Saturday, February 28, 2009

The World Turns

What a week it has been! And tomorrow we go to the legendary Esalen for a week.

I have great reluctance to talk about the film but I was blown away when I saw it at last. DVDs have been sent to various festivals, I suppose now we turn our attention to other things. It is like being pregnant. Deep excitement with no means of expression.

I am sewing and gardening and fiddling about with the apartment downstairs. Also need to pack. Best hot tub in California: here we come!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mr Toad

I know it is spring because the morning was shouting to me to come outside, so I went out on the deck in bright sunshine and made a little stool from driftwood, just like the one Grandpa made for Colin and me from his scraps of timber. I didn't measure anything, made it all by eye, but couldn't help thinking how much easier it is with a chop saw and cordless drill.

We didn't have our first viewing last night due to technical difficulties with projection and the BluRay. Tonight.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just Sitting

High tide, taupe and silver morning, with little ducks zipping about on smooth water dark on light, and so fuzzy without my glasses they were just manifestations of water. I am reading a Zen book of William's and I felt like a manifestation of water too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Wild hail and driving wind whipping the caps of the water just after dawn, and I in my bed with my early morning latte and book.

Monday, February 16, 2009


When I went to my room this evening I realised it smells just like my grandmother's house - cold air, and tea and lavender, and wet wool. How could this subtlety travel across time and space to land up here, Scotland to California?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pecking Order of Loos

I drove home tonight in a daze of contentment and a degree of lower back pain after having installed a new industrial-strength loo at Webster Street - with a promise of a report on its performance. If it leaks my credibility is in shreds. It is very handsome, low and sleek and miles better than the Toto now in the back of my truck, destined either for the dump or the flat downstairs. A ripple effect.

I had such a strong urge for a pot of hyacinths that I stopped at Strawberry on the way home, but all they had were stiff unlovely bouquets for Valentine's Day (the Hallmark opportunity). Tomorrow we are working on Angel Island so I won't be able to see if there are hyacinths or violets at the Farmer's Market, but I can put my need on hold until Monday.

We visited Dan in his completely re-built house on Friday and sat looking over to the harbour at Angel Island, eating bagels and smoked salmon from the new kitchen, sitting on plastic outdoor chairs as there is no furniture yet, and talking of debtor's prison. He has been building for three years, and it is beautiful, but in the current economic climate it seems very, very big. I love his cabin in Mendocino which is one big room!

Friday, February 13, 2009

O Fat White Woman, Fight Back!

Why do you rush through the fields in trains,
Guessing so much and so much.
Why do you flash through the flowery meads,
Fat-head poet that nobody reads;
And how do you know such a frightful lot
About people in gloves and such?

O why do you walk through the fields in boots,
Missing so much and so much?
O fat white woman whom nobody shoots,
Why do you walk through the fields in boots,
When the grass is soft as the breast of coots
And shivering-sweet to the touch?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I woke to a glorious dawn and started dismantling the Harley-Davidson motorcycle jacket to use on the publicity still of the film, singing,

"He wore black denim trousers and motorcycle boots
And a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back
He had a hopped-up 'cicle that took off like a gun
That feller was the terror of Highway 101

Well, he never washed his face and he never combed his hair
He had axle grease imbedded underneath his fingernails
On the muscle of his arm was a red tattoo
A picture of a heart saying 'Mother, I love you'"

Well remembered from my far-off childhood, except we sang 'iggle', not eagle, and we loved the loucheness of it all.

When I checked the original photo though, Snake wasn't wearing a leather jacket at all, but a T-shirt. Wah happen?

The moment is rendered Proustian since I now live two miles from the 101, which was so fabulous in my imagination.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crossed Wires

More like a bird's nest of wires from the many, many items of equipment we accumulate. Some had velcro ties, but most were just loose or were bundled up with masking tape which makes them disgustingly sticky - sticky with a side of slime. DON'T DO IT! I WILL TAKE CARE OF THE WIRES!

So I sat like an old dam with her knitting and resolved the tangle into power leads, chargers, and my best score, twenty-eight transformers. (Update: thirty-two.) All cleaned (sorry, cleansed) with Goo-Gone and put in orderly rows, ready for identification by next of kin, aka Stefan.

If we keep them, and I bet most of them are redundant, I will buy velcro ties and ziplok bags and labels for them. Can't wait.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


I went to the garden centre to see more succulents, but the selection was dismal and in poor condition, jumbled together and damaged - so I picked up the pieces, palmed them and potted them. I have no qualms either.

See the Rose and Woodbine Twine

Under a threatening storm I have been up under the arbour painstakingly cutting out the morning glory which was hanging in a sodden swathe, and I discovered my rosa chinensis mutabilis had managed to infiltrate and clamber right to the top! It is not meant to be a climber, but it is certainly behaving like one - not like disappointing 'Fourth of July' on the other side, which I have velcroed tightly upwards to give it the idea, but which remains dumbly squat.

I was on tenterhooks for fear of accidentally slashing my precious rose stems in among the twiner - and I had to be careful pulling the lengths through too, to prevent snapping off young shoots. My hands and forearms are bloody from the thorns, but I won, and we can even see blossoms.

I want to go on another succulent hunt since Mary donated her galvanised pots to my collection, then I will hang them along the fence. I bought a tray of ornamental cabbage and planted them out, so I know this is my interest in gardening reasserting itself. A truck of compost any day now.

Mary is going to be my tenant again! We lose Dee and Ed this month which is sad but understandable, and Mary will just slip right in to her old flat. we are trying to work out where to put the chaenomeles, Meyer lemon and Cara Cara orange in their wine tubs.

Tulips are showing green, and the freesias have dozens of tiny buds.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Fat Lady Finals

My subconscious seems to think I might not qualify for the Fat Lady Finals and I have been eating so much. Is it because we are coming to the end of a project I really care about?

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Such a pleasant night, George and Cissy came over for comfort food, bratwurst, potato, cabbage with caraway and apple, and we showed them some of the film and they like it. Nothing like a knowledgeable audience when first showing a new baby.

Welcome Rain

It started to rain gently in the night, and I hope it continues hard and long.

We filmed the bottling of the 2007 vintage on Monday against a deep blue sky and now I suppose the shooting is complete. It has been the most engrossing, seductive and thrilling process but all I can think of is the next part. Last night Stefan found the ending, and I can't imagine one better, and we have the title - Pinot: Escape from Wall Street - and it is perfect.

He has been editing since November and we should be able to put out advance copies later this month, on schedule. It is deeply thrilling and unsettling, since it has occupied a whole year of our young lives, plus our hearts and souls. One crowded hour of glorious life.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009