Soup in California? It’s not a necessary option.

If they consider a temperature of below 60 degrees Fahrenheit as “wintery” athen soup is not going to be a top option out here. So it’s no surprise really that they like cold soup. Fahrenheit still used as a measure here as are feet and inches, it’s like decimalisation never happened.Gaspatcho seems an almost reasonable dish to present to someone in these here parts where I personally think it a waste of a good tomato soup in the UK.

Another strange fact is that when it comes to buying power, the utility type rather than the political, then there is no choice, you buy from the local state supply. The opposite to the so called free market we have, where we have the chance to buy from a range of power suppliers many who are on the edge of going bust. Who’s got that right?

Same to a degree with internet service suppliers, there’s not a lot of choice, whereas we have a huge range of suppliers all competing for our business, and if you believe them, all promising to deliver the mega fast broadband speed we want, for next to nothing in the first year and new customers and after a year the hope that you have forgotten them so that they can put you on their “ who gives a toss about the loyal customer rate” for any years that follow.

Out tomorrow after a quiet day today, to a local attraction called Greystone Manor, but there will be no photos, they charge 365 dollars for taking photos of the place. It’s been used in multiple TV series and feature films. Looking forward to seeing it. As it’s located in the middle of film land then it’s not really surprising that it gets a lot of exposure, but not from me! Might take some on the way there.

What do I like about California? Quite a lot, but it helps sharing with daughter and family. Enthusiasm is sometimes a little fake but sometimes reassuringly real. Have a nice day can be insincere at times but I’ve found it rare this time. Genuine politeness and smiles are a massive bonus.

Even driving seems polite to me, though the car seems to be always the priority, it can take ages to cross a road and there’s no ‘making a run for it’ unless you have a serious death wish, and it’s against the law, and no one would want to have run in with the police department here.

The food, there’s plenty to choose from and with three seasons the choice is brilliant, lemons grow in the family garden. There’s a tendency to put sugar in a lot of foods and a recent cake was so sweet it tasted only of sweetness. A breakfast burrito lasted two breakfasts. Both tasted as good. Coffee shops abound, with a dizzying choice of coffees and flavours one can add, for me just coffee is fine.

In the area we have been staying in almost everyone is compliant with keeping Covid at bay with mask wearing and the need to have vaccination certification if you eat out, so we have always felt safe.

It should be obvious from my ramblings that I like the signs, the big advertising ones as well as the older ones outside shopping malls. There are some that must be from the 1950s and they are particular favourites. In some ways they are uniquely American. Graphic design before graphic designers got to them.

The architecture. There’s a hell of a lot of concrete, some used well and others stuccoed to death. In many respects the freeway bridges are a thing of great beauty, they sweep across each other on mighty supports enhanced by the brilliant blue skies. They would not be half as appealing in the rain, speaking of which, there’s been absolutely not one drop in our time out here. The latest forecast predicts rain on the 10 th of December, they have not had a single drop in November.

Update below about the Manor.

Here are a few more signs, collected on a late afternoon walk about, hence the strong shadow. Plus a picture of a recent trouser tightening breakfast before our visit to the Greystone Manor. The stone was not grey and one is allowed to take pictures for personal use. So all you get is what I ate. The manor is in Beverly Hills which seems to be the only area that does not have power lines cross crossing the area. I assume they pay for the privilege. Some of the houses were as big as a medium sized factory building.

French toast with maple syrup. Oooooer.

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