The British weather can be so depressing. Ever since the clocks changed and the evenings got darker, I’ve wanted to be somewhere else. What's more, today - Friday 13th - it's raining buckets, and gales are forecast for later. I decided to cheer myself up by looking at some photos from a couple of months ago, when I spent a few days in California to celebrate my birthday.
I stayed in Southern California at the Montage Laguna Beach – a hotel of understated character and charm, with exceptional service, a stylish spa and superb cuisine.
Some of the hottest things about this part of the world (apart from the weather) are:
1) The beautiful light. This area is bursting with art classes and galleries. Artists go to great lengths to capture the colours of the sky and the light on water – some to the point of being stranded by the sea!
There are magnificent sunsets and clear, moonlit skies at night.... and there’s not much that beats sitting round an open fire and looking at the stars.
2) The natural beauty of the coastline - Sweeping sands, bird of paradise flowers, palms, bougainvillea and agave… I even spotted my dream house on a cliff top, high above a rocky outcrop (see right).
3) Beach bums and hawkers. Only joking, you won’t see any here – being California, everyone has to be on their best and most eco-friendly behaviour. And there are hunky life guards to watch out for you too – hello boys!
4) Arty, alternative stuff - from this distinctive ceramic mural on a poolside wall (left), to sculptures and contemporary art in the refreshingly individual local shops. Plus, it wouldn’t be California without something 'New Age' going on in the neighbourhood...
5) And, last, but not least, there were rabbits! Yes, curiously cute little bunnies hopping all over the lawn.
If you like these photos, I’m sure you’ll appreciate some of the quirky accessories at ShopCurious, like this retro, recycled US car number plate bag that’s just perfect for fun holidays in the sun.
Anyway, before I get too carried away, I'd better click my fingers to bring us back to rain-drenched London …or perhaps you prefer the Californian climate?