Archives for posts with tag: Warren Beatty

Spent yesterday mostly at home or at Mud Cafe on 9th Street writing.  Writing the film I intend to shoot this spring.  It occurs to me that this film may very well be the one I shoot in Whitstable.  It needs sharpening but JA has done a great job so far interpreting and formalizing my haphazard idea.

The story remains compelling and moving.

The other darker story is easy to write.  Less conventional, more emotional.

Decided not to go to gay club down town with Federico last night but am enjoying the prospect of exploring gay New York once again.  Who would have guessed?

Watched The Golden Globes, James (Franco) up for a well deserved Globe.  Pity he didn’t get it…tough competition amongst the boys this year.

So pleased for everyone involved with The Kid’s Are All Right.   Annette especially..her performance was stunning.  Warren must be so proud.  Now, they have a complex relationship.  Lovely seeing the gorgeous Mark Ruffalo…even the ghastly Celine Rattray.  Their film truly deserved the attention.

My friend Atticus Ross won Best Score for Social Network.

How galling must it be for Hugh D’Ancy to see his madly successful wife get the awards when he is largely overlooked?

Fascinating to see Mark Walberg in his capacity as both actor and producer, excelling at both.

Dropped out of the Globes to join Federico at The Hendershot Gallery on Chrystie.  A group show including the work of Marilyn Manson.  Manson’s work was the least interesting and most undeserving of a place in the gallery.

Galia Offri, on the other hand, is well worth looking at.  Interesting composition, palate and by far the most collectible…although I really liked the pile of pillows in the basement by a young gay artist called Leor Grady.

Galia Offri No Need to Worry

After a few months of never being recognized three people approached me…much to Federico’s amusement.  I must have looked like Duncan Roy…that guy on the TV.

Anyway, chipped and saw last of the Globes with my friend Chris.  We sat curled up in front of a small TV.

Ricky Gervais is just not that funny.  Shocking…yes.  Dry…yes.  To be rehired…yes.

Yet again I was surprised by just how many people I knew all dressed up on TV and wondered if I would ever make another film and if so…would it be recognized.

Maybe not.

New York is very cold.  Very.

Schindler House Silver Lake

October 4, 2006 – Wednesday

CAUTION RATTLESNAKES

‘If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.’
Ludwig Wittgenstein

What does an artist do? What does an artist hope to achieve? I can only do what I did yesterday and write. I sat here all day and wrote. After my walk.

This morning, at 6.30am I saw a great big hawk. A beautiful bird of prey intelligently surveying the world around it. The bird watched me pass the Ukrainian peasant people on the corner of the street.

At the gate of Runyon Canyon I noticed a huge yellow sign. If it has always been there I don’t know but today I noticed many things I had not noticed before. It said: CAUTION RATTLE-SNAKES.

I had a miserable/wonderful day yesterday so I was determined to shift what ever it was that was holding me back from my serenity. I used the walk this morning to unwind some of the confusion. Contrary action I decided. Contrary action: that is what is needed. Literally. Instead of climbing the path anti-clock wise I walked in the opposite direction. As a result of this simple alteration I noticed so many different things. My perspective changed. For a start, I didn’t stop to rest: I forged ahead. I noticed that the Russians were wearing their slippers and pajamas. I saw the Canyon differently. I enjoyed it rather than conquering it. I said hello to nearly everyone I passed and had two or three decent conversations. I did not care how many dogs I passed.

Yesterday, I met David at the Chateau Marmont for breakfast. Lindsey L arrived in a hat and dark glasses. Either she had just arrived home from a party or she was up early for a meeting. I wonder. Saw Jeffery Rush eating breakfast. Maria called from London. Very good. Good start to the day. Good walk, good meeting then a great screening at the DGA for buyers. They loved the film-loved it. What more could I want? They understood it, loved the style.

I walked home from the DGA, which is less than half a mile. MISERABLE.

Then I began to read the secret project and it made me so sad. Lost love. Unavailable people. The central character of this film has emotional defects similar to mine-the same as many people. I sat at my desk and let out a yelp like a dog. I sat at my desk crying, an odd mixture of pain and pleasure. Big fat tears dripping all over my desk. I sat and read the last few weeks of my diary. Recognizing the miserable truths. There is no grand declaration I can make that I can honestly stick to. Will I choose inappropriate people to pin my hopes on in the future? Certainly I will. Will I spontaneously fly across the world to see someone I think I can love? Yes. Will I always be the subject of my own mythology? Certainly. This is the way it is.

Yesterday, I was crying because I began to see the same thing happen that happened with AKA. The strange delight that ones work can cause. No longer alone with an idea or a series of dislocated moments but a fully formed work that spoke to the people who saw it.

I was crying, pathetically, because the very person I wanted to call was not there. I am an idiot! I had many people I could have called to share the good news. Friends who love me and who would have been over the moon but none of them were the person I wanted to tell (NO! NOT the man in the suit) not some strange man in a suit. I wanted to call my father. I wanted to call my father and make him proud of me.

It was like when I won all of those awards for AKA. Awards mean nothing if you cannot share them with some one you love or who can love you unconditionally.

So I walked clockwise around the mountain and I saw the Russians wearing their slippers and I looked out for serpents. I felt the autumn chill on my lips and by taking this simple, contrary action I managed to start the day with smile and a spring in my step.

Had dinner at Pace with Marc S after Bonham’s 20th Century sale. Saw Russell Brown AGAIN for the third time in a week. We exchanged numbers. Accidentally kissed Marc on the lips when I got out of the car. THAT was funny.

9:27 AM

October 3, 2006 – Tuesday

Go Where The Love Is

22 dogs. I wore a hat. Most everyone said good morning.

I saw the elderly Ukrainian couple who stand on the corner of my street. They greet me politely. They must be 70 years old, no taller than 5′. They have dark, tough, wrinkled skin. They look like the circus performers Diane Arbus used to photograph. They wait there patiently every morning. She wears a heavy coat and carries an old-fashioned handbag. He smokes unfiltered cigarettes, his pants and shirt are beautifully pressed. This morning they were still waiting when I got back from my walk. I asked what they were doing but she said, “Speaky no inglis”.

Yesterday. Went to lunchtime AA meeting. Had lunch with Gil. Shopped at Trader Joes. Wrote nearly all day.

To my profound irritation I could not get hold of any of my closest friends. Tried calling and e-mailing and texting but nobody replied. It felt like I was stalking my friends! Sascha seemed to have just vanished. Maria, who always returns my calls, vanished. Dom, Ian and Peter: vanished. Sent article to Eric-no reply. He’s new so doesn’t realise. By the evening I was exceedingly grumpy and paranoid.

By 7ish most people had replied but by that time the damage was well and truly done.

I was seething.

I decided the best way to deal with my irritation was to walk to Neal Spectre’s house near the Peninsular Hotel in Beverly Hills for his Yom Kippur celebration. I walked all the way down Sunset then turned left near Rodeo. Stepping off of the busy road and into those expensive streets. It is so quiet around there. I passed no one, not one other pedestrian. The hiss of the water sprinklers misting the lawns to keep me company. It took over an hour and a half to walk from where I live in Hollywood to Neal’s house.

The party was in full swing by the time I got there. The entire family were at the party, Lisa’s brothers, sister and Mother and various cousins, Neal’s Mother Lois and Stepfather Alan in all there must have been 40 members of their extended family. I sat with Lois and Alan. Alan is a Scottish, dyed in the wool Republican/Conservative. I was in no mood to have yet another heavy-handed discussion about the relative values of George Bush so I changed the subject and we talked about buying $92,000 Hermes Kelly bags in Cannes. It was easier. I like Alan a great deal. Regardless of his mad cap politics.

Bloody hell, two in one week.

My head is already in Chelsea. I am going back to London at my favourite time of year. The leaves are falling, a bite in the air. Whilst Moffy is at school I can take Phil for delicious lunches and visit galleries and generally pamper her. I am taking cashmere and velvet collared coats and twill trousers. Go where the love is.

8:53 AM

October 2, 2006 – Monday

10

Pink clouds drifting over LA this morning smeared onto the pale blue sky. 26 dogs. Triathlon boy with amazing calves. My troubled morning head crowded with stuff that I could not seem to shift.

Yesterday, after my walk, I had breakfast with Gil Bellows at La Pain Quotidian. I missed the chip giving at the 11.45 Log Cabin meeting so I did not collect a chip anywhere for my tenth year. Instead I ate a delicious ham and cheese omelette. Met architect and his wife from London. He said that he was scared shitless of when, “the tide turns” meaning, I think, when the Muslim world truly retaliates. Do you think that will happen?

On the mountain two ordinary women were discussing Iraq, “Attacks on US servicemen have gone up from 1 to 100 a day”. I put that situation to the back of my mind. The implications are far too much for me to contemplate. I am overwhelmed with waves of that terrible feeling of powerlessness. I should write more about the war. I don’t want to be one of those diarists who looks like he is burying his head in the sand but I have to get on with life. Life here in LA. Virginia Woolf kept a diary and you would never have guessed that a world war was raging around her. Perhaps that was the way she dealt with it. The way she coped with the unimaginable horrors.

After breakfast Gil and I drove to The Hollywood Farmers market to buy flowers for his 12th wedding anniversary.

Spent yesterday afternoon with David the talent manager. We killed time by visiting open houses and dropping in on Bonham’s 20th Century decorative art sale. There is an unusual Lautner kitchen island on sale.

Drove to Sasha’s for tea, biscuits and gossip. Sascha lives in a house that looks like Clough Williams-Ellis might have designed it. Clough Williams-Ellis designed Portmeirion in Wales, which is a madcap mish mash of odd Italianate houses and used as the set of The Prisoner, which was a cult British TV series in the 1960’s.

Had a long conversation with Eric. I was sitting overlooking the valley where Sascha lives off of Woodrow Wilson.

My 10th year AA anniversary was mostly quite dull-no fanfare. Many people called to congratulate me. I suppose that it is some sort of achievement. I suppose.

I was in bed by 12. This time next week I will be in London. Already I have delicious things planned. Must remember to take autumn coats and good shoes.

8:48 AM

October 1, 2006 – Sunday

Warren Beatty and Annette Benning

A sluggish start to this Sunday morning. I was up and down the mountain by 8am, which, for me, is really late. It must have been one of those days for a whole heap of the usual walkers as I only counted 27 dogs. Almost everyone said hello. I was wearing red. Everyone says hello when I wear my red hoody.

I took my time, this morning, looking back at the city where I live. The usual traffic roar from the valley was non-existent. I could hear unusual birdcalls. The sun obscured by a thick sea mist. When I got to the top of the hill I sat on the bench next to a mortgage broker called James from New Jersey who within ten seconds was telling me that he made 10k a month if he was lucky. His boss made 30k which he didn’t manage this month because it was so ‘slow’. “Now he knows what it feels like for the rest of us”. James sneered. I had to get away from him just in case some of his stinking thinking got into my head.

On the way down the hill I thought about the seven deadly sins. I thought about James. I thought about dealing with my own worst defects/capital vices: Arrogance, Anger, Lust. One simply has to stay pure of thought to have the best possible relationship with oneself and God. I don’t want to live a life of guilt or shame or unnecessary complication. I really don’t want to live in James’s head.

You know, it was on this day ten years ago that I got sober and stayed sober and did not have another alcoholic drink one day at a time. No wine with dinner nor glass of champagne at New Years. Nothing. On this day ten years ago I made my way from Adam and Eve Mews in Kensington to my first AA meeting. I weighed 50lbs lighter, I was wearing a black Dolce coat, a black polo neck sweater and I was driving a brand new pea green Porsche. Within two years all of those fancy trappings had gone. Before I got sober I could not leave the beautiful house for more than ten paces, black discharge drained out of my nose onto my white shirts, I was desperate, broken and alone.

It was on this day ten years ago that everything began to make sense. I knew that there was more to life than drinking and drugging. It was on this day 10 years ago that my priorities changed. Every day since that day, whatever happened, good or bad has been a good day for me as it is one more day alive. During the past ten years I learned and came to trust in this one important truth: As long as I stay sober, what ever happens, everything is going to be OK. It always is.

Today is also my stepfather’s birthday; a hideous coincidence.

I left San Francisco on Friday. Randy, very sweetly, walked me to the BART and I took the train to the airport $5. We had spent the morning drinking more chai. Yet again I saw that the more open and kind I was with Randy the more I allowed my long-suffering friends to love me. I have been of late so less irritable, impatient or angry. When the photographs arrived from my six weeks in Whitstable I scarcely recognised myself I looked so at ease. I am capable of being at peace with myself. I am capable of loving and being loved. The first flush of something like love began to take hold of me in San Francisco. I began to wonder again what it might feel like to be in love.

I took a cab from LAX directly to Neal and Lisa’s Shabbat dinner. It is always so great to spend time with their kids. I love Neal’s mother Lois who is very funny (and a terrible fag hag) dressed in Issey Miyaki. Neal had just installed a HUGE Gilbert and George in the Dining room. G&G painted gold and performing ‘Underneath The Arches’. It is a spectacular piece and very bold. Neal was a bit grumpy as he was fighting with one of his children. They live in the heart of Beverly Hills in a huge, sprawling mid-century bungalow with a tennis court and pool and toys everywhere, the house is groaning with art. They also own a really lovely Baldessari.

That night I could not wait to get into my bed.

No walk on Saturday. Will picks me up at 7am for 8am AA meeting. After meeting I drive with new sponsor (who is a fucking DREAM) on impromptu trip up PCH.

In the afternoon Corey and I meet to take the modernist house tour of Silverlake. We had a very jolly time made all the better by our meeting Anne L who instantly reminded me of Margaret Matheson or Ann Skinner or any number of the very strong, intelligent, independent women I have been attracted to all my life. Ann is a 50 something teacher at a progressive school in Pasadena she lives in a Shindler house. Of course we talked all about Monkton Wyld. We didn’t stop talking. We saw Shindler, Neutre etc but best of all was the Gregory Aine communal living apartments that were SPECTACULAR. Apparently communists lived there when they were built.

Communists like John Reed and Louise Bryant?

I met my friend Sharon at the DGA later that night to see a special screening of Reds, Warren Beatty’s epic tale of love set against the backdrop of the USA’s entry into the First World War and the tail end of the Russian Revolution. You know, I was living next to the producer of Reds when it was being made in London. I was living in Islington on Furlong Road next to Simon Relph. I met Warren with Simon Relph and his wife Amanda. Isn’t that odd. It was 25 years ago. Warren and I talked about that briefly last night. I think that it is fair to say that Simon pretty much directed that film with Warren. I remember, one day, popping around to see Simon and Amanda and found them in that huge house separating Diane Keaton and Warren (who were an item) at the top and the bottom of the house still unable to stop them screaming at each other.

Annette Benning was in the audience with their children. I wondered what it must have felt like for her to have watched this very graphic portrait of Warren’s relationship with Diane played out for all to see. For some totally obscure reason they asked the foetus Bennett Miller to interview Warren after the film. Bennett is really enjoying his fifteen minutes; he arrived with Courtney Love and spent a good ten minutes glowering at me. Courtney, since I last saw her a month ago, had had some kind of radical facial over haul. Her lips are huge; she has cheekbones and seems to have new teeth although I could not be certain. Her hair was now ballooned into Blonde Mountain of curls.

Bennett just gushed incoherently over Warren for an hour after the film ended. A more sycophantic interview I could not have imagined. This was a totally wasted opportunity.

Met Craig Emmanuelle. Met the guy who directed Fly Boys and his wife who produced North Country.

Had long, constructive chat with Sharon on the way home.

In bed by 1.30am.

2:02 PM

September 29, 2006 – Friday

San Francisco Day 3

Friday, San Francisco 2006.

I am on my way back to LA today. I used to say, on my way ‘home’ but of late I do not feel like LA is home. Whitstable is home. Whitstable is my home where I live and I will die. I keep dreaming about what I will take back to London with me when I go. The art, that’s all. I will take that wonderful collection I have amassed so quickly.

Yesterday, Randle was in the gym by 7am so I just lay in bed until it was time to meet him off of the Castro in a small café called the Spike which sold delicious chai latte, my new favorite, anytime hot drink. Randle and I looked at a house to buy on Sanchez which was a rickety old shack selling for $800k. The house next door had been covered with marble free form mosaic. There were banana trees in the back yard. The house is on a friendly street in a neighborhood with shops and cafes. You can walk and say hello to friendly faces that you may or may not know. Totally unlike LA, which is a scummy shit, hole with no friendly faces and stinks of rotting avocado, which smells like semen. I over reacted. I love LA. No I don’t. I am there to finish my film. If that’s the case I may be there a few more years.

To prove my point there was a very cute boy draped over his Harley Davidson watching us. Randle asked him what he was doing and he said, “I haven’t showered for two days, I sprained my foot and lost my job”. Within ten minutes he was drinking more Chai with us in Samovar, which is a cool little teashop opposite where I used to buy wool for knitting. Within ten minutes we were discouraging him from becoming a rent boy. I became bored with him after this and sat playing with my Blackberry. He was cute but obvious. How can any intelligent young man seriously consider being a rent boy?

After lunch with Eric the previous day whilst trying on flip flops I saw, to my disgust, that my toenails were less than attractive. So yesterday afternoon Randle and I had pedicures and manicures and I scarcely recognized my feet after the sweet Vietnamese woman had finished with them.

Bought sunglasses.

Foolishly, had a nap in the afternoon that ended with me waking up grumpily and making phone calls which is always a fucking disaster. Had to call my new sponsor who was very helpful and made everything calm again. Seriously, I have to make some hefty decisions about my film situation.

At 7.30pm Eric and I met at the sushi place on Sanchez and he was surprised, I think, by how delicious the food was. I was worried that my choice of restaurant might not be good enough, that this basic sushi place that I love would not send the right ‘message’.

Eric, what do I think of you?

I rarely meet anyone who inspires, challenges, and infuriates me quite so immediately. His naive republican politics aside he is a cultured, warm, elegant man. He dresses like an Italian aristocrat and drives a Vesper. If he did not have a boy friend I may very well have made a terrible fool of myself. As I sat there opposite him the conference of insecure voices chattering away told me that I wasn..t as witty, intelligent or worthy of him as I thought. Thank God he has a boyfriend. Than God he is 31. Thank God he is so far out of the picture that I do not have to give that romance thing a second thought. I did think about it when he said that he wanted to work a farm he owned. When he mentioned it he seemed to come alive. Long before Brokeback Mountain my fantasy was to do the same. How can a man be possibly fulfilled by writing contacts in a law firm? A man like that? Or am I just projecting my own prejudiced views of lawyers onto him?

It is always a bit of a test to mention that I have been in prison but he seemed to take it in his stride although what he might say to his friends later is another thing entirely.

We will see if this has legs, if we can be friends. He has the most beautiful eyes.

Randle joined us after dinner with the potential rent boy and made a few quips that had me laughing like a drain. Thank God. After discovering that Eric was a Republican, Randle quickly morphed into Martha Stuart and disingenuously complimented Eric’s Gucci shoes. Realising that this was not going my way I dragged Randle with rent boy in tow toward the Castro.

Eric drove off on his Vesper.

You know, I am so happy when I am with Randle Mann in San Francisco. We are always laughing yet our humor can be quite cruel. Nobody is spared our treachery, least of all ourselves. Every defect of each others character exploited for our own humorous ends. Over his beef burger Randle ribbed me mercilessly about Eric. Boy with rent boy aspirations sat there looking dumb. Randle does not like Republicans. Are we more than our politics?

Eric is more than his Barbour his finely made hands and his questionable past with Mitt Romney. I really like him.

Read Andrea Dworkin’s Right Wing Women.

In bed by 11.

10:49 AM

September 28, 2006 – Thursday

San Francisco

6.51am Hancock Street, San Francisco. I arrived here two days ago. The weather is perfect. Grey and cool. I am staying with my poet friend Randall Mann in his swinging 70s apartment up here in the Castro. A few days away from LA, I left Daniel to deal with Angela the Spanish-speaking maid.

The morning I left LA I had breakfast with Neal Specter. We discussed our Dorian ideas and he was more than helpful. It is true to say that the people who GET IT really get it and are inspired to help. He realizes that my excitement and enthusiasm need to be tamed, managed. He very gently talked me through the way this opening needs to be handled.

I need to calm down at these meetings. I could feel myself tripping as the ideas flew. I could feel myself sinking in my own thinking juice as my brain ruptured and the ideas spewed out of me, drowning me in notions. Neal just waited for me to stop rambling then he let me know how simple it all could be. We ate prime rib hash. It was delicious. The meeting was delicious. All any artist wants to feel is connected to others of like minds.

After breakfast I cleaned the inside of the freezer that had not been touched since the melt down they had had whilst I was away. It was disgusting. Cleaning, however, is a great antidote to any intellectual maelstrom that one may be experiencing. After I finished cleaning the freezer I scrubbed the kitchen floor. Marlene Dietrich would clean the entire theatre with her bare hands before she performed a show anywhere. It is a great opportunity to collect ones thoughts and have an instant feeling of gratification.

On Tuesday afternoon I went back to Bonhams to buy the rug I really wanted. It was cheap, really cheap. The auction room was crammed with dealers so I knew that I was getting a bargain. Thankfully the auction had a very slow beginning so I did really well. I am going back to London on the 8th October so I will lug it back with me then. I am going back to London. That will be fun. I am staying with Phil. I can’t wait.

The flight to San Fran was not at all bumpy-those flights along the coast can be very turbulent. I had Russian cab drivers at both ends. Randall and I immediately jumped into our double act that has me literally doubled up in laughter. Ate dinner at Diamaru, which is my favorite sushi place here. We discussed the Americas Next Top Model poster, which is a gruesome affair, all drag queens and emaciation. One of them looks like she only just had her Adams apple removed.

The following morning my whole body was desperate to spring out of bed and climb a mountain. I waited for Randall to get back from Yoga and we walked to a great lesbian run diner where we sat in a booth next to Tracey Chapman. We then walked to my favorite furniture store stopping on the way at a thrift shop which had a wonderful moss colored velvet, deep sofa that had just come in for only $175. I urged Randall to buy it. Took the sub way shamelessly down town to the Embarcadero for lunch with Eric. I ate sausage, quite a Freudian choice, as Eric is very handsome.

After lunch Randall and I saw The Science of Sleep that I really, really wanted to love but I could not. I met the director M Gondry some time ago. Gondry is not an enigmatic man, in fact he is a bit of a charmless nerd and one realized very quickly that he simply got Gael to be him, that the preoccupation with the troubled genius unable to get a girl was HIM. Oddly, I met Gael the day he met M Gondry for the first time in New York at the Mercer Hotel. So here was the film. Some directors need to be reigned in. There was a great deal of showing off. There were many, many great ideas but they some how got lost in all of the genius. For a start he obviously had too much money. I like not having any money at all because it makes me THINK. There were a glut of ideas expensively executed but who ultimately cared about the sulky, self obsessed central character?

I wanted to love this film so much. I occasionally loved the imagery, the bedroom in the cave reminded me if The Singing Ringing Tree. I liked the eastern European filmic references but ultimately I was never given what I needed which was the perfect union between the man and the woman. Gondry needs either another great Kaufman script to tame his worst excesses or he needs to embrace the more obscure thoughts in his artists head and make an art film and show it in a gallery. I would have been far more interested to see this film in that context.

AA meeting followed by chicken and salad.

In bed by 11.

7:56 AM

September 26, 2006 – Tuesday

Good Day/Bad Day

The phone rang twice last night as I slept. Twice. Then the bloody phone fell under my bed and the bed is so big I fell off it trying to fish it out from underneath. To make matters worse I had a call that I had to take early this morning so I ended up lugging the phone up the mountain with me on my walk. I am very grumpy about this. It was a total waste of time taking a BLACKBERRY up the mountain. No meditation, no serene thoughts. I may as well have just sat here at my desk.

So, there were 34 dogs. The entire mountain was cloaked in a huge cloud that has enveloped LA this morning. The entire character of Runyon Canyon changed. The cicadas chirruping through the grey soup, I past the tangled remains of the old OUTPOST sign that was once bigger that the HOLLYWOOD sign and lit with neon. There’s a notice explaining the history of the sign up there but some vile person has graffiti marked it with black aerosol. I stopped for a moment to look at what was left of it and wondered what it must have looked like. If the Outpost sign had outlived the Hollywood sign: “Mother, I’m going to the USA to make a film, I’m going to OUTPOST!”

Breakfast with Neal S, sat next to Billy Connolly.

Yesterday was good.

Had lunch in Benedict Canyon with Sacha.

His glamorous friend Clare who manages Paul McKenna drove me home.

Calls from people who want to buy Dorian,

Had drinks with Jon King from Focus. Discussed Rocco etc.

Went to bed at 10.30.

Yesterday was bad.

My house in Silverlake went into escrow with some body else. Shit happens.

9:36 AM

September 25, 2006 – Monday

“You Must be Very Excited”

6am. The sun rising over LA. I saw: 15 Dogs, The Chinese Man running backwards. Dressage Man. I met and walked with Denny the interior designer and Regina his 8-month-old puppy with topaz eyes. We both admitted to praying on our walk on the mountain. Today I prayed for serenity and a moderate disposition.

Many folk acknowledged us.

I am so excited about The Secret Film Project I can hardly remember a thing that happened yesterday. I spent the morning re-reading the Secret Script and then at 12 I called the writer of The Secret Project and we had a most energetic and satisfactory chat. We are meeting in NYC on the 24th October to discuss with interested parties. She said, “Everyone has tried to warn me off of you Duncan but I have rather taken to you.” We agreed to be utterly truthful and transparent with each other and be true to our vision of the film. I refuse to let the wreckage of my past destroy this wonderful opportunity.

I appreciated her honesty, her candour.

In one bold sentence she totally defined our relationship so that it might work and bear fruit. She did not, as so often happens, hold onto the fear of what rumours there are and cause me to behave thus. As I have said before and I will say again: Let me be the person I am rather than the person you have heard I am.

Even better than all of that: I can shoot the film in England if we so wish.

Keeping a secret is so bloody difficult; this week I have drawn blood biting my tongue.

Needless to say, yesterday the sun was shining. It was Sunday. I had a very jolly lunch with Ian in Larchmont. He told me that he thought DP (Paramount Number Cruncher) looks like ‘Seal in drag.’ We couldn’t stop laughing. Had the chicken parramigano. $15. Dan G collected me after lunch and we went for one final trip to the house in Silverlake before I make my offer today. Strangely, the door was wide open as if the woman who used to live there expected us.

I had an hour-long chat with Phil. I miss her so much. I think that in large part it is her confidence in me that makes me able to face the difficult days. It is she that makes firm and resolute decisions when I am disabled by self-doubt. Some times I can feel myself falling in love with her all over again. I had to physically stop myself the last time I saw her. Will see her next week when I pop back to London to fetch last of essential things.

I had a nap at 5.30, which, was a huge mistake because when Vic came to collect me for dinner I felt sluggish and bad-tempered. It took me a good two hours to regain my earlier positive mood. Vic stayed over but we just slept in the same bed.

People tell me that I must be excited about buying the house. “You must be so EXCITED.” Well, I am not excited about BUYING anything. Only art and the process of making art excites me. How lucky I was to be inducted into the world of The History of Ideas when I was so young. I remember with great affection the amazing woman who taught me everything I know, Vera Brumby my History of Art teacher at Medway College of Art. She said, “The history of art is the history of civilization.” She showed me how I could chart the route from those first Stone Age marks on a cave wall to Giotto to Gericault to Jeff Koons and everything in between. I had other inspired teachers, there was Judith, at school, who taught me the History of Music, she made me listen to Palestrina and John Cage. Goddamn it, how lucky was I?

They said, “Never be frightened to ask. If you don’t know-ask. Keep asking.”

As a result of these marvellous teachers I came to believe that if a human made it I could understand it. That is why I knit, cook a great Cassoulet, make films, and build houses. This also leads to terrible disappointment when I see that the person I have employed to do a better job than I, rarely does. God is in the detail! Thank God for Joel Plotch who edited Dorian and did a better job than I could ever do!

Before she died Vera called me and she said with unusual pessimism, “Duncan, I think that we are living in an increasingly evil world.” I hoped that she was wrong about that but look around you.

Look at what the corporation is doing to our lives.

8:50 AM

September 24, 2006 – Sunday

The Roughs Are Coming

7.45am Runyon Canyon, September 2006. 45 dogs, 1 screaming Chinese infant. Happy Russians. Many isolated, miserable looking ‘attractive’ 30 something white folk. Squirrels noisily harvesting what ever they can find in the palm trees. The sun is shining. LA looking marvellous.

From way up there in the mountain I can see how green LA really is. Who planted so many trees? The Jacaranda that, in springtime, blooms so as all of its branches are covered with mauve flowers. Now those thick trunked, spiky trees have huge, succulent, pink orchid-like blooms all over them.

Yesterday I met Dom at the Grove. The Grove is a themed Mall with dancing fountains tacked onto the Farmers Market which is no longer a farmers market in the sense that we understand it. We saw the film Hollywoodland. Ben Affleck was really very good. Diane Lane superb. I loved the way they all laughed at their own and the various quips of others, just like they did in the films of the 1940s. The film had such style. I got a bit lost at the beginning of the third act but it did not impair my enjoyment. Glenn Williamson, who also produced American Beauty, produced Hollywoodland. Glenn makes very elegant choices. He is a very calm, intelligent man. A real filmmaker. I was honoured that he said very complimentary things about AKA.

As I sat in the cinema I knew even more keenly that the path I had taken with Dorian was the right one. Cinematically the great reveal in Dorian Gray really works.

I feel unencumbered today, like I used to when I first got sober. I don’t think that it is truly possible to explain the feeling of being in ones own body after having such a profound sense of being emotionally AWOL. After years of what can only be described as an out-of-body experience re-entering ones own skin, inhabiting ones own head is such a RELIEF. Of course I still have the occasional, odd moments when I desire not to be me. To run away and hide, lost in the tsunami, surfacing twenty years from now in a white Panama hat in some obscure fishing village in South America. I think about what it felt like not be me when I had that other name. I thought about it there on the mountain this morning.

At the movie theatre Dom pointed out a man he thought looked just like me. The man was 45ish, very tall; he had a very fierce presence. He said, “You nearly ran into your doppelganger.” Do I look like that? Again, I got a surprising sense of how people perceived me. I do not and have never had any idea of what it feels like to be in my own company. “People are scared of you.” They say that. I am dismayed when they say that. How could that possibly be? Is that the sum of me?

In the evening I met Internet Date man and Ian Drew and we saw a rather odd performance by David Leddimont (?) in Santa Monica of a sort of homage to Quentin Crisp. Quentin was, in the 1970s, a rather grand old tranny who wrote a best-selling book called The Naked Civil Servant. London Weekend Television subsequently made it into a film. I watch it often with Gary Davy and we scream with laughter. We use many of the lines from the film to amuse ourselves, for instance if either of us ever got laid the other would say, “It must have been foggy down the ‘Dilly tonight, dear.” Or, just because it was so funny in the film, “The roughs are coming!” Which will mean nothing to anyone unless you watch the darn thing.

Anyway, I have to tell you that I thought the show we saw last night was very poorly conceived but happily it reminded me of Quentin who was brave and clever and suffered, it seemed to others, unnecessarily for his art but that was what he was compelled to do. His friends in public for fear of association shunned him and he learned to exist on the out side of society and make the best of it until he was invited into the establishment fold at the age of 70.

I first saw The Naked Civil Servant on TV when I was 14. Moved to tears I immediately wrote to Quentin from my boarding school in Shropshire. During the next few years I received many letters from him and I would meet him occasionally in coffee shops in Fitzrovia. I saw him last in New York a few months before he died. I am ashamed to tell you that earlier this year I threw out all of the letters that I had kept from my school years. A great big box of letters. I knew as I was doing it that I was making a big mistake by not sorting through them. I couldn’t bear looking at all of those letters from my Mother. It made my feel sick. For 6 years I received two letters a week from my mother, grandmother, and various other members of my family. There were also, sadly thrown into the recycle bin, letters from Quentin Crisp and many other media types who bothered to write back to me during those years when I had nothing better to do on a Saturday morning in the school library than hunt celebrity.

Melvyn Bragg always replied to my adolescent questions and encouraged me to write explaining that he often suffered from, ‘Multiple contractions of apprehension.’ whenever he wrote anything.

In bed by 1am. I don’t like going to bed so late-it upsets my routine.

10:13 AM

September 23, 2006 – Saturday

Goth

7.30am.

I went to an AA meeting instead of taking my walk. I will go walk the Canyon tomorrow. I feel great. I can’t tell you just how much better going to a good AA meeting makes me feel.

You know, believe it or not, I did not get sober to make films, buy more stuff, get a better job, make friends, have more sex, get a partner or a bigger house. I stopped drinking and taking drugs 9 years ago so that I could sleep easy at night. All I wanted was a life without fear. I got sober for one reason: I wanted Peace of Mind.

Yesterday, Peter YBH collected me for Breakfast. We went to Dough Boys on 3rd. We ate the blueberry pancakes that were covered in seeds. Dunno what kind of seeds. Shiny seeds like beetles. The poached eggs came on the side in a small white dish. This ‘side dish’ remains, to me, one of the great unexplained American mysteries. Why isn’t the poached egg just on the plate like everything else?

Whilst I was at Dough Boys I heard via e-mail that my house in Whitstable had been broken into. I knew immediately who had done it. I just knew. I am sure that it was the young man I met on the train from Sittingbourne to Faversham. Kass had seen him skulking around the house before I left for LA. Anyway, he must have made a hell of a noise breaking into the house because he didn’t get further than the kitchen. Perhaps he didn’t want to steal anything. Perhaps all he wanted was to see me? You never know. The house was fine. I just felt sorry for the poor people who were renting it-they were terrified.

On the table beside us a young woman was wearing a tee-shirt that said in bold black letters: ‘I’M NOT INTERESTED’ over her huge nip tuck tits. I went up to her and said, “Oh, I’ve got a tee-shirt like that, it says, ‘I HATE EVERYONE'”. She laughed, “I like that, where can I get one of those?”

I should have said that I had a tee-shirt that said ‘I suck black cock’.

I don’t have either of those tee shirts.

After breakfast, Peter and I went looking at galleries; we went to M+B and Regan Projects LA. There was nothing in either of them to write home about. Then we went to the rug sale at Bonham’s where there was plenty to write home about. I ticked off a few rugs then Peter and I hung out at mine looking at the David LaChapelle mega book.

Finally, after WEEKS of waiting, the rest of the black leather dining room chairs arrived. They look great.

Dan G popped by at 5ish and we walked to the Italian Saint’s Day street festival that the Grandsons of Italy in America were having behind the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. We ate all sorts of delicious Italian food, meatballs, sausage, doughnut and thick black coffee. On the way there we saw that yet another transformer had blown the man-hole cover off and into the middle of Hollywood Blvd. Plumes of smoke pouring out of the road. The police standing by. Traffic snarled up as far as Highland Ave.

Michael invited me to party at The Cabana Club but I did not go. Stayed at home writing and reading and watching makeover reality TV.

My regular favourite makeover TV moment used to be when Ricky Lake took a cool teenage goth/punk/emo and ‘transformed’ him/her into a ‘regular’ kid which, at the moment of revelation would always cause the parents of the poor goth/punk/emo to burst into tears. Fat Goth girls stripped of their black make up/cob web clothing and face jewellery and forced into cheap, badly designed skirts and blouses forsaking their individuality. It was proof, if I ever needed it, that most Americans distrust ‘individuality’.

I was in bed by midnight. Daniel the room-mate, by the way, has disappeared.

11:21 AM

September 22, 2006 – Friday

Are You Still Working on That?

The mountain was so fresh and breezy this morning. I saw, at least, six blue jays. 54 dogs. All of the Russians said good morning. Unusually a couple kept pace with me through out my walk. They discussed James Blunt, he told her about his job as a writer on some TV show and she told him with a rather embarrassed laugh that all of the guys she dated in college were now gay. She couldn’t understand her ‘super power’. It was nearly at that point on the walk where we would peel off from one another so I turned and I said, “Perhaps gay men know how to listen. Perhaps they want to hear what you have to say.” She looked at me askance for a moment. A stranger was talking to her. Then she replied, “Yes, perhaps that is true.”

Years ago I wanted to make a documentary about Fag Hags, when the Queen Mother was still alive, she was a notorious fag-hag. After a great deal of research I saw that all being a fag hag really boiled down to was this: Some women need a man to listen. They don’t care what kind of man. Just any man will do. Finding a straight man with no agenda is obviously, judging by the women I have spoken to, very hard. Lonely, rich older woman are want to find a similarly aged gay man to dote on, shop with, ask for opinions and get brutally honest replies. “Darling, you look GHASTLY.” Truman Capote had his ‘Swans’ but he let them all down by writing about them. It is a mistake I often make-getting too attached to some women that I can only be gay with. Phil was different. She had ‘super power’. I wanted to be her lover. Is that so unusual?

Today, I am listening to Jimmy Scott and today I am very happy. Today I am really happy. Pray for a dream to come true and it usually will. I can’t tell you the best bits of what happened yesterday because if I do they will go away. Needless to say part of my good feeling is about Dorian Gray, the screening the other day yielded very good results. The plan for Dorian’s birth are beginning to make sense. The Big Idea began to happen before my very eyes. I desperately want to say but I JUST CAN’T!

Something wonderful happened whilst I was writing about being Persian. As I wrote it down something shifted deep inside of me: it was a revelation. It made me feel strong. Being understood or understanding ones self, what more could you really want from life?

Everyone here is talking about The Queen, Steven Frear’s new film about how the Royal Family dealt with the death of Princess Diana.

Of course I remember when Princess Diana died. I still think about it. I was in bed with Jamie P at Adam and Eve Mews in Kensington. JBC called in the middle of the night. I think that I was one of the first people down at the gates of Kensington Palace. During the next few days after they pulled the wreckage out of that tunnel I remember with disgust the vitriol poured over her memory by the establishment. Old cavalier politicians like Lord Norman St John Stevas telling us all that we should not grieve. It was very sad and strangely chaotic. When you get to see the great and the good with their knickers down by their Royal ankles your opinion of them changes. I remember two things about that time very clearly. After she was killed I drove down to Whitstable and you know, no one on the roads was driving faster than the speed limit. Not one person. We became our polite and considerate best. We had a great deal on our minds.

The other thing I remember very clearly thinking was: The Royal Family don’t understand this, they underestimate just how ‘powerful’ they really are. They’ve worked tirelessly to create one of the best-loved soap operas in the world yet they didn’t understand that any well-loved character in a popular soap has to have a conclusion that is made with the tacit agreement of us, the viewer, the subjects.

Of course ‘the people’ thought that she was murdered what else could they think? She was a rebel, a soap opera rebel. That’s what happens to a rebel in any good drama they die in a hail of bullets or they are taken out by the secret service. Regardless of whether she was pushed or not we knew that she could not survive. She had a big mouth, she told it as it was and they hated her for it. I was shocked when she talked on Panorama about her marriage. I was delighted and terrified and despaired for her. She was signing her own death warrant. I wrote to her to say as much. I stood in the crowd as the hearse passed by. I cried when her brother spoke. Later that night I went to a party with my friends Rachel and Sebastian. They did crack. I watched Rachel vomit out of a black cab.

Yesterday I had lunch with Bram, fried chicken special at the 101. Tony popped by in the afternoon we drank coffee. John collected me for dinner and we went to the 101 and ate fried chicken again. I’ve told you once but I’ll tell you again: Thursday is Fried Chicken Special at the 101 café on Franklin. I love it.

I’ll tell you why I go to the 101 and the Chateau so often: these people know me. Not in a grand way but in such a way that the staff know how to respect your dining experience. For instance, a familiar server will know that I do not drink alcohol, they know that I don’t like being interrupted mid flow with inane questions and most of all they understand when one has finished eating. In England we are used to setting our knives and forks at half past six on the plate so as a server can SEE that we have finished and take our plates without having to ask, as they do constantly here, “Are you still working on that?” Am I? Do you mean, have I finished? Can’t you see that the plate is still covered in food? Leave me alone until I indicate that I have finished by placing my knife and fork just so.

Am I still working on this?

Went to bed at 10 so I could be up at 5 for my walk.

10:21 AM

September 21, 2006 – Thursday

On What it is to be Persian

There is nothing simple about me or Iran; the country of half my origin. I have been struggling with this problem since my Mother told me that my Father was Iranian when I was 13 years old. It was this fact alone that upset me most about my mother’s confession. I did not care that the man I had been calling my father was an impostor: I was relieved. I knew instinctively at that moment of revelation that the reason I thought and acted the way I do is because I am Iranian.

Even though I was brought up in England with everything that is quintessentially English (I am sitting here in LA listening to The Archers) my ways were different, my thinking was different and no matter how hard I tried to fit in with those around me I could not.

My mother did not want me to have anything to do with my real father, she lied about his name, she refused further information that would have helped me find him. For years I honoured her decision then one day I demanded to know who he was. Once I had his correct name I posted a ‘I am looking for..’ notice on the internet and within a week a lawyer contacted me from Canada. He said, “There are three thing that you need to know about you father, 1. I’m sorry to have to tell you that he’s been dead for seven years. (He died of pancreatic cancer). 2. You have seven brothers and sisters who really want to meet you and 3. If you’re looking for the inheritance there is none.”

I met my dead Father’s 7 children in my mid thirties. My sister Jess is the most sensible. My brother Dominic arrived in a Ferrari. Rebecca brought a huge box of photographs for me to look at. My brother James did not want anything to do with me when he heard that I was a homosexualist. MK is addicted to crack. MK told me that our father was an opium addict but this may very well be the myth of my father rather than the reality. I began to hear all sorts about him; what kind of man he was. I realised that it was imperative to understand not just the character of my Father but also the character of Iran for me to make sense of my own complexity.

Who was he? My Father. Who was that man? My Father was married 3 times, yet did he ever get a divorce? My Father was rich yet where is the money? Is it true that on his deathbed he impregnated his best friend’s wife? Is it true that he threw a gold lighter at his young son’s head scarring him for life?

I am appalled by these stories but I am also secretly in awe.

I am certainly British and I am delighted to be so, but my nature is unswervingly Persian. I am proud, arrogant, and I have one hell of a superiority complex. Of course, unsurprisingly, this makes me very awkward to handle. Like Iran I want to be taken seriously but I love challenging the status quo. I am declared anti-establishment.

As a descendant of the great Persian Empire I apologise for being so when I am calm and British but I can never say sorry, never make amends for what I am when I am in the grip of my Persian, explosive self. Persians have a rich cultural heritage, nearly 3000 years of written history. My Father, who only married British women, told his best friend that when his wife’s ancient ancestors were collecting berries on an English moor his forbears had hospitals for their pets.

You may find me difficult to understand but you find Iran difficult to understand. I am a Persian, not an Arab. Arabs invaded Iran. I am an equal mix of Persian and British; the Iranians have always respected the wily British.

Because of my terrible yet wholly Iranian arrogance, I suffer on occasions from a glut of confidence. Sadly, that does me more harm than good. I often over reach myself and when I fail, as I do on occasions, I feel victimized yet I never feel beaten, I never give in. I get up, brush myself down and I start again.

Of course you find me intolerable, flashy, charming, obnoxious. That’s what we are.

4:32 PM

Drama

It is too dark to go for my walk. Ten minutes to six. Silence. The fridge groaning and shuddering in the kitchen. Waking before sun rise with a clear head. Lucky Jesus on my desk peering at me with his one good eye. He is made of mercury glass, he has a painted white face and red lips. Lucky Jesus is holding a chalice in the folds of his robes. I bought him in Romania in a tiny antiques store, I think I paid a dollar for him.

At his feet, propped up on my new desk, are the only two photographs of my Father that I own. In one of these black and white photographs my Father is leaning against the railings overlooking Margate beach. This photograph was taken in the summer of 1959. My Father is looking directly at the camera; he has a wry smile on his tanned face. On what is obviously a baking hot, high summer holiday the beach is packed with British sunbathers.

I recognise the buildings in the distance quite well, they looked very fine in 1959. Margate is not like this now. It is a sad, empty place. Even though they say that Margate is regenerating it seems that there has been too much damage to the integrity of the town. Too many beautiful houses carved up into tiny bedsits. Too many abandoned shops. The large hotels accommodate a fragrant immigrant population made unwelcome by fearful locals.

The other photograph of my father is very odd. He is holding a gun, perhaps it is only a toy, but he is pointing it at a boy’s back. The boy has his hands up in surrender. This, I think, was taken on the Downs by the King’s Hall in Herne Bay. In both pictures my father is exquisitely groomed and perfectly dressed. He is wearing well cut trousers, a crisp white shirt and in the first he is wearing a plain, straight tie. In both he looks very Persian, he must have been quite exotic for the North Kent coast in 1959. I bet he knew how to look after himself. I wish that I had met him just once. Even though he was, by all accounts, a difficult man.

Yesterday was not a great day. After my walk in the Canyon Dan G came over and took me to the Coffee Bean. I was not really present for that. I was far away. In the afternoon I had a few annoying e-mails, a couple of disruptive phone calls. One of THOSE days but I was largely on top of it.

The best part of the day came when I went to the DGA and watched, for the first time, The Picture of Dorian Gray on the big screen. I saw, for the first time, that it really worked. Oh thank GOD. It really looks and feels exactly as it should. I invited a couple of friends of mine to come see it with me. Joel Mikely and his friend Cameron, Neal Spector and Alex Spendore. I was aware, as usual, of every fidget they made. Excruciating. Thankfully they are a tough, honest crowd. It’s a very sexy film on the big screen. David looks great! Better than great! Joel said that he was scared, he was worried that it was going to be bad. Thankfully he really liked it. What will happen to Dorian Gray now? Now we can put it back into a box until all of the financial problems are resolved. From now on I am going to concentrate on the property I want to buy.

After the fantastic screening I had some very nasty phone calls from a deranged english man I know who has substance abuse problems. He said that he wanted to kill me. So, I had to spend time talking to the police and lawyers and I will, unfortunately, have to deal with this today. Thankfully, after the first mad call, I had the foresight to record the second abusive, threatening rant. This second homo-phobic, racist, violent, death-threatening call lasted for over 17 minutes. My father would carry a small recording device everywhere he went for just such an occurrence.

My third date with Sunday Internet Man was spent at Cobras and Matadors which is by far my favourite tapas restaurant in town (avoid the lentils) then we explored The Grove and finally we just sat in his Mercedes and cruised the hills, exploring the tiny, winding roads around Beachwood Canyon. It was very romantic. We stopped in at mine for an hour and he rubbed my back and shoulders with his strong hands until I slept.

8.30 am I just got back from the most wonderful walk. Beautiful morning. I saw 56 dogs, 1 chameleon, 1 Blue Jay, 2 men covered in tattoos and a 50-year-old Russian woman taking her tee-shirt off revealing a huge flesh coloured bra. I saw one cute man. No top models. Took the left had route. On the bench at the crest of the hill there was a lady with a branch tucked into her belt at the FRONT. She sat quietly peering through twigs at the view of LA.

8:58 AM

September 20, 2006 – Wednesday

Gay Gene

76 dogs. A great deal of unchecked poo. Dogs’ pooing behind unsuspecting owners. I took the less steep route. There is indeed a strong, unusual smell in the Canyon but it isn’t dog piss-it’s the smell of vegetation, damp straw, exotic bark and animals other than dogs. It is the smell of nature at its pungent best.

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s blog that from the tallest mountain Corey and I climbed we could see below us, for the first time, the 101 freeway carving through the other canyons. It was almost beautiful. We were surprised that we had never before noticed the shimmering 101. There was very little haze and for a brief moment the sun lit the tarmac and the tiny, glinting cars. I thought to myself that in 20 years time silent, electric cars would choke these huge LA roads. I thought about the public transport system that used to exist here and how it will undoubtedly return. As hostile nations hold onto their oil reserves our transport will, thankfully, adapt into something less noisy or smelly.

The house on Langton Street in Chelsea where Phil lives in London has three coal-holes. Every house along that street burnt so much coal. Where the bricks have not been scoured at the back of Phil’s house you can see how sooty black London must have been. I have a distant memory of a steam train roaring into Whitstable. I remember the smell, the acrid smell of burning coal. The diesel trains that ran between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury stank so badly even on the coldest day we kept the windows open. I thought we were lucky not to live in the age of coal smoke but we live in the age of exhaust fumes and the sound of the 101 the 405 the M2. How could they live like that? My children’s children will scoff at the memory of us. “How could they live with those smells?” When would it have been good to live on earth without fear or fumes or disease? Never I suppose.

Yesterday Steve the beautiful actor came with his huge car and we drove to Bonham’s to collect my new desk. When I got it home I was so excited because I had to rearrange my sitting room to accommodate it. I LOVE rearranging; it is and has always been my greatest pleasure. I filled the draws and set out my lucky desk creatures: my lucky bird, my lucky cow, my lucky Jesus, my lucky saint. It is, I am certain, the gay gene that determines that I know how to scatter cushions and place ornaments in such a way that when Greg Yeardye popped over last night he said: “You have such great taste.” Thanks GY. Darling Phil used to berate me for talking about home décor rather than deal with any problem we might have. Even when I was in prison my cell was perfectly clean and rearranged and the other prisoners would stop by and hang out.

Had long chat with Lawyer, with mortgage broker and then Sunday Internet Date came over and we drove to Silverlake to look at the house and then we ate lunch at American Rag. I had the smoked chicken Quiche that was so delicious it must have been very, very bad for me. Need a project-not a film. Need to rearrange massively. Internet Date is very distinguished and kind. He is realistic. Getting to know him slowly is delightful.

Oscar Humphries

Had dinner with Greg Yeardye. I am very fond of Greg but after 6 months of him just disappearing do I want to be his friend again? Greg is a big, straight man. He is very competitive which I find unnecessary, he calls me on my shit-I like that, he is a terrible old gossip which is endearing and he is grandiose in the most vulgar, gold Rolex kind of way. He loves to let everyone know how rich he is-but is he? He is the brother of Tamara Mellon who my friend Oscar Humphries had a well-publicised affair with. Tamara owns Jimmy Choo. Tamara is rich. Greg’s mother wears Chanel and lives in a huge house in Beverly Hills. HUGE!!! I love how utterly indiscreet Greg is. Within minutes of getting together he was booming information that would be worth MONEY to unscrupulous gossip hounds. What I love most about Giant Greg is how he wears the most ghastly shoes and does not give a toss. We will see how this pans out.

Before I went to bed I thought about a friend of mine who had started drinking again after a good few years of abstinence. I had the weirdest reaction: I was jealous. Even though he only drank a couple of glasses of cheap red wine I was jealous that he could start the whole sobriety thing again from the very beginning that he could wipe his slate clean. I was jealous that the path for him now seems to me so simple once again. Staying sober by the grace of God one day at a time, a daily emergency (no doubt) but all the same, think of the ATTENTION, the support, think of the unconditional love.

7:21 AM

September 19, 2006 – Tuesday

Jake Gyllenhaal

I only have thirty mins to write my blog. I wanted to write about kissing. I wanted to write about the best kissers I ever had. I was expecting some kissing last night.

Today is jammed packed. I started my walk at 8.30 up Runyon Canyon. Took the vicious left hand route and consequently I am sitting here my thighs on fire. We beat that fuckin mountain in 18 minutes. I went with Tom Cruise look-a-like Corey the Realtor. He is the sweetest man. We saw 17 dogs and a top model on our walk. Nobody really said hello to us. It was a different crowd today: housewives with tiny dogs.

Yesterday was mostly spent at home doing home things and e-mails and writing. I washed dark clothing and drank black coffee. I spent time on the phone with Clare Swinburn and we discussed Christmas plans. I really want her to come out here for pilot season-whatever that is. Can some one please explain what Pilot Season is?

Had God-awful row with team about money that did not get resolved until I spoke to my lawyer today. Losing interest in everything connected with Dorian.

Dinner at Chateau with Chris my Mormon friend. The Chateau is such a performance! Will Carter starring as the maitre de with attendant non-speaking assistants. Nicole Richie hugging everyone. We are the family that is the Chateau Marmont. We sat on best table for two at the back. I had the Caesar Salad with shrimp. Mormon Chris had the steak. Then, to my left, the Dupont twins arrived whom I said a fleeting hello. In front of me Stellan Skarsgaad who I am frightened of sat speaking Scandinavian. On my right Jeffery Rush and family were eating a late dinner, the children went to bed then they had to put up with a woman just joining their table and introducing herself.

Rush might make a great lead for our secret project. Saweeda and her friend pitched up with no news of Richard Squire. On the table behind the hedge were Nick Jones and my friends from Soho House New York. I said to Mark, “I’ll see you at the Oscars when I crash the Soho House party this year.” We laughed. He gave me a huge hug.

Mormon boy found that we were unable to have a conversation because we were sitting next to the screeching Duponts and their motley crew so I had us moved into the lobby for coffee and cheese and there, sitting on the couch, was the scrumptious Jake Gyllenhaal. We waved, I kind of know him as we had long conversation waiting for broken elevator in Mercer Hotel in New York years ago and now we bump into each other periodically. I loved that he won the BAFTA. Like so many STARS he is becoming a kind of caricature of himself. The arched eyebrow, the strong jaw. Does he look in the mirror and think about how he photographs? I wonder. Like that freak Conan the red-haired chat show host.

When he left the girl at his table stroked the seat where he was sitting and said, “He’s adorable.”

Mormon dropped me off at home then Steve popped over to run lines-that’s what we do in Hollywood, we go home at 11.30pm and run lines with actors.

Slept fitfully thinking about THE WORLD.

11:33 AM

December 9, 2006 – Saturday

New York

New York. It is a bright, cold day in this vibrant city. I am staying at Soho House in the Meat Packing District. They have set me up in a huge suite with a massive white bed, steam room and a butler. I am here to write the secret project with Maria. I arrived the evening before last. Very kindly Tim picked me up from the airport, which was so darned sweet of him. Unfortunately there had been a bit of a mix up over my room booking at Soho House, so the first night I stayed at the gruesome Gramercy Park Hotel. The problem with the GPH is that it cannot work out if it is a dance club or a hotel. As I arrived somebody had vomited on the tile floor in the lobby and a young Asian woman had slipped in the diced carrots and acrid smelling spew. As chic as some say this place (GPH) is no amount of Warhol, Clemente or Schnabel will compensate for how bad and unwelcoming it is at night. It was so dark at the reception that it was impossible to read the booking slip. It was so noisy in my room that I could not sleep. In the morning I quietly made a detailed complaint, understandably they did not charge me for my room. Later that morning it was wonderful to finally arrive at the Soho House. The General Manager Mark and the others immediately made me feel welcome and gave me Danish to eat and latte to drink and told me their various home stories and I no longer felt angry or displaced.

As some of you may have noticed I have not been writing my blog so much lately. It suddenly felt like I was giving too much away. Also, I started going to AA meetings in the Palisades at 7am. As a consequence I have not been walking the Canyon. Instead, I get up at 6am drive west, go to my meeting and am at home by 9. Because I am dressed properly for my meeting I don’t then want to take off my clothes and change for the Canyon.

As for this blog, annoying my friends at the Chateau deeply upset me and made me think hard about what writing an open diary does to the people around you. Anyway, decided that I will write this blog periodically or when I have time on my hands or need to let myself know what is going on.

Had lunch at the Chateau with Hilary C last week. We had a great time. I really enjoy her company. It was odd going back to the CM after my banning, as I no longer feel the same sense of freedom that I had before. It sort of curtailed my enjoyment. I wore a cap and sunglasses and tried to hide my face as best I could. I am so bored with LA and being here in NYC has merely heightened that feeling of discomfort I have about going back.

Sadly, last week, I caught Joe lying about me and trying to cause trouble in my life. Amazingly, he told Hilary that I had stolen Sebastian Scott‘s cheque book. Telling me that he was having a dinner, inviting people I knew and letting me know that I was not invited. Why? I would have thought nothing of it had I not been told several days later by another friend that Joe had warned him away from me. I think what Joe seems to forget is that a) more people tell me what they think of him than he realizes and b) that I find it terribly painful discovering that a ‘friend’ has spread such miserable lies about me. Such dull, unimaginative lies.

Bought gloves in Barney’s. Had polet roti in cute restaurant near Barney’s. Had sex last night with some one of unimaginable beauty. First time I have had SEX for months.

The boy who stole my laptop is in prison. His mother called me and told me that I was the Devil and that her son could never have committed such a crime. She hoped that I might find Jesus. The police called and I finally got hold of my laptop to transfer items from that to this. The horrid thief had forced his way into my files only to put most things into the trash. Thankfully I found all of what I wanted except the secret project.

Had business meeting with Victor. It was fruitless. I am no closer to getting Dorian finished.

11:27 AM

December 1, 2006 – Friday

The Pebble

At 8am there was a chilled, stiff wind gusting exhilaratingly over the canyon path. I can’t really remember what I was griping about as I climbed to the summit but my head was going ten to the dozen. I met a boy called Anton Dolphin sitting, swinging his legs on the bench at the summit. He was gazing at the crystal clear view of Los Angeles toward Santa Monica. It was so clear I could see Catalina, the smog blown out to sea. The canyons to my left, toward the Hollywood sign, filled with soft misty meringue. The huge, grey mountains beyond Silverlake usually concealed by smoke and mirrors were clearly visible. It was spectacular.

Anton is a twenty-five year old accountant from Auckland. He was doing what most young people do from his country he was taking time to explore the world. Anton is an ordinary boy making an extraordinary adventure. We chatted for an hour then separated on Hillcrest. I love talking to young men. I love listening to their stories, their aspirations laid bare. It is the truth.

Yesterday I had meetings with my lawyer and my manager who has become an agent at a great agency. I have, totally by default, got myself an agent at a great agency. I wonder if he will be able to effect any changes there for me. Anything for me to do? I just want to do SOMETHING other than Dorian.

Went to the Magritte show with Michael and Hillary but Hillary flounced off when I started talking to a charming 19-year-old boy who wanted to know how to interpret Magritte’s work. I had forgotten just how much I actually knew. It all just spewed out of me. John Baldessari (curator) has made a great job of the show. It looked and felt great. The cloud carpet and decorated ceilings, the bowler hats on the guards and the extraordinary collection of work. I loved ‘A Clear Idea’ the best. I did not realize what a wonderful painter he was. The execution was exquisite. I enjoyed seeing contemporary works hung alongside the Magritte, some work an homage to Magritte others a conceptual progression/evolution. Of course these iconic images are all very well-known but as with Rothko or Matisse the experience of the work is key, I felt totally invigorated by the experience of this well-known work.

The 19 year-old boy asked me to look at ‘The Pebble’, which is an odd Lautrec type cartoon painting of a half-naked woman licking her shoulder. The sea is lapping around her. We sat looking at it for three-quarters of an hour. It is the most sensual painting; one can taste the salt on the woman’s skin. One pays attention to her tongue and the back of her neck, the way she holds her breast with one hand, her modesty with the other. Her nipples are like tiny exotic fruits. The more one looked at it the more one realized that it was also one of the most erotic paintings that I have ever seen. Perhaps standing next to a perfect youth made it more so. I have no idea.

Dinner at 101 fried chicken special.

10:46 AM

November 30, 2006 – Thursday

Bond/Borat

I am climbing Runyon Canyon at 8am with Scientologist Joe K the man who sells dog ties who I met on the mountain with Hillary two weeks ago.

It is 6.30; I have looked at the list of films picked for Sundance. Dorian is not one of them. I was really disappointed. When did I start hankering after Sundance? When did it become imperative for my film to exist anywhere other than where it is meant to exist? AKA went to Sundance. Should it have even been there? Some might say that my being there was a wasted opportunity. I had no idea how to make it work. I went with the absurd SM as my ‘manager’. I was frustrated. What a calamity. Bobby, my tiny little agent who wore a crash helmet in her kitchen because she kept bashing her head. My lawyer was the only one who seemed to care. The more I think about it the less tragic the memory becomes. It was absurd. It was a farce. It makes me laugh. Peter arriving with his friend/manager in the snow in a broken car to share the stage with me at the Egyptian. The ‘manager’ latterly ran off with Peter’s woman. What is with this ‘manager’ thing? Here, you be my brain. You make my decisions. I can’t think without you. When did I ever not think for myself?

What is for Dorian now? I imagine that we will do the lesbian and gay film circuit, which I have always loved. They have always looked after me. Made me welcome. That is all I ever wanted for any of my films. All I wanted was to reach out to that audience.

Every time I make a film I start again. Find the true path. Every time I do anything creative I am enriched. I am in pursuit of beauty. Money is only useful to acquire beauty; access to beautiful people, places and things. It is all I have ever been interested in. Even when I was in prison I found beauty in the soaring, dramatic halls of Wormwood Scrubs. These rooms were a quarter of a mile long. At night, working on the wing, the last one out on the landing, I walked the long gantry listening to the individual lives of each man behind his wood. I thought, this is the most beautiful moment I have ever experienced. Even though I was occasionally frightened I was usually delighted, inspired and full of hope. Was it just because I was so young or because I was not drinking or because I had been living a lie for such a long time?

Every time I make a film I start again from beginning to end. I start again. Tossing the coin into the air and see where it lands. Heads or tails?

Last night I had a very unsatisfactory massage. Michael went to see Casino Royale at the Chinese Theatre. I saw Casino Royale with Hillary and Dom last weekend in the mall at Century City.

I might have liked it had Danny’s suits been tailored correctly but sadly they aren’t. In Love is the Devil he was remarkably suave. In Casino Royale his suits don’t fit, his collars are unstarched, he looks like a squat bouncer from a provincial night club wearing a bad watch.

The iconic title sequence of James Bond turning to shoot the gun at the audience at the very beginning of the film was frankly absurd! The Bond silhouette is usually the finest example of old world elegance. The film makers traded elegant, refined and dangerous for Danny Craig dressed as a French onion seller in baggy trousers unable to perform a model turn or even convincingly point his gun.

Sadly, there were too many shots of Danny running. Daniel Craig is no Gazelle, he runs like an old-fashioned athlete pulling a strange, determined face. His blue eyes as wide as saucers, the veins on his forehead standing out like a tube map. James Bond should run effortlessly without breaking a sweat.

None of this, however, is Danny’s fault. There seems not to have been a discerning eye overlooking this film. No taste. No style. And as for the leading woman’s hair at the Casino-it looked like a hat from a jumble sale. In lieu of anything else to applaud about this film we applaud Danny’s indisputable acting ability but acting is not what Bond is all about, Bond is a high camp British cartoon character. Since when has it become imperative for filmmakers to humanize cartoon characters? How long will it be before Scoobydoo suffers from a bout of postmodern angst?

Another cartoon character in the cinemas this winter is Sacha Baron-Cohen’s Borat which, unlike Bond, is very stylish and on occasions simply genius. I now understand what early cinema audiences loved so much about Chaplin. Borat the tramp, the fool, the clumsy could so easily have been a series of dislocated skits but instead this cohesive, stylish, funny film made me feel something far beyond what I ever expected. Both Bond and Borat are peculiarly British cartoon inventions but where as Bond has become another victim of the New British Laddist Movement sinking in the quicksand of postmodern reality Borat turns out to be the most unlikely hero of them all.

11:40 AM

November 29, 2006 – Wednesday

Arrested

It was a very, very chilly morning. I wore my woolen hat with the hood from my red hoody pulled over my head. The wind whipped through the Canyon; thankfully the rain from yesterday had dampened the paths so there was no dust whipped into my face. I took long fierce strides. I was furious. Furious about Michael, furious about my film, furious!

At the summit I looked down over the wind-swept city and did not feel so bad. I kept on begging God to give me a sign that would make things better. A sign that would solve the various problems that now inhabited my beleaguered head. Some sort of sign that would show me the way toward repairing my tattered sense of well-being.

I repaired the damage I caused at The Chateau. I apologized to the general manager for causing him to have to take such drastic action. He was so sweet. For any of us who are lucky enough to have the sort of relationship that I do with perhaps the most civilized environment in LA we have to take our commitment very seriously. If it weren’t for delightful times had at that charming place I would have left LA many, many months ago.

The police called to tell me that they had arrested the boy who’d stolen my laptop so I had to attend an interview at Wilcox LAPD. The detectives that interviewed me were, yet again, courteous, attentive and professional. They recovered my laptop but it is damaged so I will have to have the information removed from it professionally. I felt sorry for the guy who stole it, sitting in his cell, unlikely to get bail.

I dashed home to:

Cook ox tail for my Steven Fry dinner. He was on sparkling form. Joe made a great sidekick for him to entertain us all with one masterfully told anecdote after another. I really had no idea that S Fry was such a great mimic. Michael (the emotional vampire) did not say one word throughout dinner. He sat there listening and eating tofu. Eric was just beautiful. Eric’s boy friend was very quiet and a bit overwhelmed. Dan Scheffy from New York: very sweet. Merle Ginsberg was a sad no-show.

4:02 PM

November 27, 2006 – Monday

Yesterday

It is raining. Raining. Beautiful Elliot arrived from Sydney and tormented me with his perfection-he stayed twelve hours then left for Colorado to work as a ski lift operator.

It is very strange living with Michael in my flat. I have known him for so many years in so many different situations. Even though he is a delightful friend he has so many annoying habits. He repeats words one after another in curious voices. He compares situations we find ourselves in to films he has seen. Michael speaks with his mouth full of breakfast and showers me with scrambled egg. We spent the day exploring LA in the car. Silverlake, Los Felis, Down Town.

I thought that we should drive through the rain to Santa Barbara. We went to the Chateau for dinner but when I got there the charming security man took me to one side and told me that I had to leave. Shockingly, I have been banned from the Chateau Marmont for writing this blog so I have had to set my blog to private until further notice. Earlier in the day, at the Farmers Market, on Beverly I bumped into my AA sponsor but he was behaving very oddly. I am really looking forward to getting away. Going to Sydney. Finding my serenity. Of course it does not matter what I lose or what is taken away from me. I believe in my higher power and therefore everything will be OK. It always is.

8:30 AM

November 26, 2006 – Sunday

Michael Temple

The Canyon. Homeless people live there at night. Once the gates close at sunset they must emerge from secret paths. Occasionally one hears them screaming out. Screaming their truth. From where I live, at night, I see helicopters scouring the brush for them. Hovering noisily over the Canyon with powerful lights beaming, searching, and sweeping the contours of the canyon for the homeless.

This morning a tatty black man with a moth-eaten white beard was petting a tiny black pug owned by a very chic Asian woman. She called out its name. The dog ignored her and licked the homeless man’s fingers. Worlds converged, I watched her anxiously look at her dog and the homeless man. She knew that this old man wasn’t going to harm either her or her dog. We train ourselves to ignore the poor. I ignore their pleas for money, for food, for shelter. The dog/child knew nothing. No amount of training could make a dog differentiate between his kindness or hers. Asian woman had to acknowledged that she shared her world with homeless black man.

Further up the Canyon angry black woman from last week was screaming at her Husky called Runner. Screaming. The husky looked bewildered. I asked her if her dog was deaf. She said no. I asked if it might not be a good idea to put her dog on a lead then train it to accept commands. Angry black woman was outraged. I said, “You know that I am speaking the truth. I am telling you quietly and politely.” She tried to laugh at me as if I was an idiot but the truth was indisputable. “Nobody wants to listen to you screaming.”

I climbed the mountain with Michael Temple who arrived from London yesterday. We had dinner at Taste with Benjamin, Joe and Richard Squire. The food was OK. Richard was very funny but looks washed out. He reminds me of those medieval drawings of the Plantagenet’s. Thin features and flaxen bangs covering his ears. Richard fascinates Michael; he can’t understand how he survives. Nobody really understands. Michael asked a million questions about Richard. Like an alien he might have chanced upon.

Yesterday was spent mostly at home reading and writing.

I thought about Zoë in Whitstable, the mad woman with the red hair who lives on Harbor Street. Michael met me in her basement when I was 7 years old. What was it about her that made me feel like she was where I belonged? Her shop was opposite the Harbor gates and called Napoleon Bonaparte’s 101st Lucretia Borgia. It smelt of bees-wax polish, wood smoke and the harbor. It must have been winter when I first discovered her. It must have been a bright winters day. Perhaps it was snowing. There were kittens in the basement and I sat by the fire on brown leather, Victorian sofas rupturing their horsehair innards. In the shop there were two huge pieces of Victorian furniture and a chandelier. Everything was painted white except the soot licked onto the chimney breast.

Why was I drawn to her? Drawn to Richard Squire. Drawn away from my family? I have a framed picture of me on my desktop. I am seven years old. The harbor is a long way from where we lived.

Too much remembering.

I have been having very vivid dreams. Last night I found myself in bed with Brad Pitt and some woman. I have never ever thought of him like that. It was so..real. I blush just thinking about it. As we were having sex I thought to myself in the dream, “How will I ever write about this in my blog without pissing him off?”

9:19 AM

November 24, 2006 – Friday

Thanks Giving

The Canyon was really chilly and bright this morning. I had to wear a hat, sweat shirt, tee-shirt and long sweats so that my knees didn’t get cold. I think that I may fire up the boiler and burn off all the dust.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving which means nothing at all to a Brit like me. Turkey, buckles and puritans. To celebrate this greatest of all American holidays Dom, Hillary, John and his girlfriend and I ate Thanksgiving lunch at some second-rate restaurant in a huge Shopping Mall called The Grove.

The food was inedible and I could have fed everyone there for half of what it cost me personally. It really annoys me to have to spend good money on bad food. What is the fucking point when one can cook great food effortlessly and cheaply? I should have stayed at John Wolf’s and eaten with the Palladino’s but I felt OBLIGED to eat with Dom. I hate feeling OBLIGED! In fact I hate holidays.

The morning started well enough: Hillary and I walked the Canyon straight up the hard way. I then drove around in search of an AA meeting as the one I wanted to go to was not available to me. Unable to find anywhere convenient I ended up at The Coffee Bean on Sunset where, amazingly, I had an impromptu AA meeting by the fire pit with other grateful recovering addicts who had also discovered that none of the usual venues were open for the holiday. I felt a bit weird holding hands and saying the serenity prayer in public. Apart from our little group holding hands there were ten other people drinking morning coffee at the Coffee Bean on Sunset including Paris Latsis and one of the Baldwin brothers who was playing backgammon in an outfit that could only be described as caramel.

Even though the eating part of our lunch was ghastly I am very fond of Dom so enjoyed talking about OJ Simpson, Netflix, dark meat versus white meat and the guy who plays Kramer on Seinfeld losing his temper on stage at the Laugh Factory and calling talkative black audience members ‘niggers’. Kramer then lamented the passing of lynching ‘niggers’. The Jews and the Blacks have always had difficulties with each other. Why?

After lunch I fled to the security of Beverly Hills and the huge house of Anastasia the Romanian eyebrow lady who was throwing a party with Merle Ginsberg’s sister. The house that eyebrows built nestled serenely in the most beautiful part of Beverly Hills. It was a delightful party with excellent food. I stuck my fingers down my throat, vomited up the lunch I had just eaten and started all over again. No I didn’t. I didn’t vomit but I did eat a second HUGE lunch, which I forced down my throat. It was SUPERB. Merle was on sparkling form. She introduced me to her gay friend who wrote Prêt e Porter for Altman who died yesterday. Look, we are all allowed to make at least one bad film and that was Altman’s. SORRY, but it’s true. I rather liked her sullen gay friend but he had one of those faces that looks as if he has just tasted something very, very sour. I call it ‘gay face’.

I cannot get enough of Merle. Her boyfriend was there who I met in the plane on the way to Sandy Pitman’s party. He looked completely different as he was not dressed as an Arab. I met Anastasia’s Romanian family who were adorable and thrilled that I had been to Constanza where they come from on the Black Sea. I met other friends of hers from Bucharest who knew all about the Elizabeth Hurley scandal. I met one beautiful girl who is a series regular on Nip Tuck who had seen The Method and knew my entire name. Ended the evening talking more to gay face and an Internet gossip woman who tried to pump me for information about who was gay in Hollywood, as if I would know anything more than her. To the amusement of the others I turned the tables and grilled her about her love life. As it turned out this dried up old harridan had no sex life at all and when she did confined it to missionary position with one person. Vicarious sex lives are the worst sex lives of all.

I left Beverly Hills at 7.30 and joined Ian Drew at a very odd little party in Larchmont. There was no traffic so getting around LA was very quick and easy. You could understand how convenient it must have been here once upon a time for drivers. Anyway, Ian was sitting with seven women, six miniature dogs and some silent designer who looked like that freak from the band Sparks in the 1970’s. I ate more pumpkin pie and offered to start a food fight but the woman who owned the house looked a little shocked. I did my favorite comedy party trick and put one of the tiny dogs into the microwave. I did not press the button although I was tempted.

Home and in bed by 11.

10:00 AM

November 22, 2006 – Wednesday

dog/child

The canyon was virtually empty this morning as most people were packing or heading off on their Thanksgiving holidays. There were two scrapping dogs brawling in the dust. Their lesbian owners did almost nothing to separate them. Like Clare Staples who has a Great Dane most of them think that these creatures are their children and rather than pulling them apart like animals the lesbians were ‘negotiating’ with them.

Meet Princess the four-legged dog/child that can be locked in the house for ten hours a day and eats its own shit. Taking a dog out for an hour each morning then locking them up in an apartment all day is frankly cruel. At least when CS brings her child/dog to LA she has bought it a huge dog run but most people who live here are just not that lucky. The same screwed thinking that makes ‘animal lovers’ imprison their dogs in tiny apartments with an hours exercise a day also makes them believe that eating a salad with a huge meal makes the meal healthier. As if eating lettuce cancels out all the damage a massive plate of pasta is doing to them before they haul their fat asses into their cars, up elevators or the path of least resistance.

I love Runyon Canyon, this morning it was quite chilly and grey. Silent. Green finches chasing each other. I always head up there feeling angry and resentful and return feeling peaceful and creative. If I don’t work out my resentments on the side of that mountain I work them out here in this blog.

Yesterday I ran errands, met Benjamin in the morning. We ate an early lunch and drank coffee in various locations all over town. I went to Silverlake to look at the house. I wish some one would buy it so that I could stop thinking about it.

Jesse Metcalf called in the afternoon, a young actor I have not seen for ages. For reasons known only to himself he wanted to swing by the apartment. He arrived with another short, good-looking 22-year-old ‘actor/producer’. I sat on my sofa wondering what the fuck they wanted. Apparently they wanted to meet me.

Flirtatious, dangerous straight boys in my house. They knew Bryan Singer, Joel S and Bill Condon and now they knew me. I had invited Aleksa’s family for dinner so I was sitting in my apron and tending the oven as they told me all about their huge projects. Jesses’s sister is called Mindy and I think may be the wrestler who lives next door to Sharon.

At 7.30 the boys were still there and invited themselves to dinner. I fed ten people easily as I had massively over bought thinking that I could make enough for lunch today. Aleksa’s grandmother and grandfather Tony Palladino are amazing and I can only hope that if I ever make it to their age I will be as vibrant. Tony is the artist who created the Psycho logo for Hitchcock.

By 11 they were all gone so I went to bed. Getting tired of sleeping on my own. I want to fall in love.

10:24 AM

November 21, 2006 – Tuesday

Lap Top Stolen

The top of the Canyon was obscured by thick, low-lying cloud. Met Glen Williamson and his new puppy. I hauled my ass up the hard way. The later one climbs the more screamers there are.

I’ve not written anything for three days. Such drama! Whilst I was having lunch, on Friday, with Merle Ginsberg in Beverly Hills somebody came into my house, pushed my maid and stole my laptop from my desk. Later that day the thief called me on my mobile phone demanding $2,000 to be put into a bank account. I can’t write anything more until the police have dealt with it. Thankfully, I learned many years ago to back everything up. Nothing vitally important has been lost. Most of my really important day-to-day information is stored on my Blackberry. Photographs will have to be reloaded but what the hell. I was more annoyed that my maid was reduced to tears. Poor thing, when I got home she was standing in the kitchen twisting her handkerchief in her hand, her face wet with tears. “Mister, a man came”. She sobbed.

The police were wonderful, really prompt and polite and interested. The two detectives were so different from British police who really don’t seem to give a damn. It was very impressive.

I had to somehow forget about the missing laptop and concentrate on feeding 12 people who were invited for dinner. Merle Ginsberg, Sharon Swart, Hilary Carver, Julie Delphy and her German boy friend, Marilyn Heston, Loren Beck, Aleksa and Devon for lamb and roasted beets which were DELICIOUS. Joe, Ian Drew (plus three) and Dom arrived after dinner with pudding and eggnog.

It was a remarkable success.

The following day I went to AA meeting then took Joe Townley to Brentwood for breakfast. Maury looked very busy. Met Sharon after breakfast but I was in shock about my lap top and unable to communicate effectively. We drove to Burbank in the truck and bought rugs at Ikea. I felt introspective. SS didn’t like me being so quiet so I went home and napped. We have not spoken since.

On Sunday I got up early and instead of my hike I went to the Hollywood farmers market where I bought more flowers. I saw KD Lang buying groceries. I then drove that huge truck to AA meeting in West Hollywood. An hour later, feeling very good about life I headed to the Grove to buy a new laptop at Apple. It took two hours but it was worth it. Met Dom at Barney’s where I bumped into Brian Ferry and his young wife. He looked great, she looks like Lucy. Dom insisted that we eat lunch in a nasty Beverly Hills diner. Why? Dom tried to convince me that he is on some sort of frugality drive which means that we have to eat at a cheap, ghastly diner. In fact he is spending all of his money taking JT to the Barbra Streisand Concert. He is obsessed with JT.

Buying chocolate in the chocolate store on Canon Dom and I saw a young Ethiopian girl with a pair of false red pumped lips like you some times see on celebrities here. At first we thought that they were real and dashed out of the store for a closer look but the girl took them off and Dom and I screamed how wonderful the false lips were and how much she looked like the “Dreadful Jocelyn Wildenstein”. “Yes! Oh my God how much like the dreadful ‘Bride of Wildenstein’ you look”. Dom chimed in. “That Wildenstein monster!” And, as if by some ghastly say it three times magic we noticed, sitting, eating a light lunch out side, not ten paces away was Jocelyn Wildenstein no longer enjoying a quiet bite whilst she listened to a morbidly obese queen and his svelte friend screaming about how vile she was. When we realized our catastrophic faux pas Dom just ran up the street. There is nothing more heartening than watching a fat man running.

On Sunday night I met my new neighbor and hung out at my place.

Yesterday had tea with S Fry at Chateau. Introduced him to Joe. Of course they got on like a house on fire. S Fry really loves Dorian. He looked a bit disheveled. Talked more about the Dam Busters.

Dinner, where else but the Chateau, with my friend Richard and others. Saw Michael Bellisario. Clare Staples joined our table briefly but after telling us that she had just spent 6 million dollars on her new house and that she only came down from her room because she thought that I was Duncan from the boy band Blue I lost interest in her. She wonders why she is single? Most probably because she has grown a cock and bathes in testosterone every night.

Don’t worry love, you’re buying a 6 million dollar house and you live in LA, you won’t be single for long.

.3:22 PM

November 17, 2006 – Friday

Carine Roitfeld, Robbie Williams, Claire Danes

It is 8.30am. I just got back from my walk. It was far too late to find any serenity up there on the mountain, there were far too many chattering people. I stopped three times to speak with people I know. On the way down I slipped on the steep path-it was the first time. I wouldn’t want to break my hip, not here in America where nobody gives a shit.

I am driving a huge pick up truck. Somebody mentioned yesterday that the truck must make me feel more powerful. How could a truck make a man feel more powerful? I hired it to haul stuff back from Bonham’s. This apartment needs fresh flowers. The cleaner is in today; as usual she will be here for hours and not really achieve anything. I am going to be here too. I want to see what she does.

Yesterday morning Hillary came over at 7am. We hiked the huge Runyon path that stretches over three peaks. At the summit we met a Texan called Joe who makes ties for dogs. He was quite odd but worth investigation. At the gate we bumped into Julia Verdin who, for the first time, seemed genuinely pleased to see me. Perhaps I was deluded from the exhausting walk but I felt unusual warmth from her. Hillary cooked breakfast (eggs and bacon) then we drove to the Barney’s one-day only sale, which was crap. I felt bereft leaving that place empty-handed. In search of more breakfast we drove west to Maury’s City Bakery in Brentwood and ate bagel croissants and fruit salad with ginger yogurt. However, I was feeling very peculiar. Not ill but not well. On the way home I fell into a deep sleep in Hillary’s car. When she dropped me off I felt even odder. Out of sorts. Miserable.

I spent most of yesterday in bed critically unable to do anything. Spoke to sponsor who told me that taking a day off is fine, but lets face it: I have been taking ‘days off’ for twenty years. I knew that the feeling would pass and when I tried to work out why I was feeling so odd I kept on thinking about my grandmother. All of that stuff I wrote about her yesterday. Perhaps she died? I lay in bed. I tried to eat but I couldn’t. All day I suffered sudden flash backs to obscure moments in my life. Most alarmingly I vividly remembered fetching the milk from the farm-yard when I was at Shotton Hall School. Lugging churns of milk from the farm, freezing before sun rise, into the Land Rover. It set off a chain reaction of odd memories. Shotton memories ending with that fateful kiss with Linda the member of staff who was subsequently fired for her ‘unprofessional’ involvement with me.

At about 8 last night Arrick called, persuaded me out of my bed and took me to the101 for Thursday night fried chicken special. He was playing Baby Face in the car and I realised that all Baby Face does is yodel. All any of those singers do is yodel. Beyonce yodels. Listened to him yodel through a Beatles song. He dropped me off at 10. I sat wrapped up on the sofa watching gratifying home decoration programmes until midnight then went to bed. I slept well.

The day before was great. I had lunch with Amanda R at the Chateau. I adore her. She is such a chic, intelligent, funny, charming woman. We ate chicken salad. Sat next to Jason Resnick from Focus who told me that I had lost weight. The beard is such a great way to fool people into thinking you have lost weight. He mentioned that he had seen Sharon making out with some guy at the New Yorker party the previous evening. That guy, of course, was me. “I thought that you were gay”. He said. “If only it were that fucking simple”. I smiled. Somebody sent a picture to Sharon of us making out at the AFI party. We have become a very public couple.

Amanda was wearing a pair of bottle green suede boots that Rogier Vivier gave her.

That night I had dinner at The Chateau M met the utterly charming, handsome Stavros Nicharos, Carine Roitfeld (editor of French Vogue). Dinner with Marilyn Heston, Ian Drew, saw Robbie Williams, Claire Danes, Hugh D’Ancy and others. We love Carine. Ian kept reminding me that, amazingly, Carine R is 51 years old. She looks, in candle light, like a 19 year old girl. I felt great wearing my burgundy silk velvet D&G jacket, Dior pants, and some slim navy Todd’s. Claire Danes found everything Hugh said very, very funny. I don’t remember him being THAT funny. Interestingly, Doug Christmas had not mentioned our fight to Marilyn Heston. I gleefully told her the nasty Doug Christmas story, as a consequence she may think twice about doing business with him in the future. Am I being vindictive?

9:22 AM

November 15, 2006 – Wednesday

Grand Mother

So hot today, already, at 8am. I feel delicate this morning, fragile even. My skin is uncomfortable on my fingers. Pins and needles. I remember my grand mother saying ‘pins and needles’. ‘Suck it and see’ was another one of hers. I don’t suppose that I will ever see her alive again. I don’t want to see her. She is in her assisted living room in Herne Bay, stuffing food into her mouth that she can’t swallow. My grand mother is 96. I would like to say something to her. I would like to apologise. I just can’t seem to forgive my grand mother or my mother. I try to, God help me, I try to forgive them but I can’t. So, the last time I saw my Mother and Grand Mother was on Island Wall in Whitstable near the first cottage I owned. Nana was in her wheelchair. I kissed her. She had some food on her chin from the lunch she just ate. I am sitting here trying to forgive her.

I remember visiting her at her neat, seaside, semi-detached house in Herne Bay when I was a child. She had orange curtains in the spare room where I slept decorated with black reeds. I liked when the sun would shine onto them as everything in that room would have a warm orange glow. Before she went to bed she would lay the table for breakfast so that if I woke before her I would sit in the dining room quietly, the room smelling of sweet apples. Little boy delighted by the expectation of breakfast. The curtains drawn. I loved that house. I liked that the back garden was ordered, the lawn closely cut. In the wooden water-butt I could pick at mosquito larvae that wriggled in the black water.

When I stayed with her I especially liked taking the bus on adventures to Reculver, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. I liked falling asleep in her lap. I liked the sharp smell of vinegar on fish and chips. I liked the junket she made with nutmeg.

Does she remember what joy she gave me when I was little? She is well looked after by my Mother who is a good daughter and Grand Mother herself.

I don’t really have much to do with my family nor they me. Without family that I can trust suits me fine. I no longer feel isolated. I do not expect anything different nowadays. I used to think about that man who shot those children in Scotland. I thought about how much pain he was in to do that, how fraught and bitter he must have been. Then I think about those school children that shoot guns at school killing teachers and other pupils. They are always described as being ‘alone’. He was a ‘loner’, but to be a loner you have to be ignored, shunned, misunderstood. It takes two. The people of the Scottish town did nothing to reach out to the man who shot their children before he shot them. They almost certainly mocked the lonely old man. The children who took guns into their school were mocked for their individuality. The Muslims feel powerless so gang together and vent their frustration. Do I feel alone? Thankfully I have God, a God of my understanding. I am never alone.

I have been so angry in the past. I am getting too old to be angry like a young man.

Yesterday I had lunch with Mickey Cottrell at Musso and Frank. I spent the afternoon at home. Bettina’s party on Melrose for The New Yorker was OK although I did not see the point of it. The goody bag had water in it. Goody. Sharon swung by to see me, kiss me. She had 12 pages to write so I met Joe and Dom for a late dinner. We ate at the ghastly Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Beverly Hills. This was my second experience at this terrible place. We had the worst table sat by the work station and the waiter had all the charm of a squid. The curried short ribs were disgusting. The chocolate soufflé was almost inedible. The only thing worth complimenting were the water glasses, which are very beautiful. Thankfully I did not pay. Dom and Joe quizzed me about my burgeoning relationship with Sharon. Of course I am just as baffled as they are but I really like her, being with her. Connected.

8:55 AM

November 14, 2006 – Tuesday

Scruffy

7am. Yet again I missed the dwarves. I listened for her screaming but I could not hear her. The usually blue LA sky full of towering silver clouds. Down town the fragile skyscrapers are scraping the sky. I passed the elderly Russians with the baby and a photograph of Scruffy with LOST written under his name, pinned to a fence. Last week I was asked by his owners if I had seen him. Scruffy, I fear, has gone forever.

I took the steep path and sat at the top of the Canyon for a moment wondering about the world and how the west was ‘wooing’ Iran with stern words to help them get out of Iraq. “You’d better help us Iran or you’re going to be in very hot water!” Said Tony Blair wagging his finger (tail) at the bemused Iranian president. This entire situation would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. Before I set off on my walk I looked at pictures of all the British men and women who had lost their young lives in Iraq. I thought about the wounded with missing limbs or faces or minds. I thought about the vanity of my Prime Minister and his cabinet. I remembered my faithful to Queen and country military friends telling me with absolute conviction that going to Iraq and finding weapons of mass destruction was essential. Why are the British so involved with the US? What in God’s good name is in it for us? On the day that the Democrats were elected and the Republicans started planning their withdrawal from Iraq it was announced by the head of MI5 in London that they had uncovered many (300) deadly Muslim terrorist plots. Do the Brits believe this? I don’t think so. Most of them, us, don’t know where to turn in a country that has two effectively identical political parties. Where the police now roam the streets with sub machine guns and the truth is vanished. Like Scruffy, Tony Blair (another cherished lap dog) is lost in the wilderness. What can we do?

Had breakfast with Joe T. He looks great and is doing well. Joe Moller came over in the afternoon to talk about putting together our Dorian happening. Stephen Fry very kindly saw Dorian and said, “It has all the poisonous wickedness one simultaneously dreads and adores in the original and in the Huysmans originals.”

I stayed close to the house all day. Writing, making calls and tidying my desk. Bills needed to be paid and calls needed to be made.

Several people have written asking about my issue with Doug Christmas. Doug owns three galleries in LA called ACE; the publicist Bettina Kourec, with a view to using one of his venues to show Dorian as an installation, introduced him to me. She warned me ahead of time that he did not have a very good reputation or pay his bills but I took the meeting and he asked for a copy of the film, which I gave him. Two weeks later when we asked for the film to be returned he refused, for reasons known only to himself. He a vile crooked man who could have quite simply avoided all of this nonsense by returning our DVD. Instead, he chose to pick a fight. Sadly, he chose the wrong man to pick a fight with.

Aleksa cooked a delicious dinner last night of chicken and red peppers. After dinner Devon pointed up at the window of the apartment block opposite where the female Latvian Dwarf stands like a mad woman in a play. She is up there every night staring out of her apartment. When she is not at day care with her husband, she is screaming at him in her floral house-coat. Then, when the sun sets, she stands motionless, framed in her window staring, waiting for dawn.

11:12 AM

November 13, 2006 – Monday

Harry Bellefonte

Monday morning. The weekend was long and eventful. I did not climb the Canyon on Saturday or Sunday. This morning I woke at 6am, pulled on my shorts and thick tee shirt and began my walk. No dwarves, no screamers. I was so deep in thought I did not notice the view nor did I count the dogs. I was thinking about what I had, what I needed, what I wanted. I was thinking about Whitstable and how much I love it there. I was thinking about my friends and the cottage where I used to live. I was thinking about the over 60’s centre.

The weekend began last Friday lunch time, Tiffany and I went to Orian’s spanish 1920’s apartment in West Hollywood and saw a good chunk of his new film Control, which is about that guy Ian Curtis from Joy Division who killed himself. Directed by Anton Corbin, it looks great. After looking at some of the film the three of us had a very long lunch at the Chateau M. When I arrived Steven Fry bellowed my name out over the garden. Discussed Venus with Geoffrey Rush who did a sparkling impression of Leslie Phillips playing Falstaff at the RSC. Hamish McAlpine and his partner Carol were eating lunch at the table beside us, they are great friends of Sharon’s. It was Veteran’s day so the poor dear at the desk had to spend the entire afternoon turning away ghastly looking civilians. However, one table of vulgar interlopers who would never usually be welcome in our little garden paradise had managed to get past him. They were pointing, staring at celebrities. The staff responded by ignoring them completely. Even though the civilians were bothering us like bears in a bee hive, we had a very jolly lunch that lasted well into the afternoon.

Bought groceries at Wholefoods and started cooking for Tiffany, Sharon, Houston, the Palladino’s and BIG MISTAKE my shallow gay neighbour and his ghastly friend. The gays giggled and made snide comments and one of them scarcely knew how to pick up a knife and fork. How can you be gay and not even know how to eat properly? I made it quite difficult for them to stay so they left before the pudding. Cooked sweet potato and sprouts, which I par boiled then threw into hot olive oil until the edges were singed like bubble and squeak. Chicken baked in red wine and bay leaves.

The following morning I went to my men’s AA meeting in Westwood and afterwards had breakfast with Loren at the City Bakery. The caramelised French toast and bagel croissants are food dreams are made of. After breakfast we went to the Peterson Museum where Bonham’s were having a Steve McQueen auction. We were just in time to see a pair of Persol Sunglasses that SM might have worn sell for $70,000.

When we left the auction Loren and I headed to the bunch of small galleries situated there on Wilshire near the Peterson. I wanted to take one last look at the Hockney Photo Montage at Paul Kopeikins gallery before SG bought it. We were in the back of the gallery with Paul when who should walk in? None other than the beastly Doug Christmas! “Why, it’s my old friend Doug Christmas.” I said. You should have seen his face, even with all that ‘work’ it visibly sagged. His mouth fixed into a terrible leer. He flushed the colour of fresh liver spots. Doug hastily made his way out of Paul’s gallery and, rather foolishly, into the one next door. I said, “God’s punishing you for being so dishonest.” The gallerist sitting at the desk suddenly took notice. Now, it may come as no surprise to any of you but I love an audience and this one was rather more receptive than I could possibly have imagined. I suddenly and unwittingly became Doug Christmas’s very own nemesis. I followed this sprightly senior around the various galleries whilst asking him loudly when he was going to return my property. By the time I had hounded the old fart into the car park I noticed that all of the gallerists from the various galleries were watching and listening to us from a safe distance.

Doug, rather pathetically, tried to physically intimidate me but I am a little too tall and he was a little too old to do anything other than sneer at me from very close quarters. Knowing that I had extremely bad coffee breath all I had to do was breath hard into his wrinkles. He recoiled, called me an ass hole, told me how rich he was then climbed into his car and shot off. When I went back into the car park to collect Loren all of the gallery owners came out and congratulated me for confronting him. It felt like that moment at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz when the munchkins climb out of the bushes to congratulate Dorothy for killing the witch. All of the little munchkin gallerists had stories to tell about Doug Christmas ripping them off. It was a triumphant moment.

On Saturday night Sharon and I went to Paul Allen’s house for supper with Harry Bellefonte. Dianne Carole in attendance, she has big hair and a bigger diamond. Harry told interesting stories about being a communist here in Hollywood in the 1950’s and recently meeting Chavez. He speaks very slowly and quietly. Burned my tongue on something wrapped in filo pastry.

The Fountain prem party was ok but the film is not very well-respected and one gets the feeling that everyone was just going through the motions of having the ball and congratulating the Dauphine. Had a long chat with Rachel Weisz who is a great friend of Phil’s and Daisy Coburn’s. “Are you enjoying being a star?” I asked. She looked momentarily pained as if I had said something cruel. It cannot be easy for Rachel to do this Hollywood nonsense. She is an intelligent woman. She told me to send love to Phil and Daisy and I kissed her warmly and waved good-bye.

On Sunday I headed over to West Hollywood AA meeting. There was a mad person listening to his personal stereo. Went to Sunset sale where I saw and ignored Peter D who, I notice, now has a long scaley tail! Had breakfast with Dom and Hillary and Dom’s friend Keith at 101. When Hillary left we went to see Volver at The Arclight, which we all loved. Penelope Cruz looking like Gina Lollobrigida, playing brilliantly in her own language.

AA meeting at Cedars then dinner then coffee on Santa Monica Blvd then I crawled into bed tired but happy.

There are very strange reports in the newspapers that the USA are to begin talks with Syria and Iran about the future of Iraq. Can this be true?

1:27 PM

November 10, 2006 – Friday

Graham Nash

I stayed in bed well after my 6am alarm. By the time I started my walk it was 8.30. This morning I lay in bed paying bills on-line and looking at pornography. I answered e-mails then hauled myself out of bed, into my shorts and onto the street. The Canyon was quite eventful, bumped into David Thomas and his boyfriend. Then, hard on David’s heels, I bumped into the Peters (D&K), Peter D scuttled past me like a reptile but dear, sweet Peter K gave me a big hug. That man is a class act.

A dorky straight couple held up a picture of a nondescript dog, “Have you seen our dog Scruffy?” The plump male one whined. “We have lost our dog, Scruffy”. The female warbled out Scruffy’s name. If I were Scruffy I would be in some kind of witness protection programme, living in Florida.

Last night I went to the Angel Food Project hosted by CAA. Brian Lord and Kevin Huvane doing good works for the local community. Robert Downey Jr., Adrian Brody were there to add a certain Hollywood pizzazz to the mixture of worthy, suited agents clustered around Brian and eager art dealers there to get the best prices for their clients work. Jason Weinberg is a strange man, he seemed pleased to see me then started critiquing my outfit. I was wearing a Bridget Riley inspired tie. The games people play.

My favourite part of the evening was seeing the despicable Doug Christmas not two days after he had been so rude to me. He was standing with Marilyn Heston. I towered over him showering praise on Mrs Heston, chatting about our friends and imminent dinner. Doug tried to make some sort of amusing comment about me but neither Marilyn or I took any notice, Doug’s chicklet teeth framed in a desperate smile.

The auctioneer was a young female New Yorker who quipped all the way though the auction. Although she was very amusing after ten lots her shrill humour grated on me and she took a very long time to get through the 30 lots on sale. Many people left the auditorium before the end. All of the lots sold for well above the reserve except Peter D’s vile friend Konstantine whose ghastly ‘mural’ did not sell at all. They raised a great deal of money for a very worthy cause. I bid on the Philip Taaffee and a particularly beautiful Elliott Hundley.

Everyone from Christie’s very excited about last weeks extraordinary Klimpt prices.

Had dinner with Loren Beck at Wolfgang Puck’s overblown new restaurant in the Four Seasons hotel on Wilshire. Richard Meier, the guy who designed the interior, blatantly drawing on the work of Schindler. All those obvious details, skimpy false buttresses, pale wood elevations. The furniture was terrible; the tables too large, the office type chairs skidding around on casters. The place is simply too austere for my taste. Too much space. Space is not a luxury in LA. The restaurant would have been perfect in New York. We need intimacy and proximity here in this sprawling city. The staff, dressed like prison wardens added to the needlessly oppressive atmosphere. Our waiter was particularly charm less and more interested in flirting with two women on a nearby table. Before our order was taken the suited meat man arrived with a tray of Kobi beef which he introduced to us like his new-born baby. For only $200 a marbled slice it looked as if it could clog your arteries with just one bite. Rather put off by the beef demonstration we ordered a mixture of starters: tongue, beef sashimi, asparagus, and beef tartar. Oddly, Warren Beatty was in the hotel bar looking less leonine than usual, he was drinking with a pretty blond woman.

I spent the greater part of yesterday trying to hunt down curtain rings for the black curtain rods in my sitting room. Needless to say the most obvious places failed me. Ended up in a haberdashery on Labrea about five blocks from where I live.

The previous day I had lunch in Westwood with Paris L and Terry his business partner then hung out with Maury at City bakery. Got home just in time to pull on a suit and drive over to meet Sharon at the Environmental Media Awards where we celebrated outstanding achievement within the Entertainment and Environmental Communities. Bullshit. It was a Lexus event to promote the Prius electric car. Anyway, I met Graham Nash from Crosby Still Nash and Young who is my total hero. I asked about Joni Mitchell. He said, “Joni’s recording an album, she’s angry, really angry”.

Met the boys from Maroon 5 (?)

After the awards Sharon and I were given two huge bags, which we filled with organic produce. There was a man dressed as a cow promoting soy products. We had a lovely time but she went home on her own. As I stood in the line for my car the cow introduced himself to me and we had a coffee together.

I have been spending more time over in Silverlake. On my own, eating breakfast at the little bakery on Silverlake Blvd. Checking it all out. I sat in what would have been my garden on Dillon. Shall I sell Whitstable? Where am I?

11:32 AM

November 8, 2006 – Wednesday

Stephen Fry

It is unseasonably warm. At dinner last night there was more chatter about it being ‘earthquake weather’. Anything unusual with the weather, anything unseasonable is described as ‘earthquake weather’ here in Los Angeles. I have never experienced an earthquake. I do not own an earthquake survival kit. Of course I am aware that keeping my very expensive, hand blown glasses that I bought at Gump ten years ago on an open shelf is frankly ludicrous. Sometimes I lay in my bed and wonder if John and Susan’s bed from the apartment above will come crashing down on top of me when the earthquake finally hits.

The Canyon. Wednesday. 34 dogs. No shouting, no odd behaviour. The view was wonderful. Somewhere in the east there was a smoking chimney. Unusually the smoke was held like a fat flat frying pan around the building, a slim tail drifting onto the horizon. Everything, this morning, looked very calm. Placid. The hills and valleys spread out below me like a magical kingdom. I could not make out anything ambitious, wilful, cruel or selfish from up there on the side of that canyon. I could not hear the jubilant conversations Democrats were having as they celebrated their election victory. I could not see the young homeless woman in the wheel chair that begs on the corner of Hollywood and Vine or the dancing black woman who stands there too. Dancing all day like a Masai warrior, stamping her big black feet on the ground, her mini skirt rising up almost in slow motion as her body twists and turns on the corner of that grimy intersection, listening to music that plays from something she is holding in her hand. All I could make out was the sprawl of humanity.

Monday, went to two AA meetings. Met Sharon on the roof of the Arclight Cinema parking structure, which the AFI had transformed into an amazing party/reception area. Ate curried chicken.

Yesterday I had breakfast at the Chateau M with Stephen Fry. This was the first time since we met two years ago that I did not sit opposite him feeling like I was no more than a well dressed baboon. When he took me to the Garrick I was completely overwhelmed, my long hairy arms negotiating the condiments, my orange fur matted with kedgeree, my huge monkey face full of huge monkey teeth, my black beady eyes gazing around the recently decorated room. When we met in New York and had dinner with Barry Humphries after The Dame Edna show on Broadway I was less embarrassed but kept quiet. I felt more evolved. Yesterday all of my digits felt like they were the right human size. I could understand every word he said and even made him laugh. I ate porridge he ate muesli. He is here in LA writing The Damn Busters for Peter Jackson. We discussed Blair and how Iraq will be cut into his dead heart as Calais was on Mary Queen of Scott’s. We both agreed that if it had not been for Iraq Blair would have left office one of the most important British leaders of all time. SF used to write speeches for TB.

We discussed bi-polarity, AIDS and a film that he wants to make about an obscure Indian mathematician. It was wonderful to see him. He is a very kind man who, I am sure, struggles with his genius.

After breakfast I drove to the DMV off of Willoughby and passed my driving test. I am now the very proud owner of a Californian driving licence. Hurrah.

I had lunch with Clifton in Beverly Hills and bought another pair of shoes. I have since made an agreement with my AA sponsor that I cannot spend any more money. I am out of control. It is so destructive. Bought tickets for Australia. Have to go to NYC for a week in December.

The afternoon was spent listlessly trying to tie up loose ends. Tried getting back my DVD from Doug Christmas who is a nightmare of a human being.

Dinner at the Chateau with MR turned into a bit of a fiasco when he overslept and I was left table-hopping, which can sometimes be fun, but all I really wanted to do was hang out with Sharon. Saw Diego Luna who I am having breakfast with this Thursday. Saw Steve Garbarino who showed me the mock-up for the edition of Blackbook that I am in. It looks fantastic. He was dining with Chloe Sevigny.

Finally called Sharon who was over on Formosa with delightful friends who had prepared delicious feast of tender beef and roast vegetables. They were all a bit drunk and high on the fact that AFM had ended, their AFM ’06 war stories were very funny though. One of the buyers was shown a live action dog film which the asian buyers narrated throughout as there was no sound. “Now look, the bad dogs are coming..” We discussed film sales and how to sell art films. We discussed James Bond. Fierce discussion. Loved it. Went home alone and slept like a log.

9:28 AM