Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
When I first moved to California last January I made a very conscious decision that I was going settle in Sunnyvale, at least for my first year here. To my friends who had experience of the Bay Area, this sounded like absolute madness. “You’re young!” they cried. “You need the social life of the city! Sunnyvale is so boring!”
But boring was exactly what I was looking for.
Posted on Saturday, September 24th, 2005
I’m still wondering why the hell I decided to do this – waking up at 5am in order to drive nearly 400 miles to Los Angeles. Having wound my way through the quiet streets of the South Bay, I’ve been barreling through the early morning fog on highway 152 with other early-morning motorists. I’m betting that they’re equally bewildered.
As the road gets towards Interstate 5, it winds gently up into the hills above the San Luis Reservoir. And just as I’m cresting the hills, the rock strata of the lake’s shores clearly visible away to my right, the sun crests over the peak directly in front of me.
It hits the last remaining wisps of fog clinging to the landscape and the roadway, turning them gold in sharp contrast to the blood-red of the rising sun. Everything is bathed in a multitude of colours.
It feels like someone rammed this 2-lane highway right through the middle of a newly-born Earth.
It’s magical, and it reminds me again of one of the biggest reasons that I love California. It’s big, and it’s truly beautiful.
All of a sudden, the drive feels like an adventure again.
Posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2005
So, life’s been trundling along for the last few months, and whilst there have been a few things noteworthy enough to write about, there just hasn’t been the time to knock together some paragraphs on any of them. Hopefully soon.
It’s been a strange summer, anyhow – not much conducive to the peace of mind which tends to render me most eloquent. Let’s face it – with London bombs, the continuing ridiculous farce of the UK Government’s ID card fixation, various American political events, and the devastation of hurricanes, it’s all been a bit “End Timesey” for the world at large.
And the saddest, most numbing thing about the whole parade of rather depressing news stories is that, on this side of the pond, almost any issue quickly polarises into a debilitating “conservative vs. liberal” ping-pong match where no-one actually discusses anything, hair is pulled, names are called and there are no watchful teachers to storm onto the playground, separate the brawling infants and give everyone a good telling-off.
Living in California distances you from the worst excesses of these battles, but frankly that’s only because it’s one of America’s few “liberal” bastions, and folk generally leave one another be.
But here’s the thing that still trips me up – for at least 50% of America’s population, “liberal” is a swearword. Quite literally, you’ll see it used to immediately dismiss or win an argument, or lay blame for a problem. “It’s because of liberals”. “Well, of course you’d say that, you’re a liberal.”