Thursday 4 June 2015

The longest day

Seattle to San Luis Obispo
Shake rattle and Amtrack  After less than an hour in her upper bunk Linda got claustrophobic and I was wakened by her feet in my mouth as she climbed head to toe into my bunk which was already overcrowded enough by fat me.McD murdered sleep but the train rattled on. Stopped at Sacramento in the dark  and as day dawned we were in California: the golden state turned brown by water shortage. No rain [they're all waiting for El Nino and the richest farmers having dug the deepest wells have lowered the water table so the poorer farmers cant get any and the 20% of water needed for domestic usage is rationed. Takes a lot of bottles of imported Perrier to fill a swimming pool. Why not build an acquaduct down from Canada? Call it Canada wet.

Amtrack is manned by trainees. Nice lads and super willing to serve but capable of getting every order wrong.Linda asks for salmon and gets chicken. I asked for water and got Canada dry. All a bit like Faulty Trains. But not called Manuel and willing and enthusiastic despite the fact that they're on at 5-30am until 11 pm.

Chug on down the central valley [really is a valley with ranges on either side]train blowing its whistle every hundred yards though there's no one around to hear until suddenly we're in Pasa Robles {not recognising it} and coming down from the hills to Slo where Kirk Wilson  ever dependable turns up to meet us and drive us out to the airport to collect a car,which when Linda tells them that our Grandson is coming to CalPoly is upgraded {free} to a Mustang.

Cayucos is lovely, sunny bright dazzling,as is our house on 16th st newly pained glaring white and so unused the price is still on the crockery [bargains from TJMax.]

MONDAY 1 June dragged for a walk on the beach at 7. This is Linda's new regime. It won't last and the walk doesn't either.More dogs than people on the beach but the new fashion appears to be for bigger and hairier dogs just as the cars have got bigger. aas the price of gas has come down. Dog food must be cheaper too Turn back before we reach town fort as fattening breakfast then drive down to the front-not much changed but a lot of bright paint since we were last here two years ago. Kelly's where the old blokes all met for coffee each morning has closed-tax or sex problems no one knows and the two pretentious up market restaurants [Cass House and Hoppe} have gone bust and the pier is under repair so no access {it looks shorter to me}

Visit Irish hills plaza for food and TJ Max but can't find any braces-my belt doesn't hold my trousers up. Then town to bookshop where there don't appear to be any new and exciting books in the last two years so I'll be reduced to reading more of Nigel Lawson's egocentric biography [summed up by the cover photo which shows Nigel obviously wanting to tell the photographer he's got it wrong]

Lovely to think of Arch growing up here when he comes to Cal Poly. Small university towns are the joy of US I'd have loved it to have got a job in one when I was an academic and grown old as a thin grey Liberal 

Kirk and Sally come for dinner and Linda kindly lets him cook it at six. Their kids are all doing well and their house steadily appreciating in value. But they haven't been able to install the hot tub they promised themselves when the kids had flown. Neighbours can object 

Sleepless night because the news of Charles Kennedy's death arrives.  Awful shock. Poor,poor Charles. Everything went wrong towards the end but it had all begun so wonderfully brought back from the US at 23 to win the seat in the SDP surge [when I spoke there they all asked "how's our Charles?] and so wise[but not informed] beyond his years  and instinctively right on the issues-except EU which I put down to Scottishness- I couldn't understand it. We worked together well in the Critch Mitch and Titch days . Now there's only one of the three stooges left..stoogiest.


Gloom about Charles, lack of sleep,and sore throats [cough cough] make for a day to be missed. Sleepy morning. Dragged out in the afternoon for what's supposed to be a daily walk along the deserted beach where the only activity is half a dozen wind surfers trying to hold back recalcitrant flying dogs pulling them out to sea. All frozen to death because the wind is so cold. At this rate we'll end up more dead than fit with visions of being dragged to hospital like last time and pronounced to have double pneumonia {therefore double fees}. Quelle terrible fate. To come to paradise and  catch rigor mortis

Paradise by the way is very quiet.Only the old folks who live here year round . The cool seekers haven't yet come down from Fresno or up from Bakersfield. Perhaps they've left their dogs to guard the houses because there's more dogs 'ner folk around.

Wednesday 3 June SECOND DOWN DAY We've both got colds,sore throats and with me a chorus of burping de profundis. Shake it off enough in the morning to go down to what used to be Kelly's. Kelly herself has fled the coop and lives in Morro drug dependant they say. The father has the kids. No one knows where she is though one man says she always texts him at 5 in the morning.The restaurant next door has taken it over and kept the prices the same -and the decor which is tatty.Like the coffee.Three of the old gang are there-correction four because Gaylen the one Democrat comes in. Harvey 83 is still asking the same questions-did I know Douglas Bader=next will be did I go to the Farnborough air show.Bob the ex fireman still selling motor bikes and parts on e bay  Nothing much has changed they say stretching their minds back over two years of the history of Cayucos .One antique shop closed-the chemist moved cos the rent went up  old Bob the pot grower dead and gone. That's it. Hoe is it being retired [as they all are} you'll be on a fast political pension {they all are here} etc
Back to house to spend the rest of the day burping and spitting but not eating. Linda takes to her bed and wandering across the TV channels I stumble on PM's QT.Very odd. Here the sun hot beaming down the air clear warm bright there the claustrophobic chamber, same old faces asking the same old questions. Labour's still trying to fight the last election. Harriet with good questions none of which are answered until Cameron impales her on his zinger  {sexy image that}} does she support lowering the benefit cap. In the end she was running out of questions and falling back on what's he going to do now he doesn't have the Libs to blame.

Then it's over to the mob. Cam is brilliant as usual at not answering greeting his own side with "I absolutely agree" the rest with a knee to the balls. New member for York tried a party hand out and gets knocked back. Melanie is trying to get in {blue dress-third row}but failing because the questions go mainly to trusties.I don't recognise a lot of them but that's not unusual.I didn't in the old house either.It was as awful as usual another festival of custard pie throwing but I( wished I was there which has never happened before and shouldn't really because what was daft then remains daft now. I suppose the feeling of missing something is mainly because of the thought that Ive wasted my opportunities and now can't ever go there again to ask irrelevant questions  and get humiliated for them.Oh not to be in England now the Tories are back. Problem is they can do what they want but what they want is daft. They shouldn't embark on their big new programme of cuts now the economy is fragile and they'll slash demand. Osborne could quietly postpone them. But I bet he won't because they're not necessary economicslly but part of his programme of slashing the state.

No comments:

Post a Comment