Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath
While this weekend was destined to become one of the boring ones, a simple twist of fate turned it into a really nice one. London spring weather was amazingly sunny, my face is amazingly red and in stead of hanging around in cinemas someone showed me some areas in London I hadn’t been before.
A blue house in Notting Hill
A sunny day in Notting Hill.
My break from the theatre has been long enough, I can’t just not go to the theatre because I don’t want to lose my memories of the Vertical Hour, so I went tonight. Unplanned, impulsive – business as usual.
Over London flying high on my way to Nighy York (really)
Let’s see what’s in here: a mouse, a Mars bar, old and young, Daniel Craig, Hot Fuzz, Love Actually, coconutophobes, dreams and delicious Scots. And OK, he’s in there too.
Good words from screen writing Guru Richard Curtis.
I thought 6 days and nights on a train, think about the huge amount of time I will have to write. Well I did write a bit here and there, but not the stuff I was supposed to. How could I, I was sharing my compartment with an Englishman remember. My train adventure made me miss 3 writing classes and this Monday, which is less than 48 hours from now, I need to deliver a completely finished script (for a 10 minute short film) and an essay. So guess what my weekend looks like.
Looking back, with my eyes closed, I have had 3 major inspirational influences in my life, which means that inside my head you can find 3 fairly large chunks of information from all three of them.
Steffen Brandt‘s lyrics guided me through life in Denmark and they became the basis of my Danish vocabulary. His philosophy about life – seize the day – live your life before it’s over – live your dreams – has definitely had its effect on my life as well. I think it is safe to say that however sad it was to leave him and his music behind in Denmark he more or less pushed me to London as I could see I had to live my dreams. I still listen to their music often but there now is a distance to the language which no longer feels that natural anymore.
Not surprisingly Bill Nighy is the second one, still very much present. If Steffen Brandt pushed me too London, he was metaphorically standing at the other side of the water pulling me over. If my Danish consists of quotes from TV-2 songs, my English is filled with all possible quotes from films he has been in. He made me realize how cool Brits really were, how I loved the English language, he gave acting a whole new meaning and became the force to get me to give screen writing a go in the first place. Not bad.
The third one however goes quite a bit longer back.
Mockba, 26 February 2007
My hotel is located in one of Moscow’s suburbs in the South East. It’s cheap and it takes about 20 minutes by metro to the Red Square and Leninski. Absolutely doable especially because the Metro station is about 50 meters from my hotel. I had done some research on the Moscow metro up front (which is recommended I’d say) and knew how their ticket system worked. You can buy 1, 5 or 10 trip tickets, and since I knew I was going to use the metro quite a bit, I showed the woman behind the window my 2 hands, telling her I wanted a 10 trip card. That went fine, and being used to using my Oyster card in London using the Moscow card wasn’t that different.
Back to my hotel – located this far from the centre, this also means that this is a non tourist area, and chances to find people speaking English are zero. Even the people working at the reception of the hotel don’t speak any English at all.
It’s an area that gives a good impression of authentic Russian city life so to speak. There are loads of small shops and stalls in the area selling drinks, food, magazines, newspapers, snacks, meat, bread, soap, well you name it, they sell it. With a bit of goodwill and pointing at things I manage to buy things like chocolate, Pringles and Coca Cola (hey I am on holiday). There is also a tiny (and I mean tiny) DVD shop on the same block.
Surely a normal person with a well functioning head wouldn’t begin to consider doing this with a Russian vocabulary as large as, well, one word. That was what I was thinking.
But I wasn’t a normal person.
And so, I stepped inside.
(Written: New York, 33rd St – Picture: New York, 5th Ave)
While I drink my Milky Way tea in the Starbucks right beside the Empire State Building (and let’s be honest there are worse places to drink your tea – behind your computer screen at work just to name one) I read (or rather greedily indulge) my new book:
Sold out in Waterstones London, but Barnes & Noble in New York luckily had it. And even if you have no intention of becoming a screen writer, if you love romantic comedies this book is like chocolate cake with cream and a little red cherry on top.
While reading – a girl sits down at a table next to me.
it’s the hardest thing to do. Not because I don’t like London or the place I live, but because I really get depressed after holidays like these! The after holiday dip is hitting me like a rock every time, and it kills all my inspiration to write.
I had a good flight, I again had 3 seats to sleep on, I had Casino Royale and the newest Rocky film on my screen and it went fairly fast. I am at home, I will try to conquer my list of unanswered e-mails as soon as possible and apart from that I don’t really know what to do with myself at the moment. I miss New York. Clearly.
I have browsed in my stack of photo’s, they are OK, not all great but OK, and the first one is up. I have 2 more posts from New York (100% Bill free I promise) which I will drop somewhere this week.
What does the picture above say you wonder? I have absolutely no idea, your guess is as good as mine.
I’m nearly ready, I need to iron one (can’t watch Bill in a t-shirt) shirt, than I am going to try to catch some sleep. How does one spend a last day before departing (I had the day off), well I did it like this. You would probably have spend it a lot cleverer.
(Sorry no time for a picture on this post! And no time for rewriting and spellchecking either)
In my Caterham train to work this morning, while standing still at Clapham Junction :
“Good morning ladies and gentleman. We apologize for the delay, the train doesn’t seem to know where it is, and will therefor not open it’s doors”.
I could completely understand the train. I don’t always know where I am either.
(We stayed in Clapham for a few minutes more. The voice told us they would “reboot the cabins” in order to get the doors opened and that helped. Too bad – I had my book and could have read on for a few hours more)
It’s one of Steffen Brandts favourite songwriters.
Richard Curtis likes him too.
And Bill Nighy is obsessed with him.
I like and respect all of the above 3 men, so there must be something about him.
He is a legend.
I really started to like him when one of his songs was featured in a play.
Yes that play.
My heart melts when I hear that song.
He is the musical discovery of 2007 for me. (Better late than never).
I like his older albums better than his new ones. (that’s because I have a weakness for a harmonica)
He has a weird way of singing.
He is steadily climbing towards the top of my Overal Top Artists list.
His lyrics seem to make more sense than I sometimes like them to make.
I wanted to see the brand new Wembley Arena.
And so it was simple. I bought a ticket.
Bob Dylan – Wembley Stadium, London, the 16th of April 2007.
I should have been in bed 2 hours ago.
Not so cool. The Science of Sleep.
I made a list of things I need to buy before taking off. My calender tells me that one week from now I will be in Moscow, and I now realize how time is running very fast.
On my to buy list were (among other things) Lonely Planet’s Trans-Siberian Railway and a haircut. And a book called Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford. Let’s leave the reason why I wanted this particular book in the middle, I just want to take it with me on that long train ride.
Now I realize I am a foreigner and my English is not Oxfords. I realized that even more in New York where people didn’t understand me at all, and where they were plain rude to me. Which makes me wonder why I want to go back to New York in the first place. Oh. Yes. I remember now. Right. Don’t get distracted now, you can do it, you can write a post where you don’t mention his name. Go on. Back to the bookshop, which was Foyles on Charing Cross Road by the way. I asked the bookshop assistant for Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford. And yes, foreigner, but I can say Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford and most of my colleagues will understand what I say when I do.
Not this British bookshop lady.
They really are my favourite genre in film and I never get tired of them, but there are very few good ones. I am still doing Screen writing on Uni, my script is nearly finished, and is currently in rewrite state. Which means reading it a million times, and polishing it by changing words and dialogue. Remember, Love Actually – 34 rewrites.
A short list of Rom coms which I think are excellent (= can see indefinitely):
The Girl In The Cafe
4 Weddings and a funeral
You’ve got mail
Ed’s Diner – London
It has been nearly a year since I moved to London. One year ago today I was in London for a week, to check things out, to have some first job interviews and to look for a more permanent place to live. After that week I shortly went back to Denmark and from there I took the one way ticket to London. I am glad I wrote it all down, I wouldn’t have remembered half of it otherwise. And looking back, even with my eyes closed, a lot has happened.
Listen, this trip of yours …