Sunday, 20 November 2011


OK,  I take it all back. All that moaning about changing seasons, and missing English winter, consider it revoked.

Today was wet here. Like street-flooding wet.


And COLD. I'm currently wearing tracky bottoms, three layers of jumpers and a scarf. (Meanwhile, Taylor Swift, who I saw a few hours ago, is probably still wearing a very pretty gold spangled frock.)  And I'm really wishing I packed my fleecy hiking socks and my proper winter boots when I came out here. I'd forgotten the misery induced by wet toes.

This is not what I signed up for.

In fact, there is only one solution...

Shopping trip!

I need:

 - Some more scarves
 - A mid-weight jacket
 - Some long-sleeved tops
 - Socks

There will be a progress update when I have actually made some progress, and stopped huddling over my laptop wrapped in a blanket. (Probably not on the sock shopping, though. No-one wants to read about socks...)

Road trippin'

As part of my campaign for November awesomeness, I've been on a little journey. Well, not so little - in the space of 40 hours, I managed to drive from LA to Vegas, to the Hoover Dam, to an extremely random In n' Out in Kingman, AZ - and then back to LA. It did mean one almost sleepless night, but it was completely, 100% worth it to see my amazing friends S and A, and get to hang out with them for as long as possible.

Plus who doesn't love a bit of loud, tuneless singing while driving along a desert highway?

I found Vegas a strange city - I think maybe I was just more in a frame of mind to have a huge catch-up session with people I hadn't seen for 7 months than to gamble/drink/fritter the night away in debauched fashion. It was definitely less glamorous than I'd expected - more filled with large people eating large amounts of fast food than with fast-living, poker playing, risk-takers. But we still had a great time, and I would have happily sat in the middle of a field for a day to spend time with S and A.

I had planned to head straight back to SoCal after my little Vegas stint, but the lure of a few more hours with friends, plus the promise of a board game (have I mentioned that a) I am hideously competitive and b) I freakin' LOVE board games?) sent me in completely the other direction, and off on a little jaunt to the Hoover Dam.

Which turned out to be surprisingly (to ignorant me) beautiful.

So that's how I've been spending my week - talking to my car like it's a human being, praising it for driving 600 miles without any glitches (it's almost 20 years old, folks, you don't know how proud I am of it), almost doubling the amount of states I've visited, and feeling UNBELIEVABLY lucky that in the time I've been out here, so many of my friends have made it out in this direction and found some free time to meet up with me.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Road trippin' tunes

In preparation for my Palm Springs road trip (T minus 5 days!) I've been working on a little playlist for the journey.

It's a combination of songs I love, songs I'm hoping my BFF will love (I'm leaving space for her requests), songs that make me California-happy, and songs that remind me of the nearly 20 years we've known each other.

Here's a tiny sample:

 - California Dreamin', The Beach Boys
 - Just Like Honey, The Jesus and Mary Chain
 - Lovefool, The Cardigans
 - Sukie in the Graveyard, Belle & Sebastian
 - Beyond the Sea, Bobby Darin
 - Neighbourhood, Space
 - Sunny Afternoon, The Kinks
 - New York, New York, Ryan Adams
 - We're Going To Be Friends, The White Stripes
 - Burning Down The House, Talking Heads
 - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It), Beyonce
 - Downtown, Petula Clark
 - 24/7, 3T (Don't even ask...)

 This is going to be EPIC.

Winter is coming

OK, that's just an uber-geeky Game of Thrones reference. (HBO, like peanut butter cups, is my middle-class crack.) Winter isn't really coming. I live in LA, for Christ's sake. It is unlikely that there will be sub-zero temperatures...

But Christmas is coming up fast.

Yes, it's November. Yes, Thanksgiving comes first. Yes, I hate the way that commercial Christmas brainwashing starts as soon as Halloween is over. Yes, it pains me that people actually measure Christmas by the arrival of the coca-cola ad.

But what can I say? I'm a victim of said commercial brainwashing. I''ve got Christmas on the brain. It's time to start the all-important wrapping paper deliberations. White and pale blue? Silver? Rustic red with real berries? Brown paper and tartan ribbon? Fir-tree green? I just came back from Target with a large roll of brown parcel paper. I had to forcibly drag myself away from a pack of tiny stick-on Santa hats. Every year I say I'll hand-make my Christmas cards - maybe this year I actually will. (I won't.)

I also discovered a range of festive animal costumes - I have every intention of discussing potential uses for them next time I skype my mama. But for now, I resisted them.

I did, however, manage to pick up a festive baby ensemble for a certain little person yet to make an arrival.

Sorry R. I couldn't resist. All newborn babies want to look like giant peppermint candy canes, right? Right!

Time to go make a Christmas spotify playlist, methinks...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

November awesomeness

This is where I will be spending Thanksgiving:

Photo from here

Not only will I be taking actual. time. off. work.

But I will be leaving LA behind for a few days in search of, well, more palm trees and swimming pools. But vintage, super-cool palm trees and swimming pools.

And, most importantly/mind-bogglingly excitingly of all, I'll be spending that time with one of my most favourite people in the entire world.

To say I can't wait would be a serious understatement.

There will be marshmallow toasting, and poolside lounging, and reading, and chatting, and consumption of alcoholic sno-cones.

Bring on Thanksgiving!

Monday, 14 November 2011


Do four clementines and a large plate of salad constitute my five a day?

What if I'd added a zucchini muffin to the mix?



Saturday, 12 November 2011

Pipe dreams

When I'm feeling overwhelmed, or overworked, or urban life starts to get me down, I sleep badly.

Over the years I've discovered the only way to avoid spending half the night restlessly picking the previous day apart in my mind, criticising everything I've said or done, is to imagine a place where I'm not affected by the demands of other people, or by ambition, or stress.

For some reason Scotland is my happy place. Not entirely sure why - it's not somewhere I know that well, on the scale of things. I think it's partly because I have happy memories of it, partly that I always feel at home in a country filled with red-heads. But mostly I like the idea of the remoteness, and the water, and the greenness, and the big skies.

My dream-house vision has become more and more detailed over the years: it needs to have a kitchen with a stove and a dresser, and a cat curled up in a chair; it needs to be cosy and have uninterrupted views; it needs to be completely rural; and most importantly, it should be close to water.

I think I found it:

Details here

Admittedly, had they photographed it on a rainy day it would probably look slightly less inviting. But I still think it would be pretty amazing to be curled up inside (with my cat, and my spaniel/schnauzer/red setter) as crazy Scottish weather raged outside the window.

Now I just need to work out some kind of cottage industry to sustain me in my rural idyll pipe dream. Like weaving. Or fishing. Or online agony Aunt-ing. Or something. When I picked a career, I didn't foresee that I'd end up wanting to live as far away from civilisation as humanly possible. Short-sighted Celia...

Friday, 11 November 2011

Urban fatigue

This morning I looked out of my window onto a pair of women in their twenties having a full-on screaming match over a parking space. One was driving a black Range Rover, and the other one was behind the wheel of a Mercedes - I can only assume these are professional, affluent people.

Right now there's a helicopter circling above my building, and someone is impatiently beeping a car horn at the nearest junction.

All I can think about today is going for a walk in the countryside, on a super-cold, frosty English morning - preferably with two spaniels in tow.

There will be no helicopters. There will be no road rage. No noise pollution. There might be some rooks. Some rabbits. And maybe the occasional cow.

Less than 6 weeks to go....

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Muppet madness

I am almost too tired to type this after yet another working weekend. But I need to point out that I had a (very sparkly) manicure today courtesy of Miss Piggy. And was told by Jason Segel that I have a lovely smile (he also said that to at least two other people within five minutes of complimenting me, but whatevs. He still said it.)


That is all.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bad Celia

This picture has nothing to do with anything - it just serves to cheer me up

Sorry, I have been a truly terrible blogging person over the last couple of weeks. Partly it's because I've been insanely busy with work, partly it's because I've lost my phone, and the camera on that was pretty much how I document everything that happens in my nondescript little life. And partly, I'm just having one of those weeks where EVERYTHING goes wrong.

 - Lost phone. Check

 - Dead car battery. Check

 -  General technological issues making all my working days deeply frustrating. Check

 - Halloween costume fail. Check (last time I saw a picture of Dusty Springfield, she did not look like a Disney princess crossed with mid-period Liz Taylor transmogrified with a slightly greying old lady)

Basically I'm just a little tired, grumpy and impoverished thanks to unexpected expenses (see above). But - but but but - I have a whole bunch of truly awesome plans for November, including a little bit of travel and getting to hang out with people I love.

So things are looking up! November shall be amaaazing. I have decreed it.