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So we’ve been here now for two weeks. I have definitely started to realise that I am not going “home”. So what is my new home like? We have just about set up our life here now, in this community of transient people. Dallas and the “metroplex” cities are surprisingly cosmpolitan, with a startlingly vast choice of cuisines, at reasonably priced excellent restaurants, like a 21st century Food Ark. the people here will tell you that there are more shopping malls per capita than anywhere else in the US, as there are more restaurants, more lakes, you name it, Texas claims the biggest, the oldest, the longest, the most and least expensive.

There are two kinds of people here, it seems to me so far. There are the Fuzzies, the warm, welcoming, slightly too direct natives, who remind me of Yorkshire folk (where I was born and bred). They are honestly curious, and honestly want you to have a good experience in this State, of which they are proud. These are the ones who gave me my first indication that Dallas was not so different from the UK, when we sat in the hotel bar, and listened to a slightly sozzled wedding party, dancing and doing all the moves to “YMCA”, the ladies slightly over made up, and just a shade overdressed, and giggling on their way to the “restrooms”.

Then there are the Crispies, the oh-so-white, freshly laundered Americans, who live in Dallas with a slight sniff, to indicate that they are actually supposed to be in California, not Texas. Texas is just that little bit not good enough — the sun is TOO hot, the pool TOO public, the shops TOO far away, the air food TOO fresh. The male of this particular group are of course all VPs of their company, at what is actually a slighly suspiciously young age to have acquired this position.

I suspect there must be more types here, one of which I have ascertained must exists only by the effect of its existence — just WHO is it who justifies the shopping malls being crammed with different clothing stores, all of which sell the SAME, rumpled, preppy clothes? Light, cotton, crumpled shirts layers over skinny gold-embossed Ts, with slack khakis and elaborate leather sandals. Every one of ’em the same, each window display. I haven’t seen anyone wearing this fashion, therefore I assume there must be a group of people, who are lured out when the neons fizz on, and the in-bed-by-10 mums are safely out of the way watching BBC America.

Our apartment overlooks woods and a golf course, which is marvellous as we have patio doors in the living room and in our bedroom, onto our small balcony. Beautiful birds, such as Cardinals which are bright red and as large as a starling, and red-headed finches eat our bird seeds which we’ve scattered, and in the evening we watch the bunnies and squirrels running around like toddlers on the Green.

We’ve spent hours in the pools here (there are six in total). One is a long lengths pool, with a shallow branch running off it for the kiddies, which leads to walkaround fountains; there are two active pools, which are square and one has a water volleyball net over it; there are two hot jacuzzi pools, and finally a paddling pool, cunningly designed to have a big white beach next to it for the kiddies (what a damned good idea, y’all).

We are, as a consequence, tanned to a crisp at the moment. So I am slightly chaffed.

So this morning is my first morning of real peace; the girls are at school, daniel is at work, and I am alone in a lovely flat with nora jones, and our crisp, clean, white brand-new iMac.


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