Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Go Johnny go.

As I have posted before I have always been a great fan of the Ramones having seen them numerous times from their first British tour onwards. When I was a musician I played in my own way and never paid much attention to the way in which the Ramones as musicians performed. I'm much older now and as is the way with age I have been paying more attention to events in my past and thus playing the Ramones has become a daily occurrence for me. The availability of clips on you tube has made me appreciate more than ever the bands performances, Johnny Ramone in particular. Most fans know Johnny played a pretty crappy guitar (mosrite ventures) bought for 60 dollars or so and stuck with it through his entire career. As a project this winter (less work outside...yippee!)  I have bought a kit that will enable me to construct a copy of said be prepared for some pretty dull posts, if you don't like The Ramones that is!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Long ago.

I spent most of today working outside taking advantage of the weather and enjoying the blue skies. I did take time though to think of those who 76 years ago looked up at those same skies and wondered if that day would be their last and then buckled up and did their family and I would dearly like to thank them all.

Thursday, 1 September 2016


Well that's America 2016 done...its back to Blighty for family OTW!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Looking down on part of the Napa valley from where I am staying one can only admire just how much has been done with such a small area.I'm not sure of the total value of the wine industry here but I know its in the multi billions and the whole valley is truly beautiful.In the pic my kid sister vinogirl is working away in one of the wineries making her contribution to the industry while waiting to decide when to harvest her own crop, a wait you can feel along the entire valley......and to think her brother still prefers a bottle of lager, Oh the shame!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Where's the meat?

This house is being built on a plot around the corner from my sisters in Napa and it is a plot I looked at for myself a while back.Its not a large plot and faces onto a road so I decided against it. The buyer/builder here doesn't seem to mind any of this as they are building close to the road and as big as possible (too big for lot?). After all my years visiting and living out here I cannot get used to the building with sticks and flimsy board....I need solidity for my money! I know why they do and I understand the differences between here and home but......I need solidity for my money! it seems you can't teach an old dog new tricks in my case.

Friday, 26 August 2016


A visit to the Jelly belly factory yesterday made my kids very happy which as any parent knows means a happy parent so good result all round.While the kids ooohed and ahhhed at the bean making process and then stuffed their faces I took the time to check out the President Reagan memorabilia which given his long relationship with the company was quite comprehensive. As a political child of the eighties I was expected to hate Reagan along with Mrs Thatcher but I didn't.There was always something about him I admired and his love of Jelly beans is now added to my list.....God bless Ronnie.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

more muscle

The boy gives his take on muscle cars.

Monday, 22 August 2016

American bling

America has always had much more of a car culture than Britain and it is something I enjoy both when driving and when attending shows like the Napa classic car show yesterday.Among the muscle monsters,custom cars and oldies I did find a car wearing these rims...there is always one isn't there?

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Hows that 1776 working out for you?

Sitting around the pool doing bugger all today I spent some time musing on all that I have seen and heard here on my American travels in the last few weeks.It has been 2 years since my last visit, a period of time longer than any in decades...but what a 2 years.Listening to people and watching the news I'm quite shocked and saddened at the way in which the country I have loved second to my own has seemingly come apart at the seams.The amount of hatred here between the left and right,black and white,gay and straight is shocking and unfixable. This hatred coupled with a Govt and president that now with its politicised judicial system operates at a third world level has left the country a shadow of its former self.....and that's before the Trump and Hillary show! On a magnanimous lighter note I'd like on behalf of her Majesty the Queen (I'll tell her later) to offer America the chance to rejoin the fold......welcome to the Anglosphere guys.Now Britain has regained its borders,reduced our native socialists to a rabble rump and elected a solid decent female P.M. (take that Hillary) don't you think its time to come home? 1776 isn't that long ago in the scheme of things and if you just hand over Hawaii for its beaches and maybe Maine for snow(we'll take you too Sipp) you are as you (ex) colonials say...good to go! just think, no more Emperor Obama,...just that nice old lady Queen Liz and her ever entertaining spouse Phil the Greek......oh and Scotland gets Trump! cup of tea and a crumpet anyone?

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Vino slaves

My kids put in a shift as vino slaves at aunt Vinogirls today, netting the vines to keep off pesky birds.The little uns did a  full morning shift and as a reward they then went for in and out burgers....its good to be a kid!

Monday, 8 August 2016


As a coffee drinker I enjoy drinking as many different types as I can when over here in California, from gourmet to cheapo free refills at Dennys . Ritual coffee in Napas oxbow market is a great brew but the faintly commie,islamist logo leaves me a little unsettled and not feeling the need to buy a mug etc.....yup I'm a crank!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016


America tends to give me ideas above and beyond my station but I must admit this quad my boy took a shine to was rather neat....who doesn't need a camo quad bike in their life? There is something similar for sale in the U.K. and if I tell myself a couple of white lies I can just about justify buying one...done deal!

Monday, 1 August 2016


Leaving the land of the saints to return to lala land (California), before we left the kids had fun doing a soda challenge. The challenge entailed the kids guessing the flavor of various sodas without any visual clues. Flavours such as choc peppermint soda didn't go down to well but the winner in the nasty stakes was....celery soda!....One has to worry for a nation that makes such a concoction....or maybe celebrate it.

Saturday, 30 July 2016


My wife is shooting at mountains, I've no idea what they did to offend and was a little too worried to ask...mums with guns!