Archives for posts with tag: Nick Love

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

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

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

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

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

Damien Hirst, Maia Norman, Orlando Campbell etc.

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

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

The local Whitstable boys.  Luke, beautiful Luke.

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

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

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

What a destructive theme.

Yesterday I vlogged, today I blog.

Had a spectacular day.  Started early, far too early…really happy!   Walked the dog in Soho Square.  Breakfast at Maison Bertaux with darling Tania Wade.

Bought a Noel Fielding piece.

Tania asked after Jake who she met this summer.

It was the first time somebody had asked after him and I really had no feeling, no twinge, no tangible moment of nostalgia whatsoever.  On this blog, however, there are a flurry of enquiries about him every day…why?   His name is regularly googled, and the break up post about him almost always appears in the top ten most read daily posts.  Who is making sure that this happens?  He can’t possibly be that vain?

When Georgina asked me if I ever spoke to Jake I paused and wondered what we would ever find to talk about?  He wasn’t a bad man…he was just a normal man.  A regular guy with a sad and unusual back story.

Anyway, after breakfast I had a hair/beard cut and then I met up with Toby Mott.  We went to a very raw but heartening NA meeting on Frith Street…then we went clothes shopping on Bond Street.  I didn’t buy anything.  So many beautiful people promenading along Bond Street…unlike Oxford Street where the uglies congregate.   Toby was on very good form and we had a wonderful time together..he thought the Amanda debacle very funny.

Toby vanished into Tottenham Court Road tube station and I hurried back to Soho where I met Andrey my Russian friend who is studying politics at Cambridge.  He has been hitting the gym and looked amazing! When we got back to the hotel room he took time showing me his perfect body…just like a straight boy to do that!   Proud and delighted that he is being admired but appalled that I might be thinking about jizzing all over his chest.

Quite unexpectedly I bumped into Nick Love who looked so handsome.  We hugged for a good long time.  I was really pleased to see him and I think that he was really pleased to see me.  I adore him.

Andrey left to meet his Mother and after a well deserved nap..woke up just in time to pull on some tweed, spray on some vetiver and nip over to the Ivy where I met Charlie P and Konrad Wyrebek for dinner ($62).  Konrad, to my delight, doesn’t drink alcohol.

DELIGHTFUL DINNER..calves liver and bacon.  Very funny conversation, Charlie is very, very funny.  We were meant to be discussing our Sundance trip but didn’t much before Konrad arrived.

Charlie and I, like a couple of old lags, sparring for his entertainment.  Konrad enchanting, handsome and super smart.  Discussed my favorite artist and Konrad’s great inspiration..Gerhard Richter.  We romped through a lively conversation about Polish art, Kantor, galleries/gallerists, politics etc.

Konrad told us about a relationship he had once had that lasted 6 months but took a year and a half to get over.

Charlie and I amuse ourselves with bogus descriptions of how we met, “I met Charlie on Burlington Arcade, his crinoline caught in a door…”  or during the blitz..etc. etc.

We talked American politics and how the disgusting Murdoch wants to destroy the impartiality of the British press.  I started roasting Obama but Charlie persuaded me not to be so down on the President.  He said, quite rightly, “Politicians dissappoint.”  He went on to say that as a liberal I shouldn’t be ripping on Obama as it just  makes it all that much easier for people like Palin to succeed.   He’s right.

I just don’t want to go through what I went through with Blair.  The great Blair was our greatest disappointment but, unlike Blair, Obama seem to be a good guy..underneath it all…and we must give him a chance.

I, and people like me, must give him a chance.  I must stop reading the POISONOUS Huffington Post.

As we were pulling on our coats Konrad thanked us warmly for dinner, took loads of pictures and said, “I am usually so bored by people.”  Darling, I thought, so am I..so am I.

Boredom is my greatest enemy.  Yet, as I confided to Konrad, lately I have had the merest splinter of self doubt…and as we know a splinter can be very, very painful.

Walked a little with Konrad through Soho.

He may come to Paris with me this weekend.  That would be fun.  I liked him (and his wonderful enthusiasm for life and art) a great deal.

November 7, 2006 – Tuesday

Val Kilmer

Woke at 6.30. Answered British e-mails. Sadly, when I started my hike, I had already missed the Latvian dwarves. For the first time since I started my daily walk up Runyon Canyon I noticed the terrible stench of dog piss at the Fuller gate. Starting an hour later than usual means that there are many more dogs (35) and people in the Canyon, it was also very, very warm. Earthquake weather. I took the steep path. I did not stop to rest. The view from the summit was spectacular over the city to the ocean. I always forget to mention just how many trees there are down there amongst the houses.

Sadly, there were three, very annoying dog owners shouting at their hapless mutts. Poor Roxie the Ridgeback belongs to a couple of old queens of the Liberace variety. Roxie had decided, rather unwisely, to take a faster path down the mountain causing her overly distraught owners to bellow her name in tandem again and again. Roxie, frankly, looked like she had enough. The other screamer was the type I described last time. A fat straight guy who wanted us all to know how powerful he was. Screaming after his dog at the top of his voice. I told him to shut up. He looked less powerful after that. Nobody wants to listen to screamers first thing in the morning. Nobody.

The weekend was potentially fraught with relationship tensions. I did not see Sharon.

On Friday morning I drove to Santa Monica to meet with Jason at the American Film Market and discuss our project Funny Valentine. We will get there one of these days but what a God damned struggle. It was fun to see Jason in his new capacity as MD of Velvet Octopus. He had new specs on which made him look like a Dutch diplomat-very elegant. Saw Houston King, saw Tiffany Whittome-it was obvious that I was going to bump into a bunch of familiar faces it was AFM.

Met with Eric S for lunch. He is such a beautiful man. I then sat in on his conversation with Jason as they discussed how hedge funds work in the film industry. Even though I did not understand half of what they were saying I felt like taking a shower after Matt explained what a shady business it all is.

I cooked dinner for a bunch of architects at my house on Friday night, roasted some garlic and bacon and chicken. Baked potatoes were delicious. Aleksa brought over some home-baked strawberry pie, which we ate with cherry ice cream. I was in bed by 11pm exhausted.

On Saturday morning I drove to my AA meeting in Brentwood then had breakfast at the City Café. Maury prepared some succulent French toast made of Brioche with caramelized apples. Met Eric S who ate more French Toast then drove to his orange, 5 bedroom Spanish Hacienda in the Palisades which he is clearing so that he can rent it. He was going to chuck everything out but his brother and I persuaded him to have an impromptu garage sale. We put up two hasty notices sprayed onto cardboard and the customers arrived in droves. Before long most of the junk had gone and we had pockets full of cash. An honest trade. I am obsessed with this notion. It is the Iranian in me.

On Saturday night I met Nathan for dinner, we had a great time.

On Sunday Nathan and I had breakfast at the 101. After breakfast I sat in the auction rooms at Bonham’s and bought an eight-foot jigsaw of a plane crashing. It is wonderful.

Lunch with Jane Garnett and Marc in Santa Monica then collected Johnny T from airport. Dropped Johnny’s stuff off at his hotel in Century City then ate dinner at Chateau M. Saw Steve Garbarino (editor of Blackbook) and his girl friend Maddy sitting with Val Kilmer. Steve congratulated me on the piece I’d written for him about Oscar Wilde. I loved writing it. I used to write for The Sunday Times Style Section when Tim was editor. When I arrived at Steve’s table I made that terrible cliché of an error of thinking that I already knew Val Kilmer and asked enthusiastically how he was doing and what he was doing next before realising that I did not know him at all. The last time I did that was to Diana Ross in First Class from Cannes to London. OH GOD. How foolish.

After dinner we drove back west to Jason’s party, which was hugely entertaining. Saw Peter Youngblood with the guys who own Revolver. Saw Tiffany Whittome. Did not stay long. Back on the Freeway home. Dropped Johnny off at Guy’s. That boy is going to be a huge star.

When I got home I paid my Canterbury City Council tax over the phone. I then realised that as a single man I was entitled to a 25% discount that I had asked for some time ago but had not been applied to my account. Consequently I have been overpaying my Council Tax for 6 years. They owe me 6x£300=£1,800. When I complained they told me that I was not considered a Whitstable resident. NOT A WHITSTABLE RESIDENT? I immediately contacted my lawyers.

7:07 AM

November 3, 2006 – Friday

Mister Blobby

Thick sea mist cloaked the Canyon. The sun diffused through the cloud like sand blasted glass. The path became mysterious, dogs emerging from nowhere, crickets chirruping, a jogging man singing loudly to himself. Everyone else walked silently on the damp earth crunching under foot. I enjoy the silence.

At the foot of the mountain one man was shouting at his dog. I am developing a violent reaction against people who shout at their dogs. Screaming at the top their voices ‘Come here!’ There is a man I hear regularly who wears ripped jeans screaming at all three of his dogs. One of them is called Lily. He is not shouting at his dogs because he believes that the dog will not come. He shouts at his dogs because he wants to let me know that he is assertive, powerful, that he can bend the will of those around him.

On Tuesday night I had dinner with Erik, my lawyer, at his house in Bel Air. He has an expensive, modern home with a Zen garden. If one HAS to have a Zen garden then I suppose this one, with its Mount Fuji waterfall was fairly accomplished. Inside was a mish mash of mid-century furniture and huge black and white photographs by Herb Ritts. There was a particularly beautiful David Hockney. We watched my film, which obviously baffled my dear friend. We ate tofu burgers and sweet potato chips. The dog snored all the way through which I thought might have been Erik. You can’t win them all.

The following day I visited Katherine Ross who has just moved from NYC to her vast new home in Hancock Park. In each of the tennis court proportioned reception rooms were no more than a sofa and a dining room table. When I asked when the rest of the furniture was arriving she told me that this was it. They live very minimally. They have not, however, had time to install any of their huge art collection so I am sure that when the art is there it will all make perfect sense. We had a very pleasant time together discussing the vagaries of LA and housekeepers and what an exciting time it is for both her and her husband.

I then drove to my lawyer’s office to collect my hat and sign a letter of engagement. Tea and pound cake with Lisa Specter at her house in Beverly Hills and then The Shave where I had my hair cut, my beard trimmed and the gremlin hair on my ears removed. I also had a manicure but the blond woman with the huge breasts who cut my cuticle was a little too eager and this morning I can scarcely type as the ends of my index fingers are red raw.

Driving back up Wilshire I decided to drop in on Marc Selwyn who is showing Mel Bochner in his dear little gallery. We hung out for a little while discussing Dorian, which I intend to open in a gallery setting when the film opens in February. Marc told me that the art world in LA had tried for 50 years to make a relationship with Hollywood and failed. He had various theories: transient population, financial insecurity, cultural insecurity. None of which really made sense. Film people, who already consider themselves artists, simply don’t understand the more obscure art that people like Marc sell in his gallery. They cannot see how buying art will benefit or enrich them in any way more than the art that they are presently engaged with-film making. Ultimately, to buy art one must disengage with ones own cynicism and very expensively engage with half-baked concepts and conceits. Film people are loathed to do anything so dumb.

Whilst we were discussing art my car was being towed. Spent next hour and a half and $180 dealing with that little palaver. By the time I got home it was time to get ready for the Bobby premiere, which was showing at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood and doubled as the first night celebration of the AFM. Sharon brought a couple of very chic dresses and a very pretty fur coat. We looked like a very cool couple as we walked to the theatre from my house-Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is only two blocks away from where I live. When we arrived we went directly to the head of the huge will call line, we were both starving so ate vile hot dogs and diet coke. Spoke briefly with Lindsey L who looked very nervous. After 5 tedious speeches from various dignitaries including the very high voiced Emilio Estevez, the Mayor and Harvey Weinstein we watched one of the worst films I have ever seen. It was like a long episode of Hotel with famous people in it. It was vacuous, tedious, clumsy, laughable. What astounded me was that this terrible film was meant to be a tribute to a man who might have been great? Then, I realised what it really was. Using my Versailles/Hollywood analogy it all made sense: The King and Queen want to provide an entertainment for all of the courtiers and insist that the dauphin and duchesses all take part. The King will write the script and make a humble appearance and all of his friends and the friends of his friends will play the various roles. The King is a genius.

I wish I had not worn my Dior smoking jacket.

Bobby Kennedy had 11 children.

The after party took place at the Roosevelt. Sharon and I dashed over to the buffet where we ate ravenously. We met charming people including the very dashing Paris Latsis who I first met at Eugenio Lopez’s house. Everyone was a little too embarrassed to say what they really thought about Bobby. People we did not know would tentatively ask if either of us had anything to do with making it before telling us how dreadful they thought it was. Holly Elwes, the producer, was standing in the Dakota restaurant at the Roosevelt. She looked shell-shocked. She was wearing a horrible dress. Of course we all told her how wonderful the film was. How amazing she was. How exquisitely the dauphin and the dukes and the little cardinals had performed.

We left at 1.30am. I did not wake up until 8am. Hillary came over and we messed around at mine then drove to hers. Sat in the knitting shop and knitted. Went to Marc Jacobs and bought six pairs of shoes in their one day only 80% off sale. Drove to sponsors house and spewed my guts out about starting a relationship-how vulnerable it makes me feel. The great thing about my wonderful sponsor is that he speaks a truth I understand. His wise words make so much sense to me. I love my sponsor.

Errands included laundry, DMV, cleaning Daniel’s disgustingly dirty room that he finally vacated on the 1st November. I have never in my life been so happy to see the back of someone. I can sleep without fear of being disturbed. I do not lay in my bed expecting to be woken in the middle of the night by party boy lodger and his foetus b/f.

Ate dinner with Ian at Chateau Marmont. Sat next to Geoffrey Rush who was discussing Are You Being Served. We then bowled over to the BAFTA/LA awards at Century Plaza. Sharon had a ticket for me for dinner and the celebrations. Stephen Fry hosting the event very amusingly. Dustin Hoffman, Tim Robbins and Forest Whitaker presenting awards to Sidney Poitier, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Minghella and Clint Eastwood. The awards were good but the party afterwards felt like a suburban dinner and dance just like I remember my parents going to when I was a kid. Blousy women wearing too much make up, too many sequins, the men in moth-eaten tuxedos. The invitation should have read: Join BAFTA/LA to honour Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood with a dinner and dance in the Hove Cricket Club situated behind the gas works. Carriages. It actually said ‘carriages’ at the end of the invite. It should have said, Self Parking.

We ended the evening at Hollywood Social at Aldomovar party where drunk, gay Sony Classic publicist made a fool of himself.

10:07 AM

October 31, 2006 – Tuesday

Homeless

This morning, the polite Latvian dwarves were not standing silently on the corner of El Cerrito Place waiting for their ride to the day care facility. They were at home screaming at each other in Latvian. Rather, I saw the old woman dressed in a floral, floor length house coat on her 5th Floor balcony screaming back at what could only have been the silent husband. She held, in her right hand, a long carving knife. She kicked thuggishly at her screen door on her way back into the apartment. I lingered on the street for a few minutes wondering what would happen next but I really did not want her to clock me out there on the street listening to them..to her. Aleksa told me that the old lady was well-known for screaming, everybody knew about her on the street. I was so sad. She had always been so polite to me. “Good morning”. She would say softly, reverentially.

Amazingly I got ‘looked’ at today on Runyon Canyon by somebody quite cute. Even though I knew I would never act on it just being looked at in that way gave my day a tiny kick-start. When ever I get my beard going I am looked at all the time. My woollen beany over my eyebrows and a big bushy beard and I get looked at. There were no more than 20 dogs on the path this morning. One of them belonged to a very striking fellow who showed me where below us the 101, the 405 and the 10 (freeways) all connected. Very useful information. You could see the 101 snaking over towards Silverlake.

Yesterday was a horrible day. Horrible. I don’t think that I can even bring myself to tell you what happened yesterday morning but needless to say it was all about relationships, expectations, disappointment. Damn! What can I do about this? By lunchtime I was in no mood for anything else to go wrong but it just so happened that this was another day when calls were not returned as eagerly as I wanted them and e-mails remained unanswered.

Spoke to Gary D, really pleased to hear his voice.

So that I might try to fix my feelings in a positive way I caught a bus to the coffee bean on Sunset and Fairfax and ordered a blended caramel frapaccino. I sat outside on the chilly patio and watched a homeless man trying to get food or money from who ever would listen. The people he begged from were polite but he didn’t manage to get anything from any of them. Finally, he sat down at one of the empty tables opposite me and picked shreds of thick black skin off of the souls of his feet that he then placed carefully on to the table. I will never, ever drink a caramel frapaccino ever again.

I went to two AA meetings yesterday after the homeless foot skin incident; I went to one at 5.15 and another at 7.45. The first made me feel OK the second compounded the feelings of utter misery. In between the two meetings I managed to cram in a screaming conversation with both my realtor and the realtor of the house that I am meant to be buying. Buying houses is a shit experience in LA. Shit.

I was in bed by 11.00.

8:41 AM

October 30, 2006 – Monday

Venus

The sky is grey but it is not cold. The clocks fell back on Sunday so I can climb the mountain at 6am and it’s not going to be pitch black. Today, there were mostly women on the path. 23 dogs. The craggy dwarves were on the corner of my street, she was wearing lipstick..again. He looked very carefully at me when I greeted his wife. Apparently they wait there to be collected for day care. There goes my maid/butler fantasy.

I came home to the smell of fresh coffee and pineapple. I am really loving where I live, at just the moment I am about to pack up and leave. Isn’t that always the way? I spend hours rearranging the furniture, the rugs, the bits and pieces that I have hauled in my luggage to this town to make myself feel better about being here. A big bowl of green apples and papaya on my mirrored table gives me more pleasure than anything I can describe. On a cloudy day like today in LA when there is a certain chill in the air I relax a little more than I usually do. Like taking a roast leg of lamb out of the oven. The juices seem to settle.

On Saturday morning I called JA who has cancer. I dreaded calling her, as she has been so understandably angry of late. But for the first time since she knew how ill she was she sounded really optimistic, joyful even. She spends two weeks in Germany being treated for cancer then flies back to Mexico to build her houses. She really is an amazing woman. When you have a life or death emergency in your life everything becomes very clear. The decisions that you have to make to survive are non negotiable. I heard it in her voice. She told me that she would be spending Christmas in London with her children and I wondered, of course I did, if it would be her last Christmas and if it was then London is the perfect place to be.

The weekend flew past. I spent almost all of it with Sharon zooming around in her little black sports car. We drove to Malibu on Saturday, walked barefoot in the surf, ate huge prawns in a Greek restaurant then headed home. There were several graceful young dear on the Pepperdine lawn looking over at us in our fast cars. That night we had dinner with Sharon’s friend Jeff. Jeff lives in a house close by to where I live but his Spanish looking home is built on a bluff, high up, overlooking Hollywood. There is no access whatsoever by car to his house or the twenty or so other houses he shares his bluff with so one has to take a rickety old elevator from the street to get to it. What happens if his house catches fire, how would the fire department get to him? Jeff made me carve a face in the side of a pumpkin. Ann L says that Halloween is her least favourite American tradition. I think that you probably need little children to truly enjoy it. Anyway, I carved the face in the pumpkin then we had a very jolly dinner of pork ribs, salad and great conversation. Jeff is a 35-year-old producer. He is writing a book called: How to get out of Hollywood. It sounds very funny indeed.

On Sunday morning after my solitary walk up Runyon Hillary came over and cooked our breakfast. She is so funny, nearly as bad as me at falling out with everyone. I found her honesty about it very endearing. When Sharon arrived to pick me up I smelt of bacon and eggs. We went to an 11am private screening of Venus starring Peter O’Toole. Just us in the cinema as the woman from the studio who was meant to be with us had a rat problem at her house so had to leave and call exterminators.

The opening shot of Venus is the view over the Swale from my house in Whitstable. That was exciting. The film was so very nearly brilliant. So very, very nearly. It was a terrible shame. Leslie Phillips was wonderful. Peter was very good. Vanessa Redgrave was redundant and theatrical. That woman’s acting has suffered from doing too much TV. The editing was ghastly. Hanif Kureishi’s crude excesses should have been cut out. So SAD. So very nearly a masterpiece. I could go on. I won’t.

After the disappointment of Venus we ate lunch at M café sharing a plate of roasted vegetables and iced water. In the afternoon I had a nap then drove to Wholefoods with Aleksa and Devon who bought fish for our dinner with Steven Francisco who is the dear from Effie’s party the other night. In bed by 11.30.

9:59 AM

October 28, 2006 – Saturday

Lamb Shank

Saturday morning. Not going for my hike until later. Not going to my AA meeting.

The day before yesterday, after my walk, I had a busy Dillon St/Dorian Gray day. Mortgages, counter offers, meetings with publicists and finally dinner at Ago with Ruth Vitali.

For whatever reason, known only to my mad self, I am being dragged kicking and screaming into this house purchase. Buying a house should be a delight! Instead it is all so fucking complicated and moves at the wrong pace. I feel bullied into making important decisions quickly without due consideration. So, I started the day in the vilest mood making poor Corey the realtor sweat buckets. By 2pm I still hadn’t had anything to eat. I was insane with hunger. The Mexicans in the deli where Corey works looked terrified when I stormed into their quiet lives demanding a cheese sandwich. When I finally ate something I felt normal again. I signed the offer and Corey sent it over.

At 3pm I met Bettina at Fred Segal where we checked over the evolving Dorian press release. I am getting to really like BK even though she has a laconic countenance and a squeaky voice. She gets to know me slowly, deliberately and is obviously very suspicious but why shouldn’t she be? I think that she has prudently learned to keep her cards close to her chest. LA is a tough city.

After our meeting I followed a gorgeous Cuban around the men’s department of Fred Segal. Picked up a pair of Lanvin pants priced at $1,700, and that’s minus the tax. I was outraged! I threw them back at the assistant. Again. Boycott Lanvin! Saw Holly Elwes buying $5,000 dresses.

After no thought what so ever I bought a Dries van Noten cardigan with a long belt. Looks great with my baggy Comme cords. I felt a bit guilty however, so I walked from Fred Segal to The Log Cabin on Robertson in the hope that there might be an AA meeting I could go to but the door was bolted. Took taxi home. I went via Marc Jacobs where the rudest shop assistant in the world quelled my desire for more treats. Thank you God.

By the time I got home it was time to get a cab back to just where I had come from on Beverly and meet Ruth V for dinner at Ago. I was early so I chatted to the swarve Italian guys who run the place. When Ruthy arrived she looked perfect in Chanel, as always. “Of course I still go to London to get my hair cut”. Ate carpaccio and lamb shank. There were six of us gossiping over dinner about the industry. There seems to be a great deal going on at the moment behind the scenes. There was much discussion and conjecture about agents being laid off at CAA. I sat next to Ruth so we mostly chatted all evening but I particularly liked David S who is a smart, very well liked film journalist. After chocolate tart the assistant of the guy who made Perfume dropped me back home. In bed and asleep by 11.30.

On Friday morning I was up the canyon as soon as the sun broke over the horizon. 23 dogs, very chilly, did not pass anything notable. Went up the mountain fretting, came down the mountain with a more placid disposition.

Did not stay placid for long. My mortgage broker arrived and irritated the pants off of me. He simply does not understand how not to be arrogant. I then had a one-hour conversation with Cingular Wireless about my account and how I might get them to send me a letter confirming that I had paid my bill for a year. They refused. I called the man who refused me all sorts of names but he still refused. Tried to keep calm by eating muesli/granola. Drank coffee. That did the trick.

At 3 I had a conference call with the knob who runs the company who is meant to be selling Dorian. I left my rottweiler of a lawyer to deal with him. Our intentions are clear. We do not want this company to rep us as they have no feeling for the film. They hate me and they seem to hate the film. Took A and D to the house-they loved it. We then went food shopping in Koreatown. I invited 8 people for dinner so there was a great deal to prepare. My new dining room table fits eight to ten people perfectly, David F and his wife Aimee, Effie B, Sharon, Ann L, Peter L and Aleksa and Devon. The table looked great, the food was excellent and they all seemed really happy.

We all agreed that even though most of us were in the ‘business’ we were all definitely off duty. David F and his rather condescending wife left early to go to another party.

Sharon stayed over so we could get up early to go hiking. As I write there is no movement from Sharon who is sound asleep.

8:15 AM

October 26, 2006 – Thursday

6 Hour Relationship

The Canyon. It was pitch black until 7am this morning. Pitch black. The air was cold and damp. As usual the small Armenian couple were out there on the corner. As usual they were not speaking, as usual he was smoking, as usual it was she who said “good morning”. I could smell the aromatic tobacco from the gate. Everything about these two was as I had left them two weeks ago except she was wearing lipstick on her thick, old lips. I suddenly wondered why she had made that decision, this morning, looking in the mirror and I wondered if she had put lipstick on for him, the silent dwarf.

On the mountain I tore up the dusty path. There were fewer people, fewer dogs. I only counted 17. One black man in a bright yellow track suit running backwards past little birds taking dust baths at the edge of the path. A pink sunrise over the city. I wore a woollen hat pulled down over my eyebrows. Angry start to the day. I worked off my fury on the incline, one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand. My legs turning to jelly at the summit. Why weren’t people more sensitive to me? What about me? By the time I had worked over the summit I was amused by my self-obsession rather than a slave to it. Yet, if I had been sitting at my desk with those feelings I may very well have picked up the phone and alienated myself from who ever was currently not doing things my way.

On Tuesday morning, after we dropped the Hudson News heirs off at their private High School, Tim drove me back to Manhattan. I realised that his job was best described as ‘life coach’ to those rich, teenage boys. Back at Soho House I lay on the huge white bed thinking about everything I needed to do. That afternoon I sat on the 6th floor in the Club Room and met Laura Day who is a famous (apparently) writer of inspirational thoughts. I rather liked her. She asked me to look after her bags when she used the rest room. I thought about Gary Davy my friend in London who is constantly worried that the thieves will come to steal his bags/watch/camera/anything he owns. When she returned she told me her life story.

That afternoon Michael Goduti came to see the film and we watched it in my room. He was thrilled. We ate a late lunch in the new Diner on the corner of 14th and 9th Avenue. My fried chicken was greasy and uncooked. Met very cute actor called Johnny (22) and his shady, older gay friend. I just didn’t trust the gay one and as it turned out I was right not to trust him. He works as a male escort. The escort had too many teeth, too many stories and not enough of the truth. When the gay boy left us Johnny and his mid-west girl friend told me that the he was trying to persuade them to take up escort work too. I baulked. I’ve got nothing against male prostitutes. I used to know Aiden Shaw. In fact, he was in my musical Copper’s Bottom which played for six weeks at Sadler’s Wells. Aiden would get his huge penis out at rehearsals and show the delighted, screaming queens we had dancing in the chorus. I think I had sex with him once. I did have sex with him once. He was lithe and young-as was I. I saw him on the King’s Road recently. We have changed. We are all now so thickly built. Aidan is a great big bull of a man. Many of my friends have been hookers they all had great big smiling faces and dead eyes like fish on a marble slab. I’m glad that I never sold my ass. God knows that I could have.

I left New York at dawn and resigned myself to the humiliation of the security search. Shoes off, belt off, lap top out, keys and phone in the tray, throw away expensive scent, throw away toothpaste. The guys on the x-ray machine are rude and unhelpful. The floor is cold. I don’t like getting dressed at the end of the conveyor belt with strangers watching me. I don’t like any of it. After I put myself back together I went to my gate and saw one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen feeding his baby apple sauce. I introduced myself to Adam (29) and Jayda his beautiful 23-month-old daughter on their way home to Hawaii. So, at Gate 23C began a wonderful 6 hour relationship with a man and his baby in a jet plane over the USA. Before long I was holding the baby, the three of us getting along just fine in row 25. All the hostesses on the plane thought that we were a gay couple traveling home with our baby. I wondered for the first time what it might be like to have a baby with another man. Adam is married but seemed really gay, effeminate almost. It worked, the effeminacy, with the baby in his arms. I saw how things might have turned out if I had been more interested in effeminate men. By the time we landed at Salt Lake City I was smitten. I may never see him again but he taught me something profound about what I might have had, what I could still have.

By the time I got to LA I was so tired but had to summon up all my energy to meet DF and a gallery owner about Dorian and what I intend to do with it. I thought that it was going to be a very hard sell but it was astoundingly easy. After a few minutes I got exactly what I wanted. So, perhaps we should aim higher if that is going to be the level of interest. I was irritated by how many jokes DF cracked all the time and it was this that I thought about up the mountain. I find it difficult to concentrate when there are that many jokes flying around. It did not make me feel very safe.

DF drove me home and I checked to see if any of the silver teaspoons had reappeared. None had. I knew then that it was the end for the lodger. The apartment looked and felt great but I knew that my time there too was limited. I know that I have to move to my own domain, my own home. North Dillon is certain. Whitstable is coming to an end.

Why would I want to move to a city that I patently hate? Why would I move here? I can’t tell you. I just know that I have to be here and that being here means that I have to find a place to live and commit to. I think that I am that sort of artist who needs to be in LA. So, I will learn to love it and make it my home.

John and Susan invited me to John’s birthday dinner. He made the most delicious curry served with that flat Indian bread. I left at 10.30 and went to bed. Slept well.

This morning, after my walk, as I was making coffee Daniel told me that he would be leaving on the first of November. I had sort of made it impossible for him to stay. After hearing his drunken boy friend vomiting in the bathroom the other night. It was over. It was all over.

1:08 PM

October 25, 2006 – Wednesday

Orlando Bloom

I am finally, after nearly two weeks of miserable sickness, my normal fit self. The flu’ has gone. No more shivering discomfort. No more sore throat. No more morbid thoughts. I will resume my walks on Runyon Canyon immediately upon my return to LA.

Waiting at Soho House in New York for Maria to turn up and discuss the secret project.

An Orlando Bloom look-a-like is sitting opposite me drinking a cappuccino. I am eating the éclairs they set out for tea. New York!! It is exhilarating to be back east. It was exciting to see the enigmatic city from the train at Newark. It is deliciously chilly yet the sky is huge and brightly blue.

Yesterday, on the plane from LA, we stopped off in Cincinnati because a woman collapsed in a dead faint along the aisle. At Cincinnati airport I have never, ever in my entire life seen so many people with such huge asses. On the plane I sat next to a massively gelatinous woman, her fat arms spilling over onto my side of the armrest.

I arrived at 9.30am in Newark, took the air train to the LIRR then the A train to 14th St and walked two blocks to Soho House. Took me about 30 mins from the Delta terminal to the great big brown velvet sofa I am sitting on right now. Nobody looks ashamed using public transport in NYC. This is where we gather, flirt, deal, and hustle on the subway and the street. On the streets of New York are strangers from every social class making all kinds of connections for the benefit of all. I much prefer this to my sterile street life in LA.

Had Dorian screening yesterday for more buyers. Dunno how well that went. I did not stay for the screening. Brian Jackson the DP saw it too. He loved it. We agreed that we would work together again in the future.

Before the screening I had time to kill so I had a long massage and a hot, hot steam in the Cowshed.

Stayed in Alpine New Jersey last night with Tim N from Whitstable who is working as a live in family counselor for the man who owns Hudson News. It is a made-of-chip-board mansion just like all of the homes here. I don’t know as if you can even raise a mortgage on a wooden house in England. The house has a cinema, basketball court and an Olympic sized swimming pool in the basement. He has a bunch of mates over from Whitstable to help celebrate his birthday. Burt (builder) and Josh (stone mason). They have this really funny game where they congratulate one another for using long, complicated words. We ate dinner at Florant in the meatpacking district. Great food. I had chicken but I should have ordered the skirt steak.

Now, irritatingly, I have to play catch up. So many days have passed since I last wrote anything for my blog. I get overwhelmed just remembering everything that happens. I much prefer to see where the memory of the previous day takes me.

Saturday. 8am Westside AA meeting. Afterwards I sat on my own in the bakery opposite eating a fruit salad. I sat there wondering why such a huge building was being so badly underused. The space effectively benefiting from only 25% of the available sales floor. Ended up meeting the guy who owned the joint who also owns The City Bakery in New York. I told him all about The Good Shed in Canterbury. He was inspired by the notion of a daily farmers market. We exchanged numbers. He already checked out the Goods Shed and wanted to know how it was set up.

Later that same morning I ate another breakfast with Dom at the 101. Hillary popped by. Went up to North Dillon St. The door to the house was open. For some peculiar reason best known only to himself Dom pressed a panic button that, once upon a time, would have been in the master bedroom, the bells were insanely loud. We scarpered.

saturday afternoon Romaine came to visit. We drove back to Dillon and met the builder who told me how much it would cost to make the essential renovations. $300k.

After a long nap I headed over to a party at Effie Brown’s house, yet again I found myself in Silverlake. I met a young boy over there who was very funny, not very attractive, good (social) crime partner.

Young boy and I drove to The Chateau for a late bowl of hot chocolate. We said hello to Heath L who looks great. Better than great. He was drinking tea and his eyes were bright and hopeful. A different man from the crazed haunted man I met last year at the Oscars.

Young boy and I then drove home but he is straight so he slept on the sofa.

Sunday. The following morning we (young boy and I) went to 8am AA meeting in West Hollywood. Breakfast at La Pain Quotidian. We waited so long (45mins) for our food that when the bill came I refused to pay. The manager agreed and comped our food. Comped is a good word. In America we are as precise about our description of the use of money as Eskimos are about snow.

Sunday afternoon the young boy and I drove around the Hollywood Hills visiting random people before going over to Silverlake to see the North Dillon House once again and calming the nerves of the realtors who are waiting for me to get my act together. Ate more food in Silverlake. Pancakes and a side of bacon. Young boy drove me to the airport.

I have really missed collecting my thoughts on Runyon Canyon.

5:22 PM – 0 Comments – 0 Kudos – Add Comment – Edit – Remove

October 20, 2006 – Friday

Ashton Kutcha

5.45am

Back in LA. I still have had the flu’. Sitting in germ soup on the plane sandwiched between two of the most miserable women alive did not help. What, you may ask, was I doing in the back of the plane? Can’t be bothered to explain that drama.

I am spluttering phlegm all over my laptop as I write. Consequently, due to illness, I have not been up to much. Invitations to LA fashion week went unanswered. Meant to be going to New York today but can scarcely move from my bed. I hate being ill. Ill means weak, ill means powerless, ill means unable to climb the mountain. Stalling at the base.

Thankfully I am sleeping well. In bed by 9.30 last night. It is cold in the apartment at night though. I am sitting here wrapped in a pale blue shawl like a little old lady. I could just turn on the heat. Won’t do it, too British, old-fashioned, put on another jersey or climb into bed.

The day I returned there was an urgent message to call Corey my realtor. He told me the startling news that the house on North Dillon had fallen out of escrow again. Again! That poor house has been sitting there for seven months without anyone to love it. Three times in and out of escrow. Three times. One of those times was me of course. We agreed to meet the following morning to write another offer.

So, on Wednesday Corey collected me from my flu’ pit and we drove in his black Hummer to the Social Security office to get an SS number. The office on Vine was very clean and the staff very helpful. I now have so much to do. For a start I need to get a Californian driving licence.

After the social security office we had lunch at American Rag on LaBrea. Sat next to Ashton Kutcha who has that same creamy complexion David Gallagher has. It is a bit of a lunchtime scene in there. Jennifer Jason Leigh sat sulking with a very loud friend two tables away.

Spent Wednesday evening at home instead of going to parties. Sweating hot and cold.

On Thursday morning, after 18 months of messing around, I walked two blocks from my house and I hired a car. I was so weak and had so much to do I could not stomach buses, taxis or walking. Who writes my freaking rules? Why didn’t I do this sooner?

The moment I pulled away from the strip mall in my rented car I became a Californian.

Before I drove to an appointment with my lawyers in Beverly Hills my friend Hillary popped by for a cup of tea. It was great to see her and for the next hour and a half we luxuriated in a trough of delicious gossip. By the time she left I felt bloated on our feast of The Misfortune of Others. It was very, very naughty.

Met with Erik the lawyer. Discussed various up coming projects and what we were going to do with them all.

I forgot to eat.

Drove home to see Scott at my house where we hung out there for a couple of hours. Drove back to Beverly Hills, stopping on the way at Capellini sale and met with Bettina at Le Pain Quotidian on Little Santa Monica. Strategised and ate huge chopped salad.

As I was close by I stopped in at the Spectre’s house on Whittier but only little Isaac and their mad Mexican cleaner was there. He is such an entertaining little boy, so intelligent. I sat with him for an hour until Lisa came home then I set off for Silverlake but got stuck in horrible traffic listening to some mad man (Tom Likas) on the radio advising young men not to have relationships until they turn 30. He was fascinating. He believes that men can treat women as badly as they want, have all the sex they want and that marriage is for losers. He recently said on air that he would sleep with a fourteen year old girl if it was legal. When challenged he simply stood by the statement.

Even though I was stuck in traffic listening to a mad misogynist I was pleased not to be on the hot streets negotiating the cracked pavements and the cracked out pedestrians.

Dinner with Ann L and her very intense artist husband. Really had a lovely time. They live in a spectacular Schindler house with many, if not all, of the original details. It is one of those houses one instantly loves, it is packed with interesting things. Every piece of furniture they owned was worth looking at carefully. Ann dosed me up with vitamin C and then we had dinner at a Brazilian restaurant nearby but I could not really taste anything.

Dom insisted that we meet on Santa Monica for a frozen yogurt. I sat there on the street sweating, desperate for my bed.

7:16 AM

October 18, 2006 – Wednesday

resident alien

Feel sick, felt sick on the plane. Back in LA, resident alien. Sick as a dog. I spent all day chasing North Dillon St once again. Fuck. That house has fallen out of escrow three times. I really love it. What is God doing to me?

Too sick to climb the mountain this morning, I stayed in my bed until Angela the cleaner turned up with her huge smile. I asked her to iron the pillowcases and wash the windows.

When I got home last night I rearranged the house. I was meant to be eating with Devon and Aleksa but ended up frantically rearranging books and the mantle piece. I was naked. The curtains were not drawn. I did not care.

The day before I left for LA I had to haul my sorry ass down to Whitstable. I had a goodbye breakfast with Phil and Paul at the Mona Lisa. We had had a wonderful time during my stay at her house. Phil was affectionate, undemanding and generous. A good friend. Phil and Moffy left for Portugal and I caught the bus to Victoria Station and then the hour-long trip to Whitstable. I walked from the station directly to Wheelers where I had a coffee with Anita and the gang. The gang being Mark, the genius chef, Adam (Smalls) the teenage recently ex virgin looking all languid and manly and Angela who I affectionately call Sheppey’s Elizabeth Taylor because she has been married more than once. Oh, and Sid was lurking in the back preparing puddings but he had split up from his girl friend and was all quiet and odd.

Whitstable gossip included: the Barratt girl (toughest family in Whitstable) had smashed Shivonne Hewlett in the face at the pub because Shivonne had stolen the Barrett’s boy friend who is down to the final eight on X Factor. The Barrett girl had then sold her story to the Sun and filled the ex boy friend’s piano with tuna.

Bumped into the Barrett girl outside Dave’s deli sitting with two girl friends, suddenly she looked very glamorous as if a dose of minor celebrity really suited her. Oblivious to her recent brush with notoriety I told her how wonderful she was looking. Apparently, according to them, X factor is all a fix because Shivonne’s mother Therese is a friend of Sharon Osborne’s.

What a load of bollocks.

As fate would have it Monday was Danny Gallagher’s funeral so I took my life in my hands and decided to go to the wake, which was happening up at the Marine Hotel in Tankerton. When I got there I realised that there was not much building, plastering or plumbing going on in North East Kent that day as every builder, plasterer and plumber for miles around had found themselves a black suit and was now eating pork pies in the paved area at the back of the Marine. Saw Ronnie R (antiques dealer) who owes me £100. Poor Stuart A (plasterer) was given a very hard time when I arrived his friends raised a huge chorus of light-hearted jeers as I had once very loudly told all of his mates that I thought he was one of the best looking men in Whitstable. I think that crown now belongs to Andy R (electrician) who although a bit dull is very cute.

Saw the very personable Sibley’s (chef and builder), as I sat with them one of my Whitstable brother’s friends said, “There’s Martin Roy’s brother”. I think that it was meant to be a rather convoluted put down. The Sibley’s and I just looked at him askance and continued our conversation.

I stayed all of twenty minutes.

I went back to Wheelers to report on the wake then walked home along the beach with Delia who showed me her plot behind the sea wall where she is building a very grand beach-hut sandwiched between Georgina and Barbara equally manicured plots. When we arrived Michael Fitt, Anita’s man was doing something with his shirt off with string and fence posts.

Finally I made my way home but not before three other people had told me the Barrett/Hewlett story and how Sharon Osborne was fixing it at X Factor..

When I got home Babs took me to my house and good God I have never seen that place look better, cleaner or more organised. Babs had ironed every sheet, weeded the garden, dusted every shelf and vacuumed every carpet and scrubbed every floor. It was immaculate. I felt really odd raiding the bookcase, taking shoes and filling a great big bag with stuff for my new resident alien status in LA.

They made me a delicious pot of tea and biscuits and gave me a lift to the station. They are such good people.

On the train back to London I met Ben the mechanic. HE was delicious. I am always meeting cute boys on the train to and from London.

Dinner at La Famiglia on Langton St with Louise and Toby Mott. Louise is now heavily pregnant and looks a bit tired. Toby seems quite Zen. Their builders have ripped them off. Rabbit and carpaccio. Delicious.

Bed by 10.30, woken at 11.30 by Piers making midnight supper in the kitchen. Crashing around with pots and pans.

6:47 PM

October 17, 2006 – Tuesday

Frieze Art Fair Day 2

Sunday. Chelsea.

Listening to Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix.

Spent all day in bed with a horrid cold. Both Phil and I blighted with aching limbs and throbbing heads late last night. Isn’t that odd to get simultaneous colds? I am never, ever ill with this sort of thing. However, I couldn’t think of a better place to be ill than here with Phil. We are in beds at opposite ends of the house. I can hear people arriving upstairs, I can hear Moffy leaving the house with her chums then hours later her footsteps in the hall, chattering about her adventures, “We took the wrong bus, we ended up in Shepherds Bush-there were chavs EVERYWHERE..”

When I was in prison I began writing a novel. It was as if today had been a perfect slice of that novel only on that fictional afternoon there was snow on the ground. Snow on our boots. Fresh snow. I just lay here all day and felt incredibly safe. Nothing could hurt me here in this room. Here in this huge house, sleeping where the cook probably slept once upon a time. Here in this room I do not have to deal with liars or the disingenuous or the black dust that settles on everything in LA. I do not have to climb a mountain to find my serenity.

Melanie De B arrived with medicines and vitamin C and the Sunday newspapers. Her husband had a stroke last night yet she still made her way over. I don’t really have any friends like that in LA. Then Kat G came in the afternoon with chocolate biscuits and we drank hot tea with Phil and Paul. After the second visit I fell into a dreadfully sweaty half sleep. It is now 9pm.

I have not written this diary since Friday and there is now so much to report.

On Friday morning I was meant to be meeting Bella F but we were both late getting up and ended up not meeting. We had a long chat on the phone. She is designing for Biba, which sounds perfect for Bella. Kate B, my glossy mag friend, said that the Biba collection was very good. Kate mentioned that Maia Norman’s collection was excellent, better than anything else that she had seen at London Fashion Week. Maia is Damian Hirst’s rather wonderful wife. Phil and I drove over to the Electric on the Portobello Road and ate eggs with Tiffany Whittome who has recently gotten herself engaged. I saw George, my assistant from The Method; his head seems to have doubled in size. I was very polite to him.

Received very odd e-mail from my Berlin friend insinuating that Phil had left the art fair the previous day looking distressed and then tried to blame me. She warned me to ‘be nice to her’ this advice coming from a woman who, estranged from her husband, sleeps with her 12-year-old son. Both Phil and I found this very amusing.

After our rather late breakfast I made my way over to Maria A’s in Kennington. It was so easy to find her house on the bus. We ate pasta and talked about the secret project and her imminent visit to NYC that corresponds with mine at the end of the month. Maria has the most beautiful garden and the house has been very sensitively renovated. It is one of those huge houses at the east end of Kennington Road. Huge.

At 3pm made my way to Georgia Byng’s in Primrose Hill-another huge house stuffed with beautiful art mostly made by her husband Marc Quinn. I met her new little baby who is a dear and discussed teen violence on Primrose Hill with Georgia’s daughter from her marriage to Danny Chadwick. She is a very pretty, intelligent, 16-year-old. Drank delicious hot tea and ate chocolate. Georgie has had huge success with her Molly Moon books. Sold in 37 territories. It is wonderful to see her doing so well.

As I was leaving she mentioned a conversation she had with Will Self about my film, which intrigued me. I will write more about this at a later date. Will, as you may know, was once a very good friend of mine. We had, at one time, discussed the possibility of adapting his novel Dorian into a film as I had contributed to the research by way of contemporary descriptions of New York etc., which he used verbatim in his novel. Will loved AKA. However, when I realised that he had no idea how a film was made and delivered a 300-page script that he insisted was a ‘shooting script’, which I never even bothered to read, we went our separate ways. I ended up adapting my version of the film from the Oscar Wilde Lippincott original. I sat pouring over Oscar Wilde’s only novel every morning for two months at Sullivan’s hotel in Sydney until the script was finished.

G. Byng was on such good form. I loved seeing her. Have really made the effort, this trip, to reach out to all of my old friends.

From Primrose Hill I took a cab to The Whitehall Theatre off of Trafalgar Square where I met Phil in the foyer and we saw a rather dull production of Bent. Moving but dull. One can’t help but be moved but I am afraid that the lovely in-real-life Alan Cummings ruined the production. He was all over the place. This was particularly sad because Horst played by Chris New, who I met with Christian C the other night, was amazing! I wish that Alan had been a little more focused and less..well..Alan. Perhaps he was jealous that Chris’s performance was so good.

Generally the production was annoyingly over directed, the German soldiers skipping around like scene queens.

Phil and I took another cab to Soho House where we met Clare. She was sitting with some very pretty friends who we persuaded to move to a bigger table. Phil was on the phone to I don’t know who but when she came back she looked perplexed and left quite soon after. After some fun with Clare’s friends we left Soho House for Max Wigram’s party for Ryan McGinley at Laundromat but it was DREARY and terribly ‘arty’.

At Laundromat I saw a boy, who I met at the Miami/Basle art fair, who describes himself as a ‘curator’. He was dancing. I had met the same boy in NYC dancing at an artist’s studio. Now, here he is in London..dancing. Clare and I decided to make a 3 minute art film called ‘The Curator’ some random boy dancing at art fairs all over the world. He said, “Look, art! It’s the new Hollywood”. If only it were my friends, if only it were. A bunch of crazed shopkeepers describing their 15mins in the sun as the ‘New Hollywood’?

We were desperate for an antidote to the pretentious art/new Hollywood party so we decided to go to The Shadow Lounge where we had a blast dancing and flirting until 3am. I met a man who tried to persuade me that we had ‘great sex’ in a bath ten years ago in my flat off of Brick Lane. Even though I knew he was wrong (I never had a flat off of Brick Lane) he was so persuasive that it felt rude not to agree to the memory. I wanted to kiss him and then I wanted to kiss some other good-looking boy for a moment before I realised that I did not have to. The only lips I wanted were elsewhere.

We fought our way through the 3am Soho crowd, the aggressive mini cab men and the drug dealers then Clare drove me home. Slept intermittently. Red bull is a bad idea at 2am.

Saturday

All day yesterday and the day before all I could really think about was my dinner with Harry on Saturday night. I thought about him as I was thinking about kissing those men in The Shadow Lounge and then I thought about him all through brunch at David Gill’s spectacular gallery in Kennington on Saturday morning. I thought about Harry as I wondered who would buy an 8′ pink Perspex flamingo from David Gill for $60k. I thought about him as I ate delicious food and drank apple juice and played with Melanie De B, Michael Wolfson and Dan Macmillan. I thought about beautiful Harry as I flirted with Desiree and ignored Jane Barclay.

I thought about him as I waited outside the Royal Academy for André for 40 minutes attracting attention in my pink stockings and red shoes and pantaloons. I thought about Harry as we nipped into Bryan Ferry’s house to collect something Melanie needed for dinner. I thought about him all afternoon as I tried to fight off the beginning of the cold I have now.

All I could think about was the tall, fine-faced Harry. All I could think about was looking into his blue eyes and listening to his beautiful voice.

Bye bye squirrel. I love Harry now.

But, when Harry arrived at Langton St at 8.30 I was half the man I needed to be-my cold was now in full swing. Phil thought he was beautiful, Moffy thought he was beautiful, Paul thought he was beautiful. I think that Harry is the most beautiful creature who ever walked the earth.

Dinner with Harry.

All I could think about was mucus in my eyes, nose and throat.

5:24 PM

October 13, 2006 – Friday

Frieze

Moffy stayed in bed yesterday ill with the ‘flu. Poor darling, all limp and pale like a rag doll. I sat on the lilac sofa and wrote my article for Blackbook and filed it by 12 o’clock.

I then headed into Soho on the bus through torrential, almost tropical, rain and ended up in Soho House sitting with Nick Love who I have not seen for a couple of years. He was sitting quietly reading the Sun and drinking a cup of tea. I sat down and it was as if the last two years had simply not happened. After the tiniest amount of hesitation the damnedest thing happened, I realised that we were both suddenly relieved of the burden of fatal competition. Neither of us had anything, any longer, to prove. We looked each other in the eye and it was all OK. What ever it was that had bugged both of us when we stopped talking all that time ago-had gone. Instead of strange looks and odd recriminations we laughed about Tuesday’s Sun newspaper witty headline after Kim il Sung exploded the nuclear device: How Do You Solve a Problem like Korea? Genius. It was delightful to see him.

Nick and I were at film school in Dorset ten years ago and at that time and for a few years after we had a pretty intense, inseparable friendship. The same sort of co-dependant friendship that I had with Richard Green during most of my twenties. These homoerotic, non-sexual, highly charged friendships I associate most with my alcoholism. I have had them with both women and men and they usually end very badly. They are creatively and emotionally explosive but regardless of the outcome, for me, have been the greatest relationships of my life.

When Nick left we gave each other the hugest hug. I kissed him on the neck.

I took the tube to the Frieze art fair where I met Bettina who is organising the press for Dorian. Bumped into and chatted warmly with Tracy Emin, Benedict Taschen, Max Wigram, Simon English, Sam Hodgkin, Paul Kasmin and many, many others. Apart from Benedict, I have known most of these people for most of my adult life. It felt very good to embrace all of them. We are getting older and less ambitious. That is a very good thing. Saw Jay from afar but can still not bring myself to say hello. His rottweiler hench men prowling the stand.

What did I see that I liked? The only ‘art’ I liked was ironically on Jay’s stand. Jake and Dinos Chapman were sitting in a wall papered booth painting people’s portraits, Leicester Square style, for £4.5k. Very witty. Right on the money. Genius.

Missed buying Ryan McGinley’s pissing boy by ten minutes.

I did not see Samia, which was very odd. She was there but we curiously missed one another.

After the show I hooked up with Robert Yates from the Observer and his fiancé. We went to a ghastly Deutche Bank party at 5 Cavendish Square-I stayed ten minutes then walked to Soho House (the epicentre of my London social life) where I met Christian C and his blonde friend from university. The friend wanted, very amusingly to get ‘fucked in the arse’. He was adamant but we remained at the bar and Christian and I just jawed for hours about LA and London and the relative values of each city. The friend, eager for a stuffing persuaded us to go to a tacky gay bar a few streets away where a toothless drug dealer tried to sell us cocaine and pills. I was wearing Dior so had no intention of staying in that ghastly place for long.

Christian, realising that I was in no mood for gams and the young took me to Trisha’s on Dean St, which is a basement room with pictures of the Pope on the wall. An old-fashioned speak easy. It was rather wonderful. Chatted about ‘The Queen’ and Diana of Wales and soap operas. When we ran out of cash we headed over to Soho House where we met Alan Cummings and the cast of Bent. We hung out with them until 3 in the morning and then I took the night bus home. Briefly thought about taking a cab as a bunch of Asian youths were brawling on the street and I was wearing red shoes but thought better of it and caught a number 38 which took me directly to Phil’s. Crept into bed. Slept like a log.

The following day I really did more of the same. Phil and I drove back to Frieze Art Fair where I bought a Ryan McGinley. We had a slight consternation about Moffy and mobile phones, which meant that Phil had to dash off almost as soon as we arrived but before she left we bumped into Samia and her friend Isabella. Samia truly is the chicest woman alive. Mauve chiffon blouse, patent pumps and raven black hair.

I had tea with my brand new obsession de jour-Harry C. We walked from Regent’s Park to the Dover Street Hotel and sat in the lobby, now remodelled, where Scott Crolla and I used to go when Crolla still existed. The high tea with scones etc. cost $150. Absurd. Harry is a blonde, willowy, 25-year-old Etonian with the sweetest disposition. Married. Lives in Paris. Beautiful.

After tea I headed over to Sotheby’s for the Whitechapel benefit auction preview. Beautiful Peter Doig painting on the cover of the catalogue. Saw Danny Moynihan and his very funny cousin who has a company called Joe Boxer and lives in San Francisco. Danny begins shooting his new film in seven weeks, Duncan Ward directing. Apparently everyone thinks that it is MY film. That can’t be good for either Danny or Duncan! Saw Max Wigram, also ex-Etonian ex-willowy, ex-sweet disposition. He called me a weirdo-which I suppose I must be. Danny and his cousin left Sotheby’s to find Maia Norman at the Armani party in Knightsbridge so I hung out with Dominic Burning for a good while. Very funny. Raving about Margate and art and how ART can save the day.

From Sotheby’s to the ICA on the Mall for the Cerith Wynn Evans show, it was very dreary. Max Wigram called me a weirdo there too. The best thing about the ICA was that it reminded me of performing there in our performance art piece PORNOGRAPHY: A SPECTACLE. I could smell it. The memory of being there. 3 weeks of performing in that space. I think we performed The Host there too. Georgia Byng, Marc Quinn’s wife, performed in that.

Ended up, of course, at Soho House with Nick Moran for late egg and chips. Night bus home.

3:17 AM

October 11, 2006 – Wednesday

LONDON

Pouring rain. Soho House.

I left LA on Sunday after the Bonham’s Sunset sale. I bought an African head-dress. I don’t know why. I love auction rooms; they have a very calming effect on me.

Dom came over for coffee. We discussed my roommate whose b/f is becoming rather annoying. He woke me and the neighbors the other night loudly vomiting in the bathroom. When I confronted my room-mate about it he told me that poor J was drinking the night before-bad excuse. Very bad excuse.

Andreas collected me from my house in his white Porsche and we drove to LAX in light Sunday traffic in took merely twenty minutes to get there. I had almost no luggage so everything was very light and easy.

I met a very sweet boy in the departure lounge who sat next to me on the plane and told he his life story-took about ten minutes. I fell asleep.

We flew into London over Kew, the pagoda there is so pretty and I realised that what I missed most about home when I am in the US are these great acts of public generosity made for the greater good of the people. We have so much to love about our towns and cities, so much that distinguishes them from each other. In LA we have the HOLLYWOOD sign. LA is a one-postcard town.

Arrived in Chelsea and met Phil at the Mona Lisa on the Kings Road where I ate a huge plate of greasy fried eggs and chips. It was wonderful to be back. Phil looked great-really happy. We jawed for hours. Told her about Peter D accusing me of showing off and she said that some people would always, deliberately misunderstand my enthusiasm.

Phil and I went to evensong at St Martins in the Fields then dinner in Soho. After dinner on the way home had to get passport pictures-had them made in Sloane Square photo booth. It took all of 3 minutes.

By the end of Monday I was exhausted. Desperate to go to bed. Slept very badly. Up at 4. Answered e-mails. Could not sleep. No mountain to climb.

Yesterday morning I headed over to Mayfair on the bus where I had business to attend to. Lunch with Bettina at Soho House to discuss film then hung out with Luca M all afternoon at his house until Phil arrived and ate deep-fried spring rolls. There is a new Carluccio on the Fulham Road where Luca and I bought espresso.

Tuesday night NA meeting. Really good.

Dinner at the Chelsea Arts Club with Phil, Piers de Lazlo and his mad, drunk ex-girlfriend. I know that this may cause some controversy but in my opinion drunken women make appalling company-much worse than men. They are so undignified. Bumped into Laura and Peter Carew who were looking very elegant. Peter asked for Xan’s number as they were in the Dangerous Sports Club together and Laura was moved to tears when I told her that I had met Patrick Kinmonth in LA after 10 years of not seeing him. She misses him terribly. Sardines and stuffed pork belly for dinner.

This morning wrote article for Steve G then took bus in pouring rain to Soho. Bumped into and was delighted to see Nick Love who I had not seen for ages. He looked like a man-which he is nowadays. We were at film school together and have been on off friends for 15 years. As he left he gave me a huge smile and a cheeky wink.

6:38 AM

October 8, 2006 – Sunday

Peter D

Friday was another day of boring lawyers and stuff that I simply had to get on and deal with. Signing with new agency, management, publicist and lawyers in one foul swoop. Exciting and EXHAUSTING. All of that palaver had to be handled by the time I leave for London tomorrow. It had to be done. A new broom.

Lunch at Barney’s with Bram.

Had dinner on Friday night with Michael C and two other producers in Beverly Hills. It might have been a jollier evening but I was tired.

I am in London for ten days then I go immediately to New York for Tim’s birthday party and meetings with buyers. Then it’s Sydney for all of November.

Today went to 8am AA meeting. No walk. Coffee in Urth café with Will.

Alexa came with me to Bonham’s to view the Sunset Estate Sale and guess who I bumped into! Peter D. He was Outraged!! He said, “I don’t appreciate that you wrote about me in your BLOG (see yesterday’s blog). I’ve never trusted you. I said to (?) ten years ago ‘I like him but I don’t trust him’. I didn’t have to be pleasant to you first thing in the morning. Showing off about your party.”

This indignant tirade about my blog, which one of my helpful readers had passed onto Peter D by e-mail. How speedily news travels! Then he changed tack and huffed and puffed about how ‘grateful’ he was to me for alerting him to the dangers of gossip. Alexsa, listening in, just laughed as discreetly as she could out of Peter’s view. It took will power not to laugh at his pathetic tantrum there in the middle of Bonham’s. Paulo, sitting behind the desk, asked us three times to leave the foyer.

“Was anything I said made up?” I asked. “No”. he flamed. “Then how have I been untrustworthy?” “You’re right, I shouldn’t gossip”. He said. “So it was you that was untrustworthy?” I asked calmly.

Peter had waited ten years for evidence of untrustworthiness and finally he had PROOF that I was indeed the person he always thought I was, or heard I was, because I simply and honestly reported what he had told me yesterday. As he blustered I just kept thinking, this is nothing to do with me, this man has been waiting ten years for me to let him down. A long-term self-fulfilling prophecy. As I tuned back into his diatribe he said, “How many people did she kill on Everest? Was it two or three?” As he was unable to let the story go I thought that I should, at least, defend my hostess as she had been so generous to me. Armed with a little information from the Internet I said, “What proof do you have that she killed any people on Everest? From what I can gather the worst thing she did was have a copy of Vogue sent up the mountain. If any one of your society friends whom you DO approve of had done that you might very well of thought it humorous. The worst thing Sandy did, as far as you and the bunch of piranhas you hang out with are concerned-is survive”. At that point he totally capitulated and resorted to petty insults.

Aleksa and Devon

The great thing about this blog is that I find out very quickly whom I can depend on. Those who loathe being mentioned are usually snotty ex pat Brits who are embarrassed to know me. People who dip into my life to see what is going on but too embarrassed to say that they have been there. Like visiting mad people at Bedlam.

The fact is, I have never felt very comfortable around Peter. He insists on making totally unprovoked bitchy jibes. “Darling, you need to get my boyfriend to give you botox.” I have tried very hard to be as friendly as I can but ultimately this argument has revealed him to be an old-fashioned, self-serving, godless snob. His best friend is a camp, Greek illustrator with an active drink problem who battles Peter in some vile post-modern contest to see who can be more offensive. Peter lives a metaphysical farce.

He is consequently a very angry and resentful man. Of course I know exactly why, but THAT is something I would never, ever write here.

To his credit he did say that the only blog worth reading was Arriana Huffington’s. I agree. It’s very funny and informative and deliciously personal. But, one thing is sure, if Arriana Huffington had had to fight for survival on the side of a mountain like Sandy H did that fateful day in 1998 Peter might have given some thought to what it must have felt like to make life or death decisions. Decisions that in the decorated drawing rooms of West Hollywood would not have seemed terribly chic at all-darling.

Had lunch with Alexa and Sharon at Cheebo.

Dom for malted milk shakes this afternoon.

Michael C picked me up at 9.30 and we drove to the Hollywood sign where a rather odd 40th birthday party was taking place. A drum circle, fire pit, belly dancers and women on stilts. Met a couple of actors, a rocket scientist and a comedienne. After a couple of hours of not really engaging and some spicy chicken wings I walked home.

8:37 AM

October 6, 2006 – Friday

Dead Poet

I have just returned from my later than usual walk. Finding it hard to focus this morning. Do I need to get my eyes tested?

Yesterday Romaine, my friend from Nice, came to the house whilst I did the laundry and we drank coffee and killed time before I prepared to meet Amanda R in Bel Air.

I had been invited via Amanda R by Sandy H to: A pre-Halloween celebration: “Dinner of the Dead Poets”.

THE INVITATION:

‘It will be held at my ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley on the night of the full moon.

This will be a formal, black tie and ball gown, dinner for just 12 people. I know that you possess both the imagination and the wardrobe to be an important guest at this artistic evening. Please come dressed as a dead poet and bring a poem to recite which was written by the character you have chosen.

In order to facilitate your transportation needs, I would like to send my plane to bring you to Santa Ynez (a 30 minute flight from Santa Monica airport, leaving at about 4:30 PM) and to return you back to Los Angeles before midnight on the 5th’.

So, that is what we did. I decided to dress as and read from Oscar Wilde. As a dead Oscar I interpreted the event accordingly. I wore Miu Miu knickerbockers; my new Dior jacket and long pink stockings with red shoes. Thank God I took my huge aubergine silk velvet scarf that Tania Sarn gave me and threw it over my head. It was freezing!

On the way there I sat next to the pilot, which was wonderful watching the journey unfold in front of me. I was not at all frightened. It was like having goggles on underwater. I can’t swim without goggles because my biggest fear is the unknown. On the way back I sat in the back and I felt every bump-it was scary just because I couldn’t see.

When we got to the tiny airport we were chauffeured twenty minutes to a contemporary house that looked like a vert de gris Mayan Temple. The house was filled with amazing furniture by George Nakashima-one of the best collections of his work that I have ever seen. A beautiful, 24 seat dining table was particularly stunning. The only other person to have such beautiful Nakashima pieces is, of course, Eugenio Lopez.

The really great find of the evening was Bo, our hostess’s 25-year-old son, who is a friend of Oscar H’s. He drove me, at great speed, in his turbo Porsche to the party, which was set in a vineyard ten minutes from the house. Charming, sweet boy.

We ate in the winery, which had been beautifully decorated for the occasion. The twelve of us sat under a diaphanous golden awning. We all had our photographs taken. We then ate amazing organic food that had been fedexed from Ohio. There was a small band that played suitably dead music and a young woman sang gently in the background. Spookily the accordion player looked EXACTLY like Vivian Westwood.
Each course had a poetic theme. Mince and Quince for instance (Lear). Our hostess was charming and funny and dressed as a 9th century Chinese poet. She was wearing a wonderful plum coloured fortuny dress and earrings that were once owned by Diana Vreeland.

In between each course the guests, in order of when they died, stood up and introduced themselves. I stood up as Oscar Wilde and told them about my life and work. I then read the first part of The Ballad of Reading Jail. When I finished Ovid said, “That was intense”. I sat between Emily Dickinson (who looked more like Janice Dickinson) and Bo’s very pretty girlfriend. Amanda R went as Rilke, which was a great choice as she got to wear a wonderful Vera Wang dress. However, the dress was so sheer the poor thing, who is all skin and bones, just began to fade away in the freezing room. By the end of dinner Amanda/Rilke had totally lost her voice and she may very well have consumption by sunrise.

After dinner the car came and we were flown home. In bed by 1.30am.

This morning there were 41 dogs on the Canyon path four of them belonging to Peter D who I bumped into as they were leaving the park. I heard him before I saw him, as did the other concerned walkers who exchanged worried looks at the sound of this man screaming at his dogs. He was shouting at one of his small Yorkies to get back on the path. Peter K in tow.

I cheerily said hello and kissed them both. We were all a bit too sweaty for that kind of greeting. He asked about the film and apologised for not returning my calls. It was at this moment that I began to have a sort of out-of-body experience. My outer me saying, “LEAVE, walk away from the area, don’t tell him anything, just get out of there as quickly as you can”. My actual body is now fully engaged in conversation. I asked about the Sunset Sale at Bonham’s. “I’ve already been”.

I began to tell him about the party I went to last night, he snapped “She’s a NIGHTMARE, she killed two people on Everest”. I did not react. I just looked carefully as him and began to gently erase him out of the picture. I felt rather sorry that he was so angry. “I rather liked her,” I said. “We had a wonderful time”. He just looked at me as if to say of COURSE you would like some one like that. “I’ve got a meeting at the Palisades”. He barked at Peter K who was pulling twigs off of the dog. Peter D, angry before I got there-I bet he’ll be angry all day. He was wearing lurid pink underwear.

4:14 PM

October 5, 2006 – Thursday

Dior

12 dogs. Russians. Ukrainians. A dog called Mike. Clockwise. Beautiful, sunny, fresh.

Yesterday, as a result of my commitment to contrary action, I had a very business like day.

Met bank about mortgage.

Chatted more with Ruth about film.

Sent various e-mails terminating various business relationships so I can concentrate on the next phase.

Aleksa Palladino

I wrote.

I bought a jacket at Dior. I bought socks at Turnbull and Asser for the party I am going to this evening in the desert.

Spoke to Eric. It is raining in San Francisco.

AA meeting at 7.45.

Alexsa and Devon for dinner. Cooked chicken, boiled potatoes and peas. Strangely delicious.

In bed by 11.30. Heard Daniel get in at 3am. How does he do it?

9:14 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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