He put a smile upon my face – or – the best birthday present ever


The postman just came, here in the office, delivering a stack of office mail. He does that every day, nothing interesting there really.
From in between this stack of office mail, one of my colleagues fished a slightly different envelope, and handed it over to me. I normally never get post at work, not unless I have ordered something at Amazon or such like, but they never send me handwritten envelopes like this. So I was a bit surprised.
I checked the envelope one more time, this groovy handwriting, haven’t I seen that somewhere before?
Yeah right, don’t be pathetically ridiculous.
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It blinked to me

Stormbreaker Eye
Stormbreaker Eye

I took a weekend off from writing, I had a family member visiting me. We have been touristing London, and I learned one thing: I am still afraid of heights. I climbed the first 30 steps of Monument, but had to turn back, after my legs had turned into strawberry jelly.
So I wasn’t exactly eager to look into the Eye too. But I had promised to go along, and so I went. Standing in the queue for 45 minutes didn’t make it any easier, as I had too much time to think things through. Standing right in front of this huge construction, I suddenly relaxed. Alan Blunt had been there, probably triple checking everything concerning safety, and things could not go wrong now.

The view over London from the Eye is great, it really is, and you can see far on a bright day, which it was. But I was glad they have benches in those capsules so I could sit down (jelly legs), and I was even more glad to have solid ground under my feet again after the 30 minutes in the air. The London Eye is a must-do, should you ever visit London. Not the least because it is friendly. And while we are at it – we visited Westminster Abbey too, but were quite disappointed. It’s expensive (?10) and quite boring.

Latest news on the ongoing flatmate war : the evil flatmate moved out yesterday – but not after pulling some more evil tricks like not wanting to return the keys and things like that. We just hope that the next one moving in is indeed a nice person. Davy and I now will enjoy a week of peace and quietness, we really need this after this nerve wrecking period, and the new one moves in on the 5th of September.

TGITC and 3 emmy’s

The Girl In The Cafe2 more reviews:
Dan liked her
Bjorn did not

The Americans just gave her 3 Emmy’s (Best film, Best script, Best actress (Kelly MacDonald) – I know Bill is missing here, he wasn’t even nominated, but we all know that he made the film – Best film).

If you like to find out what you think, go.

Love can?t change
what?s wrong in the world
But it?s a start

How old are you?

Pirate Diamonds

I know that a lot of people are shocked when I tell them that I am now 40. People tend to think I am younger because I haven’t really grown up yet. I sometimes ask myself how old I am. 40? My god, isn’t it time to grow up then, and stop being pathetic about the pirate and the actor. For a short moment I think that that is exactly what I should do. Cut the crap, come on, get serious. I start thinking about what I should write about in stead, but that doesn’t last long, because when my face looks like I am thinking (I tend to look serious then for a change) Davy normally sees that, find a piece of paper, rolls it into a ball and throws it at me. And that makes me realize that I love to write about both the pirate and the actor, and that’s what I should be doing, for now.

Here is a list of the presents I got:

  • Davy gave me, apart from mental support in the flatmate war (which he is still giving), also something quite close to big trouble. I don’t know how he did it, but he managed to grap a handful of stones from the box with crown jewels (Tower of London). “Someone owned me a favour” he said, well I don’t want to know anything about it, but the gift was fantastic. See picture on top of this post.
  • Emails from people I hadn’t heard from in a long time.
  • Postcards (the real paper ones) and text messages from friends and family.
  • Emails from people I have never met but am going to meet in the near future.
  • All the nice comments on this weblog, thank you!
  • The postcard with all the funny remarks from my younger colleagues (I am by far the oldest there) and a membership for the BFI/NFT I got from them too. (which is really cool !!)
  • And finally an email rolling in (someone has excellent timing) saying that yes they want to have me working as a runner on their shortfilm. (will be shot in September probably, and a runner is not a topjob, basically it’s getting coffee for the camera operator and Director, but hey, you have to start somewhere, and I will probably learn something from it anyway). I am happy about that.

So it was a good day.

Now I know I had promised to upload my 1 minute film, but the thing is, I have no idea how I can convert it from DVD format to avi or something else suitable for youtube. So I need to investigate that a bit, but I promise it will be put up somewhere next week.

42 minus two

I know I am the one supposed to get the presents today, but I have received so many already these last 5 months (in all different shapes and forms), I would like to give one in return.

It is seldom a poem really catches me, especially the ones that don’t rhyme. I normally don’t get them, they seem to be too intellectual for a simple mind like myself. But this one caught me right from the start. Maybe because it is read by such a wonderful voice, but also because it has beautiful lyrics, and because it shows you that it’s about the travel in life itself, and not about the end destination. Somehow that fits quite well in the time and place I am at the moment.

40 (says my passport, way younger say my heart and soul), a milestone, but a good one. Life has never been better. I am glad I tried.

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Get me the Kraken

Imagine your flatmate moving out, and while she was at it cancelling every possible service with it.

Things like : gas, water, telephone, internet would have been closed down a week from now had I not discovered it today.

You can’t imagine how angry I am. And what a hassle it is to get everything reconnected. Davy is off already, getting The Kraken. No f****** mercy this time.

And another one

Another what? Another good review of The Girl In The Cafe from a particapant in the project. I won’t bore you too much with the details, if you want to join, please read on here.

Apart from that I have 3 potential pieces of text that might endup in a post.

1. The Pizza hut waiter who sounded like Alan Rickman

2. 3 things that put a smile on my face

3. Lawrence’s twin brother (in the Cafe)

They are all not great, but they are Bill free (enjoy it while that lasts). Which one do you want ?

I have my very nice clothes on today, and am ready for the red carpet world premiere of “The Beginning” tonight. Hopefully it isn’t the End at the same time.

Love can’t change
what’s wrong in the world
But it’s a start

Filmmaking day 6 : Editing – or 99 soulssssssah

Panico / London Film Academy

Don’t worry it’s not about Davy, even though he likes to think it is. And to be honest, it’s only about 1 soul, not 99. Confused ? Well, hopefully, things will clear up tomorrow or Wednesday.

But our last film making day went with editing the pieces of film we shot 2 weeks ago. In the mean time the film had been developed, and transferred to digital tapes, so the editing could be done on the computer. (For those interested we used Avid Express for it). Since we only had about 4 hours to edit, we had a professional editor doing the actual work, we just told him how we wanted it.

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Bye bye Microsoft Office

Hello Google Spreadsheet (tested and I love it, but I am not a very demanding spreadsheet user), but not the least hello Google Writely (still in Beta).

Admitted Writely (your online Word) has not been fully integrated into Google yet (and doesn’t have the google look either, but it is very Ajaxy), but it is amazing how well it works. You can actually mail your word doc to it and edit it online or create new documents from scratch. Perfect for CV’s and other documents you want to have available wherever you go.

It is also geared up for collaborative editing, and according to the website 50 people can edit it, at the same time. (they have to be in different sections of the document though to make this work). But being able to share documents like this, is a big step forward if you ask me.

Also on it’s way Google Disk, online storage and a Google like Powerpoint program.

Microsoft Office is going to have a hard time.

The other Scot

The proud pirate

“These pictures on your wall, who is he?”
“Oh, him. He is, well he’s someone, I admire. You are related to him did you know? And he has some Scottish blood in him too, half of it to be precise”
“You’ve made a lot of artwork with him on it”
“Yes, it’s just, you know, killing time. And sometimes something nice comes out of it, and then it ends up on the wall. It was so empty when I moved in here.”
“Do you, erhm, do you ever make things like this of other people?”
“Yes I do sometimes. It has to be a person I like though.”
“Ah, I understand”
“And it does require you to sit still for a while you know, think you can do that?”
“Wha, what?”
“Favourite colour?”
“Oh, erhm Blue.”
“Blue, that’s mine too. OK, sit still then, and give me some time”
“I didn’t mean to, I mean I don’t think I will look that good”
“Oh yes, you will, now, let me look at you.”

“Here you go, come and have a look. Like it? I think you look great in blue.”
“Oh, it’s, it’s so … The hearts, are they, why, do you really …?”
“like you? I do.”

Oh – we found the nicest flatmate to come and live with us. It’s a girl, Davy picked her. And there are more good things bubbling at the moment.

No romance

The cookie, which fitted well in the Love is Actually all around series made the day already brighter, yesterday.

And then I got (t)his mail. Another response to my “who wants to drink a cup of coffee – but no romance” ad. And I don’t drink coffee, I drink tea. But that made the title a bit long, so I left it out. And “no romance” because I am not in the mood to make things complicated. Life is fine as it is right now, more than fine actually, it’s close to perfect, and me and Davy are getting along more than well. So, why bother. But this mail.
I am 42.
Blimey, the magic number.
I am Scottish.
Like David Tennant Scottish? Have you heard him talk? I melt when I hear him talk.
And since I’m coming directly after work, unfortunately, I am wearing a suit.
Unfortunately? A suit? Wait a minute. Who set this up? When I say “no romance” don’t send me a-Scot-in-a-suit!

Davy, a proud Scot himself, has, of course, his doubts about all this.
“I better come with you” he said.
“No, no, no need to” I said “You know, one : “no romance” believe me, and two : you have organ class that evening”.
I think I heard a quiet “Ahrr”.

Filmmaking day 5: Producing and Pitching

(For the quizzers : What film is this from?)

What do you want to do after this course – is a question that pops up regularly at the networking evenings in the Actors Centre in Covent Garden.
I still don’t really know the answer to this question to be honest. And the last time someone asked me what my “genre” was. Do I have a genre?

The genre question returned yesterday. It was the Producing & Pitching day.
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Movie roundup

Wah Wah (8.5/10)
Brit packed drama by Richard E. Grant which you should see for the cast alone : Gabriel Byrne (he is Irish), Miranda Richardson, Julie Waters and Nicolas Hoult. They are all truly great. Shot in Africa.

You might not know Nicolas Hoult by name, but he was the boy playing opposite Hugh Grant in About a Boy. He is 16 now, about twice as high, but he still has one of the most beautiful faces in cinema if you ask me. And he is turning into a great actor.

Atomized / Elementarteilchen (8/10)
German film with both Moritz Bleibtrue and Franka Potente (she is a favourite), you might know them from Lola Rennt (which is a favourite too). Interesting story about life, death and Love, or maybe the lack of it. Actually.

Hard Candy (8/10)
Incredible acting. And scenes so shocking because they don’t show you, they let you imagine what’s going on, and that is way scarier than showing. It is a very controversial film, men might have trouble watching it, I only looked away a few times, but overall I was impressed. Not for the faint hearted though.

The Lake House (7/10)
If films like this end up here it is because : I am feeling bad and just want to be entertained with a film where I don’t have to use my head or – I have seen all other films currently running and need my cinema fix. I don’t remember what was the case with this one, but I ended up seeing it. How bad was it? Well the story is crap of course, when I see Keanu Reeves I can only concentrate on his particular way of walking, but there was a nice dog in it, and it has a happy ending, so I got what I expected – entertained.

London : Treat Level CRITICAL

I heard some worrying words in my radio this morning, but I was still half in zombie mode to really get what they were talking about.

I just checked the BBC site.

MI5 has upgraded the threat level to Critical (which is the highest possible)
The current threat level is assessed as CRITICAL (as of 10th August 2006).
This means that an attack is expected imminently and indicates an extremely high level of threat to the UK.

‘Airlines terror plot’ disrupted
Heathrow is shut for incoming flights
Passenger flying from the UK may only take a plastic bag with hand luggage, with very little in it.

I have never really thought about the “dangers” of living in London. I still try not to, and I will not change my way of life because of it, but when I read all this, you wonder what kind of world it is we are living in. Am I worried? I don’t really know yet.

I go for the royal treatment

Prince Charles Cinema London
You want to go to the cinema. I have 2 offers for you.

Option 1
Buy a ticket on Leicester Square and see a film in one of the big cinemas over there. Don’t expect the seats to be great though. And expect people to be noisy too.
Total Price ?11.50-?12.50.
(Optional : Regular Coke : ?2.40)

Option 2
Buy a ticket in the Prince Charles for ?3 (50 meters from Leicester Square). Expect the seats to be fantastic. Expect the screen to show “Do not talk under the film” just before the film. Expect people to say “Shut up” if you do dare to talk under the film. I love that.

Buy some pink shrimps in the candy shop (I love them) for ?1.60.
Go to The Cafe, and order tomato soup, some bread and a Coke for ?3.50.

And after that enter the Prince Charles in a good mood, ready for the film.

Total Price ?8.10.

(Optional : Regular Coke in the PCC :?1.40)

So guess what I picked.

I am a regular now in the Cafe. And we are passed the chit-chat stadium. Now it’s
“What are you doing tonight – cinema again?”
“Which film?”
“Atomised, a German film in the Prince Charles”
“OK, describe the film to me in a few words”
“Two brothers. One is a clever professor, the other one messes up his life.That’s all I know.”
“That sounds rather, erhm, cheerful”
“I know, it sounds like crap, but it should be a good film. I can tell you how it was next time.”
“Enjoy it! And see you around.”
“I will, thank you. Bye !”

And I saw Atomised / Elementarteilchen and it was actually quite good. Movie roundup coming up one of these days, as I have seen some more. And also a bit about the strange process (for me that is) of writing a filmscript. (I have written 44 pages now, which is about half of it and it is finally taking shape).