Okay, today is the day. It really is.
After four years of living in LA, I am finally going to do a hike.
There are many people who, I am sure, wish I had done a hike in a very different context; some have even told me that to my face.
But ever since I got here, people have been begging me to walk to Runyon Canyon Park where, I am assured, the views over LA are spectacular.
Now, to be honest, I am dubious, as they have very strange ideas about what constitutes a great view here. I come from Wales, where the sea and mountains provide breathtaking views that could easily compete with the best in the world, But here, your friends can drive you two hours to see something they have told you is amazing and then, when you arrive, it’s an average sized rock sitting in a puddle.
“Isn’t it amazing!” they cry, staring at the thing barely bigger than a carbuncle. I go on to tell them about Snowdon, Pembrokeshire, the waves crashing onto Aberystwyth sea front on a windy day – but no, they are very happy with their rock, thank you very much, and why would they leave America anyway to travel to a place where the national sport is dragon-slaying.
So, I am not holding my breath for any great revelation at the top of the canyon, especially as most reports inform me that whatever view there is will be hidden under the familiar LA smog.
But I have been promised something else, something far more important than any view.
Runyon Canyon is the place, especially on Saturdays, where celebrities apparently flock in their smart leisurewear to work their butts off – literally. They don designer gear, full make- up (and not just the women) and Gucci sunglasses to take to one of the three trails – relatively easy, medium, or hard.
Already I am stressed, wondering which trail I should take in order to see the most celebs, but think I had better start off with easy, as this will be my first time.
I am also worried about what I should wear, as I don’t have much casual gear, and I am not sure that anything in my Issey Miyake Pleats Please collection will survive the sweat that will no doubt be issuing from my every pore.
I’m also worried about toilets. I have a very small bladder and once had to empty it at the side of the Brontes’ house in the middle of the Yorkshire Moors, owing to the lack of rest room facilities.
And where will I rest along the way? There are apparently no bars and restaurants en route, just a table with a few snacks and water. Won’t I even get a beer for my efforts?
Then there’s the issue of the number of dogs who inhabit the place. I am a huge fan of dogs, but large dogs frighten me and I have a pathological hatred of stepping into doggy-do, of which I understand there is a great deal along every trail.
Even the thought of bumping into Gerard Butler is not incentive enough for me to do anything that involves my having to excavate poop from the bottom of my trainers for the next three days.
And what if the sun comes out? I have very fair skin, and even wearing Factor 50, I burn easily.
Will I be able to get reception on my iPhone up there? I recently went to a celebrity wedding where, because it was being filmed for TV and photographed for a magazine, they took our cell phones from us at the gate. I had such a panic attack, I had to leave the reception at 9pm.
Anyway, so far (and it’s only 8.15am, at the present), I am showing willing. I have dyed my hair, which was cut yesterday, and am currently in the process of bleaching my teeth. Very soon, I will be putting on my make-up and choosing my costume.
Or I may just keep writing this and decide, after several hours, that I just won’t go.
Too tired, too hot, too much to do, too stressed, too much on the telly. Too can’t be arsed.
I’ll let you know.