Archives for posts with tag: whitstable

Billy Childish 2/1/2011

I spent the morning writing lists.

Decided NOT to go to Florence as I couldn’t make the bloody SNCF website take my frigging credit card.  So, I booked into Dean Street Town House and decided to spend some days in London instead.  After all..London is by far a more exciting city than Florence.

By Midday I had made all manner of plans with various friends.  Toby Mott, Tim and others.

Whilst in town have resolved to throw myself into AA meetings, which I have been loathed to do since I arrived.

The day could have ended there but, on a whim, decided to pop in on artist/writer/rocker/father of two Billy Childish who is enjoying something of an art world reprise.

The day would get not only very much better but also very expensive.

I have known Billy since we were at Medway Art College Foundation Course in the late seventies.   Another one of my up and down explosive relationships…but I have always been a great supporter of his and he me.  An unlikely friendship.

When I lived in Whitstable I would spend most Sunday afternoons with Billy and his Mother June.  Delicious roast chicken lunch every Sunday.

For the longest time I thought that he would end up like artist and dandy Sebastian Horsley:  successful once dead. Thankfully that has not come to pass.

Billy’s monumental new work has become monumentally well received.  After a sell out show at the Basel Art Fair and a major New York exhibition in an important gallery planned for the end of the year I can perfectly understand why he seems so confident.

These new paintings are unbelievably beautiful and really hard for the Art Establishment to ignore.   The new work has an impeccable provenance.   Obvious influences include German Expressionists: Erich Heckel, Kirchner, Nolde.

Dreamlike reworking of earlier paintings as well as bold painterly portraits of Billy’s great heroes (Jean Sibelius) and when I was there, an epic series of paintings reworking images from the Battle of Wounded Knee.

Billy has been cruelly left out in the cold for nearly thirty years.  The art world added insult to injury by choosing to patronize the second-rate antics of Tracy Emin over her acknowledged mentor and ‘inspiration’.

I remember introducing Jay Jopling to Billy in Whitstable one Sunday afternoon and was shocked by Jay’s indifference.  Jay told me after the meeting that he thought Billy ‘aggressive and tricky’.

It brings a tear to my eye to see him finally and rightfully accepted into the fold.

Today I filmed him painting in his studio.

People ask him how long it takes to paint a painting.   “What can I say?”   Stabbing at a ten foot high canvas with his charcoal.   “An afternoon or thirty years?”

The new work is huge.

Of course it’s huge!  He is no longer restricted…physically…no longer painting in his bedroom.  He is being acknowledged.  He has a huge studio.  His wings no longer clipped.

These paintings are important.

We talked at length about Tracy Emin his long time ex girlfriend…who, when he saw her the time before last, rudely told him that she could not be bothered to hang out with anyone who ‘hadn’t realized their potential‘.

Tracy!  What a pompous cow!  Liar to boot.

Anyway, since the upturn in his fortunes she is suddenly very friendly with Billy.  He will, by far, crush her with his fame and fortune….even though he has no intention of doing either.

Tracy is a silly girl…she believes in her own greatness whilst all the time using made up stories to fuel interest in it.    Tracy, you mad cow…listen to me…we all realize our potential sooner or later…sometimes quickly…sometimes slowly.

I have a huge collection of Billy’s work.   Beautiful things.

Julie, Scout and Billy 2/1/11

New Years Eve ended up being more active than I planned.

After a leisurely dinner at home Carol, Marc and I drove to Herne Bay, the next village east along the Kent coast, and dropped in on my photographer friend Dylan Woolf who’d organized a huge NYE party with dinner and fireworks for a hundred or more local people.

Dylan’s sister Julia and her husband Sim (edited Shrek and Nanny McPhee) are old friends and have the most gorgeous house in LA.  Julia is very funny so I hung out with her almost all of the evening.  Delighted to see an old teacher of mine, Peter Latham (Julia and Dylan’s uncle) and his kids…great to spend time with all of them.

Rather amazingly I bumped into Easterly and Matt Cox who are Kent aristocrats and the cousins of my local nemesis Susanna Atkins.  Not only were they rather incredibly at this party but, as it turns out, have just bought the pile opposite Dylan…the hugest architectural gem of a house, faced with flint, wide floor boards,  elegant architrave, quirky crenellations and gothic mullions.  It is a mesmerizing puzzle of a derelict house with Victorian additions to a Georgian frame.    Huge potential and a million headaches.

Heavily pregnant Easterly is on her way to India for an adventure before the baby is born.

Great to see them..we snuck away and celebrated a quiet 12 o’clock in their vaulted, semi derelict, drawing-room away from the herd.  They handed me a piece of Christmas cake that was so laced with rum I couldn’t eat it…and then quoted one line from my blog that always makes them laugh out loud when ever they say it:  “Yum Fucking Yum!” (Haloooween)

Very Heartening.

It’s very English to live on a building site with two babies and one on the way whilst you are renovating an historic home.  I totally admire their guts but wouldn’t expect anything less.

New Years Day has been, thus far, just as one would expect…eclectic.

My friend Georgina who owns the Copeland House B&B where Nicola stayed last week had staffing issues.  She has been so incredibly kind to me since I arrived ferrying me to the hospital etc. so I gladly got up early to help her out of a tight spot this morning.   I was in the kitchen at 8am peeling smoked salmon onto plates and filling the tea urn.

Georgina told me that her friend Pauline the barrister found the gay references in my blog ‘sickening’.  A little bit of friendly advice Pauline…if you don’t like it..don’t read it…you homophobic cow.  Next time I see you in the high street…walk the other way.

Two faced hag.  You’d think with two faces she’d have learned how to put on make up?

After helping Georgina we headed off to Pamela Leung’s and her husband for a new years breakfast party.  Pamela is an amazing, world-class ceramicist.  I couldn’t help myself from buying a very beautiful sculpture to celebrate the new year and the sale of my Cindy Sherman which made three times what I paid for it.

Pamela’s work: mythic creatures, allegories, thick glazes, exquisitely modeled.  Will take picture before I leave tomorrow.

After our wonderful breakfast (full english) we decided to drive to Margate to see David Chipperfield‘s new Turner Contemporary Gallery on the harbour.  It is DISGUSTING.  It looks at best like a supermarket at worst like a neo-brutalist nuclear power plant.  Admittedly it isn’t finished but the scale, choice of materials are just so at odds with the landscape.

It is neither challenging nor audacious…it is simply a big glass blob that Chipperfield obviously asked his tea boy to design while he was doing something more prestigious.

We drank hot chocolate and ate perfect Victoria Sponge at The Mad Hatters on Love Lane.   If you ever find yourself in Margate on a wet New Years Day…there’s no better way to spend it.

Fell asleep in the car on the way home with little dog on my lap and Alan Bennett on the Radio.

Still sparkling!  Last day in Whitstable.

Have no plans for tonight and happily so.

My friend Blair drove 30 miles from Wingham to take me to breakfast.  We hadn’t seen each other for 20 years and pretty much picked up from where we left off.  It was really wonderful to see him.  He’s still married to his wife and has three kids.  After breakfast we went shopping for his boy’s 18th birthday.

Blair reads my blog and told me to stop moaning so much.  It was funny and heart warming..he said, “I know that’s not you..”  Which is true..I have not been myself for some considerable time.

Honestly, I think that the Sex Rehab programme/experience really went to my head.

I changed in many ways after I left the show..some good…some bad.  The limited fame and attention, the intoxicating buzz I had every day whilst being filmed…and then the crazed fan who I thought might love me.

With the all clear comes the ALL CLEAR!!

Blair and I wandered up the High Street.  I must have chatted with 20 people of varying ages.  Each of them asked what I was up to and if I was happy…some of them read this..so they knew LOADS.  One of my favorite Dengate boys (rugby player) and his sweet infant stopped me outside Budgens and  warmly greeted me.

I always feel so honoured to have these people in my life.

Something really has shifted.

I got caught up in something peculiarly Hollywood.  I got caught up in the inconsequential periphery of the industry and the unhealthy effects and lost my way.  Now I have to put that all to rest and own up to some glorious mistaken identity.

We watched a bad TV documentary about Michael Jackson last night and the various fixers and characters around him..of course I know the real players in that story and none of them were in the show.  The guys who make the real money, make the real decisions.  It was fascinating to see how the documentary maker had the wool pulled over his eyes..yet, it’s true that the bigger the family you belong to in LA the more likely you are to get on.  SAA, AA..Scientology etc. each a legitimate family for the waifs and strays washed up on the west coast.

My legitimate family is here in Whitstable.  They can and do absorb the greater part of my ego.   I am sitting with Georgina at the B&B trying to repair her tumble drier.  Does that seem absurd?  That this makes me happy?

I missed my nephews birthday party because I was sick with this flu.

New Years Resolution Number One:  Don’t write blog until I have completed a stiff walk up a steep hill.

I bought two new hats:

 

Congratulations to Tanya Sarne and Wendy Dagworthy..my new OBE friends.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Laying in my bed with this fever..seems like a bad time to start cleaning house but that’s what I find myself doing.

As the New Year approaches we all attempt to make changes in our lives, commit or recommit to breaking old habits and focus on what we know is good for us.

Looking back at this eventful year…wasn’t it just?  Of course I think about you-know-who but how I think about him must change.

Already I am wondering why a man I knew for so little time and spent even less real-time became so bloody important to me.

That’s a question I need answering with the help of a therapist.

I can dress it up as a huge romance..or I can tell it as it is…two addicts clinging onto one another for safety.   So few words to describe something that has bugged me all year.

My abandonment issues, separation angsiety…all makes sense.

Jake lingers in my nutty mind because in March I will be carrying the can for the both of us in court.

As irritable as I am about the court date..March 25th (I will be really pissed as the date approaches) I am in the sort of mood where if I were a King I would be pardoning all manner of prisoners.   The prisoner I am pardoning today..is me.  I deleted my Manhunt account, my Adam 4 Adam account and lastly..my Gaydar account.    I must say..it’s a tremendous relief.

All I have to recommit to is my porn problem…which is not as bad as it was but still figures in my fantasy life.

The great thing about AA or SAA or any 12 step programme is that we can always start again.  You know as well as I do how topsy-turvy everything has been these past few months..how thrown off course I have been.

Wandering up the High Street today, a light rain on my face, even though I am really sick..I felt happy.  Incredibly at ease with everything.

I am not in competition with anyone.  Not for a better time, not for a bigger house, not for more money or a better job.  I have quite enough of everything.  I always have.

You know, I am going to tell you something:  I have been praying hard for Jake to be okay.  Praying for his career, his love life, for adventure and peace of mind.

Would I want to be him?  No.  Would I have wanted his life thus far?  No.  Instead of hating him I have been getting some perspective.  Sure, I wasted a great deal of time on that young man, and it feels like not much has been learned..but I am sure that as time passes I will think differently about that.

I can see that not many people anywhere, how ever rich they are..are very happy.  On the face of it Jake had everything a young man could possibly want but just pick at the surface and there’s nothing there.   Happiness is so elusive for so many.  The folks I know here in Whitstable are especially grumpy.   They drink too much, they feel trapped, they are ignorant of so much…yet they live in harmony.

I sometimes wonder if it would have been better for Jake to stay in the closet..if you want to call it that.   They were happy together.  They were soul mates.  He just wanted a bit of cock on occasions…or did he?  For as much as he dismissed what he wanted from me as a ‘bit of fun’, I know for sure that he wants to be loved.

I never really understood what it was about his Father or Mother that made him lie to them.  Were they hideously judgemental?  Homophobic?  Unlikely as his dad is a psychiatrist.  Most probably they are as entitled as he is.  What happened to little Jake?  Precious Jake?

I chatted with someone Jake knew at University last week.  I asked if it was a particularly macho anti-gay university…as Jake had described it.  My friend laughed out loud..he said that it was like going to the Castro in San Francisco.   Ithaca is a private upstate liberal arts college.

He must have lied to me all the time.

He must have been really unhappy.  I hope he gets happier.

Hanging with Tom the other day…he’s happy…his wife and kid seem happy too.  That’s something to aspire to.  I have always wanted the mince-pie, brocade and topiary sort of comfort he has and then I look around and see that I already have it.

As you may have noticed…the blog didn’t go private because there doesn’t seem to be a way on WordPress for me to do that.  Oh well.

BTW, it’s that time of year again where I get to vote for who will win this years BAFTA for best film, director, etc.   I realized, as I was voting for the best male actor, that I knew every one of them personally and had slept with two of them.

Strange but true.

I was informed you were dangerous and to only speak to you when chaperoned.

AMANDA ELIASCH

You know who coined the phrase Mad, Bad etc?  Lady Caroline Lamb of course… about Byron!  Although my fun friend the sadly departed Matilda, Duchess of Argyll thought the same of her predecessor, the even more glorious Margaret, Duchess of Argyll whose husband found Polaroids of her sucking a huge cock… naked but for a string of pearls.  Frankly I would rather have been Margaret than Matilda.

Margaret said, “If you have to be a Duchess you may as well be the Duchess of Argyll.” I loved my Duchess adventures in Edinburgh and The Highlands playing back gammon and drinking whiskey, even though she hated paying her gambling debts.

Tell me how brilliant that is?  Amanda warned off me?  Most people are in no uncertain terms.  It certainly separates the chaf from the corn.  (The Chav from the Thorn). The people who remain in my life are up for the adventure of knowing me.   My new friend Ed, for instance, who I am spending tomorrow evening with…  what a sweetheart.  Of course there’s a long list of oafs who cannot bear the heat in the kitchen…  more fool them.

When I left Joe he told the friends who remained my friends they were ‘spineless’.  I am PERFECTLY sure that I would do EXACTLY the same. I am excited by my own life all over again.  What adventure will I have next?

Amanda and Tim are once again breaking up…  but the truth of the matter is that Amanda… poor old bird… can’t bear to be separated from Tim.  I know THAT feeling.  I hate to be separated from the man I love.  I want to punish the fuck out of him… so now she’s upon FB slagging him off like an old fish wife.

I was never so lonely as the moment I left him.

Tim’s being very discreet but really!!  These two star crossed lovers must decide what they want to do!  I can’t be the sacrificial lamb every time they fetch out their AK 47‘s.

Amanda’s beef?  Tim bought her a voucher for a ‘Garden Center‘ turns out that the ‘voucher’ is for her to buy something from the glorious Chelsea Physic Gardens a stone’s throw from her Cheyne Walk home.   Now, I would love that as a gift.  I don’t really care if Tim berates me behind my back.  It’s his prerogative but the simple fact is… I don’t care!   He’s in excellent company.

What’s been going on in FREEZING COLD Whitstable?  Had breakfast at Windy Corner Stores.   Wandered home along the  beach.  In the very short time it took me to get home something of a miracle  happened…I began to inhabit my own skin once again.  Every time I pray for something it is swiftly delivered.  The only problem is… I don’t pray enough… because I’m frightened that the magic won’t work!

Typical Boxing Day… cold meats, TV, pickles, a trip to the pub.

Whitstable, my darling home town grounded me.  Everything is going to be OK.  This is where I have lived and I will die.  The people who know me..know me.   I am so happy here..even though it is not my current home there is always, and will always be room for me.

PS You’ll need more than a chaperone to keep safe around me.

Boxing Day 2010

A lot of what artists do seems to involve watching and waiting to see what will happen. When I’m desperate enough just to do anything, even if it seems completely stupid, it’s such a relief.

Bruce Nauman

Seems like an odd quote to start my Christmas blog but without doubt much of this years nonsense would have been resolved sooner if I had thrown myself all the more harder into some sort of work..paid or un paid.

Firstly, I want to thank you all for so loyally following my blog.  I bumped into my friend Josh last night at the Pearson’s and he told me how much he loved reading it.  Such a surprise!

Christmas in Whitstable has been a great deal of fun.  The pubs packed with revelling youths.  All the chavs are dressed in padded country jackets.  Caps and Barbour type padded jackets.  They look great.  Consequently I can no longer wear mine.

Met my mother for lunch.  I gave her a lovely etching by Wendy Croft that I found in the Caxton Gallery that my friend Tom’s cousin owns and where I am negotiating to live next summer.

Alma and I are off to Church this morning to sing Hymns.

St Alphage is a blunt, crenellated,  Anglican church on Whitstable High Street where, as a child, I sang in the choir.

I took Alma for communion and we sang hymns very heartily.  There was one very good choir boy..too good.  Amongst the ancient old ladies this tall, mop headed youth..like David Beckham playing on a local 5 a side team.

After the service we hung out in the vestry with the choristers, some of whom were in the choir when I was a little boy.   I showed Alma the picture of me back then dressed in my cassock and surplus.  I will see if I can scan it for you.

Alma teared up during the ‘peace be with you’ segment of the Anglican Christmas Service.  We all shook hands and hugged.  Everybody seemed very genuine.

I had a blog comment about my continuing, yet more occasional (indeed diminishing), mentions of Jake.  I now only mention him when I want to share how obsession/addiction/compulsion ruins my life.    I don’t really care what he, or if he knows about it.   As for how long we were together..that really doesn’t matter.  If your heart has been revealed and riven…well, I’m just telling you…it takes time.

I could write about the big dog being killed every single day.  The two incidents are sort of similar: the death of something special.  I think about both of them every single day.  I don’t care if that inflates his ego.  In some way, whenever I am inactive or having a quiet moment I will either remember the moment she was killed or the moment I understood that he would never be my boy friend.

The death of love.

When the Big Dog was killed I couldn’t stop crying.  It might have been the realest thing I ever experienced.  As a result it brought up every painful moment I ever felt but refused to cry over.  The death of my Grand Mother, my real father’s death…oh the list goes on and on.

It is TIME TO FEEL.  I am happy that I am coming out of it but it was essential to experience.

Before I left NYC I met a young man who has been emailing me and with whom I am building a connection.  He is a really special man.  An artist and an intellectual.  I am not keeping any of his emails.  They are immediately burned after reading.

Yes we did fuck the first night we met which is not ideal…and maybe that will impact on our future liaison but I am seeing where this one is heading.  Let’s hope that this next year will be productive, considerate and filled with love.

Christmas Day was okay.  I found a blond wig and clowned around for the kids.  We opened a million presents and May bought The Little Dog a reflective coat for the miserable New York nights ahead of us.

Alma, May, Me, George Christmas 2010

I forgot to mention that I met my brother’s beautiful little son who had his first birthday on the 1st December.  His name is Oscar and had a ready smile and a charming disposition.  He LOVED the Little Dog.  Perhaps I should leave everything to him when I die?

I have to leave my money to someone…maybe him.  I really liked him.  That’s an odd thought isn’t it?  I have to think about it sooner or later.

Ended up helping with the cooking of Christmas lunch.  The turkey was great..really moist and cooked through.  Cooked for 11 people.  I felt a little distant.  I wonder when I am going to sink back into my own skin?  They asked me why I was so ‘subdued’ I felt that the correct word might be contemplative.

We devoured the St John’s Christmas Pudding with lashings of clotted cream.

After lunch hung out at my friend Sasha’s cottage. Her dog Pip and her friend’s dog played with the little dog who tried fucking them both.  He was very funny.  Saw some very good British TV…however my once friend David Walliams (Clancy’s Kitchen) has a new show that isn’t at all funny.  A mocumentary about airports…terrible.

A few more days in Whitstable.

Need the results of further tests from last Wednesdays hospital visit.

I am going to Florence next week for NYE then I am in NYC apartment hunting.  So, lots to do.

Have a very happy Christmas everyone…unless you are jewish…or a muslim..or don’t give a fuck.

BOXING DAY update.  My friend Rachel Weisz is all over the news today…leaving her husband for Daniel Craig.  I could just tell that was on the cards.  She looked miserable the last time I saw her.

St Alphage Church 2010

 

Alma, May, Me, George Christmas 2010

Sasha

Hospital day yesterday.  It was quick and efficient.

Nicola arrived from London on Tuesday and bought delicious, French macaroons.

We ate dinner at Wheelers (4 courses 65 GBP including a dozen native oysters) and she stayed in Georgina’s B&B in the same room/bed I stayed this July.

The following morning we bought her Wellington boots from the ancient shoe shop Wooley’s on the High Street and went for a long walk on the snowy beach.  Met other very jovial dog owners and the little dog ran like a mad thing through the melting snow, his little pink paws skidding over the ice.

The woman in Wooley’s, incidentally, remembered fitting my school shoes when I was a boy.   Wooley’s has been on Whitstable High Street for a hundred years next year.  They asked if they could put my photograph in the window when they celebrate their centenary.  I was honoured!

We walked to The Battery, Marilyn’s place on the beach..I described it in my blog the other day.  On the way there, however, we peered through Janet Street-Porter‘s cottage window at her austere modern kitchen and her Gary Hume prints.   I wouldn’t want to live there.  It was so impersonal and the yellow walls were painted the wrong yellow.

The Battery looks a bit worse for wear.  I may nip up there later today and take a picture of it for you so you can see what I am talking about.

If you hadn’t noticed I feel leagues better.

I decided to let myself off the hook.  Become quite tearful when I write it down like that.  It’s time to stop beating myself up.  Give myself a break like they say in the Narcotics Anon literature.

I was chatting with a friend yesterday and I realized that I was finally out of the woods.   It’s a decision.  I have been waiting for a storm to pass rather than wash something down the drain.

My friend was telling me that he would find it hard to love again after his last failed romance, that he had been tossed aside…and I thought to myself, “Bugger that, life is far too short not to fall in love!”  I come from a long line of men who can say proudly that they love another man.  I love you is possibly the hardest thing one man can say to another.  I am doubly proud that I have said it and I meant it.

Saying I love you is much harder than saying I want to fuck you.

All I have to do is find a man who can hear those words and value them.

So, today I tried not to engage with bad thoughts and old resentments.   I thought out loud, come on LOVE you can show this old man that life is worth loving again.  So, I’ve been feisty all day but not angry.  I have been creative all day and not asleep.

I pulled out a couple of scripts.  I made a couple of calls.  I thought about finding a producer.  I had a meeting with a woman I might do a property deal with.

It was good day.  It is good to be home.

Whitstable life.

Actress Fay Ripley has moved into the house opposite my old place.   Saw her today in the most elegant shearling coat and big glasses.   Celebrities stalk my home town…jabbering away loudly on mobile phones.

Even the little houses beyond the High Street that I never thought would be interesting to London people are now 300k and never on the market for longer than a few weeks.

Recession?  Where is it?

I am still really pleased I sold both my houses.

I never really liked the Peter Cushing house (number 3 Seaway Cottages) it was large and draughty and I think I must have been to the beach maybe twice in 13 years.  The beach was the front garden..but I am not a beach man.

I really loved the other house (number 2 Seaway Cottages), the house next door that I renovated from scratch.  It looked superb by the time I finished with it.

I poked my nose through the door yesterday and the Anthony Gormley coat pegs are still in place.  The rather beautiful kitchen lamps have been replaced by ugly, modern, cheap looking, brushed aluminum sconces.   Everything else is just as I left it.  The fig tree in the garden has been severely pruned as it should be.

I had an unfortunate incident on Sunday night.  Went to see my friend Cathy for dinner but she was so drunk I turned on my heels and left the house.

Last night, through a genuine blizzard, walked to an NA meeting.  I looked like a snow man when I got there.  Expecting the worst (crack addicts) but instead met with a group of sober people with surprisingly good, modern recovery.

It was great.

Sometimes I think that NA has more to do with SAA than AA.  The Step work and traditions of NA as written in the Green and Gold Book have really appropriate text for addicts of any kind sex/drugs/drink.

I had lots to write about the past couple of days but…the memories escape me right now.

Long walks with the little dog around the golf course.   Tea with Georgina and family.   Sunday lunch time went to the Monument Pub and ate roast pork with crackling.  Entertained myself with the Monument Football Team who are all, every single one..to a man…GORGEOUS.

Ate home-made pate today for lunch with Carol before she crawled into her workshop…you know she’s a potter?  A ceramicist?

Back in LA Ashley tells me that the waterfall that thunders under the Malibu house drive is thundering nicely.    By the time I get back the garden will be a jungle.  I was worried that the new road would be washed away.  I bloody hope not.

The sun’s gone dim,

The moon’s turned black,

For I loved him,

He didn’t love back.

21/12/09 – 21/12/10  Adieu my darling.

Fuck You John McCain for telling the world that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a ‘sad day’. This is a small step toward equality for gay people in the USA. One Small Step.

The Senate vote is a vindication of Obama‘s decision to push for congressional repeal as opposed to unilateral executive action, though activists note he could have done both.

I am in Whitstable at my friend Carol’s house. She is having a huge party. It is thumping loudly in the cellar as I write. I know everyone in the house..everyone. This is small town living and I love it. Carol’s handsome son is a chef and has made delicious food.

They are downstairs drinking vodka and gin. They are listening to Senegalese music. They are eating the food and clapping and we are all wearing false moustaches.

I fell asleep.

At 5am I woke up and wandered downstairs to see what was going on and ended up with some good-looking 33-year-old. Really sexy man..blue eyes, hairy tummy.

I have been thinking a great deal about the life I left behind in LA. I wrote to a man I see around town called Dan Halstead..a manager. At his behest I wrote a little note explaining what has been going on with my health…sooner or later I will write in-depth here about the tumor..anyway, I wrote explaining everything and I received a two-word reply. I wondered why I even bother?

Before, before the show, before Jake, before returning to my home town..I would have been disappointed. Now, I just think it’s funny. His constipated reply made me laugh.

LA, NYC, LONDON…Sydney. The list goes on. I wish I could start again. Just like I did when I got sober. I started again and everything was new. Born Again.

The truth is: I am so disconbobulated that I don’t know where I should be.

Earning so much money these past months from selling art that I presently have no financial worries…but you know as well as I do…the drama, the interminable drama continues.

I could really do without what has been happening this past year.

Left a message for Phil to call me. When she returned my call I couldn’t bring myself to speak with her. It’s fucked up. Yet, I have held onto her for many years (for all the wrong reasons) so that she too becomes just part of the narrative.  The unfolding drama of my life.

On a good note I have been speaking to writers informally about our project. I think the majority understand what the film is about. Most of them get it but can any of them write it?

I am really enjoying watching British TV. Good political debate, fresh ideas and very little tabloid sensationalism. The news, when not competing for ratings, does as it is meant to: inform impartially.

Thinking a great deal about AA and my other 12 Step programmes and how much time I have wasted adhering to a programme that looks to all the world like some kind of white country club. There’s more to mine there, these thoughts about my cultish AA.

Really want to get back to a time where I was free of resentment. It is a gruelling, miserable state of affairs. Every fucking day my loathing is renewed.

Have a great deal to sort out and the only way I think I can sort any of it, overcome the profound sense of loss is to create..make something useful.

I am sitting at my architect friend Keith’s house in the most unlikely location – Deptford.  An unruly, charmless, largely destroyed by Nazi bombs area of South East London.   His tiny terraced house a laboratory for the work that has defined his career.

After 10 years of messing about with the house…it is finally finished.

Keith’s Site

We drove to Shoreditch for another wander around the back streets and do a little Christmas shopping.  The shops are heaving with customers.  There is NO evidence of a recession here.  I bought a huge Christmas pudding from St John’s and some great socks.  Everything else that we wanted to buy, like a sweater in All Saints, was irritatingly sold out.

We had lunch at Shoreditch House where I bumped into Robert.  I knew I would.  Very handsome.

Ate gorgeous traditional Sunday roast beef.   Dog in a bag under the table.

Last night Carol and I walked to our local labour politician’s Christmas party.  It is amazing how they, like so many local Whitstable people, read this blog.  I am delighted!  Our host and his wife are good, old-fashioned socialists..the sort McCarthy and now Sarah Palin HATES.

Surely I couldn’t possibly be surrounded by so many devilishly intelligent left wingers who were, like me, excited by the wholly unexpected political reinvigoration of the young we saw last week in London?  This, after so many years of inertia from our traditionally vocal students.

We salute you British students and urge you to continue to daub, poke, shout..etc.  I give you permission to make this government as uncomfortable as you possibly can.

Apparently the mad, bad Duchess of Cornwall was ‘poked with a stick’ by a demonstrator.  It was positively revolutionary!   Tim’s great friend David Gilmour‘s son was photographed hanging off the cenotaph (our national war memorial) great!     Polly and David are very embarrassed, the son, apparently…isn’t.

The Duchess of Cornwall poked with a stick..like something dead in the road.

What else have I been up to?  Good God…the most beautiful man in Wheelers last night.  A cabby from Essex.  29 years old, navy blue eyes and the reddest lips.  I resisted taking his number but I know for sure that once a path is crossed it will cross again.   He was beautiful.  We chatted on Whitstable High Street and you know when a man looks directly into your eyes…you know that feeling.

What else?  Went to local farmer’s market and bought a shoulder of goat for dinner this week.

Keith, when we got home this evening, gave me a pot of Medlar jelly that he made with fruit he found at a friends country house..it had a wonderful taste.  Another strange coincidence ?  Only this week I learned what a medlar was.  Now I have a pot of it.

We ate stilton and delicious Christmas cake made by his boy friend of six years.

Driving to Paris tomorrow to get rid of car as the hospital treatment kicks in on Tuesday.  Can’t say that I am looking forward to it but hey ho.

I love Shoreditch too.  I love Soho.  I love rioting students.

I love (particularly) the paint splattered Rolls that the parasite Prince Charles and the hag Camilla were caught in the other day by the ‘off with their heads’ militant protestors.  hahaah.

I am really loving being home. It has settled something in me.

After my fuck session (which will do me for some time I might add) I wandered happily all over Shoreditch.

I stopped in at a number of cool looking shops:  like the funky Japanese run clothes shop that sold padded linen overwear, the odd man’s pop up shop that sold Swedish soldiers head-gear and ‘vintage’ socks.

A shop that sells second-hand mens socks.  Eww.

I dropped into White Cube and resisted calling Jay.  The show was spectacularly lame.   The entire space devoted to a 37 year old artist called Rachel Kneebone.  Lamentations 2010 is the name of the downstairs show.  Huge white porcelain tangled/mangled/reconstituted genitals on huge marble plinths set against slate grey walls..beautifully lit.  The usual soulless, inchoate nonsense you might expect to find in White Cube.  They reminded one..obviously of the Chapman brothers and their obsession with the dark, chaotic imagery of the unconscious.

White Cube

Jay is already showing new artists who cannibalize existing White Cube artists.  Apparently Kneebone is expressing the ‘trauma of death, loss and grief’ and shown differently these works might very well have achieved her aim but so elegantly displayed they had the guts knocked right out of them.  I went upstairs to see the rest of the show but was told to leave as I had the dog with me.  I wasn’t leaving the Little Dog outside so I left.

I wandered around.  I met a man in the street who offered to blow me but I hadn’t showered that morning after a night of sex… I declined more for his benefit.

I found a wonderful shop called Labour and Wait which can be found at:

Labour and Wait

This charming store is really worth a visit.  I thought, when I found the 1940’s lilac, enameled milk-boiling pot pictured below:  Oooh, I thought, my friend Marilyn Phipps would like this.

As if by magic..who did I bump into today?

Marilyn Phipps!

Marilyn has the most wonderful home in Seasalter called The Battery.

The Battery, a nineteenth-century naval building, is a huge, bright blue, wooden house that sits right on the Whitstable beach and faces onto a 120ft secluded sea-front.  The Battery is a shrine to Forties ‘utility’. The kitchen was put in during the Forties when the house was used as a holiday retreat for disadvantaged children.

Marilyn has carried on the Forties theme throughout the house. The two huge wooden doors between the dining room and kitchen were made in the Forties for Ramsgate post office. The kitchen walls are lined with teapots, sugar shakers, vinegar jars, and salt cellars.

A huge kitchen clock was bought locally and the chunky table was already there.

The Battery can be incredibly hard to keep warm. Marilyn solved her problem by installing an enormous wood-burner for the dining room. She painted it midnight blue, making it more abstract sculpture than functional heater…she calls it The Beast.

The Battery has a fascinating history and features in the book Wooden Houses. It was built as two big wooden sheds at the end of the nineteenth century.  The first housed two cannons, the second was a drill hall for sailors, and during WW1 it was a convalescent home for wounded soldiers.

Marilyn still get’s people visiting who remember it from their childhood holidays in the Forties, saying they had the happiest time of their life here.

Wait!  Did I tell you that they found a strangled woman in the room I was staying in at Soho House NYC?  I can’t wait to stay there again.

Joe and I would go get dinner (usually steak) and very drunk in the Ear Bar on Spring Street.

Originally called the Bear bar..renamed when the B fell off.  One of the oldest existing taverns in the United States and one of the few existing examples of Federal architecture in New York.

I have wanted to get very drunk these past few nights.  I have wanted to blot out everything in my fucking pea brain with a huge amount of wine and beer.

Marc bought a bottle of Montepulciano to drink with the pheasant.  It smelt divine.

Woke up feeling so sad.

I am in Whitstable until Thursday then I have to get up and make a move.  Must go stately home hopping.   Must see the insides of huge and beautiful homes smelling of nutmeg and fir.  Must sit by roaring fires.  Must flay myself socially once again.

I am so disappointed.  So sad.  even though I know he isn’t sometimes I think I can hear him calling out to me in the night and I wake up and I think I can’t ignore him..he might need me.

Everything is just fine in Los Angeles CA.  Ashley called yesterday after her jaunt with Christina Aguilera’s husband in Miami.   I can’t wait to see her, speak with her properly about everything.

Up and down on this fucking roller coaster.  Up and down.

Tim and Duncan Tea and Times December 2010

Well and truly stranded in Whitstable with the temperature plummeting below minus 5 degrees celsius.

The snow has frozen into crisp, wind-swept  gullies, the car iced into its space in the car park, the dog makes its way cautiously into the biting air, pisses then runs back inside.

Bleak mid winter, frosty winds made moan…

Bought a shoulder of lamb yesterday.  Cooked it slowly in the oven on a bed of rosemary and garlic.  Slow roasting it to perfection.  We sat around the table heartily carving the great piece of meat, eating it with cabbage and roast potatoes.

After the lamb we scoffed great hunks of Stollen and mugs of tea.  This is Whitstable living and I love it.

I spent the day, as I mentioned yesterday, walking the dog..meeting old friends and keeping warm.

I had a slight HIM relapse.  Entitled prick made his way back into my mind.

This is addiction at it’s very worst.


Totally trapped in Whitstable!  So many old friends to be trapped in the town with.  Lovely seeing everyone.  Had tea in Wheelers with Anita and Michael.  Adam and I drank more tea and ate mince pies by the fire at Carol’s house.  Saw Tim at Tea and Times where Ronnie came a’visiting and I caught up on all the local gossip.

Ronnie showed us pictures on his phone of a dead polar bear.

Meant to be in London today dealing with Jake’s iPod fiasco but God dumped a trillion tons of snow on Kent so we are all stranded.  Hurrah!

The Little Dog just LOVES the snow as you can see from these pictures.

I am rather hoping that I get stranded here for Christmas!

By the way, did I ever mention to you that whilst I was in the police cell that miserable day in July Jake met a man from Manhunt and sex with him.    That was supportive wasn’t it?

It certainly is.

Balls not withstanding.   The heavy snow and cold conditions don’t stop me from getting in my little car and driving to Canterbury.

We are only seven miles from one of the most beautiful Cathedrals cities in the world.

Meandering through the snowy Kent countryside listening to BBC Radio 4 I arrived, parked inside the Roman city walls and walked down Palace Street looking for a man to unlock my iPhone.  The ancient and the modern.

I love Canterbury, I love the tiny medieval streets, the busy shops.  I ended up buying a cell phone…as it looks as if I maybe here for longer than I anticipated and I have to keep in contact with the hospital.  I bought the correct adaptors and leads etc for my lap top so I no longer need to pop into Georgina’s and use hers.

The economy seems really good.  Really good.  The shops are packed with paying customers.  We are well out of recession.  It’s like the British are embarrassed to let the American’s know that our economy is just fine.

The average British person really doesn’t have a clue just how bad things are in the USA.  No idea at all.  They don’t know about the unemployment, the foreclosures, the corruption or the burgeoning right-wing tea party movement.  They are oblivious to Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck.

One day very soon they will wake up to a very different America and a very different world run by ignorant, xenophobic thugs.

Even on a wet, cold, miserable Tuesday in Canterbury people look quite unlike those you see not shopping in sunny Santa Monica.

All of the little restaurants and gift shops are packed with customers in Whitstable too.  The Whitstable shopping equivalent: Venice CA the shops on the main drag Abbot Kinney are still boarded up.

If things are fine why is the government hell-bent of dealing so aggressively with what is evidently a self solving problem like the deficit?  THE DEFICIT!

This British government is forcing austerity upon the nation because?  Because the people have had things so good for so long?

This country is not falling apart, seems very stable and prosperous from what I can see..but under the guise of the DEFICIT reduction plan this new government stealthily returns to Thatcher type fiscal/social conservatism.  The class havoc deliberately caused with unnecessary job reduction ends up merely furthering their class war aims.

Governments like drama.

British Governments, like Hollywood studio execs, cause problems so that they can be seen to fix them.  The people, our British people, unlike the sleepy time/weed brained/prozaced citizens of my adopted home the USA…we will get off our angry asses and break some windows.  Make our voices heard.  No, you bloody can’t start charging our children for a university education…something you had for free.  NO.

Thanks to the bankers to whom we are already indebted in so many, many ways we can give extra thanks that we can now officially add the innocuous word deficit to the list of things we are encouraged to fear.  Along with Asylum Seeker, ASBO, global warming, that millennium bug thing (remember that?) and, of course…terrorist.

DEFICIT=TERRORIST.  Something abstract and confusing to be frightened of.

In the UK everybody complains about their gas bill and it’s true that utility bills here are out of control…a recent price hike of 40%.  Where the people have no option the corporation steps in and gouges whatever it can.  Same as the Insurance industry.  The law states that you must buy car insurance so the insurance industry just demands what ever it likes from whom ever it likes.

You want to know about the hospital?   The German oncologist was very nice.   Do you need to know more?  We wait for further test results.  Who could have foreseen that a jolly German oncologist would make his way center stage into my life.

I actually feel a great deal better already.  I just trust European doctors more than American doctors and they agreed that me coming here was the best possible thing to do.  Not having to worry about paying a huge amount of money to anyone anytime soon for what should be a human right sure takes the pressure off.

After it was all over at the surgery I came home and lay down under a pile of blankets and fell asleep.  What with the Jake stuff this has not been a great year.  Not one of my best.  Not a great vintage.

The little dog just hates the snow and who can blame him?  His little paws are soaked in cold water up to the ankles.  He tags along after me very bravely.

last night Carol cooked a delicious dinner here at the house and we greedily scoffed baked potatoes, ham and a delicious salad made of crunchy endive and baby tomatoes and watercress.

Seeing Charlie tomorrow and others in London.  Going to risk the roads in my little car.

Oh yes…I read yesterday that somebody somewhere in the US press demanded that Obama get some ‘backbone’.  How dare anyone ask President Obama to have ‘backbone’ when his constituents lack any kind of skeleton what so ever.

In Obama the liberals chose a limp shield made of skin (albeit black) and gristle behind which to gripe about their own inertia.

I am in Whitstable.  It is really cold.  The water-butt is frozen.  I slept under two comforters.

Carol woke me this morning with a fresh lemon and ginger infusion and a big plate of steaming porridge.  Ate another breakfast at Copeland House with Georgina.

It’s later on Saturday morning and I am laying under a blanket at George’s house.  Feel very beaten up.  I managed to wear myself down so badly that I now have bronchitis.

Terrible cough, phlegm, headache.  Best thing is: I am at home so everything seems very dealable with.  I am so glad that I don’t own anywhere here.  It’s so much nicer crashing at Carol’s or laying here on George’s sofa.

My head is too painful with real pain to concentrate on anything else.

Whitstable.  Last night.  Sitting with Georgina and her grand-daughter Poppy eating shepherd’s pie.  Do you remember Poppy?  Poppy!

Carol and Marc dragged me out to a small town on the other side of Canterbury to watch a ska band.  Even though I felt pretty bad it was nice to be included.

Feels safe here.  I arrived from Paris on Friday morning.  I rented a car, drove to Calais on the A1 toll road (20 euro).  Ferry to Dover (120 euros) then drove to Whitstable.  Dropped in at Wheeler’s, Dave’s and Carol’s place.

There is a cute gay boy running the new coffee shop.

Dumb man that I am…I decided to watch Brokeback Mountain again on the flight to Paris.  I could scarcely get through the first few moments without having to change channels and watch Friends reruns.

Went back to it and still cried buckets.

I left New York the night of the 25th.  I’m good at that…finding half empty flights to Paris when everyone else is settling into American public holidays.

Remember when we left for Paris on July 4th?  That seems like it happened decades ago.

Why did it take me so long to leave NYC and why didn’t I write about it?  Well, we didn’t go because the Little Dog wasn’t well and vomited all over the place so it wasn’t prudent to go anywhere.  Anyway, the vet advised me not to.

I was offered a very kind room in a very beautiful hotel to rest my weary body…for free.  They really looked after me.

I stayed on 10th St for a few nights.  During the day I would practice what it would be like to live in NYC again.

I sat with friends outside Mud, I hung out at the Derby and Joe’s Pub with Amelia.  I made many, many new ‘friends’ on line and met with them at obscure locations.

After a few days of being in the city I totally forgot about Jake unless, of course, I found myself on 1st Street or outside the Judd Foundation or on the roof at Soho House which is cleared away…just like the memories I have to clear away.

I no longer thought that any man who resembled him was him and instead marveled at how many men there were who might be him.  Cute, short, hairy men with winning smiles.  On occasions, as the days passed, I realized that I told too many people about him…that it was obvious to them that I was having difficulty letting him go.

When they asked if I was still in love with him it was difficult to say no without crossing my fingers.

The emotions are far more complex and seem to exist on a far deeper level than I ever planned which is why I took time away from my blog because it just riles me and I find myself posting things that I regret.

I had a number of dates with really extraordinary men but one in particular made my heart sing.  I ate dinner at Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village and met some good gays.  A producer, a stockbroker, a TV anchor and a journalist..I found myself thinking: Jake would like these men.

He would get a kick out of these intelligent, ambitious men.

The anchor  (Don Lemon) was a cool black dude who said that in his opinion Obama was frightened of white people.  Which explains, he said, why Obama is such a loser.   The anchor’s bf of 3 years was 20 years younger.

I don’t know how I felt about that.

Aleksa P and I had supper in Chelsea.  She talked candidly about how much fun it is for her making Boardwalk Empire.  I told her that I get hundreds of people a week looking for references in my blog to her hairy armpits.  She showed me how shaved they were with a wry smile but lamented how she must start growing them again soon.

We talked about our absent dads and how this shapes our view of ourselves.  We talked about her gorgeously happy marriage.  We laughed a great deal.  She showed me the pictures of her in Vanity Fair and I felt as proud as any dad could ever be.

We talked about Jake.  She was sad for me.

Brokeback: I had forgotten that Ennis and Jack had that fight.  That their fight had more to do with their love and their frustration and how much they would miss each other.

Dressed as cowboys their fight seemed more romantic than ours on the King’s Road.

The last night in NYC I met a man who I could imagine being with.  Just like that.  I have no idea if it will turn out like I want it…but we connected.  I am excited to see him again.  One thing is for sure:  I ain’t writing about him. Not any time soon.

TSA pat-downs are really thorough.   At JFK the rather good-looking man who inadvertently (or maybe not) held my balls whilst looking for what ever they are looking for looked up at me and I said seductively, “My balls have been held by a lot worse.”

The house looks so beautiful.  Totally rearranged, crammed with stuff…another load of art off to auction this week.  The gilded hall table, the 18th century credenza…my Gio Ponti lamps…should make no sense but does.

New art by Dustin Yellin and Danika Phelps.   I covered the 18th century Napoleonic chair with latte coloured silk..a sort of duchess satin.

I can’t believe that I have sold only a third of the art formerly hanging on the walls.  It is astounding that there is so much still here.

A gorgeous breeze from the sea today after several days of blistering Santa Anas.

After my meeting this morning (saw an old friend from Whitstable) Mel and I had breakfast by the Palisades Sunday farmer’s market then walked the dogs.  I dropped in on my young neighbour who was having a party.  His friends wondered if I was his uncle.

Last night on my way home from Brentwood (middle eastern dinner with Dom who now works for new Oprah channel) I stopped at a red light, smiled at a very cute boy standing on the sidewalk.  He promptly got into the car, kissed me fully on the lips, took my number and has been texting ever since.  Now, if I never see that boy ever again he managed in that one moment to trump every pathetic attempt Jake ever made at a romantic gesture.

We are going to the beach this afternoon.  Point Dume, we can take the dogs.  Going to take a picnic.  My last days before I leave on Wednesday.  A daunting trip home.  Taking the same route he and I took which, frankly, I am not looking forward to for that very reason.

Such a beautiful day here.

Spent yesterday feeling very spirited and positive.  Things just got better and better.

Getting out of the house helps tremendously.

My Palisades 7am AA meeting set the tone for the rest of the day.  This, coupled with my no longer wearing the CLOAK OF RESENTMENT! cast off a couple of days earlier had the effect of opening my ears to the nourishing effects of a good AA meeting.

It was like taking a psychic shower.

Cleansing and salubrious.

The Bad Baby sleeps.

When I got home after my meeting I had totally forgotten that I was meant to be meeting another Manhunt man in Venice.  I dashed down the hill.  Manhunt Date No.11:  Chubby and sweet but not my cup of tea.

Whilst at breakfast I received a call from a member of my Wednesday meeting who said that my particularly violent share this past Wednesday morning had upset him and others.  Well, if we can’t talk honestly about our feelings in therapy where can we?

The ongoing effects of early abuse continues.  Wretched feelings of powerlessness.  The furies.  I talked about it graphically.   John pointed out correctly that part of why JB and I had such a connection was our master and servant…S&M…me firery…him timid arrangement.   There were indeed elements of abusive behavior carried on in our relationship that I had learned from my step-father.

I become him when the other demands it.

My hand on the back of his neck when we were driving is all at once erotic and controlling.  A man who needs a firm hand.   I attract this often into my life.

I can feel his soft skin on my fingers.  The soft hair on the back of his neck.  Let me remember these perfect moments.  There are plenty more but it’s still hard to remember them.   His birthday in NYC.  Jane Hotel.  Watching him walk.  Catching his hand in mine.  Let me remember what was good.  Thank you.

Last night!

Met J & J at SHLA for the Robert Evans screening of The Kid Stays in The Picture.  I sat with Robert DuPont at the back of the plush new Soho House screening room.  Ms DuPont was dressed as Warhol for Nikki Haskell’s Halloween party held at Truesdale.  It was all a great deal of fun.  Ashley introduced Evans and the film.  After the credits rolled Larry King asked Robert Evans the kind of questions he is famous for.  Evans reminisced about Larry Olivier, Dustin Hoffman and his wife Ali McGraw.  He talked movingly about how she was still his friend even though she was a ‘bohemian’.  We were all in awe.  He described in the film and in the room how he lost the only woman he had ever truly loved.  It brought a tear to my wrinkled eye.

A passionate, wonderful man.

Bold Facers in attendance.   Lots of them.  Bumped into Michel Comte who, even though I really like him and his wife, can be a vapid contrarian.   He owns the most beautiful house in LA by far.

There was a huge buzz in the club after the screening.

What a life!

I came away feeling energized, inspired, heady.  Nobody is going to stop me from making this next film.  Nobody.

For those of us who have had wonder, delight and great triumphs early in life nothing can be bettered or compared.

I am listening to sad songs.

I can listen to a sad song one of two ways.   I can feel miserable about the past or accepting of the past.  As I listen to moody music this morning I have a smile on my ugly mug.   Remembering all that was good.

Let’s remember the scene in our romantic movie.  A huge wide shot of the sea, panning toward 4 men and a little dog.  Let’s remember walking from Adam’s Mother’s house after he took the picture I now use as my blog Gravatar.  Walking from Seasalter to Whitstable along the shingle beach with JB, Barry, Adam and The Little Dog.  The sun shining, taking a route I had taken for half a century.  With a man I loved.  One of the men looks back at the other and they exchange a glance that only lovers know…

Screening tonight and Halloween parties all weekend.  Then…London.

The days between me and the operation dwindle.

The rain has fallen steadily over Malibu these past weeks.  As unseasonal as it may be it comes as a great relief to those of us who live up here during what is normally described as Fire Season.   One can only hope that it remains damp rather than tinder dry.

An encouraging weekend of old and new friends.  New friends include a charming Pepperdine student who came for tea on Sunday evening and another internet date who was almost perfect…but not.   He was intelligent, handsome and age appropriate.  Our unusual date started at Intelligensia on Abbott Kinney, a trip to Home Depo to buy chlorine tablets and  lunch at Sauce.

I replaced the cap that I lost at Stronghold.

I have no idea if we will ever see each other again but he made the possibility of meeting someone appropriate in the future very real and that in itself was a great diversion from my crazy head.

At lunch we both discussed our recent relationship issues and rather amazingly he became quite emotional:  he had been the Jake half of his relationship.  Eager to hold onto someone who loved him but wanted to sleep with other men.

Why?

Today there is another house viewing and I must make a start on my script.

Saturday therapy went well.  Today I went to an early session in the Palisades.   I emerge from these groups feeling stronger and more complete.  All in all it has been a very gratifying weekend.  I am somehow not prone to the great fear.  Perhaps this has something to do with the full moon or maybe I am just not taking any notice of the demons.

The house is so beautiful today.  The spa is working.  Ashley pays her rent on time.  The work on the road to the PCH has resumed.   The dogs are well behaved.  Why go and ruin it with invasive surgery?

I am making a huge oxtail stew for our dinner.  The sort of recipe that takes two days to do properly.  Every day I must do something creative in some sort of way.

Life is serving up a great and perfect opportunity.  I can feel it.  After the heavy rain, the plants are convinced it is springtime.  New growth, budding cacti and the great orchid trees in the garden are suddenly covered in succulent pink flowers.

Barry from Whitstable is on his way here to stay en route to his new life in Australia.  It will be fun to have him here.

One of the unseen moments in Sex Rehab included our crafting in clay what our sex addiction looked like.   The monster inside.  Mine was a fragile baby.  So fragile in fact that it’s head fell off the day after we made them.

The baby is somewhere in the house but I can’t find it.  When I find it I will take a picture of it and post it here.

The idea of the bad baby stems from something my step-father once said to me, that I was a ‘bad baby’.  Of course that’s absurd isn’t it?  A distressed baby maybe but not bad?

One of my performance pieces was called Bad Baby.  The mother in the performance lived in the fridge.

As for Elsie de Witt?  Well, she’s a character that I invented with Lady Rizo during one of our epic two-hour putting the world to rights telephone calls.  Elsie is the great chantreuse, the over stuffed opera singer who resides within..as well as the bad baby who also inhabits my currently very thin frame.   The dramatic and dynamic Elsie and the screaming baby.

Finally received some of the money that JB owes me so in a gesture of good will I took down his full name in my blog.   His spidery, fragile hand writing all over the cheque softened my heart.  Now all he has to do is send the rest.  I wrote to him offering to reduce the amount of money he owes me if he would just show willing and send it.

 

Bad Baby made in Sex Rehab

As JB fulfills his obligation to me I feel myself detaching from him in a positive way.  He has held on for too long by owing me this cash.

I wrote him a conciliatory note urging him to send the rest of the money.   I imagine that he wants to go to court and fight and that is his prerogative but all this will achieve is yet another cataclysmic collision.  I imagine that he is being urged on by his new gay friends who never like to take any responsibility for anything.  His new cheerleading team after I was dismissed.

Occasionally they write to me.  His new friends.  It’s funny.

So much more is happening in my life than you can imagine but I cannot write it.   I don’t want to jinx potential job opportunities, burgeoning romances.  I am loathed to write even the silly things..like the spa in my garden that I have renovated and is now operational.  It’s the oddest contraption.  Heated by an ingenious wood burning stove which almost boils the water like a huge kettle.  A friend and I sat in it last night under the stars, looking out over the ocean lit by the full moon.

Willie, as he is predisposed, stole my friend’s sock.

Do I at moments like this wish that it was JB in the spa?  Well, less so.   Those are indeed moments that should be shared with a lover.  He had ceased to be my lover, to be my one and only long before we ever left for France.  He was just pretending to my lover.  I felt the disconnection.  Knowing that he probably already had someone else to fixate on.

I realize now that he had already met somebody else and simply came to France because he could.

Yesterday I went to therapy for the first time in ages.  The theme was integrity and the others mused upon the lies they had told to wives and co-workers..yet to me a lie is subjective and we live in lying times.   The truth is subjective.  As I have said before,  exponentially the more honest one becomes the more isolated you feel.  One can only hope to do the right thing by those we share our time.  That’s all.  If we can’t or don’t?  Well, we make our amends.

JB was incensed that I lied to the Ferry people in Calais to get us all on board without incident after they told me that Lil’ Dog’s carrying case was made of the wrong material.  If I had told the truth at that moment it would have meant taking a cab into Calais Ville buying the correct carrying case.  This exercise in honesty would have cost a fortune and we would have missed endless ferries and dinner with Georgina in Whitstable.

He used that as an example of how I always told lies.

Lying about a dog’s carrying case and cheating on someone for years seem like two very different kinds of lie.  One expedites an unnessessary situation the other steals a soul.  Perhaps he couldn’t see the difference?

Naturally there is a philosophical conundrum for a man who says, “I always tell lies.”

I learned so much from JB about myself and others.  I learned a great deal about gay men.  Their attitude toward him for instance.  That he had no option but to behave as he did.

At the beginning, when I met him and he came out to me, we started flirting, sex camming etc.  I knew immediately that it was wrong to do what he was doing to her and as I reread emails within a few days of his coming out to me I was urging him to get honest.

I was conflicted about his coming out as we became closer.

It suited me that he was with her because I knew where he was at night.  I knew that he was mine.  I knew that the moment he was free of her he would be just like all the rest.

Everyday this JB stuff gets better in my head.  As I sift through every detail.  As I attempt falteringly to detatch with love rather than hate.

Woke up at 4am.  Bugger.  Spent a little time online then went back to bed.  Fell into deep sleep.

A knock at the door at 9am.  I had meeting with a writer from a popular TV show who had read my blog and wanted to meet to talk about her new TV show.  Kathy.

A charming and funny woman who is currently dating a very beautiful ‘A’ gay director friend of mine.   What a gorgeous couple!   The meeting was meant to last an hour but ended up lasting 3 hours.  Ashley joined us at the end.

Whilst we were talking I remembered one of the fabulous Whitstable gays I met as a child who totally shaped my idea of what it was to be gay.

Firstly, he taught me that being gay could be WONDERFUL.  That man, an antique dealer from Thanet, was called Christopher Stocking.  He drove into Whitstable weekly to search for antiques and that’s where he found me, sitting at the back of Zoe’s antique shop one cold winter’s afternoon playing with her kittens by the fire.

The shop used to be on Harbour Street opposite the harbour entrance which was rather sadly demolished in the 1970’s when all that grubby Georgian architecture seemed to bore town planners.  Thankfully, Whitstable was largely ignored by Canterbury Council so there was little to no ‘urban regeneration’.   No wholesale destruction of our old homes and shops.  Whitstable was left to decay.   Thank God.

Jake and I went to Whitstable…he loved it…that was a nice moment.

Anyway, Christopher Stocking found me in the back of the shop and realized IMMEDIATELY that I was a trainee homo and took me for a spin in his pink Jaguar.  I remember his sweet and unusual smell.  He asked a bunch of questions and I remember being so ashamed of where I came from that I think I lied every answer.

I really looked forward to Christopher’s weekly visits.  He taught me what was what without ever mentioning the word gay.

He’d say, “He’s gorgeous isn’t he?”

And I would get all red-faced and nod my head.

He was a perfect role model…consequently I never had any difficulty being a gay.

It all seemed perfectly natural.

A couple of years after we met Christopher told me that he wanted to tell me something.  Seriously.  We sat in the Tudor Tea Rooms, he held my hand and told me very gravely that if I was going to have a good life, any life..he stressed the word life..I would have to leave Whitstable.  That this small seaside town wasn’t going to be big enough for me.

He told me urgently,

“You have to get out of here and make something of yourself.”

I knew that he was right but I didn’t think it was possible, plausible…mine to have.

Heroes are never quite who you expect them to be.

A man and a boy holding hands in an English Tea Room talking about the future.  About the future. He was saving my life..and he knew it.   He knew that there was no one else in that place who could possibly tell me what I needed to know.

That my life could be assured if I left Whitstable.  That I would be valued, validated, loved.   Sadly, his dream and my dream for enduring happiness diverged as I grew older.

The disease of more.  Who could have foreseen that outcome?

For those of you who think bad thoughts..no..we never did anything inappropriate.  He was a very appropriate man.  I was 10 when I met him and 14 when he vanished.  If he had made a move would I have let him?  You betcha.

That afternoon in The Tudor Tea Room I saw my future reflected in his face and knew instinctively that it was essential for me to listen very carefully and remember every word he said.

Amongst the shop owners there were other gays.  There were the gay twins who ran the antique shop on the corner of Albert Street and Harbour Street which is now an elegant tapas bar.  Johnny and Jimmy.  Clones:  checked shirts, full moustaches and tight denim jeans.  They scared me a bit but they were kind to me.

Everyone was.

They guessed, they knew, they never made mention, they saw the bruises, they held out their hands just in case I needed to hold on.

The years passed.

For a few weeks I moved in with Michael the gay tax man.

Our local gay bar: The Guinea on Island Wall.  Florence, the very grand landlady, was always throwing people out for no good reason.  She had thick red lipstick on her lips and teeth…a crow black bouffant.

When the boys got too hot and bothered in the snug she snarled,  “Darlin’ you’re barred.”

The kissing boys would feign outrage, throw their scarves over their shoulders, theatrically deliver a particularly vicious bon mot from the threshold of the pub, slam the door and scamper out into the night..until tomorrow of course when they would sit in exactly the same spot nursing pints of thick, warm beer and kiss each other as Florence was serving out of sight.

I remember when you could be thrown out of a bar, a gay bar, for kissing another man.

So, this morning, Kathy and I talked about gay men and the community.  Our community that existed around the bar.  Every community has a bar.  THE BAR.

When the Guinea closed we headed to The New Inn, Margate.  I didn’t drive and God knows how I did it but I got there and back 30 miles every Saturday night.   Compelled by the need to meet other gay men.

I rarely went home with anyone.  They were all so pig ugly.  When the pub closed at 11.30 my very camp friend Mark and I went to a  ghastly Margate club which was always half empty..called Skids.  Ew.

The men there knew I was different from them.  Somehow.  They urged me, like Christopher had years before, to take my big ideas elsewhere.  In their own way they let me know how much more of a world there was than the one I had chanced upon in Margate.

We talked about being bullied and I told her that I was bullied at school and life was pretty miserable for a few years but I just knew that high school was not the sum of my life.   I knew that Christopher and men like him were out there somewhere.  That I could and would be like them.

I knew that my time at boarding school would eventually come to an end.  Anyway, as I mentioned before..bullied by day, blowing by night.  Usually the same boys.

All these bullied kids killing themselves.  I know it’s hard to be singled out to be gay by your peers, but you can’t be so sensitive.   Get tough!  Fight back.  Ask for help!  The sad fact is, when I was being bullied I rather enjoyed the attention.  I learned to fight back.  Ruthlessly.  I knew the people who bullied me were simply appalled by my difference.  It scared the shit out of them.  I learned that to be different you had to seek out your own kind.

I have searched and searched.

So…I went to Paris and New York and I ended up here.

Thank you Christopher Stocking..wherever you are.

I owe you my wonderful life…when I can remember that it is wonderful.  I owe you my Malibu view.  I owe you my aspirations.  Thank you Christopher, thank you the boys..thank you the girls..where ever you are…thank you for reading…thank you and good night.

The rain has finally stopped pouring over the house and into the view.  The skies have cleared. The sun is shining.  The sea is glistening…etc.

Confined to my room with painfully torn ligaments.

Ashley has been running around fetching and carrying.

Sweet thing.

Paying gardeners, buying logs, feeding me pain pills.

This evening she and her friend Aaron Rose sat by the roaring fire whilst my blue eyed friend Bowdy entertained us with unusually funny impressions. When he started his ‘performance’ I was dreading that he was going to be terrible.  He was GREAT!

It’s incredibly unusual in LA to meet a young actor who can actually act.

Aaron is curating a street art show at MOCA.  Next week he is in Paris working with young artists.  A commercials director..apparently they make a ton of money.  Do I wish that I had the ability to make commercials?  Just talking about it, the prospect of it…made the inside of my mouth dry up.

With Ashley making busy around the house life is filling up again with unusual and interesting people.  She is such a doll.

We discussed these three words:  Nigger.  Cunt.  Faggot.  The impact each word has and the power we invest in them.  It was a fascinating conversation.  We felt really naughty talking about each of them…as if overheard we might be arrested or torn from our lives.  It felt subversive.

We were talking about the concentration camps and Aaron revealed that he didn’t know that the pink triangle, symbol of gay pride, originated there.  The pink triangle (German: Rosa Winkel) was one of the Nazi concentration camp badges, used to identify homosexual men, as well as those imprisoned for sexual offenses such as rape, bestiality, and pedophilia. Originally intended as a badge of shame, the pink triangle (often inverted from its Nazi usage)  is second in popularity within the gay community only to the rainbow flag.

Alan Davies the British comedian and I had a fight in the Neptune Pub, Whitstable twenty-five years ago when he started wearing the Pink Triangle to prove his solidarity with gays and lesbians.  The problem was,  he was homophobic towards me.  After a huge shouting match and a bitchy struggle he removed the pink triangle.

I have been reading my old blogs.  The ones written when I first arrived here in the USA.   Not only are they a very good read but life sure was full up with people places and things.  Of late (and more contemplative) the written journey has been internal rather than external.

Every day I get closer to my goal of exorcising the ghosts of past love.  Things are getting so much better.  Not so very long ago I didn’t think I could go anywhere that we had been together..not Paris nor New York or Whitstable.   I feared that just walking down the same street we had strolled would ruin it for me.  But, you know, that was the voice of shame whispering seductively in my ear.  The shame I felt about failing to keep him.  The shame of making bad choices in love.

I am better than that.  Paris is a big city.  I am a bigger man.

I sometimes wonder in whose arms he rests now?  Placating him.  Telling him the lies he needs to hear.  Is he happy?  I know in my heart, I know that he will never truly be happy.  He has made terrible mistakes and those mistakes may never be forgiven.  He will try to put it right but not for her.  He wants her to forgive him so he can feel better about himself.

He will be in perpetual torment until he truly understands a selfless apology. Equally, she needs to fully embrace the act of forgiveness.  Can she forgive him?  Eventually she will.  She has no option.

Living with hate or resentment in one’s heart can ruin your life.

Forgive him for being frail and flawed and weak and cowardly and for telling inexcusable lies?  Yes, we can do that.  Eventually.

We are connected forever.  A dance with death.  A marriage with the Devil.  There is something oddly Gothic about it.

I called the small claims court to have the date moved so I can go to London and deal with this bollocks stuff.  Directly to London.

Sooner or later Jake and I will face each other.  Whether it is in the court room or on the street he will pay what he owes me.  He would be such a fool not to.

We will bump into each other.  I know that scenario.  If he has worked properly on himself he will have undergone the change he so badly wanted.  He will be gay.  Not like when I first met him:  A gay man sheltering in the husk of a straight man’s life.  He will be true to his own nature, to the mannerisms and voice that he was so scared to reveal.  I began to see the occasional gay moment when we were in France, the twist of the mouth, the limp wrist, the effeminate draw on the cigarette.  All quite normal for a delicate, passive homosexual.  Endearing.

Like so many ‘straight acting’ gay men he is petrified of being seen to be gay.

He will be revealed.  He will find happiness.  I pray for it.

Sunday, forgot to tell you,  chatted with Lady Rizo.  I love her so much.  The call lasted all the way from West Hollywood to the PCH…giggling and analysing.

Spent the larger part of this morning in bed skyping with Tim Willis whose book about Nigel Dempster hits the shelves today in the UK.

Dempster was an old-fashioned gossip columnist who worked for the Daily Mail and the satirical rag Private Eye.

When I was a small boy living in Stanley Road, Whitstable I used to just love reading his column.  A window into another altogether more exciting world.  A world with which my Mother was very familiar from her days working as a waitress in the Carlton Club.

I was secretly shocked and delighted by his salacious Royal gossip.  Dempster’s code name for the Queen when he wrote about her in Private Eye: Brenda.

I think more than anyone it was he who inspired prepubescent me to search out the fun-loving aristocrat and the demi-monde.  I alluded to him at the beginning of my film AKA.

Years later he wrote about me unfavourably after I was caught pretending to be ‘one of them’.

Nigel Dempster and the Death of Discretion published by Short Books.  Buy it.

Today I am strangely at peace with myself.  It’s been this way more often than not these past few days.  I have no idea why.  I guess because I am no longer in love.  No longer pining.  No longer focused on another.  I am listening to Copeland, majestic strings elevating the view, the moment..this life!

Two good friends called for advice.  Isn’t that strange?  I can help others when I tend not to be able to help myself.

Now that my fantasy of loving another has been safely stowed in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of me I can concentrate on what I do best.  Dreaming.  The dream of love is so much better than the reality.  Good God it is so exhausting being in love.  So consuming.  Being in hate can be just as tiring.  Thankfully I am neither.

I have named the lil maggot on my ball.  A pain in the balls.  I have a picture of my tumor.  I will put it up when I can.

Yesterday Hilary brought Willie to live with us.  He’s a small, wire-haired pup with big brown eyes.   He is incredibly intelligent.  Desperate to be loved, immediately loyal.

The Lil’ Dog is a bit suspicious and requisitioned both his own bone and Willie’s and guarded them both jealously all day.

The Lil’ Dog knows the deal.  He looks PISSED OFF as I try making Willie feel at home by having him on my lap, calling his name.  The Lil Dog is and will be always my most adored dog but Willie very quickly carved a place in my heart.  Within hours.

The Lil’ Dog, however, will never have the sort of relationship with Willie that he had with our Darling Big Dog.

Willie is without doubt my dog.  As much as Luna was not my dog and now lives in a huge mansion in Beverly Hills with a butler and her own dog walker Willie is happy to chase around after me all day.  He is watching the garden as I write.  You can see how happy he is.

It is delightful how I immediately loved himand he loves me.   It is wonderful to aim my unconditional love at this little dog.  He accepts it without question.

I wish humans could be like this.  Fucking humans.

Yesterday, a few hours before Willie arrived, I woke up in Hollywood and packed the car with more bits and pieces.  I am determined not to bring everything from that place back here.  More than I anticipated will be going to auction.

Anyway, I picked up with the beautiful Brazilian I met yesterday at Solar and we drove to Malibu via the 101 and up through the magnificent mountains.  We had to take the back route as there was a house fire on the PCH so it was closed.  Ricki Lake‘s house burned to the ground.

When we got home Ashley was pottering around, making coffee and already the house seems full again.  This is how I remember Whitstable (No 13 Island Wall)  when I first lived there.  You see!  I can reclaim the essence of what I loved about living.

As Ashley and Frank (the Brazilian) made friends I sat quietly on the back terrace and just enjoyed my home. I have not done that for a long time.  There has been so much drama.  So much to distract me from simple pleasures.

I spent a little time on Manhunt and made a couple of appointments for next week.  Perhaps I will meet someone? Someone like Willie who is kind and loyal and intelligent?  Hahhahaha.

Willie has a great deal to learn about this household.  Who and what and where.  We live a very active life, most days we walk four or so miles around the mountains.  Everything is very new for him.

I have to get him to the vet on Monday and begin the passport process so he can come to England with me.

Left a message on MySpace for Jake.  There was nothing much to say other than we were now strangers.  I know that in time I will forget him entirely because I never really knew him.  He was a refugee, all I had to do was help him on his way.  I fell in love with an idea.

As I was sitting quietly on the terrace overlooking the ocean I wanted to counjour up a beautiful moment from our time together that I could hold onto.  Just one.   Something we had shared that would have made the last few months worthwhile.  I could not.  Every one was marred with something or other that made it feel incomplete.  My spastic love affair with an idea was over long before I ever dealt the death blow.

As I look over the past months of blog entries there were times when I would go to bed happy because he was in the world.

I was kidding myself.

There ain’t no fool like an old fool.  When am I going to get wise?  Probably never.

Willie sort of reminds me of when I first met Jake.  Adoring eyes, keeping close, shaggy hair, a clumsy gait.  The difference is?  I have a chance of maintaining a relationship with Willie because he will never lie to me, he won’t be looking over my shoulder for someone richer, younger, better looking etc….

Thank GOD for Willie.

Marine Layer at Night

My friend Ashley moved in last night.  She arrived with Thai food and a pillow.

Almost immediately felt a trillion times better about everything.  Being on my own is not good for me.  Just me and my head.  We lit a huge fire, watched interesting film clips on my computer and life felt a great deal better.

The marine layer shrouded the house all night so everything this morning is wet and sparkling.  The gray light, as I have said a million times, suits all the colours here in the house.

I get my watch back today, the big gold one I broke last year but forgot to pick up.  I should fetch my grandfather’s ring that is still in repair.

I bought a family box of food from my friend Jennifer’s company Out of the Box Collective which arrives Saturday week.  She has sourced the best of what is available from local farms including organic meats, vegetables and raw milk/yogurt etc.  I am really excited about this!

Three of us living up here cooking great food, making art and doing what humans do..supporting one another..and I don’t mean through bad times but supporting one another to do the best of what we can possibly do.

The great thing about Ashley is her connection to everything happening in the new arts here in LA.  Performance, film etc.  We watched clips of things on YouTube that inspire us.  She showed me a really interesting animation/performance that I loved.

I understood that I had not just isolated myself from people but from my life blood..art.  I simply stopped going to anything.  I stopped turning up.  To have a life in the arts you have to be present.  For nine long months I have been a dead man.  Jake became my life and the poor lamb head just couldn’t be my life.

Manhunt date number 4 was a funny latino boy. 27 years old and HIV positive.  Hmmm.  We didn’t have much to say so he left. He was a bit pissed that he had driven all this way and didn’t get any.

I feel so much better about everything.

Suddenly all of my anxiety, obsession and resentment has slipped away…at least for the time being.

This morning I thought about writing which I have not thought about for a long, long time.  Just having someone around keeps me focused.

Let him have his life and I will have mine.  I wish we could have had a kind goodbye.

You see, I went from having a dear, dear friend to having nothing…whilst he was surrounded by his family.  Never on his own.  A family to fall back on.  I had nothing.  When I lived in Whitstable the people there, they were my family for good and for bad.  I just had to step outside of my front door and I would engage with people who had known me all my life.

Lily

I saw a property for sale today in England that I can’t stop thinking about.  Hastings is a small British seaside town.  I have always really loved it.  There’s a house there that looks amazing.  Huge.  Lots of space.

You see!  Already my head is in a different, more positive place.  Just wait until Anna arrives and we will be cooking, as they say, with gas.

At 8 this morning Jason popped by with Lily (my god-daughter) and her brother Max for breakfast.  Hot chocolate.  I think this maybe a regular event as they have an hour to kill most mornings between dropping the kids off at their various schools.

Somebody asked me what I seek in a man.  I think he wanted to know about sex but I replied:  intelligence, wit, kindness, fortitude, patience.

Have a great day everybody!

As I was stacking boxes for my move I found a whole heap of diaries from the 1980’s.   The first day to day diary I kept was in 1982 and that was primarily because life had become so exciting.

We open the first book on this day September 5th, 1982.  I am 22 years old.

I am in Greece, on the island of Spetses staying with Sir John and Lady Russell.   I am still, at this time, Lord Rendlesham and have flown from Paris to Athens with an older nobleman called Guy de la Bedoyere of whom I had tired.

It was Guy’s Turner that I had marveled in Paris a few days earlier and whose butler, much to my horror, had washed in a washing machine my new Crolla ties.

The magazine Harper’s Bazzar had published the pictures of my infamous birthday party thrown for me by Scott Crolla at the Almeida Theatre.  Word was just reaching me in Greece that people were not at all happy.  Not at all.

If you click on the diary pages you can read the original entries.

I am in love with a beautiful Swiss boy called Robert and it is he that I wave goodbye to at the beginning of the entry.

The following year September 1983 there is no diary entry until I am released from prison on the 18th November.

September 1984 I am in rehearsal for Pornography: a Spectacle at the ICA in London.   There are huge articles about us all in Time Out, The Face and a now defunct London mag called City Limits.  I am living in Balham with a girl called Victoria.  By day I am in a play about gay pornography and by night I sleep with what was effectively my girlfriend.   So was the complexity of my life.  “Every gesture must be full and complete.” says Neil.  Neil Bartlett, director of the show.   During these days he and I began to fall out.  Irrevocably as it turned out.  When we left each other in Toronto months later after our North American tour we would never speak again.

September 1985 I am writing whilst stuck in a tunnel under the alps on a train from Paris to Venice.  My and Ivan Cratwright’s great adventure to Venice.  Staying, en route with Fred Hughes in Paris.

The diary for 1986 was missing but now found.  I will transcribe the entry.  I am yet again in another heterosexual relationship with a woman called Louise.  Why?

“Oh dear, I am in The General Trading Company off Sloan Square – Louise by my side.  Firstly I did not expect the Bahamian bombshell to come back to Whitstable to see me.  I rather thought that she might have given me a miss.

Yesterday before Louise arrived my pinks from Kingstone (?) Cottage arrived, they came to me in a brown cardboard box wrapped in local newspaper.  I planted them carefully, laying a foundation of stones for good drainage and surrounded the root system with peat. Maria helped out the best she could but spent the best part of yesterday drawing on the beach.   The day before that too she had worked hard on minimalist drawings incorporating the seascape – noticeably the foreshore and the horizon, terribly witty references to dead fish – (?) a family with prawn.

Ivan (Cartwright), we collected him from Whitstable station – Korda (Marshall) and I, he was in such a good frame of mind .  He prattled on about being arrested for car thieving and told a remarkable story about having been picked up on Park Lane (London) dressed only in a full length pink, synthetic fur coat, cowboy boots and a micro polka dot bikini!  He was picked up by a vast black men in a Buick.

Korda was completely freaked out by Ivan and as soon as he had the opportunity – left.  However, Ivan enchanted both Rachel (Whiteread) and (?) with his wit and intelligence.  We left for the pub far too late.  Ivan was wearing a pair of black cotton stockings, a black tee-shirt and short black sweat pants all topped off with this platinum blond hair and that face which as you know contorts like nobodies business.

We all slept late and woke early, that’s why when big bertha arrived (Louise) I was knackered.  We took off for a long adventurous but utterly fruitless journey to a closed park.  We did go to Beech House (Hospital School in Chartham)  I remembered yet again the horror of being taken there when I was a child – I remember that it was in that place that my life changed direction and I began to fight, so it was rather apt that I went there – my life again on the edge of a potential nightmare.  India,  8th October 10.15 – 9 months.   It rings in my ears.

As we drove to London yesterday Louise and (?) wrote that evening’s narrative.  For she as an eye for the ironic.  Firstly we locked ourselves out of Louise’s car and house then we saw the corpse of a man freshly killed, his legs crossed at the ankles, in the road.  His clothing partially hidden under a green waterproof police modesty blanket.  All of us knew that ambulances take only the living to be mended as best they can.  Death has no care.  I wondered about his family.  The pulse stopped and the narrative ending for him.  We drove slowly.  Later the image of the corpse quietened me and made me listen.

Louise is my strength whom I do not deserve.  Late last night I felt truly happy and secure.  That’s enough isn’t it?  Enough for a man who rarely lives safely, who is destined to become a lonely old man with personality problems.”

September 1987 I am a patient in the Henderson Hospital in Sutton Surrey where I spent the majority of that year.   I had a breakdown after a particularly bad bout of Hep B.  The Jay who would be fetching me from hospital is, of course, Jay Jopling.

For some odd reason I did not keep a complete diary in 1988.   I am not fully well from my breakdown but have decided to go to New York to see Ana Corbero and Colin Cawdor.  Paul Benny the artist was also staying in the huge apartment.  An entire floor of a converted girls school just over the Williamsburg Bridge.

There is no entry for these dates in 1989.

1990, my thirtieth year.  Living in Chelsea with Phillipa having what looks like a rather glamorous time.

1991 Coppers Bottom has opened at Sadler’s Wells.  Karen, the lead actress is threatening to walk.  I am now living with Anthony H. in South London.

1992 Tim and I are laughing about Damien Hirst not winning the Turner Prize that he seemed so certain to win.  I rather cruelly called Jay and told him how sorry I was whilst sniggering with Tim.

Not long before I get sober.  Just another 5 years.

After 1992 I kept a journal less and less.  I began every year enthusiastically writing everyday like I do now in the blog but by July had lost interest or life was simply too overwhelming.

Anyway, that was fun?

The house by day is magical.

Jason and Hillary, quite separately, popped by and both brought lunch.  Hillary arrived with a friend’s dog called Willy who decided to pee on everything the moment he came indoors.

Hillary made a delicious gazpacho and Jason brough chevre and smoked salmon.  Three mad brits eating an Enid Blyton lunch in our tree house over looking the ocean.

I ate bread which I bitterly regret having eaten today.  I am bloated and my tummy aches.

The house after dark can be a little noisy.  I lay in the dark listening to the raccoons squabble, the coyote’s howl and the owls hoot.   The little dog had a restless night, so, of course did I.   He was up and down the stairs shouting at anything that disturbed him.  After an hour of this nonsense I closed the windows and he slept peacefully.

It was meant to be in the 100’s all week but by last night in Malibu it was colder than Whitstable.  I am sure the firemen are very happy as there have been so few wild-fire warnings.  Everything is very damp in the morning from the thick mist that rolls off the sea.

Jason left and Hillary and I decided to take the dogs for a long walk along the length of the new road (Rambla Pacifico) that leads to the PCH.  The house is now walkable from the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and since they started building the Rambla Pacifico extension empty lots are now for sale, lot owners who abandoned their lots 26 years ago are on the mountain with contractors discussing driveways and bedrooms with ocean views.  There is a certain excitement up here which cannot be ignored.

I applaud myself for paying so little for this house.  I just KNEW that one day the road would be built..who knew that it would be so soon?

Apparently I am not the only resident who regularly walks the muddy track which will one day be our new road/life line.  We saw a man armed with shopping bags marching over the hillocks.  Everyone is so impatient to feel less isolated.

It is only a few weeks until the rainy season starts so they must get a move on and finish this project.  The worst that could happen is that heavy rains come before it is finished and all their hard work is washed away.

If only Malibu would buy the road so it can be used by everyone rather than a select few.

Watched TV until midnight…yes there is a TV here and fell into bed.  I watch home improvement shows and laugh gently at how cheap and ill-conceived the ‘improvements’ are.

The Lil Dog was exhausted from running after Willy all day and his long walk but not, apparently,  exhausted enough.

P.S.  The despicable Glenn Beck is holding his reclaim America from anyone who isn’t white rally today in Washington.  For those of you who underestimate the ambition of people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin I urge you to take notice of their message.  They are determined to undermine the goodwill and inclusive character of this great country and, my friends, they will succeed just like their right-wing predecessors.  They will use all the usual tactics:  fear mongering, false patriotism and the invocation of their malevolent God.  These men and women are not clowns, we cannot afford to grandly sneer at their absurd antics.  For as the liberal elite laugh in their grotesque faces they are gathering speed.  If we are not very careful it will be soon too late for those of us who believe in freedom to stop them for we were too busy laughing.

I’m in Malibu.  It ‘s 7.30am.

A veil of mist has enveloped the house.

The fierce sunlight refracting through the pure white cloud is exactly the same light as if it had been snowing.

Yesterday, after making peace with the memory of JB, I met Michael at Solar and discussed scripts.  He is a delightful man.  I told him that I’d read his script but was loathed to say anything.

People ask for criticism but they only want praise.

I dashed off to see Danielle and she worked through her slate, her list of projects.

We sat opposite Jane Fonda who looked a little frail but still radiant.  I was briefly introduced and told her how much I adored Klute.   She shared a few anecdotal memories about the making of the film.

Bumped into Degan who is moving in with his younger boyfriend.  I didn’t balk.  I thought to myself (as the ghost of what could have been passed through me) well, that was then this is now.  As I’ve said before it’s quite obvious that I’m never going to have that moving in thing happen to me so I may as well just accept things as they are and get on with it.

There is no room in my life for melancholy.  I have devoted too much time to drama, misery and bad choices.

It’s an illusion that the young are happy, an illusion for those who have lost it.  The young know they are wretched, for they are full of truthless ideal and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded.

My meeting with the accountant was fruitful.  Apparently life is not quite as fraught as I thought it was.

I met Hillary in Venice and walked the entire length of Abbot Kinney gossiping and laughing.

We ate a light supper at Wholefoods.  I’m sorry but eating food outside a grimy supermarket is just too much.  I bought a grilled chicken that I shared with the Lil Dog.

Fantabulosa is the bio pic of actor and British TV personality Kenneth Williams starring Michael Sheen.

BAFTA organized a screening for the members in a small Santa Monica cinema.

It’s a sad film.  I identified very much with Kenneth’s sexual anorexia, his inability to form loving relationships with other men and the mask he wore to get through a life he considered useless.

Met the boy who played Joe Orton in Fantabulosa.  Kenny Doughty and his wife seem very pleasant.

“It is difficult to know people and I don’t think one can ever really know any but one’s own countrymen.

For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the county in which they are born, the city or the farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives’ tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they played, the poets they read, and the God they believed in.

It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can’t come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them.”

It seems so easy, helping my friend in London put his film together without any thought of directing it myself.  It has given me a great deal of pleasure.  Of course I know how to negotiate the making of a film.  A big film or a small film.  Films naturally find their own scale.

I’ve no idea yet what sort of film we will make.  We are currently looking for a great script.

It was lovely listening to Michael Sheen talk about Kenneth Williams.  He obviously developed a profound affection for Kenneth by simply walking in his shoes.   I wondered what the similarities were between these two very different men.

Michael talked amusingly at dinner about meeting Tony Blair at Rupert Murdoch’s house.  He talked about Polari, the 17th Century gay slang, I introduced to Jake B.  He described his friendship with Barbra Windsor.

I hope I helped JB understand the culture and history that precedes him.  It’s so important for gay men to own their history, not as prescribed by straight people as they have written us in the pages of their newspapers…but the oral history that may get lost as another generation of gay men grow up.   We have such a rich history, such joy and tragedy…but we are loathed to own it.

There was a superb Somerset Maugham quote used in the movie:

“What do we any of us have but our illusions and what do we ask of others that we be allowed to keep them?”

When I was a young boy Maugham’s childhood home still stood on Canterbury Road in Whitstable.  It was a beautiful Victorian rectory that savage developers later pulled down and replaced with five vile, mock Georgian horrors.  Anyway, before it was demolished, I made friends with the owners and every Sunday after church I would sit in the huge conservatory, feed their chickens and look at the goldfish in their pond.  They gave me a small piece of amethyst that I still own.

When I went to bed last night I found a poisonous spider folded into the linen.  I didn’t kill it.  It’s nice to share your bed with something living even if it’s only a spider or a little dog.

As I look back over the past months I understand that one can’t do what one thinks is right without making someone else unhappy.

In the time that it has taken me to write this blog the mist has magically retreated revealing the ocean.  I am going for a long walk.

Anger disguises sadness. My anger disguises my sadness.

I am trying to forgive him. I know that my anger toward him merely disguises just how rotten this breakup feels. Whilst it is easy to blame him for his insensitivity I will sooner or later have to totally accept my part in this drama. Accept that I wanted him to be something he could never be.

Accept that I chose to overlook his drinking and drugging and manhunting because I wanted him more than I was prepared to know what was good for me.

Forgiveness comes in waves. Acceptance too. I must forgive him and accept that things are exactly how they are meant to be.

The truth is (as per the tenets of AA) sooner or later I will have to totally forgive him and make my amends..a living amends in this case.

I was so happy when I came back from Europe! I felt and looked like a different person. Everybody noticed it and commented. Now look.

I just want to sleep. Get back into my bed and stay there all day long. I have another article to write and a proposal to submit. I have to wrap the art in bubble wrap to take to NYC. I must do these things or he steals even more than he has already stolen.

When we got home all I wanted was an open and honest relationship.

I woke early this morning and drove to the beach where I walked the lil dog for an hour. On the way there I passed a cute man in a sleek convertible and chatted with him briefly at the intersection of Fountain and Labrea. He looked lovely. We continued our chat at red lights on and off until I turned onto the 10.

What must he have thought of my battered truck?

The promenade in Venice early morning is a cess pit of vagrants and drug dealers. Rich folk unlock their homes overlooking the ocean and tip huge dogs into the melee.

Here it comes again: I am so angry with him. Yet, just like I was broken when the big dog was killed and every death and loss and separation came to be healed as I sobbed for her poor broken body so now when the tears come it is for every man I have ever left behind.

No tears yet.

I wish the tears would come. I am dry-eyed, emotionally arid.

When I am not feeling angry, I feel like a fool. It was such a waste taking him home to Whitstable. I thought I was taking someone who would appreciate what he was being given but all he did was lose his iPod and cause trouble and make a fool of me.

He took a huge shit at the very heart of my life. Did you notice that he was always on his lap top when we were in Europe? Couldn’t keep him away from it. He’s addicted to intensity, to fantasy.

Everyone else could see that he was just a using fame whore. I hadn’t had anyone want me just because I had been on TV. I genuinely thought he wanted me.

8 months of Jake.

Last night Michael and I watched Goddess with Kim Stanley. Written by Paddy Chayefsky. It’s a really camp half-telling of the Marilyn Monroe story. One huge, cumbersome monologue after another. There couldn’t have been a single conversation during the entire movie.

The film eerily anticipates Monroe’s demise.

As we lay on his bed watching the film the Lil Dog kept an eye on Michael’s cat who hissed and spat until we left for SHLA stopping briefly at Boa where we met Bryan Singer and Toby. Up in the house we were assaulted by three very drunk people who wanted to be our friends who, in fact, totally ruined our evening so we scarpered.

I had a massage at my house at 11pm..no not one of those…and fell asleep.

I wrote to Jake today telling him to cough up what he owes me. I suppose he will force me to do what I am telling Irene to do. Go to small claims. It’s a fucking bore but I’ll do it.

I want to drop an atom bomb on him for hurting me. I want everyone to appreciate the injustice. That I did nothing to chase him, lost my sexual sober time.. As I look back over the months we spent together every beautiful moment is lost in the dark cloud of resentment that blocks the sun out of my life.

I must pray for acceptance. It’s the only way.

Dione Sofa

8am.  I didn’t go get the biopsy.  Something is stopping me.  I don’t want to know the truth.  Just like I didn’t want to know the truth about him.  Some truths are just too hard to face.

I am aware of the dull thump in my ball sack and in my lower back.  Like somebody is gripping my left testicle.

One of Jake’s friends wrote to me saying, and even though inaccurate, I really liked the quote, “We have all had diamonds thrown in our face.”   It was lyrical and charming.  He could have added darling to the phrase.  It would have worked perfectly.

Anyway, interesting day yesterday after I published the Irene blog.  She, of course, is threatening the IRS and an internet fraud investigation.   The problem is..I do my taxes, really thoroughly.  It’s not worth doing them any other way.   I am not feeling so feisty today.

I remain teachable.

Last night something rather remarkable happened.  I met a man a year and a half ago who is perhaps a dream of a guy.  That dream of that perfect man.  Beautiful in every way.  When we first met he explained that he was anxious about his sexuality, we had talked it through but nothing happened.  I had wondered about him occasionally, mentioned him to Jake even,  but had not contacted him.

Yesterday I received a blunt email from him asking if I wanted to explore his curiosity about men.

I thought about it for a nano second and invited him over.

So, last night we had a very steamy session with each other but I wasn’t engaged.  I felt distant, absent..and not really ready to have sex with anyone else.  I didn’t even want to kiss him. It is odd this morning to wake up with the smell of some other man on your fingers.   I knew that it had to happen sooner or later..somebody else but it’s still too early.   I tell you, I don’t envy men like Jake who can sport fuck but the healthy alternative is such a lengthy process.  We all agree that if I had been a sport fucker I would have been dead a very long time ago.

Why was his coming to see me last night so remarkable?  Because I was always warned in AA to be careful what I prayed for.  Getting what you want when God wants you to have it rather than when you want it can be very ungratifying.

Peter Doig painting in my bedroom 1982 Boom Boom Boom (The Sublime)

Is getting to know a man before you sleep with them so bizarre?   So when the moment happens, one is present and authentic?  After all,  Jake and I talked for months before we finally fell into each others arms.

Perhaps he can do that with anyone?  Perhaps a period of total abstinence is what I need?

I could have let things just stay the way they were, letting him tell me about his conquests but by the time we returned from Europe I just knew that merely having him in my life would be too disruptive.

I did not want that young man to stick around last night.  He left and I lay on the red Victorian sofa I have owned for twenty-six years.  I began to doze.  There was something very comforting about laying there.  The over stuffed arms, the familiarity.   The constant presence of that sofa in my life.  Dione bought it for me in Edinburgh in 1984.  It was on the street outside a junk shop and it was desperate to be loved.  I covered it in white ticking, the first of 4 times it has been reupholstered.  Jake was three when I bought that sofa.  Unexpectedly Dione’s daughter wrote to me yesterday.  She’s a sweet heart.

Things have given me more pleasure than the men I have loved.

So, the young man left the house at 2am.  I don’t think I’ll be seeing him again.

The picture at the top of the page was taken in my Whitstable house, the house that belonged to Peter Cushing.  The red sofa wearing it’s blue slip cover.