Saturday, 21 February 2015

The funniest conversation I've overheard in a long time

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I were on the train coming back from Purley making painfully slow progress through the grimness that is south London.  We were seated at one of those double seats with a table.

Not the actual seats

When the train stopped at East Croydon, two girls got on and sat opposite us.  They started chatting about this and that.  I recognised one of them as a minor model from somewhere or other.

So far, so whatever.

The conversation then moved onto what food they were going to buy for a party.  

I only hope that my writing skills can do this justice...

Girl on the left:  I think I'm gonna buy a sweetcorn and mange tout salad.  (I think it was sweetcorn, can't be sure)

Girl on the right:  Oh.  (Pause) What's mange tout?

G.o.t.L:  You dunno what mange tout is?

G.o.t.R:  Nah, I've never heard of it.

G.o.t.L:  You must know what mange tout is.

G.o.t.R:  (whispers)  Isn't that a rude word?

G.o.t.L:  What mange?  No, you idiot!  You're thinking of minge.

G.o.t.R:  Oh, yeah.  (Pause)  So what do they look like?

G.o.t.L:   They're kinda flat and green.  Like a really squashed bean but without the pods inside.

G.o.t.R:  No pods!  What's the point of that then?  (Fair point to be honest)

Now I'd gotten to the point where I was biting the inside of my cheek to stop myself laughing out loud.  I looked around the carriage and the three people who were sitting close to us were struggling to suppress their laughter.

G.o.t.L:  (shows the girl on the right her phone)  That's what they look like.

Not the actual image she showed her.


G.o.t.R:  (looks at phone)  Oh them!  Mange (rhyming with man - the adult male) tout.

G.o.t.L:   No, you fool.  Mange (rhyming with man - the adult male) is what dogs get.

Sadly by this point it was our stop and we had to get off.  Just as well, really, because I don't think I could have contained my laughter for much longer.

My only regret is that I didn't lean across the table and go, 'Please can I be friends with you?  Please!'

Monday, 16 February 2015

The elusiveness of creativity

What is creativity?  Where does it come from?

I've been sitting here all day trying to write.  Write more on a new script I'm working on.  Write something witty/informative/engaging for this blog.  Write an email to my freelance clients and let them know my availability.  Write, write, write.  Except today's output is just rubbish. Nothing 'flows'.  It's trite and stilted junk, no matter what I do.



Usually I can write something personal and humorous to my clients when I'm looking for work - something that makes me stand out from the crowd.  Not today for some reason.  Today it was all, 'This is when I'm free.  Call me if you need someone'.  Urgh.

Where does creativity come from?  It's raining today and it makes me feel like my spirits have been smothered under a blanket of grey skies and dampness.  It's strange because I usually find rainy days intimate and introspective.

Perhaps creativity comes from good health?  I'm not feeling very well today and I can't seem to concentrate.  But that doesn't explain the myriad of artists like HonorĂ© de Balzac, George Orwell and Chekov who had consumption.  Yea...  I can only dream about being in the company of Chekov and Orwell.

Maybe it's about life experiences.  I worked far too hard at the end of last year so I've awarded myself a little bit of 'taking it easy'.  Nice but sleeping, eating too much and watching DVD's don't give much material to work on.  Then again, I could draw on some of my experiences out on the road.  I can scarcely believe some of the things I got up to. There was that time when I was on tour with a very, very famous band.  We had a long drive from Warsaw to Dublin.  Partying hard doesn't come close to describing it on that drive.  All I really remember is standing in a puddle in Warsaw drinking vodka straight from the bottle then sobering up in Dublin watching a security guard chase the drum tech through the lobby of the hotel.  True story.  Yet, somehow, writing about that just seems like rock 'n roll cliche.  

My friend has sent me a link to some TED talks which she watches when she needs inspiration, so I'm going to make a cafetiere of coffee, settle down and watch a few.  

I should really go the gym but it's raining outside and inspiration is more important, right?  

Right? 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Musings on Valentine's Day

I don't mind admitting that I loathe Valentine's Day.  There!  I said it.

I hate the fact that something as mysterious and wonderful as love is packaged up and resold to us in the form of tacky cards and teddy bears with 'I love you' on their paws.

Here is this person who you'd die for; who makes you laugh, makes you cry.  Someone who rubs your shoulders when you've had a hard day.  Someone who you genuinely can't imagine living without even when you want to throttle them for something idiotic they've done.  So, how are you meant to celebrate this?  Why, by eating mediocre, overpriced food in a heart themed restaurant with other awkward couples of course!  And don't forget the red heart shaped balloons!

No, it's not for me.

Anyway, here is something I wrote last year about the origins of Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!


Sunday, 8 February 2015

Book Review - Doris Lessing "On Cats"

I think it's safe to say that I have a soft spot for cats.  I wrote here about a neighbourhood cat who adopted us and here about getting our own cat.  There's something about the vulnerable yet independent nature of cats that intrigues me.

Back in December, when I was Christmas shopping for my boyfriend, I absolutely did not buy this book for myself.  No, I really did buy it for him and just happened to borrow it later.  Yes.  That is how it happened.

Anyway, I digress.  Doris Lessing has always been one of my favourite authors after I read The Grass is Singing so I was interested to see how she approached such a potentially schmaltzy subject.


It's a tough read, the polar opposite of Lolz Catz.  Doris Lessing is honest, brutally so at times.  *Spoiler alert*  There's a passage at the beginning of the book where she describes the culling of a large number of feral cats on the farm where she was brought up.  This has been mentioned in many disgusted comments on Amazon etc but although I can't say I enjoyed reading it, I appreciated the fearless self examination.  

This book is a trilogy of three stories - Particularly Cats, about her childhood growing up on a farm in Rhodesia as well as Grey Cat and Black Cat who shared her home in London; Rufus the Survivor (which I don't mind admitting broke my heart) and The Old Age of El Magnifico, the story of the final years of the last cat to share her home.



I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the book...
      "Cat walks across your room, and in that lonely stalk you see leopard or even panther, or it turns its head to acknowledge you and the yellow blaze of those eyes tells you what an exotic visitor you have here, in this household friend, the cat who purrs as you stroke, or rub his chin, or scratch his head.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Update on my script

I've heard back from the big shot producer I mentioned in a previous post.

He didn't take on my idea - his words were "It didn't have me on the edge of my seat.  I'm not sure that there are any networks out there looking for this kind of thing at the moment"- but that's ok.  Although it wasn't the response I was hoping for, obviously, I was happy with it.

I've always felt that honesty, no matter how brutal, is a form of respect.  It's the insincere gushings that I find most difficult to deal with - "it's an amazing script but it's not for me", etc.  I'm not going to go all X Factor, "No one's going to step on my dreams" but I'm not going to give up straight away because, after all, it's just one person's opinion.  However, I don't want to waste my time on something that's not going to go anywhere.  People have suggested filming it myself and putting it on YouTube but we'll see.

Watch this space...

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday

In this centenary year of the start of World War 1, Remembrance Sunday becomes even more poignant.  

The slaughter and the devastation of WW1 was incredible because it was a war fought using nineteenth century methods & twentieth century weapons.  This footage from WW1, including the Battle of the Somme makes me cry.  It's not just about the death of millions of ordinary people - it's about the loss of innocence, the dawn of what was going to be a horrible, brutal century in many ways and the beginning of the modern age.

Lest we forget...


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Catching up

Wow, I cannot believe it's just over four weeks since I 'came out' to you guys and had my script reading!

The script reading went incredibly well - far better than I could ever have hoped for.  By and large, everyone loved it.  People were actually laughing at the funny bits!  I was secretly hoping they would find it funny but preparing myself for everyone to snigger in disbelief and walk out.

It was incredibly hard sitting up there in front of a very tough crowd asking for comments on my work but I'm very, very glad I did because the feedback I received was absolutely invaluable.  Someone actually said that it reminded him of the film 'The Artist'!  I nearly fell off my seat!

Unfortunately almost the very next day, I launched into production - yup, 15 hour days, six days a week - for a show which, quite frankly, the less said about the better.  I won't name names but really, technical preparation and simple good manners takes you a long way.  This did mean that I was emotionally drained & physically exhausted by the time I got home every night and I couldn't find the time or the head space to work on the feedback I'd received.  The show from hell is over now and it's looking like October will be a little slower so I'm hoping that I'll be able to get back in the zone.

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