Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Beat combo

This now and then pic of the Beatles (quarrymen) was taken in the Childwall abbey pub, a pub I know rather well. The gothic architecture of this red sandstone built hostelry has always made it a rather appealing watering hole and the Beatles connection makes it just that little bit more attractive...I'll have a brown mix please!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


It seems that all was well in my garden here during my summers absence in California. The sunflowers did their thing  and the apples on trees new and old are heavy with fruit, it looks like it will be a good autumn.

Monday, 1 September 2014


Back to England via the fair city of Dublin, the Thudmonkey combined family holiday was a great success....roll on the next adventure!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Pumpkin time

As we prepare for our return to England, America is turning to all things pumpkin as fall rapidly approaches. I'm by and large pretty much a lager drinker with most real ale and flavoured ales passing me by as plain old lager just seems to do the trick. I do however to my surprise like the pumpkin ales that America produces in abundance this time of year and this display in wholefoods this morning needs sampling before we head back to blighty.

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!