When doing some thinking this weekend about this i suddenly had an epiphany (I love that word, I learned it from Billy Mack in Love Actually). I suddenly realised that if I really wanted to find a place to live with nice flat mates then why didn’t I seriously go and look for it? Duh.
A perfect weekend is:
This is Smeaton’s tower, a lighthouse located on the Plymouth Hoe. The lighthouse is no longer in use as a lighthouse, and this is not it’s original location – it has been moved here from Eddystone Rocks in 1877.
It is open for the public and you can climb the 97 steps to a perfect view over Plymouth and the sea.
- No: I am OK with Organic food, but this “Sparkling Delicious organic Cola” is not Sparkling and as far from Delicious as it can be, it is the worst tasting cola I have ever tasted. So that’s a no. Never again. Yuk.
- Yes is what I said to a Tweatup (Twitterers eat and meet up) last Saturday. This meant that I had a late but great lunch in a great Indian restaurant in East London last weekend. I had never been in that area before, and I have never tried Indian food like this, it was like the Indian version of tapas. Very recommended!
268-270 Green Street, Forest Gate,
E7 8LF London
(Tube: Upton Park)
- On Wednesday I have said yes to a pop quiz in a pub in Soho with 3 (that’s 3 the mobile phone company). Pub/Pop quizzes are so typical British, I have never really been to one in a pub before, so in stead of declining I am going. I can always leave if it turns into a big drink fest. I will report back on how it was, I consider it a part of my British education. And apart from that, there is always a chance that I pick up some inspiration for future writings.
And I am generally going to say yes more. I won’t go as far as becoming a Yes Man, but I think I need to push myself a bit and go and do some things that I have not tried before.
- And phew – I have a first serious response on my flatmate ad (that’s for the flat where I currently live). I will be away this weekend, but will hopefully meet with her soon after the weekend. She sounds promising!
- And as you might have noticed, the coffee cup is gone, I was so tired of it. I went back to a more minimal look, and finally feel the logo looks right in this design. I will have a proper spring cleanup in the sidebar soon too. For now it has to do? Like it?
What new things have you tried (or are going to try) recently?
- Confessions of a shopaholic wasn’t the best rom-com ever (it’s Sex in the City meet Devil wears Prada), but I laughed quite a lot at Isla Fisher. She has great comic talent, and she is worth watching the film for. She and Hugh Dancy.
- I saw A View from the Bridge last week, and wow, Ken Stott blew me away. A must see if you happen to be in London before the 16th of May. Great acting work, also from Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (she was Lady Marianne in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood!). Don’t miss it!
- And then my flatmate is leaving. And I have two seperate lines of thoughts about this.
I need to find a new flatmate. I know our rent is not the highest, definitely not for the area in London where the flat is based, but loads of people are leaving London because it is so expensive. My worries:
Will I find a new friendly, funny and reliable flatmate?
In American movies like the above Shopaholic they always show flatshares where people are the best of friends and where things just seem to work. I want that too. Which is why I probably need to find another place to live. My current flat does not have a shared living room, so it’s natural to retreat in your own room.
And if my current flatmate and me have spoken more than 100 words to each other the last 2.5 years I will be surprised.
So my current dream scenario is finding some really nice people I click with and rent and nice house somewhere in London where there is space for privacy (I still want to be able to sit in my room and read or write or watch a Bill film on my own) but also space for socialness. But where to find the people, and where to find the place to live! It is probably pathetically ignorant to think that that is possible. I must think about this.
- I am going to tick the lighthouse in Plymouth off my list on Saturday. And will stay with the lovely dogs and my good friend in Devon for the weekend. Here is to good weather for everyone, to sea views, beach walks and Devon creamcakes with tea.
- It’s Pancake day today.
[Sorry for lack of picture – but imagine Pancake picture here]
It has been a while, and there are several reasons for that. I guess you would have figured out by now that if the Wales shoot had all been tickety boo (= satisfactory) I would have written about right after it finished.
In stead, I write about – the Pancake Analogy.
I should be packing by now, but a short note here before I am off. All is prepared for my trip to Wales, well all that I could think of that should be prepared.
There are a couple of changes to the original plans:
The school children will not be there. The school has withdrawn from the project because they were in involved in too many other things so they did not have the time anyway. This makes my life as producer a whole lot easier. In stead of school children we will use some more actors. It is not completely the same, but with some creative camera work, I am sure it will be fine.
The first time I saw Valkyrie was last Saturday, together with someone who appreciates the acting (amongst others) skills of Mr. Nighy as much as I do. The 11.00am screening in Devon seemed to have been exclusively reserved for us, we had a private screening!
Valkyrie is one of the best films I have seen in quite a while. It keeps you on the edge of your seat from the beginning until the very last second. It has a dream cast: Bill Nighy, Kenneth Brannagh, Tom Wilkinson, Tom Hollander, Terrence Stamp. There is a whole regiment of tremendous British talent here.
And there is Tom Cruise, and he is delivering a great performance as Gen. von Stauffenberg, the man who tried to assassinate Hitler. Bill’s Col. Olbricht hesitates at the crucial moment in the plot, and this has severe consequences. Valkyrie really makes you wonder what would have happened if they had succeeded. It’s one of those films that have you glued to your seat after it has ended. It made a big impact on me.
If you like a gripping thriller – Valkyrie is a must see. (My current Valkyrie counter: 3).
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
And then there was Underworld, which is something completely different. If you like Vampire movies, this might be something for you. If you thought Davy Jones was a baddie, wait until you see Viktor in this one. Here is one truly evil villain, the master of all Vampires, not someone to mess with. Bill plays king of the Vampires very well. Michael Sheen is delivering a solid acting performance too but the story is a bit weak. I do love the colours in the Underworld movies, the cold blue surroundings match very well with the red colour of blood. Cheers Viktor. See it if you like to watch top class actors hissing at each other, or just because Bill looks so bloody cool in a battle skirt.
And while we are at it: I have also spotted the trailer of The Boat That Rocked in the cinema for the first time. The 1st of April is approaching fast. It’s a good Bill year this year.
Have you seen any of the above films?
When you finally get snow in the UK, you have to make a snow man. So I challenged my friend in Devon to do the same thing and send in photographic evidence.
The above one is the one I made this morning. Lucky I took a picture of it as it has already been trashed and is meltedaway ! But yes – that is really my sock on the top of his head!
And this is a mobile phone shot of the heart covered Devon snow man.
Did you make a snowman? If so please place a link to your image (flickr, twitpic, blog where ever it may be) in the comments and show it to us!
When I came home from Devon last night, London looked white. This morning I woke up to even more snow, which caused all buses to be cancelled, the tube came to a halt, lots of trains cancelled, airports struggling (Heathrow is closed), schools are closed, and children are having the time of their lifes playing in the snow. It is a beautiful day in London. I am forced to work at home today, but I will have to go for a walk around lunch, as this much snow in London is a seldom event.
Is there any snow where you are?
(More snow is to expected in London)
I am very busy planning the 4 days film shoot in Wales in February. I have never really done serious production planning before, and this is a great opportunity for me to get experience. Planning this shoot is not very different from planning a four day film shoot for my own short film, should I ever want to do the production planning for that myself.
But what I got was a script and what I was told was: go do it. And I thought – oh shit – where do I start. The way to do it I learned is to take a small step at the time.
Passing the baker on my way to work (yes on Saturday!), my eye fell on this heart shaped one. I am glad I live in an area where we still have a real baker. Even though they are not open on Sundays like they were in Denmark, real bakers are the best.
But clearly I had to get one of those, erhm ….
“I want one of those heartshaped ones.Is it a Jammie Dodger?”
Of course it wasn’t. This was just a normal heart shaped shortbread the baker told me.
He did have really big Jammie Dodgers though, he said. And they looked scrummy too, maybe next time.
I told him that the whole British cookie – biscuit – shortbread-Jammie Dodger-cake-scone tradition still is beyond me. It feels like you need a university degree to become a baker, just to learn about all those different type. He thought that was funny.
What would we call a cookie/biscuit like this in the Netherlands I wonder?
And I really need to plan a proper afternoon tea in London one day. Just to indulge in all this sweetness.
I really wasn’t going to go. I don’t like big crowds like that, and I have been so busy all week I just wanted to go home and relax with a cup of Yorkshire tea, right. Right? And that other part of me thought, yeah, and tomorrow you will think – why didn’t I go? Even a glimpse of a tiny bit of his lanky left leg really would have been worth going, right. Right. Yep. So I went. And I was very late, and there was this huge crowd. And I saw Tom Cruise (who again was very nice to his fans). And I did indeed saw Bill’s back very very far ahead of me. And he wasn’t coming our direction.
Right then, that was that, going home now. Come on, we’re going. Maybe we could just try to get a tiny little bit closer? No we don’t. But my other half walked to the complete opposite side of the square, walked through a pub whose other exit happened to be located exactly behind the cameras filming interviews with the actors of Valkyrie (how lucky was that). And who was standing there, about 12.42 meters in front of me giving an interview? Indeed.
- You know you are not a Brit when you totally did not know that yesterday was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year: Blue Monday. Willy-nilly.
- In stead of being depressed I was busy figuring out what you need to do in order to get permission to have some children as extras in a film. Trust me, the Brits are truly a one of a kind when it comes to making unclear rules for things like that. I still don’t know what paperwork we need to fill in and who to contact but I hope to figure it out soon. I now understand why people always warn you not to write children and animals into your script. The hassle of it. But hey this like being at film school, the difference being that I actually get paid to learn this.
- And hassle or not, nearly two years ago I was boring myself to death behind a screen coding silly computer programs, now I am actually preparing for a film shoot. In Wales. In February. Quite a change. Nothing to be depressed about.
- Oh, and I had that meeting with that other filmmaker on Saturday. And we already have an idea for a short so that’s another short film in the making. It’s something completely different than I have done before (no dialogue), it is going to be quite arty and symbolic, but I think it is going to be a very nice and warm little film. (Length: about 3 minutes, which is 200% longer than anything else I have ever made – and we will just plant it on YouTube, so you can have the premiere on a computer screen near you not too long from now).
If I survive the coming three months of madness successfully I will have made another 4 short films and I will finally feel it to be justified to call myself a short-film maker. That would be a result I think I will be a little bit proud of.
- I also saw the interview with Meryl Streep in the BAFTA building on Saturday. She must be one of the most normal and down to earth Hollywood actors around. She is really funny too. And humble. And very entertaining to listen too. And she looks great for someone who is 59. They showed clips of the highlights of her work, and wow, has she made a lot of good stuff. Sophie’s Choice (which I only saw once, because it is so harsh to watch), Out of Africa, Bridges of Madison Country (love that film) and of course The Devil Wears Prada in which she has genius comic timing are just some picks from her long career. Soon Doubt is on its way (with Philip Seymour Hoffman who is also a great actor), for which she is already BAFTA nominated. Meryl Steep is cool and a great example of being 59 while still being very young.
- Still Blue? This will brighten your day. I wish I was there when they made it.
- I did attend the open BBC Writersroom event. And realised that it is very intimidating to see the competition. Loads and loads of people where there, all writers, all wanting to make it. Not good for self confidence.
- I had to leave a bit earlier, so I don’t know what I missed at the end of the session, but in the part I did attend the BBC people explained what they were looking for in a script. It wasn’t a lot of new information – they are looking for things every producer looks for – well written, originality, interesting and likable characters, etc. It’s basically the stuff every screen writing book tells you.
- I did not hand in my script. Wait, wait, I will post it to them today. Seeing as I had to sneak out before it ended I had no chance to hand it to them. But no worries, they did promise all of us that they read the first 10 pages of every single script they receive. They receive, are you ready for it, 10.000 scripts a year.
- They also explained that they are just checking the quality of the writing of the script you send them and are looking for writers more than scripts. Very very seldom do they buy a script and make it into a film. If people have extraordinary talent, they might be contacted and educated. And a lot of those lucky people get to write on Eastenders, Holby City, Doctors. I don’t want to sound snobbish or anything, but I am not sure I could write for those series, as they don’t interest me at all.
- I don’t count on anything, if they should happen to read passed the first 10 pages, that would be great, and I would have a script review by an experienced reader for free (it might take up to four months to hear if they read it or not). If they don’t read it – then so be it. If I want to improve my writing, I must pick up my pen and get on with it. Simple.
… you find these kind of message on the package of your new pillow. Would they expect people to complain if they did not put this message on the package? Or have people been complaining after which they put this message on? The genius who came up with the “newness odour” description deserves a price.
(Amazing view from the waiting area on the airport, it’s far away but the Empire State Building is so much higher than the rest)
Honestly what can you write after a post like the last one.
It’s far from as interesting, but this is the best I could come up with.
I was drawing this yesterday night, and this morning I read the news article that seems to fit perfectly with it. A little warmth in the dark and cold times of winter and economic crises.
Two German children – aged five and six – have been stopped by police from eloping to Africa to tie the knot in the sun, reports say.
The budding lovebirds, identified as Mika and Anna-Lena, packed bathing costumes, sunglasses and a lilo and headed for the airport.
They even had the presence of mind to invite along an official witness – Anna-Lena’s seven-year-old sister.
The three got as far as Hanover railway station before police intervened.
The young couple were “very much in love” and had decided to get married in Africa “where it is warm”, police spokesman Holger Jureczko told the AFP news agency.
How cute is that!
(Quote from I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter Lyrics by Connie Francis)
Despite having an annoying ear infection for most of my time in Holland, I did enjoy my holidays and the lovely winter weather. A few days of frost and the Dutch massively come out with their skates. This is a picture of the ice rink in my hometown IJsselstein. It doesn’t get any more Dutch than this, there is even a windmill in the picture!