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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Blue sky.

I'm writing this on my brand new fancy pants Macbook Pro. It needed saying. Now we've got that out of the way we can continue to discuss more stimulating topics such as the war in Korea - will they won't they? Or, say, the imminent badger culling. Or the fact that we have allegedly avoided a treble dip recession (well phew).  The fact that I am able to Google something and not wait half an hour for my typing to impact the search bar pales into insignificance beside the plight of the badgers. You know something else? Thirteen inches really is preferable to a poxy six. Sorry to dispel the kindly myth.

I'm tapping away feeling thoroughly content; sitting haphazardly on the step of my little K Town abode, the excitable squawks that accompany a recent car break in are fairly easy to ignore when my bare feet soak up the warmth borrowed from the pavement and my maxi dress blows about my ankles. The red broderie anglaise conveniently hides my recent skateboarding bruises. I can't skateboard but I do like the idea so I spent half an hour throwing myself down half pipes.

The sun behind a tree throws dappled light onto the cobbled mews and highlights newly green leaves. Frothy white blossom is finally starting to bloom and the tangy smell of some sort of mechanics' oil drifts over on the breeze. Or it could be poppers. Either way, it's faintly delectable. It mingles weirdly with the Sainsbury's bakery that always scents the sun trap mews.

Since throwing myself into this film making business I've been both intrigued and impressed by the amount of people doing likewise. Just casually, quietly getting on with day and night jobs whilst liaising with a multitude of strangers and forming the kind of working relationships with them that would usually take months to establish. Last week I 'met' a guy on Twitter who fancied joining us on a trip to Devon to film a cute little short. He emailed me a link to his work - which in itself a hugely trusting and brave action as it must always make one feel somewhat vulnerable.

I watched fifteen minutes of beautifully shot black and white footage of French people thinking about jumping into the sea. My reply to him mentioned that I thought it was very self indulgent but that it was gorgeous and did he want to work together. Perhaps if I hadn't spent the previous twelve hours editing sprites in a tree on the aforementioned six inch screen then my reply might have been a little less forthright. In the event he appreciated the 'refreshingly frank' response so watch this space for the next short which I imagine will be thirty minutes of surfers contemplating the ocean whilst reading Chomsky, accompanied by 'hauntingly melodic thrash guitar rifs'. It could work . . .

Friday, 5 April 2013

Lazy days in Paris.

My short break to Paris was spontaneous; I’d lost my iPhone - and subsequently my contacts, Twitter presence and camera, and so the prospect of spending my time off in London seemed intolerable. I flipped a coin (do I/ don’t I?) and booked a Eurostar to Paris, before trawling the Couch Surfing website for a place to sleep that night, as the Eurostar had used up the bulk of my funds. I had a tentative ‘yes’ from a comic book illustrator called Phillipe, which as I pulled into Gare De Nord on a cold dark evening in April left me feeling rather more anxious than it had in sunny familiar London.

I found an internet café and saw that to my good fortune the hesitant response had become a definite couch to surf with an address and directions. I negotiated the Metro to a big wooden door - wide enough to admit a carriage, hauled my suitcase up 5 flights of a spiral stone staircase to the top floor where as instructed I saw a photograph of a small dog. I ignored a niggling concern about stranger danger and knocked on the door.

My new abode had a big open window overlooking the small room crowded with colourful and surreal square photographs, comic books and films. My host and I shared a pizza and got acquainted whilst he explained his passion for both couch surfing and taking photographs with an analogue camera, the Holga - a simple plastic box that captured dreamy unpredictable photos. It seemed to embody spontaneity and fun - I was convinced.
The next morning I set out through the charming old streets of the Bastille and through the Jewish district in the direction of the Lomography camera shop. I meandered through sunlit streets, choosing the most aesthetically pleasing option at each cross road. The freedom of being alone to make every decision based on such whims is intrinsically charming. I bought the Holga and my weekend of wandering took on a new focus as I explored bridges, views and buildings from the Louvre to Monmartre to the Latin Quarter, capturing my journey in pictures. By inadvertently losing touch with the digital I had recaptured the pleasure of simplicity and observation - I defy anyone not to enjoy a carefree day of having nothing much to do on a sunny day in Paris.