Tuesday, July 24, 2007


We have just come back from the spactacular Ojai (pronounced OH HI ) an hour and a half north of LA situated in the hinterland near Santa Barbara. Philip generously booked us into the absurdly swanky Ojai Valley Inn and Spa,, an ultra lux 5 star residence where everyone speaks in hush tones and cell phones are banned. Set in about 4 square miles of manicured grounds and golf course with spanish archiecture it looked just like Andalucia. We were all set with kids clubs booked and part time nanny hired to enjoy spa treatments varous luxuries and tennis but things went very pear shaped with the childcare . The nanny we hired (who unfortunately bore a striking resemblence to Tony Sopranos sister Janice) arrived hung over , telling us she had had a rough night and that she and Esther would be spending the morning in front of the TV or in repose. Philip said that if anyone would be neglecting the children it should be us, so we sent her packing. The kiddy club was equally disastrous with both elder children refusing to go, so Philip and I were forced to look after our own children . What a shocker it was as i realised how spoilt I have become not to say lazy..so it was very good for me , I ended doing alot of sun creaming , coaxing food and rescueing "floaters" just in time from the pristine Ojai swimming pool.All good bonding stuff..Our neighbour John said the other day that you know when you have truely aclimatised to Californian life when you have become dependant on the Hispanic population.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Car is King

who's that pretentious git in the porche covertable? Its the same pretentious git posing in the Bently ! Who the hell do they think they are! Here the car is king , people do all sorts in their car , I have seen eating , shaving tooth brushing ..we who live in this city spend alot of time in the car. you would think nothing of travelling the equivolent of Chelsea to Brent Cross here , infact it would be considered no distance, but most roads here have 3 lanes and although the los angelians complain about the traffic , it is nothing ,NOTHING like the traffic in London.
I have started to be very grateful for many things about living here- I realise that to park my car in the central Los Angeles area on a meter it costs me 50 cents per hour or 25 English pence- Now what would the equivolent cost in London? 8 or nine pounds perhaps.I realise now that I would spend at least 45 minutes a day in london driving around the Royal Boruogh trying to find a residents parking bay and end up parking some two miles away due to the lack of such spaces. Yes it is a hard city to live in and one becomes used to the stress. We had a laugh with our friendn Bernard the other night who has lived here 13 years and tried to move back to England but found it very hard He said he felt it is a country fuelled on Shardenfrauder and that the government is thinking "how can we make life more difficult? I know we will invent a new tax or parking restriction or both if we are lucky !" Not to say I dont love England and despereately want to go back for a visit...I wonder how I would find it?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Runyon Canyon

Ten minutes drive from us in the Hollywood Hills and in the center of town is Runyon canyon...and a favorite local walk or Hike as they say here offering spectacular views over the city and san Gabriel mountains -you can also see the sea I mean ocean.It is a popular haunt of the severe body fascists , he-men , manorexics, bullemics and people with small dogs for accessories--the pekonese is a favorite here. There are three walks - Runyon light is a gentle path over the rolling hills for the physically challenged( i was hyper ventilating the first time i did this ) I often see odd sights here... people running backwards or carrying rocks in rucksacks...then there is Runyon meduim which a slight mountain climb..but this week I have conquered the face of Runyon Hard two times...this path is worhty only of the hikers with the worst of eating and exorcise disorders. I was practicaly begging my companions for mercy the first time i did it , longing to get back to the wimp trail..I thought I felt a heart attack coming on. Never the less i made it and with great smugness and satisfaction .. I made Philip do it today.
One of the best parts of walking on Runyon is listening to fellow hikers "my agent really sucks..I havent worked for six months.." "My agent is sucky too..." one very entertaining exchange..." When i first saw him from a distance I thought 'are you a model'but when I got up close I thought "i hope not!"..he would have needed photo shop 6000 to get rid of those flaws "

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Well today is July 4th which means very little to us Brits but for Americans it can be a touchy point, with long histories of July 4th baggage--" I was alone on July 4th" or it was my first "July 4th in LA" Independence day is a day we Brits will not be celebrating. if you are an american you dont want an empty diary on this day..or you maybe considered "a loser'.It is ironic that there is uproar about Bush granting clemency to Scooter(many less informed americans think this is a dog or a forties movie star) who lied about the war under oath..many of them are now terriefied to visit Britain after the bombs and even more horrified that the bombers were doctors.for us it is not that shocking after living with IRA bombs for all those years.
So back to trivia - this is my favorite house in LA - it makes me smile even on the darkest of dark humour days. The neighbours tried to get the owner evicted but failed-there are twenty four miniature michael angelos Davis outside and owned by a rapper.Anyway the other day I was lucky enough to meet its occupant with his dog which he had dyed purple. He told me his other dog was pink but not around..It was a red letter day for me as I often do special detours just to look at the house...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

mixed show

So I had my first mixed exhibition last night which was a mixture of buttock clenching shame ( the way thay were hung and the actual gallery) and relief that it was done and that quite a few loyal friends showed up not to mention the entire street in which we live...so i was not standing alone and destitute . Although i felt a little shame about being double hung and next to the fire exit i did not feel bad about the paintings ..I must be positive as it was a start and I dipped my toe in...people seemed to respond well to the pics..i very much miss my gallery in London and its stark white walls. it ended up being a really fun party and I realised what truely great people I have met and was very touched by the big turnout.
Today Philip and i celebrated 1 year of wedded bliss and harmony. A year ago Elvis married us in a pink cadillac in vegas, it was a very classy event as all those present will testify.The marriage has lasted... No 1 on my to do list is to get wedding photos...