I think this was the weekend I finally gave in and fell in love with California. It’s been trying to get me over the last few weeks, sneakily twisting my arm, whispering into my ears, snaking around my legs like a cat… and now I’ve surrendered! Yesterday we went to a bbq up the coast, one of S’s colleagues had invited us last minute and welcomed us and my parents-in-law with typical American gregariousness and hospitality. A stunningly beautiful day, even up there, where the summer fog usually obscures the views until late in the afternoon. And then we found out it was actually his 40th birthday – we didn’t have a clue, but it didn’t matter. People here are so incredibly relaxed, it’s fantastic. Coming from the UK, we’re just not used to this openness and simplicity when it comes to hospitality. I’m used to it from my upbringing in Germany, my parents’ house was always open for guests, expected or not, and I grew up never locking any doors.
And today, another gorgeous day, a trip to the Mountain Winery just 20 minutes from here, what a location! Even E and F (who are usually sat in the back hunched over their DSes) kept exclaiming all the way there how beautiful it was. So now it’s back to the garden for another barbecue… what else?

By the way, the girls are sounding a bit more American now! E, while maintaining British pronunciation, has adopted the Californian rising intonation at the end of a sentence, and has a definite American twang when with friends. The Kentish is still there though… but she no longer says “Wha’?” in nice Estuary tones, but “Whaaaahd?” And F, the other day, stumbled and dropped her cookies, excuse me, biscuits, and instead of exclaiming something like “Oh no”, or “Oh dear”, she said “Oh maaaaan!” But I suppose our 7 weeks in Europe this summer will “rectify” things again… It’s fun to witness, in any case.

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