Left work at 2pm at urging of husband who reported heavy snow at home. He’s a bit of a drama queen so I was skeptical until a colleague showed me the live camera feed from my exit off the M5. It appeared husband’s reports of eminent disaster were, for once, not greatly exaggerated. A journey that normally takes me an hour lasted four thanks to jack-knifed trucks, detours and several pauses to consider if I, like the tens of other drivers who littered the sides (and sometimes main thoroughfares) of the roads, should resign myself to spending the night in my car. In the end I abandoned the Prius on a turn-out on All Alone and walked down the last impassable hill to our cottage.
Relaxed in front of the fire by watching first day in the house of Celebrity Big Brother. Normal cast of washed up actors and singers, topless models in search of a career change, and current and former lovers of the famous and infamous. For once there’s a bonafide star too. What’s Vinnie Jones doing on CBB?
Snowed in so worked from home. Snow plough came through but it snowed as fast as he could plough. Left house once on foot to pick up provisions from the local store where there were lines out the door populated by stranded locals stockpiling milk and bread. Still reveling in the novelty of the winter wonderland that is our village like only a former Angeleno could. Husband is less enchanted. He’s been home sick all week with a cough that sounds like he’s trying to expel his kidneys through his mouth. When he’s not coughing he’s moaning about moving back to California where they don’t have weather like this. Tried not to feel annoyed in the midst of all this snowy loveliness.
Still snowed in. Going on three weeks of being together twenty-four hours a day with husband thanks to the preceding two weeks of Christmas holidays, only this week there is no indulgence in wine and food to distract us. We couldn’t even pretend we were going to keep the stock new year’s resolution to exercise more as it was impossible to get to the gym by car and exercising outside was too treacherous. I’ve become an inert object. The most movement I can manage is to loll around on the floor in front of the wood burning stove in some half-hearted approximations of yoga stretches.
Husband seems to be addicted to me, only it’s a weird sort of addiction where the object of his desire offers not the pleasure of the crack pipe or whiskey bottle or Twinkie box but only exasperation and annoyance. During a one hour separation when I retreat to the bedroom for a conference call away from his kidney-ejecting cough, I receive three emails from him: an Outlook invite to—weather allowing—buy a shower head at the DIY shop in Cheltenham on Saturday, an update that our remodeling project in London is going very poorly, and a final email informing me he is not coming back from California when he goes for a business trip later this month. I accept the DIY store invite and return my attention to the call.
CBB has become my only reason for living. Who knew Heidi Fleiss was so likable, a sort of hibernating field mouse with botoxed lips who only wakes up to call Stephen Baldwin a dork? And Stephen is, at best, a dork. He’s one of those recovering addicts who’s shunted all his pent up addictive energy into another obsession, in his case fundamental Christianity. And yet even without his four gram a day habit he’s still the kind of narcissistic, finger jabbing the air, overly emphatic windbag that any sober person who has been around coked up people will immediately recognize. The only difference between then and now for Mr. Baldwin is likely to be the content. Now he talks about the Bible, then — if my own experience in L.A. is anything to go by — he would have been talking about his brilliant idea for a screenplay.
Take this opportunity to remind husband that the grass isn’t all greener in L.A. Cringe-inducing Stephen Baldwin types—many of whom are drinking coffee and reading scripts at the Coffee Bean on Main Street as I type—are as much a part of the SoCal landscape as clear, sunny skies with highs in the seventies.
Husband has given me his cold. I am also convinced I have an ear infection and fight my way to the doctor’s office to demand antibiotics, during which I notice the once lovely snow is now desecrated with marigold puddles of dog pee. Patient, cashmere draped woman doctor shines a light in my ear and reveals that the shooting pains in my face are due to a build up of ear wax. In short order I am discussing the merits of olive oil versus sodium bicarbonate ear drops with the chemist. How long until it’s hemorrhoid and denture cream? Thank god it’s Friday night which means a double bill of CBB.