Tim’s Blog: Happy New Year!

January 1st 2010

Our first morning here and Owen (17), Joe (10) and I go for an early morning stroll around Marina del Rey.  I seem to capture the LA sartorial meme by wearing flip-flops and a knitted cap.  Jetlag means we’ve been up since four this morning.  But the dawn has broken and a warm, windless post New Year’s Eve torpor hangs in the air.  The day before in the UK was wet and cold and gray.  Here now, the sun is rising, the boats’ halyards are clinking lazily in the marina, and dogs are being exercised.  It’s like we’ve been plonked on to a film set.  In Britain on New Year’s morning the streets are littered with vomit and broken glass from the previous night’s chaos. Here in the Marina everything is clean and calm.  The Harleys are parked next to the Mustangs are parked next to the Porsches are parked next to the yachts and the motor launches.  Nothing is broken.  The sun’s heat can already be felt.

Later that day we go to Venice Beach and my flip flops rub a sore patch between my toes.  They need to be broken in gently – not this sudden culture drop.  We paddle in the Pacific and watch a solitary woman freak out on the sand – dancing to her iPod, oblivious to anyone watching.  We marvel at a 10 year old on a skate board on the skate park, we give two dollars to the roller-blading, electric guitar playing, turban wearing icon.  We’re being guided on our route by our dear friend Brian Parsons.  We have missed Brian since he moved to LA and Brian has missed us.  He’s looking good.  He takes us along Abbot Kinney boulevard and we look at the buildings.

We’re in LA early, to allow me to acclimatize to the time difference in preparation for opening night on Wednesday.  It also enables my eldest children, Nel (20) and Owen, to spend some time here before they return to their studies next Saturday.  Nel goes back to Bristol University and Owen gets his head down for his A Levels.  With me is my wife of 20 years, Julia.  She designed the Oak Tree image.  She’s responsible for the lime green and pink. She’s waiting to hear back from an agent in London about her first novel – quite an apposite Los Angelean state to be in, I imagine.  It feels like everyone I’ve met so far is in a similar state of creative anticipation.

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