Weekend for Two

We just did that rare thing that parents do occasionally; we took a weekend away to ourselves in celebration of our seventeenth wedding anniversary, abandoning the children to the care of a beloved babysitter. It’s always the onrush of stillness that surprises me at first. Having reached our destination, we both sit and look at one another quizzically; what to do first when there’s nothing that really must be done at all?

Faithful Heart

It’s been strangely quiet at home today. I rushed in after the morning school run, my mind full of all the domestic tasks I needed to accomplish before I could sit at my desk and put my working hat on. Talking out loud as usual, I stopped in mid sentence; where was the sound of the tail beating happily against the floor or the madly grinning face, beaming in expectation of his morning walkies?

Clear Notice

We all noticed it. My daughter stepped outside the apartment door this morning and ran straight back inside asking for her school cardigan. As I sat in the interlude between one school pick up and the next later in the day, I felt the bite of the air for the first time and was suddenly cold in my summery top. Even in California winter approaches it seems, perhaps with more stealth than elsewhere but with no less intent.

A Villa by the Seaside

I paid my first visit to the Getty Villa last week. It’s one of those quintessential Los Angeles locales that I have meaning to see for a while. For one reason or another, maybe its location- with the intimidating right turn straight off Pacific Coast Highway- maybe the simple fear of disappointment, I’d avoided it for longer than I should have. The crowds can be overwhelming during the busiest periods and so I booked my entrance for the earliest slot of the morning. As I walked from the car park to the museum entrance I was transported into another world. 

The Narrow Way

It was a weekend full of sunshine. On Saturday morning I made the glorious drive up to Malibu along Pacific Coast Highway to meet my son while my husband competed in his first triathlon at Zuma Beach. The surfers were out in force, bobbing up and down in their black wetsuits on their boards atop the rolling waves. For a moment or two, as the sun struck the water with glistening silvery force, you could almost believe you were voyaging through paradise.

A Shimmering Dream

My husband and I went out a couple of nights ago; the first time we’d had the space to venture forth in a while. We left our daughter turtle watching with her babysitter in Douglas Park while our son, now fully in the swing of high school life, took a cab to Century City mall to spend the evening with friends. 

A French Holiday: Part II

We sat on the terrace yesterday evening by the swimming pool long after night had fallen and the silhouettes of the tall trees in the distance could be seen in inky black definition against the dark sky. There was a definite chill creeping in on the air; a reminder that the season of autumn with its cooler cast of characters waits in the wings and a signal that, all too soon, our summer idyll will draw to a close for this year.

A French Holiday: Part I

We were driving along a French country lane in the early evening yesterday. The dappled sunlight filtered through the canopy of greenery overhead forming magical flickering patterns in the air. I was put in mind of  the fairy sprites in a Midsummer Night’s Dream and their mischievous activity which results in so much hilarious chaos.

Dreaming on the Rails

Sitting on a train heading away from London, my thoughts move with the rhythm of the rails and images from the past week flash before my eyes. I am never prepared for the experience of being back in this city; somehow it always takes hold of my heart and teaches me something new, even when I think that I have nothing left to learn. 

Going Back

With the evening sun warm in the sky, the children and I drove northwards along my favorite stretch of freeway yesterday. We were in the shimmering company of the spirits of time past. Summoned by our choice of music, from a period when my husband and I were younger creatures, I could see their vague traces; two youthful figures seated together on a warm evening in an Oxford pub while the music flowed all around them.

A Musical Interlude

We took the dog to the beach on July 4th. With the sound of the ocean roaring in our ears, the salt tang of the sea water floating on the air and the endless blue in every direction, it was easy to feel as though we were floating off the edge of the world toward a new and distant horizon. I often think about the celestial music of the spheres when I’m sitting wave gazing; the sounds so refined and beautiful that our human ears can not detect them. Sitting by the water at the edge of clear blue open space one feels closer these sounds somehow.

Behind the Silence

We sat down to watch Somewhere last night. It’s one of Sofia Coppola’s movies, released in 2010. I came across it recently when I was researching Jacques Demy’s first English language film Model Shop (1969) which featured in the documentary Echo in the Canyon. I have seen a couple of Sofia’s movies, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette and loved both of them.