Saturday, 3 October 2015

The girl who flew

We did a bit of filming on Hampstead Heath this morning. I took our director, Cat and Nathan up to my latest discovery; an area of shallow ponds in a woodland, where the sun dances on the ripples of the water and is reflected in the form of hundreds of dancing, shimmering lights in the trees. It's a magical, rather powerful spot.

The weather was magnificent. We stood for some time, watching a little dog repeatedly following a stick into the water, wondering if there would be an end to his boundless energy. I mean, if you let it, would a dog just keep running until it died of over-exertion? Today's little fella certainly seemed more than happy swimming again and again through the duck weed, his excited panting getting higher and higher the nearer he got to his destination! Dogs are funny. So much more entertaining than cats. Discuss. (He pulls the pin and lobs the grenade...)

When we returned to the car park, we found the woman who'd parked up next to us in a bit of a state, and realised that two of her car's windows had been smashed. Thieves had apparently only stolen her sat nav, so quite why they felt the need to smash two windows I'm not sure. Neither am I sure how our car ended up unscathed. My laptop and my camera were both on the back seat. It was a remarkably lucky escape... But not, of course, for her. So in my relief, I felt great guilt.

We went back to Uncle Archie's in Kentish Town for lunch (a very hearty pasta salad) followed by a very heated meeting where we finally managed to open up about the issues we've been having on the secret project thus far. I shouted at everyone, somewhat unnecessarily I suspect, but the pressure of the last few days had built and built and, like all good Leos, needed to blow.

It's a funny thing, shouting. There are people who shout, and people who don't. Those who don't are very intimidated by those who do. Just as those who do are hugely intimidated by those who don't! I tend to think non-shouters bottle things up in a dangerous way, and that they will store up unnecessary antagonism towards a shouter, which they'll possibly never get out of their system. Shouters often say all sorts of awful things in the heat of the moment which are forgotten as soon as they've been said. They're like flash fires. One explosion and it's gone. A non-shouter will remind them of these things in a year's time!

I think shouting is really useful in the creative process. It shows that everyone cares!

We went to a quiz in Thaxted tonight. Our team came second albeit with vastly reduced numbers. If we'd have known, we'd have bought a few Londoners up with us. Our hopes of glory were effectively wiped out by a round about spies and a tendency for the questions to be a tad "hetty". It was, in fairness, a fund raiser for the local cricket team so art, music and literature questions were not high on the list. Slightly sad to report that, on a "name-the-countries-on-a-map-of-Europe" round, we managed to muddle up Azerbaijan and Georgia, and then Albania with Bulgaria. Brother Edward would have been horrified. Nathan did, however, spot that the question master had incorrectly labelled an annexed part of the Black Sea as a country in its own right.

We went back to Till Towers for a quick cuppa afterwards and talked about ancient memories and some of the people who had fluttered through our lives twenty or thirty years ago. We remembered a lonely French exchange student called Anne, who used to turn up at our house and play Messian on the piano like a blacksmith forging a horse shoe. She played so loudly and so relentlessly that my mother sometimes ended up sitting at the end of the garden to escape the noise. We remembered an eccentric girl called Sarah, an astro-physicist who played twelve musical instruments and once took Brother Edward on a two-man plane flight above East Northamptonshire. My mother also reminded me that, at the age of ten, I was offered a chance to see ABBA being interviewed on Wogan. A sixteen-year-old lad, whom I'd never met but vaguely knew my Mum, offered to take me down to London. The mind boggles. I said no. Unsurprisingly. Although I believe the interview was one of the last times the band appeared together. I would, of course, in retrospect, love to have been able to add that particular occasion to my pantheon of memories, though heaven knows why a sixteen-year-old would have wanted to hang out with a ten-year-old. Chatting about the past was a lovely way to end a week where the present has been so complicated. I think I shall sleep well tonight...

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