Day 36 and it’s louring again. I don’t want to drive 8 hours in a half dead Chevy to see a tree in the rain. Besides, it’s 36 minutes to Malibu, and I haven’t been there yet. A chance to test this car on a mid length journey before a dawn marathon. There’s still not much I can say for certain about my old Chevy. It definitely has an engine. I can hear it. Plus there’s a handy engine shaped light on the dashboard to remind me. The tires are skiddy, the brakes are slow, the suspension is nonexistent and the electrics are electrified. 

I make it to Malibu without needing horses. We go to a beach cafe that charges five bucks for a coffee, and sit looking at the ocean for a while. It’s amazing how quickly you can get from the city to these gorgeous beaches. There’s loads of littoral wildlife. I am amused and smitten with an army of minuscule birds that ceaselessly fight with the spindrift in a pack seeking whatever food might be turned up with the sand. Hit by waves they are sent panic-flapping in the spume before it releases them and they immediately get back to their hunt. I find myself longing for a good camera. They are tiny, and too skittish to let us close, so I can’t snap them properly. But I want to try and get better photographs for this blog going forwards. It’s always an afterthought, or even if I think about it I just snap without thought.


There’s this seagull, but he didn’t stick around for long. I liked him. He was trying not to be noticed so he could nick people’s food. There were pelicans and egrets too but I got the one that occurs in London. I must be homesick.

Lyndon and I walk down the brightening shoreline and simultaneously admire and covet the beach houses. We casually greet Christopher Nolan, sunbathe when the sun comes, paddle, and check out the surfers. Surfing is great. Hours of work for seconds of rush. It’s a bit like theatre. When we are beached out we find a Sunday Farmer’s Market and I end up with a huge bratwurst for a fiver.

LA is remarkable in many ways, and as someone who has never been able to live far from water it’s another recommending factor that there’s so much sea. It’s so accessible. It feels unfamiliar to have a metropolis so close to swimmable water. I kind of wish I had a wetsuit and a surfboard so I could go out and make a fool of myself. The Thames is just never going to cut it.


Tired and happy we drive back to the valley and then I have to take Lyndon back to Hollywood. Driving that car tired in the dark is not going to be fun. Thankfully I get him home, and get back to my friend’s lovely home safely. But I’m glad that the lady I rented the car from said that she’d probably be able to swap it with a better one mid week next week.


Tomorrow it’s back to the grind, emails and writing and agents oh my. I’ve got a load of work before I can afford that beach house in Malibu.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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