a walk up the canyon….

darlings

we took a walk up the Canyon yesterday – ostensibly to meet Another Expatriate Writer (don’t you adore Foreign Correspondents?) and then, because we took such nice pictures, to return home to write Next Week’s “Where Shall We Meet” for our delicious Editor at Los Angeles, I’m Yours.

the final piece will be posted Wed (at noon, Pacific Time) so we’ll just give you a taste of the delights of our meandering walk……

You’ll pass Honey Drive and Happy Lane and feel your blood pressure drop considerably. Look up at the Italianate houses as you drift by with ironwork 19th century lanterns, admiring butterflies and hummingbirds and carved cherubs (sometimes wearing sunglasses left by naughty residents), affirmations chalked on stone steps leading to houses with novels piled up winsomely in the paint peeling window frames. If you drive up, you’ll miss all this.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand now we wait. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

admiring the sunrise.

 

 

dawn over dubai and sunset over south africa.

darlings

we’re HERE!

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it’s extraordinary being (back) here and every time one looks up there it is  – a bloody great Mountain (Table Mountain) in the middle of the City.

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now this was the view over DUBAI at 6AM this morning where we changed planes in the middle of a desert – which was glorious – but an airport that appeared to be slipped onto the sides of a vastness of a shopping mall (which was rather depressing).

and now here we are: latitude 33° 56′ S which means 33 degrees and 56 minutes from the EQUATOR *shivers* also known as Cape Town, South Africa. 

isn’t it lovely?

take a look:

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the twinkling lights….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the soft glow of a warm sub-equatorial eveningOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a vibrant AFRICAN sky. *sighs*OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

slowly fading into pink then night fell. 

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as we took a post 16 hours of flying stroll around the Woodstock area we heard shouts of triumph and clapping and, well, we like both those sound effects (or FX as they call them in Hollywood), and so we walked towards the location of the aforementioned sounds and found a football (or soccer, depending on where You come from) match was taking place.

shyly (for we are in-RL) we took a seat amongst the spectators and started up a conversation and it was glorious because we felt Instantly at Home.

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and now we must turn in and do a little work for that is Why we are Here.

most grateful we are too.

before we leave you, we would be remiss if we did not share a link to the History of Cape Town –  it is a fascinating account and yet, as you probably know, sadly much of it contains some truly awful historical (and not-so-historical) occasions and Attitudes.

which is why we felt grateful to have a moment of connection on a bench overlooking a football match as the twinkling lights flickered over the bay and the sunset blazed crimson behind table mountain.

these are the moments that make memories.

words by Rumer Godden, pictures by teamgloria.

darlings

we shall give space for Rumer Godden to speak – and illustrate some of her words with our own vision of the world.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARichard’s book: 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Old Hall, England. 

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fb0206920c6411e3873022000a1fa909_7it feels as if Rumer Godden has been staying with us for a few weeks while we read the 2nd part of her autobiography –

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when we left this morning at 06:50 hours to meet a friend who lives on the next street it was still misty and the sun had not yet blown away the marine layer – we walked together through the still-quiet streets and talked about his summer on a mystical island and caught up with everything that has happened in both our lives and that wanted to be brought out into the sunlight and examined and mused over and put away in a new place with a sigh of satisfaction and then we stopped and drank coffee and the sun became hot, suddenly, and we walked back, slower than before, in the emerging heat of day.

but when we used the key to get back into the building and walk up the back stairs (past the swimming pool and over the car port) and into the apartment –

r u m e r  g o d d e n had left.

sadly bereft, we feel.

and yet glad she came to stay.

but all is not lost – Rumer is forever present in the midst of the tangles of the electronic impulses that underpin the interweb – can you see this Transmission in your Territory?

what *did* we do until the interweb came along? – writers were left inside their books – but now we can hear them (*shivers*) forever.

the Library has Requested Rumer’s return (we wonder who has asked for her next).

luckily they sent us an email (so Modern, as William would say) and told us they have a Huge Pile of books awaiting us.

isn’t life delicious?

easy like a sunday morning: walk to the river (first 4 miles since surgery), newspapers and brunch.

felt like a huge milestone – four mile walk to the river – first real trek since surgery.

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dropped in on the #occupywallst camp but most people were still snug as a bug in their sleeping bags.

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kinda creepy watching the major tv network vans laying in wait at four corners of the camp. and comical to watch them trying to avoid each other’s crews in shot.

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Then there was the alt. news media.

and finally, exhausted, we got a cab back (after a free copy of the new york times from Carlos the nice concierge at the ritz carlton) to have brunch – and a long sunday nap.

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medical day 12: a day of small simple tasks

we can’t remember what the television program/programme was (was it the original series of Fame? perhaps it was). but we DO remember the phrase:

take it down a thousand.

so if it was in a series set inside the high school of performing arts with some very highly strung performers, that would make sense.

we remember it best because, we’re sure you saw this coming……people used to say it to US when we were at University (dreaming spires – yes – Oxbridge, no – London, actually, closer to the Dr. Marten’s supplier up at Camden Market, love).

so today we took that advice (after yesterday’s depths of despair).

we took it down a thousand.

and did some very small simple tasks. and It Helped.

we posted some letters (walking very slowly – but a block further each time and resting lots).

we loved this machine. it took us a minute to stop thinking we were crazy (what’s new) and realize it really did say that on the screen. so we had to deal with a real person – which is hard (for so many reasons) and we have to lean forward so they can hear us and do lots of eye contact so they don’t bark at us and say “speak up!” like some sergeant major and then they catch sight of the inky black scar on our throat under the “steri-strips” and you can see the double-take. “tattoo gone wrong?” (then they look doubtfully at our big blue eyes and hair (natural, darlings) loosely pulled back in a clip and very sort of someone’s french-aunt-who-writes and the black cashmere sweater (clearly earns her own living) “had her neck done?” (yeah, sort of). and we say “thank you” (mostly with the eyes) and put the big black shades on again and drift out into the early autumnal sunshine on our way.

we have been known to, yes.

mt came for tea. we talked about Everything. especially magical things. mt is a bit of a magical being himself.

and we read a lot of newspapers (such a rare treat.) without giving too much away – we started our career on newspapers – actually That’s Not True. we started our career in RADIO. age 4. yes, you read that right.

come again?

yup. 4.

we wrote at 4. we were (this cannot come as a surprise to you darlings – Very Precocious).

we – um – performed – on Brighton Beach (the one in England) in one of those (probably seriously dubious in provenance) “seafront variety shows” where children are encouraged by (probably a rather creepy old guy) old shoe-shufflers from the boards to get up and sing a song.

we had no interest, even in those days, for doing What Everyone Else Does.

so – apparently – we got up on stage and started doing an extraneous sort of a jazz/spoken word/partly sung solo piece of our own making. god knows if we’d practiced. or whether it was divinely inspired.

anyway. it thoroughly impressed a certain Friend of our parents who was at that time married to one of their friends. he was a young up and coming “DJ” on the local radio station (which had just become a BBC station – we do like to start with the best ;-)

and we ended up writing jingles for him.

seriously.

so there you go.

our first job was age 4 and we wrote jingles (and sang them) for a BBC radio show.

not telling you which year but we’re pretty sure we were in a very nice pair of cord trousers and something in a shiny daisy yellow on the top.

it all starts somewhere.

today it started with posting a letter and moved into various small simple tasks like getting a coffee, reading a newspaper, buying stamps and talking on the sofa with a friend and falling asleep and taking the pills as prescribed and sleeping some more and making a simple lunch.

because that’s all we are capable of doing.

it was a pretty good day.

we know we’re still not responding to your lovely emails and comments. but we want to let you know that we Are Reading Them (and crying and smiling and being Very Grateful).

sleep well, darlings.

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?)

good morning, west hollywood.

so many delicious bittersweet and butterfly memories.

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LA Story: I’ll have a double decaf cappuccino with a twist.

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pitches & previews.

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ha. definitely no comment ;)

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evenings at the Abbey. brunch on the terrace. stolen moments.

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reminds of a certain pair of sequined sandals. “love your shoes” “thank you” “he meant mine, love” “oh”. dialogue that heralds the end ;)

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celebrating. reading the Trades. discovering raw juicing. re-connecting.

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totally for William, this one.

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team gloria’s cousin!

what not to say #2.

team gloria woke up to the sound of trains and just KNEW they were italian. and they were. but so horribly close to the hotel ;-)

after a deliciously simple breakfast and a cursory reading of the WSJ european edition (hmmm, the world of finance and big business seems to be heading for the hills, no?) we took a walk and found a beautiful church, a small row of shops – a cafe, a newsagent and a fruit stand – yes, we’re going to be there in a few moments enjoying some downtime before an afternoon and evening of (day job) work.

btw, what NOT to say #2: the amount of people who’ve emailed team gloria and said:

“they don’t think it’s serious if the surgery isn’t until september 9th”

have caused us to wrinkle up our noses in pain and shudder silently at the unthinking hurt they cause.

so we respond:

it was the first available surgery date.

and try to move on with our day in milano, darlings.

photographs later, we promise.