LaLa Land – another fab hol, film fest and fun facts


Debbie in LAAs promised, this week's blog brings you some highlights from my sunny week in LA, including meeting up with fashion designer Antthony once more, and some wonderful LA sights.
Plus – a little film fest – well it is Tinsel Town!
And – who wants to come see Marlene in Surrey in December to learn how macrobiotics work?

Tinsel Town treat
Yes, I love LA. It's official. One day, when I'm a grown up, I want to write movies and live there – some of the year! Or even some of each month, I don't mind!

Till then, I go over whenever it's appropriate! Well for my week off, the pouring rain in soggy Surrey more than justified my curiosity about how much a last minute deal would cost, to fly to the land of sunshine and palm trees, instead of touring the south coast in a campervan.
Debbie outside Starbucks at Studio City
Much as that would have been nice. I just needed a bit of warmth on my skin! So off we went! And I was soon sitting outside in the October sunshine in my fave coffee shops, where much latte was supped and much writing was done!

Al fresco with Antthony
One of the days was indeed 95 degrees! And most of the others were in the 80s. Woooonnnderful! Funnily enough tho', as you'll have seen me say if you follow me Debbie and Antthony in LA on Twitter (@debbieflint), it seems I brought the mist and a tiny bit of drizzle with me too.

On one of the days anyway. Happily by the afternoon, it was fairly warm again and fine enough for al fresco dining at The Grove (a must if you've never been there – think Westfield with palm trees). After a bit of shopping, my pal Antthony, our lovely designer, joined me for a nice lunch near the central pond, complete with dancing fountains in the background, and close to where the old fashioned tram passes by. Very picturesque.

We had a great time catching up and gossiping, and he brought me the most pretty jacket which I believe will be airing on his next visit, 26-27th November.

Penthouse dining in West Hollywood (WeHo)
Soho House restaurantOne night, we were kindly treated to dinner by a couple of friends in the movie business at the Soho House restaurant. It has a commanding position in West Hollywood, and as it's 14 storeys high, there are 180 degree views of the skyline around Los Angeles… Fab!

It also has a small, plush private cinema room, perfect for Tinsel Town movie screenings – I couldn't help but make myself at home! Sadly there were no films on show at the time, but I more than made up for that elsewhere – see 'WATCH' below!
Screening room - LA style!
Plotting and planning
Now the main purpose of many of my little getaways in recent years has been to get some writing done. And fortunately on this trip, mainly due to the company I was in, and the great location, I did actually DO some. Quite a lot as it happens!

Not only revising my original first novel, 'Hawaiian Billionaire', but also creating an outline plot for my very first movie script, 'Six Degrees of Separation'. Debbie's Post-It planning wallStill using Julie Cohen's 'patented' Post-It notes method of working out a storyline might I add! Lol! This is the corner of the hotel room once I'd done my planning!

I'm now working my way through all the scenes listed on the Post-Its, and beginning to create a proper script on some professional software for screenwriters called 'Final Draft'. God it's all so new! But am having fun, and that's what counts!

When it's a bit further down the line, I'll tell you some LA skyline at duskmore about it. But I'm pretty pleased so far. And it makes a change from working on the Hawaiian affair! Then we rewarded ourselves with a nice walk – in T-shirts I might add! – along Ventura Boulevard, for a bite to eat, and I took this pic just as the sun was setting. Pretty!

'Favorite' diner
And three or four times, we ended up going to my favorite (!) American eating place – Mel's Diner! There are a few of them in and around LA. Debbie outside Mel's Diner It's a typical old fashioned 1950s-style diner with bench seats, neon signs, and even a jukebox on display! Fab food, simple American fayre – including great salads of course!

And go here for a little snippet of what it's like inside – all done up ready for Hallowe'en! Lots of other wonderful venues were on our list as well, including The Cheesecake Factory – they do the BEST tossed Tostada Salad (I think that's what it was called!). Have you ever eaten there? Or at Mel's? Let me know what you thought – or what your other faves are in LA.

Pink Lady - only in LA!One final vision of 'Hollywoodness' for you – one that I'm sure you'll never catch on Antthony's trendsetters list – but just had to share it with you. This sight for sore eyes – a Pink Lady, just casually standing waiting for a bus. Dressed head to toe in pink. Including cowboy hat and boots! As you do! Only in LaLa Land eh?! Lol.

All in all, another wonderful way of spending six nights of my holiday allocation this year! And am sure it won't be the last.

WATCH – film fest alert!
Well, hot from Tinsel Town, just had to share with you a veritable festival of films that I've seen this last week or so on the plane or at cinema!

'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World' – the latest Steve Carell film. The man's a genius, what can I say. Loved this movie, about finding out what's important in the final weeks on earth – yes, it's not metaphorical, it's literal, that title! Definitely worth catching, full of pathos and Kiera Knightley's even bearable in it! Lol. 8.5 out of ten.


Another amaaazing film really worth seeing is 'Argo' – the true story of how a CIA agent created a fake Hollywood film shoot, in order to smuggle six US Embassy staff out of Iran under cover as crew, during the American hostages crisis in the 70s. Ben Affleck was great, but the supporting performances made it a total gem, including from John Goodman. 8.5/10. See it at the cinema if you can!


And a few others worth seeing on DVD:
'People Like Us' – am a big Michelle Pfeiffer fan, and she doesn't disappoint in this film, also starring Chris Pine, about a wayward 20-something who suddenly discovers his late music producer father had a secret daughter and grandson. 8.25 out of ten.

'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' – oh god, a period piece really jars with hi-tech blood and gore effects – only for diehards. 6/10

Woody Allen's latest – 'To Rome With Love' – it's always so glaring that these films are mostly improvised dialogue, that it really puts me off them. Countless cringy clichés but some super scenery from one of my favourite cities, so 6.5/10.

And a couple in the new category of 'Two Hours Of My Life I Will Never Get Back!':
'Rock of Ages' – wanted to like Tom Cruise as an ageing rocker with bare chest and furry gilet (!) but had to stop watching after an hour – probably better left as the stage show. Gets 4/10.

'The Master' – I LOVE Philip Seymour Hoffman, and don't mind Joaquin Pheonix, so we paid to go see this at the cinema – sadly the plot is pants. Performances great though, and will probably win awards. But the screenplay's a real turkey! - 5.5/10.

Let me know if you've seen any of them and what YOU thought!

Next week – am reviewing 'Skyfall'! The new Bond movie! Daniel Craig bare chest alert…!

Before I go – NEWSFLASH!
At last, as promised! Marlene Watson-Tara is definitely doing a macrobiotic, weightloss and health weekend talk and workshop in December. It's in Dorking, Surrey on 7/8/9th December, for those of you who wondered about my weight loss (eg. the top pic this week!) and more healthy look this year, and wanted to do the same!

I went macrobiotic in April, if you didn't know, which means eating really healthy stuff but with lots of extra important things included, that lead to much, much better health. Act fast – she's offering first bookings to you guys! There are only twelve places for the workshop, and they are going fast – four already gone.

Fellow presenter Craig and I are both attending, as is my sis Linda (the Red Carpet Manicure guest, back November 3rd, btw). There's a Friday night talk, for £30, and/or the workshop which is less than £200 (Sat/Sun 10am-4pm). Email Marlene now for more info and to find out where to send the 50% deposit – And catch her blog at

Acer laptop with Windows 8QVC - this weekend I'm back on air with the really exciting joint UK launch of Windows 8, on a new Acer laptop, with Lee Hohbein – join me Friday at midnight, and Saturday evening; plus it's my turn to host the Saturday Night Gifts show at 8pm – not sure if it'll be as much mayhem unless John Barrowman's there – perhaps he'll drop by once more! Lol!

Have a fab week – and don't forget to leave me a comment below about your fave LA places! Marie Francoise, our lovely Kipling guest, is going there soon and she'd love to know where the movers and the shakers hang out! Any ideas, let me know!

LA shop decorated for HalloweenOh – and Happy Hallowe'en on 31st ! They certainly know how to do it in California! Let me know if you’re getting up to anything special!


P.S. Anna Cookson did an amazing charity climb recently – go here to sponsor her!


  1. Claire Stevens October 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm -  Reply

    Debbie it looks and sounds amazing I would love to go but would have to be a budget hotel (what can u recommend). Anthony looks really well and looking forward to his return in november. but it always nice to see u back with us where u belong whenever ur on QVC u bring a warmth welcome back x

  2. Michelle Roberts October 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm -  Reply

    Hello Debs, thought I would just leave you a quick comment before going to sleep and while I have this iPad under control again. just had to laugh at your Postie notes, how did you get that lot to stick you are so funny, so to sum it up not only do we have a novelist but a budding movie maker,is there no end to your talent !!
    Glad you had a lovely time in LA I know nothing about LA I have only spent a few hours there and that was to catch a cruise ship, maybe I need to put it on my wish list!!!
    Good luck with the Acer TSV launch tomorrow night.
    Just wanted to add love all the great pics.

  3. Tamie and Mila October 26, 2012 at 12:50 am -  Reply

    Great blog once again Debbi. SOOOOOO jealous! Have to agree about LA, now makes us want to go even more. If only for the weather.ha.
    Was thinking about watching Abraham Lincoln Vampire: Hunter not got round to it. Maybe for Hallowe’en. Glad you had a great time and glad to have you back.

  4. Marlene Watson-Tara October 26, 2012 at 10:27 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie,
    Looks like you had a wonderful time in sunny California, is it any wonder my darling husband missing his hometown!!!! They grey skies of Scotland just don’t match up eh!!! Bill and I are looking forward to seeing you and meeting everyone at the Dorking event in December.
    Love Marlene x

  5. Jill October 26, 2012 at 10:57 am -  Reply

    Wow – you are a powerhouse of energy Debbie! Loved hearing about your adventures this past week or so! I’ve never been to L.A. so it interesting to live vicariously through your experiences. I cannot book to come on the macro-biotic course as I am bringing my canine partner home with me on 7th December after our 2-week residential training course!

  6. Sue Archer October 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie,
    Looks like you had a brilliant time in LA. Saw the Steve Carrell film back in July and thought it was brilliant.
    Am looking forward to seeing Anthony again as I love his range.

  7. Joanne Kershaw October 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm -  Reply

    A little to expensive for me at Christmas time am afraid, may next time.
    Glad you enjoyed your trip, it looks fabulous as does yourself.

  8. Jackie Cartwright October 27, 2012 at 12:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, Loved reading your blog of LA, looks like you had a fab time. Don’t know how you pack it all in what with, QVC, globetrotting, writing a novel and film script. Just enjoying the Acer TSV launch with you and Lee. Love Lee he explains things so well and I learn such a lot from him. xxx

  9. Mick Fans October 28, 2012 at 4:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, you’re a lovely girl..
    we loved today’s show where you had Mick as a guest..
    You were very kind to mention us and read the messages of the audience..
    we hope to see soon your comments or images of this wonderful day..Thank you very much :)
    Mick Fans

  10. martin forbes October 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    hi debbie glad you enjoyed your hols in la .hope you are well iam nae bad.have done all my xmas shoppingi like to be organised are you going to your family for xmas day lunch

  11. valerie shotton October 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, i have eaten in the cheesecake factory on quite a few occasions, in Florida, San Fransisco and in Oahu. It is fabulous, did you have Cheesecake? There are so many to choose from but they are so nice, its a bonus because cheesecake is my favourite dessert. I hope to try the Los Angeles one someday, it looks like a great place to visit!

  12. Jason Hicks October 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm -  Reply

    It appears as though you had a really quiet vacation (during the day). However, you failed to post any photos of the wild parties you appeared at during the nighttime. I know,I know, you want to keep the persona of being sweet and innocent so I suppose you shouldn’t let everyone know you have a wild

  13. Dianne Platts October 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, All looks amazing.Love the Lady in pink (as you do)So glad you had a wonderful time. I love pics :) I agree with Michelle,its lovely when your on QVC.I know im in for a few giggles along the way.Your humor cracks me up x

  14. Jill October 31, 2012 at 12:37 am -  Reply

    I am so desperate for some sun on my skin too! Glad to hear you managed to enjoy some on my behalf! Yes, the USA know how to celebrate Halloween big style! Have a great Halloween yourself – I am off to a day spa and coming home after 9pm! x

  15. debs f October 31, 2012 at 3:59 am -  Reply

    Claire =- ahh thank you hon! Well it must be the warmth from all that lovely LA sunshine I left behind – boo hoo! lol.
    i’d actually recommend where we stayed – it’s called the Courtyard motel in Studio City – go to (or, good deals. Best wishes!

  16. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:00 am -  Reply

    Michelle- ta for the comments, I do spend a lot of time getting the pics right so am glad you like them! (much to the annoyance of my companions! lol).
    The post it notes stayed on the wall cos i pushed really hard! haha!
    except when i sneezed… lol

  17. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:01 am -  Reply

    Tami and mila – that film would be ace for halloween! You’ll see why when you watch it hon! lol

  18. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:02 am -  Reply

    marlene – me too hon! Anyone else wanting to join us? just email marlene as above – will be nice to meet you!

  19. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:03 am -  Reply

    Jill DW – sounds like you’ll have an interesting week of your own anywayy! I look forward to an update when you’re back!

  20. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:04 am -  Reply

    Sue – me too ! I love Antthony to bits and he’s got some wonderful designs on their way!

  21. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:05 am -  Reply

    Joanne – thank you so much! I don’t show you the rubbish photos of course! haha!
    Seriously, if you can, do register with marlene for next time anyway and she’ll keep you informed!

  22. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:07 am -  Reply

    Jackie – yes I agree – Lee is the best! Fab TSV – my sis bought it too! And yes, I go to LA specifically to write most of the time – best to be away from home otherwise i end up doing household chores which magically suddenly become vital and urgent… I think they call it distraction! lol

  23. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:07 am -  Reply

    Mick fans – absolutely my pleasure girls! Hope he comes back again sometime! d x

  24. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:08 am -  Reply

    Martin – well done you, very organised! With sister and family for xmas as usual ! :-)

  25. debs f October 31, 2012 at 4:09 am -  Reply

    Valerie – yes I can highly recommend LA – mind you, my partner says they had a couple of tiny earthquakes there this month! eek! No I didn’t have the cheesecake ironically! But they do such amazing salads! Was a happy macrobiotic bunny I can tell you! d x

  26. debs f November 1, 2012 at 2:38 am -  Reply

    Jason – haha! As I said on facebook – in your dreams honey, in your dreams! lol

  27. debs f November 1, 2012 at 2:39 am -  Reply

    Dianne – thank you! So nice to know you’re there and liking it! but… ‘humor’? Are you american by any chance, is it mispelt, or are you inspired by the blog! lol!

  28. debs f November 1, 2012 at 2:42 am -  Reply

    Jill – ooooo a day spa! I’m pretty exhausted after a long and tiring week myself, so the idea of the trip to a spa would be right up my street! Bout time I went along with daughter again to Champneys or somewhere methinks!
    Yes, am missing all the US style trick and treating – bet that’s a right experience to be there on 31st itself!!

  29. Patricia Balckburn November 1, 2012 at 4:46 am -  Reply

    Having worked for years in the US film industry, i can only say, I believe there must be an unwritten rule somewhere that grown ups are forbidden to live in LA LA Land. So please do not wait until you are a grown up – do it now – but don’t give up your day job. We will miss you. And by all means, have your people call my people; we’ll do lunch. LOL

  30. debs f November 3, 2012 at 2:08 am -  Reply

    Oh Patricia – wouldnt I have a lot of questions for you! I do want to write movies and live in LA one day – but I don’t mind not ‘growing up’ if necessary! lol! And I promise it wouldnt be permanently – how about half and half ! That’d do me fine! (and I don’t mean the coffee whitener! haha! American in joke!)

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