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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

WPA Murals at the Beach Chalet San Francisco

One of the great things about walking on Ocean Beach in San Francisco is that you can drop by the wonderful WPA murals by Lucien Labaudt on the ground floor of the Beach Chalet. We were here last weekend and its a place I love to visit.

There's an explanation of the murals here... linking the images with  American ideals that hard work should be rewarded and that better times were to come. Unlike other socially critical images from this period, these murals represent an idealized San Francisco filled with happy citizens. The frescoes are very detailed with scenes of both work and leisure. They have a wonderfully lush sensibility and seem somewhat fantastical. I love that every time I see them I notice something new.

In addition to the frescoes there  is a lovely mosaic in the stairwell, including this lovely image pointing the way to the public facilities. Who says things can't be functional and beautiful!

Below is a picture of the Beach Chalet from the ocean, as you can see it lies at the very end of Golden Gate Park and looks out at the ocean. The upstairs restaurant has a view over the beach and though the food is fine but we prefer the atmosphere downstairs where you can sit outside facing the park. It's fun to stop for a drink or something quick to eat but it's the situation and the murals that will bring you back.