American Homecoming

Oakland Bridge

It’s been seven years since I was back in the place of my birth. As I consider myself pretty soundly British, it’s funny how quickly I slip in to little Americanisms once I’m here: the pavement is quickly replaced by the sidewalk, and I learn that no one will understand my request for water unless I pronounce it with a twang.

Public viewfinder by Coit Tower, San Francisco

I’m reminded that crossing the road outside of a designated pedestrian strip alarms people greatly, and that it’s easier to get your hands on a margarita than a cup of tea. I’m bowled over by people’s friendliness, be it a chat in the brunch queue, a glass of wine with a table of strangers, or the bartender serving those margaritas.

Grapes and bikes at Rust Ridge winery

I’ve driven automatic and had some rather dramatic reminders that the left side is definitely the wrong side of the road round here. I’ve eaten my body weight in french toast and Triscuits, and heard my first live Mariachi band.

The days have been full, and I still have another fortnight of American snapshots to fill up on; hopefully more of the friendly-chats than the bad-driving variety..

Vineyards at Rust Ridge

California Dreaming

Rusty and Marlene in a rickshaw

I’m headed to California this summer, to spend time hanging out with my most awesome American Grama. She has inspired my writing and my yoga, she’s responsible for my most favourite Christmas read, and she even taught me how to blow bubble gum.

She is also my most faithful reader. She often writes intricate emails in reply to my posts, filled with snapshots of her life, like the literary Instagram of an octogenarian. I love how we stay connected, even though we are 5,233 miles apart.

Yosemite view

Rusty cycling with Trinidad Head in the background

I’m so excited to return home to Humboldt, with it’s foggy coast, tall redwoods, and long nose trucks. Not to mention the fact that these guys really know how to do brunch. I’m already drooling at the thought of pancakes at Mama’s when Mum and I first arrive in San Francisco.

Brunch stop

A fortnight of yoga, knitting, and blackberry picking, and visiting all the places I knew as a littlun. I can’t wait to get three generations of girls together for a proper laugh, as we’ve been doing for the last 31 years.

Rusty, Wendy and Marlene

Down at Dinas

Rusty at trig point

How wonderful to drive home in the pouring rain after enjoying a week of perfect Welsh sunshine.  Monday was a quiet reacquaintance with home, resting from some big runs, and feeling full to brim with fresh air and outdoor adventuring.

Wild flowers at Wales Wildlife Centre

Looking out at Strumble Head lighthouse

We stayed in a perfect stone cottage, curled up by the fire with plenty of wine and cheese, and a hellafresh lot of books. We ran river gorges, explored ancient castles and staggered up some steep hills. As a newbie runner, I felt full of energy and enthusiasm, though could never jump with quite the energy of those lambs..

Tom and Bryony jumping and cartwheeling


View out to sea from the beach

A week of simple things: good food, fresh air and deep sleep: the perfect way to wake up to Spring.

Bee visiting flowers in Spring

Dinner table

Quote of the Month: Dare

View from St Catherine's Car park

The answer to the pressure of our days is one and simple: dare. Dare to live while life is passing. You’ll never live otherwise.
David Seabury

We’re off to Pembrokeshire this week; leaving behind all our everyday chores and dramas for a week in a stone cottage by the sea. Something about spring, always finds us heading off to a remote spot. We’ll be running around, reading aplenty, and testing the local ales (and taking plenty of photos to share on our return..)

A Wintry Week

Tree at Newtown, Isle of Wight

Looking down at boots by a puddle

It’s been wet and stormy round these parts; a well-chosen week to be off work, drowsing under the duvet or snoozing by the fire. But even this stormy weather is worth being out in. I loved the adventure of getting caught running the coast path in a hailstorm: a Christmas Day first for me. And the perfect stillness of Newtown after a storm passes is wintry perfection.

Truly though, I only go outside so I can max out on being lazy at home, for which the Christmas holidays are perfectly designed. Visiting family, eating delicious food, and laughing/shouting over games, is the perfect way to tire yourself out, ready for another big snooze under the duvet. I’m due a little more happy hibernating before the new year arrives..

Tom opening presents by the Christmas tree

Holiday photo collage showing gingerbread, plastic penguins and Bryony