Sunday, March 09, 2008

WEEK IN REVIEW

Well I am back from London and thought I'd give a little re-cap on some of the high / lows of London town...

SATURDAY

Early morning departure to get the train to London via Edinburgh. Took an even earlier train to allow ample time for changing trains. Girl on train is spitting image of Dakota Fanning and I find myself staring at her.

Train's rather delayed - so opt to depart at Stevenage to hop another train to my destination near Potter's Bar. Sit on cold platform for 40 minutes until train finally arrives.

Saturday night - dinner was scheduled at a Mexican restaurant, WAHACA in Convent Garden. The six of us had many laughs and some tasty food too. Due to delays - I was the last to arrive to meet up with the group. Thankfully I'd met all but one of them before....all but Roger.

Return "home" (my London home) and have the million dollar pad to myself while Han gears up for the Paris half-marathon in the morning!

The silence is serene but deafening. Only the pussy, Aerial, to keep me company.

Collapse into golden slumbers,....the peace is truly welcomed.

SUNDAY

Slept nearly ten hours. Utterly exhausted. Tell myself I should go do some interviews, but end up feeling too shattered, so opt to lounge around in the luxurious surroundings instead. By lunchtime, Han had text to say she did the Paris marathon in under two hours - before I had even get out of bed.

Look at the pictures from the party - and note that clearly a good time was had by all.

Walk to the village to a mini-Tesco and buy some food. Hike back up the hill with grocery bags stuffed to the seams with yummy food.

Spend the afternoon writing a former site member in Botswana and watch silly fluff on the TV.

Eventually Luke arrives back shortly followed by the rest of the clan and the silence gives way to a house brimming with people. We settle down for Chinese food and a catch up.

All exhausted after weekend festivities - retire to our many rooms.

MONDAY

20390 steps
9.654 miles
541.6 cals

Up early to take the train to the city to meet Neil. Met him at Cafe Nero just off Oxford Circus. After a drink and a catch up we wandered along Oxford Street to Marble Arch. As I was a bit cold (and jacket-less) we popped into a shop so I could purchase one. I picked up a mock-leather biker jacket for a real steal. We take the train to Canary Wharf and eat at Chili's. I am beyond freaked out that the Chicken Crispers I order which cost about four-pound-fifty in Cupertino cost closer to twelve pounds in the UK. Something is truly not right about that and I vow to never go to a UK Chili's again. (http://www.chilis.com/)

Neil has to leave but I remain at Chili's for another half hour or so before mustering the energy to walk from Canary Wharf to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Take random photos along the way and even get accosted by a shop owner for photographing his 7-eleven rip off storefront. (I had actually thought it was a 7-eleven but turns out, on closer inspection, t they'd just "borrowed" the logo). Cheeky swines. Do have half a mind to report them...but would that be bad karma?

By five, have hopped the train from Tower Hill to Mornington Crescent to meet my lovely agent James. Two hours are spent talking about books, break-ups, life, relationships and the way forward for us. He hands me a steamy novel by Suzanne Portnoy - another American author he looks after. It's called THE NOT SO INVISIBLE WOMAN. A slightly better title than the last one - THE BUTCHER, THE BAKER THE CANDLESTICK MAKER: AN EROTIC MEMOIR (which just confuses me when I try to tell people what it's called). Don't get me wrong I like the "Candlestick" book and I admire her saucy moxie. Eventually both grew rather hungry and went our separate ways.

I head to Finsbury Park to catch a train and take some rather neat photos of passing trains (if I do say so myself). Han even reckons I ought to enter this one into a photo competition...These days I can't seem to stop taking motion type pictures - cars, trains, buses, whatever. So London was the perfect place to play about with newest digital camera!

TUESDAY

Tuesday was a day for pampering - haircut, manicure, eyebrows etc...in preparation to filming on Thurs...

It felt great and the nails are done in a "French Manicure" which I have never had done before and they do look rather awesome...(ahh the simple pleasures in life).

The evening is spent with a precocious, talented, intelligent, twelve-year old girl (who is going on 30) who possesses a photographic memory. Have convinced her she has talent to be best-selling author and hope she has the courage to write what she knows.


WEDNESDAY

19749 steps
9.350 miles
524.5 cals


Film Roger at Clapham Common this morning. It was a lovely day for a chat in a park. I hope the sound is ok....From there it's a mad dash to meet Carole for a chat and a coffee at Victoria. She has to go to back to work.

I end up walking past Buckingham Palace. I've never really been around there before and keep walking all the way up through Piccadilly, Mayfair, Berkeley Square all the way to Carnaby Street. I meet Jacqui for tea at Liberty. It was astounding. A warm, wonderful plain scone and clotted creme. Bliss. We head over to the Apple Store to hear my young buddies - Teddy and Paul - talk about the film. I've now heard the spiel three or four times and each time I get something else out of it. Truly inspiring - both their film and their story of how they made it over the course of about three years. I feel quite certain it will get an Oscar nod.

After the talk Jacqui and I continue walking and talking all the way to Russell Square - where I went to university for a semester back in 1987. I half-wonder if that was the last time I'd been there. hard to believe two decades had past. On the train - I get a random email from my friend Jenn who was my room mate in 1987 and I am blown away by the synchronisity of it all. We don't speak that often.


THURSDAY

8907 steps
4.217 miles
236.5 cals


Woke up too early, could have used some more sleep but it was my "big day"....It was my turn to have the camera turned on me to hear "my story" as it were.

Booked the lovely Vikki to come and do my hair and make up which she did....and hey, she did a pretty good job with the palette she had to work with :)

Neil is on hand to take photographs and I am sat on a sofa with a camera pointed on me for what felt like hours. I am not sure if the footage will end up in the final cut of the film but it was a valuable exercise none the less. At the very least we can use the audio. Actually, if I am being honest (and to be fair I've yet to see the footage), I feel like not actually being in the film - even though it's technically 'my story'....So we'll see how it works out in the edit...

After the interview was a rather heated meeting....the future for the film remains decidedly in the balance but I am proceeding forward as if its fate is sealed (and financed). I know that all things work out in the end one way or another. I can't believe all that I've been putting in thus far will be in vain. Nope, I feel quite certain it will work out in one way or another.

Filming and meeting aside, it was time to make our way to Victoria where Neil was off to get a bus and I to make my way back toward Finsbury Park. As we sat their discussing the way forward, I see my friend Jon walk by. How weird it is to be miles from your home and see people you know (and it's not the first time I bumped into someone I knew, randomly, in London. One time 20 years ago, I bumped into a friend from California at the Russell Square tube. How freakin' weird was that?) So anyhow Jon popped in and had a chat and a latte with Neil and I before heading off to get his haircut.

Small world.

It was an exhausting day and I must admit I was rather downtrodden after it all. Perhaps it was simply an anti-climax or merely fatigue, but in any event, I was a bit burnt-out as I made my way back to Han's house.

After a spot of food, Han, Alice and I went to see JUNO - which I'd seen before and loved. We all laughed and we all cried and generally just had a nice girl's night out...

FRIDAY

I gave myself the day off to do absolutely nothing, again. It was great to just slug about. Friday night we went to some neighbors for a chat about the local schools. So basically it is me, two couples and five kids. The nightmare situation for any singleton...(particularly for child-free ones)....but in actuality - I had a real laugh.

The hosts - Karen and Paul were very humorous. Though I did think of simply going back to Han's, to have the house to myself for a while, I stuck it out and had a good time. Sometimes nights can surprise you - and this was one such night.

SATURDAY

Slept mediocre. I basically got to the point I was just ready to be back in my own pad. My own food. My own bed. My own TV. My own bath tub....I may be a freak, but I love living alone, (always have) and I don't see that changing any time in the next year or two...

Lucas took me to the train station for the 10:20 to Kings Cross where I dump my bags at platform 8 "Left Luggage" and meet Jon to interview him.

We first went to a grotty, noisy, smelly cafe for some tea. Jon has a theory the uglier the woman behind the counter the better the tea is. Unfortunately for him, our waitress is a cutie so therefor the tea wasn't great. Actually, he consented, it wasn't bad so that pretty much blew his theory...

We decided to go to San Pancras to check out the "Meeting Place" statue by Paul Day. I'd done a piece for BBC Radio Scotland about romance in Scottish travel - so I was very curious to see the statue. It was there we did Jon's interview for the film.

Still single, I reckon this film will get him a few interests from woman wanting to date him...Thats if he's not found his true love before then. He's a generally sociable chap that doesn't seem to find it hard meeting women. And he's chivalrous, girls....helped me load my bags on to the train and it was a hug and a kiss "goodbye" and off I headed up the east coast via Leeds, York, Newcastle, Berwick and Edinburgh to name just a few of the many stops.

:)
Trains have finally become a truly modern way to travel. Wi/Fi and power sockets enable constant, free, communication. It gave me a chance to blog, upload pics, catch up on posts and instant message people around the world.

Of course it takes a fair bit of time to get between London and Glasgow - but not a huge amount of difference by the time you add up - check in at the airport (early), flight time, getting luggage, and a train bus or whatever into town...Plus for me it saves me 12 quid in taxi fairs both ways....

Over all it was a productive and wonderful trip to London. A really even spread between business and pleasure. Saw old friends and met new ones. Got to interview two men for the film - both incredibly handsome and wonderful lads which made my job fun!

I am pleased to get some men to speak up - because Lord knows, that men tend to be less inclined to sit and talk about their feelings - particularly with a camera pointing in their face. It's one thing to do so with the anonymity of Internet and a forum whereby they can be anyone, but quite another for them to be standing there with a camera and mic in their face.

So yeah - I am quite pleased with both gentlemen - and suspect there will be women out there who will take quite a shine to them....

My fear, if I have to admit to one, is mostly revolving around the sound. My mic. It's really not the greatest. Just hope the footage is usable.

SUNDAY

Long lie in today and then I watched a wonderful classic which I'd rented off LOVEFILM...called WOMAN OF THE YEAR with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. I laughed hard and often during this wonderful 1942 classic. The afternoon and evening was spent looking at Roger's interview. The mic did in fact let me down just a little but hopefully some of the interview will be salvageable.

Well it's Sunday night now and I watched LOST and then on to one of my other favorite shows - SECRET MILLIONAIRE (I aspire to be on it one day) ;)

On that now I have to close. I'll be updating the kinekter blog soon...too.

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