This week we start our round of goodbyes and get stuck into some serious packing — as in taking stuff off the walls, emptying the bookcases, rolling up the rugs, filling boxes.
We're eating everything left in the freezer this week: waffles for brekkie and an excellent chili con carne tonight ...
Anyway, as a distraction, here's a fun sort of meme I discovered over at the lovely Pondside. You list 10 things you love that all begin with a given letter, and post the list on your blog. Anyone interested can leave a comment, you assign them a new letter, and on it rolls.
Pondside sent me the letter H. So, in no particular order, here are ten aitchy things I love.
1. This hill (click and you'll see it better). It's in Orange County as you drive north on the 5 from here to LA. I just love its row of lollipop palm trees, and the hillside dotted with shrubs — orange trees, maybe? They remind me of french knots on linen. From further away you see this hill silhouetted against a backdrop of higher mountains — though sometimes the air is hazy/bad and you can't see them. I take a photo of it every time we drive past it, intending to work the scene up into a painting. I have at least 30 pics of it now, in all sorts of air and weather.
2. Handbags. Life is a constant search for the perfect one.
3. Prints/collages/paintings by British artist Mark Hearld. I love his treatment of flowers and wildlife, and quaint country imagery that reminds me of my English childhood. Lovely soft palette as well.
4. Hacienda style. Shouldn't we warm-climate folk all live in a series of fabulously thick-walled rooms simply arranged around a central patio, with a leafy tree, maybe a little tiled pond, and big solid doors to keep the world out and the kiddies in? Fell in love with them in Spain, and am even more convinced as I get older that that's the house for me!
5. Hummingbirds. When we first moved in to this house, this hummingbird (and/or its many look-alikes!) would perch on this leaf every morning.
6. Household cleaning products by Mrs Meyer! Lily turned me on to these eco-friendly liquids and now I love using them. They're scented with essential oils and smell so darned good! I shall be looking for Australian equivalents later this month.
7. The Hollywood Bowl.We've seen Garrison Keillor doing A Prairie Home Companion; Rufus Wainwright reproducing a Judy Garland concert from the 1960s; REM with Modest Mouse and The National; and last year's Fourth of July firework spectacular with Randy Newman and the LA Philharmonic. I love everything about it: the superbly organised parking, the army of people who rush about with picnic tables and delivering food, the signs you see on the way out that remind you that you are in a residential area, so please be considerate and leave quietly. It has history and atmosphere, and is in a serenely beautiful setting nestled among the hills in Hollywood, slap bang in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world.
8. Hymnal — as in White Winter Hymnal, by Fleet Foxes. Love those harmonies, and the weird lyrics. But more than anything I love the way these guys are paying homage to the Beach Boys, and the sheer brilliance of Brian Wilson.
9. Homes and houses. Love any and all programs or magazines about homes and interiors. Sometimes I get more engrossed looking at the scenery and sets in a movie than I do in the actual movie, especially if there are great interiors featured.
10. Going to bed with a hottie.