I needed this.
Long periods of time spent just in front of the computer, doing what I do best.
Writing, revising, reading, re-reading . . . While the sound of the Pacific hitting the shore plays in the background. One morning, a gentle, pale white break, and a sun struggling to light the day on the foam; today, an angry effort as waves try to make themselves heard.
But always, for me, the most calming sound in the world.
This is a part of LA with which I am not familiar. Having lived only in Beverly Hills and 30th in Santa Monica, I know only street life and the handful of bars and restaurants that became my regular haunts. I regularly went to West Hollywood when I lived here, too, but found it too congested. I still do.
And while I think this oasis of calm between Venice Beach and Marina del Rey would not suit me full time (I really don’t want to have to drive around here, and the buses are less regular in this part of town), I welcome this period of calm to re-group. My friends have given me their spectacular place while they are back in the UK for ten days, and they will never know how much it means to me.
It’s hard to get silence and stillness these days. At my home back in Cardiff, three sets of neighbours have had building work going on for nearly a year. My dear friends in Hollywood put me up out here, but I had to move out because there is a celebrity having a house built close by, and I swear Beirut at the height of its troubles was quieter.
Living in hotels is a nightmare – which part of the “Do not disturb” sign on the door do staff not understand when they come knocking to ask if I want my mini-bar refilled? Living in a hotel where they try to charge you $6 per tea-bag (get it sorted, Thompson group) is even worse.
So now, I am in heaven. I am working on a script that I am developing with a TV company and finishing my book (writing, not reading). The phone doesn’t ring and I rarely have to call anyone. Every time I look out of the window, a painting stares back at me: a Hopper single figure, caught in a moment of contemplation; a Turner water colour; a blank canvas, even, just waiting for the next person to paint their story upon it.
It’s a grey, cloudy day at the beach today, but still those waves: always the promise of renewal, tide after tide.
And I am thinking that this is the most content and calm I have been in a long, long time.