Life in the Masonic Lodge
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.
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.
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).
Mum and Alice having breakfast - the fruit and bagels are great here!
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
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.
Yup. Lemon trees, pears and walnuts. A sun deck, a bit of lawn and a patio that currently doubles as a basketball court.
Alice is enjoying picking the lemons from the tree.
Here's Annabel and associate - helping us with the cleaning.
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?
And we've just hired a Yamaha piano so that Alice and Henry can get back to their ivory tickling.
Infiniti and Beyond!
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
Our friends and neighbors have made us very welcome. Here some neighbors held a welcome barbeque.
And this is Stephanie & Ellie Robertson hosting us at their sports club.
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.
And we got to meet the horses.
Alice swimming (somewhere down there).
Our DSL Disconnection
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
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
Here's Alice hard at work on her e-mail. Write to us. We do answer our e-mails (eventually)...
Greetings from California!!
Cheshire Cat Productions 2002