Well there is no getting away from the orgy of yuletide excess here- more tableaux and sets out side houses- this time with reindeer , Santas , lights covering every available inch of space on the house. Luckily we are the only non Jewish people in our street so we have been spared the campery. I have become used to a certain level of what would be considered "vulgar" in England. People seem to divulge the most intimate details of their lives here within minutes of meeting them and yet are strangely distant at the same time. Baby Esther was invited to a private Santa party the other day ...( santa was giving an audience to a select few toddlers at one of our friends houses) for those of us who did not want to queue at the local dept store.I was very excited by the prospect but poor Esther came down with a bug so it was stay at home. As Philip and I drove along Mulholland drive on our way to an xmas bash , oohing and arhhing at all the lit up houses we thought of how much sentimentality there is here. And yet the studio exec who does up his house with flashing reindeer might well have sacked his entire writing staff that day as the numbers were down .Sentimentality and Brutality are never that far away from each other.
The daily battle against Strike hysteria is on .. I spoke to my friend M. last night who told me 2 of her films had been grounded due to the strike- so it filters down into the general Californian economy..I am diverted by internet Scrabble courtesy of the highly addictive facebook - timewaster extraordinaire -it is an excellent divertion in times of anxiety . I never play scrabble -with a board but I have to confess I am having trouble drawing myself away from the pull of "Scrabulous", My dear friend Liza is the person responsible for my addiction- I shall call her the pusher .. she is so good at board games she was looking for new souls to anaihilate , so when she came here she found some transatlantic opponents.Whats more I am really bad at "words" and fail to get more than 4 letter ones - however what is great about this is you can make up words and maybe they exist-also play around . I have scored very high points by just winging it - who knew "Jotta" was a word as well as "Snell" and quoi ...I also now play with people I have never met.
It seems that my last post was a bit of a disaster area- I spoke too much about my children and also got the name of the gallery wrong..so I have deleted it. I am still getting to grips with blog etiquette-I have been told to be careful by fellow bloggers as to not mentioning names or too much personal stuff which almost leaves me talking about the weather.I am still conflicted about what to share and what not.I try to keep in to me . I have been the victim of a poison blog attack by someone I think I had only ever spoken to once , luckily I never read the verbal attack even though one so -called friend was eager to tell me its abusive contents.So it is Christmas in sunny California and lights and general campery are on display. I miss the cold and dark of xmas in england and the less aggressive festivities. I have told the children that due to the strike , pressies will not be massive, infact they may not be even medium and to keep expectations low. I also have to curb my own affluenza. I have acquired a lifestyle habit that is difficult to kick , I do not buy clothes , I do not go to snazzy restaurants but I do ride horses and even though it only amounts to a paltry 25 pounds a shot , it is a diffucult one to break. I find it theraputic and I am contantly looking for signs from the LORD Above that I am meant to continue- but alas no signs. The Gallery where my paintings are currently hanging is the Galerie Mourlot on Robertson and Rosewood www.galeriemourlot.com- run by the lovely Megan .Its a beautiful space .. I hope I have got it right this time
Yesterday I bumped in to my neighbour Laura who asked how we were and how the strike was going. She sympathised saying "So you have Bathrobe Man in the house. " She explained that she had had many phases of "Bathrobe Man " herself but luckily her husband was "Suit Man " at this particular moment in time.All hopes of an agreement went before xmas were smashed on thursday when it sounds like a revamped miserly offer was made to the writers. So we are back to phoning schools and explaining why we cannot pay the fees in full, organising loans and tryng to be in the moment rather than resort to panic and hysteria. Here are some of the good things that have come from the strike.. we have both taken a keen interest in our parenting techniques and spent more time with the children. A book called "Between Parent and Child" by Dr Haim G Ginott has changed the way we relate to our children for the better. It is a beautiful book by a man who died tragically young. It has made me squirm in parts as I have been doing just what the book tells me not to do . Another good thing is that I am forced to put myself "out there" in terms of my painting. In England it was such a huge part of my identity but it has been lost here as I have no connections to the art world .I have to become "go get " and "take Charge" -very alien to my nature. All our woes were put in perspectiive last wednesday . I went to do a talk at a womans group and just as I was about to speak a woman started having a fit and was apparently overdosing on meth amphetamine.It was truely tragic as this poor woman could have been any of us having made the 1 wrong decision. It showed me where the disease of addiction takes people. We all thought she was dying but luckily the paramedics arrived in 2 minute (God bless America ).