OK, so the idea of going off for 6 months has still to sink in, and at some point it will, once we establish some sort of routine, I guess. Although that might prove to be a tough one if this past couple of days is anything to go by.
Yesterday we set off for Santa Monica, using Uber for the first time. A bit round the houses, picking up another passenger seemed a tad surreal, but nevertheless an easy and comfortable ride – and free, since it was our first ride – we lost our Uber virginity in LA!
Santa Monica, I hadn’t realised was at the end of the famous route 66, which starts life in Chicago… also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, is one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway system. We were dropped at the pier, right next to Muscle Beach, which we strolled along, with Jo dipping her toes in the icy water. It was the first “real” day of a holiday. I noticed my catching of breath, that I had been enduring for the past few months, disappeared.
We did the pier, became tourists, and meandered aimlessly along its length and breadth. We sat in the sun. Watched the people. I noticed how many “homeless” folk the area accommodated. Under the pier there was quite a private and thriving community, although the dark and damp conditions seemed not an entirely healthy option. I suspect they are left alone by the authorities.
Our perambulations clocked up 8km on Jo’s pedometer. We toured the town centre, farmer’s market, found Wholefoods and purchased salads and wine for the evening meal in front of the television. We decide to take the Big Blue Bus back to the hotel. Public transport in this 500 square miles of sprawling city is notoriously inefficient and slow. We loved this bus ride. It cost us 95cents, thats all we had in change. The guy was happy with that, so were we.
Following the Wholefoods salad and a couple of glasses of Merlot, I was out for the count – my body clock was somewhere over the rainbow! And at 2.00am I was up and listening to a wonderful audiobook. We love this bed. Jo snores more than me. A super kingsize beauty she is, with a friendly firmness, much like the Nuns who used to teach me, although come to think of it, they were pretty wicked! I am referring to the bed here in the comparison, not my good lady wife. Although, come to think it………
Today we decided to Uber into Hollywood. It sort of had to be done. Why? Because we are here. Being in the centre of it all, Hollywood Boulevard, reminded me of what a rat race we live in. The roads were over-crowded, the streets and pavements the same. It was almost too much. I stepped back from it all and pondered the enormity of the human race. This is a place now dedicated to the dollar. Everything is measured by its monetary value. This very young and very big country has forged its future and place in the world by thinking BIG and when they think BIG they double it again to be sure. The size of what has been built and created is driven only by the needs and greeds of the masses. It is very much a thin veneer, about as thin as the silver screen upon which the stories we love to see, are projected. Culture is lost in the ca-ching at the box-office. We believe in the illusion and crave more magic. I am glad we came and pleased to say I have satisfied a boyhood ambition. I used to make films, with my good and life-long friend, at school. Using Standard and Super 8 film we’d rush off at weekends with a select cast and crew and shoot films we scripted. Well since then, I’ve had this quiet ambition to shoot a film in Hollywood. WELL TODAY I DID.
Off to New Orleans tomorrow and a night at the Ritz Carlton, well where-else would a Hollywood film maker stay?