It's not a widely known fact that Daniel is one-quarter American. It's not something he mentions freely.
His mom, Barbara, was born to an American mother and British father, dividing her childhood between the two countries. Strangely enough, she spent her high school years in Bronxville, New York, about ten minutes from Pelham, where I grew up.
So that means she has relatives in the US. One, Sandra Chelnov, has been in touch to say she's following the blog and that we should visit her if we ever find ourselves in Buffalo.
Another, Connie Bruce, is living just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley. Daniel's aunt Janet gave us her contact details just as we were driving down from Napa Valley to San Francisco - impeccable timing.
Connie told us stories of her youth, Barbara as a baby (Barbara's mother was her favorite aunt), the legend of a couple many generations ago who traveled to Syria as missionaries, also filling us in on her own adult life and family.
Interestingly, most people in the family have a strong connection to art and artists.
She showed us all around her apartment complex, introduced us to her cat Buttercup and then treated us to a yummy lunch in Sausalito.
Hopefully, Barbara and Connie will be able to reunite when Barbara joins us in the US at the beginning of the year.
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.