Firstly, apologies for so many days of non-posting. I flew back from Los Angeles at the end of last week but it's taken more than a few days to get my head in gear although the jetlag was much easier to cope with at this end than the other. Certainly, coming from record temperatures of 91F in Downtown LA last Monday to snow in London yesterday is enough to send one's body in a spin.
I barely had more than a few hours' of consecutive sleep the whole time I was there despite the ridiculously comfy nature of my huge hotel bed. One night, for instance, I was kept awake by the, ahem, activities of the guests next door and, in particularly, the woman's obviously enthusiastic responses, although, to be honest, it was when, at 2.30am, as part of their post-coital endeavours, they decided to watch TV, loudly, that I actually banged on the wall and asked them to turn it down...
I've purposely kept reason for my LA trip a secret thus far and it has to remain so, certainly for the immediate future, although I'm sure some of you might have already guessed. When I'm at liberty to spill, I will.
For now, however, a few reminiscences of my recent time there. I have, in my time as a journalist, meet many famous people. It's part of the job. You chat. You ask them questions. You remain professional at all times. Which means no photos. Even if they're heroes of yours. Occasionally, though, you'll encounter a "celebrity" or a "famous person" outside of the professional environment. In LA, it's almost a given you'll bump into one. Or two. Like seeing Kirstie Alley at the mall or Pedro Almodovar by the pool or Kylie Minogue in the lift.
This trip was no different. Except this time I saw Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford, up close and personal. And Donald Sutherland waiting for his car outside my hotel. (And yes, I did stop and chat, about Nic Roeg.) Matt Groening was in my cabin on the plane home. (Along with Mickey Rooney, no less, although they weren't traveling together.) I even saw Wall-Edirector Andrew Staunton.
As for the weather, LA's air pollution is crap at the best of times but the black and orange gash across the sky as I walked along the beach from Santa Monica to Venice on Sunday morning as a result of the wildfires was both beautiful and frightening. Then there was the ash that rained down steadily from the cloudless sky, coating everything in a grey layer throughout the early part of last week.
And finally, I didn't see Twilight while I was there. (I left before it opened.) Although its $70million opening weekend tally means many, many others did.
It's back to the real world for now. This afternoon I'm going to a 3D presentation of Monsters V Aliens presented by Jeffrey Katzenberg who I was once introduced to in a LA restaurant. But that's another story...