he took a long breath. “That’s a lot!” Is it a lot, 47 years of married life? Google a search for special anniversary names and there’s nothing between 40 (a Ruby Anniversary) 45 which in the States is referred to as a Sapphire Anniversary and 50, widely known as a Golden Anniversary. So, carry on, carry on… Down in South Pembrokeshire 47 years to the day since...

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Aftertaste

In the period of jet-lagged post-US dis-function memories swirl through the brain, rather like unexpected aftertastes following a spicy meal… Despite numerous visits to Southern California some things still provide a surprise. There are words on official signs and notices that must be read: Poison Oak leaves (sign at Discovery Lake park) Cliff edge warning (Point Loma) Sign on the doorway of a Laser Tag venue    While wandering near the hospitality cottages in Balboa Park work staff indicated the...

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The taming of territory

First visit to Southern California’s San Marcos was 13 years ago in 2003. What looked like a new town about twelve miles inland from the Pacific Ocean was designated then as a city that would grow – and grow it has. Settled by the Spanish in 1840 San Marcos was a few farms scattered across a broad flat bottomed valley.  The railway arrived in 1887 and water was first pumped to the valley from the Colorado River in 1956, at...

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Thanksgiving ingredients

In the build up to the last-Thursday-in-November-festive-feast there are several traditional ingredients. First, the schools have a week’s break. (Think half term nightmare for working parents). Children whose parents are at work will go to Camp (holiday supervision) unless there are other family members to care for them. Down at Balboa Park in San Diego on Tuesday both forms of childcare were apparent. When a YMCA leader was shepherding his flock away from the play park         ...

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Reunions

November trips to California are as much about reunions with the family as they are about the Thanksgiving celebrations. This year though there has been an additional reunion. 64 years ago on the west coast of Wales two small four year old boys started school together, their birthdays just one day apart. They progressed through school (and Air Cadets) together, last seeing each other at age 18 as their schooldays ended. Fifty years later, on the west coast of the...

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Not quite as expected…

The morning after touchdown at LAX the Cleddau crew were awake and functioning well before dawn     – the effect of an eight hour time difference on the body clock. Aeroplane fans would have appreciated the view from the hotel bedroom window of aircraft movements along the busy Los Angeles runways.   After a leisurely hotel breakfast Operation Car Pick Up had to get under way. The baggage was lumbered back into a hotel courtesy bus to return to...

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Keep calm – and carry on

5,500 miles is a long way to go to deliver a message– but, mission achieved. “Anything you want me to tell them?” Boatwif had asked the Cheshire One. She, mind on her imminent birthday and her responsibility to deliver the meaning of precarious to her classmates (Vocabulary Enrichment Day), had kept it brief. Preceding departure to Southern California there had been the familiar scramble of assembling summer weight clothes and preferred import items.  Several of the above are from the...

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Marple – an aqueduct undressed

Chance has allowed a couple of North Cheshire Away Days. The Cheshire One had spent part of half term down in Bedfordshire.  Mid-week a Virgin train whizzed her and Boatwif back to Macclesfield from Milton Keynes. The Captain drove up later and tackled the top Must Do Cleddau job, a boat wash. A germ of an idea had formed in Boatwif’s mind: perhaps just a gentle little cruise, just to Marple, only about 90 minutes further north, then a walk...

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The familiar and the surprising…

Cleddau has cruised “home” northbound along the Macclesfield Canal, a very familiar route. High above Scholar Green (love that name!) is the ragged shape of the Mow Cop folly;    while across the fields from Ramsdell Hall      is Little Moreton Hall. Who would be weary of seeing again this charming crooked structure?   Tied up beside the Ramsdell Hall Railings     on Thursday temptation grew. It was a dry day, the winds had dropped, and tantalisingly Little Moreton Hall was...