Archives for posts with tag: sydney

On the Phone

As the elderly gray-haired gays tittle-tattle at Joe’s Coffee shop on Commercial Street, making snide comments about those they like and those they don’t… like so many teenage girls, bullying, name calling and whispering. The lesbians remain dignified and polite.  They say good morning or make easy conversation. They comment on the weather or ones choice of croissant in such a way that improves the quality of the day.

Not all lesbian are like this of course but my experience here in Provincetown is irrefutable.

We chanced upon a lesbian memorial at Herring Cove a few nights ago, a memorial for a woman who died last October.  There were photographs of her set around the fire on sticks.  I sat with her wife of 30 years and she reminisced.  She told me their story.  I wondered how she would cope on her own.

“Oh, you get used to it.”  She said.

I didn’t believe her.  Dude sat on her lap.  She loved Dude and Dude loved her.  We ate her Red Velvet gluten free cup cake and sprayed ourselves with insect repellent.

Memorial

Last night I stopped for a slice of pizza with Brent and Derek, my crime fighting buddies.

Derek

We’d had a long day, I was up at 5am.  I’d spent an hour or so on the phone with lawyers.  I spent time answering emails.  I filled in forms and scanned them.   I made time to have a pair of sandals made here:

Sandle Workshop

Like most days I walked the dogs in the graveyard with Benoit.  I walked the dogs on the beach.  I walked the dogs to Joe’s coffee shop.  I walked the dogs to the West End and back east again.  Dude is still fat.  The Little Dog is lithe and eager.

Dude in a Grave

I found a beautiful dusky gray/mauve tamarisk at Captain Jack’s Wharf.

Tamarisk

Brent and I poked our noses into John Derian’s home/shop.  His little shop of curiosities.  He sells French glass cloche and rattan and decoupage.  Who buys decoupage?  Everyone apparently.

I ordered the slice of Pizza and sat with Derek.  It was delicious.  As I was leaving, I heard a Northern English accent.  Two elderly women from Manchester… eating the largest pizza I have ever seen.  They looked embarrassed.

They said, “This is too big for us, d’you want some?”

I overcame my English reserve and sat with them and ate their pizza.   They were retired PE teachers from Bolton.  They had lived together the past 15 years.  They had a small house and garden and took the bus into central Manchester which, they assured me, was very safe and had loads to do.

I wanted to know what they were doing with their retirement.

They said they went to concerts and the theatre and sat outside ‘weather permitting’ enjoying Manchester’s ‘cafe society’.  They rode their bikes and looked after their cats.  Mostly they travelled, this year they had been to The Galapagos and seen the giant tortoise and snorkel with penguins, they had taken a safari in Africa and showered out doors under the stars.  They had visited a brother in Sydney and driven to Melbourne along the coast, like I had with that beautiful boy… all those years ago.

I found myself talking about getting older.

Old people aren’t the same as when I was growing up.” I wondered.  “Yes,” they said, “Not the same at all.”

“They retired and spent time just waiting to die.” I said.  “Yes.” They nodded in unison.

I told them about my grandmother who was widowed when she was in her 50’s and at that very moment became an old lady.  Cut her hair short, permed it and let it whiten.   She died when she was 96.  I didn’t cry.  My mother did, she sobbed like I sobbed when the big dog was killed.  She was inconsolable, as was I about my dog.

I thought a great deal about my grandmother, chatting with these dear old lesbians.  I wondered how she could have lived so long feeling so miserable, stuck in one town, complaining about this and that… isolated from all her daughters (how can a mother hate her own daughters?) other than my mother.  I remembered just how much she didn’t want to die.  She was terrified.  I wondered if my uncle Norman killed her.  There was little love lost between them and he was with her at the end.  She would have been too weak to fight.

We said our goodbyes and good nights.  I’m sure I’ll bump into them again.  I hope I do.  I wish I was an old lady.

The light is beautiful here today.  The sea is sparkling.  I want for nothing.  Happily looking over the Atlantic, the Cape swinging around me teaming with life.  Lobsters, basking sharks, oysters, cod and herring.  I had fish and chips for lunch yesterday.

Here are my finished sandals:

New Sandals

 

FDF 3

President Obama has third graders announce LGBTQ pride month at the White House.  Whose idea was that?  Even POTUS looked a little incredulous.  Obviously I don’t have any problem with 3rd graders manning the barricades but… perhaps we can have kittens next time… or puppies… or fluffy yellow chicks… or a new born foal?

The gays are in Pride party overdrive.  Circuit parties, sex parties, pride events, bear parties, underwear parties, mourning parties, party parties.

When Joe and I lived in The Pines on Fire Island we went, over the years, to various high-octane, drug fueled, over lubricated, semi-naked circuit parties.  Yet, however many drugs I took, however great my body was… I still felt alienated.  I still experienced a strange, out-of-body disconnect from those men around me.  You see, I remember thinking quite clearly that they… GOT IT… and I didn’t.  I thought back then… they understand something more about homosexuality than I did… than I do.

Don’t get me wrong… I wasn’t looking down my nose at them.  I wasn’t feeling superior.  I would love to have connected with those men.  Like I used to feel connected (high on E) in my mid twenties exploring London (straight) club land.  The same heaving mass that miraculously included me.  Joyfully, willingly abandoning self, self consciousness terminal uniqueness and dancing as one with a thousand others.

That is what I felt then.  This is what I feel now:  To have ones life defined by gay circuit parties is simply revolting.

Some people prepare for weeks for Pride, in the gym, tanning, organizing parties, getting the right tickets for the right events.  Making sure the drink and the drugs are pre-ordered.  Leaving nothing to chance.  The last ‘pride’ parade I attended I saw a drunken man defecating in the street. It was not the enduring image of LGBTQ solidarity after which I was hankering.

There is a hideous disconnect between the civil rights we demand and the public face of ‘pride’.  A parade of semi naked gyrating narcissists.  How can anyone take that seriously?  Pride simply reinforces the difference between me and them:  I do not drink or take drugs.  I am not driven (compelled) by my homosexuality.

The parade terrifies me.  Aesthetically.  The corporate floats lack ingenuity and wit.  The rent boy/sex worker float lacks class.  The thongs, the swagger, revealing the lie of Pride.  The near identical bodies in various hues.  Searching, begging for tiny differences between each naked, muscular physique that may determine the uniqueness, the individuality of just one of these men.  Of course, I am excited to see so many out men.  But they are all the same.  I look at them and, as much as I want to be, I am not attracted to them.  I am not attracted to their essence… to their remarkable lack of ego.

The Pride parade is a celebration of sexuality.  First and foremost.  And I, absurdly, want to fall in love.  You see, I proved it.  They wanted sex… and I didn’t.   I wanted to fall in love… and they didn’t.

“I want to tell you how much I love you.”  I whispered.

When I have sex.  I tell them to say… I love you.  It turns me on.  “Even if you don’t mean it.”  I was useless then and I am useless now to those gay men at those gay circuit parties because I didn’t want to have sex.  I wanted to fall in love.  I didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t and they knew it.  They could see by the look in my eye that their sexuality terrified me, baffled me.  I wanted to fall in love.

That man I loved.  After he came out… he told me about the sex he was having with many, many men.  He was really good at meeting strange men and having sex with them.  His priorities shifted.  When we were together and he was in the closet he told me he loved me, he was emotional… the moment he came out he threw his emotional interest in men away.  In favour of sex.  I wanted to fall in love.

It was my fault.  I had this sex genius at my disposal and couldn’t work out how to use what he was brilliant at.  When we made love I felt the same disconnect.  Out of body.  Away.

Pride is a tough word to have appended to any celebration because it means so many different things to so many different people.  That’s why I love the LGBTQ Mardi Gras in Sydney, it doesn’t have PRIDE  in the title.  Mardi Gras is everything you want it to be because Mardi Gras mean nothing to me.  Means everything to me.

Mardi Gras implies celebration.  It doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t.  Even though it eschews the word Pride, on the several occasions I attended… I felt really proud.  Proud to be just like them.  Just like you.  I looked for the similarities and not the differences at:  The silly Mardi Gras community events, the Mardi Gras parade, the film festival, the theatre festival, the LGBTQ city art tours… even the leather cruise… something I would never usually do seemed fun and interesting.

It was a gathering of the LGBTQ clan and made no mistake by calling itself something it isn’t.  The parade and the party.  Mardi Gras was so different from London Pride.  London Pride in the 1980’s, was a sombre affair.  Men and women.  Simply being seen.  It was originally held during the miserable months of the British year.  Overcast skies.  Rain.

London Pride has evolved from a bunch of angry gays and lesbians marching through Westminster (Margaret Thatcher’s back yard) denouncing the infamously homophobic Section 28 to right now and a profoundly different landscape for the LGBTQ community.  We have enthusiastically embraced the Blair (credit where credit’s due) government’s equality overhaul and the introduction of legal parity for all citizens of the UK regardless of gender.

London Pride is a deserved celebration… but it was earned.  It’s not my cup of tea.  But it was earned.  If it isn’t your cup of tea… what is?  What does this old queer want?

Well.

Somewhere between the seriousness of a civil rights march and the celebration of Mardi Gras there is a parade I want to attend.   There’s a parade I want to join where all men and women are respected and nurtured regardless of age, sexuality and religion.  Let me know if you find that Parade because I’ll be there… to hold your hand.

Enhanced by Zemanta

 

Early to bed after an exhausting day of brush clearance.

We hired four, sturdy day labourers from outside the Malibu courthouse.  Moved a ton of dry leaves and branches from the end of the drive.  Now I am obsessed with making that part of the garden beautiful.

Mulching the trees there have made them glorious this year.  The cherimoya, the Mexican Guava, the Mango…all flourishing after the wet winter and mild summer.   This morning the sun is shining.  No marine layer.

It’s going to be a hot one.

Yesterday I had lunch with Cathy Griffin…the writer not the comedienne.   Ha!  Gotcha!  We went to Geoffrey’s.  The restaurant staff, obviously expecting Cathy Griffin the comedienne, looked a little disappointed.

I saw Matthew Perry having lunch with a friend.  He looks terrible.  We used to be close.  I have a soft spot for Matthew.

Anyway, Cathy co-authored the auto-biography of legendary Hollywood hair stylist Sydney Guilaroff.

Sydney dressed Marilyn Monroe‘s hair all through her life, creating those iconic looks…and after she passed, he dressed her hair one final time.

He was the last but one person to speak with the legend before she died.

He told Cathy that Marilyn was miserable that night because Bobby Kennedy had dumped her.  Isn’t that odd that I know Max Kennedy, Bobby’s son?  My friend’s father was, apart from being cruelly assassinated and a political visionary, at the heart of one of the worlds most shattering Hollywood scandles..ever.

I have never had the guts to ask him about it.

Anyway, Sydney never wanted anyone to know he was gay…or a jew.  Is that self hate or realistic in 1950’s America?   I guess it was all about self-preservation in those days.

A tormented soul, devoted himself to the women he worked with…Crawford, Taylor, Monroe etc.  Lived in penury with a Brazilian gigolo.  He sure has a great story.   A little like Truman Capote and his ‘swans’, placing himself at the heart of their dramas then spilling the beans.

There are those of us who adore women, love being surrounded by women…I call myself emotionally heterosexual.  So much easier to love and be loved by women.

I wonder…perhaps there’s a steamy, sexy Hollywood film idea tucked in this story?

I love that scene in the movie where the old friend of the recently departed dresses her hair, gossiping, remembering their adventures…even though she is dead.  I love that scene.

Anyway, check out Sydney’s work.  Google him.

The food at Geoffrey’s was better than I remember it.  Much better.  Had the lobster salad.

My calves ache.  Why?

As an experiment I took the bus from Malibu to Hollywood.

It was much easier than one imagined.  I walked off the mountain, leaving the dog in the house.  I walked the long way down the steep Las Flores Canyon in the blazing midday sun causing blisters and bruising on both feet.

At the bottom of the hill there’s a very convenient bus stop.

On the way there the bus was crammed with migrant workers and mental patients.  By the way, even mental patients have smart phones that they check compulsively every ten seconds.

What could they be possibly checking?

I liked the ride along the PCH…looking out to sea, watching cormorants bombing the waves and dolphins making their way west.  Everything looked very pretty and southofranceafied.

On the way back, the bus was full of homeless people keeping out of the unusually evening cold.  Bad move.  The air conditioning made it colder inside than outside the bus.

On both trips I met a few disgruntled European tourists who were shocked by the patchy public transportation: how long everything took and general lack of information, schedules etc.

Had I not used my iPhone travel app I’m sure I would have gotten very lost.  Maybe that’s what the the mental patients were checking…their route.

Surprisingly I still have a huge amount of shame around taking the bus in LA.  Nowhere else do I feel it.  Anywhere else it’s just the way things are.

Getting back to Malibu later that evening was miserable so I aborted the mission and caught a cab from Sunset and PCH waiting in a smelly fish restaurant called Gladstone’s until a jolly Georgian cabby picked me up.  $30.

On the way home two large dogs dashed across the PCH.  They were not killed but I don’t know how they survived.  They survived the mad dash.  Thank God.  The cabby started shouting incoherently at the owner in Russian and English.

“Fuck you!”  He screamed.  “Fucker!”

As he dropped me off he said, “You can never depend on a man but a dog will never let you down.”

I spent yesterday morning in the garden, planning to hang this huge bronze lantern I found on the street.  I need a sturdy chain and a butchers hook.

Capitalizing on my confidence surge I arranged to see my Important Producer Friend.  It worked out really well.  Before I leave LA/USA for good I have to achieve more than a couple of reality TV shows and a revenge novel…oh, and a beautiful garden.

Perhaps I’m being a little hard on myself.

Anyway, after a few moments of timidity I burst into the pitch with passion and verve.  He wants to help.  He is able to help.  Real power in an illusory town.  I felt safe.

Whilst I was with him it was easy to identify what has been missing these last two years.

Let’s look at the facts: I can write an interesting script, develop a great idea, direct a compelling movie.  Sell it, promote it, open film festivals worldwide.  I can really do that.  I’ve done that with all but one of my films.

Because I’ve had the wind punched out of me I just couldn’t find the huge strength required to force the film off of the page and into the world.  Perhaps I can?  Now I have the energy and focus.

Walking down the mountain to the PCH rather than staying at home and weeding the garden…well, that’s the advice I would have given a good friend.  Get off your ass and do the deal.

The miserable veil, today…for the past few days has lifted.  Let’s see if it will last.

Watching that evocative twenty year old video enthused and invigorated me.  I remembered just how much I have to be proud of.  At the time I was making theatre, living an idyllic, simple life in Whitstable.  Just returned from six months in Sydney, about to go to Film School, hanging with cool people, making love to beautiful men and mostly very happy.

My early thirties were great fun.

I think that’s obvious from those images.

I wondered what it would take to get back to that place.  That happy place?  Well, I have to think seriously about this blog.  Because of you know who I kept this thing alive and by doing so I kept my connection with him alive.  Like a daily letter to him.

It’s hard to imagine not writing this blog.  It’s hard to let go.

The personal details that I pump daily into the world must stop.  I have to get serious.  This blog has become a destructive addiction, just like everything else I do compulsively.

Robby left this morning.  I was really sad to see him go.

The indisputable zenith of my birthday party was Lady Rizo singing Lilac Wine.    Seventy people in the room, you could hear a pin drop.   Such a disparate group of people with a magical spell cast over them…as only Rizo can.

The day was perfect in every way.    Dee emerged from her room at The Standard and we ate a delicious lunch with Toby and the super cute Joe.  When he took his clothes off and dived into the pool everybody watched him in awe.  A man not a boy.  A man with a perfect body.

Joan met me mid afternoon and delivered my birthday gift.  A BEAUTIFUL pair of sunglasses I had been hankering after for six months.

We all returned to Dee’s room at The Standard.  I love this hotel.  The finishes and detailing throughout the hotel are ravishing, the amazing view of The Statue of Liberty peeking over the horizon.

Spent the afternoon with Joe.

The weather has been stunning here.  Walking the streets has been inspiring.

Soho House did an amazing job of organizing my birthday party.  The food was excellent; the staff were charming and helpful.  The room perfectly appointed.

As well as Lady Rizo my friends Joey and Chase also known as the Black Soft and Rob Roth performed.  Rizo stole the night.  She sang a brilliant and very funny mash-up of Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend and Wannabee.  With the writer of the Spice Girls classic in the room it was especially poignant.

People really made the effort.  Victoria Whitbread, Matt Rowe and Charlie Parsons flew from London and of course there were many, many gorgeous boys to look at.  I had exactly what I wanted.

This was the birthday party I should have had last year but traded for a miserable time with the crazed fan.

We ended up on the roof by the pool with yet another blue balling straight boy called Sean.  Soft skin, perfect body.   As we were sitting there I saw Dominique Lomas from Sydney!  Of all people.  She looked gorgeous.  Here in NYC writing a novel.  If only I had known!

So, we all sat there in the balmy night looking down at the Hudson.  Dreaming of Sean’s face in my lap.

Sean headed off with Dominique.  We were invited to young FJ’s house.  We walked the few blocks to his huge Soho loft, stuffed with amazing art belonging to the boy’s step-father..a renowned art historian and personal hero of mine.

Tom, Robby, me and the boys.

We had the beautiful boys to take their tops off and then we took pictures of them.  It was honest (sordid) fun.  Note the Lucian Freud beside them.

I was surrounded by love last night.  Surrounded by people who loved me.   Serenaded me.  Friends old and new.  People had traveled a very long way to see me and I felt finally rewarded for these past months of painful growing.

I am determined that these final months in America will mean something to me.  Determined that they will be happy, joyous and free.  The glimpse of the Statue of Liberty reminded me why I came here, have made it my home but also why I must ultimately move on.

Robby, the twin that hung around in the womb a full twenty minutes longer than Miles is urging me to go to breakfast at the bottom of the hill.  It is 9am and it is already very hot here in Malibu.

The dog is sprawled on his bed in the sun.

Miles is on set somewhere nearby.

Last night Armand popped in and we took Robby’s car and had dinner at Dukes.  Dukes, the restaurant of little culinary interest at the bottom of the hill.  Why?  Mainly because I found one of the waiters attractive.  I met him in Starbucks last week and he told me that he would ‘hook us up’.  I didn’t eat anything because the food looked so rancid.  They had burgers and Caesar Salad and calamari and beer.

We were not hooked up.

Yesterday afternoon, after my long walk with Miles down Rambla Pacifico, my Australian friend Daniel turned up with a bottle of white wine.  I poured him a glass and looked at it longingly.  Crisp white wine on a warm Californian afternoon.

We have many friends in common in Sydney and it was so nice to hear all the news.  I am sure if I just looked on Facebook I could have found out for myself but it was lovely listening to him tell me all about everything and everybody…the weather and the burgeoning Australian economy.   The drought has ended, the reservoirs are full.

We headed into Malibu where we ate lunch at the Deli.  The once very fat man who runs the Deli has lost 130lbs just by NOT eating white bread.  He looks so much happier.

After lunch, as we were wandering around the absurdly priced shopping Mall, a beautiful man with a bleeding dog begged me to tell him where the vet was.  His beautiful labrador had been bitten in her face by a Rattle Snake. My worst nightmare.

I pointed him in the right direction.

He had been sucking the poison out of her face.  I hope she survived.

Armand stayed long after I went to bed.  Teaching Robby how to use his synthesiser.

This morning I squeezed fresh grapefruit from my tree.  Ruby red.  Delicious.

Dear Readers,

So, many of you have followed this blog since the beginning.  I don’t mean this time around but when I was writing in 2005/2006 before I shut it down.

I shut it down last time for the same reasons I am going to shut it down this time: because it suits me.  There is no pressure, no threat, no coercion from anyone in particular.  Not from slime ball or his slime ball family.  Not from anyone.

Even though my friend Sharon Marshall thinks I will never get another boyfriend when they read this..the truth is, I wouldn’t/couldn’t get another boy friend with or without this blog.

There are a host of other reasons not to be my boy friend other than what I have written here about Jake or others.  There are plenty of published reasons not to have anything to do with me what so ever.

I will list some of them:

ex con

Celebrity gossip

appalling reputation

don’t drink or take drugs

elitist

bad temper

Well, the list just goes on and on.  The blog merely let people know how shameless I am about all the above.

Those same people refuse to acknowledge any triumph I might have had.  It is as if I were only ever bad…well, my dears, you get what you pay for.

Nope, the blog is going private because I decided that on the 21st December 2010 I would cease to publicly blog.  It was on this day last year that Jake contacted me (see below) and my world was blown apart.

It was on that day that a man with shady intentions hijacked my life and for all the love I felt and all the hate I endured I wouldn’t have it any other way.   I am grateful to have been able to share with you what he and men like him try to get away with.

It is QUITE RIGHT that he is shamed publicly for doing what he did.  What he did to me and his girl friend of seven and half years is far worse than any crime I may have committed.

Ask any woman who has been lied to.

He will never face a court for what he did but he deserves to.

I am moved that so many of you shared your own stories of being cheated on and lied to.  He described you as sycophants.  I describe every one of you as my friends.  I want you to know that you have helped me tremendously.   I don’t know what I would have done without every single one of you.

Each anonymous message of support.

As of the 21st December I will set this blog to private and if you want to read what I have been up to you will have to subscribe.  This will please the 1000 of you who routinely log in every day.

Jake, only a few more days until your name, as you wished it, will be divorced from mine.  Your picture, as your Father wanted, unaligned to me.  How dare they ask me to remove pictures of him from my blog?  As if he deserved anonymity?  For all the world your ‘silly mistakes’ will be erased.  Your head resting gently on my shoulder.  How you must hate that picture!

I might remind you that this time last year I was really happy, enjoying my after sex rehab life.  Enjoying watching the show with Jennie at our new apartment in Hollywood.

But all of that came to an abrupt end.

The day before you wrote to me you were reading my blog assuming that my life as an out gay man could be yours.  That the people with whom I consorted, the locations I inhabited you might have.   You didn’t want me Jake.  You wanted my life.

Your pathetic half Persian therapist will never get the measure of you Jake because she is being paid by your parents to make it all better.  You need moral guidance.

So, this time last year I am in NYC interviewing agents, David Vigliano etc. and little Jake B the virtual Literary Agent in Arlo and Esme on 1st Street wondering why he is so damned shy and awkward.  Thinking it had more to do with me being on TV than what was actually going on..that he wanted me to fuck him behind his girlfriend’s back.

He told me later that he wanted me to take him downstairs and fuck him in the bathroom.   Now I know, of course, that the sweet little pussy I came to love had been shagged senseless a million times by Pal (amongst others) and his HIV cock.   His dear pussy that I loved, was just another New York City whore hole.

Without doubt my relationship with Jake prolonged a long-held misery that I had worked very hard in rehab to overcome.

I am an artist (try taking that away from me) and, though many will not agree, this last year or so of blogging has been my art, my catharsis, a continuation of the greater conceptual art of being in a reality TV show.

In no time at all every mean thing I have written here will be forgotten.

In earlier posts, where I have been vile about people, those gripes and recriminations vanished.  Time is a great healer.

Time will hush the screaming, resentful voice that propels us.

Resentment sucks the life out of a memory until it cannot be remembered.

Sorry Sharon, frankly my dear I don’t give a shit who reads about me or my life or what they think of it or, more importantly, how it might alienate me.  The damage is already done. It was done years ago.  When you came to Sydney to interview me about Hurley.  When I was sent to prison for over spending on my credit card…

This is what he wrote:

Hi Duncan,

I’m a literary agent with xxxx, based in NYC. Introduced to you courtesy of VH1. Read your article in The Daily Beast, which I savored for the honest details behind the show–none of which come as a surprise. Anyway, your article led me to your blog. I love the honesty in your writing (plus it’s also refreshing to see someone from a reality tv show who can form a coherent sentence), and I get the impression that you’ve been through a lot in your life. At the risk of sounding just like the opportunistic reality tv producers you’ve worked with, I will admit that a reality program is often a good platform for a book–but more importantly, you have an interesting story, voice, and you know how to write. I figured it was worth a shot reaching out. Perhaps you are already sufficiently represented on the publishing side, but either way I am wondering if you have thought realistically about writing a book.

Warm Regards,

Jake B

Dear Jake,

I am presently meeting agents with a view to representation. I have met with three so far and have not yet made any decision.

I and flattered that you contacted me and do feel free to call me at your convenience.

Hi Duncan,

Nice to hear back from you and sounds good…I’ll be in touch very soon.

Best,

Jake

Andrew

Had to take a couple of days away from my blog. Firstly, I think my reason for writing it had become skewed.  Secondly, when all one has to write about is the blog itself..hmmm.  You understand.

Malibu.  The garden has been totally cleaned up by the new gardeners.  This annual sweep gives me so much pleasure.  The most rewarding $800 a man could ever spend.

Exciting news:  friends are seriously thinking about buying the house.  When they contacted me I was relieved then I began to wonder why I was selling it?  Where else in the world would I be able to live like this?  The view, the land, the house…it’s all so beautiful.

The repaired road will make it so much better living here (I can walk to the local shops) but rather than thinking it would make it better for me..my fucked up head thinks it would make it better for someone else.  That’s insane!  I deserve it too.

I had to get away from the blog because I was indeed writing about Jake far too much and whilst I needed to I also have to stop.

This is the problem with obsessive thinking, and who ever wrote that I should get off the Jake thang is right..I really have to start thinking beyond the object of my obsession.

Just when you run out of good ideas God throws you a life line.

My friend Anna is moving into the house with me.  She is having a blast with her new film (traveling all over the world) but needs a place to live.  We are very similar in as much as we both daily invent our lives.  So, next Tuesday I have room-mate.

My friend Ashley needs a place too so we are all going to live here together.  The only remaining booking is for October so we are going to vacate for that.

I achieve so much more when I am with other like-minded people.  Whenever Anna is here I get important things done that would otherwise remain undone.  I can be mother hen, make breakfast, organize walks, sit down and write.  All I have to overcome is the obsessive urge to clean the house and keep order.  I have to let that go.

Because I know that he reads this I often think of him when I am writing.   It’s horrible.  Trying to keep the flame burning.

Fragile, timid beautiful Jake.  I want to remember him kindly.  I really do.  I don’t want to believe that he came into my life to take whatever he needed.

Manhunt?

I want to be on Manhunt because he was on Manhunt.  I want to meet men because he met men.  I want to in spite of my own healthy needs.

The Manhunt thing is interesting.  It has taken no time at all to be totally disinterested in that site.  It cannot serve me.  Why do I go there?   Real people can serve me.  Living in fantasy around what could be only leads to disaster..as we have witnessed these past few months.

So, I have been attending gay AA meetings, connecting with my sober comrades.  Trying not to be negative, understanding that I still sit in a great deal of fear around gay men..I begin to relax.

There is a community of men and women at my disposal who are more than willing to open their arms to me.

I am, after all, a rather well-known gay man in recovery.

Lead by example.

Coming up to my sober birthday on October 1st.  Traditionally this has always been a time of great reflection.   A time to remember what I gave up to become the man I am now.

If I had continued along the path of least resistence…I may very well be dead.  I will write about that last day of using on October 1st.

Fly East tomorrow for a few days.  Have to take art to NYC.  I really dread being in the city just in case I bump into him.  I don’t know what I would do.

It’s like when I got sober..those first few months I could be around people drinking but I could not be around anyone taking drugs,  it was too triggering.   As I have said before, he is not real..he is a cypher.

As he shrinks away I attempt to own the possibilities.  I am left with so much!   I am left with all of this..the view, the hope, the love and of course the very human fight to survive.  The fight to live.  The fight to make art.  The fight to breath in the new day.

I may very well have thrown away this past year obsessing over him.  I pray that I learned something useful from knowing him.  Please don’t let it have been a total waste?

My Australian friend Andrew visited yesterday.  I met him in Sydney ten years ago.  What a delicious man he is.  I think you would all agree?

My AA sponsor told me in no uncertain terms that I was shirking from the very real health issue I have.  He told me that I have to get it seen to as soon as possible.

Lunch with Jenny A at Joan’s on Third.

I tend to avoid anything flavored with Tarragon because it is most often over used.  Used correctly it is the most delicate and fragrant of all the herbs providing a backdrop for other flavors to make themselves heard.

I ate the three-salad combination plate..chicken with Tarragon salad, butter bean and mozzarella salad and snap pea salad.  Gorgeous.  But what was more gorgeous was hanging with the perennially elegant, devilishly witty and endlessly talented Jenny.

I am still off all food made with anything bleached, processed or enriched so am shrinking daily.  I wore McQueen pants, a black tee and Maison Margiella sandals.  The first time this year I have felt confident to do so.  I knew that I looked fucking great and that, my friends, is all your favorite ‘uncle’ requires of the new day.   Elegance.  Who better to dress to impress than darling Jenny.

As you may have divined I am well and truly out of my funereal dirge and feeling very happy, resolute, fearless.  This is all it takes?  Lunch with Jenny to slough off the past few months of misery?  Well no, it was Jenny plus some really good advice, some incisive questioning and hey presto I can deal with anything..including this bloody city.  Jenny left LA a few years ago to set up shop in Todos Santos, Mexico as the purveyor of the most magical B&B in the whole goddamned world.

Incidentally, it was Jenny who I called the day I took my last drink more than a decade ago.  A drink I shared, rather ironically, with Sebastian Horsley and his then girlfriend Rachel.  It was actually a little more than a drink.   Excuse my coyness.

That last night of debauchery in Kensington included falling in and out of black taxies, vomit on the streets, blazing eyes, insulting the host of a very dull party.  The next morning waking up under that cloud.  I called Jenny.  I had been to her home on many occasions where she graciously served alcohol but never drank a drop herself.

She asked if I was ready to stop, that it was about time.

I had a wrap of something in my wallet and knew that I wanted it.  She told me to call when I was ready to get sober, to renounce drugs and alcohol.   It was October 1st 1997.  I was ready.  I put the wrap into the trash and like nuclear waste held it at arm’s length as I threw the trash bag into the street.

After chucking out the last of the alcohol and drugs I set about cleaning the filthy multi million dollar house, fixing the dent in my car, changing my telephone number and putting my life back together.  I slept in clean sheets.  I went to bed when I was tired.  I ate delicious food that I could taste.  In order to escape those whose best interests it was to keep me drunk I booked a ticket to Sydney Australia where I went every day to 12 step meetings for the next six months.

It was magical.   Sobriety is like magic.  That New Years Eve I was three months without a drink,  I did the unthinkable I sat in the Sydney Opera House enjoying The Magic Flute sober.

I have never had a dud New Year’s Eve in sobriety.

Jenny and I share many of the same personality traits..both good and bad and during the past twenty years have helped each other emotionally, practically and spiritually.   In fact, it was she who very generously lent me her beautiful home in Notting Hill when I made my film Clancy’s Kitchen.   Black finger prints not withstanding our friendship remains as strong today as it ever was.

A truly glamorous Brit with red hair and high cheekbones she wanted to know who and what and when..processed it and spat out wonderful advice.

Just for the record: this is what I am grateful for this sunny LA day in 2010:

My health, my life, my little dog, my great friends, my sobriety, food on the table, my trip to Paris, my upcoming birthday, my view, the new road to the house..

Actually, I am grateful for rather a lot.  Now, that’s the way to start the day?  I think so.  With a gratitude list.  Perhaps that’s how I need to start my blog rather than the list of all that is wrong in my life.

For a while I forgot why I got sober!  I didn’t get sober to mope around, to complain about shit or live in fear.   Good God!   Dr Jenny laid me on her couch and reminded me of what I needed to hear.

As a result I challenge those thoughts of obsession to come to me.  Every time my head is clouded with unwanted thoughts I say, bring it on.   There is only so much pain I can endure.  Rather than fight the thoughts or submerge them in drugs, alcohol or orgasm I let them consume me for a few moments and they vanish a few seconds later.

It’s odd that when one is obsessed with anything by simply trying to marshal those thoughts one merely feeds them.   By letting them wash over me like heavy rain the storm passes.

This too will pass.

Joan of Joan’s on Third sat with us for a few minutes and told us about an armoire that she had seen in Paris three years ago that she thought was going to be perfect for keeping her linens.  Sadly, the shopkeeper told her that the beautiful piece was already sold.  For three solid years Joan lusted after that armoire, looking at pictures of it on her phone.

When she finally returned to Paris a short while ago Joan popped back into the store to find that miraculously the armoire had not been sold after all, delighted she opened the door and upon closer inspection saw that it was full of safes and totally inappropriate for linens.

Of course she didn’t buy it.  She said, “I was obsessed with it because it was unavailable and I hadn’t looked inside.”  Which is exactly how I get obsessed…with that that is unavailable and because often..I haven’t looked inside.

I dreampt that I drank a pint of amber-colored beer.  It was cold and sparkling just like I remember it.   It was delicious.  In my dream I noted that it had no effect.  That I was as sober at the end of the pint as I was when I took the first sip.  Oh, if only that were true!

I am determined that nothing will get in the way of the good time I am planning to have in the UK during this next few weeks.  I am going home to celebrate with old friends who expect me to return from this stinking hole triumphant!  I am triumphant.

I have been weakened of late and it does not suit me.   Who says that happiness depends on me being loved, being rich, being anything else than what I am?  Who wrote that bullshit?  I really have no right to anything other than this very moment.

For fuck sake I have survived on my own for nearly five decades.  Why the hell am I so inclined to believe that I can’t do that anymore is a totally mystery.  Who the hell is running this insane asylum?

I have an adventure, life’s adventure to complete here and nothing is going to get in my way.

I think some of you were rather hoping that at this point I might do what my other less determined friends have done..and kill myself.   No such luck!  If the fags don’t get me,  the pancreatic cancer might but never, never expect me to do myself in.

There’s too much to look forward to!

Coffee.  6am.  We didn’t get into bed until 3am.  Still, it’s impossible to sleep.   Perhaps coffee after midnight just doesn’t work.   Spent early part of day in Malibu swapping out locks, preparing for visitors.  Trimming the over grown canopy of Bougainvillea leading to the top apartment.    After a week of intensive organization I am making headway with downstairs and this autumn Louis will come and paint everything cream and clean.

It was good to have Andrew help me clean both apartments.  He is incredibly thorough and dependable.   It’s fun hanging out with him.  Yet, saying this I also miss you-know-who who may never call enough for my liking.  It’s odd to have your heart so evenly split between two so very different men.   He is on the East coast making sense of his new him and I am here with Andrew on the West making sense of mine.

The closer we get to going to Europe the more peaceful I become.  I am going home.

So, I had this invitation for the Warhol opening at Jared’s gallery on Sunset.  I really had no intention of leaving the house but Ryan called and insisted that I come join him so I dragged myself into my new Nantucket reds and set sail for the social high seas.

Prism is a huge cave of a gallery that only the son of a billionaire could possible own.   There were very poorly guarded yet beautifully hung Warhol’s and several hundred frantic club kids drinking free wine and beer, not paying the slightest attention to the art.  Very skinny girls and very pretty boys, I am glad I was with Andrew as he was, by far, the prettiest of them all.   He was wearing a pair of lively patterned Comme des Garcons pants and a simple black tee-shirt and looked divine.   The little dog was wearing a wagwear collar.   We chatted with Sharon Osbourne for a little while but when she realized I was British-or perhaps realized who I was-she affected this weird accent and became decidedly odd, testy.

We ate dinner at the Chateau with other friends and ended up at Soho House where I spotted Bryan Singer with a gaggle of frat boys.  Robert Downey Jr and I had the briefest of chats and by midnight I was fully engaged with my old and abandoned social life.   I sat with my Australian friend Peter S for a good hour remembering Sydney leaving Ryan and Andrew at the bar drinking stout.

You know I spent a rainy week on Fire Island with Bryan Singer years ago when I was with Jamie.  I have nothing to report about that week other than to say it was before I got sober.  A blur of interminable drinking.

Duncan. Unknown, Brandon Boyce, Bryan Singer Fire Island

 

Ryan and I discussed just how distracting LA can be.  How one can achieve absolutely nothing yet feel as if one has had a full and accomplished day.

Poor Soho House are having a terrible time placating their near neighbors and the beautiful restaurant has to be cleared at midnight for noise pollution reasons.  I really can’t imagine that you can hear much of Soho House from the street over the traffic or the other noisy clubs/restaurants but people seem compelled to complain and bitch and moan about almost everything and anything all the time.

It was fun going out although I felt incredibly tired by 2.30am and eager for my bed.   I used to live this sort of life every night in LA and I could once again if I could be bothered.  It’s just so tiresome being ‘on’ or being me and since making the show there is the added element that people know rather too much about my life ahead of meeting me.  Too much for comfort.

This morning I have to meet John for breakfast, our Saturday morning pre-therapy ritual.

I heard a great deal of damning gossip about Kay and Amanda but may have to hold off reporting this until another time.

The pictures published this morning are part of my photographic essay commissioned by The Sydney Morning Herald in 2004 celebrating the Condoblin Batchelors and Spinsters Ball held annually in the depths of New South Wales.

B & S Balls are thrown to introduce the youth of rural Australia who live many hours from each other in the arid outback.

The Ball is actually a huge drunken brawl and as a sober man I was amazed by two things:  firstly how much alcohol was consumed and secondly how little violence there was.

I publish it to remind myself just how many things I have achieved.

The darkest part of the day is ironically the morning when I seem to forget just how damned capable I am.  Need to calm down.  Still experiencing waves of depression.  Still at the mercy of my mad head.  Mad head, thankfully not bed head-my hair is now cropped once again.  However, when buzzed my head get recognized more than when I have long hair.

The dog is waiting to go to Runyon, waiting patiently at my feet whilst I type this.   I am nearly out of the doldrums.  I can feel myself emerging.  Why did I get sober?  Why did  I go into therapy?  Peace of mind.  Not piece of mind-one of my mothers favorite expressions.  ‘I’ll give him a piece of my mind.’ she would say.

The mantra for this week is BE PRESENT.

I remember getting up each day and feeling like there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do.

Added to all the other problems I am utterly home sick.  Desperate to get back to my Island Jewel.  Held here by all sorts of stuff that needs dealing with.  The house, the garden, the book, the app, the art sale, what the fuck?

All I need to do is book an Air France flight to Paris and vanish but I am trying to be a good man.  Trying to be the sort of guy who can wrestle from his life some sort of sobriety and ultimately some honor.

Where in the world could I go if I wanted to start again?  I still love Memphis.  I loved it.  Who would I be when I got there?

What demons would I bring along with me?

Instead of running away I need to remember what I am capable of and invest time and energy in my work.   Recently Obama opined that ‘change is hard.’ and I was appalled by his admission because I rarely admit that it’s the goddamned fucking truth don’t ya think?.

December 9, 2006 – Saturday

New York

New York. It is a bright, cold day in this vibrant city. I am staying at Soho House in the Meat Packing District. They have set me up in a huge suite with a massive white bed, steam room and a butler. I am here to write the secret project with Maria. I arrived the evening before last. Very kindly Tim picked me up from the airport, which was so darned sweet of him. Unfortunately there had been a bit of a mix up over my room booking at Soho House, so the first night I stayed at the gruesome Gramercy Park Hotel. The problem with the GPH is that it cannot work out if it is a dance club or a hotel. As I arrived somebody had vomited on the tile floor in the lobby and a young Asian woman had slipped in the diced carrots and acrid smelling spew. As chic as some say this place (GPH) is no amount of Warhol, Clemente or Schnabel will compensate for how bad and unwelcoming it is at night. It was so dark at the reception that it was impossible to read the booking slip. It was so noisy in my room that I could not sleep. In the morning I quietly made a detailed complaint, understandably they did not charge me for my room. Later that morning it was wonderful to finally arrive at the Soho House. The General Manager Mark and the others immediately made me feel welcome and gave me Danish to eat and latte to drink and told me their various home stories and I no longer felt angry or displaced.

As some of you may have noticed I have not been writing my blog so much lately. It suddenly felt like I was giving too much away. Also, I started going to AA meetings in the Palisades at 7am. As a consequence I have not been walking the Canyon. Instead, I get up at 6am drive west, go to my meeting and am at home by 9. Because I am dressed properly for my meeting I don’t then want to take off my clothes and change for the Canyon.

As for this blog, annoying my friends at the Chateau deeply upset me and made me think hard about what writing an open diary does to the people around you. Anyway, decided that I will write this blog periodically or when I have time on my hands or need to let myself know what is going on.

Had lunch at the Chateau with Hilary C last week. We had a great time. I really enjoy her company. It was odd going back to the CM after my banning, as I no longer feel the same sense of freedom that I had before. It sort of curtailed my enjoyment. I wore a cap and sunglasses and tried to hide my face as best I could. I am so bored with LA and being here in NYC has merely heightened that feeling of discomfort I have about going back.

Sadly, last week, I caught Joe lying about me and trying to cause trouble in my life. Amazingly, he told Hilary that I had stolen Sebastian Scott‘s cheque book. Telling me that he was having a dinner, inviting people I knew and letting me know that I was not invited. Why? I would have thought nothing of it had I not been told several days later by another friend that Joe had warned him away from me. I think what Joe seems to forget is that a) more people tell me what they think of him than he realizes and b) that I find it terribly painful discovering that a ‘friend’ has spread such miserable lies about me. Such dull, unimaginative lies.

Bought gloves in Barney’s. Had polet roti in cute restaurant near Barney’s. Had sex last night with some one of unimaginable beauty. First time I have had SEX for months.

The boy who stole my laptop is in prison. His mother called me and told me that I was the Devil and that her son could never have committed such a crime. She hoped that I might find Jesus. The police called and I finally got hold of my laptop to transfer items from that to this. The horrid thief had forced his way into my files only to put most things into the trash. Thankfully I found all of what I wanted except the secret project.

Had business meeting with Victor. It was fruitless. I am no closer to getting Dorian finished.

11:27 AM

December 1, 2006 – Friday

The Pebble

At 8am there was a chilled, stiff wind gusting exhilaratingly over the canyon path. I can’t really remember what I was griping about as I climbed to the summit but my head was going ten to the dozen. I met a boy called Anton Dolphin sitting, swinging his legs on the bench at the summit. He was gazing at the crystal clear view of Los Angeles toward Santa Monica. It was so clear I could see Catalina, the smog blown out to sea. The canyons to my left, toward the Hollywood sign, filled with soft misty meringue. The huge, grey mountains beyond Silverlake usually concealed by smoke and mirrors were clearly visible. It was spectacular.

Anton is a twenty-five year old accountant from Auckland. He was doing what most young people do from his country he was taking time to explore the world. Anton is an ordinary boy making an extraordinary adventure. We chatted for an hour then separated on Hillcrest. I love talking to young men. I love listening to their stories, their aspirations laid bare. It is the truth.

Yesterday I had meetings with my lawyer and my manager who has become an agent at a great agency. I have, totally by default, got myself an agent at a great agency. I wonder if he will be able to effect any changes there for me. Anything for me to do? I just want to do SOMETHING other than Dorian.

Went to the Magritte show with Michael and Hillary but Hillary flounced off when I started talking to a charming 19-year-old boy who wanted to know how to interpret Magritte’s work. I had forgotten just how much I actually knew. It all just spewed out of me. John Baldessari (curator) has made a great job of the show. It looked and felt great. The cloud carpet and decorated ceilings, the bowler hats on the guards and the extraordinary collection of work. I loved ‘A Clear Idea’ the best. I did not realize what a wonderful painter he was. The execution was exquisite. I enjoyed seeing contemporary works hung alongside the Magritte, some work an homage to Magritte others a conceptual progression/evolution. Of course these iconic images are all very well-known but as with Rothko or Matisse the experience of the work is key, I felt totally invigorated by the experience of this well-known work.

The 19 year-old boy asked me to look at ‘The Pebble’, which is an odd Lautrec type cartoon painting of a half-naked woman licking her shoulder. The sea is lapping around her. We sat looking at it for three-quarters of an hour. It is the most sensual painting; one can taste the salt on the woman’s skin. One pays attention to her tongue and the back of her neck, the way she holds her breast with one hand, her modesty with the other. Her nipples are like tiny exotic fruits. The more one looked at it the more one realized that it was also one of the most erotic paintings that I have ever seen. Perhaps standing next to a perfect youth made it more so. I have no idea.

Dinner at 101 fried chicken special.

10:46 AM

November 30, 2006 – Thursday

Bond/Borat

I am climbing Runyon Canyon at 8am with Scientologist Joe K the man who sells dog ties who I met on the mountain with Hillary two weeks ago.

It is 6.30; I have looked at the list of films picked for Sundance. Dorian is not one of them. I was really disappointed. When did I start hankering after Sundance? When did it become imperative for my film to exist anywhere other than where it is meant to exist? AKA went to Sundance. Should it have even been there? Some might say that my being there was a wasted opportunity. I had no idea how to make it work. I went with the absurd SM as my ‘manager’. I was frustrated. What a calamity. Bobby, my tiny little agent who wore a crash helmet in her kitchen because she kept bashing her head. My lawyer was the only one who seemed to care. The more I think about it the less tragic the memory becomes. It was absurd. It was a farce. It makes me laugh. Peter arriving with his friend/manager in the snow in a broken car to share the stage with me at the Egyptian. The ‘manager’ latterly ran off with Peter’s woman. What is with this ‘manager’ thing? Here, you be my brain. You make my decisions. I can’t think without you. When did I ever not think for myself?

What is for Dorian now? I imagine that we will do the lesbian and gay film circuit, which I have always loved. They have always looked after me. Made me welcome. That is all I ever wanted for any of my films. All I wanted was to reach out to that audience.

Every time I make a film I start again. Find the true path. Every time I do anything creative I am enriched. I am in pursuit of beauty. Money is only useful to acquire beauty; access to beautiful people, places and things. It is all I have ever been interested in. Even when I was in prison I found beauty in the soaring, dramatic halls of Wormwood Scrubs. These rooms were a quarter of a mile long. At night, working on the wing, the last one out on the landing, I walked the long gantry listening to the individual lives of each man behind his wood. I thought, this is the most beautiful moment I have ever experienced. Even though I was occasionally frightened I was usually delighted, inspired and full of hope. Was it just because I was so young or because I was not drinking or because I had been living a lie for such a long time?

Every time I make a film I start again from beginning to end. I start again. Tossing the coin into the air and see where it lands. Heads or tails?

Last night I had a very unsatisfactory massage. Michael went to see Casino Royale at the Chinese Theatre. I saw Casino Royale with Hillary and Dom last weekend in the mall at Century City.

I might have liked it had Danny’s suits been tailored correctly but sadly they aren’t. In Love is the Devil he was remarkably suave. In Casino Royale his suits don’t fit, his collars are unstarched, he looks like a squat bouncer from a provincial night club wearing a bad watch.

The iconic title sequence of James Bond turning to shoot the gun at the audience at the very beginning of the film was frankly absurd! The Bond silhouette is usually the finest example of old world elegance. The film makers traded elegant, refined and dangerous for Danny Craig dressed as a French onion seller in baggy trousers unable to perform a model turn or even convincingly point his gun.

Sadly, there were too many shots of Danny running. Daniel Craig is no Gazelle, he runs like an old-fashioned athlete pulling a strange, determined face. His blue eyes as wide as saucers, the veins on his forehead standing out like a tube map. James Bond should run effortlessly without breaking a sweat.

None of this, however, is Danny’s fault. There seems not to have been a discerning eye overlooking this film. No taste. No style. And as for the leading woman’s hair at the Casino-it looked like a hat from a jumble sale. In lieu of anything else to applaud about this film we applaud Danny’s indisputable acting ability but acting is not what Bond is all about, Bond is a high camp British cartoon character. Since when has it become imperative for filmmakers to humanize cartoon characters? How long will it be before Scoobydoo suffers from a bout of postmodern angst?

Another cartoon character in the cinemas this winter is Sacha Baron-Cohen’s Borat which, unlike Bond, is very stylish and on occasions simply genius. I now understand what early cinema audiences loved so much about Chaplin. Borat the tramp, the fool, the clumsy could so easily have been a series of dislocated skits but instead this cohesive, stylish, funny film made me feel something far beyond what I ever expected. Both Bond and Borat are peculiarly British cartoon inventions but where as Bond has become another victim of the New British Laddist Movement sinking in the quicksand of postmodern reality Borat turns out to be the most unlikely hero of them all.

11:40 AM

November 29, 2006 – Wednesday

Arrested

It was a very, very chilly morning. I wore my woolen hat with the hood from my red hoody pulled over my head. The wind whipped through the Canyon; thankfully the rain from yesterday had dampened the paths so there was no dust whipped into my face. I took long fierce strides. I was furious. Furious about Michael, furious about my film, furious!

At the summit I looked down over the wind-swept city and did not feel so bad. I kept on begging God to give me a sign that would make things better. A sign that would solve the various problems that now inhabited my beleaguered head. Some sort of sign that would show me the way toward repairing my tattered sense of well-being.

I repaired the damage I caused at The Chateau. I apologized to the general manager for causing him to have to take such drastic action. He was so sweet. For any of us who are lucky enough to have the sort of relationship that I do with perhaps the most civilized environment in LA we have to take our commitment very seriously. If it weren’t for delightful times had at that charming place I would have left LA many, many months ago.

The police called to tell me that they had arrested the boy who’d stolen my laptop so I had to attend an interview at Wilcox LAPD. The detectives that interviewed me were, yet again, courteous, attentive and professional. They recovered my laptop but it is damaged so I will have to have the information removed from it professionally. I felt sorry for the guy who stole it, sitting in his cell, unlikely to get bail.

I dashed home to:

Cook ox tail for my Steven Fry dinner. He was on sparkling form. Joe made a great sidekick for him to entertain us all with one masterfully told anecdote after another. I really had no idea that S Fry was such a great mimic. Michael (the emotional vampire) did not say one word throughout dinner. He sat there listening and eating tofu. Eric was just beautiful. Eric’s boy friend was very quiet and a bit overwhelmed. Dan Scheffy from New York: very sweet. Merle Ginsberg was a sad no-show.

4:02 PM

November 27, 2006 – Monday

Yesterday

It is raining. Raining. Beautiful Elliot arrived from Sydney and tormented me with his perfection-he stayed twelve hours then left for Colorado to work as a ski lift operator.

It is very strange living with Michael in my flat. I have known him for so many years in so many different situations. Even though he is a delightful friend he has so many annoying habits. He repeats words one after another in curious voices. He compares situations we find ourselves in to films he has seen. Michael speaks with his mouth full of breakfast and showers me with scrambled egg. We spent the day exploring LA in the car. Silverlake, Los Felis, Down Town.

I thought that we should drive through the rain to Santa Barbara. We went to the Chateau for dinner but when I got there the charming security man took me to one side and told me that I had to leave. Shockingly, I have been banned from the Chateau Marmont for writing this blog so I have had to set my blog to private until further notice. Earlier in the day, at the Farmers Market, on Beverly I bumped into my AA sponsor but he was behaving very oddly. I am really looking forward to getting away. Going to Sydney. Finding my serenity. Of course it does not matter what I lose or what is taken away from me. I believe in my higher power and therefore everything will be OK. It always is.

8:30 AM

November 26, 2006 – Sunday

Michael Temple

The Canyon. Homeless people live there at night. Once the gates close at sunset they must emerge from secret paths. Occasionally one hears them screaming out. Screaming their truth. From where I live, at night, I see helicopters scouring the brush for them. Hovering noisily over the Canyon with powerful lights beaming, searching, and sweeping the contours of the canyon for the homeless.

This morning a tatty black man with a moth-eaten white beard was petting a tiny black pug owned by a very chic Asian woman. She called out its name. The dog ignored her and licked the homeless man’s fingers. Worlds converged, I watched her anxiously look at her dog and the homeless man. She knew that this old man wasn’t going to harm either her or her dog. We train ourselves to ignore the poor. I ignore their pleas for money, for food, for shelter. The dog/child knew nothing. No amount of training could make a dog differentiate between his kindness or hers. Asian woman had to acknowledged that she shared her world with homeless black man.

Further up the Canyon angry black woman from last week was screaming at her Husky called Runner. Screaming. The husky looked bewildered. I asked her if her dog was deaf. She said no. I asked if it might not be a good idea to put her dog on a lead then train it to accept commands. Angry black woman was outraged. I said, “You know that I am speaking the truth. I am telling you quietly and politely.” She tried to laugh at me as if I was an idiot but the truth was indisputable. “Nobody wants to listen to you screaming.”

I climbed the mountain with Michael Temple who arrived from London yesterday. We had dinner at Taste with Benjamin, Joe and Richard Squire. The food was OK. Richard was very funny but looks washed out. He reminds me of those medieval drawings of the Plantagenet’s. Thin features and flaxen bangs covering his ears. Richard fascinates Michael; he can’t understand how he survives. Nobody really understands. Michael asked a million questions about Richard. Like an alien he might have chanced upon.

Yesterday was spent mostly at home reading and writing.

I thought about Zoë in Whitstable, the mad woman with the red hair who lives on Harbor Street. Michael met me in her basement when I was 7 years old. What was it about her that made me feel like she was where I belonged? Her shop was opposite the Harbor gates and called Napoleon Bonaparte’s 101st Lucretia Borgia. It smelt of bees-wax polish, wood smoke and the harbor. It must have been winter when I first discovered her. It must have been a bright winters day. Perhaps it was snowing. There were kittens in the basement and I sat by the fire on brown leather, Victorian sofas rupturing their horsehair innards. In the shop there were two huge pieces of Victorian furniture and a chandelier. Everything was painted white except the soot licked onto the chimney breast.

Why was I drawn to her? Drawn to Richard Squire. Drawn away from my family? I have a framed picture of me on my desktop. I am seven years old. The harbor is a long way from where we lived.

Too much remembering.

I have been having very vivid dreams. Last night I found myself in bed with Brad Pitt and some woman. I have never ever thought of him like that. It was so..real. I blush just thinking about it. As we were having sex I thought to myself in the dream, “How will I ever write about this in my blog without pissing him off?”

9:19 AM

November 24, 2006 – Friday

Thanks Giving

The Canyon was really chilly and bright this morning. I had to wear a hat, sweat shirt, tee-shirt and long sweats so that my knees didn’t get cold. I think that I may fire up the boiler and burn off all the dust.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving which means nothing at all to a Brit like me. Turkey, buckles and puritans. To celebrate this greatest of all American holidays Dom, Hillary, John and his girlfriend and I ate Thanksgiving lunch at some second-rate restaurant in a huge Shopping Mall called The Grove.

The food was inedible and I could have fed everyone there for half of what it cost me personally. It really annoys me to have to spend good money on bad food. What is the fucking point when one can cook great food effortlessly and cheaply? I should have stayed at John Wolf’s and eaten with the Palladino’s but I felt OBLIGED to eat with Dom. I hate feeling OBLIGED! In fact I hate holidays.

The morning started well enough: Hillary and I walked the Canyon straight up the hard way. I then drove around in search of an AA meeting as the one I wanted to go to was not available to me. Unable to find anywhere convenient I ended up at The Coffee Bean on Sunset where, amazingly, I had an impromptu AA meeting by the fire pit with other grateful recovering addicts who had also discovered that none of the usual venues were open for the holiday. I felt a bit weird holding hands and saying the serenity prayer in public. Apart from our little group holding hands there were ten other people drinking morning coffee at the Coffee Bean on Sunset including Paris Latsis and one of the Baldwin brothers who was playing backgammon in an outfit that could only be described as caramel.

Even though the eating part of our lunch was ghastly I am very fond of Dom so enjoyed talking about OJ Simpson, Netflix, dark meat versus white meat and the guy who plays Kramer on Seinfeld losing his temper on stage at the Laugh Factory and calling talkative black audience members ‘niggers’. Kramer then lamented the passing of lynching ‘niggers’. The Jews and the Blacks have always had difficulties with each other. Why?

After lunch I fled to the security of Beverly Hills and the huge house of Anastasia the Romanian eyebrow lady who was throwing a party with Merle Ginsberg’s sister. The house that eyebrows built nestled serenely in the most beautiful part of Beverly Hills. It was a delightful party with excellent food. I stuck my fingers down my throat, vomited up the lunch I had just eaten and started all over again. No I didn’t. I didn’t vomit but I did eat a second HUGE lunch, which I forced down my throat. It was SUPERB. Merle was on sparkling form. She introduced me to her gay friend who wrote Prêt e Porter for Altman who died yesterday. Look, we are all allowed to make at least one bad film and that was Altman’s. SORRY, but it’s true. I rather liked her sullen gay friend but he had one of those faces that looks as if he has just tasted something very, very sour. I call it ‘gay face’.

I cannot get enough of Merle. Her boyfriend was there who I met in the plane on the way to Sandy Pitman’s party. He looked completely different as he was not dressed as an Arab. I met Anastasia’s Romanian family who were adorable and thrilled that I had been to Constanza where they come from on the Black Sea. I met other friends of hers from Bucharest who knew all about the Elizabeth Hurley scandal. I met one beautiful girl who is a series regular on Nip Tuck who had seen The Method and knew my entire name. Ended the evening talking more to gay face and an Internet gossip woman who tried to pump me for information about who was gay in Hollywood, as if I would know anything more than her. To the amusement of the others I turned the tables and grilled her about her love life. As it turned out this dried up old harridan had no sex life at all and when she did confined it to missionary position with one person. Vicarious sex lives are the worst sex lives of all.

I left Beverly Hills at 7.30 and joined Ian Drew at a very odd little party in Larchmont. There was no traffic so getting around LA was very quick and easy. You could understand how convenient it must have been here once upon a time for drivers. Anyway, Ian was sitting with seven women, six miniature dogs and some silent designer who looked like that freak from the band Sparks in the 1970’s. I ate more pumpkin pie and offered to start a food fight but the woman who owned the house looked a little shocked. I did my favorite comedy party trick and put one of the tiny dogs into the microwave. I did not press the button although I was tempted.

Home and in bed by 11.

10:00 AM

November 22, 2006 – Wednesday

dog/child

The canyon was virtually empty this morning as most people were packing or heading off on their Thanksgiving holidays. There were two scrapping dogs brawling in the dust. Their lesbian owners did almost nothing to separate them. Like Clare Staples who has a Great Dane most of them think that these creatures are their children and rather than pulling them apart like animals the lesbians were ‘negotiating’ with them.

Meet Princess the four-legged dog/child that can be locked in the house for ten hours a day and eats its own shit. Taking a dog out for an hour each morning then locking them up in an apartment all day is frankly cruel. At least when CS brings her child/dog to LA she has bought it a huge dog run but most people who live here are just not that lucky. The same screwed thinking that makes ‘animal lovers’ imprison their dogs in tiny apartments with an hours exercise a day also makes them believe that eating a salad with a huge meal makes the meal healthier. As if eating lettuce cancels out all the damage a massive plate of pasta is doing to them before they haul their fat asses into their cars, up elevators or the path of least resistance.

I love Runyon Canyon, this morning it was quite chilly and grey. Silent. Green finches chasing each other. I always head up there feeling angry and resentful and return feeling peaceful and creative. If I don’t work out my resentments on the side of that mountain I work them out here in this blog.

Yesterday I ran errands, met Benjamin in the morning. We ate an early lunch and drank coffee in various locations all over town. I went to Silverlake to look at the house. I wish some one would buy it so that I could stop thinking about it.

Jesse Metcalf called in the afternoon, a young actor I have not seen for ages. For reasons known only to himself he wanted to swing by the apartment. He arrived with another short, good-looking 22-year-old ‘actor/producer’. I sat on my sofa wondering what the fuck they wanted. Apparently they wanted to meet me.

Flirtatious, dangerous straight boys in my house. They knew Bryan Singer, Joel S and Bill Condon and now they knew me. I had invited Aleksa’s family for dinner so I was sitting in my apron and tending the oven as they told me all about their huge projects. Jesses’s sister is called Mindy and I think may be the wrestler who lives next door to Sharon.

At 7.30 the boys were still there and invited themselves to dinner. I fed ten people easily as I had massively over bought thinking that I could make enough for lunch today. Aleksa’s grandmother and grandfather Tony Palladino are amazing and I can only hope that if I ever make it to their age I will be as vibrant. Tony is the artist who created the Psycho logo for Hitchcock.

By 11 they were all gone so I went to bed. Getting tired of sleeping on my own. I want to fall in love.

10:24 AM

November 21, 2006 – Tuesday

Lap Top Stolen

The top of the Canyon was obscured by thick, low-lying cloud. Met Glen Williamson and his new puppy. I hauled my ass up the hard way. The later one climbs the more screamers there are.

I’ve not written anything for three days. Such drama! Whilst I was having lunch, on Friday, with Merle Ginsberg in Beverly Hills somebody came into my house, pushed my maid and stole my laptop from my desk. Later that day the thief called me on my mobile phone demanding $2,000 to be put into a bank account. I can’t write anything more until the police have dealt with it. Thankfully, I learned many years ago to back everything up. Nothing vitally important has been lost. Most of my really important day-to-day information is stored on my Blackberry. Photographs will have to be reloaded but what the hell. I was more annoyed that my maid was reduced to tears. Poor thing, when I got home she was standing in the kitchen twisting her handkerchief in her hand, her face wet with tears. “Mister, a man came”. She sobbed.

The police were wonderful, really prompt and polite and interested. The two detectives were so different from British police who really don’t seem to give a damn. It was very impressive.

I had to somehow forget about the missing laptop and concentrate on feeding 12 people who were invited for dinner. Merle Ginsberg, Sharon Swart, Hilary Carver, Julie Delphy and her German boy friend, Marilyn Heston, Loren Beck, Aleksa and Devon for lamb and roasted beets which were DELICIOUS. Joe, Ian Drew (plus three) and Dom arrived after dinner with pudding and eggnog.

It was a remarkable success.

The following day I went to AA meeting then took Joe Townley to Brentwood for breakfast. Maury looked very busy. Met Sharon after breakfast but I was in shock about my lap top and unable to communicate effectively. We drove to Burbank in the truck and bought rugs at Ikea. I felt introspective. SS didn’t like me being so quiet so I went home and napped. We have not spoken since.

On Sunday I got up early and instead of my hike I went to the Hollywood farmers market where I bought more flowers. I saw KD Lang buying groceries. I then drove that huge truck to AA meeting in West Hollywood. An hour later, feeling very good about life I headed to the Grove to buy a new laptop at Apple. It took two hours but it was worth it. Met Dom at Barney’s where I bumped into Brian Ferry and his young wife. He looked great, she looks like Lucy. Dom insisted that we eat lunch in a nasty Beverly Hills diner. Why? Dom tried to convince me that he is on some sort of frugality drive which means that we have to eat at a cheap, ghastly diner. In fact he is spending all of his money taking JT to the Barbra Streisand Concert. He is obsessed with JT.

Buying chocolate in the chocolate store on Canon Dom and I saw a young Ethiopian girl with a pair of false red pumped lips like you some times see on celebrities here. At first we thought that they were real and dashed out of the store for a closer look but the girl took them off and Dom and I screamed how wonderful the false lips were and how much she looked like the “Dreadful Jocelyn Wildenstein”. “Yes! Oh my God how much like the dreadful ‘Bride of Wildenstein’ you look”. Dom chimed in. “That Wildenstein monster!” And, as if by some ghastly say it three times magic we noticed, sitting, eating a light lunch out side, not ten paces away was Jocelyn Wildenstein no longer enjoying a quiet bite whilst she listened to a morbidly obese queen and his svelte friend screaming about how vile she was. When we realized our catastrophic faux pas Dom just ran up the street. There is nothing more heartening than watching a fat man running.

On Sunday night I met my new neighbor and hung out at my place.

Yesterday had tea with S Fry at Chateau. Introduced him to Joe. Of course they got on like a house on fire. S Fry really loves Dorian. He looked a bit disheveled. Talked more about the Dam Busters.

Dinner, where else but the Chateau, with my friend Richard and others. Saw Michael Bellisario. Clare Staples joined our table briefly but after telling us that she had just spent 6 million dollars on her new house and that she only came down from her room because she thought that I was Duncan from the boy band Blue I lost interest in her. She wonders why she is single? Most probably because she has grown a cock and bathes in testosterone every night.

Don’t worry love, you’re buying a 6 million dollar house and you live in LA, you won’t be single for long.

.3:22 PM

November 17, 2006 – Friday

Carine Roitfeld, Robbie Williams, Claire Danes

It is 8.30am. I just got back from my walk. It was far too late to find any serenity up there on the mountain, there were far too many chattering people. I stopped three times to speak with people I know. On the way down I slipped on the steep path-it was the first time. I wouldn’t want to break my hip, not here in America where nobody gives a shit.

I am driving a huge pick up truck. Somebody mentioned yesterday that the truck must make me feel more powerful. How could a truck make a man feel more powerful? I hired it to haul stuff back from Bonham’s. This apartment needs fresh flowers. The cleaner is in today; as usual she will be here for hours and not really achieve anything. I am going to be here too. I want to see what she does.

Yesterday morning Hillary came over at 7am. We hiked the huge Runyon path that stretches over three peaks. At the summit we met a Texan called Joe who makes ties for dogs. He was quite odd but worth investigation. At the gate we bumped into Julia Verdin who, for the first time, seemed genuinely pleased to see me. Perhaps I was deluded from the exhausting walk but I felt unusual warmth from her. Hillary cooked breakfast (eggs and bacon) then we drove to the Barney’s one-day only sale, which was crap. I felt bereft leaving that place empty-handed. In search of more breakfast we drove west to Maury’s City Bakery in Brentwood and ate bagel croissants and fruit salad with ginger yogurt. However, I was feeling very peculiar. Not ill but not well. On the way home I fell into a deep sleep in Hillary’s car. When she dropped me off I felt even odder. Out of sorts. Miserable.

I spent most of yesterday in bed critically unable to do anything. Spoke to sponsor who told me that taking a day off is fine, but lets face it: I have been taking ‘days off’ for twenty years. I knew that the feeling would pass and when I tried to work out why I was feeling so odd I kept on thinking about my grandmother. All of that stuff I wrote about her yesterday. Perhaps she died? I lay in bed. I tried to eat but I couldn’t. All day I suffered sudden flash backs to obscure moments in my life. Most alarmingly I vividly remembered fetching the milk from the farm-yard when I was at Shotton Hall School. Lugging churns of milk from the farm, freezing before sun rise, into the Land Rover. It set off a chain reaction of odd memories. Shotton memories ending with that fateful kiss with Linda the member of staff who was subsequently fired for her ‘unprofessional’ involvement with me.

At about 8 last night Arrick called, persuaded me out of my bed and took me to the101 for Thursday night fried chicken special. He was playing Baby Face in the car and I realised that all Baby Face does is yodel. All any of those singers do is yodel. Beyonce yodels. Listened to him yodel through a Beatles song. He dropped me off at 10. I sat wrapped up on the sofa watching gratifying home decoration programmes until midnight then went to bed. I slept well.

The day before was great. I had lunch with Amanda R at the Chateau. I adore her. She is such a chic, intelligent, funny, charming woman. We ate chicken salad. Sat next to Jason Resnick from Focus who told me that I had lost weight. The beard is such a great way to fool people into thinking you have lost weight. He mentioned that he had seen Sharon making out with some guy at the New Yorker party the previous evening. That guy, of course, was me. “I thought that you were gay”. He said. “If only it were that fucking simple”. I smiled. Somebody sent a picture to Sharon of us making out at the AFI party. We have become a very public couple.

Amanda was wearing a pair of bottle green suede boots that Rogier Vivier gave her.

That night I had dinner at The Chateau M met the utterly charming, handsome Stavros Nicharos, Carine Roitfeld (editor of French Vogue). Dinner with Marilyn Heston, Ian Drew, saw Robbie Williams, Claire Danes, Hugh D’Ancy and others. We love Carine. Ian kept reminding me that, amazingly, Carine R is 51 years old. She looks, in candle light, like a 19 year old girl. I felt great wearing my burgundy silk velvet D&G jacket, Dior pants, and some slim navy Todd’s. Claire Danes found everything Hugh said very, very funny. I don’t remember him being THAT funny. Interestingly, Doug Christmas had not mentioned our fight to Marilyn Heston. I gleefully told her the nasty Doug Christmas story, as a consequence she may think twice about doing business with him in the future. Am I being vindictive?

9:22 AM

November 15, 2006 – Wednesday

Grand Mother

So hot today, already, at 8am. I feel delicate this morning, fragile even. My skin is uncomfortable on my fingers. Pins and needles. I remember my grand mother saying ‘pins and needles’. ‘Suck it and see’ was another one of hers. I don’t suppose that I will ever see her alive again. I don’t want to see her. She is in her assisted living room in Herne Bay, stuffing food into her mouth that she can’t swallow. My grand mother is 96. I would like to say something to her. I would like to apologise. I just can’t seem to forgive my grand mother or my mother. I try to, God help me, I try to forgive them but I can’t. So, the last time I saw my Mother and Grand Mother was on Island Wall in Whitstable near the first cottage I owned. Nana was in her wheelchair. I kissed her. She had some food on her chin from the lunch she just ate. I am sitting here trying to forgive her.

I remember visiting her at her neat, seaside, semi-detached house in Herne Bay when I was a child. She had orange curtains in the spare room where I slept decorated with black reeds. I liked when the sun would shine onto them as everything in that room would have a warm orange glow. Before she went to bed she would lay the table for breakfast so that if I woke before her I would sit in the dining room quietly, the room smelling of sweet apples. Little boy delighted by the expectation of breakfast. The curtains drawn. I loved that house. I liked that the back garden was ordered, the lawn closely cut. In the wooden water-butt I could pick at mosquito larvae that wriggled in the black water.

When I stayed with her I especially liked taking the bus on adventures to Reculver, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. I liked falling asleep in her lap. I liked the sharp smell of vinegar on fish and chips. I liked the junket she made with nutmeg.

Does she remember what joy she gave me when I was little? She is well looked after by my Mother who is a good daughter and Grand Mother herself.

I don’t really have much to do with my family nor they me. Without family that I can trust suits me fine. I no longer feel isolated. I do not expect anything different nowadays. I used to think about that man who shot those children in Scotland. I thought about how much pain he was in to do that, how fraught and bitter he must have been. Then I think about those school children that shoot guns at school killing teachers and other pupils. They are always described as being ‘alone’. He was a ‘loner’, but to be a loner you have to be ignored, shunned, misunderstood. It takes two. The people of the Scottish town did nothing to reach out to the man who shot their children before he shot them. They almost certainly mocked the lonely old man. The children who took guns into their school were mocked for their individuality. The Muslims feel powerless so gang together and vent their frustration. Do I feel alone? Thankfully I have God, a God of my understanding. I am never alone.

I have been so angry in the past. I am getting too old to be angry like a young man.

Yesterday I had lunch with Mickey Cottrell at Musso and Frank. I spent the afternoon at home. Bettina’s party on Melrose for The New Yorker was OK although I did not see the point of it. The goody bag had water in it. Goody. Sharon swung by to see me, kiss me. She had 12 pages to write so I met Joe and Dom for a late dinner. We ate at the ghastly Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Beverly Hills. This was my second experience at this terrible place. We had the worst table sat by the work station and the waiter had all the charm of a squid. The curried short ribs were disgusting. The chocolate soufflé was almost inedible. The only thing worth complimenting were the water glasses, which are very beautiful. Thankfully I did not pay. Dom and Joe quizzed me about my burgeoning relationship with Sharon. Of course I am just as baffled as they are but I really like her, being with her. Connected.

8:55 AM

November 14, 2006 – Tuesday

Scruffy

7am. Yet again I missed the dwarves. I listened for her screaming but I could not hear her. The usually blue LA sky full of towering silver clouds. Down town the fragile skyscrapers are scraping the sky. I passed the elderly Russians with the baby and a photograph of Scruffy with LOST written under his name, pinned to a fence. Last week I was asked by his owners if I had seen him. Scruffy, I fear, has gone forever.

I took the steep path and sat at the top of the Canyon for a moment wondering about the world and how the west was ‘wooing’ Iran with stern words to help them get out of Iraq. “You’d better help us Iran or you’re going to be in very hot water!” Said Tony Blair wagging his finger (tail) at the bemused Iranian president. This entire situation would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. Before I set off on my walk I looked at pictures of all the British men and women who had lost their young lives in Iraq. I thought about the wounded with missing limbs or faces or minds. I thought about the vanity of my Prime Minister and his cabinet. I remembered my faithful to Queen and country military friends telling me with absolute conviction that going to Iraq and finding weapons of mass destruction was essential. Why are the British so involved with the US? What in God’s good name is in it for us? On the day that the Democrats were elected and the Republicans started planning their withdrawal from Iraq it was announced by the head of MI5 in London that they had uncovered many (300) deadly Muslim terrorist plots. Do the Brits believe this? I don’t think so. Most of them, us, don’t know where to turn in a country that has two effectively identical political parties. Where the police now roam the streets with sub machine guns and the truth is vanished. Like Scruffy, Tony Blair (another cherished lap dog) is lost in the wilderness. What can we do?

Had breakfast with Joe T. He looks great and is doing well. Joe Moller came over in the afternoon to talk about putting together our Dorian happening. Stephen Fry very kindly saw Dorian and said, “It has all the poisonous wickedness one simultaneously dreads and adores in the original and in the Huysmans originals.”

I stayed close to the house all day. Writing, making calls and tidying my desk. Bills needed to be paid and calls needed to be made.

Several people have written asking about my issue with Doug Christmas. Doug owns three galleries in LA called ACE; the publicist Bettina Kourec, with a view to using one of his venues to show Dorian as an installation, introduced him to me. She warned me ahead of time that he did not have a very good reputation or pay his bills but I took the meeting and he asked for a copy of the film, which I gave him. Two weeks later when we asked for the film to be returned he refused, for reasons known only to himself. He a vile crooked man who could have quite simply avoided all of this nonsense by returning our DVD. Instead, he chose to pick a fight. Sadly, he chose the wrong man to pick a fight with.

Aleksa cooked a delicious dinner last night of chicken and red peppers. After dinner Devon pointed up at the window of the apartment block opposite where the female Latvian Dwarf stands like a mad woman in a play. She is up there every night staring out of her apartment. When she is not at day care with her husband, she is screaming at him in her floral house-coat. Then, when the sun sets, she stands motionless, framed in her window staring, waiting for dawn.

11:12 AM

November 13, 2006 – Monday

Harry Bellefonte

Monday morning. The weekend was long and eventful. I did not climb the Canyon on Saturday or Sunday. This morning I woke at 6am, pulled on my shorts and thick tee shirt and began my walk. No dwarves, no screamers. I was so deep in thought I did not notice the view nor did I count the dogs. I was thinking about what I had, what I needed, what I wanted. I was thinking about Whitstable and how much I love it there. I was thinking about my friends and the cottage where I used to live. I was thinking about the over 60’s centre.

The weekend began last Friday lunch time, Tiffany and I went to Orian’s spanish 1920’s apartment in West Hollywood and saw a good chunk of his new film Control, which is about that guy Ian Curtis from Joy Division who killed himself. Directed by Anton Corbin, it looks great. After looking at some of the film the three of us had a very long lunch at the Chateau M. When I arrived Steven Fry bellowed my name out over the garden. Discussed Venus with Geoffrey Rush who did a sparkling impression of Leslie Phillips playing Falstaff at the RSC. Hamish McAlpine and his partner Carol were eating lunch at the table beside us, they are great friends of Sharon’s. It was Veteran’s day so the poor dear at the desk had to spend the entire afternoon turning away ghastly looking civilians. However, one table of vulgar interlopers who would never usually be welcome in our little garden paradise had managed to get past him. They were pointing, staring at celebrities. The staff responded by ignoring them completely. Even though the civilians were bothering us like bears in a bee hive, we had a very jolly lunch that lasted well into the afternoon.

Bought groceries at Wholefoods and started cooking for Tiffany, Sharon, Houston, the Palladino’s and BIG MISTAKE my shallow gay neighbour and his ghastly friend. The gays giggled and made snide comments and one of them scarcely knew how to pick up a knife and fork. How can you be gay and not even know how to eat properly? I made it quite difficult for them to stay so they left before the pudding. Cooked sweet potato and sprouts, which I par boiled then threw into hot olive oil until the edges were singed like bubble and squeak. Chicken baked in red wine and bay leaves.

The following morning I went to my men’s AA meeting in Westwood and afterwards had breakfast with Loren at the City Bakery. The caramelised French toast and bagel croissants are food dreams are made of. After breakfast we went to the Peterson Museum where Bonham’s were having a Steve McQueen auction. We were just in time to see a pair of Persol Sunglasses that SM might have worn sell for $70,000.

When we left the auction Loren and I headed to the bunch of small galleries situated there on Wilshire near the Peterson. I wanted to take one last look at the Hockney Photo Montage at Paul Kopeikins gallery before SG bought it. We were in the back of the gallery with Paul when who should walk in? None other than the beastly Doug Christmas! “Why, it’s my old friend Doug Christmas.” I said. You should have seen his face, even with all that ‘work’ it visibly sagged. His mouth fixed into a terrible leer. He flushed the colour of fresh liver spots. Doug hastily made his way out of Paul’s gallery and, rather foolishly, into the one next door. I said, “God’s punishing you for being so dishonest.” The gallerist sitting at the desk suddenly took notice. Now, it may come as no surprise to any of you but I love an audience and this one was rather more receptive than I could possibly have imagined. I suddenly and unwittingly became Doug Christmas’s very own nemesis. I followed this sprightly senior around the various galleries whilst asking him loudly when he was going to return my property. By the time I had hounded the old fart into the car park I noticed that all of the gallerists from the various galleries were watching and listening to us from a safe distance.

Doug, rather pathetically, tried to physically intimidate me but I am a little too tall and he was a little too old to do anything other than sneer at me from very close quarters. Knowing that I had extremely bad coffee breath all I had to do was breath hard into his wrinkles. He recoiled, called me an ass hole, told me how rich he was then climbed into his car and shot off. When I went back into the car park to collect Loren all of the gallery owners came out and congratulated me for confronting him. It felt like that moment at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz when the munchkins climb out of the bushes to congratulate Dorothy for killing the witch. All of the little munchkin gallerists had stories to tell about Doug Christmas ripping them off. It was a triumphant moment.

On Saturday night Sharon and I went to Paul Allen’s house for supper with Harry Bellefonte. Dianne Carole in attendance, she has big hair and a bigger diamond. Harry told interesting stories about being a communist here in Hollywood in the 1950’s and recently meeting Chavez. He speaks very slowly and quietly. Burned my tongue on something wrapped in filo pastry.

The Fountain prem party was ok but the film is not very well-respected and one gets the feeling that everyone was just going through the motions of having the ball and congratulating the Dauphine. Had a long chat with Rachel Weisz who is a great friend of Phil’s and Daisy Coburn’s. “Are you enjoying being a star?” I asked. She looked momentarily pained as if I had said something cruel. It cannot be easy for Rachel to do this Hollywood nonsense. She is an intelligent woman. She told me to send love to Phil and Daisy and I kissed her warmly and waved good-bye.

On Sunday I headed over to West Hollywood AA meeting. There was a mad person listening to his personal stereo. Went to Sunset sale where I saw and ignored Peter D who, I notice, now has a long scaley tail! Had breakfast with Dom and Hillary and Dom’s friend Keith at 101. When Hillary left we went to see Volver at The Arclight, which we all loved. Penelope Cruz looking like Gina Lollobrigida, playing brilliantly in her own language.

AA meeting at Cedars then dinner then coffee on Santa Monica Blvd then I crawled into bed tired but happy.

There are very strange reports in the newspapers that the USA are to begin talks with Syria and Iran about the future of Iraq. Can this be true?

1:27 PM

November 10, 2006 – Friday

Graham Nash

I stayed in bed well after my 6am alarm. By the time I started my walk it was 8.30. This morning I lay in bed paying bills on-line and looking at pornography. I answered e-mails then hauled myself out of bed, into my shorts and onto the street. The Canyon was quite eventful, bumped into David Thomas and his boyfriend. Then, hard on David’s heels, I bumped into the Peters (D&K), Peter D scuttled past me like a reptile but dear, sweet Peter K gave me a big hug. That man is a class act.

A dorky straight couple held up a picture of a nondescript dog, “Have you seen our dog Scruffy?” The plump male one whined. “We have lost our dog, Scruffy”. The female warbled out Scruffy’s name. If I were Scruffy I would be in some kind of witness protection programme, living in Florida.

Last night I went to the Angel Food Project hosted by CAA. Brian Lord and Kevin Huvane doing good works for the local community. Robert Downey Jr., Adrian Brody were there to add a certain Hollywood pizzazz to the mixture of worthy, suited agents clustered around Brian and eager art dealers there to get the best prices for their clients work. Jason Weinberg is a strange man, he seemed pleased to see me then started critiquing my outfit. I was wearing a Bridget Riley inspired tie. The games people play.

My favourite part of the evening was seeing the despicable Doug Christmas not two days after he had been so rude to me. He was standing with Marilyn Heston. I towered over him showering praise on Mrs Heston, chatting about our friends and imminent dinner. Doug tried to make some sort of amusing comment about me but neither Marilyn or I took any notice, Doug’s chicklet teeth framed in a desperate smile.

The auctioneer was a young female New Yorker who quipped all the way though the auction. Although she was very amusing after ten lots her shrill humour grated on me and she took a very long time to get through the 30 lots on sale. Many people left the auditorium before the end. All of the lots sold for well above the reserve except Peter D’s vile friend Konstantine whose ghastly ‘mural’ did not sell at all. They raised a great deal of money for a very worthy cause. I bid on the Philip Taaffee and a particularly beautiful Elliott Hundley.

Everyone from Christie’s very excited about last weeks extraordinary Klimpt prices.

Had dinner with Loren Beck at Wolfgang Puck’s overblown new restaurant in the Four Seasons hotel on Wilshire. Richard Meier, the guy who designed the interior, blatantly drawing on the work of Schindler. All those obvious details, skimpy false buttresses, pale wood elevations. The furniture was terrible; the tables too large, the office type chairs skidding around on casters. The place is simply too austere for my taste. Too much space. Space is not a luxury in LA. The restaurant would have been perfect in New York. We need intimacy and proximity here in this sprawling city. The staff, dressed like prison wardens added to the needlessly oppressive atmosphere. Our waiter was particularly charm less and more interested in flirting with two women on a nearby table. Before our order was taken the suited meat man arrived with a tray of Kobi beef which he introduced to us like his new-born baby. For only $200 a marbled slice it looked as if it could clog your arteries with just one bite. Rather put off by the beef demonstration we ordered a mixture of starters: tongue, beef sashimi, asparagus, and beef tartar. Oddly, Warren Beatty was in the hotel bar looking less leonine than usual, he was drinking with a pretty blond woman.

I spent the greater part of yesterday trying to hunt down curtain rings for the black curtain rods in my sitting room. Needless to say the most obvious places failed me. Ended up in a haberdashery on Labrea about five blocks from where I live.

The previous day I had lunch in Westwood with Paris L and Terry his business partner then hung out with Maury at City bakery. Got home just in time to pull on a suit and drive over to meet Sharon at the Environmental Media Awards where we celebrated outstanding achievement within the Entertainment and Environmental Communities. Bullshit. It was a Lexus event to promote the Prius electric car. Anyway, I met Graham Nash from Crosby Still Nash and Young who is my total hero. I asked about Joni Mitchell. He said, “Joni’s recording an album, she’s angry, really angry”.

Met the boys from Maroon 5 (?)

After the awards Sharon and I were given two huge bags, which we filled with organic produce. There was a man dressed as a cow promoting soy products. We had a lovely time but she went home on her own. As I stood in the line for my car the cow introduced himself to me and we had a coffee together.

I have been spending more time over in Silverlake. On my own, eating breakfast at the little bakery on Silverlake Blvd. Checking it all out. I sat in what would have been my garden on Dillon. Shall I sell Whitstable? Where am I?

11:32 AM

November 8, 2006 – Wednesday

Stephen Fry

It is unseasonably warm. At dinner last night there was more chatter about it being ‘earthquake weather’. Anything unusual with the weather, anything unseasonable is described as ‘earthquake weather’ here in Los Angeles. I have never experienced an earthquake. I do not own an earthquake survival kit. Of course I am aware that keeping my very expensive, hand blown glasses that I bought at Gump ten years ago on an open shelf is frankly ludicrous. Sometimes I lay in my bed and wonder if John and Susan’s bed from the apartment above will come crashing down on top of me when the earthquake finally hits.

The Canyon. Wednesday. 34 dogs. No shouting, no odd behaviour. The view was wonderful. Somewhere in the east there was a smoking chimney. Unusually the smoke was held like a fat flat frying pan around the building, a slim tail drifting onto the horizon. Everything, this morning, looked very calm. Placid. The hills and valleys spread out below me like a magical kingdom. I could not make out anything ambitious, wilful, cruel or selfish from up there on the side of that canyon. I could not hear the jubilant conversations Democrats were having as they celebrated their election victory. I could not see the young homeless woman in the wheel chair that begs on the corner of Hollywood and Vine or the dancing black woman who stands there too. Dancing all day like a Masai warrior, stamping her big black feet on the ground, her mini skirt rising up almost in slow motion as her body twists and turns on the corner of that grimy intersection, listening to music that plays from something she is holding in her hand. All I could make out was the sprawl of humanity.

Monday, went to two AA meetings. Met Sharon on the roof of the Arclight Cinema parking structure, which the AFI had transformed into an amazing party/reception area. Ate curried chicken.

Yesterday I had breakfast at the Chateau M with Stephen Fry. This was the first time since we met two years ago that I did not sit opposite him feeling like I was no more than a well dressed baboon. When he took me to the Garrick I was completely overwhelmed, my long hairy arms negotiating the condiments, my orange fur matted with kedgeree, my huge monkey face full of huge monkey teeth, my black beady eyes gazing around the recently decorated room. When we met in New York and had dinner with Barry Humphries after The Dame Edna show on Broadway I was less embarrassed but kept quiet. I felt more evolved. Yesterday all of my digits felt like they were the right human size. I could understand every word he said and even made him laugh. I ate porridge he ate muesli. He is here in LA writing The Damn Busters for Peter Jackson. We discussed Blair and how Iraq will be cut into his dead heart as Calais was on Mary Queen of Scott’s. We both agreed that if it had not been for Iraq Blair would have left office one of the most important British leaders of all time. SF used to write speeches for TB.

We discussed bi-polarity, AIDS and a film that he wants to make about an obscure Indian mathematician. It was wonderful to see him. He is a very kind man who, I am sure, struggles with his genius.

After breakfast I drove to the DMV off of Willoughby and passed my driving test. I am now the very proud owner of a Californian driving licence. Hurrah.

I had lunch with Clifton in Beverly Hills and bought another pair of shoes. I have since made an agreement with my AA sponsor that I cannot spend any more money. I am out of control. It is so destructive. Bought tickets for Australia. Have to go to NYC for a week in December.

The afternoon was spent listlessly trying to tie up loose ends. Tried getting back my DVD from Doug Christmas who is a nightmare of a human being.

Dinner at the Chateau with MR turned into a bit of a fiasco when he overslept and I was left table-hopping, which can sometimes be fun, but all I really wanted to do was hang out with Sharon. Saw Diego Luna who I am having breakfast with this Thursday. Saw Steve Garbarino who showed me the mock-up for the edition of Blackbook that I am in. It looks fantastic. He was dining with Chloe Sevigny.

Finally called Sharon who was over on Formosa with delightful friends who had prepared delicious feast of tender beef and roast vegetables. They were all a bit drunk and high on the fact that AFM had ended, their AFM ’06 war stories were very funny though. One of the buyers was shown a live action dog film which the asian buyers narrated throughout as there was no sound. “Now look, the bad dogs are coming..” We discussed film sales and how to sell art films. We discussed James Bond. Fierce discussion. Loved it. Went home alone and slept like a log.

9:28 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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