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Showing posts from January, 2018

Farewell, San Diego. Over and out.

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In our time in California we've visited a number of university campuses, but the one that holds a special place in my heart is where my affection for California first started back when I was just 20 years old: the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

I have been back a few times over the years, but this time was very different. And not because the kids were there, but because it's changed quite a bit recently. The university is expanding massively so the first thing I noticed was that the student hub, called the Price Center, had morphed into this gigantic structure that seemed to be double the size of the old one. Indeed, what was once the back wall of the eateries now has a small tunnel which brings you out into a huge area full of more food places, some glass-walled study rooms, some phone charging banks (all full) and lots and lots of chairs and tables. With an escalator in the middle it actually looks more like an airport departures hall than a student hub, but you…

A Californian Christmas

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'Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the house
Two toddlers were thundering...

... and so we went out to meet my lovely friend Lisa and her five-year-old son Niko. I first met Lisa when we were both students at UCSD (University of California, San Diego), and I've since seen her in England and in New York - isn't it excellent when friendships can span the globe? We had pancakes, then a play in a park, and it was a splendidly Californian way to spend Christmas Eve. It was particularly nice to have young company for our two as they don't really get much chance to socialise with other children - despite me looking for playgroups in every place we've stayed, our little ones tend to be too young for more formal classes (not to mention they're often full up or you have to commit for a full term), or too old for many of the baby groups run by the libraries. Sometimes we're lucky when we visit parks and there are some 2- or 3-year-olds there, but mostly c…