Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving and After

Today for breakfast I has more of the wonderful food Dee and Ed prepared for Thanksgiving, eight people and two dogs, a wood fire. And now I have my own leftovers from a dinner party last night: four people, one cat and a wood fire. There is something so grounding and soothing about a wood fire, not because it is cold - this morning I was kayaking at high tide, and my washing is drying in brilliant sunshine. The sun is low, dazzling off the water, the rooms are full of dancing reflections from the ceilings, everything is clean and in apple-pie order partly I think because this weather is so energising, the deed follows the thought.

I am avoiding any thoughts of Christmas. I have yet to do anything practical with the vintage Christmas skeleton tree I found. A woosh of white spray paint? ( ) Certainly a flutter of hysteria, and mall-dread, tinsel-loathing and horror at the prospect of the tsunami of food coming my way.

From two years ago: "theory that Christmas trees are the sad little tarts of trees: uprooted, tricked out for our pleasure then ruthlessly discarded when they lose their bloom. Rape and pillage."

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20

Everything is happening at once, including the long-awaited rain, so I am immensely gratified that yesterday afternoon I bought and installed a new soft-top and windows on the Jeep, filthy job. The old one leaked, and the windows were so cloudy we were a danger to ourselves and others, so we took a silly little tour of triumph last night, exclaiming all the while how we could see through the rear window! And see cars in the outside lane!

There are plenty of other reason to be cheerful - everyone is well and happily occupied including us, in fact I am verging on overwhelmed but have been managing so I am a little vaunty. The rush production of the last few weeks has been finished and very well received and we have other work into the winter. My dream come true.

Happy Birthday Will!

Friday, November 13, 2009


We have just this minute come home from Nashville via Chicago, complete with a hair-raising gallop from one terminal to another because the first plane was late. Do you see what the time is? 2!

We were able to visit old friends in Nashville from twenty years ago, we had done business together, and it was wonderful catching up, sitting in their triple volume living room in a house based on Tara. We still have the beautiful wedding-ring quilt Waynes's mother Mabel had sent to me in London, all those years ago.

Now to the beddy-bed-bed, with deep gratitude.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I See Dead People

I love scavenging - 'thrifting' in PoliteSpeak -as much as the next person, and here in Marin the pickings are good. I tend not to seek out garage sales since every item I bring into our tight little ship requires that another goes overboard. Last week I passed up a mid-century solid maple tray table with the requisite exquisite sticky-out legs for $4 at the S.A. because I really didn't need it (I certainly hope it went to a good home), but there was an estate sale in a road which always excites my curiosity, so we stopped in on our way back from the Miwok Camp.

Big, comfortable house. Dining room overflowing with glasses and crockery, maybe twenty sets. Piles of copper and more humble jelly moulds. I counted nine clocks.

Outside was even worse: half a dozen barbeques, Foreman grills etc, some still with their boxes. Tables and tables of junk piled high. I had a vision of a couple surrounded and eventually overwhelmed by all that dreadful stuff they had accumulated, until one day it was there and they weren't. Then strangers picking through.

We didn't stay long. I rescued a solid, sensible little pan to boil eggs, 75 cents. I am not as austere as I would like, but I hope when I buy the farm my leavings are in better order than that.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Do you know the scene in Castaway where Tom Hanks dances around bellowing "I have made fi-re!"? I feel a bit like that, because after all the prevarication, procrastination, fear, mimsiness and excuses, this morning I scraped and primed the eaves on the side of the house over the water. Yes, dangling over the water on the sloping roof.

Why am I far more fearful now than when I was young and had more to lose?

Yesterday we were shooting, and tomorrow we are shooting, LA and Nashville next week, so I think the pressure galvanised me into action. I love the day job.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Up with the lark to see owls yesterday, which certainly doesn't sound right. We were filming for WildCare, a favorite client: Juan-Carlos had two stuffed owls and buckets of owl pellets, tweezers and probes, about twenty excitable children and their parents, all in the Miwok Meadows at China Camp under enormous mossy bay laurels. It was fascinating to see the children - even the most rambunctious - so engrossed in teasing tiny skulls, teeth, pelvic bones out of the wodges of fur and feather. Juan-Carlos explained it all in English and in Spanish and I even understood some of the Spanish, hearing it like that.

It really makes work easy to have beautiful little children, low sunlight streaming through the trees in a beautiful setting, as opposed to, say, shooting the manufacture of faggots, all mixers full of offal and grey gravy. Much easier.