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  • Clare Teal -
    since I was 18 so was a little surprised to find myself awake at 5am but what a sunrise By 10am we d all assembled in the lobby it was almost 80 degrees F not C As the gig wasn t till Thursday we spent all of Wednesday with the boys in beautiful La Jolla eating pancakes walking along the beach watching pelicans and egrets drinking some of the nicest beer I ve ever tasted chatting with the seals and sea lions trying to photograph the hummingbirds and gazing in disbelief at the birds of paradise flowers As we were only 25 miles from Mexico we dined that evening on mountains of nachos followed by burritos quesadillas and enchiladas with rice and beans accompanied by really great Mexican beer From there we trolled along the street in no particular direction until we heard high calibre singing and guitar playing We finally located the bar and sat snuggled under the outdoor heaters listening to a great young Canadian chap I didn t catch his name but he was very good When he finished his set we went inside to play pool by this time the jet lag was really kicking in

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/california-dreaming-of-full-plates-to-ward-off-the-jet-lag/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    in London for an interview as part of the visa application Providing you fulfil all the criteria you then leave your passport at the embassy for the visa to be printed in it said passport is then sent back in the post The whole process takes between three and ten working days which is fine but we only have two working days before we are due to fly As everyone else on the planet s interview is also at 8am queuing can start quite early As such it was imperative we were at the very front the embassy told us not to arrive before 7 30am We settled on 7am Benny was first on the scene and would have been in pole position had he not stood in the wrong place for 10 minutes Playing the waiting game on the road to San Diego Such is the high level of security you can t take mobiles computers or electronic car key fobs into the embassy so we gave all our stuff to Muddy unlike the chap in front of us who was sent away with his mobile to a chemist up the road that had lockers Thankfully the Americans were very understanding of our plight and promised to do everything they could to expediate the application but couldn t guarantee the passports would be back in time to make our non transferable flights Pianist Grant went home to Australia for Christmas and so had to have his interview in Perth Thankfully he got his passport back within 48 hours if he hadn t not only would he have missed his flight to the US but also his return flight home to the UK By some miracle we got the joyous news that our passports had been delivered safe to our

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/playing-the-waiting-game-on-the-road-to-san-diego/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    four of us to consume Cyril the turkey who weighed one stone on the nose I didn t weigh him using my own nose That s 3 5lb of turkey per person We hardly scratched the surface on Christmas Day so had another go on Boxing Day and Bank Holiday Monday By Tuesday he was nicely settled in his foil overcoat in the freezer to be revisited sometime in March I got a woolly jumper and a cold for Christmas so was rather subdued but warm In the midst of all the festivities we learned the joyous tidings that our US work visa had been held up due to a computer failure and that we might not actually be able to get to America later this month as planned this made for a very stressy New Year s Eve The Grinch had nothing on us all set to see in the New Year scowling on the settee with a bottle of absinthe and a bag of quavers It was only when some lovely friends offered to drive many miles to come and cheer us up that I realised how flippin miserable we sounded We couldn t risk ruining their whole year with our incessant rantings but did think we should try to do at least one positive thing so we went into town and bought a new suitcase Throwing caution to the wind we opted for the four wheel drive My friends it s a revelation I had never fully appreciated how much flexibility a multi directional wheel system can offer Marvellous stuff although I won t be hanging out the bunting till Samsonite design a case that can carry itself up three flights of stairs On our return and at the bottom of said stairs we bumped into the

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/stuffed-on-turkey-and-beating-the-new-year-blues/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    the side of the boat And a pod of dolphins so we weren t short of things to look at Suddenly a spurt of water to the right and there they were slowly migrating south 15 grey whales It was a truly awe inspiring experience We finished the perfect day with a perfect meal at a restaurant called The Sardine Factory I was surprised our bottle of Californian Sauvignon Blanc arrived without an ice bucket and even more surprised to be interrupted mid starter with an invitation from the waiter to take a chilled salad fork from what appeared to be our ice bucket 21 Mar Big Sur for sure and seals of approval This week whether you like it or not I continue to bore you with tales of our fabulous Californian coastal road trip It was without doubt the best holiday I ve ever had and I would recommend it to anyone A crisp crystal clear Sunday morning started with another American breakfast oh dear which having survived the previous evening solely on the contents of the mini bar we were in desperate need of It took a while to click but finally we observed that average normal sized people in America eat only half the food put in front of them whilst others doggedly persist till every scrap has gone my mind set entirely Having been brought up to clear my plate and not waste food it made me cross that I was put in the uncomfortable position of eating to absolute excess or wasting half my food I didn t want to take my leftovers away in a little bag to ripen under hot sun in the car for hours on end Our first stop that day was a visit to one of America s National Historic Landmarks In 1915 newspaper tycoon Randolph Hearst approached architect Julia Morgan stating I would like to build something upon the hill at San Simeon I get tired of going up there and camping in tents I m getting a little too old for that I d like to get something that would be a little more comfortable Work began on the bungalow in 1919 and was finished some 28 years later Hearst Castle is fascinating a real mish mash of historic European architecture priceless artworks and artifacts It sort of works and sort of doesn t but is definitely worth a look as your passing through Onwards to hang a while with San Simeon s colony of elephant seals The largest bull elephant seal on record measured 22 feet long and weighed 11 000 lb We saw thousands flipping sand on the beach bellowing through their big old proboscis These guys can hold their breath under water for more than an hour and forty minutes They are seriously grumpy and on land they can move faster than an average human Driving the 90 miles of mountainous wondrous and sparse Big Sur was a real highlight until the fuel light came on Picture the relief 15 minutes later as we limped into the forecourt of Big Sur s one and only gas station 21 Mar Jazzers and folk can be mixed Having waited over half an hour for our dinner to arrive I was too hungry to point out that they d actually brought us the wrong food Luckily I think it turned out to be better than the dish I had originally ordered Why do the people who design these vast trendy yet vacuous wine bars assume that the customers in them have no desire to hear a single word the person next to them is saying Not content with ripping up carpets and removing any trace of soft furnishing that might soak up a bit of the babble they then put blaring speakers above every table or is it just whatever one I happen to sit at Muddy and I speedily woofed our somebody elses dinner as we didn t want to be late for the annual Radio 2 Folk Awards We ve never been before and really didn t know what to expect although being jazzers I thought alarms might go off as we entered the building The folk glitterati assemble from every corner of the country to celebrate their art form at this increasingly prestigious event creating a wonderfully warm atmosphere in the process I have little knowledge of folk music and although I was very much looking forward to watching performances by some of the best musicians in the land I wondered if there might be some stuff that perhaps I wouldn t necessarily want to hear again NOT THE CASE I more than enjoyed everything I heard from Bellowhead to Laura Marling to Barnsley nightingale Kate Rusby to Chris Wood to Donnovan to Barbara Dickson to The Fisherman s Friends to the Levellers It was a magical evening which is bound to see my record collection grow Folk it seems like Jazz can very easily fall foul of listener s preconceived ideas ie people decide they don t like the music before they even hear it I sat next to DJ Jo Whiley I was surprised to learn that she was a big folk fan having been brought up going to festivals like Sidmouth from a very early age Just across the way very much within prodding distance was rock god Roger Daltrey of the Who He made a great speech from which I can conclude that he loves folk music and has very neat hair Thou shalt not commit a Daltrey I wanted to shout at a particularly persistent woman and her camera 21 Mar Sunshine coast s birds of a feather tick all the right boxes Throughout our 10 days on the sunshine coast we never missed a sunrise an upside to jetlag From Malibu 85 F we journeyed 233 miles north on Pacific Coast Highway CA1 past the Channel Islands where bald eagles have recently been successfully reintroduced there are so

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/page/23/?page_id=2 (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    four of us to consume Cyril the turkey who weighed one stone on the nose I didn t weigh him using my own nose That s 3 5lb of turkey per person We hardly scratched the surface on Christmas Day so had another go on Boxing Day and Bank Holiday Monday By Tuesday he was nicely settled in his foil overcoat in the freezer to be revisited sometime in March I got a woolly jumper and a cold for Christmas so was rather subdued but warm In the midst of all the festivities we learned the joyous tidings that our US work visa had been held up due to a computer failure and that we might not actually be able to get to America later this month as planned this made for a very stressy New Year s Eve The Grinch had nothing on us all set to see in the New Year scowling on the settee with a bottle of absinthe and a bag of quavers It was only when some lovely friends offered to drive many miles to come and cheer us up that I realised how flippin miserable we sounded We couldn t risk ruining their whole year with our incessant rantings but did think we should try to do at least one positive thing so we went into town and bought a new suitcase Throwing caution to the wind we opted for the four wheel drive My friends it s a revelation I had never fully appreciated how much flexibility a multi directional wheel system can offer Marvellous stuff although I won t be hanging out the bunting till Samsonite design a case that can carry itself up three flights of stairs On our return and at the bottom of said stairs we bumped into the

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/page/24/?page_id=2 (2016-02-15)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-11