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.
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
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 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.
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:
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.
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
and took in the world’s smallest front yard.
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.
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.