By George, Karma Really is a Good Thing.

Boy George released Karma Chameleon in 1983 a year after I arrived in London town. He had big shoulder pads. I had big shoulder pads. He wore a lot of make-up. I really didn’t but we both had big hair and attitudes to match.

The Eighties were fantastic (despite the shoulder pads, poor foundation, big hair and a Wall Street mindset). I miss that decade with some, the past through rose tinted spectacle, desperation.

The Mrs Carmichael Encyclopaedia of Life does not have many pages on religion or the following thereof and it would be fair to say that I have never really trusted a higher being to dictate my fate, my life or indeed my afterlife.

That said, I do rather like the idea of a consequence for our actions be they good or not so. And I particularly like the belief that we create our own karma.

And that we have the power to change it.

“Desert loving in your eyes all the way.” You said it, George.

We all know how much Mrs C loves a desert and there we were in one just weeks ago with some pretty great karma as backup to a prodigious itinerary and wish list of activities.

Here follows a Carmichaely Karmetic list of good things that happened on our 25th wedding anniversary voyage.

 1) Drinks with the newly weds.

On the eve of our nuptial anniversary we headed to the Sinatra Bar for a swift pre-prandial and a gwarp at the Encore’s facilities. The framed photos at the entrance captured our sober attentions and one in particular stood out for Yours Truly.

I'm not telling you why (mrscarmichael)
I’m not telling you why (mrscarmichael)

It put me in a good mood and the Negroni straight up in an even better one. We’d sat at the bar because we were not planning to eat there and because it’s always more convivial is it not?

People were sharing food all around us.

I love the sharing of food. It’s fun, generous and you get to taste all the things you wish you’d ordered.

So we ordered as well and were tucking into this

Don't speak with your mouth full (mrscarmichael)
Don’t speak with your mouth full (mrscarmichael)

and a second Negroni, straight up when newly married Mr and Mrs Park City, Utah joined us fresh from the Little White Chapel and the making of their marriage vows.

We toasted them. They toasted us. We toasted each other and they ate with us.


2) Drinks at the Parker and some home cooking.

We moved onto Palm Springs and our own (rented) house.

On the Saturday, having had a busy day by the pool we decided to dress for one pre-prandial at the Parker to be enjoyed while the chicken cooked in our Viking back at the ranch.

I do love a Viking (mrscarmichael)
I do love a Viking (mrscarmichael)

I popped the stuffed and trimmed chook in the oven, spruced myself up and waited for my husband of twenty five years to perform his usual dress, undress, hunt for item of clothing, dress again, hunt for wallet, hunt for car keys, hunt for phone, ask me to ring phone from my phone, find phone, check phone, hunt for car keys that he’s lost whilst checking phone etc etc etc.

Thank goodness for Mr Carmichael’s tardiness!

Why did no one tell me that broil means grill when what I wanted to do, of course, was roast which in Vikingease is bake? That, in my defence, is what we do to cakes not chickens back in the homeland.

Saved, you little bugger (mrscarmichael)
Saved, you little bugger (mrscarmichael)


3) Stirling at the Andaz right where we were meant to be.

There are a couple of things you need to know about me for this item to make karmetic sense.

i) In Los Angeles we always stay by the beach. In land locked London I miss the sea almost as much as I miss the 80’s.

ii) My favourite tipple for every day consumption is New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which is easily bought in my adopted city and more easily drunk.

This trip L.A. was a bit of an add on – an easier way to fly home, a chance to see relatives north of the metropolis and an opportunity to hit the Getty which I have never managed to do before.

Because we were not expecting summer type weather in this last port of call we decided to brave Sunset Boulevard and stay somewhere out of our comfort zone. We chose the ‘riot Hyatt’ (renamed Andaz) because of its pop legend history and I posted a 70’s image of Sunset as my clue to out third stop of this trip.

Can you believe what greeted me as I walked through the doors of our last hotel?

This greeted me:

'twas meant to be (mrscarmichael)
’twas meant to be (mrscarmichael)

The self same poster. Spooky.

Too tired to venture out we chose to eat at the hotel bar. The food was great, the vibe cool and I found a Californian Sav b that I liked. This might not be important to you but trust me on this one. It is to me!

And I can remember its name, Stirling, because of our currency.

Stirling, in all known forms, suits Mrs Carmichael very, very well.

4) Returning to old haunts.

We’d agreed (that in itself is a little bit o’ karma) that on the last day we would drive down to Venice Beach via Santa Monica for a glimpse of my Pacific Ocean and a brunch pre delivering the hire car back to Avis and hopping on the Virgin bird back to Blighty.

It’s always a pain filling up the gas tank in the States for those with other than US credit cards. The pin doesn’t work, the strip doesn’t work. Whatever. One always has to make friends to get the job done. Upside of course is the uber low price of the petrol. Don’t tell me it’s not. Come over here. That’ll shut you up.

We parked in Washington where we knew there were loads of eateries. We were on a meter.

“Oh God,” I said to Mr C. “it’s going to be the same palavar as the gas stations.”

“No it’s not,” said he.

It was.

I began to think we’d have to leave when along came a good samaritan and his stunning wife. Not only did he solve our problem he did it by paying for our parking on his own credit card. And refusing all cash reimbursement.

As Mr Carmichael continued to thrust dollar bills at him I said, “Don’t this is really good karma.”

“I’ve got great karma,” our samaritan replied handing us his business card.

“Do you ever go to Ronnie Scott’s?” he asked.

Is the pope a Catholic?

“My Dad used to play there,” he told us. “I’ll get you some tickets if you email me.”

Done deal we thought as we ambled round the walk streets

28th street, Venice (mrscarmichael)
28th street, Venice (mrscarmichael)

and took in the world’s smallest front yard.

might be small but it's got a water feature (mrscaemichael)
might be small but it’s got a water feature (mrscarmichael)

Guess what Google told us. Tommy Coster, it transpires has a bit of pedigree. Not only kind to Brits but successful to boot.

Musician and music producer, he worked with Eminem on ‘The Real Slim Shady’ among many, many other things. And his dad? His dad was in Santana.

Tommy Coster and his lovely lady helping Mr C (mrscarmichael)
Tommy Coster and his lovely wife helping Mr C (mrscarmichael)

I love Los Angeles.

5) At home when needed.

We were back in the Shire when Daughter #1 went to hospital and had her appendix out.

How lucky is that?

Boy George, you’re looking well if the promo pics of your new album are to be believed. It’s thirty years since Karma Chameleon. Much has happened (good and not so) in those years. To both of us.

I hope you pull a blinder with this one.

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56 thoughts on “By George, Karma Really is a Good Thing.

  1. This is a great post! Happy Anniversary to you and Mr C, sounds like the entire trip was perfect, in every way. The 80’s was the last time my hair worked for the fashion.

    Of course, I’m looking at Boy George and realizing he’s the one Stephen King was imagining when he created the antagonist for his latest, Dr Sleep. 😉

    Peace, healing, and good thoughts for you, Mr C, and Daughter #1.

      1. It’s a sequel to The Shining. 😀

        Husband and I got married in Las Vegas. I would like to go back to celebrate an anniversary, one of these years.

        I have to admit, your adventure with the Viking stove made me laugh–I’m pretty sure I’d have set the chicken on fire in the same situation 😉

      2. Separated by a common language! But honestly if he hadn’t faffed around as per we (and the Albert Frey house would have been in much trouble).

        If you go back to Vegas talk to me first – there’s good and bad and the bad is bad and will flavour the overall.

        We (with the girls) went down the Grand Canyon on rafts for 3 nights some years ago from Vegas. Awesome!!!!!

      3. 😀
        When we went, it was a decision made to avoid the whole wedding fluffery–to my surprise, it was a lot of fun.
        I insisted I wanted to see a traditional, old school cheesy with show girls Vegas show while we were there. Husband humored me–and then I slept through the whole thing. 😉 Robbed by jet lag, I tell ya!

      4. tee hee, I swear that isn’t usual for me.

        I was still satisfied with the evening, got to see a more old-school hotel, and saw enough walking through that casino to the theater that I’m still getting story ideas from it!

      5. I think you’d be surprised just how much Vegas has changed….which is why the hotel choice is so important.

        I think Mr c and I have had more arguments about his falling asleep in Mrs C designated inappropriate places than anything other than the girls.

      6. Hmmm, good to know. If it ever looks like I’ll get back there, I’ll talk to you in more detail. 🙂

        Is it wrong that I’m feeling sympathy for Mr C right now? 😉

  2. My favourite Culture Club of all time is Karma Chameleon! Oh dear, now I’m showing my age. I’m interested to hear that Boy George has a new album coming out. I must look it up. It sounds like you had a wonderful celebratory trip.

    1. Well Boy George certainly has had his ups and downs but he was so much a part of my early days in London.

      Yes it was great – struggling to be home now and the clocks go back this weekend 😦

      1. Lucky you. i have a friend in the midst of it but he does say it seems to be calming down.
        My Grandmother was from Ballarat and she used to tell me stories of the bush fires she experienced as a girl.

      2. Well well well, a coincidence indeed. I’ve driven through there once – lovely wide main street. It would have been a real up and coming place when My Grandmother was there – gold and all that.
        I would like to revisit and learn more.

  3. Thank you, yet another smart and entertaining post… My congratulations for the 25 years together with your husband. By the way I also had big shoulder pads. (And eyebrows like the moustaches of Groucho Marx. Perhaps that was a very local Swedish fashion phenomenon?)

  4. Love Boy George, didn’t know he was still around.
    I so agree, that eating at the bar almost anywhere is so much fun in being able to meet other people.
    And that chicken…..well, you know how brutal those Vikings were.
    My pick of hotel/casino in Vegas? Mandalay Bay. Check it out. Not as loud and brash as a lot of them, great pool.

    1. Agree with everything you say. The picts and martyrs were something to be reckoned with!
      e have actually stayed in The Hotel in the Mandalay Bay a couple of times and yes the pool is amazing. We went right up the other end this time which was good too.
      It’s the middle that I find rather scary and depressing.
      No idea what Boy G’s latest offering is like but you have to wish him well don’t you?

  5. I’m with you here. I’m a firm believer in karma and luck and good things happening to make up for the bad ones.

    What’s a blinder?

      1. Don’t sweat it. You’re not really in trouble until you start mixing up English and Japanese…and not making sense in either one.

  6. Great karma, Mrs. Carmichael. I too love sitting at the bar to both eat and drink; it’s much more convivial than sitting at an isolated table. Sharing food is always good too. Lucky you, meeting the son of one of Santana! I think one has a high percentage chance of meeting famous, or well-heeled, connected people in LA. I’ll be there in early January, visiting my sister who lives outside of LA. Glad you had a good time, even with the grilled, I mean roasted, mmm baked chicken!

    1. I lived with a guy for 10 years who wouldn’t share food! Even with me.
      It was so embarrassing in restaurants (especially Chinese) if friends asked for a taste. So I really appreciate it when it happens.
      Actually thinking back that was one of his BETTER traits 🙂
      I know you will enjoy LA and hopefully get some blue sky too.
      The chicken was yummy. Thank heavens for the kama god of delay.

      1. I guess I had other things to occupy myself – it was the 80’s and I was working in London and living a pretty enviable life at the time so he didn’t fill my waking thoughts.

  7. Great karma Mrs C. Happy anniversary and all that – I’m quite a way behind you, but it took me a few goes to find the right one 😉

    My memories of Boy George take me back to a suburb in Johannesburg where we had a chameleon living in our hedge and every day bringing the kids home from school, they’d stop and say hello to him disappointed that he never turned a different colour 🙂 The song at the time? You guessed it…

      1. haha – would have, but they don’t grow there. I did try putting him on the ground, but he still didn’t change colour – maybe it is a myth 🙂

  8. Obviously in a previous life you were Audrey Hepburn.
    Or else Audrey collected a lot of good karma and now she is you!
    (May the Good Karma Force be with you if storms come your way as predicted)

    1. they’ve just passed through. All trees in the garden upright but I did pull the curtains back and watch!

      I wish re Audrey – it’s more about the numbers on the caption – sshhh

      1. Your significance shall remain veiled in mystery —
        Mine is that I graduated from college that year, looking just like Audrey —NOT.
        (Glad you’re all okay.)

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