All in Los Angeles

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 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.

Times and Changes

There’s a coffee shop in Santa Monica that I often visit when I need to dwell inside of a quiet moment or two. It stands on a street that fascinates me; deceptively quiet - at first glance there’s really not much happening- but I’ve always had the feeling that powerfully unspoken events are taking place somewhere in some dimension or other- as if you could pull back a curtain and find yourself in a different crystal world.

A Tale of Two Cities

It’s a particularly beautiful time of year in our Los Angeles neighbourhood; the flowers of the Jacaranda tree are blooming everywhere. We were walking the dog yesterday and the fallen purple blossoms which lay strewn upon the sidewalks glowed almost luminescent in the fading evening light

There Are Places I Remember

We’ve said goodbye to family for now and once again an ocean separates us. I was coming back from the airport a few days ago and the late afternoon traffic dictated that I avoid the freeway.  I drove towards home along one of my favorite stretches of road which takes you through Mar Vista, across Santa Monica and eventually meanders into Brentwood.

California on a Winter's Day

We watched the Holiday one evening last week during the strange period that is the hiatus between Christmas and New Year. I’d seen this movie at least twice before but was spurred to watch it again after a conversation with my sister who commented that she had particularly liked the character of Arthur, the octogenarian screenwriter, played by Eli Wallach. So, when I settled down with my husband and teenage son for an evening viewing, it was to Arthur’s story that I paid particular attention.

What's in a Neighbourhood?

I’ve been thinking about neighbourhoods these past few days. We’ve lived in a fair few during our years in America so far; settling into a new one always takes me some time. Once the initial excitement is over I become tortoise-like in my behaviour, withdrawing into my shell and peeking out occasionally as I move around the new environment establishing points of connection.