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.