Well, yes and no. There’s new photos! But not very many, thanks to my woeful cackhandedness in spending over an hour getting everything ready only to get started on the first set and knock the tripod over whilst blundering about without my glasses – as a result I am minus one Nikon lens (which wouldn’t be the end of the world had I owned more than one, but I don’t). And I’ve had such a busy week I haven’t even had time to look at them.
If I’m honest, I’ve wondered a few times about the actual value of new pictures, given that – unless I’m seriously deluded and/or my eyesight is even worse than I thought – my appearance doesn’t change much from one year to the next. To folks who’ve just happened across my site all the photos are new, and I’m never convinced that regular visitors check back that often because they know what I look like anyway!
But it’s all good fun – sort of. For those who (like me) don’t earn their living having their picture taken, being forced to pore over three or four hundred near-identical images of yourself for hours in the hope of being able to pick out twenty or so in which you have both eyes fully open, just the one chin and generally don’t look too much like the Pillsbury dough boy in a wig and heels is not the way I’d choose to spend a free afternoon, but needs must. I have a few to be going on with upon my return, and when I actually replace the lens and have time for a rerun I’ll have another go. And in the meantime here’s a phone snap to make do!
As the top bit might have indicated the time has whizzed by once again, and at this time tomorrow I will hopefully be well fed, wide awake and cosy in my blanket watching one of my all time favourites, Jackie Brown at Summer Screen – yay! Fingers crossed for no travel disasters, and all being well I will be checking into a brand new spot shortly after lunchtime – it may not be quite what I’m used to, but it’s proximity to Somerset House (first) and fast food (second) was the criteria and looking at Google Maps I believe the objective has been achieved. And if I like it, I’ll be back! Even if I don’t, I’ll likely be this time next year just for the blessed convenience.
A brief update then; I’ll be back in Scarborough next Wednesday, and probably available if I’m not too tired and have done all the laundry. Fast forward a week and I’ll be off again on Thursday 25th for FrightFest, but all in good time. Meanwhile, predictably, my record of the week is brought to us by the Jackie Brown soundtrack (and see also the Shuggie Otis original)…
A return to the 21st century next week, I think. Anyway, I’m saving Dennis Coffey for a special occasion – I just haven’t decided which one.
Or at least, the FrightFest 2016 trailer is, which is nearly as good until the real thing starts in just over three weeks – yay! Given that it’s a horror film festival there are (not entirely unsurprisingly) horror-bits in it so anybody overly squeamish, use your judgement. You’re here in the first place, so you know how to do that.
The start of August heralds my top watching-films-in-London month of the year, thanks not just to FrightFest but the good people at Somerset House for Summer Screen, which I first happened across back in 2009 and which may well be the most pleasant way to go to the cinema anywhere, if (in theory at least) not the most comfortable. It’s all relative; I was comfortable enough to nod off in the middle of Warriors last year despite the necessary lying-flat-on-a-stone-courtyard, but then I could fall asleep in the middle of a Pamplona bull run if I was properly fed, watered and wrapped nicely in a blanket.
With this in mind, it’s worth pointing out that the Closed sign will be going up at 6pm sharp each day of my Covent Garden trip – no exceptions. Thankfully – unlike last year – I won’t have too far to walk but (also unlike last year) I’d like to make a decent job of the picnic, although the evening I ordered takeaway Wagamama online and grabbed it on the way over was a masterstroke, my yaki soba and crispy squids drawing covetous looks from people who’d gone the pasta salad and Pringle route. A repeat will definitely be on the cards this time round.
As for FrightFest, anybody who has ever attended any film festival will know it can be punishing stuff at the best of times; this years’ new location (again) at the Vue Shepherds Bush could have been better thought out given that it’s the Notting Hill Carnival and I can’t say I’m particularly excited about spending my weekend in a shopping centre rather than Soho, but not to worry and let’s just hope the seats are OK. There will be no availability in the mornings this year because of the extra daily travel time involved, but I will be heading straight for Waterloo the day after for a couple of days to make up for it – hooray! More details in good time.
At the other end of the film viewing comfort scale lies home, my new wall-mounted Smart TV and more specifically Mubi. Why didn’t I sign up for this before? Thirty carefully picked out films to choose from with one expiring and a new one added every day – this week so far I have seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre, La Dolce Vita, To Die For, Dead End, Adventureland and Suspiria. The latest offering at the time of writing is Das Boot, which as anybody who’s seen it will know requires some serious planning to fit into a viewing schedule, but will slot perfectly into my train journey on the twelfth thanks to Mubi’s download facility. And last but not least, I was persuaded to give the mighty Cloverfield another chance after being unconvinced the first time I saw it, since a found footage film about anything is pretty much a guarantee that my money stays in my pocket. After far more huge monster fun than I remember, I can definitely confirm I was wrong. Thank you, Mubi!
Meanwhile, the decorating continues apace and now spans two locations – I’ll be around all week and possibly available later in the day whilst I get stuck into patching up some walls at the flat. Last day in Scarborough is Thursday the eleventh, then I’ll be back for a week from the seventeenth before dashing off to the Bush. It’s all go.
New blog feature: record of the week! The I Wish This Laptop Had Better Speakers award this week for the track I’ve played most whilst stripping crap wallpaper goes to…
More soon. For now, it’s back to the films…
And what a month that was! Events (including not one but two local food festivals), general laziness and an awful lot of football (fifty one games total, four of which helpfully obliged should I have needed another reason to be glad I’m not English) have kept me from posting, but nine hours of TV a day fit around further decorating and furniture-shifting plus trying to earn a living has conspired against me. Apologies to all, and please be assured that I am not expired, retired, mortally wounded or even vaguely poorly – yay!
It’s been far too long, but a happy and productive few weeks have been had since returning from London by way of the disused tunnels at Euston (recommended especially for the old posters and getting to peer down a ventilation shaft at unwary folk waiting on the Victoria Line platform) and inbetween the footie-skiving. Even waking up to news of a broken country (which for future reference could probably have been avoided with a carefully-timed Jeremy Kyle marathon on ITV) hasn’t put too much of a dampener on things just yet and besides, making plans to emigrate is unrealistic with two properties and a low level substance abuse problem involving Coopland’s cheese straws.
I now almost have a home that doesn’t resemble a cross between the Steptoes’ yard and a building site (plus some accompanying bumps and bruises including a cracker on the forehead gained whilst forgetting a shelf I’d just put up was there when I stood up) and even – for the first time ever at the age of 43 – an actual usable spare bedroom! Less fun was a hefty unexpected plumbing bill after two days with no heating or hot water whilst gas pipes were replaced – one cold shower a’la 1980’s school PE was enough. Thank God for work flats.
So as to now and a further month of pootling about before descending on a new London venue in Covent Garden (primarily picked for it’s proximity to Somerset House for this years’ Summer Screen films) for a few days – woohoo! A week and a bit later follows the mighty FrightFest in …Shepherds Bush. Unfortunately my always-anticipated annual weekend of justifying the food prices in Soho has been temporarily shifted because of the Leicester Square building works and whilst I wouldn’t choose to spend my Bank Holiday weekend in a shopping centre, it’s all about the films after all. Fingers crossed, especially after the usual panic stricken hour-and-a-bit long online battle to get the bloody pass in the first place.
Anyone wanting to ask about the films can do so immediately afterwards in Waterloo once I’ve had a bath, but that’s all a long way off. The oft-promised new pictures will be on their way now that I have both a little more free time and a few different rooms to play with, and once I’ve dug out the camera remote.
More soon, and I promise it won’t be six weeks! Maybe since the school holidays are almost upon us the weather might improve although as somebody who was caught in the pouring rain on the way home three days in a row, it doesn’t have much room for getting worse. One thing that will not improve is the traffic – to anybody looking to book who’s driving into Scarborough, bear in mind it’ll be a slow process.
Back in a bit. And for anybody who ever sees a thing like the thing below being taken out of their boiler, start sobbing and get your purse ready.