Sunday, 26 September 2010

Portland, Oregon, 26/9
I didn’t get to talk much to anyone other than my hosts yesterday. I did have a brief exchange in Starbucks, in the local shopping mall, in the morning. I had gone there to do the designer clothing run for my lot, by some distance the most important element of the entire three weeks. Anyhow, the girl who made the coffee asked if she could guess where I was from. I gave her three goes. 1. Minnesota, 2. Massachussetts,  3. France. I didn’t quite know whether to be insulted or amused.
The shopping mall was faintly ludicrous. From the outside it is just a huge cuboid object. Inside, it is done out a bit like a cross between the turbine room of the Tate Modern ( minus the filth art ) and the Hypostyle Hall of the palace at Luxor.  It isn’t difficult to make comparisons between those who come to worship modern art, those who came to worship Egyptian royalty and those who come to worship the dollar. All of whom are equally deluded.
We went to the beach in the afternoon.  It was 27° inland and hot by 1.00 when we left. The weather on the coast was very different. It was about 10 degrees colder and windy and cloudy to boot. Geographers will know all about the influence of an offshore cold current and here it was in graphic form.
Cannon Beach could just as easily have been on the west coast of Britain. Thundering surf, a line of houses on the cliff above and people on the beach making the most of the outgoing tide and the recreational space it provided.  We made a wood fire and cooked marshmallows, which we ate sandwiched between two Graham crackers ( rich tea biscuits to you and me ) and along with some blocks of chocolate. We played four on three American football. We flew a kite. We went for a lengthy walk. We ate at a local restaurant. Clam chowder and scallops.  As we left in the dusk, the beach was coming alive with the wood fires of those cooking out.
But Palace lost 5-0 at Derby.

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