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Well, as the saying goes, 'nowt much to write home about' but here goes for this week:

Sorry to tell you, but it's been another glorious week in Calfornia, with clear blue skies everyday and temperatures hovering around the 80 degrees mark. The scary thing is we still see some locals wrapped up as if it's like winter back home.

The main news this week was that it was Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, so a Bank Holiday for all the yanks on Thursday & Friday. All the shops were closed on Thursday bar a few petrol stations, even McDonald's was closed, but on Friday it was the day of the sales and all hell broke out!

The day after Thanksgiving is the American's equivalent of our sales on Boxing Day. Most of the stores opened at 6am, and watching the news on TV it was amazing to see the queues of people forming in the early hours to all the big department and electrical stores, Wal-Mart, etc. Some of the discounts on offer though were incredible, meaning some stores were reporting that people were queuing in excess of an hour just to get through the checkouts the queues were so long.

By the way, my Thanksgiving dinner was an egg & bacon sandwich. Very nice it was too!

The Simpsons this week was the episode featuring Tony Blair, which despite being another classic episode was a bit of an anti-climax as he was on for only about one minute. 

We've been bombarded with Xmas carols this week, every shop you visit piping them out through their loudspeakers. We've already had two Xmas specials on tv this week, including one featuring the stars of American 'Pop Idol'. A new series of Pop Idol starts over here in January, featuring the one and only Simon Cowell.

Golf this week was at the Soboba Springs Golf Club. A gorgeous day got better as I parred 3 of the first 5 five holes, but it went downhill from there! It was good job I'd bought some new balls!!

This weekend I also visited San Diego, primarily to see the two Nimitz class aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS John C Stennis but also to do some more plane-spotting, the highlight being to see a US Air Force KC-135 at San Diego International Airport. A bonus in the harbour was the ship HMS Surprise which is in the current hit movie "Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World" featuring Russell Crowe.

Lots of photos this week, including Santa's Grotto at the South Coast Plaza. Click here to view them. 


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  (C) 2004 Mark Sykes