After a great trip to London I flew back to Miami in time for Halloween. I love it. There cannot be anywhere more exciting, diverse or scary than Miami Beach's pedestrian mall, Lincoln Road on 31st October. Practically everyone dresses up, young and old, children and pets. One hairy guy in a furry pink leotard had his two large dogs in matching tutus and whole families get into matching costume dressed as The Flintstones, The Simpsons or Tinkerbell and a retinue of fairies - with dad as Mickey Mouse. Most of the costumes appear to be shop bought and there are an abundance of Snow whites, Cinderellas and Little Red Riding Hood as well as showgirls, nurses and ballerinas. There are of course also the traditional witches, ghosts ghouls and scary creatures - it's all about one night when you can be whatever and whoever you wan t to be. Many of the costumes are very expensive creations and others are are minimalist - like Adam's home made fig leaf. I made lots of new friends.
Something to celebrate! My debut novel Love Mother, Love Daughter published the week I was in London.
Had a great trip, weather beautiful - an Indian summer. Travelled all over the capital for different family and work related events - no wonder people love it - since the Olympics, London has kept its best clothes on, spruced up, looking good and offering a great welcome to visitors and tourists. The magnificent landmark buildings, Royal parks and squares are all worthy of their global reputation for grandeur, architecture and classical culture. The all pervading sense of history never fails to produce a sense of awe. Walking across the river Thames is like being in a sweeping epic film where the past and future merge and offer endless possibilities for adventure, romance and life enhancing experiences.
Shoppers on the main retail thoroughfares, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street were already in holiday mood and Selfridges' Christmas windows look particularly stunning. My American friends envy me my trips to London - I know why - it is one of the world's great cities, And I didn't need my umbrella once!
Life continues to be Fabulous and in the course of just two days this week I met two of my heroines!
First at Books and Books in Coral Gables where she was signing copies of her book Hard Choices Hillary Rodham Clinton - that woman is a total inspiration! I have signed up for the groundswell movement 'Ready for Hillary' and am awaiting the announcement that she will run for president in 2016!
I congratulated her on the birth of her first grandchild and she was most gracious. She took time to ask questions and show an interest in the part a British writer was playing in the Ready for Hillary campaign - she also took time to thank her thousands of supporters as the movement gains more and more momentum.
READY FOR HILLARY? You bet we are!
My novel Love Mother, Love Daughter will have its launch at the same Books and Books store in South Florida - Hillary's signing line was two hours long - if a little of that magic rubbed off on my efforts I will be more than happy! Go Hillary!
I will keep you up to date with the launch details and also I will be promoting my books at the Miami Book Fair on 16th-23rd November 2014.
Barbara Hulanicki - another truly inspirational woman! The 60s fashion designer was a phenomena and we Biba girls hold her as the greatest fashion diva of them all! She never stops working, creating, designing - and she is charming and surprisingly modest considering her huge successes - including an OBE and an appearance on Desert Island Discs.
I met Barbara at the Miami Design Preservation League where we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of Miami Vice - the iconic show that changed television forever and helped make Miami the enduring global tourist and commercial destination it remains to this day. The pastel fronted Art Deco locations, tropical fashions, fast cars, speed boats and undercover cops introduced a global TV audience to all the glitz and glamour of this edgy, dangerous and exciting oceanfront city - Miami is HOT!!!! Versace designed the men's clothes - though Don Johnson claims to have had the idea of wearing loafers without socks!
Barbara was introduced to me by my friend, the award-winning mime artist and theatre producer Jude Parry, originally from Liverpool, who for many years toured South Florida bringing the British Panto to British and American audiences.
Now Jude is working on a new idea - Seven Steps to Fabulous! - The Musical!
Will keep you posted as the idea progresses - at this stage we have plans for a runway and makeover show and an all singing, all dancing fun filled musical presentation.
LIFE IS FABULOUS! LIVE IT!
One event. Three very different looks - three very distinctive and stand out ladies!
Who are you going to be today ? Make sure it's FABULOUS!
LA was a great experience.
The first person I ran into at the Beverley Hilton was only one of the most famous men on the planet - Gene Simmons of KISS - minus his make up.
He was there promoting his new television sports show and took the time to stop and chat. channeling Fabulous, as always, I was treated like a VIP in the hotel and the concierge staff were all set to pair me up with Gene on a tour - 'we thought you were his girlfriend' - they said. No, his girlfriend was there in the lobby waiting for him - but its always good to be treated as a member of the star squad...
On my first visit to LA I was determined to do all the usual tourist things so took a sightseeing tour all over town - saw the HOLLYWOOD sign - that's one off the bucket list. On the Hollywood Walk of Fame I posed with Superheroes and saw the famous Chinese Theatre.
Loved a lunchtime visit to Chateau Marmont, a celebrity hang out where they say conversation is kept to a minimum as everyone is busy reading scripts! .
Dinner at the Cafe Formosa was exciting as it was a favourite small dining club for stars of the 40s, 50s and 60s to visit - including Marilyn Monroe. Couldn't resist thinking about her - imagine , she used the same Ladies Room as me! What a dame. Fabulous - strange feeling, staring in the mirror retouching make up and thinking of the beautiful face of Marilyn alongside in the mirror!
For a touch of culture I scheduled trips to the Getty Museum - a fabulous experience, the modern building perched high up in the hills above Hollywood and the Getty Villa out on Grand Pacific Highway near Malibu with its treasure of antiquities and outdoor performances of historic plays and performances.
Couldn't resist buying a guide book at the Getty Museum - - not the usual one listing the exhibits - No,
How to Be Rich by John Paul Getty. The bookseller let me into a secret - it helps if you are born into a fortune.
For retail therapy - Rodeo Drive -high end designer exclusive. For modern, contemporary, funky, soooooo LA , Abbott Kinney.
Los Angeles Centre for Modern Art is certainly worth a visit. Sure the swampy black mud pits would make a great beauty treatment,
After a whirlwind trip of just less than a week - ticked all the boxes: Celebrity, Excitement, Glamour, Culture, History, Theatre, Shopping - all FABULOUS!
On a stunning LA sunshine afternoon, the stand out event for me was being invited to visit the gorgeous Beverley Hills mansion of a Hollywood socialite whose name I have promised not to reveal. The best I can tell you is that she this beautiful lady acted as the most gracious hostess - despite having never met me before - she was a friend of my travelling companion, Pilar Uribe, herself a very well known South American actress.
Gazing out across the terrace and swimming pool of the exquisitely tasteful Beverley Hills mansion, I sent out a prayer to the universe.
'My life is already constantly FABULOUS, but a contract for a big time movie or television show, a mega book deal for my new novels, a wealthy husband and a wonderful Beverley Hills home would be gratefully accepted. Bring on the abundance. For my part, I promise to keep the faith and continue to live joyfully by the rules of Seven Steps to Fabulous!'
Love Ellen x