Images by John 'K'

Life as seen through my lens…

All mixed up…..

It says something when my wife has to ‘remind’ me that I haven’t updated my blog in a while, so here are some randomly mixed up updates….
Since I last did an update, the snow has been and gone, we’ve had lots of rain, and we now have a spell of more typical sunny weather. The rain caused quite a few problems with mudslides on the hills, houses on hills having to be destroyed as they’d become unsafe, rockslides onto the main costal highway (Highway 1) south of San Francisco which have resulted in the long term closure of a stretch of the road, and the current fear in parts of the bay area is flooding as a result of the earlier excessive snow in the mountains melting.
We’re in Spring Break this week – my daughters are off school, so I have taken most of the week off. It’s so nice not to be getting up at 6-6:30 in the morning and being sat in the car for up to an hour. We’re not going anywhere as such – have a few trips out for later in the week planned, but we’re having to work around the training schedule of our youngest daughter, who after a successful first season at High School Girls Basketball (didn’t loose a match) is now on a schedule of conditioning training to keep her in shape for next season.
My wife has discovered her inner gardener again – for the past week or so she’s been working on a project to renovate the flowerbeds in the back garden of the house we are renting. It’s coming along nicely. I’ve got the spa cleaned and refilled after a winter of not being used so she can ease her aching limbs in it after a day of digging.
Work is still going well, however had a nasty shock with my tax return, as there was a big chunk of taxes due as a result of a transaction last year that I wasn’t expecting (poor advise from tax advisors and incorrect (too little) tax withheld by my company) which left me scrabbling to find $30,000 ish at short notice. It’s been dealt with, but we had a pretty uncomfortable couple of weeks while it was all being worked out. I still need to find another chunk of money for my UK taxes due later in the year, but we have time to do that and we know how much it will be, so while inconvenient, is not a shock.
The younger of our two daughters back in the UK needs to get her head around the fact that she’d agreed to pay for the utilities in our UK house while she continues to live in it. Currently a chunk of them are still being paid from our bank account there, and as we have no UK income any more, the funds in that account are running low. If she doesn’t either switch the payments over to her account, or repay the money into our account soon, she’ll find that things will just stop getting paid, and she’ll have a bigger mess to deal with. When we’ve talked to her about it she said that she’d get something done, but knowing what she’s like for making the most of a ‘free ride’; I’ll believe it when I see it.
Fuel prices are on the increase again with the price of oil going up – makes me glad that summer is coming and that last year I decided to buy a car for the work commute that is a lot more economical to run than the gas-guzzling SUV we use as the main family car. That decision alone is saving me around $200 a month. It’s a sad state, but for me to drive to work every day is more cost effective than me using public transport for the same journey (and it’s about 30 minutes quicker). Makes you realize why so few people want to use public transport to commute.
That’s about it for now. More when I get a chance (or more likely, when my wife ‘reminds’ me to update it again).

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