Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bum’s rush

I’ve been trying to kick my caffeine habit for a couple of years. I gave up tea and switched to coffee, one cup in the morning, but it seems to be enough caffeine to keep me awake for hours at night. The chance to spend a week house-sitting on my favorite street in Santa Monica where I used to live with Julia seemed the ideal opportunity to eat nothing but healthy food and drink no alcohol or coffee. Cold turkey. I’d have my own creative space as well. Brilliant.

Colin would be just up the road in our apartment and we could meet for dinner. But the best laid plans… the fridge in my holiday home was full of fancy cakes left over from a party. There were three bottles of expensive wine with a note attached: “Please enjoy these.” One of the bottles was open with just an inch missing. It was too tempting. I’d start again the next day.

On the first morning, I stepped onto the porch and bent down to pick up the newspaper, forgetting the cord was broken on my favorite baggy pyjamas. The bottoms fell down around my ankles just as the front door closed behind me, locking me out. I finally found a neighbor who had a spare key. “We’ve missed you on the street,” he said.

I did get some writing done and think I’ve finally waved goodbye to the bean and the leaf.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year!

I tried to shake it up a bit this/last Christmas Day and spend the day with friends but Julia was quite devastated that Colin and I could even consider not spending the day with her, Marley Rose, Arthur and his parents - Russian Armenians who are quite the nicest couple in the world but insist on calling me Clara and Colin Kevin.
We did have a lovely day. I cooked, with Julia as my lovely young assistant. Then it was our traditional Brits Boxing Day bash for 30 ex pats who like a bit of cold meat and a baked potato.
I was very happy to see the last of the holiday ham on Friday. I think I did well to keep it interesting for five nights in a row. 
Mia had flown back to freezing cold, wet London to spend Christmas Day with friends. She bitterly regretted her decision and has been wearing three pairs of socks since her return. Max is still thriving in Fiji. No socks required there.
It was great to have Mia in LA for three weeks in December, not least because she paid for her own ticket this time. She was sunbathing here. In December. Sorry to rub it in.
The year has started off brilliantly for me. Some friends have offered us their fabulous house in Santa Monica while they enjoy a last-minute skiing trip to Utah. I so need some creative space to myself. It's hard for me to write now that Colin works from home as well. 
I spoke to my literary agent this morning and he really likes my new book proposal. He said he knows a couple of editors he thinks will find it wonderful. I’m calling it “The One.” It's a sort of sequel to Plus One about Colin and I getting back together after 25 years. We both kept our love letters from that time and they will be interspersed throughout the book. It hasn’t been an easy journey so there’s plenty of drama and conflict to keep the publisher happy and lots of funny stuff too.
I’ve seen the first assembly (or rough edit) of The Making Of Plus One... movie and it’s terrific. Really. Very funny and a wonderful insight as to how hard it is to get a movie made. The plan is for the film to be premiered at the next Cannes Film Festival in May. And it’s Dad’s 80th birthday at the end of April, so everything is falling into place for a trip to Europe. Julia is planning some gigs in England too. Well, her manager is.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and wealthy 2009. 

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