The Roquefort Files

Travels to the pub and back

January 26th, 2015

An Australia Day Special: a Christmas journey of years past

By special request, for one night only, The Roquefort Files rides again. So that I don’t mess up the chronology of the whole blog, let me take you back to the Christmas of 2011. It was almost exactly twelve months since Leigh and I had met at the end of 2010, and it was still […]

January 23rd, 2010

Last exit

We had the best part of a day to kill in Phoenix before Ash’s flight home, and having stayed in a reasonably priced hotel in the posh suburb of Scottsdale, we decided on a low-pressure day of pottering around our immediate environs rather than chasing any particular tourist attractions. Admittedly, this decision was motivated as […]

January 17th, 2010

Just deserts

We headed south on the I15 out of Vegas, aiming for Williams, Arizona (yup, another Williams), where we planned to stay the night before heading up to the Grand Canyon. It was going to be a long day: we had at least four hours of driving ahead of us, not counting any time we might […]

January 3rd, 2010

Two tickets to the gun show

Vegas telegraphs its proximity, long before there’s any sign of the city itself, by the gigantic billboards which line the I15. Ads for casinos, concerts, erotic shows and shooting ranges — money, sex and guns, more or less — lead the way towards the mother of all billboards, the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” […]

December 29th, 2009

On the road

We left the Getty about lunchtime and drove through the endless sprawl of suburban Los Angeles, letting the cruise control keep us at the double nickel and trying to get the measure of our new car. The city eventually petered out into the desert, and we stopped at Barstow for a late lunch of burger-n-fries […]

December 21st, 2009


The drive From Santa Barbara to Los Angeles went smoothly enough; mid-morning, the traffic was still reasonably fluid and we made it to West Hollywood without too much drama. We dropped the ‘car’ off at a Hertz branch at the Renaissance Hollywood and lugged our bags the few blocks west to our humbler lodgings. Just […]

December 14th, 2009


After the tourist emboli of Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row and the enforced crawl through Carmel’s Labor Day traffic, the open road looked pretty good. From Williams to Monterey was only a couple of hundred miles and yet we’d taken the best part of four days to cover it. Our plan was to dash as […]

December 8th, 2009

So much for the city

The day we bolted early from San Francisco we got as far south as Marina, a small coastal town on Highway 1. We passed through Santa Cruz on the way, a big surfing town and apparently a bit of a counter-cultural centre, but it was already getting late and we didn’t want to stop having […]

December 6th, 2009

San Francisco*

We hit San Francisco during the rush hour and, after threading our way along the Golden Gate’s constricted lanes, plunged straight into the congested heart of the city. We headed for Market Street (thanks to the onerous one-way system, we found ourselves unwittingly heading for it a number of times after first finding it), a […]

November 28th, 2009

Going to California

Rightly or wrongly, I’ve always had this awestruck mental image of California as being a sort of promised land, a blue-sky’d, blue-sea’d capsule of American culture where everyone and everything eventually washes up on the way to the Pacific. Having been there to see it for myself once already I really should know better than […]