Hello lovely souls who read my posts….so here is the next installment of my 2012 blog which details the beginning of my love affair with LA in 2011.
I have purposefully not edited this blog, so certain details or names may make you raise your eyebrows but for authenticity I am keeping them in.
And one day, I am looking forward to sharing so much more of my experiences of a crazy industry….but for now, I hope you enjoy the next installment.
January and most of February slipped by in a haze of work, rain, grey skies and the usual grind and before I knew it I was a week or so away from the LA trip and was frantically searching for a suitably glamorous dress for Elton John's Oscar viewing dinner and party that wouldn't break the bank.
Somewhat of an oxymoron given my expensive taste but lack of budget to back it up. Luckily I found the perfect dress on Net a Porter but when it turned up I couldn't even get it over my head.
Confused by the Danish sizing I had inadvertently bought a teeny tiny size 0 equivalent.
This wouldn't have been such a disaster if it wasn't for the fact that it was Tuesday and I was flying to LA on Thursday.
The new, larger size dress arrived on the morning of my flight and I had no time to try it on.
I literally just stuffed it into a dress cover and scarpered to the airport.
Before I knew it we were taking off and I felt small butterflies in the pit of my stomach as though I was going to meet a long distance lover after months of separation (for the record, I wasn't).
Several hours of gassing with friends (no my dear yank buddies we were not passing wind, but talking), three movies, one glass of wine, two meals and several snacks later, we arrived.
And then the madness began. The next couple of days went by in a haze.
Highlights included dinner at Cut (sat at the table next to a very dapper Colin Firth and his equally gorgeous wife) where I met Wolfgang Puck (and several of his sous chefs) who came out personally to serve us our food and say hello (my bigwig friends always get insane seats and service, I just tag along) the Soho House Oscar party, discovering the Soho House photo booth (n.b. advance warning this blog is bound to end up littered with photos from there), lunch at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills (where I was so hungover that I spent most of it unashamedly gawping at the plastic fantastic ageing Wasps - seriously if someone lit a match most of the people in that room would have started to melt), nearly choking to death and then laughing so much I almost wet myself at my friend Nick introducing our friend Chrissy to his friend Patrick Cox saying 'Patrick please meet Chrissy Iley, she is a witch' (he then tried to explain Chrissy was a white witch and Chrissy then miaowed hissed - poor Patrick's face was priceless), Kevin Spacey's Oscar bash at the most gorgeous boutique hotel le petit ermitage, the yummiest Italian food at Robert de Niro's restaurant Argo, shopping on Robertson Boulevard (one of my favourite shopping streets in the world) a very special trip to my spiritual home further north on Robertson and of course my old boss Harvey Weinstein's pre Oscar party.
Fun, fun, fun.
But you know how they say you can have too much of a good thing?
But by the time the Oscars day itself arrived, I awoke grumpy.
I was all partied and glammed out and frankly utterly exhausted.
What I really wanted was a day in my PJs generally vegetating.
And then I realised that in the whirl of the last few days I still hadn't tried on my new dress!
So I literally tore off my PJs and put the dress on and was so relieved that it actually fitted perfectly - see below.
This cheered me up somewhat and I was further cheered up by the fact that we were having an early pizza lunch at Cecconis. Everyone who knows me well knows how over excited I get about pizza and the Cecconis pizza is particularly good.
After stuffing my face with pizza I got ready excitedly and before I knew it I was sipping champagne in the sunshine. And posing as per below.
It was a great evening and I had a fantastic time (I am not going to spill all the beans on the evening, I am saving that for my memoirs!) but come midnight when I was being cajoled into party hopping, I decided to call it a night.
For someone who spent most of her time in Ugg boots and leggings/tracksuit bottoms I was done with being uber glam and my feet were over being in 5 inch heels for 9 hours.
Back at the hotel I replied to a message from my good friend and spiritual mentor back in London. She knew I had been down in the dumps for a while and was excited for me to have a fun weekend away and hoped I would return happier.
I sent her the following,
'Hey Chana, thank you, I have had such a great time but you know I am over LA/Hollywood/that whole scene - I think I have had enough of this town to last a lifetime! Feel like I have been here for weeks! And I am really looking forward to being back in London seeing friends and family including you! Lots of love xx'
I went to sleep at around 1am feeling really excited to return to London.
Then I had a dream.
I can't share all of the details right now because I am superstitious and don't want to tempt fate...but all I can tell you is that I woke up and sat bolt upright in bed at around 5am and said, "Shit. I have to move to LA".
It is the hardest thing to explain but it was such a strong gut feeling that I knew with every inch of my being that this was what I had to do.
Thinking back to my message to Chana I felt like a bit of a schizophrenic but this feeling was so strong and I had only ever had it a few times in my life before and it had always served me well.
Whether it was meeting a new friend who I knew was going to become one of my besties for life (and years later still are), buying and selling properties, or when I applied for my job at Schillings (then Schilling and Lom) and knew I would work there (despite the fact that it was one of the best media law firms in the country and competition was fierce, plus I wasn't exactly fighting off offers - I had been rejected from literally hundreds of law firms)or meeting a new guy and just knowing he would become my boyfriend.
All different but important life events, they shared a common thread.
I had that same, incredibly strong, gut feeling that often defied logic, yet was always accompanied by a feeling of absolute certainty.
So on Monday 28th February 2011 I decided I was going to take a three month sabbatical to LA.
I knew there were tons of practicalities that I needed to work out and I didn't have a clue how I would deal with those but I knew with absolute certainty that they would work themselves out and fairly smoothly. I was going to live in LA for a few months and it was going to happen soon.
And I had major butterflies for the first time in 2 years.
Anyone would have thought I had met my soulmate.
And in case you are wondering, no I didn't.
Not that weekend anyway.