Archives: DVD

Too early

My body decides that 6.30am is a good wake up time this morning and, as the room is freezing and the wind is rattling the door, any chance I have of convincing myself to go back to sleep is thrown out of the window, so I get up, close the window over lest the same fate should befall the lovely K1 and head downstairs.

I make myself a cup of tea with the penultimate tea-bag in the house2 and sit down to catch up on emails, news and blogs from the last two days since I’ve been out of the office for most of them. I promptly let my tea go cold and debate whether to walk to the shops but a) it looks freezing outside and b) I’m digging too far into the news blogs to leave my laptop.

By late-morning I’m all caught up on everything I’ve missed and have worked my way through two scripts that were in my To Read pile. I fire off an email of feedback to the writer/director of one of them, but promise myself a second read of the other, since it’s being pitched to me as a possible new producing project and I think it needs a more careful evaluation.3.

K eventually rouses herself and announces (shock of all shocks) that she actually had a good night’s sleep and feels rested and happy – not a common thing for K of a morning. She also informs me that we’re popping next door at 2 to give Wee C4 his delayed Christmas present that various events colluded to prevent us handing over pre-Christmas (or even pre-New Year).

Back from that we take a stroll down the road and pick up some tea and milk, then K hits the sofa to dig into some statistics homework while I clean up the kitchen, including mopping the floor from Thursday’s jumping cider incident (it’s been a bit sticky since).

That done, I head upstairs and have a chill out in the bath, followed by some relaxation, then make a few phone calls that I needed to catch up on, including chasing up a commission that came my way yesterday.

Phone calls finished, I try (and fail) to wrap my head around K’s statistics stuff to see if I can be of any help, but drawing a blank on that I instead fall back on my dinner-cooking talents and rustle up some griddled pork and accompaniments.

After dinner, K hits the sofa again and I head up to the office to check messages and update the blog. When K’s brain has exhausted itself and her mind is a whirl of statistical mess we play a quick game of Bananagrams before heading to the movie room and throwing in the original BBC STATE OF PLAY series, which K’s never seen. I realise I’ve forgotten just how much I love this show as we get through two hour-long eps back-to-back and could quite easily have stayed up and got through all 6 in one straight marathon, but I’m keen for K to rest up before Uni starts on Monday, so I drag us both to bed for sleep.

  1. although that’s hardly likely as she sleeps like the dead once she’s nodded off []
  2. naturally leaving the other for K the tea monster []
  3. the first of the scripts is another project i’ve been producing that’s been slowly working through numerous drafts over the last few months []
  4. the neighbour’s 3-year-old []

Going hardcore

Not like that.

After a fun night of snowballing on Monday, Tuesday started slowing me down a little with a scary kind of feeling that I had something brewing. As it turns out, I did, but it was only a cold.

It feels quite good to sit here at a keyboard and type “only” a cold – as one of my friends put it in a text on Thursday, a simple cold used to be a serious issue to me. It would have me worried, K worried, my parents worried. And we’d ride it out and get in touch with my team at Oxford and sort out some antibiotics to treat the inevitable chest-infection that would have followed.

Now, having a cold means I feel a bit rubbish for a couple of days. I love colds like that.

Still, it does have its drawbacks. Since developing my cold on Tuesday night, I appear to have returned to a previous life as a hardcore insomniac. Since Tuesday night into Wednesday, I’ve been sleeping appallingly. Indeed, I sit in the lounge writing this now at nearly 4am and I’m still not feeling anywhere near tired enough for sleep. But during the day I’m becoming Zombie-fied.

This week has been a fortuitous week to be stuck with insomnia, however, since the snow has meant any work I did have lined up has been cancelled and, as of Thursday, we’ve been properly snowed in. I say “properly” but that’s not 100% accurate. What I mean is that we can’t drive anywhere, which, in Milton Keynes, the city modelled on American-style grid-road systems, is a bit of an obstacle.

Yesterday I did manage a wander down to the shops at the bottom of the road, which is somewhere in the region of a mile’s walk, and discovered that traipsing through snow is incredibly hard work. Coupled with the cold, it left me exhausted. I was certain that it was going to help me sleep better in the evening, but no dice. Another hour of lying in bed tossing and turning lead to me getting up and staying up until I finally all-but-passed-out in the late-early morning hours.

So now I’m sat back in the lounge watching 4am tick ever closer, ploughing through more of the extras on the new Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Box Set I picked up from the now-defunct Zavvi in CMK and charging myself up with the drive and passion to go out and make at least one of the short film scripts I have lying on my desk just waiting to be tackled.

I just need to find a cast…

My First DVD

After over a week of editing, re-cutting, designing and burning DVDs I finally finish the Creative Partnerships project I’ve been working on for the best part of 4 months now (not constantly, you understand…), spending almost all of Monday printing and sticking DVD labels onto the discs. Note to self: must get DVD-printer.

I’m immensely proud of the DVD, even if it’s not what the original intention was at the start of the project. Due to the nature of drama projects and the unpredictability of working with 5- and 6-year-old children, the whole project changed and shape-shifted into something entirely different. I’d love to put it up here to show people but since, technically, it’s not mine to show and also – more importantly – given the fact that it’s got minors in whose parents haven’t consented to internet exploitation, I can’t. You’ll just have to imagine it being brilliant or come over to my place and watch it.

It’s been an interesting test for me to make my first own-steam short documentary that I’d have to piece together into a coherent whole for other people to see and take home. Up to now all my filmmaking has been for Live Life then Give Life which is great and brilliant experience, but it’s a very simple, single-camera interview set-up which doesn’t take a huge amount of skill. So to be responsible for something from opening image to final cut is really something special.

What made it all the more worth it was the reaction of the kids when we screened it for them in their classroom. They all loved it and were even air-guitaring along to the montage soundtrack and pointing each other out all the way through it, which was lovely to see. From what I gathered the staff liked it, too, which is always nice.

After the school meet and an evaluation Mocha with Suze, I got back to the office to discover a message from a media-man from a very well known film company looking to partner with LLTGL on a DVD campaign coming up shortly. I can’t go into too much detail as it’s still being discussed, but it is potentially a very exciting development for LLTGL.

In what’s turning out to be a great week for LLTGL, we have also had an offer of a major advertising deal which we need to address but could see us putting the word out to over 700,000 at one time if all the pieces fall into place. We’ll see.

To top it all off, it would be remiss of me not to plug the LLTGL Valentine’s Day Cake Bake, which we’re holding to raise some funds to continue all the work we’ve been doing and expand our operations in line with our current business plan. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you want to help us out and you’re a fan of cake (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) then head straight here to find out about it. Or you can find us on Facebook, too.


I apologise for the lack of updates after my not-too-rubbish start to the year with regular updates etc. I have, however, been somewhat preoccupied over the last couple of weeks with various mentally-busy work-related things, including producing a DVD of a project I worked on last year and completing a First aid course for work at the Grove.

Most excitingly of all, though, is the fact that I’ve been settling in to my new role as Chairman of Live Life Then Give Life, something of which I’m very proud. Our former Chairman, Emma, has felt it necessary to stand down, although she will, thankfully, be staying on as a much-valued trustee. At a meeting two weeks ago, the rest of the board of trustees saw fit to elect me into post as Chairman and I’ve been pretty much rushed off my feet ever since.

I clearly chose precisely the wrong two weeks to step up into the new role, having spent my first week in post working 10-4 on First Aid every day and my second week locked in my home editing suite to cut, design and finalise the DVD for the schools project I worked on with Suze last term. There’s a showing of the vid at the school on Tuesday morning, so it’s the usual deadline-getting-your-butt-into-gear deal as I rush to make sure it all looks tip-top.

Despite the fact that it’s taken me a lot longer than I expected, I’m really proud of the result – it’s going to be a great representation of the project and a great show real for both my work and for Suze’s Catalyst Theatre Arts, the company she runs with her sister, who throw a lot of work my way so it’s nice to be able to give them some marketing material out of it, too.

So it’s not been the best of weeks to try to get to grips with all the extra bits and bobs that go with being a Chairman as opposed to a trustee, but I’ve already seen a whole new side to the charity and what we do. I’m also delighted to see the way our two new trustees have slotted in to the team. The problem with having a team that’s as close-knit as the Live Life Then Give Life team are is that when you introduce new people to the equation it can be difficult for them to find their place and not feel out-of-the-loop or left out. But the current board of trustees have really taken to the new guys and have been working brilliantly with them from Day One, which is such a great feeling not just for me but for eveyone.

Hopefully now things are on a slightly more even keel, I’ll be keeping the updates coming through on a more regular basis. Unless work gets manic again, I guess…

Oxford and Bradford

The alarm arouses us both at 7am and we roll somewhat lazily out of bed, showering, dressing and packing an over-night bag to take with us.

I run K down to the hospital for an acupuncture appointment and head back to the flat to collect the bits and pieces we’d realised we’d forgotten on the way down there, most notably the iPod, which would have lead to some 5 hours of driving forcing Radio 1 on us.

I get back to the hosp just as K is coming out – impeccable timing – and we head straight off for Oxford. We get there surprisingly quickly after a near-miss with a mini-coach which decided to pull across my path while I was trundling along the country road at 60. We park up at St Giles and walk down the freezing cold street round the corner to Blackwells, the awesome pre-Borders Borders at the heart of the student world of the town. K’s never been there, so I delighted in showing her the wonderful underground cavern that disappears beneath the house-front of the shop on the main street.

We spend half-an-hour wandering aimlessly around and I grow slightly disappointed at the absence of a lot of the books that got me excited last time, although knowing how much I could have spent if they were all still there, it’s probably a good thing they weren’t. On our way out, we head up a staircase that I’ve never ventured up and we find ourselves in a whole new part of the shop with modern fiction (classed as anything from 1950-odd) and a brimming children’s section.

K finds a whole load of her new-favourite Jasper Fforde books – a necessary since I’d been nice and picked some up for her without realising they were an official series and so needed to come in a specific order. Order restored to her collection and a bizarre comedy book bought for our host this evening, we departed across the street so I could wander through their Art & Film shop, where I am torn between two books and end up getting one which will hopefully positively impact the production levels of the Live Life Then Give Life docs that we’re shooting through the year.

We wander back to the car through the positively freezing winter’s air and pick up a copy of the Big Issue from a poor guy who looks like he’s on the verge of frostbite but still has a cheery smile on his face and is genuinely grateful when we pick one up. We’d passed him on the way in to the town, but not had change and I think he recognised it as the classic excuse for not buying – he seemed really surprised that we’d actually gone back and got one.

We headed up to the Nuffield to get my bone-density scan done, just a precautionary scan to keep a check on how my calcium levels are doing and how brittle my bones may be as it’s pretty common with CF to develop osteoporosis and can be exacerbated by some of the transplant drugs I’m on.

Post-scan we head across the road (and round the corner a bit) to the Churchill to catch up with my CF team, who now I don’t have my port in anymore, I have little reason to see apart from the odd check-up or annual review. It’s great to see them all and catch up with the gossip including flicking through the slideshow of one of the physio’s weddings which was being planned when I was last incarcerated in the Churchill – it seems like such a long time ago now, it really is like another life.

Catch-up out of the way, we leave them to treat the patients who need them more than me and get on the road up to Bradford. The motorways are pretty clear, barring a little bit of late-afternoon traffic around Sheffield and we hit the M62/606 around 5ish, then whack the Sat-Nav on and hunt out Dazz’s place of work, where we drive straight past him in the street. The man collected, we head over to Shipley to his new flat and commence the warming of said homestead both literally (given the chill-factor) and metaphorically (it being a new pad).

We chill and chat and eat and watch DVDs and generally have a giggle, while I spend half-an-hour sorting some Live Life stuff for tomorrow in the middle of it. Dazz has also brought all his retro gaming North with him, which includes an ancient Game Gear with Lemmings on it, which keeps us all entertained for a large part of the evening as the conversations are punctuated with outbursts of swearing at misbehaving creatures hurling themselves to their deaths.

Around midnight, we all decide to call it a night and then spend an hour trying desperately to inflate Dazz’s new air-bed, which has to stand in for the sofa-bed which is due to arrive next week.

Eventually we flop into bed around 1am and near-enough pass out.


We rouse ourselves from slumber around half-10 and wake ourselves up, throw on some clothes and head out to the flicks to catch Inkheart, which is now in its last week in cinemas, if the frequency of timings are anything to go by (which is usually is).

It’s a great little film, I guessing far-underrated from it’s lack of fanfare, but if I’d seen it earlier I’d be encouraging everyone I could to go see it. Technically it’s a kids film, but is much more entertaining than any of the Harry Potters and has a cast to rival the series, too, with Brendan Fraser taking the lead in a not-rubbish kids film for once, joined and backed up by an unbelievable array of top talent including Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, Paul Bettany and the always-immaculately brilliant Andy Serkis, who deserves to be much more well-known than is.

The tale is a classic modern fairytale of “Silvertongues” – people who, when they read words from books aloud make the characters and images from the page come to life in the real world.

It’s proper fairytale stuff, too, all adventure and danger, scares and baddies you could almost boo at, but all pulled off with a deft touch which steers the cast away from the usual, over-the-top ham into more natural but enjoyable performances.

It’s also pitched perfectly for all audiences – there’s mystery and suspense for the girls, monsters and adventure for the boys and there’s enough of everything in there, artfully pulled off, to keep any adults in it with their kids or even – as in our case – on their own. It’s a true Christmas cracker and I wish I’d seen it earlier so that a) I could see it again and b) tell everyone to go and see it.

When we get out of the flick, I take K over to my ‘rents to peep out the photo collections still strewn on the table and we go through various packets of photos, me filling K in on all the cute little-me stories as well as the really-grumpy me stories and pics.

Mum and Dad get home from golf and tell me I have boxes upstairs from the loft to go through, so K and I hit the upstairs study-cum-storeroom and settle into box-exploring, which doesn’t take very long as we rapidly discover that all my boxes have obviously been gone-through when I moved out and I’d cleared the house of all my rubbish, chuck the keepers up in the loft in the very boxes that have just been retrieved. We move a bit of stuff between boxes and empty one that’s falling apart before calling it a day and heading home.

We get back and for the first time since Christmas Eve I jump on my computer and check up email. Disappointingly, there’s nothing remotely interesting there at all, so I’m through it very quickly.

I head into the kitchen and wash up some mugs as well as rinsing our steamer through so I can use it. I get on with cooking a proper, home-cooked meal for the first time in a good couple of weeks, prepping some roasties and chicken, then chopping veg up. I cook it all up and serve to a tired but appreciative K.

I wash up and we settle onto the sofa to watch The Wizard of Oz, a film I’ve only ever seen bits and pieces of. I’m carrying another wapping headache, though and after less than an hour I can’t deal with it any more and have to call it quits.

We hit the sack and I fall asleep in a hurry, but forget as I do so that falling asleep before 10pm means I always wake up around 11-12 and can’t sleep again, which is exactly what I do.

I get up and chuck some random late-night TV on while I sit and update my blog from Christmas most of the night, then throw on Rocky Balboa when I’m done, watching through the extras before putting the feature on.

Godsons and Guitar Heroes

We’re up relatively early again just before 9am, getting up and dressed for the trip to Guildford.

We leave the flat around just before 10 and stop briefly for petrol before hitting the back roads round Aylesbury to the strangely empty M25 and make the journey door-to-door in a little under 2 hours, which is pretty much a record.

I give my Godson, Li’l C, a big hug and say hey to the family, grabbing a cuppa and a seat in the lounge to catch up. It’s immediately apparent (it’s hard to miss) that they have just got Guitar Hero World Tour for Christmas, which is the Wii game that involves not only strumming along on an electronic (as opposed to electric, ie “real”) guitar but also comes with a second, base guitar, a microphone for vocals and, most excitingly of all, an electronic drum kit. Awesome.

Before the tea is drunk, C has set it all up and we’re jamming away to Livin’ on a Prayer, Beat It and Eye of the Tiger, which just so happen to be the easiest songs of the lot to play, especially for a mal-coordinated muppet like me. I may think I’m Animal when I’m playing, but I’ve no doubt I look more like a fat-faced ferret struggling wildly to free itself from the clutches of a peckish bird of prey.

Once we’d exhausted the ear drums of the rest of the family and I’d proven myself incompetent, we sit and grab some lunch in the conservatory before deciding on a game of Boggle to keep our brains going and avoid the mush-inducing Wii for a little longer.

We’re one game in and my phone rings with a number I don’t quite recognise. I almost ignore it, but then pick it up and am delighted I do as it’s my bro. We catch up and go over his Christmas (rubbish) and current plans (better) and likelihood of further adventures (slim, till R&R), before I fill him in on the goings-on of the fam back in Blighty.

I go back to the game and get my butt kicked by my 11-year-old Godson, at which point we decide to make the most of the fading sunlight and hit the hills for a walk.

Being the master of Geography that I am, I had entirely failed to ever note or notice the fact that Surrey has hills, but wow, are they beautiful. Today they were covered in a Dickensian rolling mist which obscured the distant towns and cities and created a timeless feel of total isolation – not a modern artifact to be found anywhere in sight once you’re beyond the car park.

We watch the sun drop behind the hills then repair to the quaint little village of Shere, which K and I instantly fall in love with and want to start house-hunting in, to a little tea-shop for hot-chocolate and cake.

We warm up enough to feel our feet and jump back in the car, heading home to round 2 of Guitar Hero, during which we each take turns to laugh our heads of at each other and I prove my ultimate smug-git personality by coaching K into managing not to get boo-ed off halfway through a track. I told you Eye of the Tiger was easy.

We eventually call it quits after an hour-and-a-half has slipped by without us realising and we head back up the motorway around 7pm. It’s similarly and amazingly empty as this morning and we’re back in near-record time, save for a brief stop in at Asda for some various bits and pieces, including some dinner for tonight.

K’s keen to pick up a new Wii game or two for the New Year’s Eve party tomorrow, but the games counter is closed so no dice. Instead, being on a sales-spree, we hit the DVD racks and pull out copies of In Bruges and Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, the latter of which we’ve not yet seen.

We get back to the flat (in darkness again) and I throw the dinner in the mircowave (classy) as K throws the D in the DVD player and we kick back and laugh our still-pretty-chilly socks off.

We the DVD’s done we debate throwing something else on, but decide that since we’ve got a heap of house-cleaning to do before the party tomorrow, we should really be calling it a night pre-midnight tonight, so we turn the TV off and hit the sack.

Sales, shopping and meals with mates

Although we sleep in this morning, it’s still a wake-up dictated my alarm-clock, which is getting slightly tiresome for a supposed holiday period.

The alarm gets us (well, me) up at 10am and I make K a cup of tea and take my Fosemax tabs – horrible things I may have written about before, which are supposed to deliver calcium-enriching…things… to the body to help prevent loss of bone density and Osteoperosis (and I’ll thank the medics reading not to point out that they’re essentially the same thing) but that require the tablets to be take on an empty stomach with a full glass of water and not to be followed by any other food or drink bar water for the next hour or more. They’re pretty nasty things and my stomach isn’t a huge fan of having a load of water dumped in it unaccompanied first thing in the morning, so I always end up feeling a little squiffy until I can eat something. Mind you, it’s better than not being able to run or do fun stuff for fear of snapping bones all over the shop.

We’re up and out of the house just after 11 to get to my appointment in Newport for 11.20, where I have a hasty blood test to keep an eye on my CMV levels to prevent any recurrance, then we head off into town to hit the sales.

I hate sales shopping with a passion. When I shop I like to look around, take my time and not feel rushed, not to grab whatever I can as I’m bustled passed the racks of goods by the ebbing tide of the sales-masses. Still, K wants to hit them up to spend our Christmas vouchers, so I tag along.

We start by finding parking, which is a mini-epic of it’s own, but eventually end up getting somewhere near M&S, a minor miracle. We decide to start at the furthest place and work back towards the car, so we hit the O2 store to return my busted Blackberry, but it’s rammed and quite clear that customer service is going to be a while, so I give up on it straight away – I’ve been using my old phone for over a month now, so a couple more weeks to fix the new/old one isn’t a big headache.

We make our way round to the Apple store, my mini-Mecca, but without time or the cash to stop and fully appreciate their wares (re: to buy their wares), we hit them up for an iTunes voucher, which they don’t sell in the range we want.

0 for 0 from 2 shops, we hit the soon-to-be-defunct Zavvi to see if we can gather ourselves some bargains in the closing-down sales. It’s like a zoo where they’ve let the monkeys feed the elephants in there and we fight our way around the DVD racks hunting out interesting pieces and debating how much we can afford to splurge.

We come away with a stack of DVDs and a couple of CDs and break out of the madness before it consumes us. I shoot across the Place to Waterstones to see if they’ve got a book I’m after which they do, and reduced by half as well, but when I get to the counter, they tell me it’s not reduced at all so, with the flashing totaliser of the Zavvi spend in my brain and the knowledge of an impending Borders trip, I pass it up and move on.

As K heads for M&S for underwear shopping and voucher-spending, I make a dash to the bank to pay in a cheque, then catch up with her in the Minotaur’s maze that is the Lingerie section of the ‘Sparks. Slightly bored/self-conscious of being surround by women sizing up and purchasing their unmentionables, I opt to head to homewares to see what we can pick up with our Christmas vouchers.

By the time K’s finished up I’ve noted a few options and we settle on a 3-tiered hob-steamer and a blender. Once we’ve paid and got out to the car, it strikes us how upsettingly grown-up we are buying things that are actualy useful with gift vouchers and being genuinely happy and excited about what we’ve got. We resolve to correct it by buying something frivolous at Borders.

We hit up the Big B and grab some cards for impending birthdays and babies, then K hits the sales racks while I go off hunting for the book I missed out on in Waterstones. I come up with nothing, but very nearly bag a whole load more DVDs before thinking better of it and heading back up to the till where I find K with an epic bag full of stuff she’s just grabbed, so I jump in the queue to get my solitary DVD, impressed at my restraint, and manage to pick up the right-sized iTunes voucher at the till point as well.

We shoot over to Deanshanger to collect the couple of bits we left there last week, including K’s complete Calvin and Hobbes set Santa brought her, and Mama D, like the classic Ma that she is, provides us with nourishment in the form of bacon sarnies after which, like the ungrateful offspring we are, we jump straight back in the car and head off again (we did say thank you, though).

We make K’s day by stopping in at TK Max on the way home and she picks me up a cafetierre – a present she had intended to get me for Christmas but then a case of crossed-wires with other family members meant I ended up not getting one. We also grab b’day presents for friends and then head to Tesco over the road to stock up on all the New Year’s Eve party stuff we’ll need for our Wii Party – crisps, dips and softies for those who aren’t bringing a bottle.

We head home, unpack all the bags, then hurriedly change into our going-out gear and head down the road to a friend’s 30th. Being pregnant and newly-installed in their freshly extended house, it’s an open-house affair and we arrive in time to see her family off from their day in the den, but have enough time to catch up with them first, which is cool.

We can’t stay long as we’re then off to a big Chrimbo meal with our friends organised, bizarrely, by the only one of us who no longer lives in MK. It’s great to see the whole gang again though, minus the odd couple of peeps, and we have a good giggle over some tasty Mexican food, even if they don’t know how to make a Caesar salad.

Our friend plus baby is there and K goes into broody mode, taking the baby away so that Mummy can eat her dinner, but loving every minute of it. As everyone is taking the mick and pulling my leg about the impedning pressure for sproglets, I’m forced to admit that I’m actually on the same page as K right now and am loving the number of baby cuddles we’re getting.

I take my turn and we head off to investigate the flashing lights on the Christmas tree (we don’t like standing still), then find an interesting plant that has leaves that are rough and not like normal flower or plant leaves at all, which keeps us interested for a good few minutes while Daddy finishes up his dinner and gets the car seat ready.

With baby out of the picture, we’re forced to interact with our peers once more and continue to have a good giggle. The meal done, almost everyone else is headed across the way to the pub for a drink, but with the knowledge of an early start tomorrow and a long day’s driving, we call it a night and head home.

We get back in and empty out some more of the bags while we grab a cuppa and watch a bit of telly before quitting for the night and hitting the hay, where I desperately try to get into my slow-starting book which I’m praying will improve. After a couple of chapters with no joy, I call it quits for the night and put my head down.

Home again

I wake up later than I have for a while at around 10am and realise I need to take my tac, so head downstairs, where I grab a bite and my tabs before running a cup of tea up to the still-snoozing K.

I shower and dress and start packing up as K comes to life, then we head down and wave off Mum and Dad who are heading off as fast as they can, since they’re back to a party this evening.

Before we head off, I slip my friend’s soon-to-be-Oscar-nominated short film, Gone Fishing into the family Blu-Ray player and head upstairs to watch it projected on the big screen in the cinema room. Although I got a real kick out of it on the small screen the 3 other times I’ve seen it, watching the 35mm print-made DVD with full digital sound ramps it up to another level.

I’ve honestly never seen a short film so accomplished in its technical efficiency, story-telling or sheer emotional impact. If you’re at all interested in film, I urge you to go here and pick yourself up a copy. You’ll probably know how much an Oscar campaign can cost to run, even for a short, and every penny made from these DVD sales goes towards the Oscar run which concludes in February at the ceremony itself. Please, please support this amazing, home-grown filmmaker with a true passion, talent and cutting edge in his field. He’s been a great support to me over the last 18 months and I’d love to repay him by giving him a bigger and better war-chest for the final push of his campaign.

The trailer, if you want to know a bit more about the flick, is here, for those of you who are interested. And for those of you who don’t understand a trailer for a short film, let me assure you this is nothing like the whole story – you really have to see the whole thing.

Once we’ve peeped Fishing out, we grab our bags, load the car and head off, making a quick detour through Ipswich to visit my Nana’s grave. I barely knew my Nana, my Mum’s mum, as she died when I was 3, but from the stories I’ve heard tell she was a remarkable woman. In fact, when I was a baby and in obvious (but then-inexplicable) pain, she was the only person who could quieten me down. I like to think that had she stayed around she’d have been proud of me and what I’ve done – and started to do – with my life and I hope that she smiles down on me from her lofty perch.

Once we’d say a hello and Happy Christmas to Nana, we jump back in the car and head back to MK and home to see it in daylight for the first time in nearly a week.

We head to Tesco to pick up a few essentials, then hit the flat and unload the car. We were planning on heading out to catch Australia tonight, but based on the fact that we’re both shattered and the film runs close to 3 hours, we change our call and opt for a night in instead. We throw on Jersey Girl and kick back on the sofa. As soon as the flick’s done, we’re straight off to bed and we both pass out pretty quickly.

The other side

Having spent the majority of the day with my cousins yesterday, today was catching the flip side with a trip down to K’s cousin in Harrow.

Before we left, I asked K if she lived anywhere near her Uncle’s shop, Sorrell and Son, in Harrow.  She assured me that she didn’t and that it would be best to follow the AA route-planner’s instructions to get there.  Without wishing to draw out a story that you all know the ending of, after spending half-an-hour getting lost in and around Watford, Bushey and Harrow, we eventually ended up on our intended road to SP’s place, gliding straight down the high street past Sorrell and Son.  Fab.

Luckily, we’d left plenty of time for getting lost, so we actually arrived 2 minutes early, to find SP whipping up a storm in the kitchen.  K’s attention was easily diverted to the lemon meringue pie that was just being pulled from the oven, until I reminded her that she had to be a good girl and eat all of her main course first.

SP is one of those hilarious people who cook and amazing meal and then declare themselves disappointed with it.  She almost apologised for it, at which point I let her know that if that was a bad meal, I really, really wanted to come round for a good one, as it must rival the best grub in the poshest restaurants.  So here’s hoping for another invite.

We eventually left in the early evening and toddled home to chill out on the sofa.  We threw on a DVD that SP had leant us, Personal Services.  Starring Julie Walters as a prostitute/brothel owner it’s brilliantly funny, albeit slightly bizarre and wacky in places.  She ostensibly plays a madame who owns and operates a “fun-house” for kinky old men who like doing peculiar things for their kicks.  It’s very much not the kind of movie I expected to see with Julie Walters in, but she was excellent and so was the film – with the exception of a truly bizarre and completely dreadful score.

No sooner had it finished than K and I were tucking ourselves up for the night at the earliest time we’ve been to bed for nearly a month.  It was, I have to say, a treat and a delight to be nodding off at a sensible hour.