An alarm went off at 8.15am this morning and I was thrilled to realise it was Nathan's phone and not mine. I settled back down with a smile on my face, but two minutes later my own alarm went off and it took me a split second to realise why. For some ludicrous reason, when I was last with my osteopath, I'd booked myself in for his earliest appointment today. I think I'd told myself that I couldn't be sure what I'd be doing on a date so close to Christmas, so figured it was best to get osteopathy out of the way in case it was at loggerheads with travel plans or potential work.
It turns out that I could have had a lie-in and furthermore that I've a painful wisdom tooth coming through which makes my jaw ache, so a bit of extra time in bed would have been a very lovely experience. To make matters slightly worse, we went home from the carol concert last night and watched the final of Strictly Come Dancing rather late into the night, so frankly I feel like an old dish cloth today, still deeply de-hydrated as a result of spending hours in a church yesterday without drinking nearly enough water.
The osteopath went a bit easy on me, which I found quite disappointing. I would far rather be pummelled and abused.
I went to Angel to try and buy Nathan a Christmas present from Loop, the knitting shop, and realised, as soon as I'd arrived, that it was closed on a Monday. At the same time I discovered that there wasn't a shop in Angel which sold DVDs. What there was, however, was a whole heap of people in red tabards carrying clipboards, every one of whom opted to pursue me down the street asking if I wanted to donate to their charity. Well, that's not entirely true, they're never that up front. They rush after you complimenting you on your odd socks, or asking you if you're having a nice day, or if you've finished your Christmas shopping. Reel 'em in, then go for the jugular. If a beggar did this, the police would ask him to move on. It's harassment and it's deeply inappropriate. I don't care if it's for charity. There are too many charities out there for this to be an appropriate way of behaving. What makes matters worse is that the people who rush after you are plainly out-of-work actors. I can spot an actor's insincerity a mile off. I see it way too often when I'm in audition situations telling an actor about a show or film I'm casting, and they're nodding and shimmering and opening their eyes all wide because they think that's what listening looks like!
I took myself to Crouch End and then Muswell Hill and did a bit of panic buying which included a trip to a baker's on the Broadway. I keep giving it the benefit of the doubt because I always want independent shops to do well, but really the place is quite horrific. Everything tastes like MDF and the Eastern European women who work there seem almost incapable of smiling. I've no doubt that the little iced bun I bought there will be wholly inedible.
I came home and wrapped Christmas presents whilst watching The Railway Children, and was instantly drawn entirely into its West-Yorkshire-feel-good world. That scene, when Jenny Agguter screams "Daddy, my Daddy" as the steam train's smoke clears, still chokes me. Of course this film could never be made these days: the interest both the elderly gentleman and the station master have in the children would be seem as paedophilic in the extreme. A similar piece these days would feature Agguter screaming rape (anonymously) whilst Bernard Cribbins' photograph was plastered all over the Haworth Gazette!