Let the travels begin . . .

Blog entry Thursday June 3rd 2010
sitting looking at my computer screen wondering, wondering what to write. What do I have to say, I am feeling a tad melancholy, maybe it’s jet lag, maybe it’s not. Whatever it is it has me feeling sad. Sad my journey of the past couple of weeks is over, sad that I am living here in AotearoaNZ and asking far too many questions. Actually I am not asking any today. I just shared with a friend who asked “Bet its a shock to ur system to be home ?” and I replied, “no actually, it’s not”. I am serious, I am not sad to be ‘home’. I am simply sad, down, melancholy but at the same time filled with gratitude. Gratitude that I could travel, that I could travel with Emily, that we had a great trip away for two weeks. Wellington, Nelson, Wellington, Auckland, Los Angeles, London, Cambridge, Paris, London, Wellington and home to Featherston by train to be met, totally unexpectedly, by our next door neighbor with his car, it was raining and I was lead to believe that it rained the whole two weeks we were traveling. It continues to rain but is easing with patches of blue today. Thank you Steve.
Our journey . . .
First was Nelson for Julian and Diana’s wedding, a very special couple of days with a very special couple and their friends and music and laughter, food and more music and much more laughter.
Then three planes to get us to Los Angeles where I lived from 1990 to 2006. Close on 20 years I lived in America and, as I have written before in this Blog, it’s where I found my self, where I found acceptance and where I practiced my craft of editing at a very high level. I loved it, I continue to love America. Off the plane and met by a very dear friend, whisked to Hotel California, where else :) on the beach in Santa Monica, then to Whole Foods in Venice and then a BBQ which had been hastily arranged during the previous week. What a shock, what a surprise, I don’t know what I expected, maybe I expected a couple of people and was humbled by the turn out. I love my extended LA Family. They have walked with me as I have walked with them. We have a history. Clients who were friends, friends who were my suppliers, co-creators, friends who were friends. I miss their contribution to my life and all that went along with it. The creative challenges of going further, of trying new techniques. Sharing. So to walk into my friends, David & Sian, house in Venice Beach and see all these friends was quite overwhelming. Needless to say there were a few tears. I don’t quite know why I wrote that “needless to say” of course it’s important for me to say it. That is the guts of friendships. The ability to be moved to tears. 
David, Dan, Dorothy, Bob, Barbara, David, Sian, another Barbara, another Dan. We had a great night. Malcolm, Robert, Brad, Erik, Lindsey & Yvon and others whose names escape me, prompt please . . . I can see you all clearly, that’s all.
And that was just Sunday. 
Monday we slept till noon then explored Santa Monica. We just had to see Robin Hood in LA, after all LA is Tinsel Town and Robin Hood is a Ridley Scott film. Many Brit film makers and artists love the whole LA experience as I do. I never ever played the ex-pat game and my friends were the United Nations of Film and Art. UN-FART!
Tuesday we did some more of SM and then south to Venice and my old hood. As with New York, I know this part of Southern California like the back of my hand. It’s like a tattoo, it’s there without it having to be there. Even faces were the same as when I lived there. Cafes and faces. Chats with faces I knew the people behind the face I did not but we chatted as if. Found we had many friends in common. Afternoon tea with Dan and Dorothy and then Simone came home from school. Dan and I have a history as Dan, Dorothy and I have deep and profound memories. I feel as though we are connected at the hip in so many ways. Wednesday, I think we lunched with Erik and Kate. Erik and Me, we go back a ways and the bond is deep. I have been there for him as he was there for me.  Friendships can never be bought and true friendships never broken.
Erik provided the opportunity for me to show Emily more of LA and so Thursday we drove for a couple of hours before our taxi to LAX. 
I was nervous, nervous that Emily would find nothing to relate to in our LA experience it. Emily loved it. I showed her my old House, my Studio, we even passed my crazy landlord, Jim. We walked the canals of Venice, we walked Venice Pier, we drove across to the Santa Monica Mountains and will Rogers State Park. I showed Emily the Ranch, the trails where I hiked every weekend. I am sure it became a blur. Then Sunset Boulevard to Malibu and back to the hotel for check out. I must admit I was surprised as to how well it all looked. The color, even in dull marine layered light. The people, the places, the gardens. The shops, especially the Art Book shops. Ouch! I am going to end this as we climbed on our plane for London and beyond with the comment which I should quite possibly not write but being me and knowing that it needs to be said and possibly heard. The simple fact of the matter is that many a New Zealander has rolled their eyes and continue to do so when I mention my American years, tough. Los Angeles is doing very well thanks you and the cleanliness of Santa Monica and Venice beach truly paint NZ in a poor light. The modern un-polluting buses, the car parks, the rent control, the wealth. The sheer energy of California. We saw no public drinking, no drunks, we felt totally safe, the City of Santa Monica is vibrant, they take care of their residents, be they homeless or millionaire film makers. That’s just my view, that is based totally on my own actual experience, I could well be wrong but somehow, I just doubt it. Amen.

About kiwicafe

1955 . . . as a teenager in New Zealand, according to friends :) I talked incessantly of photography & philosophy, in my early twenties I hung out with photographers as I began my film editing career in Australia, I bought a variety of cameras, a faux snapper I guess, more interested in film editing, travel and back deck philosophy through which my curiosity took me from Sydney to New York & Venice Beach. For 45 years have I enjoyed working with some truly great creative directors, writers, art directors, film directors, photographers, producers et al . . . hopefully I learned a thing or two! I did win a bunch of awards and went from Editor of the Year in Australia to one of the top commercial film editors in America, not bad for a skinny kid from New Zealand. 2003 . . . newly divorced, I took the pledge, became 'one of many', an American Citizen & went Searching for Zane Grey's America. For two glorious years I filmed, photographed & blogged my way around the American West. 2006 . . . returned to Aotearoa NZ, restoring a small vineyard and continuing to film, photograph and write. I exhibited & sold some images, harvested a great vintage of both red & white, sold the vineyard, edited a movie or two & now, 2013, I have discovered a whole new journey for myself, via motor neurone disease. I continue to practice my love for film | fotography | philosophy as best I can, I am in a good place, there are no mistakes in life!
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