Ah, any of you out there who thought that you were my oldest friend (two of my three cousins apart, I guess), have to stand aside - here's Veronique, whom I've know since 1957, when, admittedly, she was in diapers, and the experience of being invited to watch her Being Changed put me off the idea of having children for life ... She's the daughter of my mother's best friend at high school, in Birmingham, who married a Frenchman, and they became a kind of - not exactly surrogate family, or surrogate parents, but made Paris and the Ile aux Moines, in Brittany, a kind of surrogate home for some years. It was with Veronique that I stayed in 1988 when I first came to Los Angeles and fell in love with the city (reading Rayner Banham and Hayden White, oddly but profitably, at the same time, I thought of it as the city of perpetual self-reinvention).
It's most strange, when one thinks about it, that Joy Flint (Parker) and Gwen Pascal (Rooke)'s daughters should both end up in Los Angeles, but it gives me a very deep if curious sense of continuity. We don't see as much of each other as we might; we live at different ends of the city, but we had a fun hike today up the Los Liones trail at the beginning of Topanga Canyon - amazingly lush, and with billowing clouds of mist sweeping in from the sea. Thank goodness - this would have been murderous on a hot day, especially with someone whose idea of fun is a "speedy triathlon" - I had no idea such things existed.