27th November 2019
I landed in San Francisco yesterday.
Highlights of the journey?
Flying over Greenland. Having a bulkhead seat by the window. Peaceful. I rather feel I'd have jumped out of the plane somewhere over Aberdeen had I been sat with my fellow travellers.
Homeland Security. "Anything to declare?".
"Yes, four Glastonbury Unity Candles".
It had to be done didn't it? The bored look on his face melted away when I answered his questions about them.
Seeing Diana and Robert. Hugging Diana and Robert. Then hugging them again.
Taking the rain with me. They haven't had rain for 6 months. It's poured down.
28th November 2019
Wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with beautiful people who welcomed me into their family and their gloriously creative space overlooking Panhandle Park SF. The Panhandle forms the southern boundary of the Western Addition neighborhood and the northern boundary of the Haight-Ashbury. Now I am flaked on my bed in a hotel room, listening to a Mexican playlist, through open window, from a party in the next building. Tomorrow, my first day at the Dickens Fair. Happy Thanksgiving. My first one...I hope more will follow.
30th November 2019
I seem to be getting the hang of speaking the language on these forrin shores. I have to say though, it’s freakin’ cold in California. Rain, gales and tomorrow, thunderstorms. Everyone is suggesting I brought it with me. Record lows apparently.
Day 2 of The Dickens Fair has been thoroughly enjoyed . It’s a mammoth production with a huge and adept cast. More later.
1st December 2019
Tales are aplenty but our 3rd day has been an exhausting one and so I have found places backstage to make a nest to rest and observe from. Behind the scenes delights, wonders and politics have kept me highly entertained. Folks are very friendly, curious and chatty.
Tonght we checked into the historic Stanyon Park Hotel directly opposite Golden Gate Park. Haight-Ashbury is just two blocks away. I shall be exploring what remains of the 1967 Summer of Love with excitement tomorrow.
Dinner was in Cha Cha Cha - a boisterous eatery with Santeria shrines watching over us as we ate.
2nd December 2019
It's still raining. Today, a great little 24% ABV beer known as Thunderpussy and brewed in the basement, was enjoyed in Magnolia's, on Haight Street. Our venue played an important role in the birth of the Haight Ashbury hippie movement in 1964 as the Drugstore Cafe, one of the original hippie hangouts in the neighbourhood. In the late 60s it became the famous Magnolia Thunderpussy's named for its proprietress, a larger than life San Francisco legend still talked about today.
A short stroll up a few doors took me to Pipe Dreams, the first smoke shop established in 1968. A linger outside, ostensibly window-gazing, nicely added to the the effects of a 24% beer.
My gracious and knowledgeable hosts, who lived right in the heart of this area for many a year, one of them born here, then proceeded to drive me up and down hill, down and up hill, then up and down again...through delightful and hilly residential areas, with fabulously creative architecture, pointing out places with fascinating narratives, until we arrived at the summit of Twin Peaks. Oh my...what a captivating view over a city I am already growing to be deeply fond of and how blessed am I to be with a knowledgeable San Franciscans to explain so much to me?
On our happy return to the hotel, the concierge greeted us with an invitation to partake of the manager's complimentary wine and cheese hour. "How spiffing", said I in my best Yorkshire accent, and headed off into the dining room with my companions. A grand and chilled day after a frenetic 3-day Thanksgiving weekend at Dickens.
POSTCARDS FROM AMERICA (2)
My experiences are as yours - filled with challenges, pain, joy, laughter and love.
The settings of our scenes might be different but along our journey together, we will discover similarities and shared experiences.
Adventure with me for a while, for it is in the Journey, we become One.
High Sierra Winter Solstice
Postcards from America (1)
God's Own Country
An Avalonian Anniversary
..'And did those feet?'
Glastonbury/Avalon of the Heart
Finding Colour in the Grey
Lessons from Morocco
Under African Skies
The Earth Mother
The Glastonbury Unity Candle goes to Knight's Enham