The Dark side

Thanks a lot for all the encouraging comments on my previous post, it really makes me feel less alone with this.

I had the talk with my boss this morning. He basically confirmed it all, I will get paid until the end of January after that I am on my own. And I don’t have to return to my office, so I bascially have three months to go job hunting in.

My head is a bit frazzled at the moment, and I don’t think I have quite gotten over the shock yet but I am OK. My good friend in Devon has invited me over for a couple of days. My first reaction was, no, can’t do that, I need to update my Cv, I need to call agencies, I need to send applications, I need to … I was stressed basically.

But even my (now ex) boss thought it would be a good idea to just take some days at the coast and clear my head. That way I will be rested and ready to face the music when I get back on Tuesday. So I am away for a couple of days.

It is the weirdest feeling. Yesterday I cycled in to work. Today I know that I am not going to return there ever again. I will really try to stay focused and devote all my time to finding a job. I might escape for a tea to my local Starbucks now and then though, as sitting in my room all day on my own will drive me crazy. I need some people around me and hopefully there will be a good job out there somewhere with some nice colleagues.

I am trying not to panic.

Have a nice weekend everyone. I will be back soon enough.

The last bits of preparation

Regent's Park

The weather is so incredible in London at the moment that I decided to bike to Regent’s Park after work, to catch the last sunshine. I think that Regent’s Park has become my favourite park. It is often peaceful, I love to watch people struggling in the boats on the boating lake and today I found the Boating Lake Cafe where they sell ice cream! Yes I had one.

I just felt I needed to stress down a bit and realise that all will be fine with my trip. Of course I will find the hotel in LA and of course I can still check in in my hotel in San Francisco, despite arriving very late by train. Right?

So I am going to relax about it now.

I am typing this on my G1 Android phone, testing if it is possible to post to my blog from it. I will have wifi in my hotels so this might be a way to send trip updates. The camera on this phone isn’t worth much but good enough to give some sort of visual impression.

I am also considering doing some podcasts with Ipadio which is something like Audioboo but available for Android too. If I am not too shy I will post it through my Twitter stream.

I will enjoy the last bits of sunshine now here in London and hope the weather is as lovely over where you are.

Serendipity

Maybe I am just way behind, but I had no idea I could listen to most of my music online for free on Last.fm. It means I no longer need my iPod at work.

And better – most of my iPod songs are free for you to listen to too: here is my personal radio station. And feel free to comment on my bad taste in music.

Nick Drake’s – Northern Sky just passed my ears and I got an immediate urge to see Serendipity again tonight. What a great song. And that scene from Serendipity makes me cry every time.

In other news – I am updating my CV. There, I am not sure this is a wise thing to write on one’s blog but now I said it and you can kick me if I not soon write that my CV has been updated. It is time.

And my quote of the day (as it is exactly what happened today):
“Best friends are people who switch on the light if you are stumbling around in the dark.”

I think that quote is postcard worthy.

Mooooving

Moving house ...
I told you I was going to move right? And that one of my flatmates was going to be Angus, the 39 y.o. friendly Kiwi.

Well that still is the case. I have packed more than half of my things in boxes, booked a removal company and sent out the first change-of-address notifications.

However I have now found out that my second flatmate is going to be of the male type too. That was not really something I considered could happen when I said yes to Angus, but somehow I will be sharing a very nice three bedroom flat with two men!

Does this worry me? Not really. The new guy (I am calling him Paolo, which isn’t his real name) is Italian, 34, working in an Art Gallery in the West End and very quiet, according to Angus. So I think we will all be fine. And to be honest, generally, I do get along better with men than with women. There just need to be some rules, you know, things like the toilet seat down and things like that. But it is going to be new and exiting, the flat and the area are great, and who knows Paolo might be a brilliant cook of Italian food!

So yes, two weeks from now we’ll have a coffee the three of us and me and Paolo will get the keys. And the next day I move in. I will keep you updated.

Besides moving, I am also going to be social, I will visit the following events:

For all those three things – I have no idea what it is going to be like, but I will give them all a try. I am not looking forward to the Ghost Bus Tour though – as I am not a fan of anything spooky, but I got invited so I will give it a go.

Tonight I will watch two delightfully talented actors in Waiting for Godot. Next week I will go on a two week video editing (Adobe Premiere) course in Leamington Spa where I hope to learn some new tricks regarding video editing. And when all that is done I will soon be closing the door behind me in my current flat, moving on to a new chapter in my life.

Did I tell you already that you really should go and see Last Chance Harvey? Utterly utterly charming film. Actually.

And what are you all up to?

Ear and flathunting and Daniel Craig ice lollies

  • Firstly – and this will be the last time I write about it – my dizzyness is gone. I am not quite sure how well my ear is hearing, but I do hear with it. I just tried to listen to my iPod for the first time in weeks, and it seems that the music is more evenly balanced and true stereo now. (Don’t worry I am playing it on low volume!)

    They removed the packing from my ear yesterday (so nice because it itched like mad) and I need to return for a full hearing test six weeks from now.

    Even if my ear seems to hear better than it did before – I am not sure if I will ever do an operation like this again. My other ear has the same issue (but it is not bad enough to operate yet) and I have to be pretty deaf before I even consider going through this again. But all is good now, and I hope it will stay that way. Thank you for all the concern and thoughts and comments regarding this!

  • When I came back from Holland, I heard that my current landlord is contemplating about what to do with his appartment (the one I currently live in that is). I have decided that I no longer want to live like this – not knowing when he feels like raising the rent or quickly having to move because he suddenly wants to sell it (we don’t have a contract) . So I am now a full time flatshare searcher and am looking for another place to live. I have some potential rooms on the radar and will check them out – but if you happen to know someone who knows someone who has the nicest room ever – then please do get in touch. I won’t stop searching until I have found a nice place.

And here for some good news:

  • Summer has arrived, not only in London, but all over England. I found myself having a lovely freshly made milkshake at the Rinky Tink beach cafe in Lyme Regis last Saturday and it was marvelous just to be able to sit outside without having to wear a coat. Long may this weather continue – wherever you are.
  • The Boat That Rocked is still on in London! Rock on! I think I will catch it tomorrow, just to see what it sounds like with two normally functioning ears.
  • And oh dear – they have made Daniel Craig popsicle ice lollies … Enough said.

And you – how have you been?

New York state of mind

I have three questions to you today dear readers:

  • 1. After how many pages is it allowed to decide not to read the rest of the book? I recently stopped reading a Zoe Heller novel just because it bored me to death. Should I have hold on or is it OK to stop reading?
  • 2. Which novels do I simply need to read? I am looking to take some books to New York next week. I need books that hook me from page one. Have you read any good books lately that you can recommend?
  • 3. What are your favourite things/best tips to see in New York?
    I am preparing for my trip and want to make a list of things to do and sights to see.
    (Even though it snowed in Central Park this morning, the weather looks fine next week. Cold with some sun.)

Hello

Wall-E - what do I know?

I know it has been a while.

Apart from a flu I also had some serious thought about closing the doors here for a while. I have no inspiration whatsoever at the moment. There is not much exiting to write about and it feels like the plot is seriously lost on this website. I also know I am stilled pissed off about my film crash and it somehow blocks me in writing a new script. I know I need to get over it.

But then …

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A new logo

Just a quick update in list form:

  • Here is my new logo. I love it, it is simple with nice colours and it works well on both a dark and light background. I received 125 entries for this logo and must say that many of them were pretty bad, but there were a couple of them pretty good too. This one jumped at me the first time I saw it. It is designed by Jamie, I think she did a great job.
  • My short film has now a DoP attached. I had a meeting with her today, we went through the script to make a list of shots, and the storyboard I made a while ago really proved its worth. We simplified certain scenes and some scenes have just been hugely improved and are now funnier. (I hope!) The bad news is – for several reasons – we are moving the shoot to January. Yes it’s again a move ahead in time but I think things will be better for it. I also have seen head shots of two actors who are as much Dan as I can expect someone to be. Hopefully one of them will do it.
  • Three nights until the premiere of The Quantum of Solace. Daniel Craig is everywhere now, in Sony commercials on the telly, on red London busses, on moving screens at underground stations, in radio and telly interviews, in newspapers, on covers of magazines and on my wall. Yep.
  • I am going to a tv-2 concert on Saturday and will meetup with some Danish people I haven’t seen for a while. I have been to around 80 concerts with them, and have not seen them since I moved to London more than two years ago. I wonder if their magic still works on me.
  • I planned my Christmas and New Year. I will spent Christmas with my mum and grand parents in the Netherlands, and New Year with sheep, dogs and my good friend in Ireland.
  • If you like Viktor the Vampire, the new trailer for Underworld is out. Mmm Viktorrr.
  • I wonder if I should do one of those xmas card exchanges again? OK, OK I will do the Xmas card exchange again! I will have a think about this year’s theme and post the official announcement in a few days.

All clear and Brideshead revisited premiere tonight

Love Seaweed actually

After five and a half week I got the results of my operation today, it’s good news I am fine. And relieved. And after having it nagging about in the back of my head for that long it might take a while before I get used to not worrying about it anymore.

And to celebrate it I just got an email that I won two tickets to the Brideshead Revisited premiere, which takes place tonight at 6.30pm at the Chelsea Cinema, Kings Road. The film stars Emma Thompson, Matthew Goode and Ben Whishaw, all of whom will be attending the premiere.

I have never seen the TV version which I think is a part of becoming a true Brit. I hope watching the film will give me some points towards that too though. I look forward to this film.

I have one spare ticket, any takers? You have to be able to be in Chelsea tonight around 6.15pm.

To ContemPlate

Dear readers!

I just want to give you an update on the plate as I am even starting to get emails from very friendly people around the globe about this.
People I don’t even know! The wonder of the internet.

The thing is that I have been thinking. Yes I was very attached to this plate.
Because I bought it in London.
Because I came to London with two bags of clothes and nothing else and this was one of the first things I bought starting a new life here.
Because I’ve always had a weak spot for Peanuts and Snoopy.

And then it slipped through my fingers while doing the dishes and it shattered.

I have been thinking if buying the exact same plate on eBay (overpriced and shipped from the US) would somehow work as a replacement.
And I think the answer to that question is no.
No because it just would not be the same.
The plate I dropped can not be replaced, as it was much more than just a plate. It was my plate.

So thank you for all you concern and tips on how to get the same Snoopy plate back but I will leave it.
In stead I will look for a replacement plate in London.
In one of the many charity shops.
Who knows, they might have another Snoopy one.
Or a red plate.
Or a white one with red hearts on it!

A new plate is out there somewhere waiting for me and I am sure I’ll find it.

Contemplate
verb (contemplated, contemplating) 1 to think about; to go over something mentally; to meditate. 2 to look thoughtfully at something. 3 to consider something as a possibility

(PS1 I am still on a write break but felt this needed clearing up! I will return after my holiday, where I hopefully also finally know the results of my operation. The waiting is exhausting me. No bonus points for speed for the NHS in this case.)

(PS2: Did I simply forget the most important thing? The new QOS trailer is online. As in yummy.)

Home and home again

I am off to the Netherlands for a couple of days. My grandfather (94 – and don’t dare to say that that is old because he will tell you he is not) broke his hip recently and my grandmother has had a tough time alone while he was in the hospital so I felt the need to go and visit them.

I will leave London tonight and will be back Monday evening.

I know that updates here are very irregular which is normally not my style. But I seem to struggle a bit with what to write on this weblog recently. I will have a think about that while I am away.

Have a nice weekend!

Dreaming with a broken heart

Dreaming with a broken heart

I feel mean. In my script I have to break up two people and while the woman doesn’t truly love the man she is with, he has been kind and true and he really loves her. What did he do to deserve this? Nothing really. Life just can be cruel sometimes.

But it results in beautiful songs like these.

(Still no internet at home, hence the short post. Lucky you. DIRL: 9.)

It always seems impossible until it’s done

One of the editors of the Chicago Tribune turned 50 and made a list of 50 things he has learned throughout the years. it’s a nice list, and there are some points on there that are spot on for me too.

6. The most valuable thing to have is a good reputation, and it’s neither hard nor expensive to acquire one: Be fair. Be honest. Be trustworthy. Be generous. Respect others.

Being honest can get you in trouble I can tell you from experience because being honest sometimes means saying things people don’t want to hear. It is sometimes very hard to be honest, but it is the only way. For me. I will, some day, explain this a bit further, but the dust needs to settle a bit first.

12. Keeping perspective is the greatest key to happiness. From a distance, even a bumpy road looks smooth.

In addition to that I would like to add: Stay positive. Nothing annoys me more than people who have turned complaining into a way of life. I can’t stand it. Complaining doesn’t help, especially not when it is about things you have no control over so – just shut up and deal with it.

OK maybe that sounds a bit harsh, but the complaining I am aiming at, it complaining just for the sake of complaining, not because they are important in any way. You know the types.

Much more of this inside »

Shooting day II – what a day

We did it. We shot all the insane scenes we wanted to shoot. We have been incredibly lucky with our actors as they were all very motivated, patient (when things took a bit longer than expected), talented and up for it and it has been a very busy couple of days. We now take 48 hours off, to let the dust settle a bit and to catch up on a lack of sleep. Then we will start the edit.

It has been an amazing couple of days, a roller coaster with little sleep and long days, but it has been so much fun and a learning experience too. Shooting on a no-budget forced us to be very inventive and creative but we didn’t want the film to look cheap and home made and I think we succeeded quite well in that.

Would we do it like this again? Well we might do a 60 second movie again but probably not one with such a short deadline (18th of January!), as it really wears you out rather quickly to have long days like this. Watching the rushes on the screen quickly makes you forget how tired you are though, as did the “It was such a pleasure to work with you girls” from one of the very experienced senior (he’s on imdb!) actors and our male lead wants to be in my rom-com feature, so generally everybody was happy and had a great time.

Here is just one of the many things that happened:

In the middle of London (WC1) we had to shoot a short scene which implicated the following:

  • shooting on the streets of London (not allowed without permission and we didn’t have one)
  • parking the car (which was a part of the scene) on the pavement (definitely not allowed!)
  • in front of the car on the pavement a bed with a man and a woman in it, the man being bare breasted (don’t know if that’s allowed, but at lot of people (women!) who passed found it very amusing, because he was a very handsome guy (we know how to cast)) and the woman scarcely dressed. And big up to our actors because it was a clear but freezingly cold day!

Do know that there are CCTV camera’s everywhere in London.

And it didn’t take long before a police car stopped to find out what the hell we were doing and if those two people in bed had any clothes on. In other words, were we shooting an X rated movie or what? The police man was not the only person who asked us that question, lots of men seemed to be amused to stumble upon a scarcely dressed beautiful woman in bed on the pavement in the centre of London.

So in a desperate attempt to save our set I tried to explain the whole setup to this police officer.

Guess what he said.

New Years day in London


Trabi on Tower Bridge – Click for the whole picture

I bet you spend your New Year’s day relaxed. Visiting family and friends maybe, or sleep longer after a party yesterday.

Mine was a bit different. If you are tired following the 60 seconds action feature story, come back later.

A list of what we have done on the first day of the year:

  • If you want to film in London (outside on the street) you need permission. Getting permissions is a long process that involves filling out forms and a lot of patience. So we dropped it. We took our camera and filmed one of the most secured building in London without any permission but with fear that soon a police officer would tap us on our shoulder. It didn’t happen and we were genuinely relieved.
  • I crossed the Thames over the Tower Bridge in a blue trabant (check how the blue colour of the Trabi matches the blue of the bridge!). That – was so cool. Oh, the Trabi’s name is Alice, and I am not making that up.
  • We did some camera tests in Brick Lane.
  • We needed to check if the shots we invented in the script actually work and were possible to film, and as we don’t have any actors available just yet, we shot most of the scenes with ourselves pretending to act. It looks so stupid and daft that we might make a Dumb and dumber version of our film too. It has been incredible fun though.
  • We got 26 responses on our quest of finding a composer. I guess our soundtrack is pretty likely to be made.
  • We got no responses on our quest of finding an animator though, which is a bit worrying. But let’s see.
  • Making a film with someone you absolutely click with is still hard work, but it is tremendous fun too. I need to refill after having lost lots of tears caused by hysterical laughter.
  • I really need a holiday soon.
  • And I could do this full time. No doubt about that.

A very short break

I am very knackered after this long day. I had to work until 2pm and after that I did my first shift until 11pm.

I met some really nice people, both colleague volunteers and guests. I have spoken to some of the guests and there are a lot of stories. It is a very good way to get some perspective on your own life and to appreciate your life and the people around you.

Tomorrow I hope to be picked up by Metropolitan Chief Inspector Dan (sorry it sounds too funky not to write down one more time) at 2.30pm, for my second shift. My last shift will be on Wednesday.

I know I will be too tired to write decent posts until, probably, Thursday afternoon. So take a few days off too. Before I go, just a few short notes:

Tomorrow evening, 9.30pm ITV1 – LOVE ACTUALLY
Do I need to say more?
Even though I have the DVD at home, I feel I am missing out on something. Which is kind of ridiculous, but I sometimes am.

When I came home late tonight, with one of the last Victoria tube trains (before they take the day off tomorrow), I opened my door and found another two FANTASTIC postcards. Really, they are so cool, and I so love them, actually. One of them is from someone who hasn’t even signed up for this project! I promise to post them on Thursday, first thing. Have I told you how cool they both are? Oh. I did.
I am so happy to receive those cards, really they make my day, all of them.

To protect and to serve

Metropolitan Chief Inspector Kenneth
Metropolitan Chief Inspector Kenneth, such a serious man

(He sure does remind me of someone)

It is getting closer to the 25th and I still had a problem to solve: how to get to my afternoon shift when there is no public transport whatsoever in London that day.

My last and desperate option was calling one of my contacts. So that’s what I did.
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