The cold was biting my fingertips tonight as I walked the alley of towering pines. The sun had not long shied behind the San Jacinto mountains. Tiny white stars were beginning to prick the sky. What a day! I’ve never been surrounded by such a concentration of happy people. Maybe there’s something in the water…or maybe it is what the water does not contain! (its piped direct from spring to faucet/tap, it tastes mighty good). Everyone stops to say hello, extends a hand and offers their name. Residents and tourists alike. I got chatting to a couple, over from New York, visiting their daughter. I asked the wife to take a picture of me beside the row of gleaming police bikes and, you know how it is, we got to talking. She happily told me about NY and why I HAVE to go there, all the while her husband stood smiling from a distance…probably to escape the spray of the lunch that clung to her teeth and had decided it was the perfect time to launch itself at me like lemmings. She was charming though. Excitedly snapping away at everything with her monster SLR camera. A retirement gift to herself.
Today was strappy top weather. I wonder what they make of me, walking around in leggings, hotpants and hand knitted Dr Who scarf? The locals attire is very different from down the Hill. Cutsie. Lots of tracky pants and logo T-shirts. The houses are Rustic with a capital R. Think cartoon carved animals, dusty teddy bears and knotty pine. I swear it’s like being on the set of the Waltons.
As I write this, in my room under the light of a Tiffany lamp, the walls are shaking and a voice is delivering a rallying speech. The lodge room, an old movie theatre, is packed from stone fireplace to the East and West deck with a Rotary group, here for the weekend. The participants are large as life. Facial hair to drown under. More stonewashed jeans than you could cover a ball park with. Not a low-slung jean in sight. In the town, surprisingly, the ‘wear ’em low’ trend has not escaped the youth. Though, they do spend all day in 80degree heat off the hill at the ‘local’ school so frost-bitten cheeks is not a concern. One thing with that fashion is at least guys undies are fit for display. Another opportunity to make my millions gone by the wayside….I should of opened a mens knicker shop whilst I had the chance.
I’m still doing a recce of the place. Its coming though, my walks are fruitful as I’ve got to know the guy at the ‘top of town’ with the dodgy leg who is having a GRAND opening of his ‘space for artists’. A hang out by Strawberry Creek (so named after the wild strawbs that sprout there in the nutrient rich water), complete (one day soon) with stage and open mic. Long overdue for this town I think. My nature to become over excited about things has already had me loosing sleep over ideas of holding an annual Idyllwild Literature Festival to mimic the Latitude Festival in the UK www.latitudefestival.co.uk. I likened my enthusiasm to being ‘a bit of a tsunami’ the other day, as I hungrily chomped on sound bites and procedures at the Lodge to get to know how it runs. I want to repay Chrissy’s kindness, be there for her just incase she needs me. At the moment, she is happy to let me dance the rhythm of my day.
I’ve a few photo’s for you.
And a snippet..to show the differences between the UK and USA. It is like I am learning a new language. Chintzy means tight or mean. That made for an interesting chat at cross purposes earlier. TV scheduling is different too. The main shows are aired mid week, not at the weekend like the UK…why? because everyone is out having fun at the weekends in America. New things bound to hit the shores of Britain soon…you can take a picture of your cheque/checks with your phone and bank it super swift, without even crossing your threshold. Another reason for Americans not to use their legs. Seriously, the only people walking on the streets of LA when I visit are the bums and me.