"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
Ahoy from San Francisco (still) where the sun is shining to a ridiculously warm and brilliant extent. Sorry.
Christmas is almost invisible in California, but for the odd spangly tree glimpsed through a window. On Christmas Eve mine host Ian King mellowed sufficiently to wear a silly hat. In a fit of impulse-buying, he had come home with a vast goose and we spent the whole of Christmas Day panicking slightly over how to cook it. We triumphed, and ended up with a proper feast, plus the exciting revelation that goose fat works brilliantly on eczema. However my attempt at proper custard turned out like vanilla flavoured scrambled egg, which probably spoiled Ian’s longed-for transatlantic pudding.
I’ve walked around San Francisco until everything ached and it’s all very nice indeed; a laid-back city with great food everywhere and fantastic scenery all around it. Everyone at home and here tells me that I MUST hire a car and drive down the coast but a long road trip with someone beside you to talk to and to say NO NO NO, DON’T TURN HERE! is very different to a long road trip on your own, where gazing out of the window is not so possible and if you miss a road sign there is no-one to put you right.
In the week since I left, both Adrian Mitchell and Harold Pinter have died. I’ll be back on January 2nd – please try to hold on to the literary greats you have left until I get back…