Monday, October 29, 2007

UNKNOWN PLEASURES

Good news my friend Jacqui Edenbrow's JOY DIVISION documentary film is getting a plug 'n' review on none other than JONATHAN ROSS tomorrow night. I am so pleased for Jacqui and co. It's a great film, I've seen it already! I'll go again to see it on the big screen though - with cinema surround sound. For a while there, I was over-dosing on the joys of JOY DIVISION. I saw her documentary on DVD, the CONTROL film at the cinema and read the autobiography of Ian's ex wife Debbie. All good. Anyway Jac's film premiered at Toronto this year and is getting rave reviews across the globe. Yay!

Speaking of UNKNOWN PLEASURES - I weathered the cold to see the Somerville kids practicing their GO KART RACING at LARKHALL yesterday. Thankfully it remained dry the whole time I was there and it was fun watching them whiz around the tracks. I tried to sneak a shot on Siobahn's kart but she wasn't having any of it.

Saturday I met up with some Q-Crew...my former colleagues DAVID HAMMOND and PAUL CARLIN. Sadly BRIAN WOOLFSON was a no show...But the three of us had some fantastic grub and banter at the CATWALK in town. A little rocker joint...not to be confused with the CATHOUSE on the same street. I still really miss Q96 even though it's been dead a year now. I can't imagine a better experience at any other radio station, sadly. Least I still keep in touch with many of my former colleagues and meet up with them regularly. It's not quite the same but better than nothing!

Left the boys to browse at FOPP. Had never been to the top floor (at least no in years) and walked out with FOUR (count them) documentaries...One about ENRON, SUPER SIZE ME, The CORPORATION and INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS. When I got home - I actually was searching for HOOP DREAMS.

You see I've found a list of the TOP GROSSING DOCS of all times and I am trying to see every one of them,...well at least the ones that look compelling...to study them. I eventually found HOOP DREAMS and watched it all Saturday night. Sounds sad but it was a great way to spend the evening - in the cozy comfort of my sofa. The movie also went in a completely different direction that I thought it would. That's nice when that happens.

Well speaking of documentaries - I need to make a start on the pile. The film TOUCHING THE VOID arrived today too. So the pile is ever-expanding. I feel like a student these days. Trying to absorb as much as I possibly can. Nicola's due to lend me a few as well. The more the merrier...

What's the most ironic thing about all of this is - I was never much of documentary films fan...then I hit 39, buy a camera and decide to make one. What the hell is that about? Oh well, sometimes we have to go with the flow...Like, take this morning for instance, when I woke up, got a bee in my bonnet about joining a gym, phoned one up, got a tour booked today and then joined on the spot. No waffling about - I just did it because I was led to do so today. Voila.

It's official, I am on a get-fit-kick. Mostly because I need to lose a few sizes before I even consider being on camera in the film. I am feeling ever-so-tubby at the minute. That aint good.

So on that note, I must dash to watch the CORPORATION.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

IS ROMANCE IN TRAVEL A THING OF THE PAST?



Welp tomoorrow I am heading out into the field for BBC RADIO SCOTLAND...Looking for romance on the tubes, the trains, and Queen Street Station. This is all in response to a new sculpture being unveiled at St Pancras International. It is called The Meeting Place by Paul Day (as you can see) depicts a couple in a "timeless embrace", the 30ft-high (9m) sculpture "reflects the romance that train travel used to have," Mr Day said. The statue, in part, was also inspired by the film Love Actually. "At the airport scene, you get all the characters together and suddenly the doors open and out come the people that have been away, you get all sorts of meetings and people being reunited. I think that is an interesting slice of life and in a way the relief around the base has to be a rich tapestry about people getting together again after being apart."

So basically it's my job to see if I can spy me any romantic embraces, kisses, hand holding, and the like. Possibly someone with flowers for someone they're meeting??

I have to admit, I am a bit dubious...but I'm hoping my jaded-self will be proven wrong. Maybe I'll be lucky and find a bit of romance whilst out there myself? (Chance would be a fine thing....ha!)

Anyway, tune in tomorrow before 10:30 to find out....

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, October 22, 2007

NEW WEEKS, NEW PROJECTS


ENGLAND

Well I have returned from what was an untimately mixed trip to England.Monday was 420 miles on the road - collapsing at Cambridge Services for the night. Tuesday was 170 miles and included an emotional funeral (is there any other kind?) Wednesday and Thursday were meetings in London - with a variety of uber-talented people all having different ideas of what the SYBD movie should be about. One suggestion was to REMOVE ME from the film and the WEBSITE too. It was an interesting pitch but a completely different film. In all honestly, it makes me want to just go buy a new (better) video camera and go make the film I want to make without worrying about its commercial viability. I've had a lot on my mind this past weekend. On Friday, the return to Scotland was up the A1, to Scotch Corner, and across England's answer to "66" (not quite as 'cool' as its American counterpart). It was a decidedly pretty trip from East to West though, it has to be said. Then up to the Central Belt of Bonnie Scotland. Home at last. 405 miles later!

MUSIC

I played my So You've Been Dumped Anthems mix the whole way home from London to Glasgow. (Yes, it's a big playlist.) It was quite different to flicking the dial all the way down. Was nice to just put on a long playlist and let it roll. I had intended on playing new music from DAVE GAHAN, IDLEWILD, EDWYN COLLINS, KT TUNSTALL and ED HARCOURT but my CD player died as I was warming up my car down at Hannah's. Thank goodness I'd bought a wireless kit for MP3 players at last weekend's Ideal Home Show...or I'd have been stuck with UK radio for the journey.

WRITING

So a new week begins. After a decidedly chilled out weekend - I feel semi-re-charged and ready to go again. Having received an email from the lovely folks at NANOWRIMO - I have decided to take part again this year. I did it (successfully) a few years ago and managed to write well over the 50,000-word target. Not sure if I'll find it as easy this time, particularly because I have no idea what I am going to write about this year. Oh well, at least I have a week to decide!

I have posted on SYBD that we should all write a short story called So You've Been Dumped and then at the end of it we publish it as a collection of short stories and sell it through the site (and beyond)...I think that's a rather good idea (I am filled with them) but then on the other hand I am tired of break ups - both personally and professionally. I should go write a story about a fuzzy bunny or something.

Then again - they say "write about what you know". So yeah, it will no doubt be about men and women and how bad communication can go awry - causing much pain and friction. Or perhaps how isolating it can feel to live alone in an urban environment. That's certainly something I know a lot about. Loneliness. I suspect I am not the only one....

RADIO

Just had Karen on the phone from BBC RADIO SCOTLAND. Doing a piece on Thursday morning about Romance on the Railways! I'll be out and about seeing if I can spot any. I do like trains and train stations so it will be fun to be sent on this little excursion! Maybe I'll get lucky? :)

ONCE

Grant and I are off to see the movie ONCE this afternoon. I've had the soundtrack from it for a whle now - courtesy of my lovely pal Fiona. A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story. It stars Glen Hansard from the Irish band the FRAMES. Used to like them and have heard good things about this film. So yeah that's me ending on a positive note, I'd say....

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SAYING GOODBYE

Well just a short update to say that I have survived the past week and the journey south. Ended up driving 420 miles yesterday and collapsing at Cambridgeshire.

Got up and made my way to the funeral in Norfolk. It was a coldish, wet and miserable day today - which somehow seemed fitting. The service was lovely, and several dozen people filled the gorgeous church - Rocklands St. Peter. Don't think I was the only one shedding tears throughout its entirety. I did find it rather apt that the skies cleared just long enough for them to lower the coffin into the ground.

After the service we moved en masse to a nearby pub - the White Hart in Rocklands. I'd actually had a spot of lunch before the funeral there, so it was my second visit in one day. It's a hidden gem that only the locals must know of its whereabouts. It also helps that I think it's the ONLY eating establishment IN Rocklands!

A highlight of the day was re-connecting with my friend Paul and meeting his little one called Fletcher. That wee boy stole the day with his cheeky grin and joi de vivre. As soon as my camera was out - he turned on the charm. Bless his cotton sox.

After some refreshments - it was time to get on the road once more - southbound toward London. Have arrived at my destination - having done another 170 miles today. To say I am well and truly spent would be an understatement.

Alas it's back to the 'real' (ish) world tomorrow with more meetings in London about the SYBD film. I welcome the return to normalcy. Now that today is over I can leave mourning and regain the land of the living and celebrating life. It's how she'd want it. Of that, I am certain.

Carpe Diem my friends, Carpe Diem.


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, October 08, 2007

BRIGHT SIDE OF RED RUBBER BALLS

I was supposed to go see ANI DIFRANCO last night - but to be honest, my heart just wasn't in it (Sorry Ani).

Instead Ross and I went to the pictures for a change (not). We saw, rather appropriately, the HEARTBREAK KID...which was painful at times and funny at others.

Whilst Ross was driving me home, I commandeered his radio and landed on BILLY SLOAN's show on RADIO CLYDE - just in time to hear him playing PAUL ANKA covering the KILLERS "Mr Brightside". It was one of the strangest covers I've heard in a long time, but he's truly made it his own!

Now most of you reading this won't even know who PAUL ANKA is but the American contingent will, I suppose. His new record features MICHAEL BUBLE and JON BON JOVI too. But pictured here's his classic from 1960... "Puppy Love". I think I was rather weened on PAUL ANKA thanks to my music-loving parents!

Anyway, I am going somwhere with all this, bear with me....

So, oddly enough, today when going through my private messages - I see one from a gal called Cactaceae who writes:

"Dear Thea, I think my favorite break-up song, is "Red Rubber Ball" by the CYRKLE. My first boyfriend introduced it to me by jukebox right after he broke up with me (20 years ago) and we ran into each other at the same tavern during a pool tournament. I find the song to be uplifting (though, at the time, it was a spit in the face) and it's even cooler to be able to watch them sing it. I know PAUL SIMON wrote it, but I haven't heard his version. Hope you like it...

It was a Billboard # 2 hit before I was born, and I can't say I ever remeember hearing it, but I like it. And so it was just rather weird to see PAUL ANKA attached to the video here. This Paul is a legend and he's everywhere! He wrote "My Way" (of Sinatra fame) and even covers Nirvana. Bizarre but true.

Anyway, below is the video that Cact was talking about RED RUBBER BALL by the CYRKLE. I kinda like it. What do you think? Should we get someone to cover it for the SYBD film or what?



Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, October 07, 2007

SO NOT OVER YOU

My buddy Alana just wrote me this morning about her song that SIMPLY RED has covered. It's a break-up anthem if ever there was one. (See the video below). I know it's not cool to admit but I liked SIMPLY RED. Met the boys back in 87 when I worked at Tower Records in Mountain View and they came to do an in-store for us. Even played football with them out back. No small feat, as I was wearing my trendy white pumps at the time (yes really) ;) Aww the 80s, God love 'em.

After regaling me with an amazing breakup story of her own, Alana says: "I forgot to tell you the video on my page is one of the songs that we wrote in the girlband and Simply Red bought it and changed it around a little. I thought maybe you should have a listen, because it might work in one of your projects; a bit slow maybe, but I'm sure you will be able to relate to it, hehe. PS our version was better and a littlemore fun xxx"

Now, I really want to hear the original version...! I am always on the look-out for good break up anthems for the SYBD film and soundtrack. So keep them coming peeps.



Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, October 06, 2007

BLEAK WEEK

Well when a week begins with the death of a maternal figure and ends on your own mother's birthday (had she lived) it's bound to be a tough week. I've been a yo-yo all week. Oscillating between moments of bliss and bawling. Last night I opted to take a run and less than halfway through it I've come down on my ankle wrong and it took 20 minutes to hobble home. A perfect end to a crappy week!

The funeral's in a week's time. 'Just need to work out how I am going to get to the small village it takes place in. Road trip anyone?

THREE STRIKES YOU'RE OUT!

I went to Byres Road yesterday to check / send mail - namely a condolence card and was reminded that there is yet another bloomin' mail strike. If Americans are known for sueing then Brits have to be known for striking. If it's not mail, it's tubes, and it's getting bloody annoying. There has to be a better way for conflict resolve. Surely. Hopefully it will be resolved before the week is up. I guess if not I may as well hand deliver the damn card.

JUNKIE MUSIC

But a new week's begun and out with a friend in Edinburgh tonight - for food and some Canadian music in the form of the COWBOY JUNKIES. Just gonna take a while to hobble there from Waverly. Ha!

Tomorrow night is more live music in the form of ANI DIFRANCO. I cannot wait to hear "Untouchable Face". As far as break-up anthems go - it has to be right up there with ALANIS MORISSETTE's "You Oughta Know". (Speaking of Alanis - check out her version of "My Humps" on her site - bit of a hoot.)

SYBD FILM UPDATE

Progress is being made on the SYBD film but it's so slow it's barely visible. More meetings scheduled after the funeral and I pray by the month's end that the right production company will be on board and we can truly get this film/filming off the ground!

Meanwhile I've been having small interviews with all the potential candidates who have agreed to be filmed. They're literally all over the globe - which is awesome because it hopefully means I get to travel to see them! How cool is that? Brazil, here I come!

HD - DV CAMERAS

Also researching new cameras so I can continue filming. I've been practicing lately on some friends - just to get better at camera work. Hard to believe how far it's all come since the last day of Q96 - just over a year ago. Still mourning that loss, but the busier I am, the better I am...Good thing too as things are about to get hectic.

INDIAN SUMMER

The only good thing I can really say about the past week is that the weather, for the most part, was rather glorious. A true Indian Summer. Of course today it's returned to its usual dreary dullness...which somewhat matches my mood. But at least as I look out the window here - I can see the Fall colors kicking in...Trees outside are lovely greens, oranges, yellows and browns. It's taking me back to last year when I was cruising through New Engalnd. (This shot on Cape Cod, in fact). I can't believe a year has passed.

HOLIDAYS

Well the holidays are just around the corner and I am trying to work out, now, where and who I am spending them with. I priced flights to California for Thanksgiving and Virgin came up as a top deal (that's unheard of by the way). Was sorely tempted to just grab that baby and go. But the filming schedule needs sorted before I can consider any leisurely trips home...

...Besides my pal Tracy messaged me from Austin this morning saying she's due to fly to Ireland for work and wants to pop over to Bonnie Scotland. I'd hate to miss her if she did that. So a little too much to think about to be impulsive right now.

That said one of my English site members is due in San Francisco for a few weeks and it might be kind of fun to film her there - and show her around at the same time. Awww "decisions, decisions" as my dad would say.

Well it's nearly lunchtime and I've got work to do, a shower to have and more tea to drink and as I am hobbling around - everything is taking ten times longer. At least this entry is more positive than the last. Hopefully by the next one - I'll be back to my chirpy self with some good news to report on So You've Been Dumped - the movie. Watch this space, kids.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

AS ONE DOOR CLOSES,....


Well, last night I got the call I was expecting from Gerry to say my English mum, Heather, has “graduated” (as my own mother used to call it). Somewhat ironically just three days away from my own mother’s birthday.

At the time Heather was passing, I was sitting in the sun, reading a book (about Ian Curtis, of all things) along the banks of the Clyde. I sat there and periodically watched the sunlight dance on the water – thinking of her - and it was truly beautiful. It will be a thing that will remind me of her forever now. I even think I felt her go then.

So I wasn’t terribly surprised when late last night Gerry called to say she’d passed in the afternoon - at 3:15.

Life is very strange for me right now. I am oscillating between being happier than I’ve been in years (!) to sobbing my eyes out. From smiles to tears. From the birth of new love to the loss of a loved one. Though life always has these polar pulls for us – right now, it somehow seems so much more pronounced for me.

So tomorrow’s (invisible) plane ticket will be eaten (if not changed for a few week's time) and I wait to hear when the funeral is in Norfolk. It will be a long drive down, (most likely alone), to see her off. She has a resting place that literally, (pardon the pun), is to die for. It’s a great spot to spend eternity amongst her Norfolk kinfolk.

Though I never got to say “goodbye” to her – I truly believe she’s left knowing how much I loved her. I also take comfort that the last phone call that we had was about how happy I was to have met a lovely man (and his lovely kids!) and she expressed how happy she was for me. So at least she can go out knowing she’s leaving me on a crest of wave of happiness. I’d much rather that be our last phone call than me whining about this or that.


The tears I shed are for the fact I’ll never be able to hear her laughing at me and my crazy stories again, and for the birthday cards that always had a tenner in them to buy myself “something nice”. The tears are not just for my own loss, but more for her husband (and life partner of more than fifty years) and for her son David and his family. Their loss is a huge one, but I am grateful that they all have each other to help them through this challenging time. I know they, too, would not trade the pain they’re currently experiencing of having lost her for never having known her. I fully expect this church to be filled with people from all over the globe who are mourning the loss of one of life’s greatest treasures.

But of course she’s not really gone, she’ll live on in all of us. She’s touched so many – everyone who’s ever known her empathy and kindness for neighbours, friends, family members and foreign teenagers like I once was.

Today is a sad day indeed. But I like to imagine her with her own mum who, in her nineties, died some years back. I can see them having tea and a natter in some special, happy place. Heck, even though they never met here on earth, maybe my own mom will join them? Well, who knows what happens when we go? This sort of scenario certainly beats the alternative of black nothingness. Doesn’t it?

Yep, tea in the sky it is...

You may be wondering what all this has to do with break ups...and a break-up blog. Not much really. Except it's all loss. It's also perspective. It's life affirming. When someone dies it reminds us not to let things go unsaid, apologies, gratitude, and love. We never know what's gonna happen to ourselves or the people we love, so don't let an opportunity pass you by.

For my friends (old and new) out there who are reading this (and you know who you are), I thank you and I love you. Thank you for being there for me. And I leave you with a quote from Robert Fulghum-- “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death.”

Here’s to my English mum Heather, I love you and hope you're in a better place...wherever you are.

Stumble Upon Toolbar