Monday, 30 June 2014


Still trying to sort out the house après le film crew. Painting. All Sunday. Two coats so far. It's nice to get rid of the sort of dingy grey/blue colour they painted. Difficult to cover it being as it was a. quite dark, b. kitchen paint with a sort of wipe clean surface. Glad it's started to look back to normal and matt. In the day light the blue is still impacting through making a colder feel to the paint than the two walls they didn't paint. 

And then paint gets everywhere. My girl cat Philomena somehow got a swipe on her tail even though I didn't see her in the room at all. And I am still picking paint flakes off my arms and out of my hair. 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Annual Val Hugo Memorial Mele

So I spent Saturday playing pétanque on a triangle of ground with an appropriately gravelled surface down Narrow Street in Docklands near The Grape pub. There are trees with broad leaves providing dappled sunlight when it shone and some relief from the rain when it fell. Quite like France in fact. Reminded me of the Tuilleries. It's an annual event in memorial of Val Hugo, a keen player, with a core membership of people who she played with. Serious, good players. It's a tournament. Players span several generations and a wild mixture of abilities. Teams are drawn out of a bag and matches are held between teams of 2 or 3. Then players are ranked by scores and numbers of wins and put into quarter final playoffs. Complex. Long. 

But along the way I was in teams which won and teams which lost. I learned something of how to play, managed to not totally embarass myself and made it into a semi final for runners up. Lots of looking at the boules nestling up to the coche (short for cochonet) to figure out which team's boule was 'on'. Inbetween matches there were sandwiches, biscuits, coffee and some pastis. And a lot of chat about the game, the tactics and the players. It was fun. 

And the final was a serious affair for the best players through the ranks and gave them a properly decent match. 

Friday, 27 June 2014

Grass (2)

The last time I came to this cafe to eat there was a man with his feet in the grass. Today sitting looking out of the window of the cafe I saw his saunter up the hillock of the park, kick off his shoes and plant his feet on the grass again. Shortly after he threw himself onto the grass and lolled on one elbow while talking on the phone. Here is a man who needs to feel the earth through the soles of his feet. And does so as often as he can. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

World Cup 2014

It started off pretty exciting - lots of good feeling and summer joy, Brazilian carnival taking over London. Pretty quickly depressed by England's shocking, although not really suprising, performances. Decision on who to support next is pretty key - brazil perhaps, probably not Holland, or perhaps Ghana. 

We have connections to Ghana. We went to watch their match against Germany in a local Ghanian joint. Expecting not much. Got an extremely exciting performance celebrated wildly by a packed bar - drumming and singing whenever the ball went vaguely near the goal. Half time singing, dancing and flag waving in the street. 

And in the middle of the second half some argument got a bit heated and a small scuff broke out. The lady who owned the joint shut it down, everyone piled into the street and dispersed as the police showed up. We went next door for the nail-biting last quarter. Winning for a bit only for Germany to come back. And despite rallying Ghana couldn't get another goal. Probably one of the most exciting games I've ever watched. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Lunchtime queuing in tescos

Tooley street tesco, down some escalators into the basement. Pick up a quick sarnie and some fruit. Well, that was the idea anyway. The queue snaked round the checkouts, back past the fruit, up the side of the salad bar, round the back of the store all the way to the frozen food section. Pretty much it seemed like all lunchtime would be spent queuing. In actual fact it was quicker than expected. And then was chucked back out off the up escalator to the street. 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Gossip from the green room and other parts of the filming

One of the actors flew in from LA to do his part. He had one line. He does a lot of street performance making like a silver statue. And once auditioned to strip for Peter Stringfellow. Without wearing Velcro whip-off trousers, getting caught up at the bottom trying to get out of the trouser legs. One of the others was a bit insecure and liked to talk to other professional actors about how often she was recognised in Romford from her time in Eastenders. My neighbour's bath was used in a scene and the dressers were instructed to dirty it up. In the morning, after a finish at 3am, my neighbour threw a wobbly about it not having been cleaned up afterwards. They diligently cleaned up what they messed up and left behind any dirt that my neighbour had originally had on it (taking the leave-it-as-you-found-it to the extreme).

Making a film

Never had any idea what kind of chaos making a film is. Lent my house for a set. It's doubling as set and base for the film. Kitchen is full of canteen for actors and crew - the fridge is overflowing, milk spilling, counters full of biscuits, endless cups of tea and coffee. A "green room" upstairs where the actors are hanging out watching football. The crew, half of whom are Italian, are watching football downstairs when they get a moment. 

Took about 7 takes to make a couple of minutes intro outside in the street - closing the road, directing a van and some kids playing, elderly man crossing the street and a character crossing their path. After several rehearsals. Close to pissing off some of my neighbours as they are asked not to drive down the road or indeed at times walk down the road to the shop. 

Stuff is all over the house in an organised chaos of moved furniture and house stuff mixed with equipment. Don't know where half my stuff is but am relying in the runners knowing where they put it. 

Sort of interesting but displaced. Roll on the end. Cut. That's a wrap. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Regrets, I've had a few

Lovely evening spent with pops, bails and heather spaffing on about a number of things while pops fed us delicious dinner and plied us with wine and Cachaça (it being two days until the World Cup starts in Brazil). With Bails and me being only 10 days apart in age (I'm younger believe it or not, and so much more concerned about it than she) there is always a moment when she despairs at me. This evening I was thinking back over turning points in time when I've chosen the wrong path. Regrets, I've had a few, and I'm just going to mention them. 

When I was 18 we spent a lot of time in the Spice of Life pub where I would chat with a particular barman - I was just about to go to art college, he was a film student. He would give me free drinks. On the evening when I met my first serious boyfriend the barman gave me his number. I should have rung him. He would have been creative, he was slightly older, I could have learned a lot from him. Instead I went for a pretend part time punk who came from a small town and never quite shook the small town from himself. 6 years that lasted. Unfortunately.

A very sexy blond Australian with dreadlocks once made a play for me rubbing his foot up and down my leg under the table of the coal hole pub. We kissed deeply on the stoop of the pub until the doorman moved us on for making the place look undesirable. One night of passion ensued. And I stupidly left in the morning without taking a number (pre-everyone with a mobile phone).  Never to be able to find him again.

There used to be a private members bar in Crouch End that my friend Alex belonged to. We went a couple of times. One time I struck up a chat with a girl and a cute man who turn out to be actor Don Gilet. Late in the evening he came back and unexpectedly kissed me full on the mouth. Do you come here often, he asked me breathlessly. I don't, I said, do you? No, says he, but I will now. A big missed cue - he was on the brink of doing some big tv and film. I should have picked up his cue and run with it. But I failed to. C'est la vie.

I guess you can't spend all your time mulling over regrets. Need to keep on experiencing life and attempting to make better choices!

Monday, 9 June 2014

New phone

I've never dropped a phone before. Had it splashed by salt water when a wave swept up unexpectedly behind me and soaked me (it corroded inside and stopped working). Dropped it in the bath before (tried drying it out to no avail). But not dropped it on the corner so the screen broke. But that's what I did. Luckily I was due an upgrade so ordered a new one - asked for the silver version. Forgot to ask what colour the front was. It turns out to be white. I'm trying really hard to love this phone despite its blatent Essex girl looks. I'm struggling... I feel like I should be driving round in a white rhino jeep and getting long straight extensions and a deep orange tan. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014


There was a time when you had to go to a shop to purchase an item and have cash to cover the cost. (I don't have a good memory of these times but my parents used to tell me). Then came credit cards. Then came the internet and the blossoming of online shopping.

In the early days of internet shopping your goods arrived with the Royal Mail in the morning delivery. If you weren't in they would leave a card and you could collect the package from the local delivery office. Mine was conveniently situated directly on my route home. They seemed to stop actually carrying the packages and would only bring the card (occasionally I would be in when the non-delivery proportedly happened). But I didn't mind too much because it was easy to get the non-deliverable. 

Now with the post office losing its monopoly things are delivered with a huge raft of other mail-handlers. Which is why I found myself in Star Lane, Canning Town, further into the east of  London than I have any cause to be, collecting an item from UKmail's depot after 3 days of struggling to find an appropriate delivery time. This is a back of beyond place. One massive industrial estate spread wide to enable articulated lorries easy access to warehouses. One prefab caf set up on the side of the road to service lorry drivers and warehouse workers. Nobody comes here, particularly by foot. Desolate even on a sunny morning. Inconvenience in the highest order. Not sure competitive mail services are really better for the customer. Particularly when you can't just wait at home for 3 days for a potential delivery. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Waiting for the train

Its late coming in. There's a woman with black hair and huge false eyelashes sitting against the ledge where a screen is kept held in place with a chain padlocked with a combination lock. Her partner is hunched over the padlock trying to get it to open. He steps over to the tracks to spit. He's short, ginger, unattractive in a white boxer sort of way - all has-been-smashed-up face. He is wearing a tracksuit and keeps fiddling with his package - either down the elastic or blatantly - uncomfortable underpants. She stands up - she's shorter than him but beautiful in a TOWIE sort of way, perma tan, pale lipstick, dark sultry eyes. She's wearing a wrap coat of velvet with a real fur collar. They talk to each other without seeing anybody else around them. He talks on the phone to someone telling them they can't take this other person to his dads place no way. He's sort of bouncing around back and forth across the platform. He ends up back beside his woman he shadow boxes a bit and then pretend-spars against her held-out hands. He suddenly sees something in her face and looks deeply at it, wipes something off her. She picks something off his lip. He puts his arm around her shoulder and pulls her to him, her arm wraps round his waist and they wander off up the platform as the train finally arrives. 

Monday, 2 June 2014


Lunchtime June warmer air even though the sunshine is only sporadic. I'm in a cafe eating lunch watching a man with bare feet enjoy the feel of grass underfoot as he talks on the phone. He's laughing in the conversation he is having and pacing around kicking his feet up and gripping the ground with his toes as he places them down. Living in the moment.