Wednesday, 21 September 2016

This film makes me want to...

We're on the A1 in Huntingdonshire, heading south. I appreciate that Huntingdonshire is no longer a recognised British county, but I can think of no better way of describing the area we're in! There's a nip in the air and it feels a little misty. Autumn is definitely rolling in. I'm wearing a jacket and I haven't yet boiled over...

We've been to see Lisa, Mark and the kids this evening, and spent the most charming evening sitting around their kitchen table, eating fajitas, watching videos of boils being lanced on YouTube and hearing all about young Poppy's school. At one point she appeared with her timetable, which fascinated me for some reason. It was rather lovely to see the list of subjects. I remembered my own timetable, and how I used to dread certain days and look forward to others. I hated Tuesdays. We had double science and maths on Tuesdays. I loved Wednesdays. Double music in the afternoon, my drama club in the evening and The Kids From Fame on the telly to cap off a perfect day.

Driving back down the A1 is always a highly nostalgic experience, not only because of the musical film I made about the road, but because we lived for several years in Potton, just a few miles from the road in Bedfordshire. You can see Sandy Hill and the iconic television mast from the road. I used to play with a girl who lived in a mobile home, next to a pig farm in a wood underneath that mast. I remember that the television reception was actually really bad at hers. I think she lived too close to the mast for it to be effective. We used to eat fish fingers and vinegar-soaked chips. That's actually my last remaining clear memory of eating meat. I became a vegetarian in 1981 when I was about seven. Quite why I was hanging out in a mobile home on a pig farm in a wood underneath a giant television aerial is beyond me... but it was the 1970s, and at the same time I was also hanging out on a CND commune, and my brother's best friends were gypsies on a massive encampment on the outskirts of the town! Ah! Those were the days.

I was contacted by a chap yesterday who sent me the most curious and rather flattering email:

"My friends and I have become a little obsessed with your work. In particular, Tyne and Wear Metro, Coventry Market and Watford Gap. We quote them constantly and must viewed each upwards of 8 times. I digress, each year we hold a small awards ceremony for the best Vines (the 6 second twitter films) made within our circle of friends and would love it if you could provide a prize for one of the awards. Do you have any signed photos or memorabilia that you would be kind enough to send? I'd be more than happy to cover any costs this would incur on you!"

I have sent them a few pages from the original musical manuscripts I wrote for the Metro film. I hope it's the sort of thing they'll appreciate! It's always really lovely to hear from people who enjoy that particular trilogy of films. They divide people massively, and for ages I felt very embarrassed about them because so few people seemed to understand that they were written from a place of humour and certainly weren't meant to be taken too seriously.

Tyne and Wear Metro: The Musical continues to divide people on YouTube. It's now had 110k views but the latest viewer comment says: "this video makes me want to change species!" I'm actually still chuckling inanely to myself about that particular remarks! It's one of the better disses and probably only topped by the person who wrote, "this is the worst thing to happen to the North East since Margaret Thatcher!"

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