in the archives at the Academy of Motion Pictures with a pencil and a #moleskine notebook


a ravishing day and most soothing day.


partly because we purchased this divine candle from R. Ashwell which is one of those that she uses at her lovely-house-in-TX

so – back to our Day –

the Doctor was Superb!

we like her Very Much.

she took us off the nasty calcium supplements and told us to eat more food that contained calcium instead (new medical studies apparently) and gave us a Helpful Sheet (we only spotted collard greens and cottage cheese and orange juice before we felt a little Faint but We Shall Persevere).

it was So Hot here yesterday that everyone stayed indoors but we felt very Mad Dogs and English(wo)men and Took a Walk (also suggested by the Doctor which was a lovely thing). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we happened to be in Santa Monica and it looked a Lot Like Greece. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthen after some Work Tasks (yes, we believe we have Located an Attorney – we’ll let you know later this week) we went to The Library at the Academy of Motion Pictures (as opposed to ones that stay Very Still). 


we adore a cloister. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and a Romanesque or Spanish Arch from 1927 (shockingly this building was originally a Water Treatment Plant – isn’t that Astonishing that one would build such a glorious edifice for h20?).

now we cannot show you pictures from Inside the Library because Only-Pencils-and-Notebooks-are-Allowed (everything else goes in an old school metal locker downstairs by the vast oversize Gloria Swanson poster)

but here are our notebooks with the Pencil Markings.

oh! we had the Loveliest time. 

we held the original Press Book from 1931 for Dorothy Arzner‘s film “Working Girls” and saw all the articles that were written by the Press Team and Free Lance (they wrote it as two separate words in those days) with Gaps in Them (so a local theatre and the newspapers nearby could insert opening date and theatre address) but basically have a fully written Feature about the movie Ready To Go – they called this Re-Vamping!

love it.

we’re going to use that now.

did we ever tell you we used to do this (and might do it again, shortly *lookstocamera*) – here’s one we wrote for The Devil Wears Prada when we did some work for 20th Century Fox. Fun!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and here are our notes from studying Items from the Gladys Hall Collection.

we are a Tiny bit obsessed by Gladys Hall.

and we squealed (silently) when holding her Date Books from the 1930s *shivers*

we Expected to see “tea with Joan (Crawford)” on a date in June but the Pages Were Blank.

mystified as to why they made them into the Collection we scanned through the blank pages until we got to written ones – oh! the Date Book was her notes of articles published, paid or Carried Over.

imagine writing “Luise Rainer” or “Clark Gable” – Photoplay – PAID. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and then we held her Letters in our hands *sighs* and copied out some Lines.

isn’t it astonishing to see someone’s Home Address from the Past on a letter?

it seems that the house at 1807 Benedict Canyon is still the original house from 1928 and was once lived in by not only Gladys Hall (and her portrait photographer husband Russell Ball) but by the Hollywood writer Dorothy Calhoun and has not been bought or sold since the 1970s so either somebody glorious still lives there (or the descendants of someone Movie-Related) – maybe we’ll Write to them and ask them if we can Interview them.

and also some materials pertaining to the membership (and home addresses – thrilling) of the Hollywood Women’s Press Club in 1952 (Ms. Hall was a founding member along with Louella Parsons in 1928)- does it still exist? We can’t find any record of it for Today…….apart from the Golden Apple Awards (praising co-operative Stars – they used to do Sour Apple notices too – you can Imagine what That was for).

one of these members was Nora Laing – as you can see she Wrote for the World from her home in Hollywood – we found an Audio recording of her talking about belief – isn’t this Extraordinary to hear someone speak from the Past? Especially with an accent of England-Empire-via-South-Africa? Brought tears to our eyes.



the Other treasures in her collection were the Short Stories submitted to the Smart Set (we almost used this title when we started a Magazine at University with Ms. Gabrielle Morris – in the end we both settled on the Aesthete – *blush* – we were Very Young.)

oh, darlings *sighs*

it was a glorious afternoon.

now when we were at the Library, one has to Declare one’s Intentions to enter the archives (or, more correctly, Request materials from the man at desk 2 with a stunning handlebar moustache) and one is given a pencil (of course) and a Piece of card in order to do so.

we chewed the pencil a while (sorry, William) and thought about it and then wrote (carefully and neatly)

not sure yet – possibly research for a novel about 1930s Hollywood.


wouldn’t That be delicious?

well – we are Here.


13 thoughts on “in the archives at the Academy of Motion Pictures with a pencil and a #moleskine notebook

  1. Am I reading New Zealand in connection with Nora Laing? And horrible horrible Calcium; I am glad you no longer need to suffer that. I spat them out years ago; made me feel ILL.

    1. we think she was indeed a child of the Colonies – there were references we found to South Africa – perhaps she found your beautiful land too, en route.

      those ships took a Very Long Time to get around in those days.


      imagine Writing a Novel onboard.

    1. gosh.

      had no idea that we were So Revealing in our lettering.


      although there used to be a lady at the end of Brighton Pier who read our handwriting when we were young (teen?) and Predicted Great Things.


  2. Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease! Please DO write a novel about 1930s Hollywood. My sigh time. With your wicked ways *clin d’oiel* and imminent sense of *discours*…it would be a hit, m’dear…
    Gosh, there is/are oodles to respond to here. That telling handwriting for one.
    As for calcium rich foods, bah, don’t think 1950s American, think French!

    1. you truly helped, Heather, with the menu description.

      we went to trader joes just now and “Thought French” – and came home with kale, peppers and smoked trout

      thanks to you!

      1. Et voila! Perfect. :) I have been roasting my peppers lately instead of stir-frying them: just slice them up, cover them in olive oil, dust with salt and pepper, herbs de provence and bake on high heat for thirty-forty minutes. Sooo good and your kitchen smells divine…

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