Archives for posts with tag: Jay Jopling

Tracey Emin

Tracy Emin‘s ‘My Bed‘, part of the spurned Charles Saatchi collection, sells at auction to Jay Jopling at the White Cube Gallery for $4 million.

Jay originally sold it to Charles Saatchi for $300,000.  Why did Jay Jopling want it back so badly?  Sentimental?

No.  Buying and selling art at auction determines international prices for all gilt-edged (and emerging) artists.

The art market remains totally unregulated.  An audacious art market ploy,  it is an open secret that gallerists operate a cabal that controls bidding at auction, maintaining an artists credibility and in this case artificially inflating Tracey Emin’s waning prices.

This con is not illegal.

Transforming art of questionable value into work of capital value that can be tendered with the Inland Revenue.  Money laundering in plain sight until the ‘art work’ has an ersatz value all of its own… independent even of its secondary market value, it can then be offered to the State as an asset by its owner, in place of whatever they owe in taxes.  The Lucian Freud estate recently traded 15 million gbp worth of Art in lieu of death duties.

A foot note: Tracy hid in her bed for three days presumably on housing and other benefits. Benefits she received for 30 years. Benefits she, as a Tory, wants to deprive others.

Wanna read about the bed….

A consummate storyteller, Tracey Emin engages the viewer with her candid exploration of universal emotions. Well-known for her confessional art, Tracey Emin reveals intimate details from her life to engage the viewer with her expressions of universal emotions. Her ability to integrate her work and personal life enables Emin to establish an intimacy with the viewer.

Tracey shows us her own bed, in all its embarrassing glory. Empty booze bottles, fag butts, stained sheets, worn panties: the bloody aftermath of a nervous breakdown. By presenting her bed as art, Tracey Emin shares her most personal space, revealing she is as insecure and imperfect as the rest of the world.

Excuse me for rambling.  This may have something to do with the painkillers.  I don’t usually take pills but a mashed ankle and a severely strained leg…I gave in to the ibuprofen.

The news looks bad.  More unemployment misery, few jobs, double dip, creationism, President takes a vacation, stock market tanks, texting in church…etc.   That’s the news.

Some people are telling me that the only way the USA is going to save itself is when the American people accept third world wages.  The plan: the people will become so desperate they will work any job at any wage anywhere and the corporations will abandon India and China and return to America.

If this is true…and I suspect that it is, we are in for a long and desperate time.

There were journalists in helicopters filming black people lining up for a ‘Jobs Fair’ in Atlanta.  Well presented, educated black people.  The usual people who suffer when the economy slows.  Apparently some employers don’t want to interview the unemployed.  I have no idea why.  Can someone tell me?

The images from the helicopter reminded me of the Hurricane Katrina footage.   Desperate black people.  Waiting in badly organized lines.

“I’m a single mother and I am looking for a job.”

I’m not writing what’s been bugging me..apart from my aching foot.

I want to write about being gay, being a gay film maker/artist.   I have not written enough about my recent brush with the ‘gay community’.  I have been having the same multiple contractions of apprehension that I had years ago.

The same anxiety.  The same question plagues me…even after years of therapy and insight.

What kind of gay am I?

Is this the same question as what kind of man am I?  Is this a question I need answering?  I just don’t know who my tribe is.  The community that has sprung up around me on WordPress is as good as it gets.  I like that you write to me.  Some of you disapprove but you can’t get everybody to love you all the time.

Those of you who wanted the coyote to rip my throat out…well, it didn’t.

I called my friend Zach and I said, what kind of gay are you?  By the time he replied I had lost interest.

I don’t want to know what sort of gay he is.  I want to know who I am.

I tried to make gay films for a gay male audience…specifically, unapologetically.   We need to see ourselves as we really are.  We need to champion the language and locations of our lives as well as be critical of our bad choices, challenge our culture…reveal it, understand our politics..the differences as well as the similarities.

I loved making gay films, I loved travelling the world…meeting you in cinemas on every continent, in every major city.  I like meeting you, eating with you, sleeping with you.

You were very accommodating!

Recently, I have been tempted by the mass market.

I had a meeting with a well-known, important producer about my Surrogacy film.  Even though he was moved by the story he said that the story would be much improved if I could somehow incorporate a straight man’s perspective.  He thought a latino character would complicate the story.

He was part of the problem…not the solution.

His ‘take’ was woefully un-evolved.   Shame based.

At first I was irritated then it nagged at me: the suggestion that a regular audience could only identify with us if we sympathised with them.

I have sympathised with straight characters in movies all my life.  I have gone out of my way to understand their lives and loves.  I have walked in their shoes.

We all do.

I don’t think my producer friend is very interested in me.  He wasn’t interested in the film or the rare books he came to see.  I think he was interested in the twins.  Why shouldn’t he be?  It amuses me that he would have made so much effort to accommodate me when all he had to do was take Robby’s number.

Of course he has more to offer Robby than I ever could.  Robby would be a fool not to capitalize on that friendship.

I felt the same way when ever Jay Jopling visited me.  He would take what ever he felt he wanted..or was valuable from me.  He took a beaver lined Edwardian driving coat, he took books by Aubrey Beardsley and Djuna Barnes and Dorothy Parker.

He wasn’t the only one.

Korda Marshall borrowed and broke the rare and valuable  Venini vase that The Duchess of Argyll had given me.   Now he is rich I wrote to him asking him to replace it.  He did not reply to my email.

Robby is very special, he has a quality that may not get him modeling jobs but…and I rarely say this, may make him a star.

I felt that about Tom Hardy.  He used to be such a brat.  I had a very ‘loud chat’ with Tom in Soho House, London years ago about his excessive drinking.  He heeded my advice and gave up.  Then, a year or so later, he thanked me for telling him the truth.  A truth few dared to tell him.

In actuality I just repeated what Anthony Hopkins told me Lawrence Olivier had said to him about his drinking when he was a young actor at The National Theatre.

It seemed to work.

Pink (Alecia Moore) told me that the hardest thing she ever had to do was ditch her band.  The label wanted her and not the band.  They were her best friends.  She had to tell them as if it were own choice.

We all abandon those who helped us at the beginning.  We have to make hard decisions in life if we are going to get on.  Leaving our best friends behind so that we might succeed.  It is the secret story behind every Hollywood success.  Those that got left behind.

Lastly, from one of my personal heroes British gay activist Peter Tatchell:

“The UK establishment is quick to condemn rioters.  Yet, the police took bribes & failed to investigate phone hacking. No officers jailed. Cash for knighthoods & peerages. No one jailed. MPs abused expenses system. Only a few jailed. Editors bribed police. None jailed. Priests raped kids. No jail for most. Army killed & tortured civilians in Iraq. Soldiers not jailed. British elite = hypocrites. No right to moralize.”

OK, so here are a few interesting clips from 1991.

Starring the various boys and friends who ended up in Whitstable at my house on Island Wall.  Notably Jay Jopling, Nick Love and Damien Hirst.

There’s quite a bit of nudity and cock…so beware.

Bournemouth Film School…the house I shared with Lawrence and Charlie.

There’s some great stuff from Green Street, Orlando’s club in London.

Damien Hirst, Maia Norman, Orlando Campbell etc.

There’s the traveling, Sydney, Forbes NSW to stay with the Wilsons.  And…more boys.

Kevin at City Gym in Sydney. The beautiful Dane I met in Florence and spent the summer. Whatever happened to him?  I wanted to weep when I saw him again.  He was beautiful.

The local Whitstable boys.  Luke, beautiful Luke.

If any of them ever loved me I was blissfully unaware.

And…there’s a lot of…hair.  During most of this…I am drunk or fucked up, remember that.  I wouldn’t get sober for another 6 years.

There’s a lot of dancing and dressing up.  I seem to be lip synching to Judy…missing some man.  Again.

What a destructive theme.

I thought that you might enjoy this picture as much as I enjoyed creating it.  Inspired by Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn.  My Hasidic Easter Bonnet.

Spent yesterday planning my trip to Cannes.   Of course, I love Cannes when everyone is there for the film festival.  I am deliberately revisiting all the places that we visited together so that I can expunge him from the memory of the locale.

As NYC becomes less emblematic of those painful days with him and more joyful as I remake this city with the other.  The streets are no longer associated with those miserable days of fruitless longing.

The sunshine is mine and mine alone.  I love the streets!

Could you imagine anything more ghastly than sitting in an office day after day for thirty years with minimal vacation?   Looking forward to retirement?   Eww.

My therapist and I are planning my escape.  An escape that will include the possibility of a return to what I used to enjoy:  peace of mind.

On Saturday morning I saw a young mother drop her baby on its face.   The baby was fine.  Mainly made of gristle they are more resilient than they look.  Sturdy little things.  The young mother, more from embarrassment, screamed out “My baby!”   The restaurant hushed, her other child started crying, her own mother with whom she was having breakfast, sat immobilized by fear.  There was, however, something about her scream that reminded me about the moment the Big Dog was hit by the truck.

The trauma associated with that ghastly moment lives with me, shapes my thinking and holds me hostage to the notion that I must never be hurt like that again.

When we were interviewing old people last month we met an old man who told us that he couldn’t own pets any longer because he fears the depth of emotional pain that comes with a beloved pets death.

I know what he means.  The pain felt around the death of anything you love, the loss of anything one cares about (as one gets older) is without parallel.

In many ways I am more numb now than I have ever been.  Less able to feel for fear of being badly hurt.  How could I have got this far without…and then I thought back.  I remembered the excruciating pain of being dropped again and again as a small baby/infant/child.   Suck it up Duncan.

Sunday.  Birthday party with friends.  I ate too much cake.  I was wearing a lilac cashmere sweater that garnered some reaction.  “That’s risky.” A rather bland looking woman commentated.  I smiled and thanked her as if she had just complimented me.

The baby was fine.   A little redness on the forehead but after a few moments of crying he/she was smiling and gurgling.

Incidentally, after all my Jay Jopling bashing for not being political there is a show at Mason’s Yard called NEW ORDER that looks very promising.  This work looks very impressive though a little austere.  Where is Max Beckmann when you need him?

I am desperate to see this.  I hope it is as subversive as it looks.

I have included the gallery’s incredibly verbose description below.  Who writes this shit?  Look at the way they over use/mis-use the word polemical.

Masons Yard 8 Apr—14 May 2011

‘The dream of a suitable political work of art is in fact the dream of disrupting the relationship between the visible, the sayable, and the thinkable without having to use the terms of a message as a vehicle.’
Jacques Rancière, ‘The Aesthetics of Politics’ (2006)

The relationship between aesthetics and politics has been a polemical issue for much of the history of art. In particular, the late twentieth century saw an overt politicisation of critical discourse amidst collapsing colonial hegemonies, global wars and the emergence of civil rights movements across the world. This was coupled with artists questioning the principles of modernism opening up the debate as to what constituted a work of art. A number of key figures emerged on the international art scene, whose practice specifically dealt with issues of power structures, race, injustice, gender and dissent. The works featured in ‘New Order‘ share a focus on the transformation of social or ideological structures that shape experience, and in different ways they explore existing communal, political and physical constructs of the everyday.

The formal geometry and commonplace materials of Miroslaw Balka‘s ‘Kategorie’ (2005) lend the work a pared-down aesthetic generally connected with Minimalist and Conceptual art. A six-metre long, two-metre high tunnel is interrupted by five fine coloured threads, suspended from rotating motors on the ceiling. The work is rich in associative historical and political references, such as the traumatic memory of wartime atrocities in his native Poland which Balka has addressed throughout his practice. The colours of the strands – red, violet, green, pink and black – are the colours assigned to uniforms identifying different categories of prisoner in the concentration camps (red for political prisoners; violet for Jehovah’s Witnesses; green for criminals; pink for homosexual and bisexual men; and black for Romany people, alcoholics and individuals with learning disabilities, among others).

Part of Doris Salcedo‘s ongoing series in which found domestic furniture is used as a vehicle to explore the traumatic political history of her native Colombia, ‘Untitled’ (2008) features tables and wardrobes, conjoined and partially entombed in concrete. The re-assembled components of the hybrid form of the sculpture, each through use embedded with a material history, function as silent witnesses to implied personal and collective narratives.

Rooted in black urban experience, David Hammons‘ practice comments on the iniquities present within social, political and economic systems. Critiquing the relationship between high art and the street, his sculptures often feature found objects laden with cultural association. Hair clippings swept from the floor of a Harlem barbershop are fashioned into a cornrow hairstyle upon a smooth oval rock in ‘Rock Head’ (2000), while in ‘Which Mike Would You Like to Be Like?’ (2001), Hammons takes three vintage microphones that serve as surrogates for three prominent figures in recent popular culture – Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson and Michael Jordan – referencing the limited range of role models for young African-American men.

The densely-layered, collaged paintings of Mark Bradford also incorporate materials salvaged from an urban setting, including torn bill posters or newsprint. The abstract compositions reference alternative cartographies that burgeon within cities, such as the spread of an economic underclass, the movement of immigrant communities and race relations. In ‘Strange Fruit’ (2011), fragments of text drawn from the local ‘merchant posters’ Bradford frequently uses echo across the painting, while the title is taken from the protest song about the lynching of African-Americans in the 1930s, sung by Billie Holiday.

In Julie Mehretu’s ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ (2008), a swirling vortex of shapes and marks on a grey ground, overlaid with architectural passages, give the sense of a gathering storm. Made on the occasion of the inaugural New Orleans Biennial in 2008, the painting conveys the destructive power of uncontrollable nature within a stricken cityscape, mired in bureaucratic chaos.

In 1969, Anselm Kiefer photographed himself in a variety of imposing locations (often in settings evocative of German Romantic imagery) making the Nazi salute. The resulting series, entitled ‘Besetzungen’ (‘Occupations’), provocatively confronted the blanking out of history and questioned the collective guilt of an entire post-war generation in Germany. In the works presented in the current exhibition, ‘Heroische Sinnbilder’ (2011), Kiefer revisits the iconography of his own art history, as a means of investigating the resonance of totalitarian symbols across the passage of time.

Even though, as I was recently told, I have no right to be writing about art…I brazenly decided, against my better judgment, that I should risk making a fool of myself by attending the Armory Show.

God forbid if I write something inchoate.  I decided that I would try NOT to form opinions.  How would that feel?  But, try as I might…within seconds of arriving at the 2011 Armory show…I was overwhelmed with…opinions.

Many, many opinions. Sickeningly, I just could not stop.

Opinions…swarmed…like bees.

Involuntary…like hiccups, like dry heaving, like angina.

In many cases the opinions were as painful as having a heart attack.

Worst of all…I had no idea if my opinions were worth having or not.

I was invited by Adam Gross…thanks for asking Lorcan.  “Who invited you?”  He sneered imperiously.  “What are you doing here?”

I stopped by at 12 midday with my friend Aaron so I could enjoy a leisurely meander around the 200 or so stands on Pier 94 devoted to NEW WORK BY LIVING ARTISTS….rather than fight through a raucous crowd at 5pm like everyone else.

All the usual suspects in attendance.

Remember when Jay first came here?  That little room at the Gramercy Park Hotel?  Those were exciting days.

The White Cube gallery is now an ‘institution’ and looked just like that: a dreary, so what space showing all the usual stuff in all the usual ways. White Cube has lost its edge. In the words of Jay’s greatest victim Miss Tracy Emin it is ‘stuck, stuck, stuck’.

Living artists?

Also stuck: Max Wigram (looks terribly OLD) and Lorcan O’Neill (attractive) who still pedal that same old YBA shit. Lorcan tried to up his game with a mediocre Richard Long mud work but it was too little too late.

Victoria Miro, also an institution but less arrogant, more in touch.

There sure were slim pickings this year.  There were a few exceptional stands that inspired and a few artists who caught our attention.

Here are some of them:

My favorite piece and stand were audaciously combined by Paul Kasmin.

Ivan Navarro’s site specific Armory Fence delineated Kasmin’s pitch and excluded even the gallery assistants who sat at the edge taking comments and cards.

It was genius.

Ivan Navarro at Paul Kasmin

Felt a little sorry for the surrounding booths as there was no escaping the nuclear fallout from Navarro’s huge neon piece.

I loved Sean Kelly’s delicious space and choices. I asked him if he had offered Billy Childish a show. “Not to my knowledge.” He said.

Richard Heller showing Devin Troy Strother…not usually worth mentioning but there is something charming about Devin’s new work.

At Josh Lilly I fell in love with the work of Analin Saban who works in LA and shares a studio with John Baldessari. It sold moments before I could pull out my cheque book.

Analin Saban @ Josh Lilley

At Leo Koenig I was drawn to and offered to buy a small and very beautiful work by Nicole Eisenman. Again I was beaten at the pass by an ‘important’ collector. It was the only piece that they had sold. At 6.5k this was a bargain. Studio visit planned for next week. I dragged Stavros Niarchos into the gallery to admire this most painterly of painters.

Leo started in on Vito Schnabel, boasting that it was opening his gallery that inspired Vito to become a gallerist. Really?

Bumped into my friends from the Donald Judd Foundation who invited me this week on a hard hat tour of the space on Spring St that is currently being extensively renovated.

I noticed Jay Jopling all over a Belinde De Bruyckere work at Galleria Continua. Here it is:

Berlinde De Bruyckere

There was another work of hers at Sean Kelly’s:

Berlinde De Bruyckere

Frankly the boys were prettier than the art…and cheaper.  One GORGEOUS Swiss boy working his father’s gallery.

Lunch with Aaron at Soho House.   Steam room.  Saw Joan.  Missed Dan.  Dinner and a cuddle with SH.

On the way home from the Armory we stopped off at David Zwirner’s gallery on 19th street.

Marcel Dzama’s Behind Every Curtain. Delightful:

Billy Childish 2/1/2011

I spent the morning writing lists.

Decided NOT to go to Florence as I couldn’t make the bloody SNCF website take my frigging credit card.  So, I booked into Dean Street Town House and decided to spend some days in London instead.  After all..London is by far a more exciting city than Florence.

By Midday I had made all manner of plans with various friends.  Toby Mott, Tim and others.

Whilst in town have resolved to throw myself into AA meetings, which I have been loathed to do since I arrived.

The day could have ended there but, on a whim, decided to pop in on artist/writer/rocker/father of two Billy Childish who is enjoying something of an art world reprise.

The day would get not only very much better but also very expensive.

I have known Billy since we were at Medway Art College Foundation Course in the late seventies.   Another one of my up and down explosive relationships…but I have always been a great supporter of his and he me.  An unlikely friendship.

When I lived in Whitstable I would spend most Sunday afternoons with Billy and his Mother June.  Delicious roast chicken lunch every Sunday.

For the longest time I thought that he would end up like artist and dandy Sebastian Horsley:  successful once dead. Thankfully that has not come to pass.

Billy’s monumental new work has become monumentally well received.  After a sell out show at the Basel Art Fair and a major New York exhibition in an important gallery planned for the end of the year I can perfectly understand why he seems so confident.

These new paintings are unbelievably beautiful and really hard for the Art Establishment to ignore.   The new work has an impeccable provenance.   Obvious influences include German Expressionists: Erich Heckel, Kirchner, Nolde.

Dreamlike reworking of earlier paintings as well as bold painterly portraits of Billy’s great heroes (Jean Sibelius) and when I was there, an epic series of paintings reworking images from the Battle of Wounded Knee.

Billy has been cruelly left out in the cold for nearly thirty years.  The art world added insult to injury by choosing to patronize the second-rate antics of Tracy Emin over her acknowledged mentor and ‘inspiration’.

I remember introducing Jay Jopling to Billy in Whitstable one Sunday afternoon and was shocked by Jay’s indifference.  Jay told me after the meeting that he thought Billy ‘aggressive and tricky’.

It brings a tear to my eye to see him finally and rightfully accepted into the fold.

Today I filmed him painting in his studio.

People ask him how long it takes to paint a painting.   “What can I say?”   Stabbing at a ten foot high canvas with his charcoal.   “An afternoon or thirty years?”

The new work is huge.

Of course it’s huge!  He is no longer restricted…physically…no longer painting in his bedroom.  He is being acknowledged.  He has a huge studio.  His wings no longer clipped.

These paintings are important.

We talked at length about Tracy Emin his long time ex girlfriend…who, when he saw her the time before last, rudely told him that she could not be bothered to hang out with anyone who ‘hadn’t realized their potential‘.

Tracy!  What a pompous cow!  Liar to boot.

Anyway, since the upturn in his fortunes she is suddenly very friendly with Billy.  He will, by far, crush her with his fame and fortune….even though he has no intention of doing either.

Tracy is a silly girl…she believes in her own greatness whilst all the time using made up stories to fuel interest in it.    Tracy, you mad cow…listen to me…we all realize our potential sooner or later…sometimes quickly…sometimes slowly.

I have a huge collection of Billy’s work.   Beautiful things.

Julie, Scout and Billy 2/1/11

Spent the past couple of days in London. Stayed at Dean Street Town House which is just perfect.  Perfectly well-appointed.  Huge rooms, pale pink curtains, heavily interlined.  A wonderful shower and a great coffee-making facility.  Delicious, hand-made biscuits.  The little dog and I luxuriated in acres of white linen and huge, fluffy pillows.

This morning I walked to Oxford Street through Golden Square.  Lovely to be home in London.  Lovely.  I was stopped by a beautiful, blue-eyed youth who wanted to talk about the little dog.

The beautiful youth not withstanding the streets are unusually crammed with ugly British people Christmas shopping.  Big faces on bald heads.  Prematurely middle age.  Marching up and down Oxford Street clutching at grim paper bags and their final straw.  Pasty, miserable, bespectacled boats.

Boat race=face.

The damp streets.  The gray sky.  Oh this is my darling England.

Stopped in at a pop up gallery on Berwick Street and bought:

By Christian Brett.

I thought in the circumstances..very appropriate!

Anyway, if you are interested in this and other work go to:

www.picturesonwalls.com

As a free gift, comes with every purchase, they gave me an original art work by Banksy….a brown paper bag with a Marks and Spencer type logo that reads ‘Marks and Stencils’ and is already selling on eBay for ninety quid.

Had a long chat with the curator Sam (knows Wendy Asher) who felt that the whole STREET ART movement had been suspended in aspic for the past decade and I think that he may very well have hit the nail on the head.  He didn’t feel as if he had ‘grown up’ that things had remained static, unevolved, complacent.

My own contemporary art world gripe: how come so few artists have anything relevant to say about world altering current events like Iraq?  For instance?  Who is making work about that?

Most conceptual, contemporary art is so bloody insular and self obsessed.   The entitled, bloated Tracy Emin (for instance) has become unashamedly bourgoise and so, I am sad to say, are the rest of the YBA wankers.

Why make work about a corrupt war when I can tell you all about my vagina/blood/self?

The art of ME.  I am all I ever think about… etc.

It’s Jay’s fault.  He loves a good title and a decorative flourish.  Jay Jopling has never been interested in political art and that, my friends, is very sad.

I mentioned Joseph Kosuth to Sam the pop up shop curator as an example of an artist who might have an opinion about the war and the bloody peace.

What is conceptual art?  The ‘value’ of particular artists after Duchamp can be weighed according to how much they questioned the nature of art.

Conceptual art is based on the notion that the essence of art is an idea, or concept, and may exist distinct from and in the absence of an object as its representation. It is called Idea art, Post-Object art, and Dematerialized art because it often assumes the form of a proposition (i.e., a document of the artist’s thinking) or a photographic document of an event.

Conceptual art practices emerged at a time when the authority of the art institution and the preciousness of the unique aesthetic object were being widely challenged by artists and critics.

Conceptual artists interrogated the possibilities of art-as-idea or art-as-knowledge, and to those ends explored linguistic, mathematical, and process-oriented dimensions of thought and aesthetics, as well as invisible systems, structures, and processes.

Artists such as Joseph Kosuth and members of the Art & Language group wrote theoretical essays that questioned the ways in which art has conventionally acquired meaning. In some cases such texts served as the art works themselves.

Dinner with Nicola and Chris on Saturday night.  Lovely.  We ate oysters, game pie and vegetables.  Ended up flirting with a cute doorman with footballers thighs in some club on Dean Street.  He was ‘straight’ so I walked away.  Damn.

This evening I met Charlie at a huge ‘A’ gay Christmas event.  I met loads of people.  Lovely (sexy, charming, witty and down-to-earth) Dutch/Kiwi man and his friend but the BEST was a gallerist/singer songwriter called Robert Diament who I could totally FALL for.  I kissed him goodnight.

Out sexy gay man with a brain.  Huh?  How did that happen?

Well, it’s not going to happen  In the cold light of this sober day (Monday morning) he’s far too young and until my heart is mended…I really can’t imagine letting anyone near me.

Drove back to Whitstable with Alma who is very funny and we giggled for miles.

Anyway, as I have said before..after letting you know my initial impressions of someone ‘special’ I won’t be writing about them again.  Can you tell that I am having a nice time?  That I am happy?  Can you?  I am safe and warm (house is a bit chilly) and enveloped by love?

I forgot to mention yesterday…I bought a hat at Kokon to Zai.  It is rather splendid.

Then I went to bed…good night…sweet dreams.


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Prison Calendar 1983

This is the calendar that I kept in my cell.  I marked off the days one by one.

The month before I was released from my ten month stay in prison in 1983 was perhaps, like many prisoners,  the most difficult of any time I spent there.  I had what is commonly known in British prison parlance: Gate Fever.

The terror at the prospect of release.

Since my arrest the preceding February I had  spent time in both Brixton prison, at that time a holding pen for the unconvicted or remanded prisoner, then once convicted I was transferred to Wormwood Scrubbs Prison in West London.  I was offered the chance of going to an open prison which would have been very comfortable indeed but I had fallen in love with Tommy, the prisoner with whom I shared a cell.

Our relationship lasted the duration of my sentence.  I was released before him and upon his release he returned to his wife and children.

Foolish love, it seems, has always caused me unnecessary repercussions.

Why in hells name was I in prison?  Well, I hadn’t murdered/raped/robbed anyone.

I was convicted at Knightsbridge Crown for Criminal Deception a charge relating to my not paying a credit card bill..my own credit card.    Not, as commentators would have it, someone elses.

At the time it never really occurred to me that I was being unfairly treated.  I had not paid the credit card bill and had avoided doing so.  In retrospect the sentence of fifteen months in prison seems like a gross over reaction by the court to what was surely a nothing sort of crime.

Stephen Fry At 17, absconded with a credit card stolen from a family friend and as a result spent three months in Pucklechurch Prison.

Fry stole someone else’s credit card and got 3 months at exactly the same time I was handed a 15 month sentenced for over using my own.

I was 22 years old when I was sent to prison for this non-violent victimless crime.  A crime like mine in 2010 would not even be a crime in modern Britain.   It was nothing short of class warfare that sent me to prison in the first place.

Posh versus Common.

Let’s face facts, I was sent to prison for my unusual back-story.   A back-story that should never have been mentioned in court because I was pleading guilty.  A back story that included royalty, the ruling class and a working-class upstart like me.

The Lords and Ladies who had become my friends during the time I pretended to be a Lord were indignant but I don’t think any one of them would have wanted me to be sent down.  The class outrage that caused such a harsh sentence was, of course, motivated by the aspiring middle class.

Judge Babington was a bourgeoise, one-armed circuit judge who died in 2004.  His family was described embarrassingly  as ‘well-to-do’  and in so being was in awe of the aristocracy, in awe of a title and outraged that I had simply acquired mine by lying about it.

Stephen Fry took me to the Garrick Club years later and there he was, Anthony Babington sitting in an over stuffed chair reading a broad sheet.  I looked at his withered arm and chuckled.

Stephen once said to me, “They don’t want to forget that you have been in prison Duncan.  It’s very unfair.”

Prison has defined my life.  I am that guy who went to Prison.  Jay Jopling would tell people, “Duncan has an amazing story.”  In this way I became a very British performance art piece.   A social freak.

When I am scolded for treating 30 year olds who make mistakes like grown ups I often remember that I was forced in a very public way at a very young age to accept my wrongs and grow up.

Even though, when I was released,  I did not crawl away and die like Patrick Kinmonth suggested.  Prison left an indelible mark on my psyche as well as my public and private standing.

Sure, had I not been sent to prison I would never have made as much money as I consequently made from AKA or telling that story over and over for TV, Radio and the like.

I would never have developed a taste for working class heterosexual men and I might have kept on the straight and narrow.  Prisons in the UK are often described by those of us who have experienced both as reminiscent of British boarding schools.  Consequently I rather enjoyed the routine, the monotony, the sex.

Once you have been imprisoned unfairly..YES IT WAS UNFAIR!..one has a very low regard for society and the rules of society.  Part of my fearlessness comes from knowing that if sent back to prison I would know what to do immediately.  How to behave.  Whom to defer.  Who to fuck.

I would not miss the endless choices of the modern world.  I would not miss a full wardrobe, a well written menu, compulsive internet use?  No.  It would be a relief.

I would miss my dogs.

If I could only get back there without breaking the law.

I have no shame about going to prison because I should not have been there in the first place.  It was like visiting a foreign country.  That’s what it felt like when I was 22 years old..like visiting a foreign country and I, a mere anthropologist, sent to eat their food and study their culture.   My crime and the associated press amused my fellow inmates and warders (screws) alike.   Nobody took my Criminal Deception very seriously.

Some of the men that I shared cells with whilst on remand in Brixton (the red headed rapist) are still in prison.  They never left.

There was one slight man who murdered a little girl.  Tiny little thing he was.  Never wanted to leave prison.  Never applied for parole.  Wanted his own death so badly.  Already dead inside.  Sad.  Those who killed loved ones, family members were the saddest of all.  Wishing that they were dead.  These men were not abstract villains, their names writ large on the covers of tawdry newspapers, they stood beside me in line waiting for cabbage and sausages.   It amazes me now how forgiving and accepting I could be with them…however ghastly their crime.

Funny, isn’t it, that I could accept and forgive the most terrible people capable of the most terrible crimes but I could not forgive you my dear JB.

So, today I am free?

I am free?  I am free to choose?  I am free to say what I want when I want to?  I am free to love a man?  I am free?

These freedoms do not make me free.

Birthday lunch Wheeler

Apparently George Clooney did NOT have lunch at Wheelers. A modern myth in the making.

I have amended this blog as it was too incendiary. Waiting for daylight. 5am again.

I thought long and hard about reposting this. It exists. I may as well post it.

I tell you though..it gives me no pleasure reading it. Seeing what a vile person I can be.

I received many, many messages privately after posting this blog and the one I would write later the same day.

Messages of support and condemnation.

The point is: I have to STOP investing in stinking thinking. Even if I am 100% right (I am not) this is getting in the way of what could be. Other opportunities. My desire to fight back, paramount.

Addiction shrinks an addicts world. Just me and my crazy head. That’s all I am left with.

Love, when it happens, even of it is with someone totally unavailable cannot be tamed. Have you ever really fallen in love? So that your life becomes beautiful? I really loved him and I am not going to beat myself up about how ‘available’ he was. Who is truly available? Who is truly appropriate? Which one of you has not failed in love?

I am not interested in hating him. Not today.

Oh yes..and without much effort I found the missing diary 1986. I will add the pages when I get my scanner moved in.

So, without being hurtful I am reposting this.

Here you go:

George Clooney in Whitstable having lunch at Wheelers? It’s almost funny.

Who would have thought that Richard and I could have caused with the flap of our butterfly wings, opening the Oyster Company that wet summer weekend so many years ago the storm of international approval that would one day hit our little town?

Of course the last time I sat in that Wheeler’s back parlor I was with Jake Bauman who, even though it was my birthday, let me pay for his lunch.

That night in fact he ended the day fighting via email with his ex girlfriend about who would pay the electricity bill in their old apartment.

So there we are in Whitstable, him on his lap top fighting about an electricity bill.

He would fixate on his laptop telling me to leave him alone when they were having their fierce email exchanges.

Of course, I later find out that he is maybe not even chatting by email with her as he claimed. He could be talking to SebastianNYC on Manhunt who was in fact me disguised as a potential hook up so I could get a glimpse of what he was doing behind my back. A French gallerist from Chelsea who with some ease arranged a meeting with Jake upon his return from Europe.  Sending alluring pictures like this:

Jake's Alluring Ass

Jake was on vacation with me arranging to meet other men. It was easy to fuck him hard knowing what he was doing.

I think of how much time he spent on his laptop in Europe ‘working’..when in fact all he was doing was communicating with his manhunt hook ups.

When we first met…it was intoxicating.

January 30th 2009

in case it’s not clear I am having the same feelings as you…we are magnetic

I wonder if we share the same feelings now?

The emotional deception continued throughout the new year. When, in February and he had jerked off a million times on Skype, (I didn’t because I couldn’t) I began to wonder out loud why he was at home all the time naked on the sofa, the curtains drawn like a crack addict. He said:

I tend to sit shirtless in my apartment any time of day. I’m a bit of a nudist I guess.

In February we finally meet for the second time after our long distance Skype romance. He was going away with friends but I just didn’t trust him. Without irony he wrote:

i am not lying, why would i lie? i am going to my friend al’s house in the catskills with a few others, we’re going skiing on saturday. j will be in atlanta visiting her friend’s baby (ew)

Ew indeed…

j gets back from at atlanta in afternoon so there’s a good chance I will not have an opportunity to run freely into your arms. perhaps in the afternoon though, not entirely sure of schedule but my first priority is seeing you. I will keep you updated.
xooooo

That night we met in the back of a small bar and kissed each other for the first time. After twenty minutes he ran back to her and I to Cooper. Who is Cooper? The man I had begun to see but had not had sex with or made any commitment.

i don’t think i can escape tonight…but i am still high from seeing you…feeling your lips on me, your hands on me…your hand down my pants, rubbing my ass, my cock, telling me what you’re going to do to me…..you are mind-blowingly hot…and you are going to have your way with me all day tomorrow…i want it so fucking bad

I believed all of this. I am the fool?

Love is not love that alters when alteration finds nor bends to the remover to remove.

When we got back from Europe, knowing that it just could not continue, that I had to GET OUT.

I had been to the doctor I sent him this:

there’s a moment when you just run out of fuel. when the fire dies.
i remember when you told me that you had been irritable with J because
you wanted to see me so badly. now you are irritable and uncommunicative
with me.
“Why are we talking about me?’
I understand. I am like that too.
I know how that particular scenario plays out.
it’s best that we don’t talk. we don’t seem to have much to say.
i have problems I need to deal with here. i just need to get on with them.

I am not in love with you any more. that doesn’t mean that I hate you, want
to write badly of you or anything negative. but i don’t want to drag out a
situation that feels so one-sided.

you have to get on with your life without me in it.

I was stupid to want anything more than what you were capable of giving me.
but as John said today, you fed me just enough to give me hope when
actually the situation is hopeless.

good luck at the hospital today duncan..or, it would be great to see you, or
i miss you.

nothing.

I am not even sad, just feel empty. that’s all.

You can console yourself with the new gay friends you make. i am happy for
you that you are no longer living a lie, that you have a world of
opportunity at your finger tips. just get on with it.

I wanted to write something kind and clean and clear. I wanted to leave with love but he fired back:

I agree that it’s best that we don’t speak anymore or ever see each
other again. I could respond to everything you said in your email but
frankly I too am “out of fuel.”

The further I can get away from
your twisted, judgmental, sycophantic universe, the happier I will be.

please do not contact me again. do not call me or text. I am not
being melodramatic. I too am done. And I mean it.

We had come a very long way. Traveled quite a distance.

I tried with dignity that day to separate our lives and be clear about the boundaries but he fired back with such cruelty I simply can’t forgive him. I try every day but I can’t forgive him. In the words of Ian Curtis: love tore us apart.

Monday. Malibu. I am cooking lunch for 12 friends.

Reading over the years of written journals I have stacked around me I wonder if my life has not been wasted? A wasteland? When I compare it to Jay’s of course it seems dull but to those I grew up with, those who genuinely expected me to vanish, to die, to never achieve a single thing ever..then I have done OK.

I will publish more pages from my diaries. I think the 1986 diary has been stolen. It can’t just have disappeared.

I want so much to forget about JB. To totally erase him from my memory. I want to forget about his stinking sofa, his ex girlfriend and his friend in Washington Heights. I want to eradicate any memory I have of his parents Westchester house, his penguin walk, his inability to communicate unless drunk or stoned. His money issues.

I think you all understand why..or at least..you’ll have a better idea.

PS Had lovely time on Saturday night with Josh and Fergie..yes, that Josh and Fergie. When we met he said, ‘I know you from Vegas!’ I said, ‘No, you know me from The Early World in Brentwood on a Wednesday Morning.’ Fergie is so much prettier in real life.

As I was stacking boxes for my move I found a whole heap of diaries from the 1980’s.   The first day to day diary I kept was in 1982 and that was primarily because life had become so exciting.

We open the first book on this day September 5th, 1982.  I am 22 years old.

I am in Greece, on the island of Spetses staying with Sir John and Lady Russell.   I am still, at this time, Lord Rendlesham and have flown from Paris to Athens with an older nobleman called Guy de la Bedoyere of whom I had tired.

It was Guy’s Turner that I had marveled in Paris a few days earlier and whose butler, much to my horror, had washed in a washing machine my new Crolla ties.

The magazine Harper’s Bazzar had published the pictures of my infamous birthday party thrown for me by Scott Crolla at the Almeida Theatre.  Word was just reaching me in Greece that people were not at all happy.  Not at all.

If you click on the diary pages you can read the original entries.

I am in love with a beautiful Swiss boy called Robert and it is he that I wave goodbye to at the beginning of the entry.

The following year September 1983 there is no diary entry until I am released from prison on the 18th November.

September 1984 I am in rehearsal for Pornography: a Spectacle at the ICA in London.   There are huge articles about us all in Time Out, The Face and a now defunct London mag called City Limits.  I am living in Balham with a girl called Victoria.  By day I am in a play about gay pornography and by night I sleep with what was effectively my girlfriend.   So was the complexity of my life.  “Every gesture must be full and complete.” says Neil.  Neil Bartlett, director of the show.   During these days he and I began to fall out.  Irrevocably as it turned out.  When we left each other in Toronto months later after our North American tour we would never speak again.

September 1985 I am writing whilst stuck in a tunnel under the alps on a train from Paris to Venice.  My and Ivan Cratwright’s great adventure to Venice.  Staying, en route with Fred Hughes in Paris.

The diary for 1986 was missing but now found.  I will transcribe the entry.  I am yet again in another heterosexual relationship with a woman called Louise.  Why?

“Oh dear, I am in The General Trading Company off Sloan Square – Louise by my side.  Firstly I did not expect the Bahamian bombshell to come back to Whitstable to see me.  I rather thought that she might have given me a miss.

Yesterday before Louise arrived my pinks from Kingstone (?) Cottage arrived, they came to me in a brown cardboard box wrapped in local newspaper.  I planted them carefully, laying a foundation of stones for good drainage and surrounded the root system with peat. Maria helped out the best she could but spent the best part of yesterday drawing on the beach.   The day before that too she had worked hard on minimalist drawings incorporating the seascape – noticeably the foreshore and the horizon, terribly witty references to dead fish – (?) a family with prawn.

Ivan (Cartwright), we collected him from Whitstable station – Korda (Marshall) and I, he was in such a good frame of mind .  He prattled on about being arrested for car thieving and told a remarkable story about having been picked up on Park Lane (London) dressed only in a full length pink, synthetic fur coat, cowboy boots and a micro polka dot bikini!  He was picked up by a vast black men in a Buick.

Korda was completely freaked out by Ivan and as soon as he had the opportunity – left.  However, Ivan enchanted both Rachel (Whiteread) and (?) with his wit and intelligence.  We left for the pub far too late.  Ivan was wearing a pair of black cotton stockings, a black tee-shirt and short black sweat pants all topped off with this platinum blond hair and that face which as you know contorts like nobodies business.

We all slept late and woke early, that’s why when big bertha arrived (Louise) I was knackered.  We took off for a long adventurous but utterly fruitless journey to a closed park.  We did go to Beech House (Hospital School in Chartham)  I remembered yet again the horror of being taken there when I was a child – I remember that it was in that place that my life changed direction and I began to fight, so it was rather apt that I went there – my life again on the edge of a potential nightmare.  India,  8th October 10.15 – 9 months.   It rings in my ears.

As we drove to London yesterday Louise and (?) wrote that evening’s narrative.  For she as an eye for the ironic.  Firstly we locked ourselves out of Louise’s car and house then we saw the corpse of a man freshly killed, his legs crossed at the ankles, in the road.  His clothing partially hidden under a green waterproof police modesty blanket.  All of us knew that ambulances take only the living to be mended as best they can.  Death has no care.  I wondered about his family.  The pulse stopped and the narrative ending for him.  We drove slowly.  Later the image of the corpse quietened me and made me listen.

Louise is my strength whom I do not deserve.  Late last night I felt truly happy and secure.  That’s enough isn’t it?  Enough for a man who rarely lives safely, who is destined to become a lonely old man with personality problems.”

September 1987 I am a patient in the Henderson Hospital in Sutton Surrey where I spent the majority of that year.   I had a breakdown after a particularly bad bout of Hep B.  The Jay who would be fetching me from hospital is, of course, Jay Jopling.

For some odd reason I did not keep a complete diary in 1988.   I am not fully well from my breakdown but have decided to go to New York to see Ana Corbero and Colin Cawdor.  Paul Benny the artist was also staying in the huge apartment.  An entire floor of a converted girls school just over the Williamsburg Bridge.

There is no entry for these dates in 1989.

1990, my thirtieth year.  Living in Chelsea with Phillipa having what looks like a rather glamorous time.

1991 Coppers Bottom has opened at Sadler’s Wells.  Karen, the lead actress is threatening to walk.  I am now living with Anthony H. in South London.

1992 Tim and I are laughing about Damien Hirst not winning the Turner Prize that he seemed so certain to win.  I rather cruelly called Jay and told him how sorry I was whilst sniggering with Tim.

Not long before I get sober.  Just another 5 years.

After 1992 I kept a journal less and less.  I began every year enthusiastically writing everyday like I do now in the blog but by July had lost interest or life was simply too overwhelming.

Anyway, that was fun?

I wanted to post a few pictures. I want to remind myself that it has all been an incredible journey.

I wanted to include this one because I have a man’s legs wrapped around my shoulders. He is called Chris Boot. He was in South Africa with Tilda Swinton. Tilda came to the dinner thrown for me at Sundance when AKA played there. She came with Jamie Johnson.

Boom Boom Boom (The Sublime) 1982 Peter Doig

 You can see half of the Peter Doig painting I bought at his St Martin’s degree show.  It hung in my Furlong Road, Islington sittingroom until I was arrested.  At which point Doig decided to snatch it back and I never saw it again. It is probably worth in excess of $1, 000, 000 now.

Matt Rowe and Marie Palmer, we met at the Mercer Hotel in NYC with Mel C from the Spice Girls.  Matt had been one half of the duo who wrote all of their best tunes. New Years Eve 1999, Mercer Hotel with Calvin Klein, Tom Cruise, Nicole KidmanAlan Cummings and Fran Leibowitz. A cool very night.  Matt is still a great friend.

I’ve written loads about Jay Jopling in this blog. This is the night he met my sister Jessica.

Justin Lee-Aliston was my best gay friend in Whitstable. He was the sweetest boy. He killed himself a few months after he was gay bashed in Camberwell South London.  Here he is in happier times with my friend Tracy at the Island Wall, Whitstable house.

Celia Lyttleton, I can’t remember where we met but she is a doll and this picture was taken at a fancy dress party at the artist Glynn Boyd Hart’s house during the 1980’s.

Celia introduced me to the artist Ana Corbero at her Albermarle St gallery. She in turn introduced me to Colin Cawdor , the Thane of Cawdor-Macbeth. Duncan and Macbeth in NYC, in a sprawling apartment in Williamsburg. Long before anybody else was living there.

Our view.

Colin and Anna. Now, Colin lives in the North of Scotland in his castle, a castle he had to wrestle from his step-mother. Ana lives in Spain with her husband. I remember that he dressed Ana in Azzadine Alaia-and the moths ate clean through her fur coat.

I’ll post some more soon.

I met Tim Willis on Sloane Street, London 25 years ago.  He was with his then girlfriend Isabella Delves-Broughton.  I don’t remember meeting him that day.

He does.

I remember the first conversation Tim and I had was at Celia and Andrew Lyttleton’s frescoed apartment in Ladbroke Grove.

I remember showing him the invitations I had just had printed for my play The Host starring Lady Georgia Byng who would later become Mrs. Danny Chadwick and after that Mrs. Marc Quinn.  She is now probably best known for writing the Molly Moon children books.

Tim was unimpressed with the invitations.

I was prolific in those days, writing, making plays, living my life between London and Whitstable.

Tim was strangely nonjudgmental for one of the new elite who were making names for themselves during that time in London.

Remember, I was only a couple of years out of prison for a huge, unpaid credit card debt.

The story behind that debt had, the day I was sentenced, appeared in every British newspaper.  Christened: Lord of The Lies by the News of The World Sunday tabloid that title, unlike the one I had assumed, tended to stick.

Pretending to be Lord Anthony Rendlesham was the defining moment in my young life.   It set me on an unintended course the night I told that 4-word lie to the man I told it.  I wonder what happened to him?  Dermot Verchoyle-Campbell.

By the time I met Tim I was just ordinary (as the press loved to call me) Duncan Roy but he didn’t seem to mind how ordinary I was.   We were both social misfits.  The others came from good pedigrees and were gearing up to take their places in the British social stratosphere.   Their roles already defined.

Unusual for a heterosexual he was socially mobile.  Flexible.  The girl he was with that day on Sloane St went on to become Mrs. Detmar Blow and invigorate the world of British fashion.  Today her legacy, after a tragic suicide, is still evident as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Stephen Jones and Phillip Treacy are testament.

Although homosexuality offers the same kind of social flexibility (as I found when I told my big lie), I was wholly disinterested in the ‘gay lifestyle’ on offer at that time in London.

I knew a few other ubergays but we were frosty with each other as all of us wanted to be the only gay pet around.  Mario Testino, Patrick Kinmonth, Johnny Shand-Kydd were three other ‘about town’ gays but, as I said, they were all pretty disinterested in me.

I had had a brief affair with Patrick when I was Lord Rendlesham.

I discovered Peter Doig’s degree show at St Martin’s Art School and bought one of Doig’s paintings that Peter then stole from my house whilst I was in prison.

Craigie Aitcheson the minimalist painter of crucifixes and Bedlinton Terriers accused Patrick of handing me over to the police when they were looking for me.  He squealed, “Look, there’s the man who handed his gay lover over to the police.”

I had, of course, explored everything gay in London but it simply never inspired me enough to keep me going back.

Tim was really the first person I met whom I could share my wonderment with.  One was encouraged, when in a huge and ancient houses, to take everything for granted but with Tim I could behave like a tourist.  Ooing and arring about what we discovered there.

A few years later after Jay Jopling discovered Damien and the new British artists all of our lives would change irrevocably.  We would no longer be living in someone else’s shoes, delighted by other older peoples choices, and would ride the British New Wave.

Meeting Kay Saatchi the other day at Amanda’s I now have a far more complete picture of what was going on when I knew Jay Jopling.  I certainly remember Jay telling me about meeting Charles Saatchi.  That Charles had discussed the possibility of running the Saatchi gallery on Boundary Road and how Jay had scoffed (to us) at that idea.

At the moment that Charles was offering Jay a job, Jay had other plans, he knew, and said as much, that Charles would ultimately work for HIM.    I am, and have always been, in awe of Jay’s balls.  Who wouldn’t have accepted to work for Charles?  Only a man with massive ambition knew exactly what he wanted and exactly how to get it.

It was at this time that Jay would bring a harem of girlfriends to my tiny cottage on Island Wall in Whitstable.  But that was all to end the day he met Maia Norman with whom he would fall deeply in love.

Visits to Whitstable became rare as they ensconced themselves in his house on Shakespeare Road in Brixton.   The last memorable Jay visit was with Danny Moynihan, Louise Jackson and Maia.  We would take ecstasy, drive to a ghastly local gay bar and dance to Pink Cadillac.

I think we may very well have had a rather wonderful orgy that night but Maia and Jay ended up alone as he was loathed to share her.  The events of the next few years proved deeply unsettling.  Maia would leave Jay for Damien and break his heart.

Jay submerged himself in the international art world, making huge amounts of money, marrying a girl he did not love and ending up in locations he loathed.

The last time I sat alone with him he told me how incredibly bored he was seeing the same faces day after day, the same gossip, same conversation and hankered after a the life he had at the edge of the world.

I will never, ever not love Jay.  He was the one who looked out for me when I had my stint in hospital and collected me when I was discharged.  He, for the longest time, was an occasional lover if no other pretty blond girl was available.  He was an inspiration to a legion of young artists and remains so, something they all aspire to: a show at one of his many galleries.

I watched from the sidelines as he and Lily Allen publicly shattered the vestiges of his marriage.

The truth is, I couldn’t bear Sam Taylor Wood because she wasn’t Maia.  It wasn’t her fault; she’s a perfectly nice girl.  Not a very good artist.

So goodbye Tim, have a safe flight back to London.  You make me remember the life we shared with this extraordinary cast of characters.  I miss you when you are gone.  You are a good friend.

Tim Willis Duncan Roy Ryan Fox

Today, Luna chewed three huge holes in the passenger seat of my truck.   So, by 9am I was a little glum even though I am wearing a cheerful pink shirt and rather attractive cardigan.  It’s really hard to train a Pit pup though I think I am doing OK in the circumstances.

My Jasper Morrison sofa is a wreck and needs recovered.  Saw some gorgeous blood orange velvet on Labrea below 1st street but irritatingly had just missed the 70% off sale.  This sofa is a fucking mess.  The leg keeps falling off too.  This is exactly what happens to nice furniture when you share your house with a 70lb Pit.

Frankly I don’t care about the truck.  I bought it exactly for this reason: so I didn’t have to worry about odd bumps and scratches.  The holes are in the passenger seat-not my problem.  If the dog had eaten the Porsche however…

I’ve really enjoyed the past few days after the GHASTLY gay/lesbian/cuckold dinner party debacle.  Did I mention..and I’m sure I did..that Brett Easton Ellis watches SEX REHAB.  Worth mentioning twice as there are few people I am totally awe-struck by but he is deffo one of them.

Saturday was no less interesting.  Lunch with Dom at American Rag.  Still, I find it hard to trust him as he is prone to reveal that he takes a little bit too much interest in my life-in a rather creepy way.  The fact is, the fun part of our friendship is over.

Had early evening nap then Justin and I took a cab to the 30 years of MOCA event.  Drank cans and cans of diet coke at the 30 years of MOCA after party at my friend Jerrod’s gallery on Sunset.  Chloe Sevigny, Todd Eberle, some ‘a’ gays, Dom’s snobby up her own ass arts publicist friend Bettina Korek.  An enthusiastic Sex Rehab viewer woman approached me and told me how much she loved the show.   The Asian man in the HSBC bank also ‘loves’ the show.  Until last night I ‘loved’ the show.  Last night’s show was less lovable.

Anyway, Justin woke up with a magnificent hangover on Sunday morning.   I drove to Malibu and let the dogs run around the garden that has been transformed by the new gardener.   It is so incredibly beautiful there.  Paths, vistas, secret gardens, Bananas, figs and strange green pears still on the trees.

Justin and I napped on the hammock overlooking the sea then drove to Amanda Eliash’s brunch in Beverly Hills.  Saw Sharon S with Hamish McAlpine.  Love Sharon.  I warmly congratulated Hamish for his recent wedding.  I didn’t know he was a Kent boy,  I said cheerfully, ‘I’m from Whitstable’.  He turned his fat face toward me like a crude papier-mache doll and with a vicious sneer said:  ‘I hear that people smashed your windows.’

I was tempted to deny it.  I didn’t want to remember what had happened nearly 20 years ago but it was true-there was a time in Whitstable when my windows were being smashed and anti gay graffiti was being daubed on my walls.  AIDS AVAILABLE HERE.  As I have written before, growing up gay in a small town anywhere in the world has its drawbacks.  It was a very dark time.  I was scared, vulnerable and had nowhere to run.  To have this nasty, badly dressed, rich boy reminding me, mocking me-it was too much to bear.    I wanted to rip his over sized head off his flabby shoulders.  Frankly he couldn’t have done much about it.  He looks about 65 even though we are prob the same age.

I was in no mood to let this creep diminish me so I let him have both barrels and felt a great deal better when he finally slunk away.  Reptilian, homophobic Hamish McAlpine you are a very nasty little men.

We stayed at Tim and Amanda’s for a few more hours enjoying the cast of odd characters running around the house.  Ryan Fox very sweet young director, Finley Quaye’s girl friend screaming at him on the phone for the better part of an hour.   Justin looked happy.  I don’t think that he has ever lived like this.  I am going to dress him when we go to swankier events.

Jay Rayner, Clair Rayner’s son also there.  A jolly, piano playing food writer, long hair and full belly.  A little resentful of others making more money than he does but hey, most people are.   Jay lives in Shakespeare Road, Brixton in the house directly next door to where Jay Jopling used to live-where Jay and I would have the occasional tryst.  Rayner was also well acquainted with Whitstable.  Missed out on buying there when it was cheap. Apparently a great friend of the chef Steve Harris and family.  Jay Rayner, another acerbic Brit on US reality TV.  We talked about his mother and he made me quite teary-reminding me of Clair Rayner’s reassuring a whole generation that everything was going to be okay..she was the British Dr Drew Pinsky!

Amanda invited me back for Christmas day.  I accepted.

I loved seeing Tim.  I always do.

Saw SEX REHAB show. Like most people I am irritated by glut of Kari Ann material.  It’s a pity that VH1 made her the spine of show.  Poor meth head.  However, I won’t hear a word said against her, as she is very, very sick little girl.

In bed by 10.30pm.  Up at 5.30…etc. etc.

July 18, 2006 – Tuesday

PARIS

I love the smell of Paris. I love the streams of glistening street cleaning water on a bright morning coursing over the cobbles. I love the great boulevard. I love my secret lovers courtyard and her cour. I love her white skin at night, my black hands on her breasts. In the hot afternoon she sprays her hands with eau de cologne. The pungent smell of vetiver filling the apartment with a promise of erotic nights. Guy de la Bedoyere wore vetiver, so did John Jermyn and Jay Jopling still wears it but he is most undeserving.

I am on a precipice.

There is a small boulangerie on the Boulevard St Germaine where they sell delicious croissant almonds; they are soggy with almond paste. This afternoon I will go to Trocadero and drink lemonade and eat macaron. This afternoon I will buy a white shirt in Charvet and wear it with my secret love at dinner on the rue de cherche midi. How strange and different a womans body is after so many years of hairy men. How they yield, how they do not judge you. I never mind taking off my underwear in front of a woman. Taking off your clothes in front of a man who spends hours in the gym. The last man I slept with had a firm, hairy body. I had to apologise for mine. He said, I like it, I really do. He was lying. He did not want to see me again. He cancelled. He lied.

I am not a very good gay. Bad Gay. I don’t like men. Of course I am useless as a straight-after making her climax with my tongue I wonder about the boys on the street. I think about that beautiful Russian boy I met on the train who I am almost in love with. Even so, when PH and I were together I needed no one else. I simply needed her. I have only been in love with one woman and one man. The love is quite different. It means something different.

American men have perfected the art of seduction. When the firm, hairy one told me that he would not stay the night-he had screamed out my name so loud I put my elbow in his gob so the neighbours would not hear. When he told me that he would not stay the night and wake up in the morning with me. It made me curse him. I left my body-floating just above the ceiling-and I could hear him say, you’ve gone quiet. And I replied, I knew that you would do this. And then he said, So you’ll not be disappointed then. He said it in that other way that Americans have when you see their true colours, when you realise that their charm is skin deep, that their intentions are dishonourable.

He said at dinner the line that makes a woman melt, Sex means nothing to me outside of a relationship I had already blown him ten minutes into the date. He paid for dinner. The champagne was chilling in the fridge. Champagne he had bought/acquired and that I would never drink. He did not think to ask if champagne was an entirely appropriate gift. I went to bed early that night. The smell of him on my fingers. It was my birthday-I had chosen to spend it with a total stranger rather than the friends who wanted to see me. It was not a good choice.

Bad Gay.

The following night the same thing happened with a red-headed boy who when I called him the next day was obviously petrified. Bad gay. I am a very bad gay. And then there is Ed. Ed, who sits in his room and has cam-to-cam sex with men. I think that he might have the right idea. He will never be disappointed.

I have lent my apartment in LA to a friend. I hope that he looks after it. People have very different ways of living than I do. I have a new bed. Hope that he does not stain it.

Susanna S. once said that Duncan will give you the world, then one day he will take it all back. She did not actually say that, that is better than what she would say-as she is an inarticulate grunt. That is what people would like to believe. She meant that people take advantage of me until I get pissed off. My friend who is borrowing my flat then asked if he could borrow money from me. Then you begin to get pissed off. Then you think to yourself-what the fuck? Joe T let me buy him alcohol and dinners and let me cook for him then when he had money expected me to pay the valet. I do not think so.

I am going to be a grumpy old man who has to defend himself like a prize-fighter. Resentment will kill them before it gets a sniff at me. I want to be on my own. People distress me. Their ways. When I took cocaine (ten years ago) it made me even more solitary, made me walk from Kensington to Soho at 4am. My toes bruised yet I could not feel the pain.

Do you remember the day Diana died? It made my blood boil. People said that I looked like Dodi. Now they say that I look like some actor. Cant remember his name. That is maybe why people look at me funny when I am in shops. They look at me like I am well-known. They think that I am that man.

Bad Gay.

We walked the Seine last night. It was perfect. The pedestrian bridge-the one adjacent to the Pont Neuf, is covered with young people puffing on weed. They have food and guitars and the police just wander on through. It’s like a little strip of youth revolution in the heart of the city. I could not imagine that happening in London-oiks would ruin it with their crude behaviour. At night it is incredibly warm on the streets. My secret love drank menthe and lemonade. We came home and had that sort of time you only remember from your youth: enthusiastic, passionate, and perfectly connected. Did that really happen? Nobody crept out after they came; there were no lame excuses. This morning we had breakfast and then we shopped around the rue de Bac. I bought a raincoat and a velvet romper suit for LA from Sonia Rykiel. We had lunch. I ate a delicious garlic tart with celeriac and rocket salad. We saw a glamorous woman dressed in black linen-her haircut immaculately severe-we saw her meet her affectionate lover.

Tomorrow my secret love has to go to the American Embassy and get her working visa. I will buy fabric for a lampshade. Tomorrow I will catch the wonderful train and be back in London, away from her arms until we see each other again in California. As I write she is playing with my beard. Her fingers glancing my nose and eyebrows. She looks tenderly over at me and smiles as the laptop noisily corrects my spelling.

She will learn to see me in less attractive circumstances. She will see me frustrated and sad and furious. She will see me rudely demand a better table in the restaurant or shout on the telephone at a moronic bank person-my least favourite phone call is to the bank/credit card/cell phone company-the thieves that come into my life monthly. She will see what I am like. The other side of this coin.

So. This bad gay has to kiss his secret love on the lips-adieu.

September 18, 2006 – Monday

Danny Gallagher

I woke at 7am. Pulled on an old, navy blue jogging outfit. I did not realise I had it with me here in LA, it’s one I bought on Oxford Street in Sydney 3 years ago. I don’t remember packing it.

Just missing one day of exercise stiffens my joints. I set off into the Canyon. I pass 51 dogs.

On the first ‘level’ before the steep bit there were 8 old Russian men sitting on the bench howling with laughter, talking over one another and thoroughly enjoying the delightful crisp, Californian Monday morning in mid September 2006.

Yesterday, by ten am, I had already met a handsome black realtor off of the internet. I made it crystal clear that I did not want to have sex. He swung by in his flash BMW and we headed to the farmers market on Vine where I bought 8 huge organic peaches which are ripening in a pale green bowl in the sitting room as I write. The farmers market was JAMMED with people. I have been going to that market ever since I first moved here and I have never, ever seen it this busy.

I saw purple okra and delicious cheeses and ten different kinds of dates. I saw many local people who I recognised, how lucky we all are in Hollywood to have this perfect destination for our Sunday mornings. The internet date was hungry so we headed to the 101 where we were served by Ryan who is a friend of Aleksa and Devon. We had both been invited to Aleksa’s birthday party so Ryan said he would give me a ride over there when he finished work. Saw beautiful boy in 101-looked like a dark Justin Timberlake. I did not get his number.

Internet Date and I then drove to Bonham’s auction house where I saw a pale wood 50’s desk with really elegant legs that I had somehow missed in the preview. It was an early lot so we were far too late to buy it. One of the auction regulars that I nod to occasionally saw me looking at it and told me that it had not sold so I ended up buying it for $50! I love it. Needs some slight repair but mostly it needs to be loved. It has really beautiful legs.

Paulo, my friend who works there, was annoyed because he had been sent out to buy sandwiches. He said, “I didn’t spend $150,000 going to college to be sent out to buy sandwiches.” He is a funny Italian boy who wears a wife beater under his shirt. Anyway, after the desk purchase-which as I had credit at the auction house I did not have to pay for anyway-Internet date drove me home. I don’t know if I will see him again. There was no immediate SPARK.

Jane Garnett called to tell me the great news that she is pregnant. We talked about her film The Illusionist that is a huge hit! I adore Jane, we chatted about the secret project that she knows and she loves. We agreed to meet some time this week. I am desperate to see her, she makes me feel SANE.

Coincidentally I received an e-mail from Georgie Byng yesterday who originally introduced Jane and I several years ago. Georgia was in my performance work, The Host that we performed in The Royal Oyster Company Hall in Whitstable. She is married to Marc Quinn the artist who made Blood Head, one of the great art stars of the Sensations era. One of Jays artists. Marc is a very kind man. If I am mad and difficult, like they say I am, people like Jane, Marc and Georgia are willing to overlook my defects and concentrate on the man they have known and liked for many, many years.

Ryan collected me at 4pm, we drove a little further west up Sunset to collect his friend Steve who had played Dorian Gray in a rather wonderful sounding theatre adaptation of Wilde’s novel. Steve, of course, loves the book and quoted huge chunks at me. If fact, we disagreed about the source of one particular quote and I had to concede, after looking at the book, that he was right and I was wrong. It is always good for ones constitution to admit defeat to a younger prettier man. I really took to Steve, a complex mess of desire, pessimism and loneliness-all spread out on the table for every one to see. An emotional yard sale. There is nothing better than a beautiful boy with a problem. Of course, ugly people never get the opportunity to let everyone know their STUFF. Nobody cares.

We headed over to Aleksa’s birthday party in Griffiths Park. I met her manager Eric Black. Really liked him. Eric told his best friend, also there at the party, a friend who he had worked in the CAA mail room with when they were fledgling agents/managers all about me. Good God, in the telling of my story, Eric’s description of me from a managers perspective made me sound like a TOTALLY insane maverick.

Aleksa Palladino

After Aleksa’s party (lasagne and cherry pie) we drove to a friend of Ryan who was having a party near the 101. Valet parking, caterers etc. Met a woman I know from NYC called Annette who is an Australian editor, she in turn introduced me to Trevor Groth from Sundance. Joel Miklely was there with a boy/man web designer. Met another Eric Siddall, a lawyer from San Fran-intriguing. Ate marzipan and drank coffee. We stayed for a while chatting with film people but I never feel comfortable in those places. Inevitably they think they know a great deal more about me than they really do. Most of what they know is sensational gossip. This is why I like hanging out with actors. Actors are less condemnatory. Actors like directors.

We left that party but had a couple of hours to kill so were driving back to my house when I got the oddest phone call from my friend Tim in NYC. Tim is a Whitstable lad (26) who has done very well for himself as a sort of live in life coach for a very rich Jewish American family. He told me that Danny Gallagher was dead.

Danny, another young Whitstable boy, was badly hurt in a car wreck just before I came back to LA. It seems that he got some sort of infection in the hospital and never recovered. “I don’t know how I feel about it, Dunc.” Tim said. I felt exactly the same. You see, I have an affection for those rough Whitstable boys, but it is not always comfortable bumping into them as they drunkenly make their way up Island Wall. Danny, when he was younger, was very homophobic. He would sit outside the Neptune and sneer at local gay man Duncan. But, last year, we sat down and talked and he asked about my life and I listened to his story. His brother had died of cancer. From that moment on he always went out of his way to come say hello and ask how I was doing. I love those rough Whitstable boys. I always have. I am, after all, a rough Whitstable boy who just, for the time being, lives in LA.

You know, when those judgemental people look at me at those swanky film parties they don’t realise just how hard I had to fight to survive. You would have thought that one would not have had to fight so hard in a place like this but you have to fight harder. This is all part of my great AA dilemma. All at once I have to let go and let God, yet I am compelled by my ‘ambition’. I tried explaining my ‘ambition’ to Eric’s friend yesterday, I tried to explain the desire in me, the compulsion to make art rather than money. This is what I think defines me as a maverick. That and the fact that I loathe most people!

So, Danny Gallagher is dead and I am sorry for that.

Steve, Ryan and I then went home and watched my Dorian Gray on the Lap Top. Steve and Ryan really liked it. That made me happy-after all, they are my core audience. We drank strong coffee then drove back up Sunset to Peter’s show of films and photographs. I really loved his work. It is enigmatic, clean, great colours. All of his sexy model friends were there including the devastatingly handsome Jamal Cohen. We hung with them for a while (can’t write about celebrity associations at this party-Peter would kill me) then headed off to find a quiet place to sit. It is very difficult in Hollywood on a Sunday night to find a quiet place. We ended up in Famina! A small Japanese store on Hollywood and Highland and ate crème brule and watched the insane pedestrians, the only ones that are left on Hollywood Blvd at midnight. Finally stumbled into bed at 12.30. I am going to collect my new desk today and write…and go to the gym…and think about rough Whitstable boys.

10:07 AM

September 17, 2006 – Sunday

http://www.saverunyon.org

Sunday, day of no walks on Runyon Canyon. No dogs to count, no fat to burn. No.

Runyon Canyon Emergency! Yellow notices posted all over the waste bins, the seats, the notice boards and on MySpace. Attention Everyone! The Parks and Recreation Department want to build a car park at the foot of the Canyon.

What do I think? Will it make any difference to the quality of my life if they build a car park at the base of the Canyon?

Yesterday I wondered if it wouldn’t be rather nice to have a rustic shack selling breakfast stuff at the base of Runyon Canyon with a wood burning stove warming on a cold morning. I found myself dreaming about that just as often as I tend to dream about running the Red Spider Cafe which used to be a rustic shack/beech hut on Whitstable Beach. This summer Barry Green, who owns Whitstable beach, asked me (as he must ask many others) if I wanted to run the Red Spider Cafe. He wants to re-build it. I found this idea very appealing. The simplicity of a very honorable trade: I make you tea and cake, you give me £2.75. I never ever dream about making films in the same fond way that I dream about serving tea and running a small hotel on the Kent coast.

Why can’t people just walk to the Canyon? I walk to the Canyon. I walk everywhere. I walk to the farmer’s Market on Vine. I walk to the Auction House on Gardener. I walk to the Chateau Marmont. I have walked, on many occasions, from Labrea to Doheny to my AA meeting. I even walked all the way from my house to Robertson and Beverly. I really love walking LA. I love peering closely at palm trees, I like nosing into gardens. I like taking alternative routes.

When I was a small boy I walked in my pyjamas from Whitstable to Herne Bay. When I had my drug problem I walked so hard from Kensington to Soho that all my toes turned purple from the bruising. When I was at Shotton Hall School we walked the length of Offa’s Dyke which is an ancient path that runs the border of Wales and England. We stayed in idyllic Youth Hostels and I remember packing coordinating outfits.

I prefer walking to taking the bus. There is so much shame heaped on people who take the bus in this town. I tend to linger away from the bus stop just in case anyone sees me waiting for a bus. Can you believe it? I shall be more robust about my bus taking in future, less shameful.

Unfashionably, I think that Barry Green should be allowed to build beach huts and Red Spider rustic shacks all the way along the stretch of beach that he owns. I do not, however, think that Barry Green owner of the Whitstable Beach, should be able to build a hideous mock light house and crowd generic ‘fantasy Whitstable’ type architecture on the new marina.

I went to see the plans for the new Whitstable Marina development before I left for California with my friend Charlie Parsons and we both agreed that the designs were HIDEOUS. The architect on duty told me that it was the council’s fault but this is patently untrue. The local council merely defines the architectural parameters for the architect: the height, housing density, materials etc. The architect is responsible for the imaginative response to those parameters. Whilst I think that the town will benefit from the new marina, the suggested designs were bland, depressing and what is worse one could already imagine abandoned polystyrene oyster trays being blown all over the ersatz cobbles on cold winter afternoons.

Continuing our Saturday morning tradition I had breakfast with Dom and John Roden at the 101 cafe on Franklin. This old-fashioned, mid-century diner is always stuffed with cute alternative people. Yesterday was no exception. Omelette, no toast, no potato. Yes, I’m starting THAT again Clare Swinburn. The smelly breath diet. We complimented some boy on his floral pants (trousers) and he said, “You have to be really straight to wear clothes this gay.” He showed us what was written on his ass and when we complimented his ass he said, rather seriously, “That’s harassment.” Who put the ass in harassment?

Spent most of the afternoon with my sponsor and then went home to meet Peter Youngblood Hills but lost my phone on the bus, then my afternoon went to shit-missed seeing/speaking with Peter, missed my opening at M+B gallery and when I finally resolved everything it was time to head over to Julia and Sim’s to see their gorgeous house in Silverlake, meet their divinely pretty daughter Elsie and meet their friends from Sheppey of all places and eat dinner in Silverlake. After dinner of Pork medallions and chocolate terrine I took them all up to the Soriano House and fell in love with it all over again. OH GOD!!! I love that house.

Stayed at Julia and Sim’s until 1am gossiping about Whitstable people. It was so much fun. No one was spared. Sim dropped me at mine and I slept like a log. The phone rang twice after midnight. I did not answer. I knew what they were. Two booty calls. Can you believe it? At my age!!

2:18 PM

September 16, 2006 – Saturday

Fat Kid

I slept until 8.30 this morning. Not even the morning sun pouring into my bedroom woke me. Disoriented by how late it was I started the day by checking e-mails, which, I never, ever do. The squirrel was in the Bird of Paradise tree outside my sitting room pulling seeds out of the huge pods. He was making a terrible racket. Chattering away to himself.

There were more that 80 dogs on the path today. SO MANY PEOPLE. I really don’t like to share the Canyon with that many people. I like the few odd die-hard who get up at six and watch the sun break over Los Angeles. I was wearing a red Buddhist punk hoody, red seems to attract a great deal of attention. I received many nods and unsolicited greetings. I passed the man who pushes his bike without his shirt on-he has a creamy naturally defined body. He looks but does not acknowledge.

I never take a phone or an iPod up the mountain. I need to experience it raw. It is still hard to get up the steep bit without a break but I am really noticing a difference. I feel lighter. I can’t feel so much fat on my back over my kidneys but perhaps I am just kidding myself. Next week I start working seriously at the gym. The fact of the matter is: I am happier when I get to walk my walk, meditate and write my blog. At the start of everyday I feel as if I have achieved something. You know, I kept a diary for over 20 years. A written diary. A Smythson’s leather-bound diary. I had Red calf, black calf, natural pig skin colour. I had a marbled one from Venice. I stopped writing my diary because, when I got sober, I wondered why I was doing it-and it was cumbersome to carry and then when I got here stupid people thought that it was a bible.

I passed the Russians with the blue-eyed dogs; they were rabbiting away in Russian then one of them said in English, “So Armageddon is finally coming.” Like he was expecting his aunt, aunt Armageddon. It certainly feels pretty doom-like at the moment. We get on with our daily lives but something else is determining our future. Maybe there really is a conspiracy of powerful Jews? Maybe Elvis is still alive? Maybe Freddy Star really did eat a hamster?

More OUTRAGE from Muslim clerics because the Pope quoted some odd Persian from an ancient text. Come on lads get some perspective. Who gives a fuck about the Pope? He wears Prada under his cassock.

At the start of my walk I saw an incredibly tall, svelte, young couple with their morbidly obese son. They were in their early thirties, athletic. He was 9 years old and a tub of lard. He was complaining about the smell on the canyon. They were reassuring him that everything was going to be ok. I thought to myself, Oh how sweet, these two are really helping their child. It must be tough, but as a family they are trying to get him in shape. I set off on my walk. On the way down the Canyon I pass the two athletic parents walking on all fours like dogs. The child is nowhere to be seen. They were walking on all fours like dogs. Stretching out their perfect, athletic limbs. Half a mile behind them, dawdling along is their huge son. Alone, fat, abandoned. What can I say?

Dammit, I always forget to mention the half-naked elderly man who I have only seen once crouching in the undergrowth wearing a dog collar and rubber shorts looking like an unloved, abandoned dog. If I was (when I am) a lonely old man, I might be tempted to think that someone might adopt me if I pretended to be a dog without a home.

Yesterday, I wrote, I read, took care of business and did more iTunes organisation. I chatted to Erik the writer about Valentine. I checked out the Bonham’s Sunset sale but there was nothing there worth buying. I saw Paulo, he needs to take me out for lunch sometime soon. Danny O dropped in for a cup of tea. I was meant to be seeing Gianni but Virgil swung by so I had to blow Gianni out at the last moment.

I really think that Virgil might be married. He is so secretive. Remember Quentin Crisps unattainable big, dark, man-kind of dumb but loveable. That is Virgil. He does not know his 10 times table. He eats KFC every day. I asked him what he talked to his best friend about and he tells me the conversation VERBATIM. It wasn’t very informative. He is a huge, gentle, light skin black guy in his mid 40s. He watched me make a salad dressing and when I poured it onto the salad he asked what I was doing. He had never, ever seen anyone make a dressing before. Do not be surprised my homies, this is the USA. Even my more sophisticated friends would not know how to make a salad dressing from scratch. The young ones think, ‘why should I?’ and the older ones think, ‘We never eat at home’. Virgil is a big sweet man. I asked him to take me to South Central LA but he scoffed. He told me that his nieces boy friend and the father of her baby had blown his head off with gun in front of them all.

Dont worry Virgil, I know people like that in Whitstable.

10:20 AM

September 15, 2006 – Friday

iTunes 7

22 dogs. One young man applauding his Jack Russell for taking a piss. “That’s amazing Billy!” he commended.

There were 15 gardeners trimming the mountain-something I never thought I would see but I suppose some one has to maintain the paths and trim back the vegetation. The undergrowth is so lush.

The walk was good. All the tight feelings in my chest vanished. It was really chilly up there on the path this morning. People at home don’t get the subtlety of the seasons in California, they don’t realise that we have winter nights or that it is very cold when the sun sets. ‘Why do people need winter coats in LA?’ I thought, when I first arrived. In fact, I get to wear all of my winter coats and even my fur hat.

It rained briefly as I was feeding the squirrel almonds from my hand. That animal is so funny. It chases the cats. American people say it is always raining in London. We deal in weather clichés. The truth is that we have had so little rain in the UK that we have to regularly ban the use of hose pipes and non-essential car cleaning, something that would never happen here. Read Joan Didion’s book The White Album if you want to know where LA water comes from-if you didn’t already see China Town.

I have been organising my iTunes library. 22 days of songs. The new iTunes 7 reveals previously unseen album covers on my lap top-suddenly I am excited again by my music collection, flicking through all the music I have. Seeing old friends-like Alice Coopers Billion Dollar Baby-the first ever album I bought. The first single I ever bought was Ben by Michael Jackson. You see! I have always been bi-polar! I was at boarding school in Dorset listening to Alice Cooper from my bedroom overlooking the verdant English countryside.

I liked being at that school. I learned how to make cheese, chutney, jam, milk cows and learnt all about Jason and the Argonauts. Saw a dead badger by the side of the road and when I pulled its tail the thing came off in my hands-I was 13. Country people are not scared of dirt or death. We would camp outside on the lawns and learn to listen to the earth. Check it out, it’s called Monkton Wyld Court. A beautiful gothic, Pugin inspired rectory. One winters day a kid wrote in the snow: Reunion 1999 on the terraces so we could all read it. 1999 came and went but I never went back to any reunion. I hitch hiked there from Whitstable once. Years ago. It took two days.

I remembered horseback riding in the snow, my fingers frozen onto the reigns. I remembered learning to play the piano. Where are those skills? Stored away just in case. Stored away with the detailed maps of Sydney and Paris and Glasgow or Cannes. Stored with my times tables. 7×8=56 Remember that one and you’ll be fine. 8×8=64. Stored with descriptions of Renaissance Art and Golden Rules. Gypsy tart. That’s there too.

Flicking through my collection of music like we used to-things coming full circle. Delighted by something you forgot you owned. An album cover that reminds you of a person or a place. The sound track of my life just here in the palm of my hand. I am listening to nobukazu takemura this morning. I like ambient music for my films and for my life. I listen to Aphex Twin and John Cage. Saw John Cage at The Almeida Music Festival in London when the US used to export its vibrant avant-garde.

At the next school I attended in Shropshire we listened to Roxy Music. Then, ten years later I am at a private audience with Bryan in Notting Hill. Ten years after that I am sitting in his kitchen with his wife. Then we are at the Saatchi Gallery with Tracy Emin signing posters. Makes me feel home sick thinking about Lucy and the kids.

Annie Lennox reminds me of living at Jane McAllisters house in Edinburgh whilst I was working for Richard Demarco during the Edinburgh Festival. Must be talking to an angel.

Yesterday I had a gentleman caller-no sex. Just being held is all I require lately. My new maid started. Angela was here when Virgil the gentleman caller arrived. Virgil and I sat on the roof and listened to our respective stories. He has three dogs and a daughter. Is that a deal breaker? Angela laughed when I followed after her putting all the ornaments, candles etc back in the correct places.

Virgil left at 3ish. Gentle afternoon in doors-some people called to see if I wanted to go out but I stayed at home and read. The Mormon beauty from the BAFTA party for instance-he called. When I first stopped drinking it was such a relief to simply stay at home and go to bed early rather than chase a party. I am not missing anything. Anyway, I have a very social weekend ahead of me.

In bed by 12. I think that I may go to Sydney next week for a month.

10:38 AM

September 14, 2006 – Thursday

OUTRAGE!!!

6.15. Runyon Canyon. Right hand path. 23 dogs. Two blind men with white sticks. Simon Doonan. Five people said hello.

On the way up the mountain I had a God almighty battle of wills between my acknowledged ‘dark side’ and the weaker ‘good’ me. My dark side always has such a compelling argument for any bad/naughty things I want to do. Dammit.

Yesterday I pissed a lot of people off writing my blog. I apologise. It was inappropriate.

Of course there are some things I choose not to write about in this blog but, unlike anywhere else in my life, this is a place where I can be totally honest. I am neither bound by fear of judgement nor at the mercy of a lie. However, I suppose that there are things that I should not write about. For instance, I do not write about sex, because when I did, it seemed to upset some people. I have agreed with myself new blog rules of engagement. I am no longer going to write about my EXPERIENCE of AA. From the moment I step into an AA meeting to the moment I leave the rooms of AA I will not report on what I have shared nor any opinions about who I have seen there-even if I am alluding to them and not making them obvious. I agreed tacitly to this when I joined and so it would be priggish of me to renege now, ten years down the line. I have agreed with my sponsor that I will share my AA type grievances with him. To this end I have removed the offending paragraph in yesterday’s blog and replaced it with a few apposite lines from the AA big book.

However, I will be writing in full about my experiences outside the rooms of AA.

Yesterday morning Chris picked me up from my apartment and drove six shirts and me to the ecological laundry. We had a very jolly time. We were both very happy. He is going back to England on Sunday. I suddenly realised that I would miss him. He is a spirited, sweet, honourable boy and even though I am double his age I learn a great deal from him. He wanted to take me to the Beverly Hills Hotel for breakfast. On the way there Joe called and asked Chris if he had read my blog. Joe was OUTRAGED! Chris, in a very difficult position, could not stop Joe from spewing his indignation. Chris cut him off, telling him that he would have to call him back later. We sat in the car and pretended to be posh for a good five minutes. Of course, if you are truly OUTRAGED by something you have read you do not call all your friends and tell them about it. “Have you read Duncan’s blog? I am outraged!” Even though Chris had the phone pressed hard to his ear I could hear Joe screaming. Chris and I, both having had a great deal of press attention in the past, know that when you are truly OUTRAGED you simply call your lawyer and deal with it. Recently poor Chris had to deal with adverse press and when he called me he was choked with emotion. He did not call all his friends to read the offending material and then be OUTRAGED. I noticed a huge swell in my readership numbers yesterday possibly because Joe was so OUTRAGED.

We ate a wonderful breakfast. We chatted and laughed. After my waffles we explored the Beverly Hills Hotel shop. We found the Beverly Hills Barbie and another Barbie holding the hand of a small child. “Look, Paedophile Barbie.” I said, holding up the box and shaking it. Chris went red and we scarpered.

Went home and read the secret script. It needs work but you can see how wonderful it is going to be. I had a day of DOING things in the house. I cleared out the junk closet in the hall and hung all of my winter coats in there. I closed most of the windows because at night it is now very chilly. I washed the glass. I fed the squirrel-it feeds from my hand. The maid called and told me in broken English that she would come on Thursday as she had a hospital appointment.

I took a cab to the Hyatt where I met Jon and we drove to the BAFTA garden party. OUTRAGED Joe was there not looking quite so outraged or if he was he was unwilling to confront me about it. In fact he did a great deal of cap doffing around Xan. The other aggrieved parties from yesterdays blog were also there and we mutually apologised and that was that. I had a very jolly time. Saw Charlie and Vicky from New York and hung around with them. I saw Marjorie and Xan, of course, and we ate pulled pork and black coffee and there was a very British raffle. Cute Mormon boy invited me to a party at Shag but I did not go. I went home and found places for my tools and threw out the last of Dee’s things that she left at the house.

I re-read the secret script which I love, as i was reading it the Valentine script arrived. That was less inspired.

I had a long chat with Xan before I went to bed. It was reassuring. I was reassured. I am going to pray that good things happen for Joe.

8:42 AM

September 13, 2006 – Wednesday

Jessica Simpson

I did not count the dogs on Runyon Canyon; I had a great deal on my mind. I saw the Russians with the baby and they all said hello. The cute boy with the hat totally ignored me. The lesbians said a cautious hello. I felt as if my body were changing today. It was easier to haul up the steep bits. Either I am getting stronger or leaner or tighter or maybe all three. When I lost weight before I lost weight gradually then I got horribly thin in a matter of a week. Must buy scales.

It was a cool, tranquil morning.

As I began my leisurely decent, deep in the wooded part of the Canyon a man started screaming. He was furious, angry against the world. I tried to see what he looked like but he was hidden under a canopy of trees. He was like a monkey in the rain forest letting everyone know that he was there. “Shut up you crazy fuck!” somebody called out to him but it was half hearted-they understood why he was screaming. He was screaming for all of us.

Yesterday was such a day of extremes. Corey took me to see another house. It was a house owned by an Italian writer in Beverley Hills. A beautiful modernist house designed by Georgescu in 1958, sadly it had a ropey view. I have made an offer on some of the furniture, which is all beautiful, mid-century modern. After the viewing Corey dropped me off at the Key Club AA meeting. I stayed for half of it then walked to my 1pm meeting with Jon Larson from the Directors Guild at the Chateau Marmont. I had the salmon that was far too complicated-too many flavours. We sat next to Selma Hayek. She looked great. I met Patty, the director of Monster and Brad Wyman’s partner. Brad was one of the producers on THAT film I directed in Romania. The problem with Monster is that, like The Devil Wears Prada, you have a great performance shining in a dull film. Let’s face it, if Elizabeth Hurley had been playing the lead in either of those films what would you be left with: The Method!!! Ha ha ha.

After lunch I walked home up Sunset via Bonham’s to see the dregs of the fine furniture sale. It all looked ghastly. This Friday is the preview of the Sunset Estate sale. I love this auction. I furnished my entire apartment with things from this auction. June Havers and Fred McMurray previously owned most of what I own. I have their bowling trophies, their bowling balls, furniture, silver, a chandelier and some delightful dining room chairs. Once a month there is an LA Modern auction and I bought pieces by Paul Lazlo. Auctions are my not so secret vice.

When I got home I planned to take a nap but, thrillingly, the secret project script arrived from London and I had to have a long chat with Seth my manager about Dorian and the secret project and Valentine which seems to be coming along well. Then I had a long chat with a financier about refinancing Dorian. Then I had to check my Dorian out-of-pocket figures. I guess that I am owed in the region of $150,000. By the time I had done all of that it was too late to take a nap.

John (works for Penguin) picked me up in his jag and we headed off to the C.U.N.T AA meeting on Robertson. This meeting, as you might have guessed from the title, is a British meeting. I think that my sponsor started it. For me, going to this meeting is like being dipped in acid. It is excruciating but I had promised my sponsor that I would go and embrace my enemies…

I put my hand up and I shared about my walks on the mountain. I told them that I was going where the love was. I hinted that I had found God in the mountains-that I was humbled by the mountains. I do my best in AA, which is all I can do.

After the meeting Corey and I went back to Silverlake to see the house at night. It was so COOL!! I love it. We also revisited the Soriano house on North Dillon. You know, it really is noisy up there. You can hear the valley traffic as if it were roaring through the garden. Too close for comfort.

John and I had a late dinner at The Chateau. I bumped into the adorable Dougray Scott who is working on Desperate Housewives. I met his girl friend Clare. Chris Rock was hanging about the lobby-apparently stood up by Courtney Love. I sat with Jessica Simpson briefly-she looked AMAZING. That girl has the most perfect skin.

John has a great story-he once woke up out of an alcoholic blackout on a plane. He had no idea where he was going. He was on his way to Buenos Aires.

John dropped me home at midnight.

9:46 AM

September 12, 2006 – Tuesday

real estate

Just returned from my morning walk. 53 Dogs. Today I walked with Corey Nelson my realtor from Sotheby’s. Corey is a stunningly good-looking ex-Bruce Weber model. He and his girlfriend walk Runyon Canyon everyday. We decided to take the other, steeper path. We hiked the three tall peeks and that makes for an altogether longer and tougher walk. We met at the Fuller entrance at 8.30. On the way up it was difficult to talk because I was huffing and puffing like an old man. We passed 4 people. The views are stunning, really stunning. We looked over toward the sea on our right and the Hollywood sign to our left. We made our way down the usual way yet, astonishingly, everybody at 8.30 seems very social, most people say a warm hello. We chatted to people all the way down. I suspect that this is because Corey (26) has perfect pecs and abs.

The strange woman I saw yesterday with the Yorkie strapped to her chest told Corey’s girlfriend that she carried her dog like that because it had been bitten once by another dog so now she is too paranoid about him walking anywhere. We met a dog called, ‘Freakshow’, we met really cool lesbians. We discussed bikes and if I should get one and Vespers and if I should get one. Most of all we talked about property because we have seen so much of it between us. When I was friends with Georgina I am sure that all the Kent estate agents had mug shots of us with BEWARE!! TIME WASTERS written below our names. We saw property wherever we went. New York, Sydney, Fire Island. It is so much fun looking at other peoples’ houses. However, I am genuinely looking for a house to buy here. I have seen so much property but none of it speaks to me or if it does then it’s too expensive. When developers get there hands on it the property is ruined. The additions of prissy ‘Zen’ gardens and horrible hedges of miniature bamboo, I call it ‘gay grass’. They add huge, ungainly kitchens with slate work tops. They lay badly installed hard wood floors. A terrible uniform aesthetic. All the ‘done’ houses are done out of their individuality.

I fell in love with a Soriano house on North Dillon St but it was too expensive for what it was and ultimately needed too much doing to it. Also, if you live at the top of any Hill in LA however gorgeous the view-the noise is terrible. The rumble of LA all day all night would drive me madder than the maddest man in mad land.

I love Silverlake. All of the best architects have examples of their work there.

Yesterday, Corey picked me up at 9.30. We drove to Edgecliff Road in Silverlake to see a house for me to buy. It was wonderful. Built in 1964, perched on a cliff overlooking the lake it has never been ‘done’, thankfully no ‘zen’ garden with water feature, no designer kitchen built for a family of snackers and no gay grass. It is perfect for me. I am going to try to quickly raise the money today. The house really has had little changed since it was built. It is owned by two adorable old queens. They had great furniture too. We were there for hours. The 73-year-old man who owned the house said, rather obscurely, about his neighbor, “He wouldn’t know how to make a pie.” I asked him if he could knit. He couldn’t. I persuaded him to consider knitting as a precaution against arthritis. We laughed a great deal.

After the viewing I went home and I washed the filthy Venetian blinds in the kitchen with oxi clean then hosed them down outside-very satisfactory. I love Oxi Clean. Lazy day at home reading and writing. Should have achieved more but sat and thought about THE WORLD. A good day to think about THE WORLD. It is so hard to articulate ones frustrations about the state of THE WORLD. As I scrubbed my blinds I thought again and again about the choices that I had made that lead me to this place.

We planned a conference call with my manager, lawyer and producer of Dorian. It was the same old story. Arclight stalling, Carl failing, Effie dealing. Carl is the guy who a year ago came on board to raise more money for the film. He seems to spend most of his time on vacation. His big, bovine head grinning inanely. His LA teeth catching the sun. He agrees with anything anyone says. If I did not have the rooms of AA I would be tearing my hair out but this is God’s plan and I have to put up with it. I really don’t worry about it. Art comes when it is ready. It is born out of confusion.

If I choose to make unconventional films in an unconventional way I must expect there to be no convention.

I watched some of the 9/11 anniversary coverage. Did you know that there was an aircraft hanger at Kennedy with the most morbid collection of World Trade Tower scrap in it? Smashed fire trucks, three incinerated floors of one tower crushed into a molten ball, bikes chained to bike racks. It reminded me of something that I had not thought about for 35 years.

When I was 6 I was involved in a terrible car wreck. We were taking my aunt and her children to the airport. My grandfather, grandmother, mother, stepfather, aunt and five children packed into a large car that my stepfather had borrowed. It was a terrible night, torrential rain. My stepfather was driving fast to so we did not miss the flight. I was sitting on my mother’s lap in the front seat when the car hit a huge puddle and aqua planed over the freeway, over the central reservation and into oncoming traffic. I was catapulted out of the side window and onto the road. Thankfully nobody was killed. I suffered major head injuries-hence the scars and missing skull in my head.

A few years later I was staying at my grandmother’s house and found in the wardrobe of the room I was sleeping, zipped suit bags and when I looked inside I saw dirty, torn, clothes splattered with dried blood. I recognized the clothes immediately. I opened the bags and pulled out the clothes that we had all been wearing the day of the accident. My grandmother, unable to throw anything out, had kept them. When I told my mother the bags vanished.

At night, before I fall asleep, I think about the street where we lived when I was a child. I remember the house at the end of the unmade road in Whitstable. Stanley Road. I remember hot summer afternoons on Duncan Down wading in the uncut hay looking for lizards and chasing dragonflies. At this time of year I would collect heaps of black berries and my mother would make blackberry and apple crumble.

I remember the big department store that used to be on Whitstable High Street. I remember the smell of cheap furniture and Santa’s glittery cardboard grotto stored in a room at the back of the store. On occasional moments through the day I find myself in that store, on my own, wandering as a small boy in that strange, sterile place.

4:21 PM

September 11, 2006 – Monday

We Are All Americans Now

I was on the mountain by 8am. 24 dogs. Only two hours later than I usually go yet the Canyon folk at 8am are radically different from the earlier crowd. Instead of my usual bunch of single-minded, introverted business people focused on their morning walk at 6am today I saw more people, fewer dogs but all of them seemed to be playing out their breakfast dramas there on the hill. I said a rousing ‘hello!’ to the cute boy in the hat-he was so taken aback that he nearly fell over. I stopped and talked to Jeff the dog walker with his seven dogs. Poo bags tied to their collars. I saw a trainer berating his trainee. I saw a woman with a dog strapped to her chest in a papoose. For the first time ever up there on the dusty Runyon Canyon path I saw a mad person running up the hill insulting people. He offered me his card, when I declined he said, “I’m writing a novel! Say good morning to Barbra Streisand when you get home.” I bowed my head in embarrassment. Did he think that I was Jewish? “If you see Michael Moore, put a bullet through his head.” He ran off.

The woman behind me was shocked by his behaviour. I stopped to talk to her. Gabriella, Italian brought up in Paris. Firm hand shake. Cute dog. We both agreed that the world was a more dangerous place since 9/11. I wonder how many people across the world will be celebrating this day rather than mourning this day? How many people across the world had sympathy for the innocent of the twin towers the day it happened who now celebrate that fateful day? It is a sad shame. As the years pass the complex politic that came to such an appalling conclusion that day is being revealed. It is as if the US wanted to show the world in the years since 9/11 exactly why it SHOULD have happened. What is this war on terror? What do we expect to win when we say that the war must be won? We cannot win a war against an ideology or a philosophy.

Both the US and the UK had no plan to win a war when they marched triumphantly into Baghdad. We were told that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction. They planned to topple Saddam, find the weapons, win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis and take the oil. TAKE THE OIL. If we had left the day after Saddam was deposed the jubilant Iraqis would have given us the oil for free! Where once the people of Iraq were pleased to see us now they hate us. They hate that an innocent 14-year-old girl is raped and murdered by American soldiers along with her innocent family then their bodies burned. If a white 14-year-old girl had been gang raped by foreigners, her white five-year old brother and parents shot in the head in Bethnal Green or Brooklyn what reaction would we have? I tell you now that the streets would be raging with the rightful fury and indignation of those frightened residents. Yet, if the people of Dahuc complain or protest or demonstrate they are accused of being Insurgents or Terrorists and risk their lives to say it how it is. What new FREEDOMS have the US and the UK brought to the people of Iraq? The same freedom the people of the US enjoy? The freedom to be poor, fat, uneducated and lazy? Is this how we express our divine right to freedom?

When the trial of Saddam is done will the people of Iraq reflect on what they gave up? When the US chop off his head will they see just another Iraqi bending to our white will or are they going to cheer? Who will cheer more than Saddam as he goes martyred to the gallows?

George W Bush, like a priggish child, complains that his fellow citizens have to buy oil from folks who ‘don’t like us’. They don’t like us. Why don’t they like us? We have DEMOCRACY for goodness sake and FREEDOM and our girlies don’t have to wear that silly scarf and can get pregnant when they are 13 years old and take drugs and join gangs and live a godless life without spiritual guidance. If we do well we can afford premium cocaine and drink ourselves silly. We can imprison our grandparents in stinking old peoples homes. We can can give our children prescription drugs so that their inquisitive natures are dulled. People of Iraq vote for freedom, for democracy, for decadence.

The day after the Twin Towers fell La Monde declared that we were all Americans now. After the cruel and divisive invasion of Lebanon I saw a placard outside the Israeli embassy that read, ‘We are all Hezbolla now’.

11:33 AM

What was I thinking?

Sunday.

My body craved the daily walk up Runyon Canyon that I denied it this morning. My thighs hurt from the leg work out at the gym. Took the bus from Labrea to Doheny along Sunset. Walked down hill from Sunset to Santa Monica. The bus is the university bus so it has fewer mad people on it. Less amputees and hunchbacks, fewer old men singing religious songs. The bus along Santa Monica Blvd is the worst for that kind of freak show. Once I saw a man with his head bandaged in loo roll, a wad of loo roll stuffed in his mouth. He could have been Matthew Barney making some sort of site-specific artwork I suppose but I doubt it.

When I lived in Santa Monica I took the Blue Bus all the way up Wilshire to the agencies. I had meetings with teams of agents from CAA and Endeavour and ICM and all the usual suspects. When AKA happened I never expected the positive reaction and was totally unprepared. Unprepared for the BAFTA nomination. Unprepared for the applause. It is what people come here to LA wishing, praying for and I did not know what to do with it when it was offered to me. You should have seen their agent faces when I told them that I had taken the bus. This was EVIDENCE of insanity.

It should have been a wonderful time after AKA but it was a terrible stress. It was the only time in my life that my enemies had to work over time to keep me down. They were so desperate they ended up revealing themselves. It was good to know that I wasn’t a mad paranoid fool. I had evidence that people did not want me to get on in Hollywood. Threatening e-mails, anonymous phone calls to agents and double-dealing. It was funny that these people were going to all this effort-you know I cannot blame them. They have their reasons but it is true that what goes around comes around. We all pay for our cruelties in the end.

I went from being totally ignored in London, being told that nobody would be interested in my film by Paul T at The Film Council to having all the major talent agencies chasing me. They were tenacious. Even after I had signed with Endeavour one agent drove all the way to Santa Monica to beg me to change my mind about the agency I had signed with. She said to me, in an attempt to persuade me to sign with her, “We have so much in common-we both like being fucked in the ass.” Another, hearing my ambitions to make low-budget films warned that I would “..end up like Ken Loach.” I heard all of their best agent lines and was unprepared for them. I laughed at their rehearsed speeches. If I had that time again would I do it differently? Of course I would! I lasted all of one week with Endeavour.

One smug agent thought that my big black leather Smythson’s Diary that I sat beside me during our meeting was a Bible and calling in the assistant to bear witness to her wit asked me what chapter I was reading. I looked at my diary and said carefully, “September?” The assistant watched her boss squirm for a moment then offered me a coke.

Much of what being successful is, is knowing what to do when opportunity is offered to you. I didn’t. I accept my own part in that disaster. Thank God I have never truly desired more than I could have. The concept of ‘enough’ is alien to most people. I am a single man. How much do I need? Do I need a huge house to kick about in on my own? That would just make me lonely. I think that my house in Whitstable is too big for me. It only really comes alive when it has a family in it. That is what it was built for-a family. Children running and screaming up and down the stairs.

I sat in on my 11.45 log cabin AA meeting but I was twitchy and felt odd once again to be there. It did not feel the same as the ones I go to in London. I did not feel safe there. Spoke briefly to a Brit who wants to use in his hotel room. He may call. I did my duty. I reached out to another alcoholic. I am working my steps with my sponsor. I am doing what I can at this moment.

Claudia collected me from Starbucks and we ate a nasty lunch in a cafe on Cahuenga. We talked about Eugenio as usual. What a life he leads! I am glad not to be pimping for him anymore. Dragging boys up from Hyde or The Abbey to the ten million dollar mansion with Richard for EL to impress with his art and drugs. What was I doing there? What did I think could possibly be the outcome of such a friendship?

I napped in the afternoon.

Made dinner for Victor and Ken and Ken’s wife. We ate two courses then played backgammon. Lovely evening.

When they all left I settled down to write this. I thought about something that has been haunting me for months maybe years. I never understood why Jay Jopling and I fell out. It has always been a mystery to me. He was once my close friend-then I was ignored. One day, last year, I was with a woman who admitted to me that she had lied to him about me. She admitted to me that she told him lies that I knew would have upset him greatly. Jay is a loyal man and will not tolerate disloyalty. SHE destroyed our relationship. I suddenly missed him. I missed him being my friend as he had been and now never would be-even if that woman called him tonight and told him the truth Jay and I would have missed out on so much together.

I remember JBC telling me that our relationship would only work if we ignored what people said about us. My relationship with JBC lasted seven years.

Must go to bed.

1:59 AM

September 10, 2006 – Sunday

ART

Sunday. Day of rest. AA meeting to go to. I may walk this evening. The same young man just left the house that left last week. No sex. I was not interested. That’s cool.

Saturday is Dom Day. We had lunch at M Cafe on Labrea. Dom had his oil changed at Jiffy Lube whilst we ate the contents of a bento box. Nothing to say about our conversation. After lunch we drove to Fred Siegel and bumped into Richard Squire and his friend Saweeda. They looked happy. More comments about my beard. In store Velvet bomber jacket by Lanvin costs $4000. I was shocked. I wanted to try it on but they did not have my size. I laughingly told the shop assistant (really sweet boy) that I had no intention of buying a $4000 velvet jacket-what ever the label. I could buy a scooter for that or invest in a new artist. “They don’t care what you look like,” Dom said, “All they want is their commission.” They don’t care about you-it’s true.

After Fred Siegel I napped for an hour and then Devon, very kindly, dropped me off at Marc Selwyn’s gallery on Wilshire to see the work of Paul P. Beautifully executed miniature paintings of boys from historical gay porn. I was the first one there. I enjoyed looking at his work on my own in the gallery. Reminded me of Whistler and Carriere. The dry point was particularly fine. Xan Rufus-Issacs arrived who loved the work and I think he may buy one of the paintings if one comes available; it was, needless to say, a sell out. In that part of town there were very, many exhibitions last night. Mostly new artists showing in established galleries. At Paul Kopeikin’s gallery, however, amongst the new tat I found a perfectly lovely David Hockney photo collage of the artists mother and a young blond man. I loved it. I remember in the late 80’s being bored by those huge ungainly photomontage pieces. Now I see that they are great works. $40,000 seemed cheap.

Xan and I are really connecting. He is very funny and warm. I find that I am slightly in awe of him for all the wrong reasons but am aware of this. I told him what happened with my brother and mother when I was at home. He asked if I had ever made amends to either of them and of course I have never ever made amends to my Mother for past behaviors. I wrote to my brother S offering amends but they were rejected, described as ‘nauseating’. We drove to Gagosian to see some austere black and white Japanese show. It was dull, serious and lacked energy. The crowd was sexier. The men wore expensive hats.

After Gagosian Xan and I sat on Sunset in the Coffee Bean and Xan showed some comedy porn he had on his phone. We drank very sweet frothy coffee.

Marc Selwyn had very kindly invited us to the dinner he was throwing at his house off of Doheny. The most perfectly charming post and beam set in a tree filled lot. The garden had been set for dinner. A hedge of majestic Cyprus keeping the event secret from the larger houses on the hill. We ate chicken with prunes and cous cous. I sat next to some very sweet collectors from Chicago. There was a great deal of discussion about Iraq, Bush, Iran and Israel. There was one very loud, rich collector who had uninformed opinions which I tried to contextualize. He asked for my number. His wife was dressed in clothes that had names printed all over them and two huge solitaire diamonds on her fleshy lobes.

I met Paul P’s boyfriend Scott Treleaven who is a video artist. They live in Toronto but they are moving to Paris. I want them to meet my friend SS. I think that they will get on with her very well. Scott had met Jarman in London and was inspired by him to make video work. I was really impressed by these two young, gay artists. We agreed that American artists seem to shy away from making work that says anything political at all. Why? Are they scared of being un-patriotic? Where is the fire that ignites political art? Can Damien Hirst only make work about love? The only show I saw in NYC that attempted to say anything about current world politics was Joseph Kosuth at Andrea Rosen.

Where are our polemical artists?

I had a great night and was in bed by 12. The evenings are drawing in. Next week it will be impossible to eat outside at night without those fierce out-door gas heaters. Now, I am going to walk to Santa Monica Blvd. and get the bus to my AA meeting.

8:16 AM

September 9, 2006 – Saturday

Shabbat Dinner

42 dogs on the canyon path today. The path that scars the mountain as you look up at it from Labrea. Blue-eyed man is slowly learning how to say good morning. He glances at me now and cracks the merest smile. “Good morning!” I say. I hiked much later than usual, seven-thirty rather than six thirty, as I had slept fitfully. Daniel came in late with Jesse his b/f. I could hear them crashing around in his bedroom. Another grey morning. I like it grey and chilly.

It started off grey yesterday too but the mist burned off by 11.30 when I set out to meet Xan Rufus-Issacs for lunch. My legs were sore from my first stint with a trainer at the gym. Will, the trainer, is a small 25-year-old actor from the east coast. If he were an animal he would be chip monk. He asked me what exercise I did and I told him that I walked up RC every day. He scoffed. He then proceeded to take me through a punishing and wholly worthless leg programme. My legs, after all, are my best bits. My calves are worked out every day and my thighs and butt get hammered on the Canyon. Will said, “How does that compare with your walk on Runyon Canyon?” I saw that what he wanted was to PROVE something rather than help me. I shall insist on upper body when I go back on Monday.

After my walk I eat dates and nuts and coffee made in the pot Will Self bought for the house in Whitstable.

Lunch was wonderful. Xan and I ate at Italian restaurant on Brighton Way. Our waiter was a bit smelly. I ate antipasto and chocolate cake. We talked about Gus Van Sant, The Dangerous Sports Club-of which Xan was a founder member and his weekend into the wilds of Wyoming. We talked for two hours and afterwards I felt totally invigorated and optimistic. It seems that we have a friend in common-Tim Hunt. I met Tim when I was Lord Rendlesham. I have a very old picture of Tim Hunt, The Princess Anne of Bavaria, Alexis deToquville and me at dinner in Paris in 1982. Tim runs the Andy Warhol Foundation now. I like talking about that time; I so rarely get an opportunity to do so with people who understand it. I must be the same age as Xan. 1978, whilst I was in Whitstable being bullied by my stupid stepfather Xan was leaving a huge stately home and going to Oxford.

Lunch $37 with tip.

Barney’s after lunch. I saw apricot silk velvet pillows that I have been hankering after for AGES reduced from $350 to $100. I had to buy them. Shop assistant gave me his number.

Instead of going home I decided to stop by early at Lisa and Neal’s house that is not far from Barney’s and wait there until Shabbat dinner. I had a wonderful late afternoon playing with Lola, Mikhail and the Bush Baby. They must be all under the age of 4. Isaac, 8, arrived and I pretended to be his father’s retarded friend that amused him greatly. 41 on the outside 8 on the inside. Amanda who is 16 came home from school. We looked at the pictures of her summer camp and then we wandered down to Saks to return a vile Lacost shirt. Saks closes at 6 so we missed it and wandered back. She still owns the shirt. I sat in the den with the Bush Baby’s dad Aaron watching bad celebrity TV. The house slowly filled up with relatives of Lisa’s and one particularly annoying Australian actor friend of theirs who is not only unsophisticated but also ugly. Chip.

Chip is one of those people who insist on trying to get the better of you. He behaves like an old-fashioned school bully. I first met him when he turned up at Amanda’s sweet 16 at Wacky Waffles on Sunset. He was with Nick Sawyer who was Orlando Bloom’s PA and now produces movies-notably he is producing Macbeth with John Maybury. There was some misunderstanding between Nick and myself about illicit drug taking and we needed to sort it out. Anyway, it was unpleasant and was totally inappropriate for this discussion to take place at Amanda’s sweet sixteen. The moment Chip arrived last night he starts goading me about this incident and was delighted that I did not find it very funny. Chip then asked me to open the wine knowing that I go to AA and really don’t like to do it. When I refused he took Lisa’s brother into the scullery and giggled. What a fucking IDIOT. I had my meeting with James Franco to get to at the Chateau Marmont so I took my cushions and scarpered. All the children came to the door to kiss me goodbye.

Arrived at the Chateau. Heard my name being screamed across the lobby. Chris Parker. I could not talk. He was with two girls who looked like they had their phones glued to their ears.

All I want to say about James is this: he is a gentleman. We watched the film. We drank Badoit. He drove me home in his Bentley.

Missed out on dinner with Selina and Aleksa. Will send apology immediately I finish this.

When I returned from London two weeks ago I felt energised. I felt strong. Two weeks into being back here and I feel put upon. That is the only way to describe it. I feel pressured by unknown forces. Low-level dissatisfaction pervades my day. I engage with fools and play their games. I am already sick of listening to the trials of others in one-sided conversations. I do not trust that people will do their best, I like to think that professionals in the UK give their all rather than here where people do the barest minimum. God works hard for me in LA. I hand over a great deal to him. Perhaps today will be better.

Go where the love is.

8:26 AM

September 8, 2006 – Friday

Peter

How could I forget to mention that the towels have FINALLY been returned to the cupboard in the bathroom where they live. Hurrah! Thank you for your concerned e-mails and notes. Again, I can confirm that Daniel washed and returned the misssing towels.

It is a totally over-cast, grey day on Runyon Canyon. 35 dogs. The elderly Russian men had the stroller with baby as well as a miniature clipped poodle-the ginger variety. Getting to know all of the regulars, what they wear, the route they take, the smell of their antiperspirants. One-man prances down the hill, taking tiny, pointed toe steps like a Lipizzaner horse performing dressage. Bird life evident on a dull morning, I saw plovers, humming birds and crested grouse.

I hope today proves a little less frustrating than yesterday.

It started after I posted my blog. One of my oldest friends called from Europe-I was really pleased to hear from her. She is a very chic art collector who I met and had a brief but passionate affair with when I was in my late teens. As with all of my friends we have had our ups and downs. We have had periods of silence and moments of high drama. I was thrilled to hear from her-I always am but I could hear in her voice that something was wrong, the very same something that I have been aware of for some considerable time. She confronts me-challenges me. We end up having a furious row but instead of slamming the phone down I finally demand to know what was the matter? What was this all about? She tearfully told me that she was going to be 52 next week and the penny dropped. Menopause. It was that that had kept her up all night sweating, reliving the past, feeling inadequate-confronting her own mortality, wanting to relive past sexual conquests. On the edge of madness. It was this terrible hormonal upheaval that she could not speak about previously that now explained everything about our recent history. This is real! This isnt madness and nor was it anything to do with me. Now we have something to work with and work through. She seemed delighted as her friends refused to say that, “Horrible word.”

Chris P arrived for lunch and we talked about his recent past. We never talk about me. He never asks about me. He really knows nothing about me. All he knows is that I am mad. Ate at American Rag. $35. Bad shrimp salad-unsatisfactory French toast. Moody waitress expecting a huge tip. Tips get on my fucking nerves. Tips are for good service. Since when did they become mandatory? My worst tip experience happened in NYC when I paid by credit card and then left the tip (double the tax) in cash. I left the restaurant only to have the not very attentive waitress scream after me, “Where’s my God Damned tip?” I told her that I had left it on the table in cash-we went back to where I was sitting and there it was on the saucer where I had left it. I asked the waitress for an apology, she refused, I took back the tip. Chris and I discussed Joe Townley and why I don’t really want to see him. It isn’t him. It is who I become when I see him. I don’t like who I am when I spend time with Joe.

After lunch Chris asked me why I refused to get a car. No answer.

My friend Charlie P is a rich, successful media man. When I need advice or guidance I call him. He is incredibly generous with his time. Whenever we meet I insist that I pay for our lunch or dinner. I feel that it is right and proper that I do so. He is always pleased because nobody ever pays for him. It suddenly occurred to me yesterday why sexual favours are so prevalent in this city. I have sat on so many occasions with actors advising them about their careers. Who to go to, who is good, who can help etc. Do these people ever think for one moment what this is worth to them? Do they consider that it might me nice to take me to lunch for helping them? Then I realised. They have nothing to give. Young poor men and women have only their bodies to offer for good advice. That is the currency of the Hollywood meat market economy.

I was quoted in US weekly yesterday re John Travolta. Good quote.

After lunch I was meant to be seeing another actor who used to be in Angel but he failed to show up. This flaky arrogant behaviour is so LA. I called him and shouted at him for ten minutes. He is a deeply closeted actor. He accused me of being over emotional. This is the second time that he has let me down. I could have been with Gil and the kids or seen my sponsor or prepared some writing. Instead of which I sat around waiting for a tosser who could not be bothered to call.

I joined the gym. What a palaver. I had decided that I wanted to join LA Fitness at the end of the street. It is walkable, it is new and the facilities are good. I made up my mind, my credit card in my hand I told the girl at the desk that I wanted the introductory offer of $35 a month and could I get a membership? Nothing so fucking simple I’m afraid. I had to meet Carl who was going to show me the ‘facilities’. Carl told me all about his marriage break-up. Carl made no bones about the fact he thought I was gay. ” This is the kiddie room but a man like you won’t be needing that.” He asked what I thought I was doing climbing Runyon Canyon at my age-he suggested that I had to take care of my ‘brittle bones’. “I want you to come HERE every day Roy.” “My first name is Duncan.” I told him for the 5th time. “Is that your black Bentley parked outside Roy?”

Finally, after being shown the sauna, the cardio area and the racket ball courts I got my pass.

Peter Youngblood-Hills for dinner. Peter was in AKA he played Benjamin. We have had many adventures all over the world together and now we both live in LA. He arrived at my house on the scooter I want to buy. I cooked dinner. We had a great time together. We looked at his amazing photographs. He showed me the ones he took of me in Baja. We discussed JA who we stayed with there. We knew then that something was wrong with her. She was so thin and her jaw jutted out. Baja killed JA. All that misery she had to deal with. We talked about the whales we had seen and what a majestic experience it was. Peter has been in Africa with his friend Leonardo. Scoober diving with manta rays. He found cave dwelling shamans and photographed them. We discussed the Sufi myth The Conference of the Birds, which Peter Brook staged in Paris in 1980. I remember seeing that play as if I had just seen it yesterday. I had made my way to Paris just to see the play. I used to love theatre. I just hated making something that existed then there was no real evidence that we had existed at all. It is my arrogance that demands that I leave a mark.

Peter has a show of his work on the 17th September.

8:41 AM

September 7, 2006 – Thursday

Blue Eyes

Only 12 dogs this morning on Runyon Canyon.

I woke at sunrise and slogged up the hill. Very few people are out and about that early. Before the sun breaks over the horizon it is easier to see the path ahead of you. It is not going to be so hot today, 10 degrees cooler. Every day, before my walk, I pray for JA. Yesterday was another bangingly hot day. After yesterdays hike I wrote e-mails and noted that, annoyingly, my blog had moved out of sequence.

Yesterday was a simple day. Chatted more to Chris P about his career. Had lunch with Clifton at American Rag we sat next to two very over weight managers who said things like, “He’s the next Charlie Kaufman.” I ate the avocado stuffed with coronation chicken salad. $50 including tip.

After lunch my beautiful actor friend Josh came over to discuss his auditions. He is so fucking handsome yet lacks that essential oomph that gets him the job. He is probably a good enough actor but when you audition and are THAT fit you need to follow through with direct eye contact (he has piercing blue eyes) and crack that cheeky smile and every single door in LA will open before you. Josh is worried that people will perceive him as arrogant if he is too sure of himself. When you are that beautiful people expect you to be a little bit arrogant. Nobody wants a nerd in buffs clothing.

I have never been that good-looking but I exude confidence and I genuinely believe that things are going to work out. I rarely feel defeated, even when things are DIRE. Since I got sober nothing frightens me. So many people live in so much fear. Financial insecurity, snakes, Muslims, preparing raw meat. When I was younger I was ok looking, young-looking, but when I walked into a room people were aware that I was there: by reputation, by the way I dressed but mostly by my presence. It’s a fact.

Josh is a war hero fresh from Iraq-he should be super confident. I will take him to the next Hollywood do I go to. He needs to be out there, dressed up, making things happen. Letting people know who he is. We all do that in this city. It is like living in 17th Century Versailles. The etiquette, the pecking order, the instant recognition that leads to stellar patronage. Who sits where in restaurants or how they are sitting and with whom they sit. Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford is a great book to read if you really want to know how Hollywood works. As a maverick film maker (Sharon calls me the gay film enfant terrible) I am intrigued by it all but do not invest in it.

One day I would like to make a film about the three most powerful gays in the city. The producer and the two agency bosses. Each of them have such a different style in business and their relationship with boys can be used as a metaphor for their general dealings. One of them is corrupt and corrupting. One creates protégés in the boys he dates and the other hires boys then dismisses them.

The less powerful gays jump up at the table like dogs of these three and a most undignified sight it is. My advice to any young actor arriving in Hollywood: There are certain hot tubs in LA you must avoid at any cost!

Had long chat with Effie Brown who is post producing Dorian Gray. She is a saint. Very business like though, very strong. I really like her, you know exactly where you stand with Effie. No bullshit!!

The Internet introduced me to a young man who came over as a prospective date. We fed the tame squirrel nuts. No sex. He left when Dom turned up to take me to dinner with his friend Andres who is moving to Zurich. Oddly he knows the sister of Antoinette Stern with whom we spent New Years Eve.

The Beef ribs we gnawed on for dinner were disgusting. $25. I was a bit hyper after having spent all day with Josh. Conversation about Lindsay Ls vagina on the Internet. No knickers as she got out of the car. Poor LL.

Will join gym today. May alternate between Canyon and gym.

8:14 AM September 6, 2006 – Wednesday

Nicole Richie

thirty-four dogs on Runyon Canyon. Saw a group of elderly Russian men pushing a baby in a stroller. Had sudden panic that I could be arrested for smiling at lesbians. “I smile at everybody.” Would be my pathetic defence in the courtroom. Nobody smiles on Runyon Canyon.

Sprinting up the canyon I thought about my father dying of pancreatic cancer when he was only 53. The last pictures of him are on his hospital bed looking defeated but still very fat. He only had one eye. Lost it in a Porsche racing accident. I thought, as I was running up the very steep bit of the canyon, my heat pounding, if I should really be taking it easy at my age. I could just drop dead at any moment. I thought about this: When my father was a young man somebody threw him out of a second floor window because he owed them money.

Yesterday began with Erik L the writer arriving to rake over My Funny Valentine for comedy ideas. We began discussing each character, their motivation etc. We decided that the leading man’s sidekick needed to be a group rather than an individual. We nailed the ‘heavenly’ side of the story into shape and made sense of what happens on earth. Discussed casting. Needs to be cast by AFM. Erik left just after lunch.

Dan Glenn popped by to cheer me up even though I was perfectly cheery. A few minutes after he left Chris Parker arrived with chocolate muffins. We sat by the back door and ate them. The squirrel that lives in my yard likes me spraying him with cold water. Chris and I amused ourselves with that for a little while. Chris may go back to London and get on with his acting. I used to scoff at LA dream chasing but now I see that it is all part of the process. We discussed his career then he too drove off. I am a refugee in this city. I cannot go home and do what I do here. Very hot yesterday and the day before.

Tony my neighbour dropped by to say hello. He had been in Redondo Beech dressed as a Hot Dog for three days being paid $50 an hour. Children hugging his legs. He lost a lot of weight in that costume.

Dinner with Ian Drew at The Chateau Marmont. As we arrived Will Carter screams at me, “Have you been doing BED AND BRAKFAST?” I am stunned. Why would the maitre de of the Chateau Marmont know such a thing? I admit that I have. “It’s all over town.” Ian pipes up. I flounder for a moment. How can I explain just how important it is for me to honour both sides of who I am? When I do b and b I serve rather than be served, I listen rather than be heard. It is terribly important for arrogant bad Duncan to be of service. That’s why I do Reiki. I looked a little perplexed but thankfully Nicole Richie arrived and kissed us all and the B and B topic was, thankfully, set aside. Anyway, this perfectly describes the collision of my two lives.

Ian and I have a very jolly supper. Shrimp/Artichoke/Steak. We discuss my life pre Whitstable this summer when we sort of lost contact-I was traded in for a boyfriend. I told him how mad it became going up to see EL every night. Night after night with Lindsey Lohan and that gang watching them party. We discuss the Prada party that neither of us bothered going to but was apparently the best party of the season thrown by our friend Amanda Demme. The last memorable party she threw was a Prince private concert for 200 people at the Roosevelt. I went with Ian and we must have been the only non-celebrities there. Ian is best known for giving evidence at the Michael Jackson trial. Half way through dinner Ian made us move inside to a very bad table because he thought he saw Elizabeth Taylor. It wasn’t.

I see my friend Steve Garbarino (editor in chief of Black Book) with Stellan Skarsgaard and sit with them for a moment. Maddy, Steves divine girl friend is packing in her room before she heads back to New York. I see the adorable James Franco eating dinner with his charming friends. We will meet this Friday to watch my film. Joel Mikely was busy with Peter Bogdanovitch and Brittany Murphy. I love Joel.

Sadly, I also bumped into DP (Paramount number cruncher) and TB (bit player) who are ghastly people. Snobby DP telling more dreary stories about getting drunk-she had just returned from Deauville film festival and was disappointed that there were too few parties. She boasted, “Last time I was here at the Chateau I was up until 5 getting WASTED.” Ha ha ha. When is she going to realise just how un-cool that is? TB may be amused by the John Travolta US Weekly issue. TB is a (very cute) gay who is vile about gays in public. Ian complimented DP’s new longer, wavy hair extensions.

In the lobby Will introduced us to two very handsome marines who had some how got past security. They invited us to have a drink at the Bar Marmont. I had lemonade. Ian was impatient to get to Foo Bar and belt out something by The Rolling Stones. We love karaoke. Monday nights are better but we had a great time anyway. The marines were sweet and very gay/gay friendly. After Ian brilliantly sang to us all we said goodbye to the marines and drove to Beige on Sunset but it was dead after labor day. Ian introduced himself to anybody we met as Kate Moss. “You filled out a bit Kate.” one rather cute Latino boy cheekily spat back at him. Of course all I could hear on the way home was, “Do you think I’m fat?”

1:17 AM

September 5, 2006 – Tuesday

room-mate

Only 23 dogs on Runyon Canyon today. Why?

After the holiday weekend perhaps everybody had already hiked by 7am or perhaps they come later after a heavy night. I whipped up the Canyon in no time. I had a great deal on my mind. At first I thought about not going or taking an easier path but every time my head tells me to take a day off my workout-to take the softer, easier path-I remind myself that JA is savoring every day as it may be her last and so, out of respect, should I.

On the way down the Canyon I try to say good morning to everyone I meet. I have learned that to simply nod and smile is ignored. The sort of nod and smile that I would appreciate on Whitstable beach for instance. A mouthed ‘morning’ always solicits a reply from old people and people of colour but never from young white men or women. A hearty British old-fashioned ‘Good Morning’ shakes all of them out of their self-obsession. Of course, one can look totally insane doing that. The best way to make contact with any of them is to say hello to their dog. However, I refuse to talk to dogs. “Come on Philip.” Calling dogs’ human names is, quite frankly, batty. I like Dogs to have Dog names like Scamp, Napkin, Ruffian etc. If owners must insist on human names for dogs then choose names that express something about the nature of the specific dog e.g. Napoleon.

Manny’s on Fairfax for breakfast yesterday with the gang (food is just OK, the waitress forgets to post order so food arrives 40 mins after we did.) The couple on the table next to us arrive carrying a dog in a basket-a shaved Pomeranian. Just its face remained Pomeranian looking. They pulled the dog out of the bag and plop it under the table. “Is your dog friendly?” They ask the couple next to us. “No.” I say. We all laugh. We make small talk about the Pomeranian. I tell them that their dog looks like Dakota Fanning. “We never heard that before.” They say, laughing. I ask them if they are trying for a baby. I am forever asking straight couples if they are trying for a baby. “That’s our baby.” she said. On another table there is an Italian Grey Hound that is so thin it obviously has bulimia. “Does your dog have self-image problems?” I ask. They laugh. Imagine that thin dog thing hanging over the toilet-it’s little paw shoved down its throat. My friend arrived with his dog Nick which is a terrier/chihuahua mix and quite sweet I suppose. When we got home I realised that Nick was going to be like a third person in the apartment. When we went to lay on the bed my friend insisted Nick came too. Call me old-fashioned but I do not think that sleeping with dogs is entirely hygienic. So, rather than spend time with me on our own and put the dog outside the bedroom he left.

What preoccupied me as I climbed the mountain? My roommate, Daniel. Where do I begin? The towels have not been returned. Daniel and his very young boyfriend pick at my stuff in the kitchen, nuts etc., but not enough for me to make a decent complaint. I buy a huge carton of kitchen roll; he buys two (to make matters worse his towels are printed with gold-fish). He occasionally forgets to flush the toilet leaving the lid down so when I lift it…

Then, last night at 3.45, I wake, as if from a nightmare, hearing a huge crash in the kitchen, of course, think that somebody is breaking into the apartment I leap out of bed. I see that the rug in the hall is folded over and rather than be timid I shout. “Who the fuck is there?” and charge toward the kitchen. Standing in the dark is Daniel holding a bowl of cereal and a glass of juice. He is obviously very drunk and calmly begins questioning me about why I am screaming around the house. His tone is sinister. “Tell me exactly why you found it necessary to scream.” I heard him say as I retreated. I go to bed. I can hear that my neighbors have heard what is going on and will need to explain to them later.

Joe Townley called. He is having a great time in early sobriety. I remember my first sober New Years Eve. I was in the Sydney Opera House watching The Magic Flute. During the interval we watched the midnight fire works that set the entire Sydney Harbour Bridge ablaze and then we returned to the opera house for the second part of the opera. Perfect. My first six sober New Years Eve were even more perfect than the last. Three mediocre New Years Eve followed (including one with Georgina in Sydney) and then last year, of course, I was in St Moritz with the wonderful Antoinette Stern.

Today Erik the writer comes and Valentine begins in earnest.

10:33 AM

Notes on a Scandal

Yesterday, in the hotel dining room, there were a sweet couple who are visiting Toronto for the weekend to get married. One was a very young, very tall, strapping jock and the other a much older, smaller, Jewish man who did the talking for the both of them. An odd couple. A pair that I would never even had pegged for a successful date let alone as lovers or as married but there you go, they were obviously very happy and excited by the prospect of their ‘big day’.

After an hour of quite baldly intrusive questioning I determined that they were getting married for all the ‘right’ reasons. They loved each other. They were committed to each other. They wanted to celebrate their union in the company of their friends and family. They were not concerned to have retirement/health/tax benefits. This is Canada so that is already part of the deal. In the USA the gays who bay for marriage seem to think only of what it means to them fiscally.

Why is it that US gay political figures have not advanced the rights of gay people in any meaningful way during the past 20 years where as we in the UK (with our deliciously out gay, joint toting cabinet ministers) and Canada, South Africa, Australia and across Europe gays have equal rights? The tactics used by American gays are obviously not working.

My gripe, ultimately, is with the gays and not the withholding ‘straight’ majority. The majority are just that: THE MAJORITY. Using the gay marriage stick to beat the straight donkey just makes the old mule stubborn and refuse to budge.

Gay activists must make many lawyers across the US very rich indeed. Demanding things from the entrenched. Making headway then having it all taken away. You can get married, you can’t get married. The wailing of the gays. Stop asking to get married because you are doing it for all the wrong reasons. AND you are pissing them off or worse delighting them every time they flick their tails and repeal your meagre reforms. I know that it may seem an odd question but given that you can’t and wont be able to any time soon in any way that equalizes your financial/inheritance situation. Why do you even want to get married? I want to know. The Toronto boys would have been perfectly happy with a get together on the beach with their family. All they wanted the world to know was that they were in love.

My concern for gays in the US is that they just want to be like ‘everyone else’ that they refuse to acknowledge their obvious difference and embrace and celebrate it. The middle class gays that determine the gay agenda are committed to the politics of invisibility. They want the right to get married not because they love each other GOD FORBID but because they want to be just like them (straights). Gays want to get married, have children, and live in elegant houses just like them. Sit on the school board just like them. The middle class gays with heterosexual aspirations want the trappings of the lives their parents had, the comfort and middle class normalcy and when they get it genuinely believe that the OTHERS might not realizes that there is any difference between them and us.

Huh?

There is a huge difference, no matter how much we hide in fear from their reproachful eyes. We are different. However much we love ‘straight acting‘ ‘100% masculine’ we will always be evident in the way we walk, talk, dress, play-it is time to acknowledge that we are the ‘other’. In accepting who we are we can then stop demanding from the majority that they respect us. Nurture us. Give us permission to be just like them.

I have no intention of being anything other than what I am, I will not pretend to be more like them so that they can tolerate me, or worse ignore me because I have made such a great job of pretending a life that they have prescribed.

I have made a choice to live in a ‘free’ society. I have made a choice to commit to the freedoms of the USA. Yet, from my meager bluff overlooking the sea I don’t think that many people in the US are free at all. How can you be free when you live in fear? When you weigh so much that your ass can scarcely fit into a car, when you cannot identify the flora and fauna around you?

As I tour the US and the world with Dorian I listen to the way gay artists make work-although most gay artists are only eager to talk about money-and I am fascinated by how little new drama for this huge audience is being made. Where as once we were thrilled to have our stories told, the language and locations of gay life revealed-now we are perfectly satisfied to see ourselves on Desperate Housewives. Yet, ironically, mainstream gay and lesbian product is being made but it is not allowed at gay and lesbian film festivals. Gay and lesbian film festivals are not allowed to show Notes on a Scandal or Transamerica because the distributors of these films don’t want to be ‘pigeon holed’ as if amazingly they cannot embrace both kinds of audience. As if showing these films to gay audiences will some how devalue their product? This is unbridled homophobia and we colluded with it. We have little or no respect for our own culture so whilst the distributors get away with willful homophobia then gay film makers are not going to show or make work for gay audiences because they understandably feel that their work will not be taken seriously by those who hold the purse strings.

When gays devalue their own culture when deferring to the mainstream they become a lot dumber in the process. We have traded our rich culture for the mindless thump of our clubs and bars, spend our money on drugs and alcohol yet if prodded pretend that we are just like them, no difference at all. The similarities between Quentin Crisps 1940’s London and present day USA are startling. The attitude of gay men that by being different we ruin it for the rest is all too common.

I see men my age at bars in West Hollywood at the big cock contest, or men older and more powerful than me who will only sleep with straight guys. What have we become? I almost want to buy a wig and paint my nails, after all, drag in its purest form has always been an effective act of aggression.

3:04 AM

May 17, 2007 – Thursday

Isabella Blow

There is a large John Lautner house out on the PCH for sale,  it will cost who ever buys it 33 million dollars. At night it looks like it has been carved in amber.

I am in Toronto, here for the gay film festival. I am staying in a bed and breakfast that was once a very grand house. Dorian is the opening night film and I can’t get out of bed. I can’t move out of my room. I am ‘on line’ to various friends. Various websites. Looking, my eyes getting very tired.

Jay Jopling and Issie Blow

Death:

Isabella Blow killed herself. She drank weed killer, paraquat, and took 3 days to die. Her husband’s father did the same. Her grandfather committed suicide too. She was an occasional friend to me. When I made The Baron in The Trees she oversaw extra ordinary pictures of me for Vogue. The week before she died she visited with Philippa in Langton St with her sister Lavinia. The last time I saw Isabella she was at a party Lucy Ferry threw with Si Newhouse at Lucy’s home in Kensington. She was with some Argentinean man who looked like a second-rate gigolo. I don’t remember her for her hats. I remember going to Hilles to see her and Detmar and Amory with Philippa and my friend Justin from Whitstable who was a simple lad who also committed suicide a few years later after he was set upon by homophobes in Camberwell. Isabella took him under her wing, realizing that he was totally out of his depth and said,” You know what you need young man-a pork pie!” and dragged him in his car to the village and bought him a HUGE pork pie.

I have one very funny picture of Isabella and Jay Jopling in my photo album. He looks bemused and she looks like an alien in mourning. He looks young.

You know that she was Tim Willis’s girlfriend for years but left him for Detmar Blow. I called her the night before she was to marry Detmar to ask why she was marrying him and she said, “I’m not marrying a man, I’m marrying a house.” Which was true. I used that line in AKA.

KB wrote yesterday:

Vogue Pics Styled by Issie Blow

‘Sorry, darling Duncan, missed all the excitement around Dorian – though I saw Mrs. Merton last week, who mentioned she’d seen you. Issie’s funeral yesterday. Amazing send-off with horse-drawn hearse (very beautiful – though I forgot to remind Detmar that she had wanted a glass coffin a la Snow White!) from Glos Cathedral. kept remembering their wedding there and was sad, but service was rather uplifting and Rupe Everett gave a very good address. Detmar did a good wake at Hilles afterwards and I saw lots of old friends.’

I met Issie when I was twenty-four. She was seeing Tim Willis in those days and they had just moved into Tim’s apartment in Notting Hill. Tim Willis married Joanna and then I became the God Father to their child. Issie could not have children. There was some shenanigans about Hilles and children and how Detmar’s mother wanted her daughter (can’t remember her name) who married Crusty Levinson (who was married to Philippa’s sister Francine) and their children to have the house. In aristocratic circles to lose out on the big house is a DISASTER. She indeed married the house but it was stolen from her.

Good-bye Isabella Delves Broughton nee Blow.

Since I last wrote my blog I have moved to Malibu and now sit high above the sea on a small bluff. Everybody visits so I am not alone. I am in Toronto unable to leave my room and I miss it terribly-my house. The very light traffic outside my hotel room woke me at 5am.

I moved from Whitstable finally-just as the peonies were about to bloom, ants on their sticky buds. I have not really stopped grieving my Whitstable loss but will do when my stuff gets to Malibu. In some ways I wish that the whole lot would sink in the Atlantic. But that might mean that people would get hurt which I don’t want.

Dinners during the past month included: Birthday dinner for and with John Dewis and Kevin West where I met the utterly adorable Elliot Hundley. Opening of Dan Flavin show at LACMA. New age baby shower on Mulholland with babies spirit guide who had been ‘communing with foetus’ and wanted us all to celebrate that the baby was looking forward to being born, to be made flesh. Derek Frost and Jeremy invited me to dinner in Pimlico when I traveled to London for premiere of Dorian. Dorian, up on the big screen in Leicester Square. How did it feel? Not great. I love the film but others were not so kind. People who get it-get it. The others are the others and perhaps they are right. Even so, this experience is more exciting than AKA, which was only great when it got to Outfest. Then that soured when the onslaught happened and I was unprepared for them, for when they love something and you don’t believe it.

Melanie threw a dinner for me with Mickey Wolfson and others came too. My new best friend Wendy A had lunch in Malibu with her and Barry Levinson and others.

Seeing a great deal of Joe who made moving effortless and wonderful. In fact he is making my life all that much nicer by being good to me.

I gave my brother Martin my Porsche, which seemed to delight him. I gave my fridge to Babs and Tony. I took down all the curtains and deconstructed the house. I said goodbye to every one of my plants. I felt like such a traitor for leaving them behind. Tim came by with Jo and Sibbley. He brought gypsy tart and we ate it at Babs house with hot tea.

When I returned from my final month is Whitstable Dom collected me from the airport and when I got back to the new place Joe was in the new kitchen cooking dinner. The new garden is a huge undertaking. Thankfully I have discovered a nursery that is closing down on the PCH and is selling everything very cheaply. Yesterday I bought an 8 foot cactus and planted it.

Bought Euphorbia and aloes and agaves.

I listen to the coyote at night howling and chattering and eating baby deer. I am eager to see a rattlesnake. I saw a mountain lion. A raccoon got into my car and ate skittles. A Blue Jay raided the humming-bird nest and stole all the baby humming birds. Trevor stopped by and heated the Jacuzzi and we lay in it with Eyal the Israeli boy who is dark and mysterious.

So much more has happened but I can’t remember or don’t want to remember. I had a great time in Miami and lay by the pool at the Raleigh with VD and CZ. I am as brown as a nut and looking forward to great wrinkles on my face.

10:10 AM

April 9, 2007 – Monday

Flint

Whitstable. April.

I walked from my house on Wavecrest to Janet Street-Porter’s house half a mile away toward Seasalter. She has attached an ugly wooden fence to the sea wall since the coastal defense agency raised the height of the beach.

I only saw two dogs. The beach is much brighter than it was. They spent last summer trucking tons of new stone onto the old beach filling the gaps between the new wooden groins. They used a whole forest of timber, I wondered if it came from a sustainable forest.

From the train the new beach looks beautiful but the new stones are mostly flint like a Deal or Dover beach rather than a Whitstable beach. The stones on a Whitstable beach are small, treacle and honey colored pebbles. These flint rocks are huge and difficult to walk on. This has caused much consternation to the dog walkers and weekend strollers. People collect the larger flint pieces and stack them up for others to see. The spring tide had obviously been very high as there was a ribbon of black, dry seaweed swept onto the new pale shore.

I walked back into town and bought a free range corn-fed chicken that I am going to cook for Cathy and Rufus. I stopped in at Wheelers and drained a cup of tea. Mark Stubbs the genius chef arrived, as I was half way through my cupper. I sat in the parlor at the back and finished my tea and flicked through the Whitstable Times. Mark Stubbs is the chef at Wheelers and I have known him and his delightful family since he was a teenager. I have seen him evolve into a fine chef. He understands how to take risks with flavor, he knows how to set something onto a plate and make it look delicious. He is a master because he cares.

Most of the shops on the High Street were closed, as it is bank holiday Monday. I had promised Cathy that I would make bread and butter pudding as per Arabella Boxer’s recipe. It requires that I use stale French bread. Thankfully Dave was in the deli and gave me a heap of stale brioche so I will use that instead. My God, what a change! When I first started making bread and butter pudding 15 years ago it was impossible to buy a vanilla pod on the High Street let alone stale brioche from a friend.

I felt sad in bed last night. I kept thinking about Danny. I am a long way away from my LA AA. I received e-mail from one of the morning gang, urging me to come home. It cheered me up tremendously.

I have no idea if I will be moving into my Malibu house when I get back as I have heard nothing from Kelly. I may just stick around in London. I have everything I need here.

The house next door has been renovated so mine looks spectacular. I got used to living next door to a derelict house. I am almost pleased that I am staying. The plot at the end of the garden has been cleared and looks like the building work is well underway. It is good to be grateful for the world around you. I try to and see the best in everything. However, when I get ill I tend to have a very bleak outlook. Jet lag, a cold and a long way from an AA meeting made me feel despondent.

I wish that I had my Premiere tonight I would feel like I could rise to the challenge.

After a few years in the USA with their can do attitude I am dumbfounded by the petty attitude of the British. The ones I know-but mostly I don’t. They say sneeringly, “Oh you art directed your own film.” As a sort of put down. Why should this be? Of course I want to art direct my film. I would shoot it and edit it too if I could. Last week, my head full of cold I was in no mood to defend my film. This week I am.

2:45 AM

April 8, 2007 – Sunday

Finally

Whitstable,Kent.
Wavecrest B&B

I am sitting on the balcony overlooking the pale gray/blue sea. I have been in England for a couple of weeks but have still not overcome my jet lag. Part of me seems absent without leave. I slept in a bed on the plane from LA. It was very odd. I decided to open the B&B for Easter. I hung the freshly painted sign and made the beds with new linen and made a trip to Somerfields to get bacon and eggs. This morning I cooked the eggs and bacon for my guests. They were a nice couple from Stratford; they worked for Carlsberg-good folk from the Midlands. She ate a bacon sandwich but he ate the full English and I was pleased as they left too much on their plates yesterday.

A bee is trapped in my bedroom and keeps bashing its face into the glass. The front of the house is gleaming white as after the guests paid me I took a mop bucket full of soapy water and a stepladder and washed the ship lap. I used a dishcloth on the boards but in fact I should have mopped the front of the house but this idea only just occurred to me.

Rather a lot happened since I last wrote my blog.

So, as I am back in Whitstable with no real plan to return to LA I shall start my walking and writing routine once again. There are no 7am AA meetings here. There are no mountains. I began smoking again three weeks ago. Have stopped this past three days.

The Oscars, lets start with them. They were very dull this year. I spent the few days before the big day and the day after with Todd Eborly the Vanity Fair photographer. Todd very kindly dragged me willingly from one obscure party to the next. We originally met at Eugenio’s house at some function although I may have met him with Samia at Art Basel in Miami. I think we met this time at the Robert Wilson after show party. Amazingly, ever since I had my run in with the ghastly Doug Christmas I bump into him everywhere and it was at the Ace Gallery that Robert had his show. I first met Robert Wilson in Paris when I was 19 years old. He didn’t remember me but we discussed Philippe Chemin and his girlfriend (now his wife) Robin who apparently are still together.

It was because of them that I (apparently) fell out with Samia all those years ago-a resentment that the old ferret had held onto for 25 years. After ten years a resentment has more to do with the person who bears it than the person it is about. Anyway, Robert asked me what I thought about his show and as I had not seen it I made some clever, nondescript remark that amused Todd. Met Darrel Hannah and a bunch of über gays. Doug Christmas and I looked at one another suspiciously across Eugenio’s huge drawing room-past the Twombley and the Warhol’s.

Two days later Ronnie Sassoon, Todd and I watched a huge Jeff Koons, green metal elephant craned high into the blue LA sky reflecting the palm trees and dropped into place in Eugenio’s newly landscaped garden whilst his maid fed us Mexican food and the curator of his collection danced like a demented pixie in the street in a black satin Balenciaga rain coat and fedora. It was bright but bitterly cold. Ronnie and I wrapped ourselves in cream cashmere blankets.

Eugenio has bought a bunch of bronze spiders that look like they are by Louise Bourgeois but in fact are just tat. When I asked Richard Squire at our lunch with Joe Townly and that sweet lesbian he hangs out with why Eugenio would buy such rubbish Richard replied that it was really none of my business as Eugenio was, “Richer than God.” Joe and I, to this day, laugh about his answer.

Soho House opened in LA for their usual Oscar fortnight in a huge house quite close to where Eugenio lives. Ate lunch there with Ronnie and Todd. Given much free stuff. The night before Oscar night snogged Sharon there again. Met Amy Berg who was nominated for an Oscar for her documentary about child abuse. Met Hillary the real producer of Children of Men who was furious that her picture had been ignored by the Hollywood establishment. She dashed furiously about Soho House followed by three assistants who trailed miserably in her wake.

The Diane von Furstenberg/Barry Diller party at their sprawling Bel Air estate was very pleasant. I met Paul Allen and Shirley MacLean. I ate lunch with David Hockney and discussed the camera obscura. Helen Mirren was adorable and I was happy to have had the chance to meet her. I flirted a great deal with a realtor called Chris from Malibu and have met him twice since then. Dennis Hopper and I reminisced about Romania. He had just seen Coppola’s new film-an art film. Dennis was deliciously confused. Rupert Murdoch, David Geffen and other powerful men as well as the prerequisite fashion crowd who were horrendous. Tamara Mellon and her fat, gay, best friend who is some how related to Joan Collins sat with her ex husband. Oswald Botang was there with his bunch. There were a few film stars and a cute waiter as well as some delicious boy from Sydney. Todd and I stayed till the end. I will prob never go to that party again so I was determined to squeeze every moment out of it. Paris and Stavros were also at Barry’s garden party dressed in almost middle-aged, sensible clothing, they looked like a perfectly normal young couple.

Paris Hilton Birthday with Todd Eborle

However, at Paris Hilton’s birthday party the following night at her ugly little house she transformed into PARIS! the celebrity with crop top and trashy hair. I am convinced that she has two homes, one for trashy Paris and one for chic Paris. Her birthday party was only worthwhile as one got to gaze longingly at Stavros who is not only incredibly beautiful but also the most charming man alive. Paris’s trashy house is full of portraits of her and terrible people but Todd, John Dewis and I had our pictures taken by a company who make 3d laminated fridge magnates. We spent more time in the valet parking than the party.

Spent the Oscar awards at Dede Gardener’s (runs Brad Pitts production company) and her husband’s beautiful house in Hollywood. As the ceremony unfolded there was much talk about Brad Gray and Brad Pitt and their involvement with Scorsese’s The Departed. All too convoluted to explain here. Their child is adorable and her house is packed with great stuff and marvelous art. Great vintage wallpaper in the bathroom-huge silver cranes dance against a pale blue landscape.

I spent time at Soho House and did not go to the Chateau Marmont.

Very sweetly Damien (Hirst) invited me to his show at Larry Gagosian’s and the party afterwards at the Bar Marmont. There was a very odd moment when I found myself with Damien and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I didn’t say much. We just kissed and that was it.

Spent a good amount of time with Maia, Damien’s wife. She was wearing a white pleated leather dress by Jil Sander.

I met my friend Justin the model at the after party and we headed over to Eugenio’s when we tired of Damien’s crowd.

Met Lynn Wyatt and a bunch of elderly, stick thin socialites at some gay rich boys Hollywood house. Dominick Dunne and others there. Fried chicken-apparently he cooked the food himself. Todd took wonderful photograph of Lynn Wyatt by portrait of Betsy Bloomingdale.

Ronnie commissioned Todd to take pictures of the Singleton House by Neutre, which she has restored. It was very beautiful but I am afraid not nearly as beautiful as her own house, which is so stunning, I cannot begin to describe it. It was so beautiful it made me cry. Actually, the Singleton House is ruined. I cannot beat around the bush and as much as I love Ronnie she has ruined that house with sunken bars and huge non descript rooms. There, I wrote it.

My film premiered in London to a bunch of sour faced gays and lesbians and five baby celebrities-the Geldof children and some band front man. This is exactly what happened to AKA. Sneered at by UK gays. If I had been a Mexican or Japanese they would have loved it but as I am home-grown I tolerated their pursed lips and arched eyebrows.

I couldn’t care less about them. Two days previous my good friend and occasional lover Danny Ross was killed on an LA freeway so all I could really think about was his sweet face. That night I erased his number from my Blackberry. I was numb. Stayed with Sharon Marshall in Brixton. The girly self-help book that she is writing with Tara PT strewn over the dining room table.

I have stayed numb ever since I heard about Danny. His death has made me angry and despondent. Nothing really matters.

Since I have been home my cousin Caroline came to visit me, her huge, sad Irish eyes and long fingers in my kitchen. She wanted me to remove any mention I made about her father in my blog but I refused. Nothing will make me censor the truth in these pages.

I bumped into my brother Martin; I walked The Kings Road with Joe. Phil and I could not sleep so we sat up into the night drinking tea and giggling.

I have lost a bunch of weight and last night a man I know from London drove here and stayed over. It was a fruitless exchange. My head was with Danny on the freeway, thinking about his body smashed to pieces on the cold hard road. I thought about his smile and delicate kisses. I could not stop thinking about how much I wished I had made time for him the day before I left LA but instead I was finishing a film for a bunch of piss elegant, precious gays who did not deserve my time.

I know that Dorian is flawed, like an unfinished work of art. It is art. I know it.

I know that my film is sort of broken to pieces but I love it. I know what I have to do to fix it but I can’t. It’s too late. I am angry about the death of my friend.

9:29 AM

February 2, 2007 – Friday

Kevin Zegers

I am back in LA. Feels like I am back at work/school/LA. Various pre-Oscar dramas unfolding, Hollywood intrigue playing itself out in front of me. I am not as invested as I was last year. Last year I was at the center of it all with Sharon to see how it worked. It was utterly exhausting. I will not be going to the parties this year. I may pop into the Soho House rented mansion. Anyhow, I am just not interested in the films they have in competition this year.

Went with Kevin Zegers to Hyde. He is a sweet thing. Interesting listening to his take on the making of Trans America. He is Canadian. Liked him a great deal. At the Golden Globes last year Brad Pitt said to him, ‘Trans America is your Thelma and Louise.’ Which is a pretty damned cool thing to hear. Kevin stole Trans America from David Gallagher. David lost TA and made DG instead.

Up on the Canyon this morning it was very cold. It has been really cold here. I like it. There were very few people there, fewer dogs. The guys that tend the path were using a very noisy machine, a ‘low blower’ they said, and that is what it does-very loudly. It blows dust all over the place. What about using a broom?

So, I thought about how lazy we all were and how much I hate the TV remote control and how it was the best and worst invention of the past fifty years. I thought about those ‘home entertainment’ rooms that folk have here and how many remote controls these people have lined up in front of them desperate to be entertained. Last week I invited a friend to my home and he was amazed that I don’t own a television set. American TV depresses me. It makes me miserable. The commercials are grueling, relentless and mind altering. The content is formulaic baby food. When I live in NYC I lay on the sofa when I can’t sleep and watch the Home Shopping Network because there are no commercials and the content is exactly what it is-selling. The Home Shopping Network is authentic, amusing, dramatic, reality TV at its very best. I love it. Occasionally I am tempted, like an alien from another planet, to pick up the phone and buy something. Austrian Art Glass or a cover all powder that gives a translucent glaze to any skin in any tone. I listen to the rehearsed testimonials and I am transported.

Jean Perramon

Jean and I drove in his Mazeratti to Malibu and the mountains around there. As the sun began to set, low in the winter sky, the grassy hillocks at the base of the mountains were covered in silver grass that looked like fur. We had gone to look at a beautiful modernist house perched on 15 acres of land on the top of a huge mountain that is For Sale and we were tempted to pool our resources and buy it. The air was bitter. Remember it had been snowing in Malibu only two weeks previously.

Had lunch with Amanda Ross who invited me to Laurie Simmons event at The Billy Wilder Cinema at The Hammer. It was an ‘art’ film. Meryl Streep can sing! There was much applauding the work but I must be honest, I do not understand why Laurie Simmons feels that an obscure art film needs a conventional narrative. I don’t get it. Laurie’s film was shot by Ed Lachman who had introduced me to Brian Jackson the Dorian DP. She had worked with Mathew Weinstein who I had a brief affair with when he lived in London 20 years ago. He was so gorgeous then. I had dinner with Merle Ginsberg at Red Pearl Café after the film. Met Amanda’s rather handsome fiancé.

Had meeting with my agent at Urth Café flushed from his trip to Sundance.

Back at school, getting on with shit. Every moment of every day, in every situation in LA we work toward our filmmaking goal. Every relationship and situation unfolding in front of us like so many jewels, sifting out the paste from the diamonds.

10:09 AM

January 28, 2007 – Sunday

FIGHTING IS MY GENIUS

I seem to have fought all of my life with people, places and things yet I perceive myself as having a placid soul. For as long as I can remember it was inequity, in all its manifestations, that caused me to become furiously angry. As an infant I knew instinctively that the way my stepfather treated my mother was wrong and caused us all the loss of dignity. I fought hard against him even though his cruelty was more than any match for a small boy. I knew that the way my Uncle Norman beat his wife was wrong and caused her to lose her baby but nobody seemed to do anything about it. The desperate screams of women were familiar to me when I was a boy. My brothers may scoff at this description of our shared history but sometimes I think that they may have lived in a dream of our childhood where their father was some how absolved of his brutality simply because of their blood relationship with him. Because they were his children the beatings they received were not as unjust as mine?

Even though we had a tough time at home it is good to remember that only sixty years before I was born in Whitstable there were still child prostitutes in Victorian London that a man could buy and take to padded rooms in Wimpole Street and kill. We were, my brothers and I, lucky children of the post war, 1960’s modern world and all of the promises of the age were just revealing themselves to the men and women of my parents generation.

When I was born my shamed mother and I were hidden away from society yet only ten years later life in Britain had changed so radically that my ‘behavioral problems’ had been identified and I was taken to child psychiatrists, sent to hospitals etc. so that my maladjustment might be healed with group therapy and words. The massive head injuries that I received in a car accident when I was 5 would nowadays be factored into understanding my erratic behavior and vile temper but this was simply overlooked.

Like so many men I have tried, all my life, to make sense of myself. To have the luxury of sitting comfortably in my own skin. Ten years ago, after a life of therapy, hospitals, transactional analysis, cognitive therapy, prison encounter groups, sweat lodges, reike, traveling etc., after a life of talking it through and telling my fucking story over and over so that sooner or later the truth of my mad bad head would be magically revealed I ended up in a beautiful house in Kensington on my own snorting coke first thing in the morning knowing for sure that things were not meant to be like this.

By the time that morning came around I was unable to leave the house due to paranoid delusions and periodically black liquid flooded out of my nose at the most inappropriate moments, at dinner in Quo Vadis for instance. Ten years ago I self-medicated with hard drugs and alcohol and even used to attend sessions with my expensive psychiatrist high on coke.

I then began my sober journey.

It became apparent that the question I so badly needed answered by so many therapists I did not know how to frame. I knew that I was a mess, that my life was in ruins, that I was somehow responsible but the fundamental question remained. The question that I needed answered through out my adult life was this: How come I hated my stepfather so much yet became so much like him? How come I had scant regard for those around me when I was so plagued with the terrors of inequity? How come I thought nothing of screaming at those who were only trying to do their best? How come?

The answers are not always palatable, even to me.

The reality is that I do not live a good-hearted world of benevolent people eager to do the very best for one another or even themselves. The skills of hard heartedness that my stepfather taught me are skills I needed to embrace rather than heal with therapies.

Recently I have begun to thank my stepfather for making my skin thick enough to fight for what I believe in or take the hard knocks and learn how to box with precision. I do not tolerate being beaten by those who give me pains or lawyers who give you bad, self-serving advice or untrained, untested co-workers who expect an opportunity but give very little in return. Married women who want you to fuck them yet blame you when you do. Straight boys who put out but hate you for exploiting their desires.

I can thank my step-father for teaching me not to be led by the nose or having overwhelming capitalist fantasies. I don’t want a big house. I have never wanted a big house. All I have ever desired is one room with a perfect view. What else could I possibly want? What is ENOUGH for one man?

At Anthony’s house this week he asked me what he needed to do to make a low-budget film. ‘How did you do it?” If I have been asked once I have been asked a million times. How do you do it? As if there were a private door from a previously hidden corridor that they may not have noticed behind which the secret of making a low-budget feature film lay. Usually I am polite when I am asked this question and try to help who ever is asking delude themselves that they will make feature films. For part of the truth is this: If you are asking me this question it is unlikely that you will ever make a film. If you are looking for a softer, easier path then you will never make a film. The secret door does not exist.

The truth of how I continue, against the odds, to make films is: I am a GENIUS.

I am a GENIUS because: I get off my ass, I write the script, I raise money, persuade people to work and then I force the film into the world. I do not feel fear and when problems arise I deal with them creatively and in a way that benefits the final product. When the film is made I call my friends in the press and get them to write about it and then I sell it all by myself. That is how I do it and if I need to do it this way then so be it. I never answer questions about budget because it’s personal. When people ask me how big my budget is I tell them that it is 8 inches long and quite thick. Asking about a person’s budget is more personal than how big his cock is. Don’t ask. Nobody ever tells you the truth.

I am a GENIUS because I am making films and you are not. Do gallery owners get asked endlessly how to open a gallery or novelists asked endlessly how to write a novel? I have no idea. When I made theatre nobody ever asked me what they needed to know, what great secret I had that they needed to know to make theatre.

I am a GENIUS because when I make a film I can’t take no for an answer and for that I am truly grateful to my beastly step-father and Derek Jarman who gave me that piece of advice long before I even contemplated making films.

I am a GENIUS because even if I had to make a film using my mobile phone I would do it.

Remember the other great and terrible truth about film-making: Nobody wants to make your film.

Nobody.

Even if you are really, really famous and well-connected and a marvelous director nobody wants to make your film.

The only films worth making are the ones that you are passionate about.

So, I am a BAFTA nominated, award-winning GENIUS and so is everyone else who gets off their ass and makes a film.

I have only one person to thank for this: My step-father who taught me to never back down, to take it on the chin and ultimately not be afraid and keep on fighting. He taught me to think beyond what was expected of me and anticipate problems way ahead of anyone else. He taught me to ignore what people say about me, the lies they tell, whether it is Oscar or Joe or anyone else. Perhaps that is why I never really found it hard to forgive him and never forgave my simpering Mother.

I have wasted most of my life trying NOT to be like my stepfather David Roy when all along I needed to follow in his footsteps and embrace every single thing he ever beat into me as the living truth.

10:08 AM

January 24, 2007 – Wednesday

The Queen

I killed a mosquito this morning. I slapped it against the wall with a pair of yesterday’s underpants. It exploded all over the place with my fresh red blood, blood it had just sucked out of my foot. I am sitting in the Book Kitchen waiting for Zoë, Anita and Teddy so that I can order my poached eggs. Last night Zoë’s landlord’s Ross and Renata cooked us dinner and their highly entertaining children (Dom 6 and Nick 10) amused us with made up jokes and mayhem.

I spent the afternoon with Anthony S in his rather nice Woollarha house watching The Corporation, which is a very long documentary essay about the history, excesses and fight against capitalism. Susan Sarandon’s voice was very irritating. I was moved by the description of the Bolivian water riots. Decided to make some changes in life when I got back to UK-am already not leaving too much of a foot print but could be leaving less. Anthony’s gruff, rich, stepfather arrived in the middle of the film and Anthony turned it off as if we were watching pornography. We continued watching only after he had left the room. After the film we ate sweet things in Jones The Grocers then I drove home.

Two weeks ago I saw Steven Frear’s film The Queen. I didn’t really want to see it because I find anything to do with Diana very, very disturbing and, like Brokeback Mountain, did not want to risk bawling my eyes out. Anyway, I had to see it as I am a BAFTA voter and take my voting very seriously. The experience turned out not to be as painful as I thought. Helen Mirren was great but I really wouldn’t expect anything less. She is an English Character actress who has worked with really outstanding people-Peter Brook for instance. Pretending is what our actors do best. Pretending to be Tony Blair and The Queen shouldn’t be that hard with a voice coach and a good wig. In fact I thought that Mirren’s range within her role of The Queen was rather limited, she spent the entire film pulling one face, a perplexed look of gentle concern. Like she was gazing into the middle distance desperate for answers. Do people really think that HRH is like this? Do they think that HRH is a sweet, benign little old lady? Do they think that Cherie Blair provided fish fingers and comic relief to her husband and children and is capable of feeble thinking as written by Peter Morgan? Did he forget that she is one of the most highly regarded Barristers in the UK?

This my HRH The Queen evidence:

I saw her once at Smith’s Lawn shortly after I left prison and could see her suspenders quite clearly through her boucle skirt. I saw her on TV crying when Blair took away her yacht Brittania. She did not cry when the rest of her people were crying at the death of Diana.

Strangely, some years ago I was invited to a gruesome, Conservative Party Dinner and Dance held at the cavernous Kings Hall in Herne Bay. I sat next to the ex Mayor of Canterbury. I can’t remember his name but he was a kind, small old man of simple taste and brain. I asked him if he had ever met the Queen. To my amazement he told me this story about HRH The Queen.

In his Mayoral capacity he had to greet the Queen upon her arrival in Canterbury with the Lord Lieutenant of Kent and sit in the car with HRH and Prince Philip for the duration of an official engagement. It was a freezing cold, winters day and The Queen arrived by Royal train at Canterbury Station for some Christian event at the Cathedral she is, after all, the head of the Anglican Church-nothing between her and God. The train arrived late and one of the equerries or Ladies in Waiting sprinted over to the Mayor and his party giving him the heads up that HRH was in a filthy mood as she hates being late for anything. A few moments later a very grumpy HRH got off the train, leapt into her car refusing to stop to speak to wheel chair bound constituents who had been waiting in the cold and wet for hours. The Mayor begged her to stop for a moment to speak with her subjects. “Do we have to?” She moaned. At the Cathedral she met the Arch Bishop performed her function then the worthies retired with her to the Arch Bishop’s home. At this point the Mayor had to present HRH with a book as a present from the people of Canterbury. When he handed it to her she said, “Not another book!” Dismayed the Mayor, a very simple man, said, “It’s a very valuable book Ma’me.” The Queen looks at Prince Philip and says, “Oh valuable is it? That’s good, we’ll sell it when we lose all our money.” The Queen and Prince Philip then have a fit of laughter at their ‘joke’.

The mayor was neither impressed with the behaviour or attitude of The Queen or her notoriously rude husband.

I met Paul Keating (ex Prime Minister of Australia) this week. He has the most famous HRH story of them all. The back touching. The faux pas. International outrage. He was pottering around at his house. Paul Keating is definitely one of my heroes.

Katherine Phillips, my occasional friend, had lunch with HRH in Scotland but was thrown off the table for having a cold, “Has that girl got a cold?” HRH said. Now, I don’t know if this last story is true but worth retelling anyway.

So, I saw Frear’s movie The Queen and I thought that the Royals came off rather well. What really happened at Balmoral may very well have been a lot less calm and openly hostile to the memory of our Princess Diana. The Princess, which The Establishment worked so tirelessly for us to love in their gruesome soap opera was dead. When she died I will never forget how they wheeled out those old, bitter Queens to defend the Monarch, St John Steevas and that hump-backed monster historian who has the history show on TV and The Moral Maze. It all makes me feel sick. Yet, do I subscribe to The Establishment, The Corporation or The People?

When Diana was killed in the car accident and the flowers started piling up outside Kensington Palace Princess Alexandra sneered at them wondering if the poor had better things to do with their money than spend it on the memory of Diana.

Like The Corporation The Monarchy will go to any lengths to protect its power. So, The Princess is killed in a tragic accident. Within hours The Establishment seeks to disable our memory of her and refocus us on the good works and youth of The Two Young Princes Harry and William. It takes time but finally we embrace them once again. We do so eagerly, as we are told to do. But as hard as I want to forget I will never forget that morning when I woke up and, like so many people, believed that I lived in a country that had assassinated it’s ‘people’s princess’ regardless of whether it was true or not.

5:35 PM

Last Days

Book Café, Surrey Hills, Sydney

It is raining today. Hard. The streets are flooded. Rain drops loudly on the tin roofs. Nobody complains about the weather because of the drought. This morning, like every morning for the past week, I have ordered poached eggs and bacon.

I spent the early part of the morning at the dentist having a crown replaced that fell off in the 101 Cafe in LA 6 weeks ago. I did not feel the needle go in. My nose is still numb from the anesthetic and I am concerned that stuff is hanging out of it because that’s how it feels. I have to go back tomorrow to have the last of the mercury fillings removed and replaced with white porcelain. Finally getting rid of all those ugly, unnecessary fillings British National Health Service dentists made us suffer just for an extra tenner a pop. That’s what they were being paid by the government to fill our teeth. Taking perfectly fine teeth drilling them and filling them with mercury. I have been traumatized by British dentists just like so many 40 something men and women. Consequently, my poor gentle Australian dentist has to deal with me in his office sweating and squirming and swearing at him.

As the end of my Australian trip approaches I must tell you all that I have had a lovely, relaxing time. I left my hotel on Oxford Street and stayed with my friend Zoë Wane. Together we have traversed the city from one huge house to another. When we weren’t enjoying the many mansions of her rich friends we sat in the Cricketers Arms that Zoë’s brother runs where we sat with Vito who looks like Bart Simpson all grown up (see pics) and Jack who looks like Castro and her twin friends Teddy and Larry. Last week, Anita, Teddy’s girlfriend cooked a Malay feast at her home which was so delicious I thought that nothing I would ever eat again would ever compare to what she served at her table that night. Zoë and I ate at Fratelli in Potts Point with Zoë’s friend Ben Brady and endless coffee shops in all the Eastern Suburbs with various combinations of the above.

Last night Ben’s girlfriend Jasmine and her mother prepared Persian food and we sat and ate on their balcony discussing Lebanon and Iran and watching forked lightning dance over the sea.

I had dinner with my friend Vassilli Kalliman who took me to his brand new gallery and introduced me to the wonderful work of Sally Smart and David Griggs. We ate at Bird Cow Fish on Crown St., which was very satisfying. I saw Sophie Mears and Anthony Sissian and swam with them at Bondi they told me that they had been living three blocks from me in LA. I walked around Coogee bay with Kate Fisher and we sat fully clothed on the rocks being sprayed by huge waves. I ate pasta on the lawn of the Darling’s beautiful home in Bellvue Hill with their son Daniel and his gorgeous South African girlfriend.

My dear old friend Charles Wilson, the furniture designer, and I ate dinner at his house and whilst trying to assemble his very chic candelabra I spilt a huge mug of coffee over my white trousers. Ken Neal took me to one of many dinners I had at Fish Face on the Darlinghurst Road. I ate the sashimi on every occasion, had everything on the menu once and the fish curry twice.

I saw Jess Cook who prepared a lunch time avocado salad for me to eat in her loft. I saw Rose who took me to a one nighter at the Flinders Arms called Health Club. I tanned on various beaches and had occasional tangled phone calls with people in other countries. Saw Dreamgirls and hated it. Saw Babel and respected it. Saw Marie Antoinette and loathed it but remembered what it was like to shoot AKA in Versailles. I finished the first draft of my new Untitled LA Project and I wrote a gratitude list every day and sent it to my AA sponsor.

I slept alone and often wondered about someone I had left behind in NYC-you know who you are. I thought about Sharon and developed a nasty resentment against Samia who has not returned my e-mails despite the fact that at this time last year she was so obsessed with me that she flew uninvited to LA and behaved toward me like Glen Close in that bunny boiling film. As usual I got all the blame.

Unsatisfyingly bumped into Oscar H at Fiveways who was all snipes and false promises and Peter S at The Bayswater Brasserie who was frankly annoying although I enjoyed seeing his brother Charles and his charming uncle.

I will miss the friendship, the food, the beauty, the vista and most of all I will miss who I become when I am here. The man I allow myself to be. Calm, kind and full of hope. I will try to carry all of this good me back to LA and The Oscars and to Baja Mexico where I started blogging last year and where this year I am meeting Phil H to watch the whales migrate at the beginning of February. Thousands of them.

3:47 AM

January 10, 2007

Rap

Zoe Wane Sydney

The Book Kitchen, Surrey Hills, Poached eggs.

I have found a new walk to walk every morning. Bronte to Bondi along the coastal path. Up at 6.30 I wake poor Zoë and drag her out of bed, drive to Bronte and we walk. God damn, such beauty we pass in nature and human form. “You missed that one.” Zoë said this morning as some perfect being sprinted past us and out of sight. And such is the nature of my addictive personality I want to run back and catch a glimpse of what ever I had missed. We mostly both walk quietly, however, lost in our own thoughts. Gazing out to sea. It always looks so inviting even though there were warnings of bad currents at Bronte. The air is wet and piquant with sea spray that dries the moment it touches our faces. I love my morning walk, all my thoughts are collected there. I don’t have the same sort of meditative experience that I have on Runyon Canyon but quite frankly I am never so full of loathing and resentment here as I am in LA. Here I am calm and fearless. Perhaps my renewed vigor in AA has caused me to be less furious. Perhaps I just feel safer and why shouldn’t I? Anyhow, what ever it is, I am losing weight, being calm, tanned and start the day with a new kind of optimism. I passed three dogs on the path. This is not a dog culture. No tiny house bound, constipated dog children to negotiate, no screamers, no dust.

What will be will be.

We were going to Bronte yesterday to swim with Teddy and Anita but ended up at Nelson’s Park which is a harbor beach packed with Greek families swimming within the confines of the shark net. We swam beyond the net risking being eaten by great whites. Met Eugenie who used to go out with Oscar and had a brief flirtation with one of the Grimaldi boys and a bunch of Zoë’s very thin chums who were being perved over by men who sat like vultures at the periphery of the group. The girls are so thin most of them look like boys. No wonder thin women feel they need breast augmentation. I swam with Teddy and James in the warm water then we went for a precarious rock climb along the shore. I am not a sprightly as I once was and lagged behind these 22-year-old boys who scampered over the rocks like lizards. On the way back we discussed how a lobster sheds its shell. They did not believe that a lobster could shed its entire shell and sit soft and vulnerable on the ocean bed whilst it waited for its new exoskeleton to harden up. This odd knowledge comes from me hanging around the kitchen at Wheelers listening to Delia, who, by the way I miss terribly. When we all got home and verified the disputed lobster information on the Internet I won a $5 wager.

On the way to the beach a small, old woman was trapped in the drive of her huge Vaucluse home by a selfish person who had parked in front of her gate. We commiserated with her and wondered who could have possibly done such a thing. I told her it was probably the muslims which she agreed with without a seconds thought. It would seem that Muslims and global warming account for all most every bad thing that happens nowadays.

Anita cooked dinner for us all at her Mother’s house and then we drove to Hyde Park barracks to listen to Hip Hop, which was all part of the Sydney Festival. Ugly Duckling were the headliners and of course we found ourselves back stage with the politest most unthreatening rappers you ever did meet. I entertained them with my meeting Jay Zee in New York and The Game in LA stories which dumb found people who know about rap. Anyway, Zoë knew the guys who were on before Ugly Ducking who are the sweetest, blue-eyed, public school boys who rap about how nasty stale muesli is and his mum asking him to tidy his room. Very sweet. The white, middle class audience bobbed around half-heartedly. White rap is not as authoritative as black rap. You simply don’t feel that thump in the chest that you do when you hear black rapper men shouting at you. We went to the gaslight after the concert and bid farewell to James who flew to London this morning. I did not envy him flying back to London. Not one bit.

5:22 PM

January 7, 2007 – Sunday

Oscar Humphries

FRUIT BATS

It is cloudy again today but deliciously warm and humid.

Most of my days here in Sydney are spent doing what I came here to do: write. I write in the mornings. I get up at 6am. I spend a good hour messing around on the internet. Read mail, the news: BBC, Huffington Post, look at messages left for me on various web sites. I write my required AA lists then my private diary. I leave the room to write my film (75 pages so far) and this occasional blog at a deli on Victoria Street where I am in love with the boy who serves coffee (flat white). As we all know it is impossible to buy a bad coffee in Sydney. I get back to the hotel room and check the Dorian Gray web site stats. We are getting a huge volume of hits from France where David Gallagher is a TV star. I mean over 2000 hits a day, which is phenomenal for an unpublicized site.

On occasions I don’t write at all and just explore the streets of Sydney either on my own or with my friend Ben. On Sunday morning Ben, Jake (the artist) and I found a cafe in Erskinville and ate chicken salad, drank delicious coffee and I poured Demerara sugar straight from the bowl on the table into the palm of my hand and ate it like a child. We sat there for hours discussing Australian art whilst tropical rain fell torrentially onto the streets. A uniformed policeman and his female mate came into the cafe to escape the rain, he was so beautiful I asked him if he was a stripper.

I walk despite my poor burned hip which is horribly painful. I have bought books and food but little else. I am training myself to follow a pre-planned path and not get way laid by beauty. I have only seen one must have item: a modernist carved marble lamp in my friend Ken’s shop in Darlinghurst.

Cooked dinner last night at Zoë’s house. Huge frizze salad with boiled egg, lardons, walnuts and chopped freshly cooked asparagus. We bought some delicious salami and mozzarella and Turkish bread, which we all tore apart and devoured the moment we sat down. Baklava for pudding with guava juice. Ben, Zoë, Rose, Teddy, Larry, Jack, Jack’s girlfriend and another girl all no more than 22 years old. Very Sydney, so much fun.

Zoë is renting a beautiful basement in Surrey Hills and has invited me to move in tomorrow so I rented a car and am suddenly FREE! Whenever I get here I am trapped by old habits. I never really move from Sydney yet there I was washing my smalls in the hotel laundry waiting for the dryer to dry and I started looking at a map of Australia. I knew immediately that if I did not take advantage of this opportunity I never would. I am going to drive into the desert, the red heart of Australia. I have only ever explored New South Wales and parts of Victoria. I have been to Nyngen, Forbes (Charles Wilson’s beautiful country house), Melbourne, Tilba and Condoblin where I travelled with Georgina and Oscar Humphries who wrote very offensively about the Australian country tradition of the Batchelor and Spinsters ball. I took millions of pictures that ended up in a sunday magazine and an exhibition of Australian reportage.

Back in tedious LA things have been going a pace. Before I left Hollywood I realized that I had been the victim of a terrible fraud and so had to deal with it. The worst thing about knowing that things are ‘not right’ when you are naturally paranoid is sorting the fact from the fear based fiction. I had to write a difficult letter. The truth, and nothing but the truth. It took a week to write the bloody thing. That said, when it was done I felt a whole heap better. Lawyers in these circumstances are not your best friends. When I fought my ‘divorce’ in court I did it on my own and as honestly as any one can in the circumstances. The courtroom and the truth are not, one quickly realizes, synonymous. Even after I had written the letter my index finger hovered dangerously over the return key for a good few days. I just kept praying for guidance and asking God and my few trusted friends what they thought of what I was doing.

I hate having to fight fairly yet when I fight unfairly I end up loathing myself. In a world which seems rigged against most of us most of the time this primitive side of my nature becomes essential. The courage to change the things I can, it’s tough to be courageous. It’s hard to turn up in a city with nothing and make a film from scratch. It’s tough to do things in an unusual and challenging way. For all of producer Brad W’s defects of character he taught me to pick my battles wisely.

I pressed the button and off it went for only God to determine the outcome.

I have been thinking a great deal about Tracy Emin-what a great artist she has become. I saw a photograph of a sculpture that reminded me of the roller coaster at Dreamland in Margate and of course that is exactly what it was. A scaled down naive sculpture of the roller coaster at Dreamland. It was so wonderfully evocative. Tracy and I both come from Kent, villages that are not so far away from one another and we are about the same age. She was the girlfriend of Billy Childish who I was at art school with and very close friends with. It was because of Billy, I suppose, that I was suspicious of the authenticity of her work but let’s face it: if she was ever influenced by Billy Childish as he loudly claims she has well and truly flown his coop. When she makes work away from the mirror she excels. Building the Whitstable beach hut in the Saatchi gallery for instance was a stroke of genius. I loved her helter skelter tatlin tower at White Cube and now I love her roller coaster. I remember the experience of Dreamland so well. The coconut matting to slide down the helter skelter. The clockwork ticking of the roller coaster, the abrupt ending and the fearful screams. I loved it, as did she. Tracy has evolved into a bone fide arts star. One of the best of British.

I cannot tell you how much I love being sober, how much I love my sobriety and how I am loving writing the most thorough and grueling step one. Sometimes I feel so ‘here’ that it’s as if all my skin has been removed and I experience the world as a raw unborn thing.

Every night I watch the bats in the sky, huge fruit bats flying haphazardly in the twilight. Streams of them, black flapping chattering to each other all the way home.

7:56 PM

January 6, 2007 – Saturday

Sydney. lay on Bondi beach yesterday with Charles, Anthony and Sophie. Had dinner at Lotus with Cameron and Zoe. Decided to go to bed early. Burned my hip in the sun. I am happy. Not really worrying. Drifting aimlessly when I am not writing or walking or going to AA meetings. I am bored with my hotel so am going to move. I may hire a car tomorrow and drive down the coast. I will. I think that I will.

The script is coming along very nicely. It is better than I expected. Works well.

Decided definitively that I am going back to London to live as soon as I can.

When I walk the streets I am inspired, alive, able.

4:46 PM

December 28, 2006 – Thursday

Sydney

Sydney New South Wales Australia

I am back in the southern hemisphere, arriving on the chilliest day of the summer. It was a relief, however, not to step into sub tropical Sydney. A delicious wind cooled the usually sweltering mid summer city. I left my lap top in the taxi but it was returned to me. At night I noticed how hot the stone buildings were, that my skin was already mildly burned. I managed to deal with the jet lag in two days. This morning I woke at a very respectable 7am.

Since I arrived in Sydney I have eaten three times at the new Tropicana (chicken salad) now finally at home back in its original place on Victoria Street. I have eaten flourless orange cake at the new Dov also on Victoria Street and tasted their delicious, home-made, sticky nougat loaded with candied cherries and almonds. I saw Ursula and Kate who now part own Dov with Matt Onions. I walked the streets to see what else has changed. I walked so hard that my calves hurt. I joined the gym, and worked my chest and shoulders. I found NA meetings and AA meetings and caught a cab to Bondi Junction and met Ben and drank more juice at The Tropicana.

I visited the dentist and had my teeth cleaned. I made further appointments to have a small filling in a tooth on my upper jaw and replace a broken veneer.

I listened to the varied bird song and realized what I missed so much in LA but for all my bitching and complaining how LA had reconnected me with AA, a connection I hadn’t felt for years and years. I bought a phone and got myself a new phone number. I smelt the sweet lush blooms on the trees on the street and listened to the mewing of the birds that sound like crying babies. I looked out for familiar faces and found them. I looked at the bald black-headed egrets in Hyde Park; I gazed at the huge bronze sculpture of Queen Victoria. I was just too damned excited. I have not seen the huge fruit bats migrating from Centennial Park but I am sure that I will.

I walked to Kings Cross, Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay and Woolloomooloo. I began walking up Oxford Street to Paddington but decided to do that some other time. I realized that the lower gay part of Oxford Street was now filthy dirty and far too many toothless drug addicts asked for spare change. For every fit, beautiful Sydney boy/girl there was a scrawny homeless addict to remind one where one might have ended up or might yet.

Surprisingly Sydney does not feel as optimistic as it once did. It feels like an anxious place to be compared with the ebullience I felt here a few years ago. Apparently, according to friends, China is making some parts of Australia fabulously rich but not here. Buying minerals, feeding the great 21st Century Chinese expansion.

I have no expectations for New Years Eve. What ever happens, happens. May go to bed, may watch the fireworks.

I have written 21 pages of my new script and I am falling over myself to complete it. It flows out of me like a torrent. It always happens like this here in Sydney Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere. I find my voice. It was here at this table that I wrote Dorian, it is here that I am writing Untitled LA Project and already a new world exists on the page. What could be more exciting than that?

1:23 AM

December 19, 2006 – Tuesday

Deal or no Deal

I am still in bed with what has developed into a hideous chesty cough. I should never have gone to my AA meeting last night or had dinner at Ago even though I love risotto and had truffle shaved all over it.

As I lay in my large bed my mind drifted from this illness to the first time I remember being in hospital when I got my scull crushed in a car accident when I was 5 years old. The next time I ended up in hospital was when I was 13 years old for being a nuisance at school. I thought that I might spend some time this morning writing about that. I remember playing canasta with Edna, hiding the drugs they gave me in my ear so that I did not have to take them, St Augustins, Pandora with the flakey teeth and the morgue. I thought that I might write about my being hospitalized when I was 25 in Sutton at the Hendserson Hospital and describe Sarah who killed herself and the blood in her room and knitting during group therapy but I have decided that I am going to write about that some other time.

Instead, I am going to write about people who read this blog and try to use it against me. Who contact friends and organizations with disinformation, who try to derail my film and me. For it came to pass this morning that I was sent a whole heap of e-mails from people I had worked with who are dissatisfied with me, who are working tirelessly against me and my film.

The more damage these people cause, the less likely I am inclined to get the film out of the box and try to raise money to finish it. The less likely I am able to attract an investor. As you may know, if you have been diligently reading this blog, I am about to start making a movie in the UK. Some of you naughty minx seem to be under the misapprehension from you’re e-mails that you can do damage to me. If I lived in the scum you call you’re lives then no doubt you could indeed hurt me badly. But I do not.

Nothing you can do to me will ever stop me being creative or living a wonderful life. Nothing you can do to me can take away my sobriety, which is more important to me than any fucking film or any one of you.

I have passed these e-mails to my lawyer and any further attempts to scupper our film will be met with fierce counter measures. You are not the only ones who can make life very difficult. I urge you to consider this: You do not hurt me when you do these things you merely hurt the people who genuinely want to benefit from making art. the DP, the actors etc. By reducing the value of the film you merely stop yourselves from getting the money you are rightly owed under the agreement of your deferment deal. You do not and cannot hurt me. You merely hurt yourselves and the others that are owed money.

I urge you to work with me to deal with this problem as best we can.

11:09 PM

December 17, 2006 – Sunday

Dreams

Last night I dreamt that it snowed in Los Angeles. The snow glinting in the sun, melting fast, too fast to fetch my camera. The snow held on longer in the valleys in the deep shadow. It was an exciting dream.

I have been very ill in bed with my cold. I am too ill to leave the apartment, too ill to call anyone. Dom came over yesterday but I no longer trust him and eyed him suspiciously over the matzoh ball soup he very kindly delivered me. He is so crazed with love for Joe it is embarrassing and frankly, tragic. Joe is just as bad using poor Dom to fill his time before he does the decent thing and goes back home to England to do something sensible. Dom genuinely believes that he can be Joe’s boy friend.

By yesterday, full of phlegm, I had had just about enough of being here. I craved my little cottage and the brown Whitstable sea. I craved The Tudor Tea Rooms, Wheelers and The Whistle Stop. I craved Mother’s pride and Marmite. I craved poached eggs. I craved anything that wasn’t me here and now. It was apparent that nothing I could do was going to change any component part of what I am suffering.

Joe the mountain scientologist visited me and showed me his new bicycle helmet. Merritt swung by and set up the printer that had been sitting in it’s box since it was bought weeks ago. Devon brought more soup as did Aleksa’s mother Sabrina who made a wonderful, soothing concoction of limes, cayenne pepper and hot water.

Being ill here reminds me of this time last year when I ended up in Cedars (hospital) with that terrible leaking spine. The devastating head ache, unable to speak, to stand up. Then being saved by and staying with David and Hunter. Meeting Hilary. The way the doctor fixed it with that blood patch. I refused the anesthetic. Laying there begging that the pain be taken from me. I thought that I was going mad. I thought that I was having a nervous break down and all along spinal fluid was draining out of me. Just like George Clooney.

Phil left text messages. Cheered me up. She will never make it here-maybe in February for Mexico and the whales.

It was cold when I woke this morning; there was a bite in the air. I cannot stay in bed all day. I can’t do it. I have to do SOMETHING productive. Make lists. Write.

Apparently, if you threw a cat onto a 15th century funeral pyre the cat represented the devil. When I was a child I had a recurring nightmare that I had thrown a kitten into a fire.

9:07 AM

December 15, 2006 – Friday

December LA. I have just returned from NYC. Whilst I was there Will Self walked (for the press) from Kennedy Airport to his Downtown hotel. He is here in the USA to promote his new book. It will be just as bad as all of the recent others. I can just imagine him striding pompously along the LIE puffing on his pipe baffling the accompanying journalist from the NY Times with a whole lot of long words. He is truly the Gerard Manly-Hopkins of our age.

It is not perhaps the time to admit this but whenever he used to visit me in Whitstable I was always terrified that he would break something. He would change a shitty baby on a white bed or open oysters directly on wood causing great scratches in the wooden kitchen counters. One night I had Janet Street-Porter, Will Self, Deborah Orr and Jay Jopling around that tiny zinc dining table in my Whitstable kitchen. They are all HUGE people in stature and ego. Deborah used to be huge laterally which caused everybody I know to think that she was extraordinarily fecund. You just have to imagine Will Self and you start using words like fecund. Will is a sweet man but he uses his celebrity to ensnare then his verbosity to crush too many willing victims. What ever may or may not happen to Will and I, I am glad that we have been friends.

Time is the greatest distance between two people.

From a distance one quickly sees the people one has known for who they are and forgive them their defects of character. Janet is a cold fish, a snob to boot but her eccentricity is what makes me proud to be British. At dinner Deborah asked Janet why she had never had children. It was a question only Deborah could have ever asked Janet. Janet told us that one of her husbands had had a child who died. She said that she never wanted to suffer the pain she saw him endure. It was really very touching.

Deborah Orr. I never really trusted her or her incessant moaning. She is undoubtedly a genius, more so than her husband. Her intellect is a thing of great beauty. I would much prefer to hear her spout than her moribund husband. She endlessly reminds anyone who will listen that she comes from Govan, a very rough part of Glasgow. When Deborah and I met Lulu at Jay’s house one night I made Deborah tell Lulu where she came from and Lulu made a grand whooping noise and brushed her fingers against her nose to indicate how POSH it was. Lulu grew up in the Gorbals, which used to be a total shit hole.

Anyway, enough of the aptly named Self’s.

I walked the Canyon at 7am this morning. It was so pretty but my heart was heavy. I cannot imagine living here after I get back from Australia. I will do a few months of Dorian then it is time to get on and go back to Whitstable. I expect to be there by June. I listened to the same sort of conversations on my way up that I heard when I left, two frumpy women in badly fitting sweats complaining about some one who had wronged them. On the way down two executives were discussing powerful studio men. They were in awe.

I have done my stint, paid my dues to LA. I have stayed sober in LA. LA has been an interesting home for me but as I have said before it is like living in Whitstable, yet there in no allure. LA is a small town with small people. Self important, heartless and occasionally very, very cruel. The squabbles are no different or important from those I might hear in The Duke of Cumberland. The fights I witness in Hollywood are as vicious as any I have seen outside the kebab shop on Whitstable High Street.

Thankfully my shrewd investments may make this year my most profitable yet my ‘profit’ of course would scarcely pay for the mixers at one of Jay’s parties!

I am on the edge of something here in LA. On the edge of a continent or on the edge of my own life? I cannot continue this journey without a serious moment of reflection yet wherever I settle I am at the mercy of my own madness. My life has been all about shopping and fucking yet with none of the irony that this may suggest.

Somebody once asked me if I had ever been proud of anything in my life. I can honestly say that I am proud of every achievement I have ever made. Every play, film, dinner, room, article, sobriety, garden, blog. I am proud of all these things because I have had to do such terrible battle with myself to get anything done. The worst part of ME has always been my most terrible adversary. There is no one else to blame. I used to blame my stepfather but whatever seeds he sowed I have propagated. Every day I wonder who will get the best part of my day, that Duncan Roy or this Duncan Roy.

Finally, whilst in NY I contacted very old friends. A Whitstable friend and someone I had not spoken to for seven years. It was such a relief to call him. I was walking in what used to be the shadow of the twin towers. I suddenly remembered his telephone number and like a spell, a long forgotten spell I dialed the number and listened to his voice. It was wonderful.

Today I counted 27 dogs on Runyon Canyon.

9:20 AM

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