sunday in santa monica with jonathan.

darlings

a lovely day in santa monica – and a quick whip around the farmers market in santa monica with the newest resident of This Coast just before lunch!

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so happy when lovely people decide to escapewinterinmanhattan move WEST!

now.

what else?

let’s see…..
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we popped over to Lamill Coffee yesterday and they had ever such gorgeous blooms on the counter top.08cbc256551511e3bc39120ce0231231_8

we managed to s l e e p through an entire night and wake up at dawn so the #jetlag is subsiding at last!47a04660551911e38b1612aeb095b634_8

and our gift to William has been framed in Whitstable, by William, because we only carry hand luggage so we had to put in rolled up in our case and not encased behind glass which is what he has done Now (and this is our version annotated – digitally with a virtual stylus on our Galaxy Note – oh thank you! yes, how clever – from William’s Own post earlier today on Instagram – how Modern)d9af1b4e548d11e380340aca97abc920_8

and it being a Weekend we’ve been drinking rooibos tea (deeply South African) and reading the Financial Times (Very European) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and this was Santa Monica early this morning where we went to meet some friends for a sort of non-breakfast (chatting but no food – actually rather nice). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and this FANTASTIC creature was at the tiny petting zoo where small people can give nutritious looking pellets of food, we assume, to the small animals therein, at the Farmers Market on Main StreetOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

here’s a “wide shot” as the say in the movies (actually not that wide, they’d probably call this is a 2-shot if we hadn’t caught the hooves of some other type of creature top of frame) just to get the full effect of that bona riah (do you speak Polari, love?)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

then after our lovely chat with the newest resident of Los Angeles (Jonathan, not the bizarre creature with the fluffy “do”), we took a drive up into the Hills above Sunset Strip to admire the view and dream wistfully of what’s next..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

this is the Sort of view that gives itself to Wistfulness as I’m sure you can see. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

as do chandelier lustres. theNTlikedYourPicture

and *gasps* nice “likes” from the National Trust on Instagram (terribly Modern as William would say) – looks like somebody learned howtosearchforhastags ;-)

f84e8bc4555611e3924b12f247178dfa_8-1and now we can admire the apples we bought at the farmers market before heading out into the evening (hopefully we can stay awake!) to be sociable and see friends we’ve not been Able to see because we’ve been asleep by teatime since returning from Abroad.

how lovely.

how nice.

in fact.

did you have a delicious sunday evening?

which television program(me) did you end up watching?

oh!

did you see Doctor WHO?

we’re dying to see that one……..we’ve been promised it on a thumbdrive in the Post.

yes.

that’s how we receive Television Transmissions over here.

it’s perfectly lovely.

what’s that?

oh.

excellent point.

*smilessweetlyviainterweb*

you want to know Where we bought William’s artwork gift?

do you remember the Wish List where all that lovely tulle and beauteousness lived?

we bought it there.

yes, then.

we were Dying to put up a picture at the time but William might have seen it so it would have Ruined the surprise.

we’re good at keeping secrets special information hidden.

just so you know.

walking, talking, inspiring over tacos.

darlings

A full day.

Much magic.

A lot of Writing (sending the completed YA novel to our Agent on Monday – a book which has a working title of “Emerald” but will probably be called Emerald’s Adventures at a Terribly British Boarding School – for clarity and because we have already started writing the one where she goes to University and it is Entirely Possible that we could squeeze one in about her Sixth Form Adventures too.)

In answer to the (no doubt in your mind) Question “are they all autobiographical, dear?”

The short answer is No.

But the more deeply considered multi-layered response which attributes some time given to the study of semiotics and semantics is Yes; everything happened. But not necessarily to Us and not in that order.

If that makes sense……?

So in between doing a final once over before we send the File on Monday, we had a few adventures of our own in RL.

Actually today saw Two lovely encounters with people we have hitherto either just met in RL once (Eleanor) or never met before at all in Person (Jonathan) but have followed them on instagram and so observed and commented and shared their lives and work and band gigs and movingacrossthecountry (J) and wantingtomoveacrossthecountry (E) and so much intensity and a mutual love of twinkle lights in one’s home (all year round) for Quite a While.

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We met eleanor at the pacific design center early this morning.

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And took a walk around the not-yet-sunny streets, ducking into small verdant courtyards to admire Foliage and pick up business cards at Interesting shops and potential new acqupuncture spa-like nooks. 

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We would like to mention that eleanor has a BOOK coming out and we can’t wait to read it.
Talking of Talent – we drove across town – towards east LA to meet Jonathan at a proper taco stand. The sort of taco stand that has fresh cilantro (coriander for our English friends) and Mexican soft beverages and chiles that bring Tears to the eyes.

Jonathan is a graphic artist and gave us a small envelope with a Wax Seal (don’t you just adore knowing people who seal their Correspondence appropriately for the etiquette of the early eighteenth century?)

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We cannot yet link to Jonathan’s site – tis in Progress – but here are some of his stickers (which are going straight in our scrapbook and moleskine directly for Posterity).

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A very creatively stimulating day.

As we drove back West, we sang along with Simone emoting something glorious in Italian (we don’t know All the words but we do a passable aria)…..

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At home, much later, we found ourself reading cookbooks by Sophie Dahl, while sipping decaf and warmed milk from cafe du monde (the coffee, not the milk, that’s from trader joes) and musing on Quelle inspiring people we know. And have just met. And might well meet Next.

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So exciting.

Sunday, tomorrow.

As heather says, the best day.

home. a place to sit and read and dream.

darlings

Beyond Exhaust-ed.

Emotionally, physically and all the other ways one Could Be.

We met the (very charming and kind and considerate and remarkably Swift) Moving Men outside the apartment building at a very early hour.

They would not hear of us picking up a Thing.

Apparently our job was to Tick off the numbers of the boxes as they called them Out.

So we stood behind the kitchen counter and felt a Tiny bit like Martha Stewart directing workmen on a new TV set:

Oh. Over there, please. Yes, lovely. Oh maybe that way round. Gosh. Perfect.

And then it was time to say goodbye and cut down the parking permit signs and go back upstairs.

Almost had a Tiny meltdown at sight of So Many Boxes.

But then we remembered to be grateful that we were just unpacking them. We didn’t have to Pack anything back in nyc as Jonathan had done that (and wonderfully, with lots of softly folded brown paper).

Five hours …….(a few tears and a dead beetle) later…..

We have a new stage set 

Um.

Home ;)

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Yes.

We are smiling at you from the milk chocolate shade couch and waving wearily but Most Happily.

Note to self: going to the hardware store in Beverly Hills because they have a handyman service and Hanging Pictures has not been part of our skill-set judging from Past Experience.

Ah.

The wisdom of advancing years…..

We have a List.

It will be lovely to ply the handyman with tea and see which moviestars he (or, optimistcally and most modern perchance – she) has Also hung pictures for. Because the hardware store has been there since the 1920s so you just Know there is a History with the movie colony people.

Bet they’re Terribly discreet of course.

But it Never hurts to show Interest.

So happy.

Exhausted.

But thrilled.

final day of medical leave: 21 days later: so many feelings, no more time.

hmmm. this is a hard one to write.

our last day of medical leave.

we have mixed feelings, to be honest.

a sense of relief (no cancer). a new perspective (god, we have Great Friends). well-rested (not a lot else to do even if lots of the sleep happened during the day and we watched movies and read during the small cruel hours of sleeplessness). well-read (see previous point – the small hours are good with a hot tea and a pair of glasses perched on our nose while snuggled under the covers against Tons of Nice Pillows).

we are also aware that Everything Must Change.

not sure how that will happen.

but we’re ready for it, whatever It Is.

and we have some ideas – including a book and a “kindness kit” business and lots of other hopefully brilliant “gosh where did they come from?!” concepts and the movie screenplay about Holly Hart and her tumors/tumours – hell, yeah, of Course we’re going to fictionalize this Whole Experience – and we’re geared up to write a second movie starring Gloria (see here for more about that)

here’s where it all started…….after the initial “lumps” found back in April 2011, and then the ultrasounds and biopsies and then the Hideous Line: “WE FOUND A MASS AND NEED TO OPERATE” (yeah, it felt like shouting)

Posted on June 17, 2011 by teamgloria

so team gloria has a date for the surgery –

september 9th –

and the rather hideous diagnosis of:

“thirty percent chance of cancer”

and – shocking –

we have three tumors/tumours, not just tobias.

this isn’t the realm of the unwell – it’s a veritable breeding machine inside our throat.

(the rest of this post is here)

and ever since then, we’ve been through So many Feelings (btw, we just deleted a whole bunch of spam in the comments and got Very Cross with one – that may have been an auto-generated-response-bot – that said we were WHINING. huh? our response was unprintable. and thankfully un-typed. isn’t Hitting the Delete Button a blessing, darlings?)

for any reason, if you’ve just joined us (perhaps from Instagram? hello! we Adore Instagram) and wonder what the hell all this talk is about it starts here:

and now we attempt to return to the Day Job. (ahem, no, they don’t know we call it that ;-) #giggle

let’s see what happens next. when this blog returns to documenting our search for glorious people, places and things once more (and our La Vie Jet-Set).

so here are a few pictures from our last blessed day of healing from all-that-has-happened-so-far.

final look at the view from where we take our fake thyroid hormone pills and then the calcium a bit later and have to steady ourselves for the nausea.

we met jT for tea at 10AM (before we had our hair cut to look presentable for Corporate America tomorrow) and he was wearing a magical god from the Incas. it spoke to us so we asked if we could take a picture (we asked jT, not the Inca god).

we then (post haircut) took a walk to meet Jonathan and talk a while and rest at ground support (we wish they had a web site because we’d link to them then but if you’re in the neighborhood/area/locale they’re on west broadway just south of spring).

then Jonathan’s phone rang and his AGENT CALLED (we love these kind of moments) and HE JUST GOT A NEW ROLE ON A TELEVISION SERIES! (isn’t that fabulous). despite his great excitement we persuaded him to pose for an anonymous style shot of the actor, resting, who has just marked down his start date for shooting – he was Very Kind and did this (see below).

we then spent a little while resting (as we Have Been through Surgery just under three weeks ago and our strength is not yet returned) and, after his Day at the Office had ended, the lovely jW (of the CT jW1/jW2) dropped by and we had a brainstorm and a nice pot of tea and a walk (we are getting Lots of Exercise) and then we split some rather nice cheese from a local creamery (so chic and supporting local businesses as we have been doing for the entire medical leave as we couldn’t go anywhere).

and so – tomorrow – back to work. and a New Chapter.

(talking of new chapters – William sent us a final medical leave gift – too kind! of Roy Strong’s delicious book about England – chapter 1 is entitled “Gloriana” – we are Tickled Pink – and will be reading it tonight.)

 

 

medical leave day 13: german films in the dark cinema while waiting for our glands to grow back (and the Divine DV)

the doorbell rang – not early – but insistently and suddenly there was a very nice man from the FedEx company with a parcel (as you know we Love a Parcel).this was from the elegant, erudite and downright delicious ABM (who has the most flowing script and writes a Very Good Card).

Oh! quelle delight! the package contained the new book about DIANA VREELAND!

we left a croaky (a little more voice everyday) and highly emotional (this cannot come as a surprise to you darlings) voicemail on his machine (which we suppose is virtual these days) to say thank you and will be writing a lovely card (we bought some more from the stationery shop yesterday and love to post letters as you know #smallsimpletasks) first thing in the morning.

divine.

DV.

is truly divine.

we hung the red ribbon from ABM’s parcel in ceremony on the Scavullo portrait (not the original – alas – but a Very Nice Print – well-framed) of Diana Vreeland (on a vivid red mat, naturally) in our main room (we hesitate to call it sitting room as we don’t sit a lot – we lounge and living room sounds silly when one lives in such a small and yet lovely apartment – plus we “live” in all our rooms).

two lovely visits – earlier today Jonathan (took us for a stroll – a lot further than before and happily the rain had stopped as we walked through Washington Square) and, this evening, K took us to UPS to pick up some post that was too big for the mailbox or something of that sort or needed a signature we can’t recall – our mind is a whirl (we’re secretly reading the DV book as we type, looking left occasionally and turning a page – yes! the multi-tasking brain is Back!) and then we went to supper by candlelight very close to the house. it was All Too Much being out as we faded (hopefully gracefully) and came home.

and now – hours later, of course, we’re Wide Awake.

oh – we forgot to mention – on the way back from our walk (like a small black labrador) with our lovely companion Jonathan – we thought we’d see if we were strong enough for the cinema. in the mid-afternoon there are very few people about and we are a tiny bit bored of our apartment as you can imagine after 13 days and so we ventured in, telling ourselves we could always leave if it got too much (the cinema is one of four about three blocks from our place).

we stayed. and we’re so glad we did. we saw Drei (3) (a Foreign Film, yes – we do speak a tiny bit of german) and enjoyed it immensely. the ending was a bit ho-hum to be honest. but the whole effect was a beautiful portrait of three, entwined, 40 (?) somethings who were lost and found each other and then themselves. plus it was european so very duo-chrome and stark and east berlin style housing and vintage paperbacks with curious covers and good art director glasses and unkempt yet well-cut hair and Very Intelligent People. worth seeing.

sitting in the cool darkness of the cinema we had this sensation of our glands growing (because, as you probably recall, they were removed during the 5 hour surgery as they were twisted and sore and destroyed by our tumours/tumors/Tobias and his sisters). it was kinda nice. the idea that while we sat quietly in the dark. bits of us are growing back. and soothing and healing and getting ready for what’s next. whatever that is.

***we DID write to you this morning, darlings. but “something happened” with the laptop. we’re not sure what it was. but it was sort of magical and made us giggle. you see we woke up in something of a Fury. and we made a cup of coffee (after a Decent Interval post the pills we have to take) and we wrote (and Cried a Bit) and wrote and wrote – quite furiously – all about the glass closet and corporate america and homophobia and immigration and sexism and Getting To Be Too Much and What Happened When and there was even some dialogue (very carefully disguised as to Person and Place) and our reaction and their lack of it and there was more. Lots More. and we took a deep breath and felt Very Proud for being all Out There (ahem) and revealing and So There and we PRESSED SEND and went off to run a bubble bath and listen to Radio 4………..

and when we got back there was an error message. the Post had not been Posted.

fancy that.

sometimes darling one Has to Say Something. But the world doesn’t necessarily Have To Read It.

too funny.

it’s never happened before.

we are protected by angels.

medical leave day 6: people who need people: #sigh. team gloria becomes an archipelago.

medical leave day #6.

lessons learned yesterday – people who need people (thank you J_actor_friend for lending us the EXCELLENT Barbra TV specials from the 60s+) and our slow realization/awareness that we are ceasing our island-ness-self-sufficiency-we’ll-do-our-own-lists-darling-thank you……to team gloria becomes an archipelago – we can’t even walk outside the apartment on our own (too pathetically – in a Victorian maiden sense – not a cruel one – weak and wounded) and so a troupe (a veritable troupe! of real and virtual friends) are needed to get us through the day (the mental health being verging on dubious at the best of times – akin to genius they told us in our extreme youth as adults gathered around to watch us play chess – not always the most helpful upbringing to be fully socialized with other (well, normal) children (we always found the outcasts and the wounded and still love Their Company, naturally ;-)

so here was yesterday’s delicious group of friends who came to call – they spoke – we whispered – they walked us round the block and let us pause ever so frequently on a wooden bench outside a small cafe while they got us a decaf iced no sugar to soothe our VERY SCRATCHY AND SORE THROAT (just in case you didn’t get that – it bloody hurts):

we awoke late – (didn’t) admire the bruises appearing on our body from the calcium draining away (we keep popping the interminable amount of pills but apparently this is normal) – we supposed we DID just go through a hellish surgery and the heart monitor burn is now a veritable battle scar and we’re sort of Proud of it – which is worrying – (but not to our friends who saw us in the very late 80s in dodgy clubs in sarf’ london where-the-cabs-don-t-go) and finally got dressed (who knew it took that long when it’s not as if we have a vast array of wardrobe choices being more of a uniform sort of a person in the Jean Muir sense, darlings).

Jonathan (our actor friend) came first – gave us beautiful gifts – and then, after a short walk, we curled up beneath our black (yes, hard to find, but so much nicer) pashmina and the grey/gray cashmere scarf that Cindy sent us from the Other Coast but Further Up (yes, SF) on the sofa and he read to us from Armistead Maupin (this will be one of the themes of our recovery from surgery so bear with us).

then one of our Very Glamorous/Chic Friends (from Abroad) came by (delivered by a driver – isn’t that too delicious?) and we looked dubiously at her feet while asking her to take us for a walk (see picture – HERMES – we know – So Rare in the house of Doctor Martens ;-)

“no problem, dah-ling” she said and reached into her (chic) bag and brought out some Capri type sandals (yes, they Were Chanel) and took us for a walk.

then we sat for a while and she talked and we twinkled at her most excellent anecdotes.

MORE FLOWERS ARRIVED: it was like Gertrude Lawrence’s dressing room here yesterday (and we have to say we are a tiny bit – ok – a lot – sad that not a peep from the Day Job)

and then we had to sleep for a long time – this illness as a metaphor is little more than extreme exhaustion not sure how Susan S got an entire book out of it.

much later in the evening, our lovely friend B (one of the Bs – this one is of the very chic shirts and slim denim look – when he’s not in drag, that is ;) came to take us round the block again and then we had a little supper. we were “totally over” the rabbit food and needed a luscious omelette and a (small) side of (cut up into tiny slices) fried potatoes with salt (the salt being a crucial ingredient).

so there you have it – not a lot of action – but a Ton of Friends.

see – we’re not so much of an island anymore.

a rather Cute Archipelago if we do say so ourselves.

let’s not forget this when we have to return to the sniper fire of midtown manhattan.

(btw, we cancelled/canceled a few subscriptions to periodicals that just aren’t us and it felt liberating – we really don’t care – it seems – who knew?)

it’s going to be a long night:

but in 16 hours it’ll all be over and healing begins.

so – hmmm – not much point getting an early night – we are so wired and awake and, surprisingly productive, everything’s packed.

here’s how tomorrow looks (as they say in Los Angeles):

up at 4.30AM or shortly thereafter (and a panic at No Coffee Allowed) so we’ve put the yellow roses in front of the coffee pot to remind us and a black town car will pull up outside at 5.30AM. Cheltenham Lady is going to walk up to our house (we are Most Grateful) and accompany us to the hospital. 6AM we’re due in “admissions” (feels like boarding school and university all over again) and a variety of uncontrollable substances will be dripped into our body and hopefully we won’t care about what happens next…

under the knife at 0730 hours East Coast Time if you’d like to send us good thoughts and we know several people are going to meditate at exactly that time (isn’t That GLORIAous?! we are very charmed that we know such spiritual and deeply cool people – wonder if we’ll “see them” while under the influence of the scary shit they’ll put in our veins…..that will be Fun!)

and then the machine we’ve put into place will kick into gear, like this (just in case you’re going through a similar experience and need inspiration on how to get the right team onboard – our team ROCKS.)

* M will be here tomorrow to make the apartment into a nicely spare and super-clean recovery/nesting place for the next three weeks.

*J arrives sometime in the afternoon to pick up the overnight bag (which is a rather lovely beaten up but very glam brown leather bag – as seen in Oceans Eleven, actually – while others sighed:

“Oh, Brad Pitt. George Clooney”

team gloria leaned forward in the darkness of the cinema and said:

“now THAT’S a Delicious Bag……wonder where That’s from?”

because we have Connections in the Industry we found out the answer was something along the lines of Vuitton or Gucci at the upper end of the ridiculous scale of dosh (American friends = money). And then because we have Connections in Retail, we found out that the same leather factory (at the time, we hasten to add, don’t fact check us) in Italy was providing product to Banana Republic (for chaps). And so we dropped some cash there. and it’s traveled/travelled the world with us since then. Along with the trusty silver Samsonite.

we lost our thread….oh yes, (scrolled back), here we go (tomorrow):

*then J comes to our hospital bed and drops off the Oceans Eleven bag and we swiftly reject the nasty (nylon, we’re sure) “gown” for our Noel Coward celestial blue soft cotton long robe and comfy cashmere-mix socks, apply a little mascara, decent face cream from Boots, the Chemist in England (courtesy of Belinda at Lady Geek) and settle back to listen to William’s rockin’ “smack bottom” (he IS naughty) playlist (all those tunes that transport us back to 1992, the clubs in south london, gritty floors, Camel cigarettes smoked to the bitter end, nasty pints of something nasty chased with something ever worse, if our memory serves us right and mopping up the hangover with a full english at the greasy spoon caf’ in the small hours) – not at All Suitable for Hospital (and, as a result, Perfection).

Then we shall also crack open our novel sent from George (1904) and settle in for a long read (while peeling back the top from a zero percent fat greek yoghurt and waving away the scratchy broccoli probably on offer – “hello, people, we’ve had our Throat Slit!” – yes, that’s what was given to someone else who’d had the same operation – pur-lease).

*in the morning, mC arrives with a copy of the Financial Times and a lukewarm misto (cafe au lait for our french friends), and hopefully will sit on our bed and tell us that we don’t look like we just went through hell. (note to self: more mascara and Boots finest creams).

*then we’re sure various doctors will come and nurses will administer (not any scary drugs – we’re going to work through the pain…..believe us the consequences for not doing so are too hideous to bear) tylenol (British = Nurofen, no codeine)

and, at some point in the late afternoon, bF is going to drive up and sign for us as we sit in the lobby in a wheelchair doing our best (young’ish) Elizabeth Taylor impression in large dark glasses and a wrap and a big Hollywood smile.

of course, if we have cancer. then, we guess, the story is slightly different.

depending on what they found and cut out and can ZAP with the radioactive iodine (we are still confused how they squish the radioactiveness into a “pill”) for six weeks.

quit the chat?

share some pictures?

of course, darlings.

a few from today.

bless you, habilleuse helene!

we had a delicious breakfast (abstemious oatmeal and fruit and a Ton of Coffee) at Balthazar with lots of newspapers and Very expensive imported fashion magazines from Continental Europe.

and of course we spent some splendid moments on instagram with our glorious companions from all over the globe, sharing pictures and sentiments, much needed to raise our spirits…..

and now we’re at home: drinking more coffee (yeah, completely aware how insane that is) because the option of staring at the ceiling wondering what it’ll be like having our neck slit compared to hanging out on the interweb, listening to music, talking to people and then a…

double feature!

we’ll probably start with glorious and educational yet witty and profound and uplifting like:

prime of miss jean brodie (thank you william)

and then we’ll need something (ahem) else like:

coyote ugly.

 

#giggle.

naughty. we are ever so naughty.