Blogs, that is. Find our new site here:
Blogs, that is. Find our new site here:
I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a home recently. I don’t mean fancy throw rugs or sticky-fingered children (although I’d be happy with both), but that moment when you suddenly feel at home in a new place. Because I do, now, here in L.A.
One minute, everything in L.A was a mix of novelty and anxiety and fun and stress. The next it was normal and, well, it was home. It’s been five months since we arrived with four suitcases and a shitload of hopes and dreams. And holy hell, it’s been full on. But we’re here, I’ve accumulated way more than I could ever fit into four suitcases and I like it. We have a cat. Two little dogs. Two trees in our living room. And our own vacuum cleaner. I don’t even really notice the American accent much anymore, which really grated at first. (If I start developing one, slap me). I’ve settled into freelancing, and I’ve been lucky to write stuff that I enjoy. I like working from home now (particularly because I don’t have to brush my hair). I’ve even started doing some beauty writing–a secret fantasy I’ve harboured since I helped out a beauty editor at Australian Women’s Weekly when I was 15. In other words, life’s good.
I can’t put my finger on what’s changed, but I know I’m glad it has. Special thanks to our foster fur babies for all the snuggles and conversation starters with strangers in the streets (Michael WISHES he had a miniature dachshund when he was single, such is Sasha’s pulling power).
Lots of love,
Okay, I know we’re a little late, but the Americans aren’t kidding when they call it holiday season. From Thanksgiving until January 1, a fever of festivities descends on this fair country and, yes, we caught the bug. I didn’t grow up with Christmas, but now that we’re here I feel compelled to go all out and start some new traditions. Which translated into a Chrismukkah mish mash: a Christmas tree, a menorah for Hanukkah, homemade rum balls for the neighbours and Chinese for Christmas lunch (a la L.A Jews). We also managed to fit in a weekend in Santa Monica for a story I’m working on, where we ate local lobster and tried not to miss the warm Sydney weather too much.
Happy holidays! ¡Feliz año nuevo!
Mr & Mrs Cxx
When the lovely Zoe and Mike invited us to a craft fair, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I should have known, that this being LA, it wasn’t going to be tea cosies and jam. It turned out to be the coolest goddamn market I’d ever seen, tucked away behind Chinatown. AND it had food trucks. Even though Mike was pretty devo his favourite truck, Ludo, hadn’t shown, we still got our pick of five mobile kitchens (and Mike seemed pretty happy with his deep-fried hot dog. Yes, really). And then, we did a little bit of holiday shopping. Even though Michael banned me from buying the most gorgeously ridiculous wreath made from gaudy vintage baubles (pics below), I now have a veritable collection of pencils engraved with mottoes. Hooray for holiday markets!
There’s a part of Los Angeles that doesn’t feel like Los Angeles. No freeways, no palm trees and not even much sunshine, thanks to the buildings that tower over its main thoroughfare: Broadway.
It’s a strip that used to be home to the largest concentration of movie palaces in America, and fancy-pants department stores to boot. These days it’s pretty grimy, filled with cheap jewellery stores, wedding dress shops and homeless people. But twelve of the theatres are still there. Some are shuttered up, only used for film shoots; some are episcopal Latino churches; and a couple, including the Orpheum, which we got a peek into, open for the odd film screening. They’re all still beautiful, in their shabby way.
A couple of Saturdays ago, we went on a walking tour organised by the LA Conservancy all the way down Broadway. This is some of what we saw.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole game of friendship making. I knew, going freelance, that I’d get a bit lonesome working at home. But I also knew that I would have that comfort blanket of constant social media contact, and that I’d be okay. And I know I will be.
But what I didn’t realise was how much I’d miss the casual exchanges, the easy friendships and the shared experiences I totally took for granted in Sydney. And that’s mainly down to the people who I spent most of my time with – my colleagues at Cosmo. God, they’re a freaking awesome bunch of chicks and I miss them – just all the silly stuff we’d crap on about through the day, you know? The teasing, the oversharing, the boy talk, the food talk, the free-table talk. I MISS IT ALL. I really miss my awesome editor, who is busy and important and crap at replying to emails. And yeah, I’m in touch with my peeps but it’s not the same as working together (although I am working on a project with two of my favourites, so hooray for feeling like a pseudo part of the team again).
I miss the ladies who I’d email randomly through the day about Alex Baldwin. Or Chris Messina. Or kittens.
I even miss my mother’s monologues and the lobby barista who made coffee that didn’t taste like frothy pond scum (burn in hell, American “coffee”).
THEY ARE MY PEOPLE.
So where are my people HERE? Who am I going to go for an impromptu drink with after work? Who can I call to bitch about some slight to my fragile ego?
I love that I can use Viber to talk about my BFF’s day with her, instantly. I love Skype. I adore Instagram. But it’s NOT the same as human, physical contact. The kind that involves gut-clutching guffawing at book clubs and the looks that say a thousand judgemental things in a meeting.
So yeah, the upshot of my pity party is that I need to find some friends, stat. But I don’t have an office. I frickin’ HATE team sports. I freak out when people talk to me randomly. Americans, especially.
But I did something about it. I DID. See, I was at The Polo Lounge (woo-whee, look at me!) and this very cool waitress in very cool cats eye glasses seemed like, well, someone I’d like to hang out with, minus the customer-waitress dynamic. We shared a little banter, and then I gave her my card. I GAVE HER MY CARD. Yeah, it was weird. I felt like a massive weirdo. Like she would think I was hitting on her, or was a crazy stalker or a loser with no friends. Oh, wait… But seriously, I felt like a five year old asking, “Will you be my friend?”
But then, today, she texted me. And we’re having brunch next weekend.
Maybe she’ll be my new, American friend.
Until then, EMAIL ME, CLAIRE!
Mrs C x
Things I love:
Free refills of soda. Bad news for the Diet Coke habit I’m trying to break.
Bags of peeled baby carrots at the supermarket. Good news for snack-time!
People who aren’t too cool to be enthusiastic. There’s hardly any studied cynicism, that I’ve encountered at least.
The beautiful Old Hollywood buildings in the most unlikely places.
Umami burger. Just because.
Target and it’s cheap, wonderful homewares. Thank you for semi-furnishing our apartment.
How accepting people are of pets – dogs are allowed everywhere
How veggo friendly menus are here. Quinoa and kale are practically mainstream.
The sense that wherever we are, something was filmed/someone famous lived just around the corner.
Home delivery. Of everything: alcohol, salami, yoga mats. EVERYTHING.
Things I definitely don’t love:
The coffee. I never realised how lucky I was to have great coffee right by my office. Now I can only dream of it.
The bread. WTF is with all the sugar in your bread, America? Why couldn’t I find any bread that didn’t taste like cake IN THE ENTIRE SUPERMARKET?
The traffic. Not always terrible, but always unpredictable.
Mrs C x