Sunday, 30 August 2009

DUST AND AIR


I got back to Chester Square yesterday to find the house full of red and white roses from Wild at Hart and a marriage proposal. I usually do the proposing so it made a change, although the answer is no. Domestic bliss really doesn't suit me this week. I am having fun, and wish to go to Paris at the end of September with the feeling that I am free still, although it might or might not be the case. Its so much fun being single and being proposed to at the same time.

Bristish Airways upgraded me yesterday to First Class thinking they were doing me a huge favour, of course they weren't. I am a spoilt bag. I like the peace and quiet of upstairs in seat number 63K, instead of the continual service and nagging of the staff in First Class. Yes I can make own bed, and No I don't like to eat. The food is worse than boarding school, and the other passengers come off a cruise liner. So give me the solitude of my seat and I am a happy bunny.

It was sad to leave the buzz of Los Angeles behind and the continual conversations about The Burning Man. I really wanted to go, but without a hairdresser or shower for a week I might go crazy. The sand which burns goes everywhere and I don't think my humour would last so it is with regret that I said no. It is meant to be an eye opener to the meaning of life with plenty of sex. I think if I found what that is I might not like the answer, so I shall carry on being ignorant and as for lot of sex, well .....

Thursday, 27 August 2009

GOOD BYE HILLS


Holidays are usually exhausting for me, running around after my friends. This time however it with enormous regret that it has ended. I have loved the last twenty days. It has had some unusual craziness that I won't go into, but it will keep me young. I feel a teenager. Los Angeles is really not a holiday for me as I actually have a house and a job here. As I look out of my bedroom, whilst lying in my bed, I can see hills, the sun shining, and my swimming pool. Why am I rushing back to London, I ask myself, for what? Oh well I have to start packing.

Monday, 24 August 2009

TAROTS AND SKULLS


I have just been told that with a witch on speed dial and seven packs of tarot cards no one would seriously be shitty with me. Now that is something I like hearing. I was also cross examined as to why I liked skulls so much, and why I have so many of them in my house. The answer is that I am a goth at heart I think, I also dream of riding huge bikes that I would be too frightened to use. I gave my friend a present and it was turned down because they want to ward off bad energy. What sort of impression must I have given. Well perhaps it is a good thing, there will be apparently no messing with me.
In the mean time I like Yoga and Church just as much as white witchery so off I go for a two hour lesson with Eka. She teaches Iyengar Yoga, but is much less harsh that the master back in London. Looking like a Nubian Princess, she elegantly shows us the light.

Here there seems to be no rest for the wicked, I had lunch with my fellow blogger Julie Anne Rhodes at Cecconis in Beverly Hills, who will shortly be doing a book about her fabulous cooking and life with Nick Rhodes. So good to meet her. within seconds I knew I would like her, we openly discussed our ages and whether I would be suitable for her ex. Well I never thought about it before, I like to be the prettiest one in the bathroom and Nick and I would definitely argue over the make up on the pillow case and whose foundation belonged to whom.. Lisa Borgnes Giramonte was there too, who has an incredible blog called http://abloomsburylife.blogspot.com, try reading the books she does in a year. There is something adorable about her love with the English.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

A SMALL GOSFORD PARK










I Went to Hollywood to a pretty house beautifully restored by my fellow blogger, Lisa Borgnes Giramonti whose life is an intellectuals dream. Her delightful house reflects her brain too. You can discover characters in every corner of the house. Cecil Beaton, The Bloomsbury Set, Virginia Woolf, her bookshelves swimming with her inspirational heros. Lisa has created Gosford Park amongst the Neon Lights, broken pavements, drunks and noise. Her blog is one of the best I have ever read. http://abloomsburylife.blogspot.com
For 1.5 million dollars you can live like the original Hollywood stars, Los Feliz was the first Hollywood Community, Chaplin and Cecile B Demille both set up home here.
LisaI is prolific collector and reader and is a joy to be with. Check out her site.

PHOTOGRAPHING MEN IS AS TERRIFYING AS YOUR FIRST KISS



The thought of rushing home to clear up my house fills me with dread. I have loved it so much. Easier would be to lock it and disappear leaving Cadogan Tate to take everything and put it into storage. Of course keeping my YSL shoes out and my shorts too. I dread the feeling of packing up and chucking out old friends. It is light and fun in Los Angeles, and from my bed I see the sunset over the hill.

Have had a very busy two days, photographing Maria Bonner and Emma Ford. What fun it was stripping off a young boy and placing him between them. We laughed so much and so I have broken a promise of a life time and taken pictures of a naked man.
It was quite terrifying like the first time you get kissed. What if he has an erection in the shoot, what if the models take him off and make love in the middle, what if I fancy them, and so on. I have always dreaded the beauty and nakedness of men, what if I don't, and I don't, look as good as they do in the altogether. I had forgotten how exhausting it is taking photographs for myself. It has been an age since I have found models that I like, actually I only found them because Bob Carlos- Clarke sent them to me. He knew the type of beauty I liked and would send them round. In fact Emma is one of his favorite models so it was fun taking pictures of her.
With a great struggle I re dressed and got ready for Diana Jenkins birthday party whose husband is Roger Jenkins of Barclays Capital, in Malibu. Just as I was about to leave my car refused to start, I thought about pushing it down the hill in my twenty inch heals, not a good idea so Jack the Sad rang my photographic assistant who rushed round with some jump leads. There we are, and we are told people don't care about others in LA but actually they do.
So off we dashed, once my car started, for a wonderful celebrity soiree with Sean Penn, Zeta Graff,The Hilton Sisters, and we evan witnessed pretty Paris being refused entry, when she actually wanted re entry, Kid Rock, Cindy Crawford, and Tamara Beckwith. The party had the best belly dancer I had ever seen, I was unable to stop watching. After an In and Out Burger, and leaving with some new health drinks called Euro, we sped of f home to sleep. But before leaving I saw the best Motor bikes I have ever seen, I have a huge fantasy riding one, I have dreams of riding through America on one.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

CROSS FIRE AND FUNNY GAMES



What a week its been between wanting to sling out guests who stub ciggies in my shrubs to hanging out with some of Hollywoods extra characers. Along with finding out about Womans Extenze, on television, that gives women that extra edge of sexual energy. Well I won't be needing that. I have too much.
I love this city, and tonight was without exception. I went for a little sushi with my good friend Michel Comte, Mr super photographer and his wife Ayako. He brought with him Nikki Haskell, a woman who certainly won't be needing Womans Extenze, judging by her comments at dinner. Her appartment overlooking Sunset Boulevard, is the home of many a star, from Joan Collins to Elton John. How fabulous would it be first thing in the morning, in the lift, meeting all of them barefaced, I would run for a burkha. Anyway Nikki can do everything from painting to sculpting, once a top television hostess. Her apartment was suitably kitch with pale pink, green and grey chintz, and silk flowers alongside Warhol's portraits of her. I left armed with her beauty regimes one of them called Star Cruncher, guarantees abs and a figure like Joanie, and anything Miss Collins puts her name to I am following. Then Nikki told me she had made some slimming pills, STARCAPS, I looked on the bottle and they were made from Guave and Garlic. Now I definitely wanted those. So I begged. I shall again be skinny. That reminds me the Brazilians are coming back. Ypee starvation is coming soon.
Having taken them this morning I have been on the loo ever since. They must be working. I am going to nag her for some more. I have lost 2pounds since the morning. Now the STAR CRUNCH guarantees a six pack, the exercise machine that you wear like a belt. It has pullys from the waist. I am in the middle of cross fire whether it will work or not. The pills do. When Nikki put the belt on last night, I thought she was going to bunjy like buzz from the 28th Floor of her building.

Two nights ago I had dinner with Freddy Demann and his wife, who has created so much talent in this town, from Madonna to Stevie Wonder. The SLS has a Tapas restaurant with wierd recipes, from spun sugar over foie gras. Love the look of it, Stark created a sensation.

My house is now being taken over by celebrities and run efficiently by P.R Miss Tess Finkle. A fun blonde with the best spirit, she guarantees that she will always pull through. I can see it won't be the typical LA bullshit. She does it with a smile. But lets not forget my fav public relation girlies Lara Shriftman and Eileen Koch, but there is room for everybody. Both incidently blonde too now I am off to meet some of the youth..

Monday, 17 August 2009

CRIKEY, IT'S MRS CROMWELL!


I feel like a frazzled housewife. Summer is here again, and again I have guests. It is exhausting - probably more exhausting than staying with someone - and I understand both sides. From my point of view, it's like this: I have the best intentions and will stay calm, so I won't tell my guests I hate smoking and drugs. But facts are facts. I hate both.

The messiness of these people is quite vile. It's as if smoking gives them a license for selfish behaviour. There are fags stubbed out in orchids, ash all over the place, glasses and coffee cups used as ash trays - and nobody clearing up. It is an occupational hazard having them to stay. Last night, I found a candle dripping wax everywhere, which the smokers had lit that they could keep puffing on their poison. The night before that, I heard one of my best friends say to another: 'You're not still smoking, are you? It's so 2007' - and I agree. It's out in the open now. In future, I shall only have non-smokers and non-roll-uppers to stay.

But why stop there? What about the guest who wishes to be entertained when you are trying to run a house? It's like being a hotel keeper, or a matron. All the time, they're on the telephone, asking you if you want lunch, or to learn surfing, or to go shopping. Well, I have shopped until I dropped - and I prefer tango to surfing.

Then there is the guest who likes to cook bacon and eggs in the middle of the night, leaving the fat smouldering for me to clear up. Or the guest who gives my poor housekeepers thirty dresses to iron, and then wears only one, leaving the others on the floor. (As for leaving the housekeeper a tip, that seems to have gone out with the equal opportunities act.) And then there is the guest who gets up at lunchtime, never helps, leaves a trail of dirty washing, and screams if they have lost something. And the one - so infuriating - who doesn't tell you when they've broken something.

Oh dear, then there are the neighbours. Your guests are playing tennis at 2am and the lights on the court are keeping everybody awake! Well, we are in Beverly 'Positive' Hills, where everybody has been asleep since 10pm, so they can make that t 4.30am call to London...

I am off to buy a smaller something that looks big and where nobody can stay.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

LIFE'S MEANING


What does life mean? I hear everybody ask this. The young with little direction don't know what to do. I tried to learn with the school run and obtained dead eyes, when my dreams were crushed, not crushed of course by my children but by 'time'. What does anything mean?. When I was growing up I questioned everything. What if there was a nuclear war?, what if the world turned upside down?, what would happen to my children, and so on. I think one must remain in your time and try to do a job which one loves, and enjoy the nucleus of the family. Accepting that this is also irrelevant, and that it really doesn't matter, nothing does as long as no one is hurt. I still though question everything, is it interesting I think not. We are dust and when we die we return to dust. At least I have humour and religion and for me personally, this alone saves me. So while you learn, enjoy the plants, the music, the sun, the rain, and enjoy your bath.

Running Far Away
I still saw you
Shutting off the
sound I still hear you
your voice is heard
At night with no
light I still feel
you

Thursday, 13 August 2009

TIME ZONES AND TOP HATS




I am from now onwards going to hang out with the young and lively, of course not forgetting the old. There has however to be a change. Yesterday I gave a dinner at my house for Trinny Woodall in Beverly Hills and it made me laugh, everybody here has a 5.30 am meetings with New York and so start twitching and watching the clock at about 9.30pm in order to whip home in time for their 4.39 am wake up call with their Trainers. Have they got the time wrong I wonder? Is it a new 'green' policy to keep down the electricity useage? Or is it that the inhabitants of Los Angeles are completely anti social workaholics that hate friendship. This can't be true. They must like me. The flowers by Eric Butterbaugh made the party, he is a charming genius. The funny thing is over here you never know who is in your house, and I recognise few famous people. Yesterday was the same, a whole lot of friends of friends arrived bearing gifts. I was asked to read the tarot cards of this very trendy sleek guy called Slash from Guns and Roses. I knew nothing about him, as usual. I have obviously heard about Guns and Roses but know little about them except one of them wears a top hat and danced while playing the guitar with Michael Jackson, well this was the very dude sitting opposite me, but I was only told later on. I hope to god I read the cards correctly, I love doing them but anyway Slash's life has to be cherished because I have never seen a person with so much luck.

Trinny and I tried a little shopping expedition together to my favourite shop Maxfields, it was a trifle embarrassing when all the items of clothing we tried on proved to be three thousand dollars upwards, the answer is that however well off you may be its a disturbing to find clothes this expensive. I personally find it difficult to wear fur when you see heart rending pictures of animals dying in agony but there was a delicious black shaved mink bolero by Rick Owens.

I do feel trendy having ventured to the Hollywood Bowl to see Lang Lang and Herbie Hancock, although I think they tricked the audience into listening to Vaughan Williams. Not easy if you hate classical music and not easy if you love it, which I do. Also the lazer show of Led Zepplin was quite magnificent, shown in a fashionably shabby flea pit in Los Angeles.
When it takes thirty minutes to buy a bottle of milk in Beverly Hills due to the distances you think about venturing out and usually I leave the fridge so empty that the boys volunteer to buy food, so at least I don't have to enter the huge massive super markets. Something I hate.

Now have to work, off to choose my page for Genlux Magazine, a little work does no harm. I then met Stephen and Zeta Graff who is Genlux's Jewellery Editor, she also has a fabulous new range of circular balls in yellow, black and white diamonds.

Friday, 7 August 2009

TANTRA AND CANDLES




There are only a few shops on the planet that I can feel excited to enter, Coco de Mer is one of them, evan though they don't stock my book, Cloak and Dagger Butterfly, which is quite infuriating as it would look so good on their shelves. However putting this aside I have to say that it is the only one I don't get hot flushes when I enter and immediately want to leave. I suppose I do have a fascination with sex, the idea that you can go so very far with it. I was once interested in Tantra and realised that unless the men in my life had training there would not be much point in learning it unless they found this to be to their liking too. It can be a frightening experience, expertise, tatty and rather tasteless. Coco de Mer makes everything wonderfully romantic, deviant yes but romantic and sweet smelling. As I can be both wild and a prude, in the same moment this is essential.
I once went to a Tantric Sex lesson in North London and the man looked like a perverted creep, while he was massaging my friends shoulders I wanted to escape. All around the room were these huge dildos and all I wanted to do was hide in a corner. I left promising to have ten lessons and then immediately cancelled them. Yes, sex can be terrifying.
Anyway, at Coco de Mer's Los Angeles shop, Loree Rodkin yesterday launched her range of exotic candles for us to smell: gardenia, incense, old fashioned aromas. Loree is known for her funky jewellery and kitting out Michelle Obama in her finery.
I bought the most incredible ring from her last month, a moth with opals. She sells at my other favourite LA shop, too, Maxfields. I once promised to marry Mr Maxfield on the strength of his shop. I have always loved a Gothic experience and this fills every aspect of my imagination. Of course he might not be so enamoured by me, as I haven't 6ft blonde legs, but I would be his most faithful customer.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” (Walter Winchell)

Please, for goodness sake, tell me the etiquette of dealing with the socially ambitious who wish to befriend your ex-husband and still pretend to love you. It has become perfectly plain to me that people love to torture ex-wives by asking them the following: "Would you mind if we have dinner with your ex and his new squeeze?" I really don't know why, in the name of so-called amity, they love to rub your nose in your old shit. I'd prefer to hear the truth: they no longer like you, they want to get to him through her. But am I supposed to be above all forms of anger? These people always ask the same predictable way, and definitely want to go. It's almost as if the most attractive thing on the agenda is to say whatever will hurt the ex the most. As friendship is the most important thing in my life, and I have very clear definitions for this weird sort of relationship, I would not want to deliberately upset my closest pals. In fact I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that, when offered tempting invitations with disloyal vibrations behind them, I have always said no. But then I am not interested in forming fickle bonds - though I totally understand the delicate art of business networking. I explained this to a very wonderful old chum, and he graciously refused an invitation from the squeeze, but there are plenty more who wouldn't behave so well. As my ex once said to me: "I don't understand the concept of friendship. Friends are the very people who stop you doing the very thing you want to do." Which is why I suppose I don't care if creepy pals want to disturb his peace. But why would the new squeeze be interested in such fair-weather freeloaders - other than to prove to me that such one-upmanship is interesting? As my real, sweet, friend David Collins once said to me:when he witnessed something of this nature: "These people should be careful, or someone will do the same to them." (And with chums like Madonna, he should know.) The squeeze should realise that this will be her fate. I give it two years.

THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF ITALIAN GREYHOUNDS


I am not a dog lover. I think I am, but any real affection actually got killed off when I was a little girl and my mother's dogs shat all over the place, driving me "Miss Howard Hughes" crazy. I used to skid my way to the bath each morning, swearing aged six that I was going to move out. So I have dreams of liking them, but confused ones. Last year, I bought some Italian Greyhounds in Los Angeles. The idea was to keep the image up - of Beverly Hills, and owning a petite, pocket pooch. However, two months and three thousand dollars in training fees later, I was near to screaming point. These two supposedly delightful creatures chewed up everything in sight and pood everywhere. It was my six year old nightmare come back to haunt me. Luckily, the Pool Man offered to have them when I was away, and now I have visiting rights which is much more attractive than daily rights. When I say visiting rights I mean they come to me not me to them. So now they arrive, lift their legs, tear up the cushions and then leave.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

CHEYNE WALK, LONDON SW3

At last it happened, and thanks a lot to my tenacity. I bought my number one house and complete on it in September. Chester Square, I leave in good hands, I have loved and treasured it, the ghosts and dust of past owners, among them my hero John Osbourne the author of Look Back in Anger. Sixties rebel. Sir Hugh Casson did the interiors when you didn't need permits to fit a light bulb. It was crazy when I arrived there, with chain metal ceilings, a huge avery, a fireplace in the middle of the drawing room. Thank goodness for craziness, thank goodness for freedom and no permits. I am sick of local governments demanding such boring things as permissions and fire regulations, its a bore. I am moving to Chelsea, where I shall live hopefully amidst the ghosts of the original true Bohemia.
"LIFE IS THE LUST OF A LAMP FOR THE LIGHT THAT IS DARK TILL THE DAWN OF THE DAY THAT WE DIE"

SWINBURNE