Jun 20

Olean NY

Posted by Simon

I went to Olean, New York last week to visit my best friend from high school. And had a nostalgia filled day. We went to dinner at the Beef and Barrel and the next morning I drove around my old haunts for a couple of hours. I was surprised how little things had changed. It was really great to see Dave and Kathy again after 45 or so years. We connected as if it had been weeks not decades.

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They have put up squirrel art around town. This is the one in the park.
In 1940 Olean had about 40,000 people now it has about 13,000. Like so many of the small towns in the northeast there is a shabby, depressed feel to the downtown. But Houses are cheap and the infrastructure is paid for. Maybe as the baby boomers retire enough of them will move back to revitalize them. Dave and Kathy have and it is working well for them.
How lucky I was to move to California in the 1970′s when everything was growing.

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This is the first house we lived in when we moved to Olean from England. It is now a lawyers office.

Jun 18

Road Sign

Posted by Simon

We might need one of these signs on upper Sierra Madre Villa:

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Jun 6

Lotusland

Posted by Simon

It is spring in Southern California and to massacre a metaphor the low hanging fruit are nature pictures.

We visited Lotusland in Montecito, near Santa Barbara last Friday and learned a little about Ganna Walska the garden’s creator and got some great photos.

The best single word for Lotusland is eclectic.

or maybe eccentric.

If you like gardens Lotusland is definitely worth a visit.  Reservations required.

Many more photos on Flickr

Jun 2

Tour of California

Posted by Simon

I went with Lillian, Barbara and Gordon to watch the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race a few weeks ago and had a terrific time.

It took all day but it was great fun to be up in the mountains at Mt Baldy Village with thousands of people who shared a strange enthusiasm for bicycle racing.  We were at a spot where we could see the racers go by twice and we did but the actual part where you watch the race is perhaps five minute each time.

Most of the time is taken up eating, watching the other spectators and casual riders, repositioning and trying to find your friends.  As the riders came by I rang a cowbell to encourage them and it seemed to work.  And I get to write the word peloton and know what it means.

Bicycle racing is a perfect sport for advertising upscale products.  The fans are all upper middle class people with nice cars free time and disposable income.  It is not unusual for someone to spend $3000 for a recreational bicycle and then an additional $1000 each for some super tires and wheels.

I get high with a little help from my friends

The Tour of California isn’t as big as the Tour de France yet but I predict that it will be in thirty years or so.

 

May 28

Wild Flowers 2012

Posted by Simon

In preparation for our hike in the Alps for my 65th birthday I have been doing some practice hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains.  As you can imagine I take great pleasure in being able to write that I am going hiking in the Alps.  Yes life is good.  On these training hikes I’ve taken a few good photos of the spring wild flowers.  Here are a few:

Wild Mustard on a hillside

a close up of the mustard

Orange Flowers

See lots more spring flowers in my Flickr album

Volunteer Vincas?

Even the desert can bloom.

Apr 10

The food in the
UK has gotten much
better (mostly because
of Immigration) The
crown jewels have
stayed the same.
Jolly Good!

Roots at N1 (one of our best meals in London)

Simon and his lovely aunts

Apr 2

UK Photos

Posted by Simon

Our trip to England for Bethany and Jame’s wedding was great.

It was fun visiting the family and the weather was terrific in London.

We visited some museums and gardens, went to Billy Elliot and visited Chislehurst Caves.  I might post more details later.

There are 50 photos on Flickr here with pithy comments.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42316886@N00/sets/72157629711936847/

 

Mar 21

Spring in London

Posted by Simon

It is Spring in London and we were lucky enough to be in Kew Gardens

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For the daffodils.

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And the Magnolias in bloom with a perfect guide.

Mar 19

UK visit one

Posted by Simon

We were in the Derby area in the north on England over the weekend for the wedding of Bethany, my niece and James Atherton. It was a lovely affair with lots of dancing and good fun. Here are a few unedited and badly uploaded pictures.

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James and Bethany cut the cake. Delicious

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Nicholas and his grandfather

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Simon with Auntie Florence and Auntie Janet

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Rebecca, Bethany Burrow Atherton and Lilli

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The Burrow “boys” in attendance. James, Simon, Matthew and Thomas

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Nurit and Lynne

Mar 12

Cancun Photos Finally

Posted by Simon

After a lot of procrastinating here finally are an album of photos from our trip to Cancun last month with Howard and Aty.

Full Album Here

Teaser Photos here:


Tourists

History

Action sports

Sun

Life is Good!

Link to my other brilliant Cancun stories

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