Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Back to normal

With the aftershocks diminishing in intensity it is back to normal here (I hope). A quick trip over to my sisters (vinogirl) meant I was able to raid her table grapes for after lunch...quake or not Napa is a fine place.

Monday, 25 August 2014


Our holiday rental house was pretty near centre of the Napa Earthquake this morning. The house is pretty smashed up and with my slight knowledge of American building practise I'd imagine it will have to come down.All the kids weathered the devastation being wrecked around them but the adults here a bit more shaken than they would care to admit.Morning brought rather exciting sights for the kids with buckled driveways and fallen power lines galore plus a swimming pool that managed to dump its contents around the deck and surrounding vineyard. The serious side was brought home by the fact that 10 minutes after the quake I could see three homes within a mile or so of us burning....so time to count my blessings.

Friday, 22 August 2014


Paddling in the Pacific with my little uns.......a good birthday.

Monday, 18 August 2014

American heavy metal

The kids and I went to the Napa American classics car show, all I can say is that if I lived here I'd be skint!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Cheers Mr.Wayne

Duke Wayne has been a constant in my life starting with watching westerns in my grandparents when a toddler. My family in Utah continue our several generation long admiration of the duke and his work so it only seems fitting that my Brother in law monkey (Brock to his posse) end off each evening with a glass of the Dukes finest bourbon.......cheers big John.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Religious experience

I yet again experienced this week the great gulf between English English and whatever it is that passes between Americans as English (Spanglish?).In the course of buying a sandwich from a deli I had to point out for the umpteenth time that no I did not want Buddha on my bread but butter, one is a little fat Asian guy while the other is a tasty dairy produce....surely logic would kick in with the guy behind the counter....I know the customer is always right but religious sensitivity and all that . Mind you the soda canyon deli here in Napa did at least try to meet my order and added peanut butter to my beef sandwich....perhaps a passing resemblance to Elvis? strewth!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Watch the birdie.

The local birds seem to like the lagoon swimming pool almost as much as my kids....life is tough in California...honest!

Thursday, 7 August 2014


Family OTW have returned from their annual perambulation around Nevada and Utah and so its time to spend a few days relaxing by the pool. Mind you a pool and a bunch of small children means a rather exhausting time for their dad given I just want to read and watch the aerobatic dragonflys flit around......life is good.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Bye Vegas

View from Vegas mandarin oriental hotel  early this morning, family OTW now on their way to Napa valley.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Vegas baby!

Having sadly left our American family in the great state of Utah,family OTW have decamped to Vegas...the boy is pooped out after his first night on the town!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Cowboys and cowgirls

My whole family has the cowboy bug....grits for breakfast and jerky for tea!

Sunday, 27 July 2014


Drove up the canyon to do a little shooting with the lads today, pic is of my version of gun safety...Utah style.

Saturday, 26 July 2014


A warm night in the heart of America watching the rodeo with my extended family.....a cool place for an Englishman brought up on john Wayne movies.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Yee haw!

My kids are enjoying life in Utah and spent today getting kitted out for tonights rodeo.....their dad is too but modesty forbids a pic of the scouse cowboy....cue jokes about my building practises!