Saturday, 18 February 2012

Brick Battes and Tyles

I am exhausted but utterly upbeat. We really found our rhythm today and shot, what I hope were blindingly good pictures. We had time to finesse the shots and I've come away feeling utterly elated.

The day started on the eastern edge of Hattersley at Jean Taylor's house. Jean is the lady who's been sharing her memories about the estate when it was first built in the 1960s. She invited us into her house, made me a beautiful egg bap with a double yolk and performed her song brilliantly.

After lunch we worked with June. June is an extraordinary woman; a true bohemian, I suppose, in a part of the world which doesn't tend to generate bohemians.

She was well prepared, and seemed to be up for anything, even when we asked her to walk down the middle of a busy road behind an unmarked van singing into a hidden camera. She literally took it all in her stride.

I'm utterly proud of both women and terribly grateful that they came with us on this extraordinary journey. I hope they've both had a lot of fun.

As the night rolled in, we found ourselves, once again, in the hills above Hattersley with June's son Charlie, putting the finishing touches to his film. A freak snow storm blew in from the north west and for a short period I was colder than I've ever been in my life. It got so cold that I lost the ability to form words with my mouth. Everything went numb and I coudn't seem to do anything but laugh hysterically. It was a rather fitting end to perhaps the most rewarding shoot of my entire career.

The snow rolls in...

I got back to the hotel to find that Metro the Musical had won the outstanding production award at the RTS awards in the North East. A massive round of applause must go out to the producer, Alistair Miskin. You deserve every last inch of that award, Alistair, and I'm only sorry neither of us were there to celebrate in person.

In the early morning of the 18th February, 1662, a terrible gale whipped through the City of London. It was, apparently the worst winds that the capital had experienced since the night Oliver Cromwell died. Pepys took himself for a walk through the storm-damaged streets, which were covered in "brick-battes and tyles." He declared that it was dangerous to go out of doors. Several people has been killed by falling masonary, the pageant on Fleet Street had been entirely destroyed, and one Lady Sanderson "a person of quality in Covent Garden," had been killed in her bed, when her house collapsed.

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