Saturday, June 11, 2016

Californian closets

It turns out bedrooms are not required by state law to have a built-in closet. Which surprises me because realtors will say stuff like 'It's really four bedrooms but they've listed it as three because this one doesn't have a closet'. As if a closet is as essential as a door and a window.

Requiring a closet might not be the law but it is pretty common practice. All the houses we've lived in or snooped around have built-ins in every room. And most master bedrooms have walk-ins. To the extent that I now think that closets like this are normal.

I'm not showing off when I saw I know people with closets like this. I've been in closets like this. I think this is how clothes ought to live (now I'm a Californian).

Sadly our new house, despite its ample storage, does not feature a walk in closet. I know. It's pretty unbelievable. Instead our clothes are stored in a series of closets in and around the bathroom. I've learned to live with it by calling it a dressingroom-cum-bathroom but the more aspirational real estate I see, the harder this cross is to bear.
Our closet-cum-bathroom. I know.

I daydream about ripping the whole dressing-room-cum-bathroom out and replacing it with a walk-in and a wet room. But I also daydream about a pergola, new dining chairs and a new bannister. Meanwhile TLOML not only dreams of (but actually sorts out) termite-free fencing, and new window cranks.

So for now I've had to go for a cheaper facelift. It's hard to describe just how happy I felt on achieving this transformation.
BEFORE: The horror of mis-matched hangers

AFTER: Aaaah
I guess I don't need a fancy walk in closet when $30 worth of hangers makes me feel so good.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The beauty of June gloom

June gloom this year is absolutely glorious. It barely lifts at all! Never mind the bold blue sky that usually emerges around noon. We are in wall to wall grey. And it makes me want to put on The Smiths and have a nice cup of tea.

Glancing down a walk street on my way home I could almost have thought I was back in Yorkshire. Sigh.
4.30pm on a June day!
 Our deck is positively autumnal all day long.
Mellow mists...
Admittedly it does spoil our peek of a sea view. But think of the time and money we are saving not having to bother with the daily chores of sunscreen application.
The Pacific is definitely over there somewhere
No-one else seems to like it much, but I am feeling right at home and I love it.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Holidaying with intent

Most Bank Holidays in the UK are fairly aimless affairs. With the exception of Christmas, New Year and Easter, the rest are just intended to enable an afternoon in a beer garden, a day of DIY, or a mini break, depending on your inclinations.

By contrast, most public holidays in the US mark something. This is true of all the minor ones - like MLK Day, or Cesar Chavez Day, Columbus Day  (i.e. the ones only schools and Post Offices close for). And the big ones too, of course, like Thanksgiving or July 4th.

This weekend, while the UK was aimlessly enjoying a long weekend, the US was purposefully celebrating Memorial Day. This is a day to remember those who have died in military service. It is also officially the start of summer.  And the first long weekend (unless you're a teacher or Post Office worker) since New Year. It's a big one. Hermosa being where it is, it plays host to everyone who wants to mark the start of summer with a drunken day by the beach, by putting on a big street fair.

If we were younger we would no doubt spend the weekend hellbent on getting wasted at Fiesta Hermosa. The number of discarded solo cups on our walk to the beach suggested plenty of people had gone that route. They come by the bus-load, buy cheap hats and heavily discounted t-shirts, eat from the food trucks and drink and drink and drink.

Since we are 40 something parents, we chose instead to get to the fair early - at 10am, when some kids are just embarking on the walk of shame from the night before - so Lady P could enjoy the childrens' rides and the ukulele music before the serious, drinking-oriented crowds not to mention the out-of-town kids swept in.

TLOML went back to the Fiesta with friends on Sunday and reported it to be 'messy'. I stayed home, and sober, in order to be prepared for another big Memorial Day activity: the Murph workout at my Crossfit gym. Some people do it in uniform, some with a weight vest, to honour military heroes. My only equipment was a band to assist my pull ups. I plan on doing it again next year, and maybe if I work hard I won't need a band.

In fact I think we plan on doing almost all of this again next year. It's a good template for Memorial Day Weekend: take in the Fiesta time, a workout, catching up with friends, and some time on the beach. But at the point that Lady P wants to go down to the Fiesta to hang out with her mates, we'll reverse the plan and get as far away from the crowds as possible.
This is cute now. Fast forward 12 years and I don't think I'll be so keen.