Sunday, February 26, 2012

Random ramblings

My Sunday morning coffee was spoilt by the publication news of a book entitled 'The Heirloom Bean Grower's Guide'. Now I have nothing against Steve Sando, the author and I am sure this is a fascinating and thorough account but it does reinforce the mystery that surrounds the book world and in particular one publishing house that had better be nameless! For some while I have tried to get a contract for a new book on bedding plants and seasonal planting but with no success. Despite British gardeners spending £600 million on bedding plants each year and $3billion in the USA, this publisher tells me that bedding plants aren't popular and that there would be no market for such a book! Yet they publish a book on heirloom beans - its a mystery to me! Maybe its just sour grapes on my part but I just don't follow the logic of this!

In order to improve my mood I went running - yes its therapy! One route I sometimes run is the tram road which is the location for an annual race that I have twice missed due to being unwell. Its only a short run - just 3.7 miles but it rises well over 2000ft from the desert floor to the tram base station. I have finished it in past training runs with final half mile killer incline but today was just for fun so I just ran half way! The real pleasure comes when you turn round to see the desert floor, roads streets and palm trees spread over in the distance below! Its a magic moment and I steel myself not to turn round until I've got as far as I intend to run.

Actually the route UP which is deceptive as it dips at one point into a little gulley with a stream and lush vegetation that you can just see in the distance.
When I have done this in the past there has also been that wonderful perfect absence of noise when you actually HEAR the silence - so rare in our noisy world. Today wasn't quite as peaceful as I was a bit later and my solitude was broken by rather too many tourists driving up to the tram. The walk/jog down was more leisurely. Last time I did this in a previous spring, the roadside was speckled with wildflowers but after this dry winter there was little. A few brave yellow flowers from the brittle bushes, some chuparosa, a solitary datura and a pretty little mallow.

The view down to Palm Springs in the distance and the edge of the wind farm on the left
Encelia farinosa - brittlebush

Datura wrightii

Spaeralcea ambigua - desert mallow - this picture taken another year - not so much flower this morning!
Justicia californica - chuparosa

Home, a shower and then out for brunch. Sunday brunch seems to be an American tradition, unmatched in the UK. Breakfast with a twist and usually accompanied by alcohol! Our own favourite is Bongo Johny's where they offer champagne or Mimosas (Buck's Fizz) for a $1 a glass - that's about 60p at the moment. Of course the 'champagne' has never been any where near France but EU rules don't count out here, so anything alcoholic with bubbles is champagne! Whatever, it has the right effect! Another thing I love about American restaurants is their flexibility. I fancied an omelet with bacon, avocado and Swiss cheese but not on the menu - 'No problem  - you got it!' is the server's response! Good food and alcohol - both in moderation - solves a lot of problems! I'll pester the publishers another day!


  1. That omelet sounds really nice....:)

    What a picturesque route for a run, and you can almost 'hear' the silence in the photo!

  2. Good food and drink for breakfast, spring springing...all good! Datura already flowering? Ours don't leaf out until late April...