And summer finally seems to have stuck it’s head above the parapet – I can report that earlier in the week I left the house wearing only one cardigan and no coat which probably means it was touching twenty degrees at least, although it all seems to have gone a bit pear shaped today.
For readers outside Scarborough, these temperatures are what passes for stifling here and as such the DIY has been reduced to tinkering with wiring, general oddbod repairs and tidying-up jobs rather than anything more full on – even the screeding is having to wait. What are not are my shiny new double sockets with integral USBs that are making me feel a bit like James Bond (or like James Bond probably would if he lived in a hotel, which is the only other place I’ve ever seen such unabashed luxury).
This weekend sees the annual Malton Food Lover’s Festival where I will be buying cheese, sausages and hopefully more water buffalo burgers as well as trying not to eat too many bhajis, cakes and pork pies prior to my London trip on the 1st – Victoria is calling, and bar the Friday afternoon when I’ll be persona non grata for a couple of hours whilst poking around in the dark somewhere underneath Euston Station, all are welcome until noon on Saturday when I will be heading for the V&A, I think. If I’m feeling brave, anyway.
Bookings will be taken from Monday – a little earlier than I normally would but there are already some keen folk out there. For anybody who does miss out, the Film4 Summer Screen tickets are on sale from tomorrow (a week or so later than last year, but all things come to those who wait) and whilst my August travels are in the planning stages, there’s likely to be a longer trip and new location too – yay! I don’t quite know how the the programmers always manage to stick at least two of my very favourite films in, but thankfully they’ve generally been close enough together not to require two sets of train tickets; I have no doubt there are people who can spare both the time and the money to spend two full weeks in a West End hotel but sadly, I’m not one of them.
Barely a moment after my return the Euros will be in full swing across the Channel, which will give me chance to both polish my embarrassingly rusty French and unapologetically skive (well if you can’t when you’re self employed, when can you?) for a few days in front of the big telly with a water buffalo burger in each hand. As we can see (if we look elsewhere online anyway, since I know the wallchart photo leaves a fair bit to be desired), the weekdays with a 2pm game are the 13th, 15th, 16th & 17th – these will be normal availability until 1pm when I’ll be finishing for the day, heading for home and spending the remainder of the day on the couch.
The 5pm starts will have less effect and the 8pm ones none at all from a punter POV, but it’s worth checking the front page of my site that week especially – I’ll be starting earlier on request, but 1 o’clock will be the absolute cut off. I’ll update with the later stages as we go but bear in mind that – as with the World Cup – if there’s a match on, I’ll be watching it.
To the remainder of this week, and it’s business as usual here by the seaside! More soon…
Edinburgh, that is, and (thanks to a ridiculously cheap set of train tickets that it would have been rude to say no to) by way of London – yay! There are some who would say that it was difficult to tell I was back at all and it’s with huge apologies to everybody who has tried for short notice appointments this last few weeks and not been able to get them, and also to those who did get them and found me to be a touch on the painty side, if as amenable as ever thanks largely to my favourite festival of the year and far too much Nando’s for one weekend.
One walkout, which is unusual for DBD – not because I haven’t wanted to leave mid-film precisely once a year every year (the one dropped ball is the annual get-back for the rest all being so consistently wonderful) but because normally the film I loathe is also the one lots of people like and as a result I feel bad about disturbing a whole row. This time fortune was on my side; only three people between me and the door and whilst it took me half an hour of agonising finding a suitable point to do so, some 45 minutes into Men and Chicken I made like a tree, and fucked off.
Dead By Dawn is the most well behaved trip to the pictures I know, at least in part (I’m sure) because bad behaviour will get you chucked out sans refund. Without wanting to sound like the most pious, self righteous arse in cinemagoing, I don’t annoy people either in my immediate vicinity or in the rest of the screen (or at least if I do I can’t imagine how unless it’s just by existing at all which some people are more than capable of doing, so not completely implausible); I tuck my elbows, use the appropriate drinks holder if there is one and keep my stuff in my own seat and adjoining little bit of floor rather than let my coat sleeves sprawl into anybody’s lap or have my bag trip anyone up. So I’d rather they didn’t do it to me, least of all at £75 per ticket plus the cost of travel to Scotland and four nights in an Edinburgh city centre hotel.
I don’t eat crisps, wrapped sweeties or otherwise noisy, rustly or smelly food but occasionally I drink coffee, which is smelly if you take the lid off. I once – at FrightFest in the Leicester Square Empire days – sat two seats along from a man who brought in and ate a Burger King carryout that would have fed a family of four, and stank the whole room out with it for the best part of an hour until the air conditioning (which anybody who ever sat in the original Empire One when it wasn’t that full and wound up wishing they’d brought a flask, hot water bottle and a blanket will remember well) finally dealt with it. Then again, that was also the year that a couple of gents at the back got bored during Hammer Of The Gods and decided to crack one off instead, and that somebody else decided it would be a good idea to show Tulpa, presumably as there wasn’t enough comedy on the bill.
Big hit of the weekend’s otherwise thoroughly dystopian theme was We Go On, which I can enthusiastically recommend as it’s in English and therefore there’s a chance it might pop up somewhere – fingers crossed! The Disappearance Of Willie Bingham took my vote for Best Short although not the audience one, and whilst I’d love to post it here so that every else can see how the US penal system will likely end up if enough people are stupid enough to vote for Donald Trump, I can’t find it in full anywhere so we’ll have to make do with Steve Desmond’s Monsters for this years’ DBD clip. Fab (and completely gore free) stuff.
A 7am ride on the tram and a few hours on the East Coast line later started a trip to London, which bizarrely was at least ten degrees colder than Edinburgh although everything was roughly the same price. A brief pit stop on the South Bank and then home, where I have been industriously plugging away at the DIY ever since – advance bookings (or an hour in advance, anyway) have been the order of the day for a change and worst of it is still to come but I’ve promised myself to make a bit more of an effort for the rest of the month, not least because my back hurts and I’m sick of the sight of paint.
Once the place is looking summat-like, new photos! I don’t look any different bar a touch more Nando’s, but an overhaul never does any harm. The football will be upon us in less than a month and I’ll update on availability once I’ve been to WH Smiths, as the latest When Saturday Comes with wall chart included hit the shelves yesterday and I haven’t got one yet.
More soon, definitely! In the meantime if anybody has any tips on self levelling screed I’d be happy to hear them (I’m not kidding).
To Edinburgh that is, and in just shy of an hours’ time – woohoo!
Since I missed Glasgow FrightFest earlier this year, Dead By Dawn is my first festival of 2016 as well as my enduring favourite, not least because I get to stay in my favourite budget pod-cave, eat chips every day if I want to (always with salt and sauce and sometimes with white pudding) and potter around the Filmhouse lobby shop looking at DVDs; I’m not even sure anywhere in Scarborough bar the supermarkets still sells new DVDs, and definitely not the Tartan Asia Collector’s Editions, plus they have postcards! Oh, and consistently the best film programme of the lot.
All this means that my work phone will categorically not be on until Monday lunchtime; anybody peering in from London, please email! Or by all means text, provided you don’t mind that it may well be a few hours or the next day before I can reply – DBD is a phone free zone for anybody who doesn’t want chucked out and their pass confiscated, and rightly so. Manchester’s Grimmfest (where sitting anywhere other than the front row is like fucking Diwali right up to the point until a foreign language film comes on, all the people with one eye on the screen and the other on Twatter realise they need to read the subtitles and put them away for ninety minutes, and incredibly nobody asks them to stop) could learn a thing or two.
A longish train ride straight to a couple of days in Waterloo is next; it’s a flying visit, but plenty of fun will be had and a proper trip follows in June after I managed to snag three Hidden London tickets in yesterdays presale – yay! There should be some left, but after the meltdown on the London Transport Museum site at the start, possibly not many and the general sale started yesterday morning. Who knew so many people would want to pay handsomely to get to creep around abandoned Tube tunnels in the dark? I get to see the disused bits of Euston tube station (and wear a hi-vis and hard hat), Down Street in Mayfair and also a whizz around London’s first skyscraper 55 Broadway, an obscenity in it’s day and where one of my best pals once got the sack from London Underground. Happy days.
Just a quick update then – back in Scarborough next week, possibly Thursday but definitely Friday. Londoners – will see you soon!
Carnage first. And that’s just getting down the Lothian Road on a weekend night.