Puccini: Lucca

I didn’t think I was an opera fan though I did take to “Nessum Dorma” as an introduction to a football competition some years ago. It used to make the hairs on my neck stand up and if it comes on the radio now and I’m alone in the car I’ll sing along at full volume. I was written by this chap: Puccini. This is in his home town of Lucca where we visited some years ago. I think it’s a fine sculpture and he looks very relaxed and successful, which he was. I wonder if the non smokers out … Continue reading Puccini: Lucca

The loudest sound would be singing.

Here s a spot that we visited earlier in the year on a lovely summer day, I hope it cheers you on a very grey winter day here in the UK. This is near to the small village of Snowshill in the Cotswolds. Well worth a visit when you are in this area. On this walk it occurred to me that this view has probably not changed in centuries. There’s no evidence of modern living in this image, no wires, no telephone masts, and even no houses. That aside there may well have been fewer trees in the old days, … Continue reading The loudest sound would be singing.

I plan to paint this…one day

I thought that this might cheer on a grey Monday here in the UK. Memories of a brilliant day just a few months ago. I’ll only need 3 colours so that won’t be expensive. Taken in last year this stunning buttercup field is on a walk near the River Severn. There are many stiles like this in the Cotswolds, one of the things they all seem to have in common is that they are almost all at least 6 inches higher than one should really feel comfortable with. Some are built for giants, and negotiating them can be tricky, these … Continue reading I plan to paint this…one day

Back down to earth…

Back in the UK after our trip to California. What am I missing apart from the family? The light: almost constant blue skies seemed unreal out there. Warm days and sunshine for days on end and in November. I believe it has rained since we left but we saw not a drop. My next job, once we’d been through the “glamour of flying” is to get back on the allotment and sort out a delivery of super delicious soil conditioner ordered for quite a few plotters, me amongst them. This black gold makes for easy growing when the time comes … Continue reading Back down to earth…

Umbali, what sort of dish is that?

I’m told that poke is a dish of some sort but I misheard daughter the other day and thought she was describing yet another strange sounding American food dish as “umbali” The strange look she gave me when I repeated the dish back to her spoke of misunderstanding. I was eating a pot of soup ( yes, soup in California ) on one of our last outings of the trip. It was chicken and barley. She said “What’s umbali?” After I’d asked the same question. She spelt it out for me v e r y s l o w l … Continue reading Umbali, what sort of dish is that?

Venice has canals, why am I surprised?

I’ve been to Venice Beach a couple of times before, many years ago I stayed with a fellow illustrator/ cartoonist and our agent ( yes , I had a spell being represented by an agent ) when we all went on a business trip to L.A. He hired an apartment for us all on Venice Beach. He was that type of guy who felt the need to be cool. He rented a Ford Thunderbird convertible for himself and Phil and I made do with a small Toyota Claris which was the sort of car that one’s Aunty Clarice might have … Continue reading Venice has canals, why am I surprised?

Expect the unexpected, is Trotter’s Trading in California?

A one person, three wheeler electric car spotted on Ventura Boulevard. Not your average car in downtown Los Angeles. Will it catch on? Who knows but this car would be dwarfed on any of the many freeways around here. I’m told that the best selling car in America is now the Tesla, and my son in law drives one. It tells you everything that is going on around you and the sound when reversing is a little like a milk float from space. I’m sure it’s a manufactured noise not a true one, to warn of reversing car. Slightly eerie … Continue reading Expect the unexpected, is Trotter’s Trading in California?

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

Flag waving

Not everyone lives in a huge house with a pool in California, as I have previously pointed out some live in tents on freeway bridges, and some under freeway bridges. There are also what they call condos and we would call flats. Blocks of living space, sometimes with pools for use of the residents, though I doubt they have had much use in the pandemic. One is hardly likely to share a patch of water with a stranger in these strange days. I recall back in the 70s on my first trip here, our good friend Derrick, an ambitious solicitor … Continue reading Flag waving

Up to the waterfall.

Out of L.A. for a walk up to a waterfall. Beyond Pasadena and into the hills. Dry as chips as ever but a mountain stream to walk besides and quite few people coming and going. It’s a miracle to me that there’s enough water to make a stream, there being so little rain in the area for months. It reminded me of a summer walk up the Painswick stream in in Gloucestershire with the odd person from downtown streetwise L.A. dropping by in all the appropriate L.A. gear. On the way passed this boxing supplies shop. Not something that would … Continue reading Up to the waterfall.

Still Life with nuts.

Sitting next to a freeway this place is ideal for a trip out on a warm winter day, and most days are warm in winter here. Blue skies go everywhere with us and today no exception. No wonder film studios located themselves in this area. I’d imagine that rain ‘breaks’ were as infrequent as the rain. The light is just brilliant in every way. Interesting that this museum of trains is next to what put them out of business, a freeway. Cars roar past these still trains. In the heyday of steam the Americans really know what to do with … Continue reading Still Life with nuts.