RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


The UK – Worthing, Sussex – day five – the homestead


You might think I would be in a hurry to visit the old neighborhood right away. But I was enjoying getting the feel of Worthing first before making the trip over there.


I was now pretty familiar with the walk up to Worthing Station.


This was my first trip on a train since arriving in the UK. I had intended to travel by rail from London but that plan didn’t work out. And I had opted to take the bus for my journey from Worthing to Brighton two days before. So it was exciting to be on the Southern line as I LOVE traveling by train.

worthingMy destination was Durrington-on-Sea. When I was in high school I would travel by train between Durrington (where we lived) and the Worthing Station. I haven’t figured out the difference between towns designated as “on-sea” and those named “by-sea.” Durrington is about one mile from the sea front.



This is the street leading from the station. There certainly weren’t as many cars or as many buildings when I was walking home all those decades ago. It’s like another planet.


This pub was certainly there on the corner but I don’t recall if it was the Golden Lion back then.


The Strand Parade was our local shopping spot. My mother would send me to buy a loaf of bread or a can of beans. But for any big shopping we would take the bus or ride our bikes into Worthing.

Maybridge was the name of the elementary school I walked to. Now it’s called Orchards Community Middle School.


The bridge over the railway line at the end of Bolsover Road where we lived. My father rode his bike over this bridge to work every day. This bridge was the culprit in the decision to leave England and move to a warmer climate (which happened to be Florida). If my dad had just bought himself a car with a heater for the winter months, I believe we would have remained in Worthing!


The roundabout at the end of Bolsover Road. When I walked to Maybridge my cat Koko would follow me as far as the roundabout. I have memories of him meeting me there on the way back from school but that could be a fantasy, I’m not sure. I lived in Worthing from the age of approximately eight until twelve… so about five years. But they are the last years of my life I have a clear memory of until adulthood.


The Homestead. 45 Bolsover Road, Worthing, Sussex, UK. I began looking at The Homestead on Google Satellite about a year ago. And that spawned the idea of visiting Worthing. The house was brand new when we moved in. The area was newly developed in the mid 1950s.


There were no cars parked in the street back then. Each house had a tiny garage. But nowadays pretty useless to park a car in I suppose. We lived in the right hand side of the duplex or semi-detached house. This was, and probably still is, a pretty common configuration in England. You can see “our” side of the building is sporting a new roof! My bedroom was at the right side top with the small window. On summer evenings (when it was light until about 10:00pm) I would hang out of the window wishing I could be outside. I still vividly remember the wallpaper. Two walls with pink, highly patterned squares and the other two walls with a light grey background and pink dots.

worthingEvidently the Hosier’s live there now in my house. My mother (who was born in Argentina of British parents) named the house Mirasol (look at the sun). As none of the neighbors was familiar with Spanish, my mother recounted that they thought the name meant Miriam and Solomon and that we were Jewish. In fact, the neighbors on the left hand side were Jewish. And at the end of the street, lived a Catholic family. This is important to note because in the 1950s in Sussex, if not all of England, the population was primarily homogeneous: white, Anglo-Saxon, Christian, Protestant. That was us!


Looking back from the end of the street.



The walk from our house to Orchards MIddle (or Junior) School, formerly Maybridge Elementary, is a little over half a mile. I didn’t even need Google maps, the route was still in my head. It was like I had walked there yesterday.


This circular building is new (since my time).

worthingThis is the building I remember. Mr. Last was the last teacher I had at Maybridge before transfering to Worthing High School for Girls. I loved that man as a teacher. He was a kind soul. That final term I was the top student in my class. And I think that was the last time I really liked school… until AFTER I graduated from UCLA and started attending continuing education classes at UCLA Extension in my mid twenties!!!


I walked back to Bolsover Road and over the bridge on Shaftsbury Avenue. This was Goring Congregational Church where my mother forced me to go to Sunday School. It is now Goring United Reformed Church. Goring and Durrington are both districts (along with seven others) within the Borough of Worthing. As far as I remember, our address was always Worthing, not Durrington.

I kind of got the heebie jeebies as I was passing this building as I never really did grasp the idea of religion, much to my mother’s dismay.


Still walking on Shaftsbury Avenue on the way to the beach.


Here we are at the Worthing Sailing Club at the end of Sea Place. My mother and I would walk down to the beach on a summer evening (when there was no school) around nine o’clock… a less than half hour walk. The tide would be way way way out and we walked through the tide pools looking for sea anenomies and crabs. Life was good at that point in time. Would be nice to freeze it right there.


Looking east from Goring to downtown Worthing.

I walked along the sea front snapping random photos sucking up the sea air, reliving memories of life at the beach in Worthing. Click on an image for slide show:

I walked to Marine Gardens where I stopped for lunch. Fish ‘n chips and apple cider. I was soaking up the moment.


How wonderful life is! No matter what has gone before, I am thankful and fortunate to be here now. And in Worthing, no less!

It seems this seagull was attempting to impress his potential mate with a gift. If you look closely it is actually in the shape of a heart. Seagulls are not stupid.

I continued on with my walk towards Worthing Pier and my hotel. Click on image below for slide show:

I was intrigued by the custom of placing flowers on the benches. I saw this on multiple occasions. Very nice.

So Day Five’s adventure came to an end… and looking forward to Day Six!





The UK – Brighton, Sussex – the big day (day three)


Six years ago I was on Brighton Pier in Sussex, England for a big birthday. I was staying in London and East Anglia with friends. Then on May 9 I took the train to Brighton, where I was born. Rain was coming down in giraffes and hyenas. I had booked a Hop on Hop off bus tour of the town. I was the only passenger on the bus! But I had a great time anyway. What ya gonna do?


So last year, another even bigger birthday (they get huge after a while) came up and I had intended to visit London again with a friend. But I couldn’t get my head wrapped around it.


And I gradually came to realize it was because I needed to go back to Worthing, the last place my parents and I Iived the first time we emigrated to the US.


So this year I decided to stay in Worthing for nine days to check it out.


One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life!


So on my birthday I took the Stagecoach #700 bus to Brighton. It was a super day. A day I will never forget.


I was fortunate to have such great weather on this visit. It rained one afternoon during nine days.


I bought my fish ‘n chips at the same place at the entrance to the pier. Found a seat and ate. I don’t have words to express how I feel about this. So many emotions.


My view as I ate my fish ‘n chips.


The cousin of the seagull who stole my fish ‘n chips on my birthday on Santa Catalina Island (see post here).


I love piers. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere there was not a pier! How else can you walk out into a serious body of water?

I walked all the way down to Hove and the West Pier, closed in 1975 and destroyed by fires in 2003.

BrightonFrom Brighton, my parents and I (what choice did I have?) moved to Argentina where my mother had happy memories of her childhood. But apparently living there as an adult didn’t quite cut it… at least for my dad. When we returned to England we settled in Hove. Brighton and Hove combined and were granted city status by the queen in 2001.

Brighton Look at that wonderful pebbly beach. I love that more than the sandy beach at Santa Monica. You can wrap your toes around pebbles.

Click below for photos I took as I walked down to Hove and then back to the Brighton Pier.

I stayed on the Brighton seafront this time. I’ve visited other areas of Brighton on previous trips including a tour of the Royal Pavilion. I’d like to do that again on my next trip. You only have one birthplace. Honor it.








The UK – Worthing, Sussex – day two afternoon



Upon returning from Highdown, M and I retreated to our respective hotels to freshen up with the plan to meet up in an hour. Neither of us was interested in dinner as the late lunch at the Highdown Teahouse had filled us up.

When I first arrived at the Chatsworth Hotel the previous afternoon I stepped out on to the little terrace outside my room.


I wasn’t terribly thrilled with the view of the Stagecoach bus depot next door but the idea wasn’t to spend too much time in the room anyway so it wasn’t a big deal.

I heard cats meowing and thought some strays were living out on the roof. I thought it would be a good idea to report this to the front desk.  I looked around for the cats but couldn’t see any felines.worthing


Is this a plush nest or what?

Thank goodness I didn’t report the cats.

With my zoom lens I noticed on the roof of the building across the way there were several seagulls nesting.


Dad is on lookout while Mom sits on the nest

The baby birds were quite vocal. “Meow, dinner! Meow, dinner! Meow! Meow!” I would never have lived that down as the crazy American tourist who can’t tell seagulls from cats…

M and I met up and decided to walk eastward along the Worthing seafront. Worthing sits on The English Channel about 60 miles (96 km) south of London and approximately 160 miles (257 km) from the nearest point in France.


This had been another lovely day but both of us needed to be up early the next morning. M was returning to his home in Chelmsford and I was headed for Brighton, so we said our goodbyes.


When I’m in England there are certain things I absolutely have to eat. One of those is Cadbury Flakes. Marks & Spencers sold them in packs of four so what could I do? My plan was to eat one a day… yeah, right. So the pack was my dinner. Oh, yum.

I was rather restless and getting my second wind after eating the chocolate so I wandered on down to the lounge area in the hotel. I was in time for Happy Hour so I decided to be happy. I purchased a glass of Merlot and sat by the open window watching the cars go by and some young men playing football (soccer) in the park across the street…. the Steyne.


worthingLife doesn’t get much better than this. I was determined to suck up every moment and engrave it in my mind, because as much as I would like to return, I don’t know if I will ever have the opportunity to visit Worthing again.




The UK – Worthing, Sussex – part one

Worthing, Sussex

I met my friend M the first evening in Worthing and we walked out on to the pier to see this spectacular sight.

So the burning question is, can you go back again?

I decided to answer that one way or the other.

Fishing area on the Worthing Pier.

Worthing, Sussex, on the south coast of England was the last place my parents and I lived before emigrating to the US the first time. At this point we had already lived in Brighton (Sussex) and Argentina and Hove (Sussex). So it was with relief that at the age of eight I thought we had settled into a good life in Worthing. But not to be!

At the age of twelve I was uprooted once again to move to Florida, USA. We arrived in New York on the Queen Elizabeth. And one day I should write a story about that!

We lived in Tampa and then Clearwater and then Tampa again. After that we moved to Houston and then back to Tampa, or was it Clearwater? I began to lose track after a while!

Looking east from the Worthing Pier. At first I was having trouble with east and west!

Worthing shuts down around 6:00pm. A few restaurants and pubs remain open but shops, forget it!

Then we moved to Los Angeles, California. That was quite a trek and some wild and strange experiences. I should write stories about that too!

We moved around to several neighborhoods which meant different school districts. My dad never seemed to take into account that moving me around from school to school to school to school to school to school would have any affect on my life…

This seagull was just about the only resident we encountered on the streets in the evening.

Then we moved back to England. First to Norwich in East Anglia, then to London.

I was expecting zombies to appear any minute on the empty streets.

Then back to Los Angeles where my parents finally settled. And I graduated from high school. At that point I counted I had been to fifteen schools! Very few people believe me when I say that most of my teenage years are a total fog!

For several years now I have thought about Worthing. What would my life had been like if we had stayed there, or at least in England? I fantasized I would I have attended the University of Sussex and attained a degree in art history. Or anthropology. Would I have lived the life I was supposed to live instead of never knowing who I was?

Who can say? Certainly not me. Maybe I would have been hit by a train and never made it to adulthood. I can never know what my other life would have been. But I am grateful for who I am now.

Stay tuned for the rest of my adventures in Worthing and Brighton!


My private island – part one

catalina island

Catalina Express offers a birthday promotion of a free ride to Catalina Island as long as you travel there on the day of your birthday. You can stay for as long as 30 days.

Since visiting the island with friends last September (see post here) I have thought about taking advantage of this offer. So I made the decision, booked a hotel room and requested my free ticket.

Rather than pay the $34 parking fee for two days, I decided to make the trip to San Pedro by public transportation (Expo Line to Silver Line). There are some things I learned the hard way but I made it just in time to run on to the boat… fortunately on an off-season Monday morning the boat was less than full! Next time, hopefully, I will know not to get on the wrong bus!

As it was my birthday I figured I would treat myself to fish ‘n chips. Many years ago I remember ordering this dish at the same restaurant on the pier and was very happy.

catalina islandcatalina island

Well, nothing remains the same. I was not expecting fish rolls and shoe string potatoes… not quite my idea of fish ‘n chips!

But I couldn’t complain about the view (see photo at top of page). Although the island was experiencing typical “May Grey” (or May Gray, depending on what dictionary you use) I was feeling the magic of Catalina nonetheless, and sucking in the fresh sea air.

catalina island

This fellow came over to say hello. Or so I thought… Suddenly there was a flurry of wings and next thing I knew one of the fish rolls, the container of tartar sauce and several of the shoestring potatoes disappeared as I was looking at the backside of the gull flying off. I should have known better!

I really didn’t mind that I lost half my lunch but I did feel bad for the seagull. With that kind of diet on a regular basis he would not be looking forward to a long, healthy life.

catalina island

Compared to my photos from the last trip, these look pretty murky. But, nothing I could do about the weather. I’ve been to Catalina in every season and never before seen it without the sun.

catalina island

Because it was off-season (I believe the season begins next month in June) I was able to book a nice room for a great price at the Hotel St. Lauren. If you look at the top floor you will see a deck that is for the use of all guests with a view in all directions. I would have no problem staying there again.

catalina island

Out in the bay you can see the cruise ship Carnival Imagination. Too bad the passengers had to experience Catalina on such a dismal day.

I walked around with my little point & shoot camera snapping a few photos here and there. Even without the sun, I always feel like this is my special, private island and I was more than happy to be there.

Click on an image below to start the slideshow:

Part Two coming up when I have had a chance to look at the photos from my other camera.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!




Malibu birds on the beach

malibu lagoon state beach

I know the photo above looks like a postcard from the 1940s. When I looked at it in Lightroom it was hopelessly overexposed and this was the best I could do to bump it up, but in terms of showing the area it was the best image. The whole purpose this day was to shoot pictures of birds, not landscapes, so please accept it for what it is.

Malibu Lagoon State Beach is also known as Surfrider Beach, To the left is the Malibu Sport Fishing Pier and in the background, the Santa Monica Mountains.As I know absolutely nothing about surfing, this is quoted from Wikipedia:

Malibu Lagoon is a famous right-break that had a big impact on the surfing culture in Southern California in the 1960s. Located near the Malibu Pier, it is among the most popular surf spots in Los Angeles County. The shoreline is usually triple-cornered due to the buildup of silt, sand, and cobble at the mouth of the creek. The tapering, smooth-breaking waves are recognized among surfers worldwide as the gold standard for summertime “point” surf.

Malibu Lagoon has three primary surfing areas. First Point has waves popular with longboarders[4] and shortboarders during bigger swells. Second Point is used for high performance surfing. It has a main takeoff that lines up and connects into the inside called the “kitty bowl”. Third Point has a left and right side. On the south swells most common in late August and September, surfers can ride all the way to the pier.

malibu lagoon state beach

Young Osprey

Enough about surfing and on to the birds.

When I showed up for the class I was intimidated as most of the students were sporting 600mm lenses and I had my lowly 70-300mm lens. As more people arrived I felt better to see some others with similar lenses to mine. A couple of people had rented their 600mm for the day. Why didn’t I think about that? Oh, because I rarely use my 70-300 and this was my opportunity to put it to good use.

malibu lagoon state park

Great Blue Heron

I have to admit I had a hard time focusing on the birds. I realized that if I wanted to be a professional bird photographer (I don’t) I would certainly need to invest in a 600mm lens. I had to crop in really tightly in Lightroom to make the birds a decent size.

malibu lagoon state park


Cropping that much I could see some of the birds probably weren’t in tack sharp focus… at least not enough to be in Audubon Magazine… but just fine for my blog! A tripod would have helped my unsteady hand too. I also realize to be a bird photographer you have to have patience, waiting for just the right moment. And you need to be ready. I think I’ll stick to landscapes and architecture that doesn’t move just when you have the shot set up!

Malibu Lagoon State Park

The majestic seagull

Nevertheless, I had a great day and might go back on my own another time to try again.

So please enjoy the rest of my photos from Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Click on a photo to begin the slide show.

I’ve always liked watching pelicans but now I have a new respect for them. Although they seem clumsy on land, in the air and water they are incredibly graceful.

See my other Malibu posts at:



All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


Spur of the moment beach walk

santa monica beach Last week was really a downer for me. Not only was I without a computer but I had a family issue I was dealing with… back and forth on a decision I didn’t want to make because I didn’t know which was the right way to go… so I was in a dark place. Yesterday the decision was pretty much made for me… it’s not a good situation but today I felt that weight was at least off my shoulders.

santa monica beach This morning I had things to do but I decided life is short and “things” can wait. I read Mark Bialczak’s blog post about sub-zero temperatures in Syracuse, New York and I thought, how lucky can I be living in Southern California with 70F (21C) degree weather and the sun shining… I didn’t want to spend the day hunched over the computer!

http://markbialczak.com/2015/01/13/feeling-negative-from-the-start/So I ran out the door, jumped on the Metro #733 bus and pretty soon I was at the Santa Monica Pier. Aaaaahhhh, I already felt a million times better.

I have a ton of photos of the pier so today I mainly wanted to breathe the air and enjoy staring at the ocean. I really liked the texture and color of the above photo, pretty much the way it came out of the camera with just a little sharpening. It doesn’t even look like water, does it?

santa monica beach I just managed to get this photo with a tad of water on the left… would have been better with another quarter of an inch but I would have had to dangle off the side of the pier so I felt lucky to get this.

santa monica beach These white stars are at various locations on the pier. I don’t know what they signify. Maybe nothing. But I like them.

santa monica beach While on the pier I decided to treat myself to my favorite greasy tuna melt. Very unhealthy but delicious. So to compensate I walked the 2 1/2 miles along Ocean Front Walk from the pier to Windward Avenue in Venice so I could catch the Culver City #1 bus. That’s one of the many advantages of taking the bus as I don’t have to walk back to my car.

So obviously, the above photo is looking back to the pier. That’s the bike path all those people are walking along…

santa monica beach

A view of the pier through the palm trees. Really, today I felt like I was on vacation in some exotic foreign land… and all just a short bus ride away.

santa monica beach Walking, walking, walking. No cars allowed here, just bikes, roller skaters and pedestrians.

santa monica beach I like this little play on words, loosely translated as “A clean beach is within our arm’s reach.”

santa monica beach These storm fences make a nice abstract composition.

santa monica beach A Santa Monica seagull. I liked the black and white art deco motif on his tail. This little rascal did not want to pose for me. Every time I clicked the shutter he turned his head away. Gotcha!

santa monica beach Now we have arrived in Venice. Can you tell the difference? There is a distinct feel in the air with the first footstep over the city limits from Santa Monica. Just for the record, Venice is a district in the City of Los Angeles, whereas Santa Monica is a separate city unto itself (but within Los Angeles County).

santa monica beach

For one thing, you would never see a drinking fountain decorated like this in Santa Monica. Also in Santa Monica the beach birds are Seagulls. In Venice they are Pigeons. Only kidding…

santa monica beach Now for some history. I lived in Venice in the mid to late 70s. Yes I am that ancient. This was the apartment building we called home, right on Ocean Front Walk in the middle of the action. Back then our living/dining area was on the left hand side where now they sell t-shirts, umbrellas and boogie boards. On the right, where the smoke shop is now, was our bedroom.

Every time I walk past this building I get such a weird feeling seeing all these strangers walking around in my former home and I think of us still watching TV and eating dinner in there!

A lot of things have happened since those days to me and the world. Gosh, how did I get through each day with no computer and no internet? It was a cruel and barbaric era!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

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Calamari steak, pelicans and kingfishers at Redondo Beach Pier

redondo beach pier

Last year a friend and I met at Redondo Beach Pier for lunch and I took photos but it was such a dismally gray day, I think it may have been in October, that it was totally uninspiring. There is nothing worse than a gloomy day at the beach so I wanted to return on a sunnier day.

redondo beach pier

When I heard my mother’s assisted living group was going to the pier for lunch, I signed us up. Even better, when I found out we were eating lunch at Old Tony’s on the pier I immediately knew I was ordering the calamari steak. You can find fried and breaded calamari anywhere but the steak is harder to find so I couldn’t pass that up. Tony’s is just to the left of center in this photo with the roof that looks like a straw hat. That is the bar that at nighttime is quite romantic (I’m keeping my stories to myself!).

redondo beach pier

After lunch we walked around the pier and I took some snapshots as best I could with one hand on my mother’s wheelchair.

redondo beach pier

I want to come back on another sunny day and take some better photos. But I always say that wherever I go and the days and the weeks and the months and the years scoot by and I never do return… so it’s a matter of seizing the moment.

redondo beach pier

In 1988 the pier suffered serious damage in winter storms and then burned down due to an electrical problem. The current concrete pier was completed in 1995.

redondo beach pier

The seagulls appreciate having a place to hang out.

redondo beach pier

Wherever there’s a pier in Los Angeles people will be fishing for their supper.

redondo beach pier

And these pelicans figure wherever people are fishing, they will get a decent meal too.

redondo beach pier

These pelicans prefer a higher view.

redondo beach pier

A kingfisher is always on the alert for some juicy seafood.

Redondo Beach Pier is the largest “endless” pier in California… it circles around and therefore has no end.

Click on an image below to begin the slideshow for the rest of the photos.


Above is the plan of the redesigned pier. Click here for file usage.

Perhaps later on I’ll post some of the photos I took last year of the area. If so, I’ll include a link here.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!