I've had one of those manic days today which needed to be executed with absolute precision. I was like a wedding planner, rushing about London, with a stopwatch in one hand, a clip board in the other, and a head-set balanced perilously on my enormous head. Well, okay, I didn't have the props, but I certainly felt a bit like Anneka Rice...
My morning started with a sunny drive to West Hampstead to get an assessment of the damage inflicted on our little car in its altercation with the big bad pantechnicon. The man with the plan walked in a circle around the car taking photographs. There's minimal damage, and the car is still perfectly drive-worthy, but nevertheless we were warned to expect it to be written off, which was not quite what we wanted to hear. I'm not sure what a quick spin around the car with an old-fashioned digital camera was going to tell the insurance people, but I came away wondering whether the majority of cars involved in minor prangs get written off to avoid large amounts of paper work.
I drove back home after the consultation. The sun was still shining as I skirted around the edge of Hampstead Heath. I wanted to get out and walk... But I had a schedule.
I went into town in time for a noon meeting at the BBC, or rather, with a BBC executive in a Starbucks near the BBC. New Broadcasting House is a very difficult place to have a meeting. There are precious few private rooms and the ones there are get booked up way in advance. A lovely chap from somewhere within the organisation has approached me with an early-stages idea for a musical doc which I would be deeply keen to do. (Just putting it out there to the Universal powers that be.) They want something along the lines of my Hattersley film, which, in my view, remains the best film I've ever made. It was the only time I've ever been given free rein to make a film with as much creativity as I liked, and a refreshing lack of any need to tick boxes or otherwise compromise my vision. That sounds dreadfully wanky, but I think it shows in the quality of the piece and the lack of children wearing cerise whilst waving and gurning in the background!
After the meeting I hooked up with Ellie, whom I found outside Debenhams. I didn't know anyone had actually shopped in that place since the 1970s, but she tells me she found a great deal on children's dressing gowns. I don't know that anyone's actually used that phrase since the 70s either, so maybe I simply entered a JB Priestley-style time warp. Does any one remember C and A?
Ellie and I sat in a Pret and ate a quick sandwich together. It cost 75p extra to eat the thing inside the shop at a high, over-polished wooden bench, which I half expected to open up to reveal a set of Bunsen burners.
My friend's Mum used to call Pret a Manger "Pret Manager."
My fourth appointment of the day was at the dentist in Kentish Town, or more specifically, the hygienist. She scraped, and buzzed, and flossed and brushed. As I came in, she looked a little relieved and told me that she thought I was another one of her patients called David. Those who know me well, or saw my wedding on t'telly will know I tend to use my middle name, but legally speaking, I'm a David. Named after my godfather. Also David. Which is why I'm named after him. You can call me Dave. Dave the Rave. Or Gay Dave. Gayvid. Actually, just call me Benjamin...
Anyway, the hygienist had apparently warned her assistant that I was likely to complain all the time, but instantly realised that I wasn't Complaining Dave, which I was rather relieved about. I can't imagine turning up to an appointment like that and whinging. For starters there's always something sharp and metallic inside your mouth!
I took the bus back to Highgate, very much enjoying the sensation of rubbing my teeth with my tongue. I think that's what they call "dentist clean" in the adverts.
Nathan came back home and we watched the second episode of the magnificent drama, Aliens on Four OD, which feels like a really fresh and exciting piece. Nathan is darning a shawl. Yesterday he was spinning scraps of sheep's wool collected from barbed wire fences in East Sussex. Tomorrow he'll no doubt be making a quilt out of milk bottle tops. I tell you, it's like a flipping WEA textiles class by here of an evening!
Does anyone know where I put my Mum's Victorian dictionary? It was here yesterday.