OK - so we have to rub it in. As well as working really hard, we are managing to have a small bit of play time. So we spent Saturday afternoon and evening in Santa Monica. It has a pier that is 100 years old, traditional wooden boards, and lined with fairground rides, stalls and entertainers. At the very end sat a busker: Mr Larry Dallas Poling. He sang, played a mahogany guitar and harmonica and it was beautiful. When he got to Neil Young's Heart of Gold, I had a bit of an emotional moment trying to take in the amazing views, sounds, waves, seagulls, pelican (!). Needless to say I bought his CD. You can check him out here.
Then what else to be done, but to have a swim in the ocean (they don't say 'sea' here - it's all oceans - i.e. the Pacific) - it was about 100 degrees centigrade in the sun after all! The waves were awesome: lots of body surfing (without the board) and it was so much warmer than Sandbanks sea.
A wander round parts of the town and then watching sunset from the beach followed by a Bellini at Shutters, a restaurant/bar that is right on the beach and was recommended by Rebecca from the Getty. We followed this with dinner at the Library Alehouse (another thing from Alex's Lonely Planet) - I had a Bison Burger. And then we went to another bar where Alex nearly had an unfortunate incident with someone named Derrick and we nearly got locked in the parking lot as a cold mist descended. But other than that (and we did avoid these hazards!), a really amazing finale to our LA adventure.
PS - Alex W driving today for the first time: don't know why I was so worried - it was all fine.