even laundry can be fun if you know how to behave.


we finished our work tasks at a nice and early hour yesterday and realized we had a TON of laundry to do.


(that wasn’t just for laundry – although we will admit that in Manhattan, we dropped it off every friday morning, super early before heading to the office, and picked it up when we got the saturday edition of the Financial Times, Times Have Changed – we do our own Laundry now).

back to *horrors*!

because the (small but perfectly sweet with a view of the front plantings and fragrant they are too) Laundry Room at teamgloria (apartment) towers – was CLOSED (new floor being put in, which is very nice, but rendered the room Unavailable).

we *thought* for a moment about dropping off the two (rather large) bags for a Service Wash and then we reconsidered (we have time, and we are being Prudent with cash) – popped the bags in the perfectly Prius and drove to the nearby Laundromat/Launderette.

It was an engaging experience.

Because ANYTHING can be so if one has an eye for Adventure and a nose for a Hollywood reference or two and just takes a look around to sink into the Atmosphere.

so. we. did.

at first glance it was not a Great deal like the Levi’s 501 advertisement (if you can’t see this transmission in your territory ask your mr.local.google for “Levi’s 50s nick kamen”, you’re welcome)


but then it WAS (the actors woke up and came to do their Laundry before heading out to the gym and, hopefully, an audition).

we took a look around (the wash cycle is 29 minutes and the drying cycle 30 so we had some time to Observe our surroundings).

there was a Spanish soap opera – telenovelas – playing – and then we switched to a ladies-in-a-row-at-a-roundish-table talking about Matters of the Day (movie stars, something clever with a fillet of fish and a beauty treatment), a 3D bas relief mural on the back wall, several vending machines (for washing powder – but we bought our own – and snacks – again, we brought a small picnic), outdoor tables (this is california, despite being March), a gossipy attendant (we chatted for a while, because she put up a postcard for the book a while ago and remembered us) and Lots of People Watching.

magic clean++4-2-2011-14-51-42

we did feel a little Doris while folding the clothes (always nice).


while also remembering our (mis-spent but useful for material) Youth watching ground-breaking films like this one. 

we always keep an eye on the Machines because there was that One episode back in – when? 1980-something? when Cindy Beale put her washing in the Albert Square launderette and it Got Stolen (this would be SO awful – not the programme – we quite liked it – strangely enough – and its Still Running!).

EastEnders-bartenders-Cindy-19finally – after all the People watching (and writing in our moleskine and enjoying the small picnic outside on the white cast iron tables not bolted down but you’d be hard pressed to nick them) – the laundry was done and folded and another engaging experience was made Better by a good Attitude.


Thankful that the laundry room is now Open in teamgloria (apartment) towers, we may not have to see the Laundromat again for a while – but we are open to (many) new experiences. Or even re-inventing old ones.


so we went to the Movies.

3c249b66b6de11e3a787123c4a08efd0_8 b7ffc7cab6dd11e38dfb1285e255b5db_8always delicious to see a chandelier – especially at a movie picture palace.

where we saw…….


what’s that?

what did we Think of it.



let’s see.

it was perfect for a friday after doing laundry.



it was sensuous and full of longing but little meaning apart from why do we meet the people we do and what happens if we follow them up to hotel rooms (probably best not attempted outside Paris) and tell them Secrets that we cannot tell the people in our real life – whatever real life is – does it exist?

even the middle bit – where they hold hands and see amusing street musicians and feel close-in-a-crowd (we are not ruining the plot for you – it’s a Film/e Francais/e – being a bit Violette LeDuc there et pourquoi pas?) and have Big Questions about their Lives and France (the two are Always intertwined), trains (might) be Missed or Caught and regretted, or not.

yes, it’s a French movie.

and that’s why it’s perfect for a Friday after doing Laundry.

just so you know.

what have you seen recently?



oh, glorious.

hello, saturday.


and all our clothes are freshly washed.


tenses and landscapes and isherwood and laundry rooms.


we have been thinking (not always a wise move) about the sheer Chance of the Thing.


as in – if we had been born in the country of those that provided us with this (somewhat dubious but ever-such-fun) genetic Pattern – we would be speaking a different language now (french, irish/gaelic or, possibly, Arabic – how delicious and so very YSL).

and using Other Tenses like “gnathchaite” (the continuous past in gaelic) or Modh Coinníollach (conditional tense).

but due to the nature of Chance (or was it? *mysteriouslooktocamera*) we learned to decline Latin verbs instead with a Terribly British Accent.

but are those languages right now coursing through our blood as yet fully unexpressed? did they lead us to visit places we had no idea we needed to see?


we had Odd occurrences during our youth of getting on the boat train from Victoria and arriving in Paris at gare du nord quite a long while later and feeling Different.

suddenly twisting a scarf in a new Way and sauntering to purchase a carte d’orange and Actually Speaking French.

then in Ireland – smiling and seeing similar eyes reflecting our gaze was unnerving at first (especially for our travel companion) – yet somehow Right.

which is probably why we ended up in America.


because one can be Anyone here – but only if you’re from somewhere else – because the woman in the Laundry Room just after dawn rose simmered with a rage we rarely encounter on this mellow Coast – as she stood with her hands on her (yoga-slimmed) hips and stared us down while we stood helplessly with two bags of laundry (too busy writing and consulting until this very moment to do it) and she Guarded five machines. She is trapped here – doing the laundry of what looked like a full apartment (which is curious because there don’t appear to be Families here – we are all single Creative Types by and large) – perhaps she Takes Laundry In – and would not budge. We paused. It was early. But a spelt scone and a long walk to wake up might help. We said we’d return. And we did. Sadly she didn’t look like she’d have time for a scone and a walk as she was still knee deep in Folding.

Makes you think.

“An afternoon drive from Los Angeles will take you up into the high mountains, where eagles circle above the forests and the cold blue lakes, or out over the Mojave Desert, with its weird vegetation and immense vistas.

Not very far away are Death Valley, and Yosemite, and Sequoia Forest with its giant trees which were growing long before the Parthenon was built; they are the oldest living things in the world.

One should visit such places often, and be conscious, in the midst of the city, of their surrounding presence. For this is the real nature of California and the secret of its fascination; this untamed, undomesticated, aloof, prehistoric landscape which relentlessly reminds the traveller of his human condition and the circumstances of his tenure upon the earth.

“You are perfectly welcome,” it tells him, “during your short visit. Everything is at your disposal. Only, I must warn you, if things go wrong, don’t blame me. I accept no responsibility. I am not part of your neurosis. Don’t cry to me for safety. There is no home here. There is no security in your mansions or your fortresses, your family vaults or your banks or your double beds. Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy.”

― Christopher IsherwoodExhumations

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtis not surprising then that we have chosen to live in a land that looks so much (in a certain light) like the places our blood desires.

“I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. Recording the man shaving at the window opposite and the woman in the kimono washing her hair. Some day, all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed.”

― Christopher IsherwoodGoodbye to Berlin

even the woman in the laundry room has now entered our brain – who is she? why so much laundry? why so early? why does she fold so carefully in the laundry room (when most people stuff into canvas bags, throw it onto the bed and listen to loud music through earphones while folding in the comfort of one’s own apartment)? who waits upstairs? how long has she been here? what does she do (apart from laundry)?

and what did she want to do with her life?

w h a t   h a p p e n e d that made her so full of  r a g e?


these are the things we think about (constantly).

it’s exhausting.

but also Rather curiously wonderful.

gelato with jessica denay @HotMomsClubBuzz and (another) incomprehensible french film.


our sweet little piece about gelato and Jessica Denay just hit the virtual newsstands so we Had to share it with you!

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 8.00.59 AM

and here’s a Helpful Link (because we do like to be Helpful) to Jessica’s books (we adore knowing other Authors).


and when the day’s work was done (earlier than expected – it’s summertime here – which is confusing because it’s Los Angeles which means it’s Always Summer Time – but people still get Summer Scheduling issues Here) we went to the Movies (because we like to do that).

what did we see?

to be honest we’re Not sure (what it was About).

565171260 but look who was in it!

hero_EB20130313REVIEWS130319987ARso we wrote a review anyway for our friend Arianna (because we are Enjoying doing so) and we’ll see if her Copy Editors like it (and don’t mind that we didn’t really grasp what we were seeing while thoroughly swooning at the Experience).

THIS JUST IN: our review Hot Off the Interweb Press

back to today


(only through the first few sips of coffee thus far)

we HOPE we’re going to meet one of our Hollywood Producer (business) crushes today – but one never knows – it’s been rescheduled *thinks* a Lot.

so we’ll see.

but we’ve read the book and are ready with-the-questions so here’s hoping, darlings.

see you later?

oh, that’s lovely.

yes, wear that one.

it suits your eyes and fair complexion.

those boots?


where Are you going today?

do. tell.

several hours of dark intensity @colcoa


so hard to wake up……


we got home Very Late after a Screening (we adore a screening) of a french film (don’t you adore a french film?) at the film festival in los angeles known as “ColCoa” (non, moi non plus, call the branding people) and there was a director‘s Q&A (delicious – with translation) 50d50abca72311e2a3e722000a9f09d0_7

the film?

bien sur.

Quelques heures de printemps

now we have to say that we usually avoid anything depressing (in case you hadn’t noticed) – and this includes Themes of death, family despair, unemployment, working class brutality, failed relationships, poverty and the banality of the suburbs (because we have experienced much of it, hence the obsession with chandeliers)

but if one Had to sit through all of the above – we would want it directed by this man 


and realized on screen by this man

vincent-lindonbecause Then – mon dieu – it would be a Tour De Force indeed.

and it was.

but now we are Wracked with emotion after a completely sleepless night and need to get sparkly eyed Pronto (as they’d say in La Bella Italia) because who-we-are-in-RL needs to drive to the Valley and do some work.

thank goodness we’re a virtual character and can stay quietly chez teamgloria-towers and lie down on the (exceedingly comfortable and chic) sofa and request more materials from the delicious people at the Los Angeles County Library system.


and if you were At the Directors Guild of America last night, on Sunset Blvd, yes, that was us at the front in the black pashmina and the Prada motorcycle boots asking a very-good-question about the directorial choices for the (almost) final scene where we’re dying to see the reaction shot and we-can-not and the strain is Almost Unbearable and thus brilliant because we have to imagine the response and inside our head – as Monsieur Brize said “the imagination is so powerful that the effect is tremendous” (imagine that line said in a beautiful broken french accent).

yes. it. was.

but now we are Exhausted by Emotion.

the drive to the San Fernando Valley is going to be even more surreal than one might have Planned.

follow the fairy lights, park by the airstream trailer and step into a magical canyon afternoon.


when you get Directions to a sunday gathering that includes the words “follow the fairy lights” and “park by the airstream trailer” you know that you are going into the magical late 60s land of Topanga Canyon (for a brief history of the Land do visit this site here).

we cannot say Where exactly we were.

Or who was there (because we are Most Discreet, as you know).

but there was talk of Paris and Lisbon and photographers and designers and authors and Soho Lofts and sailing yachts and rescued cats with aristocratic feline offspring and a Truly magical-whimsical-surround of sumptuous hills and glorious Vistas and a brass bed on a ledge and a long french farmhouse table with bread and freshly baked cake and the biggest, sweetest strawberries in sunny southern california.

a blissful experience.

we’re still tingling.


bien sur!


this land is very healing.

said our host with a smile and a look into the middle distance over the hills.

indeed it is. and it was. and we needed that.

thank you for an enchanting afternoon!


medical leave day 10: the responses of others. #sickbedtales

first we’d like to share a couple of photographs – and then a little social commentary, darlings (yes, our flesh may be Very Weak, but the GLORIAous mind is starting – slowly but surely – to RETURN. we had missed it dreadfully…..)

sick bed roses (we move everything from bedroom to living room like an edwardian housemaid so remain in full view – or should that be the roses in full sight – not we of them – or perhaps tis true the first way around)

HURRAH! we are now down from 21 pills (gulp) a day to 7. (the egg cup Is Nice, isn’t it? Peter Jones, love.)

we took a little (solo!) walk today – very tentatively – and saw our therapist (as you can imagine, we had a Lot To Talk About – and yet so little of a voice to say it in – but we are terribly expressive with our eyes) and then stopped for a cup of tea and had one of those tremendously reassuring feelings of “all will be well; in its own good time: the universe will reveal what is next: just drink your tea, write, read and be quiet and get well”

not exactly a voice from the heavens but a small rather english-accented with an irish lilt – a little Julie Christie* perhaps – just saying “take it easy” – rather nice.

*we once took a meditation class, in los angeles, but it wasn’t what we expected. the man leading it was in a frock – but he was a member of the clergy of some episcopal’ish denomination as we recall not, alas, one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (although we did go to a canonisation/canonization of our dear late friend Jackie Forster by their British sisters on a dark rainy night in Holborn many moons ago). anyway, he told us to have a mantra (yeah, it was a church in Los Angeles) and so we chose “julie christie” ;-)


are we not meant to reveal our mantra?

(ED: no, that’s just transcendental meditation).


ok – social commentary.

the reactions of others (to our surgery and illness and subsequent languishing at home for confinement period of three weeks) has completely fallen four distinct camps: in quite a Curious Way. and we thought Worth Noting.

firstly, to more learned sources than we: perhaps Pamela Frankau could help us out with a quote from her most excellent book: Pen to Paper, a novelist’s notebook.

AMERICANS: passionate for physical health: take endless trouble to avoid death.

ENGLISH: find ill-health not only interesting but respectable and often experience death in the effort to avoid a fuss.

clever, right?

so here’s our experience:

Americans fall very clearly into two camps/

camp A: those who Have Experienced Illness First-Hand (or very spiritual types who just get it).

they get the requirements of the sick person are consistency – one must show up and definitely on schedule or despair engulfs the one lying in somewhat less than glamorous circumstances – and how nice it is to get cards in the post – mostly to divert from the awful medical bills flooding in – and bringing something soothing is not only kind but deeply appreciated – often to bring diversion to what becomes a pretty small existence. these people are also really good at empathizing with details (“isn’t it just great how peacock-like the fit 30-something surgical team are?!” OR “yeah, it sucks how much the resident that signs you out looks about 12, right?”) these #sickbedtales are helpful. looking someone in the eye who knows, first-hand, how demoralizing it is to carry your IV on a little trolley to the bathroom at 3AM after a sleepless night and catch sight (“DEAR GOD!!!!”) of oneself in the harsh light of the overhead by the little sink, is Very Comforting. these people never stay too long. they know that one gets exhausted. but their visits are a dream and we are Most Grateful.

camp B: very healthy americans who have Never Been in Hospital for Surgery or those that HAVE and do NOT Want to be Reminded, thank you very much it’s all over now, clearly. 

then there are those (not always with an American passport by the way) who have Never Been Ill (we sympathize entirely, we had never been sick prior to this experience) and appear to be terrified of not only contact but doing the wrong thing or breaking us or admitting that one day they could be where we are (and we Thought we made it look so Vulnerable and rather Sweet). we don’t tend to hear – or see much – from these people. or they do a cheery phonecall/txt with a defiant roar of “it’ll all be better soon” (eventually, yes. today, nope.)

the ones that HAVE been to hospital and are now back at work several hours (we are not jesting here, we’ve Seen It at the Day Job) later, skin green from radiation, having left their blazer on the back of their chair so Nobody Knew They Were Gone (we once had a boss who did this during her remarkably short maternity leave)  do Not Want to Talk About It. they just want us to reassure them we are “completely on the mend” (huh? we just had Surgery a week ago.)  we have compassion (but not much time) for these people. we have seen so many people get sick over and over and over again because they didn’t take the time to sink into the experience and fully recover and learn at least something (even if it’s just a new skill like embroidery).

and what of other nations?

glad you asked – as you know team gloria is awfully richly endowed with friends across the globe, due to the bloods of three warring nations in our veins (more about our blood here in an earlier post if you’re curious) and also due to la vie jet set

camp c: the continental europeans are on a direct line to the Supreme Being, of course

these friends & acquaintances are comfortingly of the mindset that illness is a place one goes when one needs spiritual sustenance before one re-emerges to do one’s duty to one’s nation again. the people in this camp are mostly either titled, rich or both (not always possible in post-war europe). those born into more humble circumstances (like team gloria – alas any title/riches of aforementioned bloodline Long Gone in the mists of Time) are never quite as convinced of their role to the nation state. we shan’t get into politics here ;-) bizarrely we do seem to number a few from les ancients regimes among our “crowd” and many of our work colleagues in Other Lands have surnames that are dead-give-aways that their ancestors ruled part of Italy/Spain/France/Ruritania/etc. isn’t it just so surprising that so many corporations in france, for example, are run by people with “de” or “du” in their surnames despite the singular fact of you-know-what. 

and what of the British?

Ah yes.

camp D: those from whence the Empire roared, once upon a time. 

D (i) there are two types but not so defined as the Americans so we are going to use the roman numerals i and ii for these

(i) the British are curious: and most pretty much fit into the Pamela Frankau quote – illness is a respectable enough period of one’s life – in fits and starts – with nice vigorous bouts of gardening and DIY in between. this is nice. one feels treasured and cosseted but also aware that one will be sparkly again. at some point. many of these people call at the last minute “how was it?” as if one just got a new fridge/freezer from Hotpoint. we’re going to wait a little while before we respond to these calls as we know there’ll be the sentence “no milk spilt” and we can’t remember the (polite) response. there are also the people (no, you can’t possibly expect us to be explicitly sexist – can you?) who roar “it’ll ALL BE OK”. right. thanks for that. and thanks ever so much for your cards and flowers (wherever they got to).

(ii) national treasures. some British are Salt of the Earth (“there’ll be a something on the hillside, there’ll be something else on the Dale” la la la) do really good care packages with a sense of naughtiness to off-set any sentimentality (which one can indulge in only when turning away to take the golden toffee from the Quality Street tin at Christmas). these people are DELICIOUS (you know who you are). and they also do Really Good Video Diaries and post them via the interweb and we lie on the sofa weakly laughing and then doing a *little sob*

there are of course HYBRIDS:

(a) national treasures/americans who have been sick and get it (these people often had British Mummies)

(b) continental europeans/but from vastly more egalitarian nations (and they are Excellent on Instagram)


and then there are virtual friends. (no, not imaginary friends – and of course, yes, we do Have Those).

we mean interweb-friends-often-with-pseudonym.

these relationships are incredibly rich and very pure (sometimes almost medieval knight-and-lady…….of any/both/either gender combination – we are remarkably modern – online – ahem ;-)

these relationships are purely words (or purely pictures-with-captions) and are so clear, helpful, “here’s my experience” and elegant (virtual peonies had us weeping for hours). these virtual friends are from as far afield as berlin, london and sydney (or do you live in melbourne, dear J?) and, of course, the Other Coast.

do you know of anymore? do tell us about Your Experience in the “do say something, do” box at the end.

and then there’s JM: a most splendid visitor this evening. definitely from the been-there-worn-the-hospital-gown, also very spiritual and has the Most Beautiful reading voice. he asked all the right questions. laughed at our impression of the 12 year old resident attempting to give us a sheaf of naughty “scrips” despite our No-Opiates! cry. and then we got very tired and he topped up our tea and we grabbed the cashmere scarf and held it close to the black (hard to find but so much nicer) pashmina and he read to us. Not, this evening, from Armistead, but something more personal, of his choice.

it was EXACTLY what we needed.

ps: we are aware that we may have been a Tiny Bit Critical in this post. get your own Surgery and confinement experience and your own blog and we’ll link to you for – um – balance. *gasp* #naughtyteamgloria.


Went to see Florent, the documentary, and was transported to a more gritty and fabulous time of drag queens (and radical kings), queer activists and blondes in advertising. Florent himself stopped by for the Q&A and I happy to report the neon sign is safe in storage and Florent continues to change the world one map and one city planning meeting at a time. A good man. Who ran a good joint that mattered.