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Ok so it wasn't a monsoon so much as a deluge. But it was very wet. More of that later... It's been ages! Happy new year. Hope it is treating you splendidly so far.

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Stern.de end of year competition! I was coming second until the final hour, when I suddenly plummeted to 6th place! I think maybe I came under assault from the fans of another contender. It's a cruel world! I didn't mind too much, 6th is quite respectable. Thanks for all the voting, it was much appreciated.

So I landed in LA on the 7th January and have been gradually getting used to it. It took me a week to stop falling asleep in my dinner at 8.30pm, and a month to get used to the heat. We're having a rainy few days right now so I feel quite at home, but I believe that when the heat starts up again and we head towards summer, there will be a very real and present danger of spontaneous combustion. I am not known for my tolerance of temperature extremes.

I'm here working on video projects for Yoav, but I am cunningly taking advantage of being here to start recording the album. I feel a little at sea because I'm no longer recording in my London kitchen, but it is a very real joy not to have to pack everything away before making a sandwich. Wildlife count so far: many many pelicans and dolphins, the odd seal, a hummingbird, a raccoon, and a possum. A POSSUM! I miss London's foxes and robins, but come on, a possum!

The other day I shrewdly chose to cycle up to Santa Monica promenade just as the skies were darkening and getting ready for a storm. I think I knew I was going to get rained on, but I was really desperate to pick up my new speakers to monitor my recording on, so I told myself the clouds were heading the other way. The speakers are only little, but I still had to take them out of the box to fit them in my rucksack. I'd just done that and was 25 minutes from home by bike when the skies opened. There was more water than air. I don't mind getting wet, but I was a bit worried about the speakers. The last mile before home was an actual lake. They don't build roads to deal with rain here. They have to send out a lorry with a huge tank and snorkel to suck up the lakes like a thirsty motorised Aloysius Snuffleuphagus from Sesame Street. Anyway, I cycled as fast as the currents would allow, didn't drown and neither did the speakers. Hurrah! Everyone loves a happy ending.

Right, I'm off to work on a new song. My computer's been away being fixed. I had separation anxiety. But now it's back, mended, and there should be a new song up to hear soon! Will keep you posted. Have fun Februaries.

love Hxx

ps I just got on Twitter. It's good.