Mr. Blake and Mr. Huxley on the doors of perception with pictures (some of doors, but not all) by teamgloria.


just pictures.

and a quote from Mr. Blake

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

― William BlakeThe Marriage of Heaven and Hell

and Mr. Huxley:

The various “other worlds,” with which human beings erratically make contact are so many elements in the totality of the awareness belonging to Mind at Large. Most people, most of the time, know only what comes through the reducing valve and is consecrated as genuinely real by the local language. Certain persons, however, seem to be born with a kind of by-pass that circumvents the reducing valve. In others temporary by-passes may be acquired either spontaneously, or as the result of deliberate “spiritual exercises,” or through hypnosis, or by means of drugs. Through these permanent or temporary by-passes there flows, not indeed the perception “of everything that is happening everywhere in the universe” (for the by-pass does not abolish the reducing valve, which still excludes the total content of Mind at Large), but something more than, and above all something different from, the carefully selected utilitarian material which our narrowed, individual minds regard as a complete, or at least sufficient, picture of reality.”

-Adlous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

and now some doors (the occasional gate – and a sprinkling of always-welcome-blooms) to illustrate from our morning walks yesterday and Terribly Early today.

as you scroll down – look for the cat, the fly and Mr. E.T on a window sill – all lounging happily in the sunshine of southern california.











OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by Mind at Large this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual.

Aldous Huxley – Doors of Perception [1954]

and now we must return to our Study.

we’re helping who-we-are-in-RL as she reads up on dark matter, string theory and really-mind-blowing-advances-in-technology.


isn’t life delicious? – and s t r a n g e…..

setting the scene in donal bay….(aka #oceanPark California)


we went to interview someone for next week’s column in Los Angeles, I’m Yours, and after it was done (and fascinating and lovely an interview it was too) we decided it was going to be too crazy on the freeway (rush hour) so we took a different turning and went to watch the sunset on the beach before heading home……..and took a lot of pictures

mainly because we want You to have a Visual of this fictitious place we called DONAL BAY in the screenplay-being-turned-into-a-novel (in reality, it’s Ocean Park, California and yes, we used to live There)

ready to read?

it’s just a little bit tonight – but a few pictures too, so a cup of tea or something sweet might be nice, depending on your time zone/desire:

we’ll wait……….


you’re back – lovely – here we go.



There is a place in southern California called Donal Bay. It’s a few miles down the coastal road from Santa Monica on the way to Venice Beach and you would miss it if you did not slow down and turn left just five minutes (in mellow traffic) as soon as you spot the pier on the ocean side.


There are twinkle lights entwined between all the palm trees down Main Street, an Irish bar, 1940s era eggs and coffee breakfast place and a newsstand with all the Italian and Parisian fashion magazines next to surfing and boating news. There are also several tiny cafes with small round tables in between all the yoga studios and alternative healing emporia.


Late at night, strange mists of water can be seen at the intersection. As you get closer, you’ll see people in wet suits, just back from the beach, washing the sand off their cars in the outdoor hand car wash. They then gather at the Mexican place and sit at the counter to eat three dollar fish tacos and swig from lurid candy-colored soda bottles.

The homeless men and women in black shuffle into formation to sleep outside the old Carnegie Library, just down the street from the seafood restaurant with fishing nets above the door, a mermaid’s torso and the sound of live fiddle music floating out into the night air.


If you turn left from the Ocean road and find yourself in Donal Bay, you will probably never want to leave.  Livy Brennan took that turning last year to see about an apartment share and knew she was here for good.


The apartment was four blocks from the beach and part of a duplex owned by an entertainment attorney called John Mahoney. Several years earlier, John had been visiting a faded rock star client in Malibu who needed yet another divorce, and taken the Ocean road back towards Beverly Hills. He got lost, couldn’t find the I-10 freeway and ended up in Donal Bay. It was exactly the place he had been looking for. He sold his house in Hancock Park and bought the duplex as soon as he could, moving into the first floor apartment on the left and renting out the other units to various creative types who liked to surf.


Livy Brennan did not surf. But she did love to sit at the water’s edge with her shoes in her hand, her jeans rolled up to mid calf and watch the sun slip behind the Ferris wheel on the pleasure Pier.


She was so enchanted by the sunset that she did not see Calliope emerge from the waves.


oh yes – we are Most Excited about writing this one.

bless you for reading along thus far……….more soon.


perfect (late) summer sunday: Los Angeles-style (driving by the ocean, surfers, sunset, sunday newspapers, salad at the Hamlet)


a *divine* day.

here are our pictures – with captions.

we started the day (as per usual in L.A) with all the sections of the Los Angeles Times we enjoy, in order. there was (rather too much) coffee, oatmeal (side of berries and banana) and a leisurely sniffing of the morning air (it was 7 AM – not sure why we were up that early, but we were, so we took advantage of the extra hours and headed to the pool shortly after).

we swam lengths and enjoyed the peace and quiet until the others all arrived – it started with Industry Types (all small string bikinis and shlock novels) and was followed, at around 10 AM, by people-with-children. It was hard to concentrate on one’s book or notes in the latest moleskine by that point so we exited, a little toasty brown and serotonin nicely lifted by the exercise, and headed back to our room.

have you been downtown, to where Los Angeles, started? to the delicious “el pueblo de los angeles” and olvera street?

we had fabulous traditional mexican food and enjoyed the music……

and saw a real mexican cowboy.

then we went to CHINAtown (in fact the first Chinatown in the USA is this one, in Los Angeles)

we went to buy some spiritual protection (before our surgery), after getting some special guidance from some learned people (we bought 3 x dragons and an 8-sided mirror to hang outside our front door in NYC,  in case you’re curious and need to know…)

we walked back from CHINAtown and decided to stop into Union Station as we had never been before (despite having lived in Los Angeles for five years previously).

isn’t it stunning?

just like something out of the movies – including one of our favorites/favourites/special loves – BLADERUNNER (in fact we used to look like an extra, sorry “background artiste” from that movie during our early 20s…..if you can imagine that, darlings. complete with long leather coat, nose pierced and a rather sharp what-we-thought-was-very-jean-seberg crop ;)

we wondered where these two young misses were going to – there’s a Very Romantic set of train journeys that leave union station – like these – called:

southwest chief, texas eagle, pacific surfliner, coast starlight and sunset limited.

one can even travel from Canada down to Los Angeles (although it takes an Awfully Long Time and one would need several sandwiches in a wax paper package with a very large thermos of PG Tips.)
Then we drove to the OCEAN and watched the surfers lope casually along the boardwalk and across the sand…….we did the same (although we’re not good at loping to be honest) and stood with our jeans rolled up a little and wiggled our toes as the waves came slowly and lusciously over our ankles.
There was a gathering of our friends slightly further in-land and we watched the sunset fall over the coast before heading to the Hamlet on Sunset to end our day with a very Blake Edwards (spot the theme) style salad of melon balls, mozzarella, italian ham and mint (that bit was surprising and we’re not sure it entirely worked) – felt very 1950s. which is appropriate as the Hamlet has been there since then. 
Last time we were at the Hamlet, with friends-of-a-certain-age in the Industry (one really has to at the Hamlet or one feels a tiny bit sad and left out as it is the land that time forgot but press agents do not), Matthew Perry was also there (watching some sporting game). as you know, we Respect Talent, and so didn’t go up and say hi (but our smile was wide and ravishing, naturally). 
we have just got back to our hotel room now – all packed and ready for our wake-up call (4AM) and then off to LAX to fly back to JFK.


shirley, judith, tobias and his sisters and the spaces in between.

team gloria is inside the spaces in between.

in between what?

we hear you ask (in a lovely baritone over there, how delicious, thank you for that)….

in between times. in between feelings. in between lives. in between chapters.

what on earth are you talking about dear?

(team gloria takes a sip of delicious new fairtrade coffee made by some women-owned farms in central africa – we made that last bit up, couldn’t quite face getting up and checking the data but you get the idea – coffee that not only tastes good, but makes you feel good – yes, we did write advertising copy at one point in our careers – for a meal-replacement bar – not a high point – but the view from the office was quite lovely).

well, since the looming date of september 9th hangs over our heads like the sword of damocles (we do love a little ancient history in the morning), we cannot plan a thing.

we have no idea how we are going to feel – physically, emotionally or in the realms-of-the-spirit – we have no concept of how long the special thyroid-replacement hormone and radioactive iodine in-pill-form (how Valley of the Dolls! and not for the first time in our lives we can say that sadly ;-)

we don’t know how our emotions and motor skills will be affected and for how long.

isn’t motor skills just the loveliest 1920s expression?

“how are your motor skills, maud?”

“oh! darlings! the austin runs like a bloody dream!”

so here we are. the spaces in between. not able to plan. no concept of when we can fly again post-sept 9th (we leave on a jet plane on monday for the Other Coast pre-surgery!), no idea of what length of recovery time is required.

all we have is this: we are going to have surgery. tobias and his sisters will be cut out along with our glands in both sides of our throat and placed onto a white (is it white?) slab and dissected and examined for (oh come on, are you going to make us say it? ok…..


and then we will lie in bed watching the movies that you recommend and writing a novel.

did we not mention that?

we’ve written a few screenplays but a novel-while-convalescing sounds so delicious, non?

here’s a taste.

Perhaps she’d take a lover. After all, her afternoons were now free. Isn’t that what women of a certain age in Europe did? She picked up the smallest paperweight, with the words Gloria picked out in tiny jeweled letters over a celestial blue sky, and, holding it for good luck, walked out of her office and into her new life.

She should have taken the subway, she thought, as the car service crawled downtown. In her new life, perhaps she’d only take the subway and wean herself off the expensive town cars and constant stream of taxicabs.

Money was not going to be a problem. She was rich – her lawyer had made sure of that.

yes – darlings – you guessed it – we are going to lie in bed draped in a silk robe, with stitches in our poor (previously unlined – ahem) neck and write a shirley-conranjudith-krantz-type-oeuvre.

it’s all going to be delicious.

and knowing us (as we do) – highly lucrative ;-)