Aerial view of the riverThe Ditton Corner plot from the airFen Ditton - an aerial view



Life in the Masonic Lodge

Family in Masonic

Greetings from us all in our house in Masonic Avenue - hereafter known as The Lodge.

Henry and Alice have started school here in California. See their School Report.

The Lodge from the other side of the hill

Our house is nestled in to the top of a hillside in the Oakland Hills.   It has great views across the Bay.  We are surrounded by big trees and wildlife.

So far we have seen humming birds, big buzzards and we have seen a deer trot across the road.


We are beginning to make the house our own.

Alice in her new room

Some views of us inside.

(this was before Alice locked her door from the inside and Dad had to climb up three storeys and clamber in through her window to unlock the door).


Breakfast in Masonic

Mum and Alice having breakfast - the fruit and bagels are great here!


Front room with Henry still in pyjamas

Interior Views - Henry playing his Game Boy in the front room.


And some Exterior Views

We have some great views across the Bay from our front room windows

View over Berkeley   Sunset View from Masonic

This is the view out across Berkeley - you can see the Campanile and the Claremont Hotel.  The sunsets are very spectacular.


And, if you have a big telescope, and it's not too foggy, you can also see in the distance San Francisco city and the Golden Gate Bridge.  No honestly - look really hard and use your imagination.

View of Golden Gate Bridge


Our 'Yard'

The deck and back garden - picking lemons

Yup.  Lemon trees, pears and walnuts.  A sun deck, a bit of lawn and a patio that currently doubles as a basketball court.

Alice & the Lemon Tree

Alice is enjoying picking the lemons from the tree.

Anabell and helper

Here's Annabel and associate - helping us with the cleaning.


Waiting for the furniture  The sofas arrive  Henry on the new white leather sofa

Waiting for the furniture - the stuff we shipped is somewhere lost at sea (or possibly sitting in the San Francisco docks, waiting for the dockers' strike to end).  A sale at Macy's enabled us to get a couple of white leather sofas to be going on with.  White leather?  With the proven stain potential of the Coburn family?   What can they be thinking of?


Henry at Piano

And we've just hired a Yamaha piano so that Alice and Henry can get back to their ivory tickling.

Infiniti and Beyond!

Rav4 purchase in the showroom  Andrew with Infiniti modified

We've got (gotten?) ourselves a brace of Japanese cars to save us having to walk to the shops, in good American fashion.

Helen bought herself the smallest possible transporter for the components of the Californian dream - 8ft chunks of redwood, bicycles, sofabeds and the occasional child.  Andrew bought an Infiniti - which has suspension so soft and squishy he describes it as rather like driving a water-bed with a 3 liter engine. 


Friends and Neighbors

Welcome party - Marcia's terrace

Our friends and neighbors have made us very welcome.  Here some neighbors held a welcome barbeque.


Stephanie & Ellie Robertson with Alice & Henry at Fremont Hills Sports 240x180.jpg (20619 bytes)

And this is Stephanie & Ellie Robertson hosting us at their sports club.


Steve Robertson & Helen

Stephanie and Ellie are the daughters of Steve Robertson, the CFO at RMS.  He was kind enough to let us into the tennis courts and swimming pool.


Horses at the Sports Club

And we got to meet the horses.


Alice underwater

Alice swimming (somewhere down there).


Our DSL Disconnection

Getting our DSL installed

Not everything has been plain sailing however.  Some of the services have been complete nightmares.  Here our internet connection technicians take instructions from two sets of telephone calls simultaneously while trying to work out how to retrieve the files they just erased from Helen's computer.


A great new game

Playing Kuba

We found a great new game in the Berkeley Game Shop.  Its called Kuba and you play it by pushing marbles around the board with a satisfying clunk, but very strategically.  It is highly addictive.

For information from the manufactures and how to get your own set, check out:

A Letter Home

E-mailing friends in UK

Here's Alice hard at work on her e-mail.  Write to us.  We do answer our e-mails (eventually)...

Greetings from California!!

Alice looking Californian

  Cheshire Cat Productions 2002