Tag Archives: driving

Drive.

It’s been a while since I last blogged. And naturally, it’s all Alex’s fault. 

It was her idea to start watching Game of Thrones from start to finish. And after we watched the first episode, she was a changed person. Gone was the happy, hippy mother who lovingly tucked in her children at night and sent them off gently to sleep with kisses and cuddles. Instead, I would return home from work to a lady with the remote control in her hand, and a demonic look in her eye. A look that said “Get these fuckers to bed and stick the box on, stat”. 

Six seasons later, we’re now done with G.O.T and we’re having to find other ways to avoid talking to each other. Hence the blog revival.  Continue reading Drive.

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16 things we’ve learned about life in the US.

Today is exactly 6 months since we left the UK.

In that time, Alex has taken up running, Daisy has tantrummed in some of the biggest public spaces in Northern California, and Ava has turned into a walking, talking all-American kid. Me? The main change I’ve noticed is that I wear white socks more than I used to, without worrying about my street cred.

Here’s the 16 things we’ve learned since we got here…  Continue reading 16 things we’ve learned about life in the US.

Dancing with salesmen.

I still remember my first slow dance.

It was at the Excel summer camp disco, circa 1992. During the day the boys had all decided who we’d go for, so when the evening rolled around, it was just a matter of plucking up the courage. She was a 7, and I was a 6 at best. I was punching above my weight and I knew it – but a bunch of her friends had already been asked to dance, and I figured she didn’t want to be the last one standing. So, I took a deep breath and asked her to dance. She half-shrugged/half-nodded, and then we quickly assumed the position: my hands on her hips, hers on my shoulders. As we moved woodenly from side to side, I spent the duration of the song trying not to stare at her chest. Which was tricky, given how bloody tall she was.

Continue reading Dancing with salesmen.

Carlifornia.

Every morning, I step out of the house into brilliant sunshine and a clear blue sky.

In the background I hear the excited morning chatter of birds. My friendly neighbour greets me with a wave from behind his white picket fence, and as I embark on my 11-mile drive to work, I smile broadly as my girls line up at the door and bid me a fond farewell, like the cereal box family we are.

Well, that’s the vision.

In reality, I make a run for it just as Ava has a meltdown over the consistency of her porridge. I close the door as Daisy freaks out about a torn page in her Mr Men book, and make for the safety of my car. I do this without so much as a glance back at the house, just in case I catch Alex glaring at my escape with envious hatred. And then, when I’m safely inside my car, I begin another beautiful day in California.

Continue reading Carlifornia.

Sign here. And here. 

Two weeks in, and here’s revelation number two: Americans love signs.

They’re everywhere. Information, directions, guidance, rules…just driving down the street is a literary experience. And in most cases, the signs are fairly ridiculous. Here’s a few I’ve seen.

Fines. 

They come in strange shapes and large sizes.  $336 and $281. Whose job is it to invent these random numbers? More to the point, why are people violating red lights? I blame that bloody Shades of Grey book.


  

Parking. 

No parking this side. Of the street? Or this side of the sign? I’d love to test this one out and contest any ensuing fine by calling into question their ambiguous language. But I’m living in California these days, so there are better things to do with my time – like write about it, instead.

 

Safety. 

The most pointless sign I’ve seen. Surely if you’re a cyclist and you’re going the wrong way, you’ll know it when you’re flying headfirst through the windscreen of an oncoming truck?

California is beautiful, but there’s always trouble in paradise. In the South Bay you’re never far away from mountain lions, bobcats, and these dangerous sons-of-bitches. Park at your peril.

I tell you what Mr Sign Writer, when you can be arsed to punctuate the message, maybe then I’ll cross the street.

Ouch.  This is 2015. We don’t call them slow nowadays – they’re “academically challenged”.

Parks. 

It’s a rite of passage that a kid learns to smoke in the park. How’s a child supposed to rebel these days? Killjoys.

Impressive attention to detail. Rules for the dog, and for the owner too. If this was the UK, there’d be a steaming turd right beneath the sign.

The longer I’m here, the more I’ll see and add to this collection. Unless I’m too busy violating lights, of course.