Posts in category Explore


A Southern California Beach
CaliforniaExploreOther Places in California

The 405 San Diego Freeway – where our Californian love affair began

Why would anyone be reduced to tears in the hazy, virtually standstill, 6 lanes of gas guzzling  405, San Diego Freeway? A Los Angeles freeway that I always think of as ‘mine’. A road full of so many memories and …

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CaliforniaDanvilleExploreThe Bay Area

A Saturday morning in Danville, California

Another Saturday, another farmer’s market in the vibrant but somewhat sleepy suburb which we call home, Danville, 30 miles east of San Francisco. In the shadows of the old railway station, market holders have gathered. More sunflowers, lavender, olive oil …

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James ready to go in 1968 Lotus Cortina at Sonoma Raceway
CaliforniaExploreNapa & Sonoma Wine Country

’24 minutes du Mazda Miata’ at Sonoma Raceway, California; – zoom, zoom!

Cars, speed, racing and male testosterone………those same components that consumed the atmosphere at ’24 Heures du Mans’. Such sentiments were just as effervescent when I watched my lovely son, James, racing in the Sports Club of America, (SCCA), Mazda Spec …

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CaliforniaExploreSan FranciscoThe Bay Area

Market day at San Francisco’s Ferry Building

People across the globe love an outdoor market, especially when in a beautiful world famous city like San Francisco which holds a Farmers Market several times a week right beside the Bay. There is something special about purchasing hand grown, …

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Napa Valley vineyards, California, USA
CaliforniaExploreNapa & Sonoma Wine Country

The Napa Valley – ‘Provence’ in California?

I called my blog ‘sunflowers and shutters’ because they are a few of the images embedded in my heart when I think of southern France. In my 6 months there I actually never saw any sunflowers but I did yesterday, …

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Danville, California on the 4th of July Parade
CaliforniaDanvilleExploreThe Bay Area

Happy 4th of July!

This is the day that Americans remember gaining their independence from the British in 1776. Had history unfolded differently maybe today they would still be more officially joined to us as part of the Commonwealth. There are many Americans who, …

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The Whitby harbour. North Yorkshire, England
BritainExploreYorkshire

Beautiful, historical North Yorkshire

Life’s twists and turns, call them coincidences or serendipities never cease to amaze. In May I had stood by the harbor in Genoa, Italy, the birth place of the infamous explorer, Christopher Columbus. Three weeks later, quite unintentionally, I found myself …

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Renault Clio driving through France
EuropeExploreFrance

Driving through to France to England

As you leave the vineyards and olive groves behind, speeding northwards, driving through to France, the countryside gradually begins to change. Golden, clay tiles roofs are replaced with slate, church spires seem thinner, reaching higher, the trees and plants become more …

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