Well, well, it has been an entertaining time. Sorry to be offline, but I have been busy shooting like a dog. Friday I filmed part 2 of the East End Documetaries. The results are here or you can browse along to here at around lunchtime.
Then on Saturday was the marathon. Six short films shot in one day. Numbers 2-7 of the CWP series. And you will see part 2 on Bank Holiday Monday. I hope.
Years after the dot.com revolution I have decided that it is time for me to get my own website. Nothing like jumping on a bandwagon that's not only past by, but past by, broken down and is now spluttering away. However, this is more than just a mere flirtation with the net. No, I have to bite the bullet and write my own webspace. Anyone know what bandwidth means?
I like to have my milk delivered to my doorstep. Every morning I get fresh moo juice for my cereal and I don't have to think about walking to the shops in my underwear in order to get a fresh bottle to start the day. But for the past few days, my milk has gone missing. Or more accurately has been half finished.
I get up, as normal, I go down the stairs. I open the door and there lies the milk bottle, opened and drunk out of. No, it hasn't been smashed about nor has it been spilt. It is drunk and then very neatly put down back on the door step, half emptied of its content.
So the idea was set. A few phone calls were made, a lot of arms were twisted and finally I managed to bring a cast together. We shot, in the rain, the batteries died and everything about low budget film making came flooding back. And then I went to Sri Lanka. Saw the family, and got chikungunya. Oooh, crippling and anything else you can think of, it threw me out for three months. That's it, gone to hell and back. Three months of my life in a limbo of pulling myself to work and mooching over a computer. Do not underestimate the power of the disease. It took three months to get back to anything resembling normality in terms of doing things and only now am I returning to physical activity. But like chicken pox, once you get it, you don't get reinfected. I hope.
So, fairly disease free, I press on with the actual editing of the film. And an idea strikes me. Why bother with this short for festivals. Why not release this on the internet as part of a series. I think. I think some more. Then I start writing some more shorts. The bus stop goes from being a prequel to 'Part 1'...
So there is a plot, of sorts, there are characters, but what next? How do I get this less sadistic offering made? Do I make a feature like last year? Well, I could, the budget for this is very cheap. But this comedy is not the traditional type of ha-ha. It's a little bit more freaky. In my mind it's like those Eurocomedies, partly as I want to do something that is completely unviolent, unsexual and shockingly, without swearing. Anyone who reads these blogs knows that the occasional 'f-up' occasionaly makes it in. Could I write a script without one c-u-next-tuesday?
Of course the script is being rewritten. How else am I going to fit in deviant PhD students, Kung Fu Pizza guys, Petrol Station Workers with a vendetta and a movie star/doctor in love? Why, I have Jay and Kay to help me.
There is more to 'The Bus Stop', but more to be revealed...soonish.
I get up in the morning. Mornings are beautiful, now that spring is here. I go outside, the crispy air of dawn touches my tongue. I walk to work. Walking is always best. Two legs are better than three. I swipe in, I pick up my bag of post, then I try to spend the next seven hours doing as little as possible. I go to the markets, sample some very fresh fruit. I go find the milkman and sample some very fresh milk. I walk everywhere, except trying to deliver letters. The best things about being a postman is that you don't have to do very much. Just a little here and a little there and then everyone is happy. Letters, ah, I just leave them. Anyway, who uses letters anymore, it's all electronic now!
Yes, I too have sadness in my life, it has not been east for me. But life is too short to think about the bad things in life. Instead, you got to grasp it by the letterbox and go forward. To appreciate the big things, the little things are what you should love. Only then do you realise how lucky you are. Dooby doo, I like my milk. The cool refreshing liquid, nectar of the udder soothes the body from the rigours of the city.
Mmm, who's that person sitting at the bus stop? I think I might talk to him.,.
Of course, I can't just write a comedy about my love life, the whole thing would barely last ten minutes. I needed another source of inspiration for this comic outing. Something that would make generations to come laugh at the ineptitude of our times. Mmm, I got it, employment!
Now, I have had some truly lousy jobs in the past, and I may have some pretty awful ones to come. One person described a job as getting paid to clean up trash. I am of course using politer words than he did, but you get the gist. The people on the job can be comic to observe, you'll be surprised at just who can hold down a job, as well as the custom you can receive.
One of my more funny jobs was working as a Christmas Casual at Royal Mail. This job was what they call seasonal. At the busiest time of the year, the Royal Mail employ thousands of 'casual' staff to do everything that the unionised staff won't do. In other words, without the casuals, there would be no post. It's a miracle that you do get letters, in one piece during most of the year. But the volume at Christmas means that there is extra jobs for those that want it.
And the system is so inefficient. But as a casual, you don't care as the pay is good and there is a lot of 'chill time', usually because the company is so inept at the simple things such as signing you on or off.
I liked the casual job. I liked the whole idea behind it and in fact for a lot of people it was a way of becoming a proper, unionised, postman. That was the magic bit.
All right, I know it's a pretty lousy name, but what can you do? You don't choose the names you were given, unless you can actually be bothered to do a deed poll. Anyways, how did the name 'deed poll' come about?
All right, here I am eating my breakfast. Cereal. I love the stuff. I consume stupid amounts of it in fact. And I know that it's bad for you, but at least the milk does you good. Mmm, there's nothing like the taste of cornflakes to wake you up in the morning. And I'm looking for jobs. Just come back from travelling. Or should I call that running away. From what, I don't know. Well, I do. You see, um, well it's a bit embarrassing. Okay, here goes.
I was young, and dumb. And always in my own little world. I've been drawing since I was a kid. Hey, I got this dumb idea that maybe one day I might become a published comic book artist. Wow, the name 'artist'. Even 'wower', getting cash for it. Well, I left the country. I was fed up with everything. No recognition, no direction, no nothing. And the fact that I let the girl of my dreams slip away.
Now, this was not some love from afar. We knew each other, proper. We talked, we chilled, we got along. Everyone else could see except for me what a beautiful thing we had. But this was it, I was wrapped up in my own selfish little world. Feeling sorry for myself and my tormented artistic soul. Hah, what a load of pap. And this is what rubs, I was scared of her. Not that she was scary, but of her experience. In life, in the world, in sex. Yeah, I have to say this I am a dumb guy and dumb guys think stupid insecure things. So when you hear this and that, you think, 'hey, will I stand up to her measure in the bedroom'. Of course, this is always what a guy thinks about.
Then one day it hits you. I would love to say while I was travelling, but it wasn't. In fact it was here in sunny London. It's weird how you realise things when they are right in front of you. And I realised, this didn't matter. We liked each other for who we were. And I was too frightened to make the move that would have led to something a little more than this so called 'life'.
So how did we part? Like everyone else, we danced, we looked in each other's eyes. And that look was one of 'it's too late'. We hugged and we left. I saw her a couple of years later. She looked fantastic, she always did. And again, I knew and she knew, that I, and only I, had left it too late. We said a few words and went on our way. Awkward, looking across at each other over the crowded street of the capital.
She's somewhere. Getting on with her life as I am with mine. And I honestly hope she is happy in whatever she is doing. I know that one day we will meet again, years later. This time we'll look at each other and maybe I might be honest with her. But whatever happens in life, it's always onward and upward.
Okay, about a year ago I had this idea. To write a comedy based in London on the life of this one guy as he decides to find love against the urban backdrop of the capital.
Well, I write some pretty sadistic things. In fact, most of the stuff I write about involves death, destruction and plenty of home made violence. So I decided, for a change, to do something comic. And what can be more comical than my love life.
But before we get to the love story, we need to know the characters.
It's the summer. And what better way to spice it up, then by sprawling your loved one in jewels and underwear. Well, that's the idea. As blokes we only think of one end result and women, being far more clever think of everything else such as survival, material objects etc, etc...
Anyway, be good, enjoy the summer and buy 'her' some stuff to make her smile...
Waking up late in the morning means that as soon as you get put of bed, you're hungry. For me, I had my last bite to eat some eleven hours previously, so I got up ravenous. Down the stairs and before you even say hello to your family, you're in the fridge. Forget about tea, something more substantial is needed to fill me up. What do I see, bread, buns, fruit, ah, rice! Good, taake out of fridge. Warm it up. Look in the pans, it smells good enough to penetrate the hayfever. Dollop on plate. 'Ding'. The rice is cooked, pile on wiith food from pan. Lemon salad, it goes on the plate.
Eyes becoming less steamy as sleep lifts away. See family already eating. Ah, it's lunchtime. The penalty for working late shifts, getting up when people aare already active in the day. Grab remote control, sit down in front of television. Family begin to speak to me. Must ignore them, must refuel. Start shovelling food inside of me, bones and all being crunched on my hardened teeth. Occasioanlly sip water, also thirsty after the long sleep (for once) annd the even longer break wwithout food.
Changed channel. Onto what, I don't care. It's all the same. Must continue eating. Damn, plate empty, must re-fill. Enter into the kitchen, bits of meat stivcking to my teeth. No longer care, want food. Empty pan of its contents, put bread on plate, it's too much time to wait for rice to warm up. Start eating on way back to the living room. Accident has happened in the house. Don't care, must eat. Nothing else matters. Continue to swallow, chewing is now an option for the damned.
Ten minutes later, all refreshed. Oh hello family.
For the uninitiated amongst the population, the Cricket World Cup is taking place in the West Indies. Wow, if only...but the fact that the actual games are on satelite tv means I have to go to a pub, wake up early in the morning to catch the highlights on normal tv or get the info off the net.
But Sri Lanka are doing pretty well. Second in the Super Eights, we should get through to the Quarter Finals. However, it won't be easy. Although we beat NZ yesterday, that doesn't mean we're superior. Although our batting is better than it was a few years ago, it still is our weak point and we are overdepndent on our fielding and fast spinners to produce the results.
But I won't moan too much. We're winning and we have a chance of getting to the finals and dare I say it, even winning it. It would be great to win, and it would surprise everyone just like 1996. All we got to do is get past Australia.
Well, I received my first comment on youtube, a mommentous day. And it wasn't from someone I know, or some long lost family member, but a member of the public. Wow. I am shcoked as it was the film that I expected the least response to, but that's the beauty of posting your own stuff on the web. You just don't know who or what is going to respond to. How many random searches do you make while delaying that all important deadline. Hey, why do you think I blog?
Well, I look forward to more comments and there are more documentaries for An East End Tale coming soon.
Home. Arrive back. Tired. Long day. Now got to do things. But what. To make life more than money. But what? How to justify the day. Why it means more than go-bus-go.
Eat. Toilet. Shower. Basics. Can't move. Why am IK trying to bother. Tired. See other people moving by, faster, better. TV. Temptation in a box. See the flickering images. Don't move, stay still, look at the screen.
Tired. Want to sleep. Must write a few more things. Internet. So tempting to forget myself awash in the maze of the www. Better than to take responsibility. Better than filling out forms and etc.
I was doing a little tidying up yesterday, when lo and behold I came across a copy of Sim City 3000 lurking in my drawer. Well, I took it out, blew off the dust and remembered my childhood. Then, looking shiftily from side to side, I popped it into the computer. Installed it. And there came up the Maxis logo. Suddenly, irresistibly, my finger tapped the mouse pad and away I was.
I was so excited, I never bothered entering a name for my mayor or for myself. I chose a terrain. An estuary. Lovely. Then I took my starting point. A small promontory. A few simple grid squares later and I was already at 10,000 people and a booming population. Then I realised, I needed to make money. Built a railway line to my neighbour. And at the edge of the city, I started to import rubbish to burn. Oh baby, was I making money! Yeah! And my little trash settlement along the railway line, isolated became the general utility hole. More power plants (especially when the first went into decay and was removed from what became the centre of town), sewerage works and evil industry. But a settlement without roads on the edge of the map/ I didn't know which was more interesting. The settlement or my main city. But these twin towns were beginning to expand, especially the main one. I was spreading along the coast. More rail lines, hospitals, a couple of satellite settlements which eventually became part of the ever-growing metropolis. Riots and tornadoes to contend to. More parks, a few playgrounds, schools and uni's. Yeah baby. The city expanded, and at 70,000 people I was not even on a quarter of the landspace. Yeah baby.
Four hours later, I emerged, dazed and confused. Appetite low and disorientated. And I was meant to fill in a film festival form today. Nooooo!
Well, now our four day 'holiday' is coming to an end, we go back to normal. Anyone who went out yesterday could seee a little bit of 'Ye Olde England'. No shops open, kids playing on the streets and a complete lack of traffic. The combination of Sunday tradfing laws and good weather has meant a lack of shoppers, loads of people who left London and a balmy climate to go outside and to actually enjoy it too.
There are two ways to take this. One. Damn it will be a year (or so) until we witness this again. Or. Yeah! It's Easter Monday. the shops are open and civilisation is back!
It felt very weird yesterday. The bulk of my life has actually been when Sunday's were another trading day. And so for me, scenes like yesterday spook me out. But they are also strangely alluring. It is actually nice knowing that there s no pressure on you to 'get things done' as you cannot purchase anything. So it is actually a day spent with family rather than with shoppers.
I don't advocate one or the other, there are advantages to both trading on Sunday and keeping the shops shut. The way I look at it is, if you're going to open on a Sunday, you might as well go the whole hog and open for the full day, not the current six hours that we have.
For anyone with a long enough memory (bottom of page), you will know that I ordered four DVD's a month ago. Well, last week I watched the third of the four, Nausicaa and it was spectacular. I think I liked it more than Laputa, it's a tough one to decide. Nevertheless, I am a fan and I am going to have to get all of Miyazaki's films, but like the Crouching Tiger comic book series, I'll take my time getting them.
Comics, cartoons, kung fu films. I got to get my head out of the clouds. But they're so fun! Isn't that what life is all about. Man, the other day I say an episode of Tom and Jerry and I was hooked, just like when I was younger. Ah, the reminiscence of an old geezer. It's true, you yearn for the days when life was about not caring.
One of the things I love about Easter is the movies. Ben Hur, Spartacus, King of Kings, The Ten Commandments, Samson the list is endless. Bible epics with fifties/sixties style splashed all over. No CGI, pure sets etc.
But a shiftworker always misses out on the best of these. Damn!
When I was a lad, Good Friday was a sombre occasion to remember and reflect. The churches would befull (not just on Easter Sunday, but the whole of Holy Week), the shops were closed and the general atmosphere was quiet. There was always some special thing in the newspapers and on the television. There was the Easter rush, but Good Friday was a quieter time. You noticed it on the streets and you notced it on people's faces. Good Friday was not a party day. And of course, Hot Cross buns were only sold in Holy Week in stead of everyday of the year.
Today I'm off to work. And for everyone else, it's time to SHOP!
The Easter holidays are a time of unbridled dossing in the middle of spring. A four day bonanza to enjoy and relax unless you're a 'real' worker in which case you'll be wworking right the way through.
However, for the younger viewers of the internet this is a time of discovery. Getting laid, getting drunk and getting stoned, a hedonistic trip into the world of adulthood. The weather is better, the skirts get shorter and suddenly the possibilities of adulthood come sharply into focus. Proper exams that are meant to mean something, the legalisation of self in what were formerly illeagal acts due to the age of youth and that all important frst job. When that NI number drops through the letter box, you know you are on the system.
So enjoy the fun. From 16-18, the Easter holidays are a mixture of depair (revision) and joy (hedonism) with large amounts of Pap (mcjobs). It i the time of your life that shapes you for the rest of your life. It is so important that if it is screwed up, you will be perpetual looser bus drivers! Do you really want your life to end up that way! No! You must go forward and strike down those that stand in your way! Oh woe is the ones who have wasted the precious time of their youth in follies of non-essential distraction! No!!!
The Economist has done a survey on what they believe are the best cities in the world for quality of life etc, so all those suited peeps lording it in The City can send their staff to this or that place, safe in the knowledge that due to this latest guide, they can't be sued for almighty f-ups.
Of course, it doesn't work that way.
But let's play along. For anyone reading this, say in a week's time, you'll find the link 'disabled' unless you have premium subscription. As a bus driver, I fall into the 'pikey' category.
Where was I? Well, number one is Zurich. It's mountainous, monoethnic and Swiss so of course for fans of chocolates, dodgy bank accounts and cuckoo clocks it is one sweet place for business. Unsurprisingly my favourite place on Earth, Singapore, ranks fairly high too. What is surprising is London's fairly high ranking. Obviously this is the London that stretches from Chealsea to The Tower and the only part of South London(today'stopstories). they saw is the South Bank Centre.
What is more surprising is that London ranks above Seoul, New York and amzingly is considered a better place than Hong Kong.
How is this possible!
Quite simply, the Economist never ventured to Croydon...
It's an early start for me today anyways. But I got up earlier because of a dream I had. Not a nightmare, but something freaky. If I get a good dream, I try to write it down as soon as I've had it. Of course at 4am it is very difficult to have that enthusiasm especially when you have to get up for work. I love the way the body thinks to itself as it gets up, help, just ten more minutes. As that's going to make a difference to your life. I should have gone to bed earlier the night before, but that's never going to happen. I'll always try to justify my so called life by etching away on this computer.
Mmm. Tired. Starting to ramble on more than is necessary.
It's that time of the month to take a look on what's on the side of London's buses for the month...
Well, spring is here, but surprisingly pharmaceuticals are off the sides of the big red monsters. In fact there has not been any one big publicity blitz but lots of small ones. It seems that March/April does not have one domminating prescence. Here are my pick of what I've been driving round.
1) TMNT - For anyone that grew up in the eighties/nineties, 'The Turtles' were the hippest thing ever. Unfortunately for me, I was a CITV fan not a CBBC brat, so I never got into these green freaks, instead prefering the equally artistic 'The Real Ghostbusters'. Well, it's the Easter Holidays you either have turtles or 'The Robinsons' Family' (something along those lines). Both appeal to me as much as someone stroking my shoulders and punching my scrotal sack at the same time. As you might have clocked, I do not yet have any children of my own.
2) Orange - as in the phone company. Like number '1', there is no need for a link as everyone has heard of them. As for me, again no appeal. Freakily I had someone phone my mobile today and ask me whether or not I wanted to move to a contract. I stil do not want a contract and I am proud to say that I have not yet been able to send a text with my current phone (which is nearly three years old). It works fine, I've never wapped, videoed or bluetoothed and I have taken only two pictures before getting bored with the novelty factor of it all. I will not endorse any phone company, as they are all the same. And I will be sticking to 'pay as you go'.
3) The Ideal Home Exhibition. To be honest, this campaign is fading out, so it's probably already finished. I haven't checked the dates, as I don't have a home to make ideal. A once a year treat for the Daily Mail readership to up sticks and take the train to the capital. Off to Earl's Cout to see how they can defeat Mr. and Mrs. Jones next door. Then a quick sprint back to the mainlines for the train ride home before darkness descends and the cleaners come out.