Archives for posts with tag: Goat

Mary in the vegetable garden

The transformation begins.  The property is suddenly alive with Sean and his partner Mary pruning, tilling, weeding and the like.   The terraces that run down to the property line in front of the house are beginning to look like vegetable beds and as I have said before the earth is rich and soft after the heavy rain.

The torrential rain caused damage to many roads across the region and this time our neighborhood was not spared.  In the mountains above me the upper part of Rambla Pacifico has fallen away.  100 feet of road crumbling off of the mountainside like royal icing off a wedding cake.

The fencing for the goats has been mapped out and at the beginning of March I hope to complete this part of the project.    After a long discussion yesterday with Mary and Sean I think I may very well become a vegetarian.   This will please those of you who think my plan to eat the goats was cruel.

The only problem for me being in Malibu is what happens to me when everybody leaves at the end of the day.  I feel incredibly lonely.   So, last night I headed over to Jennifer and Jason’s house near Trancas and fell into a deep sleep on their sofa.

My friends Jennifer and Jason are conspiracy theorists and believe in Chem Trails and government corruption and after an evening discussing their worldview I am exhausted by unrelenting pessimism.

It was fun waking up to their three children and their sleepover friends screaming around the house.  We ate thick creamy porridge and black coffee and I drove home.

However, the truth is, before the children woke up I woke up feeling desperately sad.  Apart from the usual sense of doom that overcomes me each morning when I remember that half of America is gripped by a terrible financial firestorm-as well as the snowstorms that have snarled the capital and all other major East Coast cities.  I was sad because I woke up too many thousands of miles away from the man I want to be waking up besides.

I am falling in love.

Falling in love is not an easy thing to do for a sex addict.

The moment things don’t go my way my default is to retire to a safe and quiet place and lick my wounds.  Why should romantic love be so damned painful?

It has been hard these past few days to make sense of what happens to me when the love thang kicks in.    Of course I want to see him but he is in NYC and he is otherwise engaged.    Why can’t I meet someone who lives close by and is good at farming?  Anyone know a good gay farmer who wants to spend his days in total paradise with me..I suppose THAT is the fly in the ointment-me.

Who would want to do that?

PS Obviously anyone in London who knew Lee McQueen is upset by his untimely demise but I am especially sad as he was so maligned after Issie Blow’s death.   Artists are fragile creatures, he was especially so.  Somehow, at the end of the day, art is simply not enough to sustain anyone.

Beautiful, clear days after the big rains came and went.   I am in Malibu with Cooper.  We are cooking, walking and gardening.   He has found a garden bench where, one day soon, the goats will roam.   He sits there and reads quietly, leaving me up here in the house to write my novel and call Verizon to add telephone services-a most frustrating task.

Sean, the goat and permaculture guy arrived yesterday afternoon.   He was much younger than I imagined.  He arrived with a black eye and a big smile and I knew immediately that he would be the ONE.  The ONE who would build the goat shelter, re-fence the property and redistribute the spring water into where the vegetables will grow.  He looked enviously at the spring and pushed his fingers into the soil and told me how lucky I was.

Sean explained how he intended pumping water to the terraced vegetable garden using a solar powered pump.   He explained how to deal with gophers and raccoons.   He explained how we would mulch the land and work with the subtle California seasons to our best advantage.

He wandered the property in awe and in turn it sprawled out before him at it’s lushest best.  His property, Sean explained, is rockier and dryer.  Everything is so green, here on the mountain, at this time of year.  The days are occasionally hot but mostly overcast.  Still, at 68 degrees a whole lot nicer than grey winter days in London or Herne Bay..or Margate.

Sean has chickens, goats and, interestingly, a small horse that protects the goats from the coyote.  My neighbor Trevor, who lives near the PCH, is worried about my keeping goats and chickens because he seems to think that they are impossible to protect.

The great thing about optimistic Sean was that he came up to the house without getting lost, armed with solution and solution is what I need.  As he was leaving I told him that I was excited to work with him, he grinned and said, it was going to be easy as everything I wanted he had just completed on his own property.

Last night hung at Amanda’s.  Delicious risotto.   Great company.

Amusing post Sex Rehab anecdote:   I am minding my own business at the luggage carousel at LAX waiting for my luggage when I notice that a bunch of 14-year-old girls have recognized me.  In fact, about fifty 14 year-old girls have noticed that I am waiting for my luggage.  Unable to escape I cling to one of the nearest fellow traveler for support.  “Help me.”  I say.  There is a frenzy of prepubescent window tapping and photo taking when out of the melee a teacher approaches me and asks, “Are you that guy from Sex Rehab?”  My voice is cracked and tiny as I tell her that I am.  She then calls over the girls who ask for autographs and photographs.  But, I’m thinking, I’m a guy on a show called sex rehab-surely you shouldn’t want to have your picture taken with me.

The good news:  I can keep goats and hens on the property in Malibu.  I spoke with a very polite lady at the Malibu Council code violation department.

I was expecting a very long conversation, instead, it was very short.

“Can I keep three goats on two acres in the Santa Monica Mountains?”

“Yes.” She replied, adding.  “You can keep 3 goats on your property as long as they’re 50 feet from anything humanly habitable.”

Silence.  She cleared her throat.

“Is that it?”  I said, expecting more.    “Yes.” she replied, “that’s it.”

“I think I may very well be in love.”  I murmured.  She giggled like Marge Simpson.

The last vacation tenants just left the property leaving a rather unpleasant egg smell behind them.   Perhaps they were vegetarians or something.   There was orange peel on the paths and some child had broken a faucet that cost $85 to mend.  I shall take it out of their deposit.

This morning, after breakfast with John and the others, I started my list of things to do for the New Year.  Suddenly I was thinking about yield per acre, chicken coops and chevre.

Malibu house.  The dogs just love it here.  Luna spends hours exploring the garden-just like the Big Dog.  I missed darling Big Dog so much today.  Jerome left pictures of her in the mail box that I could not bear to open.  They remained unopened since Christmas in a large pile on my desk marked ‘urgent things to do’.  I thought I better look at them.

It made me feel sick with grief when I saw her sweet face.

I wish I felt that way about my grandmother.

Anyway, I spoke to a very eager sounding vegetable garden planner, my architect and a lady who lives near Sacramento about buying goats.    Our call was dropped so I’ll call her again tomorrow.  She is a ‘grazing service provider’.  I met the plumber  at the house who mended the faucet and tomorrow, first thing after breakfast I need to make a list-like call Lewis for instance who will reconfigure downstairs so I can start living there in April.

There is just so much to do!  I just need to do it.

At breakfast I confided in John that all my life, my real career has been the maintenance of my addiction and anything else I got up to was a hobby.  Making films was a hobby, making theatre..a hobby.  A distraction from the disease of addiction.

My primary purpose has been the pursuit of selfish pleasure.

Today, I have only good news to report even if Luna trotted out of the long grass covered in ticks.  Everything was very dealable with, not nearly as scary as I expected-and I never once had to take a nap.

Fresh linen sheets.   I love when the cleaning lady comes.  The fresh smells she leaves behind her.   As soon as she arrives I am forced into action.  Clearing, folding and stripping.  The first week she came she broke an 18th century plate.  I was sad but I didn’t really care-my attitude toward other people breaking my stuff is that at least it was used and enjoyed.

There are some exceptions.

I lent a 12-inch Venini handkerchief vase to Korda Marshall when his then wife Felicity had her baby.  They returned it in pieces.  The vase would be worth $11, 000 now.  I wrote to him recently asking him to replace it.  He ignored my email.  Korda is head of Warner Records UK.

I loved that vase, it was a gift from Matilda, Duchess of Argyll and I had carried it from Ardfern in the Scottish Highland all the way home to Whitstable on a bus.  When Richard Green and I first opened the Whitstable Oyster Company we filled it every day with fresh cornflowers.   Of course it could never be properly replaced but occasionally one chances upon one at an auction and would love to buy it.

Still winding down from Sex Rehab.  It feels odd not to have somewhere to go on a Sunday night.   I suppose I have the same feeling of loss that people have described to me here on these pages.   I liked revisiting the Rehab even though it frustrated me.  I liked to remember the process.

So many unexpected doors have opened since I started writing this blog.  Another literary agent contacted me yesterday and I am going to take meetings with them all when I go to New York next week.   I like literary agents.  They are very different from Hollywood agents.  Hollywood agents are like Wall Street traders: crude, indifferent.

I found a short story about the Twin Towers that I had written last year.  I found the first chapter of my novel.  I diligently sent them off to the nice agent Jake B at Rob Weisbach Creative Management.   Now all I have to do is stay out of the result.

After I do the work; it’s none of my business what happens next.   I used to be one of those guys who worried about when he would hear back, when they would read it, see it, make a decision.  Thankfully I am delivered from that particular hell.

I discovered some 13 years ago that my tearing my hair out would not alter the result.

There is absolutely no point in fretting about the outcome.  What will be will be.  I’m not saying that I wasn’t relieved/upset to find out that I had got the grant, was HIV negative, he wasn’t interested etc. etc.  But I saved the feeling for after the fact rather than before it.

The house in Malibu is vacation rented to people from Hawaii who arrived at midnight the day before yesterday.  In the morning I received a flurry of text messages and calls from them claiming that I had scammed them, that the house was nothing like I had described it.  It quickly transpired that they were calling from somebody else’s house.  The following morning, after some testy phone calls,  the Vacation Renter called me to apologize for their foolish mistake.

I am just happy that who’s ever house they were describing never came home.

Goats from Santa Barbra.  Must buy goat.  Why goats?  Well, brush clearance for a start.  The house is situated in the highly flammable Santa Monica Mountains and every year I have to pay $3000 to have the brush cleared around the house.  The last fire stopped 150 feet from my front door.  Goats eat brush.

Also, Birria is a delicious Mexican goat dish.  I love eating goat.   I get to drink goat milk.  Do you remember eating that delicious braised goat on that private, secluded beach with Philippa and Louise on Patmos?  A truly memorable meal.   A man in a shack with a pot of boiling goat.   Delicious.

I have even thought about becoming a vegetarian but I think the deal I will have with myself is this:  If I have grown it or bought or bartered for it from the abundant land then I can eat it.  By the way, I am including vacation rental income in this equation.  I don’t expect to survive on half a pound of plums and a mango.

I wonder how much goats cost?  I have to make these calls on January 1st.   There are over 50 goat-grazing services in California so I don’t think that the acquiring of a goat will be much of a problem.

I have already located a woman who helps plan and plant vegetable gardens.  I have a meeting with her in January so will report then.  Many people have written to me offering advice and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

My lease here in Hollywood expires in April so I have until then to get things into order so I can move back and fully take the reigns of my new Malibu Hill Billy life.