Monday, 31 August 2009

'Notting Hill' (C-A-R-N-I-V-A-L-!)

Contrary to last week's sedate post about the area, readers clicking on this link will get exactly what they are looking for! Carnival!

Yes, Carnival is crowded and noisy, you have 10% of London trying to squeeze into W11. But that's the whole point. You either love the crowds or cry at the sight of humanity. Personally, I like it when it gets sweaty with my fellow peeps!



But my main reason to head to Notting Hill is not so much the procession of flotillas, nor is it the funky sounds on the systems. It is to get my hands on some serious jerk. I love Caribbean food, but there are not enough places in London that sell it. Plus, that original charcoal taste can only be achieved on an open grill!



Jerk Chicken,, washed down by real ginger beer or some cream soda. Yeah! Plus a dumpling on the side, or maybe some curried goat...sweet plantain, definitely! And of course, SALT FISH! For me, the music and dance, and costumes of the procession are immaterial. For me, Notting Hill has always been about getting some good food and good vibes....London wakes up once a year, so take advantage of it, no matter what the fear mongers say...

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Carnival Chips and Teats:

Bring a whistle/horn, family and plenty of cash - Carnival food is expensive! Don't bring a bag, high heels or ear plugs. And shake what your mama gave ya!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Crossings of the River Thames 24 - Waterloo Bridge!

Wow! I have done two dozen crossings over or on the Thames. I never thought I would have been able to keep this up when I first started out on this journey downstream, but surprisingly, I have! If I was following the strict order of things, this bridge should have been blogged last month. Still, as I am never that strict...



Waterloo is a great bridge. Not so much for the bridge itself, but for the view. Waterloo Bridge is THE viewpoint in London. If there is one place you have to go In London, then it is not Buck Pal nor Madame's house of wax but Waterloo Bridge. Why?

Well, Waterloo Bridge is a curiosity of geography. It is situated on a bend in the river. Which allows the user of the bridge to take in the full panorama of London's riverside. A distraction if driving a double decker across the bridge, but fantastic for the casual walker and even better for the serious photographer.


(The view upstream - not a serious photograph, but v. cool)

Waterloo is one big bridge. It is long, exceedingly so. This is due to the fact that it does not only cross over the Thames, but also the Embankment and South Bank complex. It is also very wide. Well the reason for the width is that it is a fairly new bridge, the current structure being less than seventy years old - young for a Thames crossing. It was designed for tram traffic, and when they were dismantled, suddenly there was a lot more room for cars.



Getting there and away:

A load of buses, far too numerous to mention here, serve the bridge. Really, this is probably the best connected bridge in the whole of the city. You can find out the buses here, and here. If you want to bus it around Waterloo at night, then check these links. The nearest station is Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee, The Drain and mainline stations)

Saturday, 29 August 2009

And from summer - goodbye!

(@asad)

This morning, riding home from work, I really felt the first bite of Autumn in the air. It is always at dawn that you feel the change in the wind, and it is safe to say that summer is well and truly over. Yes, we may get a few warm spells between now and October, but 2009 is pretty much downhill from here on in. So, how was the year for you? As for me, well, that is a good question, and something that has yet to be answered...but I now got to dig out the winter wear. Brrr!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Visas (2)

Currently doing the visa application for my Indian Visa. Yep, I am lucky enough to have a huge amount of holiday time left (the advantage to NOT taking your holiday entitlement the previous year is that in the current year, you have EIGHT weeks worth of holiday to use up!) and so being the frivolous person that I am, I am back off to India. Better get that form filled in.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

The Evolution of a Clip

Just a small talk through on how a clip becomes part of a short film. Unfortunately, due to 'youtube quality', the colour corrections do not come out too great in this one...



Or watch the vid by clicking this line!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The perfect cup of tea

For some reason my tea making skills are pants. Don't ask me why, but I can never make the perfect cup of tea. And I drink gallons of the stuff. In the morning, I am nothing without a sip of that Asian nectar. Whether green, oolong, red, yellow, black, white or just a simple assortment of twigs and leaves, I will drink tea of any kind, with or without caffeine (although the Chinese and black varieties are infinitely better tasting due to the stimulus).

However, my tea making skills are crap. Surprising, as my coffee tastes really good (although I am no big fan of coffee). The patience needed to brew tea, the ceremony of the pot and the kettle, it is beyond my comprehension. Still, I have an affinity for tea loving countries, hence my passion for travel in Asia. For me, tea is the height of civilisation. It is something that cannot be underestimated in terms of its use as a social lubricant as well as a simple phycological tool.

I need to take more time for my tea. The fruit of the Himalaya, now grown throughout the world, I very much doubt that this will be the last blog post on this subject. Now I think I am about to make a nice cup of tea...

Monday, 24 August 2009

Knackered

Yesterday was one of those days that I pushed myself very hard. Unfortunately it was for the shallow aim of cash, but nonetheless, I also managed to fit in a radio show and a hell of a lot of cycling into that day too.

Yesterday was one of those days that I am glad of my strong constitution. In terms of energy, I expended a lot, stayed up for far too long and did far too much physical work. Thankfully I know how to go into 'functionality mode' and that includes what I consume and how that will affect me for the next few hours. If you are looking for a meal idea that will fill you up as well as give you energy for a night of work, then think something bulky with as much veggies, meat and carbs in it as possible. No joke, but a kebab does the trick pretty well.

Yesterday was one of those days when I was glad the transport situation did not play up as much as it normally does. Twenty five miles by bike plus a stupid amount by bus and tube meant that I covered a huge slice of the city. I also managed to see the sun rise and set while also seeing the sun rise again this morning (out of interest).

Yesteday was a hot day. Thank goodness! It meant that I could keep awake far better, as I never had to drive with the heating on. I also love the heat, it is far nicer cycling back with a bit of seat, than still being cold after a ten mile cycle ride.

Yesterday was busy. I like being busy, but more in the way of my pleasure. That's it, enough mindless blogging, I'm off to bed!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Where else does El Director hang out?

Just in case you think life is all movies ad CWP, I also do a 'few' other things 'on the side' I am still with the VlogsUp team, pumping out a vid every Tuesday. I also head to NuSound Radio every Sunday from 5-7pm to play the latest hits on the 'Movies and Music Show'. You see, I do get out and about...

Saturday, 22 August 2009

'Anonymous'

Unknown.

Not worth bothering about.

I like the lack of controversy on this blog.

Hence I use my real identity.

Some bloggers do not reveal themselves.

Others have been exposed against their will.

Some have revealed themselves and lost their jobs.

Blogging should not be a crime against humanity.

It's a bloody blog.

Words on the net.

Read by a few.

Occasionally picked up by the mainstream on a quiet day.

But otherwise an extension of what people are thinking or what they are interested in.

I would not be so grand as to say 'an extension of humanity', but they are an extension of that person.

Anyway, blogs are simple things really.

Just like the people who write them.

Just like you and me.

Friday, 21 August 2009

'Notting Hill'

The film made the area fashionable to tourists, and avoidable to locals, but I quite like Notting Hill. Apart from the easy interchange with the tube, it also has a certain element of 'posh funk' to it. The park is nearby and there are a few nice eateries on the pavements. But the real reason why I like Notting Hill are its cinemas. Surprisingly, this close to Central London, there are decent cinemas, that aren't some musty chain version, but proper indies, showing great films, at a reasonable price too!



I love indy cinemas. The vibe there is different from a chainstore. Sure, if you're with friends, and you want a place to go and see a blockbuster, then hit a chain cinema. Some multiplex on the edge of town with decent seats, overpriced snacks and surly staff. But if you're coming back from work, they are convenient. But for real movie watching, to see films that are cool, in locations that are great, then head off to the independent cinemas. Rarely more than two screens in the building, one in an oversized auditorium and the second in some funky little den within the building, these small cinemas are the lifeblood of interesting films in London. They are the screens that will feature films that are not exclusively mainstream American. They are the cinemas tha will expand your mind with fun features on the screen. And usually, they cost a hell of a lot less than the chainstores on Leicester Square. Considering the comfort levels are similar, why would anyone pay two or three times the amount to watch the same film in an overpriced mainstream venue? Plus, the staff are usually more kooky in these independent houses...



So next time you find yourself wth a bit of free time in West London, then head over to one of their picture houses. There's always something interesting, being shown...

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A proper blog

I have not done an old fashioned, 'what I'm upto' blog in a fair while. You know, the classic, almost diaryesque blog that describes, in some detail what I have been upto. And there is a good reason for it. Partly as on the film side, I am in the limbo zone of submitting short films to festivals, but waiting for the turnaround time. This week, I have not sent to any festivals, I just needed to switch off from the form filling. I will get back to festivals next week. In fact, this week, I have taken some 'time-out' with regards to the filming. Just a little switch off. And for god reason too. Blogging about film making is actually quite dull, for a reason. It is pretty technical. Also, I just felt like being more creative this week, so I threw caution to the wind and headed out. Lots of cycling, lots of movie watching, including the fantastic Mesrine and meeting up with friends. Oh, and lots of work too. After all, I am heading back to India this September, so I got to save up!

Talking about India, I better sort out that visa pretty sharpish...

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The CWP Comic...

I was good. Honest! I issues the comic n Monday as promised. Click to View!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Out Takes 3

The bloopers reel is always priceless when coming to editing a short film. So enjoy, as it is the final set of out takes from Jay and Kay Save the World!



Click here to watch the vid!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Behind the Scenes

Larking about as always, the crew tells a few of their thoughts behind the film making process of 'Jay and Kay Save the World'.

Click here to watch video!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Early in the morning...

It is 08.12am as I write this. Being a Saturday, much of the city is stil asleep or dosing off. Some of the workers are already up and running waiting for the first of two days of 'leisure time' to hit them hard as they work to make the rest of the country happy. There are some keep fit freaks out there, cycling away in their speedos, jogging or even rollerblading. Some have not even gone to bed yet. Those partying last night. Those out with that special someone. Waiting for that first bus or if they sneak past the law, swerving drunkenly home. And a few have come back from their night shift. Knackered, but still able to type out blog...

Friday, 14 August 2009

DIY

Damned tools. Being left handed means I am instantly at a disadvantage. Saws of any kind are there to kill me. Hammers stub my fingers. I never have the right type of nail and who the hell nicked my tape measure?

Still, I did a little handy box that quite happily covered some exposed pipe work. Good. Now I got to add the finishing touches. I am not a fast one with the DIY. I get things done, but other bits and bobs have the priority. Also, as I am a late starter naturally, I normally do not get started on any 'house work' until the afternoon, which can leave me scuppered if I need to buy any supplies. Still, I have not done too badly this week in getting jobs round the house done.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

How to spend a free day

With a free day to hand, what do I get upto? I watch a film of course! And thankfully I got to catch one of the best films of the year, Ken Loach's Looking for Eric. A classic film and well worth the afternoon out. You can still see it at the Prince Charles Cinema if you're in London, and it is one of those films I really have to recommend. Many people do not like Loach's films (I personally love them), but this one will definitely put a smile on your face despite dealing with some very real issues. Just watch it, and if you don't believe me then see the trailer - for once, a trailer that accurately reflects a movie. One of the best film I have seen this decade!

Trailer for 'Looking for Eric - click to watch!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Tuesday was too busy, I'm taking today off!

Today has been a night off work. Not that this has really meant much. Spent the morning washing out the wheelie bins. It's summer, the stuf stinks and I do not want an infestation of maggots. Other handy bits of housework included repairing that tear in the shed roof (hopefully should last this winter) as well as securing the pipe that feeds gas to our fireplace against the wall.

But it was very much a CWP day too! Oh yes, this was multitasking at its best. Re-did the subtitles to Jay and Kay Save the World but also got lost in translation and produced a version with French subtitles. Oui, the whole point is to expand 'l'horizons' and venture into new film festival territory. Like all things involving computers, this went as smoothly as a residential road in South London. Littered with pot holes and glass. Rendering, re-rendering, finding out I had a spelling mistake in the ENGLISH SUBTITLES!!! Man, I am fed up of this computer. But finally, I managed to burn a decent copy of the DVD, with a nice little menu option (slight improvement on the original) as well as aligning my subtitles nicely so that even on a small TV set, they won't get chopped off.

But, I am very much switching off this computer tomorrow. After all, I need to get my hands on a saw...

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A little bit of world madness today...

Don't choke into your cereal bowls, but it has bee a while since I have got so political on this blog. Of course there is no surprise that Suu Kiyi is back under arrest. The junta is hoping that she will die under house arrest. Burma, has the potential to be a rich country, but, well, we all know the state of affairs there at the moment. Swinging round the proverbial corner, the Nepali government has decided to launch a shame whereby potential brides can be sold off. State sponsored traficking or a way to deal with a demographic crisis. Considering both next door China and India have an overpopulation of men, this is probably not the best system the Nepali government could have come up with.

Talking about China, at least one country has realised that it is not a province of the People's Republic. And closer to home, this is not the views of a small minority.

Monday, 10 August 2009

CWP Da Comic Strip!

Yeah, you know me. It's a Monday, and that means only one thing. COMICS!



This comic is taken from the third webisode in the CWP series, The Suitcase. So have a mosey around in your spare time this morning...

Saturday, 8 August 2009

And the winner of the steaming hot bowl of plov is...

As part of last month's exclusive competition for a steaming hot bowl of plov, we here at CMD Enterprises Inc are ready to announce the results of the entrants to last month's competition. If you would like to be considered for next month's prize draw (a luxurious free CD compilation of EL Director's podcasts and ramblings) simply click on the link below and enter the following details:

Name:
Address (inc Zip/Post Code):
Date and Place of Birth (if born in a Mickey Mouse country please discontinue):
A secret password:
Re-confirm Password:
Credit Card Details (no debit cards, we aim to be untraceable):
A mobile phone number:
Your facebook account (so we can be friends):

And click on the link below to enter our free prize draw!

FREE PRIZE DRAW (MADE MORE OBVIOUS BY THE USE OF CAPITALS) - CLICK HERE TO GET MORE GREAT OFFERS/COUPONS ETC!!!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Memories for the weekend...

I remember the Soviet Union. Big, bad, red. We had big cola brands, the communists had lousy cars and awful looking women with too much testosterone. Of course the reality was somewhat different. Colas rot your teeth, Eastern Block women are hot, and despite having a car, a bicycle is stil the fastest way to cross London, 20 years after its invention.

I remember the mid-90's. Boy bands that were awful, girl bands that could not sing. Of course, times have not changed much. Music is still awful, but instead of a 1960's revival, we are now going through an eighties revival. I wonder if anyone will attempt a 1990's revival in music, but how can you revive a revival decade?

I remember the war on terror. Blair and Bush killing people both at home and abroad in order to get cheaper oil for the companies they held shares in. Squandering the assets of the Western world on geopolitical strategy that will take generations to pay off. All of a sudden, the War on Terror seems quite quaint as an idea, more like a war of attrition.

I remember starting this blog, an awfully long time ago and thinking that this would never last. My mind is too fickle, my whims too contrasting. Shockingly it still exists. In a way, although it is completely random in what it covers.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

El Director is sick

My lungs are crap. Official. When I die, there will be a good chance that it is my lungs that will kill me. The slightest bit of cold gets to them very quickly. On Tuesday, I had breakfast in the kitchen, without a T-shirt. Now I have a cold. Damn lungs!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Good Morning!

Many of you will be reading this with your corn flakes this morning. I saw 'many' when I mean maybe two people will be reading this as part of their morning ablutions. Some will read this at work. On the desk, sneaking a quick view for 'recreational' or 'educational' purposes. Some of my precious viewers may see this via a link from a search engine or some other form of viral trafficking. Or this could flatline as an empty day. No matter what, I do not know, as I never keep tabs on my blog's stats. I could have one or one million people visit everyday, and I would be none the wiser.

Odds on however is that when you are reading this, I will probably be asleep. Well then, check out the post time. I very rarely post at a sensible time of the 'day'. Normally it is after work or after I get up. But as I work some crazy shifts, then it really does not help matters. My post times do not actually reveal when I am working or not (this morning, for instance, I am off).

But whatever you are doing this morning, enjoy it! I am personally an early bird and there is nothing better than seeing in the mornings with a fine blog! Enjoy your read!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Monday, 3 August 2009

The 'Official' Trailer.

Of course, for me that absolutely means nothing, and expect another official trailer for 'Jay and Kay Save the World' to appear anytime soon. However, for the illusion of doubt, here is the Official Trailer to the first Hi Def short for 'Caution Wet Paint!'

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Rip Off Summer

Although today looks deceptively warm, does anyone have a feeling of deja vu? Last year, 207, it seems all the same. Rain, ran, rain. Nothing else in the sky but the pitter-patter of water droplets falling from the heavens. No sunshine, a general lack of Vitamin D and instead of that bouncy feeling, it feels as if we have barely escaped February in terms of temperatures.

There really is no plus side to what is a terrible season. Oh, and did anyone else notice how quickly the month of July went?

Saturday, 1 August 2009

El Comico!

In case you were wondering, yes, there was a CWP comic on Monday and you can view Monday's issue here: