San Diego from the water

I took the ferry from San Diego to Coronado Island (which isn’t really an island but an isthmus).  It was a gloriously bright morning so no need for words just photographs.

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Random thoughts while waiting for Hurricane Harvey

Katniss, the feral cat

This isn’t my first hurricane rodeo but this one worries me. We are way beyond the tidal surge but millions of people are not. Our ground has been saturated with rain this year after a decade of drought and there is no room for the expected catastrophic rain event to go. Our house is on a gentle slope upwards from a containment pond but this year our street flooded up to the garages.

I filled up my hurricane box months ago with water and other essentials but when I went to the supermarket yesterday the water had disappeared. It is ironic that in the midst of so much water you might not have any. If the flood is too much the water treatment facilities break down. That’s why I have so much bleach… We have a new roof (the old one was leaking) so now it will be thoroughly tested. My garage door is leaking so I will get it resealed after it is all over.

There is a lovely generator sitting in my garage with no gas in it but my car is full of gas. Teddy is in Utah and likely stuck because the airport will close at some point. I can’t start the generator but there are plenty of strong men in this street. My email today to the neighbors stated that I have a generator with no gas which I will share but not my ONE chocolate bar! Hurricane Ike brought our neighbors together with a fun community vibe and we are still close.

Katniss (pictured above) is our feral kitty visitor. She disappears for weeks and then reappears like the drifter grifter she is. For the past few days I have been over feeding her like a goose for Christmas dinner. (We used to eat goose in Britain until America’s turkeys invaded). Right now we have the calm before the storm which has a sinister, quiet feel. The temperature has started to drop but it will come down dramatically during the Hurricane.

Harvey is such a happy name, isn’t it? I was communicating with my friend GP Cox, Pacific Paratrooper, who wrote a great post about Jimmy Stewart’s extreme PTSD after serving as a WWII bomber pilot. I saw Jimmy Stewart in London in 1974 when he was starring in the stage play of Harvey.

Well y’alls, we Texans will be grateful for your thoughts and prayers over the next few days. Our power might go out and I will have to write with a pen and paper. Whaaaaat! Just between you and me, I would go buy some gasoline as both the gulf and land oil fields will be affected by this. Perhaps this will bring us all together in a crisis instead of fighting over statues. Now I am going to summon my native ancestors with a ‘no more rain’ dance. 😁

Fall in the sub tropics – part II

fall-dark-cloud-reflection

Winter is coming…

autumn-fluff

Autumnal Fluff

seed-pods

Seed Pods

Winter is coming… The evil Canadians sent it last night and the temperature dropped by almost 50 degrees. Those beautiful orange leaves, from the last post, are all on the ground.

Despite that, some of the hibiscus are still blooming and the bottle brush and giving us a splash of red.
bottle-brush

Translucent Berries

Translucent Berries

My friend at Evil Squirrel’s Nest urged us to feed the outside critters with the cold front and this is a cute little Texas Fox Squirrel eating her snacks. I love the way they look slightly different from state to state. Ours aren’t very furry but their tales are really long.

I'm coming down for the snacks. Muchas Gracias, Senora!!

I’m coming down for the snacks. Muchas Gracias, Senora!!

Nom, nom, nom

Nom, nom, nom

Water and light

Old Tampa Bay

Old Tampa Bay

Morning view from the Grand Hyatt in Tampa of the old bay. There is something about sunshine, water and palm trees that makes us all feel good. There is a manatee viewing point beside a power plant just down the coast from Tampa. Off we went, excitedly, only to find it is closed in low season. It is weird to think that summer is low season anywhere! So no manatees but we drove down to a lovely marina near Apollo Beach and spotted an osprey in her nest in a palm tree. It seems such a short time ago that ospreys were endangered and now you can see them almost everywhere. That makes my heart sing.

Osprey in her palm tree nest

Osprey in her palm tree nest

The marina was small and less grand than many. We had a lovely lunch in the Circles Waterfront Restaurant looking out at this lovely vista, below.

marina

I was fascinated by this boat ‘car park’ at Land’s End Marina. There are also boats at the forefront in dry dock. How many thousands of dollars are parked there, I wonder? 🙂

boat car park

Southern Drawl

southern drawl

Do you think he had one? A southern gentleman makes me go weak at the knees, especially rich ones with boats… I am still in Charleston on the Cooper River and I love this shot with the astonishing Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in the background.

The Custom House reveals how much money was and still is made currently on the waterways of Charleston. Such an impressive building.
custom house

I watched with fascination at this sailing club out on the river – who the heck would take out boat #13. I thought sailors were superstitious?

Look at the sailboat on the right...

Look at the sailboat on the right…

It isn’t the southern waters unless there is a pelican. I love these friends just chilling together on a hot day.

FRIENDS

FRIENDS

Papa Francisco for President!

Courtesy of Martin Schultz, Flickr

Courtesy of Martin Schultz, Flickr

Did you see Pope Francis giving them hell (or whatever is appropriate) in Morelia when the crowd pulling on him caused him to fall on a disabled man? He told them that they were selfish – bet they are going straight to hell! He gave a very moving Mass in the poor state of Chiapas in Mexico and yet again railed on the rich Hispanics who had badly treated the indigenous natives in that state and all over Mexico.

Go Jorge (that’s his real name and the one that I use for love letters…)! He would be a fabulous President, wouldn’t he? Okay, so he wasn’t born in America but neither was Ted Cruz. SNAP!!! I can’t tell you much I have wanted to say that. 🙂 Pope Francis has a strong moral code and he doesn’t give a damn who he gives a row to. He would sort out our horrible Congress and Lobbyists. Shame them into doing what they are supposed to – serve their constituents.

The water situation at Flint, Michigan is an example of how we are failing badly, as a nation. Who cares about how much it costs to get new pipes in – these people need clean, safe water. I am shocked at the lack of action. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even an engineer to figure out how bring water to these residents. In Egypt, only the cities have plumbed water (and it is pretty decent given that it comes from the Nile) and the country houses have water delivered into tanks that supply their pipes. This happens all over the Middle East. If I third world country can do this, why can’t we? I bet it doesn’t cause a trillion dollars either.

Why haven’t they put the people responsible in court, if not in prison? Surely they are guilty of a human rights crime? Send them to a Texas prison – they will never get out. When I returned from my unpaid work yesterday – which I went to even though I had not slept the previous night – I noticed one of these ridiculous weavers, in a BMW, going way too fast along our main thoroughfare. He was skipping in and out of the three lanes in a stupid and dangerous attempt to get somewhere a few minutes faster. I was thinking, ‘Where is the Sheriff when you need him’ and lo, along came a stealth Sheriff, silently but swiftly stalking him. Finally, he caught up with him and took him off into a car park never to be seen again. I am just kidding, it’s not that bad here!

Anyway, I know it will never happen, especially since Pope Francis would be an illegal Hispanic immigrant. SNAP! But I love the idea of an strong, good President who believes in social justice and will give you a row for being greedy. I am now torn over who I would choose to be with in the Zombie Apocolypse. Pitbull or Pope Francis? I am veering towards Jorge since he dances a mean tango…

The series finale…

narrow sea

The Narrow Sea….(or maybe Vancouver)

I am afraid my Game of Thrones week has come a sudden and bloody end. That was literary exaggeration – it was just sudden although my fingertips feel bloodied. I have another deadline for a paid job and blogging life has to stop for a few days. Today I feel like Davos Seaworth, the Knight of Onions, who works so hard and loyally for his boss Stannis Baratheon. Stannis is deeply flawed and has made some dubious choices in his work and love life but also seems wearied by life.

I have two jobs, one paid and another unpaid. The unpaid one requires all my life experience and professionalism. It’s usually a pleasure to go there but this week it was one problem after another and the only thing that helped me was that I was wearing cobweb lacy stockings with my short uniform skirt. That added to my Scottish accent enabled me to put some humor into a mechanical problem (that was really irritating the customers) and blame it on the elves and leprechauns at Halloween. This is making me sound like one of Littlefinger’s ladies of the night…

My paid writing job is much more enjoyable but it is a steep learning curve and a very short deadline. I have spent the last day and night cajoling, persuading and working hard. I have six interviews with entrepreneurs in the next two days all mangled around the much needed one with the psychiatrist. All my plans of psychiatric flirting have disappeared in a haze of ‘what questions will I ask?’, ‘what is an appropriate outfit?’ (not the cobweb stockings methinks) and ‘do I have another UTI, really???’ So, at least you know my flirting will come to naught…

Ah, it will all be worth it in the end and winter is coming…