We set off for Santa Barbara and saw the old Spanish Mission and some beautiful suburban houses. I walked with Laura, an attractive, strong-minded Canadian, but with some irritating mannerisms. I know they were irritating. It says so in the scraps of paper that made up my diary, but it doesn’t say in what way and I can’t remember how. Samuel Pepys, I wasn't.
We wandered about, her with those irritating mannerisms, me with my scraps of paper, and looked at some Mandolins – none of which I could afford. So instead I bought a pulp novel called ‘Aztec’ in readiness for New Mexico.
Later we settled on a beach in Santa Monica, and drank more free wine from a nearby winery. Afterwards I practised the mouth organ beneath a palm tree and, in need of some activity, played with Gary’s kite in a cloudless blue sky. (Though not at the same time)
As you can see it was an action packed, purposeful kind of day. But things were about to hot up!
In the late afternoon we drove to Little Venice, a famous Californian beach that reeked of body oil and pagan hedonism. We spent some time outside a compound. Inside the compound body-builders posed and worked out, watched by groupies of both sexes and some I couldn’t make out, who watched and drooled, and spoke in intense whispers. Here the body is worshipped – and I was out of place.
The pagan theme was reinforced by a spectacular Grecian sunset, and I understood what a ‘wine-dark’ sea meant at last.
The day ended with a barbecue and Dana got drunk as a skunk. We drank what was left of the home made grog, the surplus rum, and back in the Disney campsite I was persuaded to drink the remains of Kim’s Popov Vodka.
The Disney campsite verged on the unreal – and I’m only talking about the grass. It was so green and dense and lush. It was designer grass, each blade graded within an inch of its life and trimmed by Vidal Sassoon. Elton John would have paid a fortune for a transplant like it, and he could probably carry off – Green.
The site was about one and half miles from Disney-land. It was packed, like the grass, and like the grass, very well-ordered. Two Australians, Brett, and Mark Binks, joined us later that night, their plane having been delayed. Unable to sleep, I drifted on the moon-lit grass and stared at stars that shone with Disney magic. I wondered if the Franchise had designed them too, like the grass.
It was probably the Popov Vodka.