Santa Monica

Zoning out

This is the earliest I have ever written to you on a Friday morning and it is also the latest. I’m writing at about 6am but I’m in Los Angeles and now realise that it’s about 2pm where I usually am in the UK.

Only, I thought I was extremely conscious of time zones because around half of the people I most work with are on the East Coast. Usually I can therefore deliver work to them early and to UK places right on time. Easy.

Except the UK being eight hours ahead and the East coast five hours, now I’m behind everybody and everything.

I’m shocked at how instantly I became adjusted to LA time. But I’ve done this before, you’ve done it before, I don’t know why this trip is different.

It is, though. This won’t sound like a good thing but it feels great: I feel like I’m in a bubble beneath everything. That’s definitely the word, beneath: the rest of the world seems to be going on above me as well as many hours ahead.

I should find that abhorrent and even writing it to you feels wrong, feels a betrayal of my usual self. And it’s not as if I’m on holiday: I am working as much as ever, just in Santa Monica. Whenever I’m not in meetings, I’m watching the clock trying to figure out how to fit the next thing.

So there I am, clock watching – in the best way, I’m not wishing this time away – and still I forget time zones.

I’d like to tell you something else I’ve forgotten, too, and I think it might be related. For just these few days I’m here, I’ve stopped worrying about Brexit. I’m working with someone who is just genuinely optimistic about life and as he stands there in Santa Monica sunshine, it’s impossible to not be lifted.

Mind you, I’m in the kind of gorgeous hotel you’d reject in order to have enough money to eat. For the first time in my life, I got on the plane in London and turned left. Later today, unless this time zone failure of mine reoccurs, I’m meeting some of my heroes.

And all of this is happening because I write. The things I think, the words in my head, are the direct and specific reason that I’m here. I’ve even been told that it was a Self Distract blog post that sealed the deal.

Writing is a scary career and no one can ever recommend it, but if you happen to know any of the teachers at my secondary school who laughed at me, do please give them a funny look from me.