Saturday, 16 January 2016

"It's 10 Years, Jim (But Not As We Know It)"

Can you believe it's been a full decade already since I wrote this, thus launching this blog upon the world?
Back then I was focused on putting together scripts for a TV project called Timespotters. I was a naive 16 year old, who since then you've seen transform into the guy that I am today. Reading back over previous posts (and therefore, my own personal history) makes for a fascinating experience - although I do frequently cringe at lots of what I've said!

Beyond a celebratory "hip-hip-hooray!" I don't have much more to add. Thanks for sticking with me, and reading over the years. It means the world to me that I have an audience (no matter how small) that remains loyal and interested in what I have to say.

(By the way... Technically, I'm not cheating. This was written in December 2015 - and merely scheduled to be published today, so doesn't betray the promise I made not to blog for the entirety of the new year! Ha!)

Happy birthday.

With that - the journey continues on.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Review of the Year - 2015

I'd recorded a video for this. But do you know? I watched it back, and just thought that it wasn't right.

I've wanted to go back and re-do the video, but unfortunately I've been very unwell and I don't think my voice is up to the challenge!  We return to the format used previously (2007 (Part One), 2007 (Part Two)20112013).

2015 has been a bit of a peculiar year. I was thinking today just how long it seems to have been. Honestly, it's as if it's just gone on and on. Maybe that's because I broke my usual routines - by first of all resigning, that going off and doing a number of new experiences?

I've had ups and downs, but I think overall these last 12 months even out as a good, solid year. I mean look at what I've accomplished:

- Finally fulfilling my ambition to leave the cinema role.
- Completing that Darkened Avenue saga, that I started waaaaaay back in 2006.
- Making Self 2 a.k.a. Fellow (at last!!)
- Equally, making Lasagne
- Being in love
- Spending summer with my family, and getting to see my nieces/nephews grow up
- Budapest
- Watching 70 new, quality films
- Spending Christmas at home

How is this a bad way of being?!

Yes, some things didn't work out. I still haven't cracked getting a job in TV or Film, for example. But you know, there's no point dwelling - and besides, my life is a lot better than others' in this world. I have a lot to be grateful and happy for.

I don't need to go on! I've put my point across, and all that's left to say is a Happy New Year. I hope 2016 is the year for you, and your loved ones.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

December 29th, 2015

I'm ill. Medicated. Possibly a little delirious (I can't be sure).

This should be fun.


Decemberrrrrrrrrrr 29th!

The end of the year is nigh,
I decide to finish on a high...

(Or give it a damn hard try!)

....

....

....

That's literally all I came up with, before the boring part of my brain switched on, my imagination switched off... and, well, normal service resumed:

That Resolute Desk: Sick Man's Silence
A filming day!

Yeah - despite my sickness, and obvious need for bed rest, I decided I had to make one last ditch attempt at filming a That Resolute Desk sequence for 2015. You might remember as the year started, I was attempting a project called Six of One, that eventually I scrapped. This short, 90 second bit was aimed as a replacement - catching up with my character Jarvis O'Hara (after featuring in 2012/3/4 videos).

I don't know if anything I shot is good, or if it'll make an interesting scene. We'll see. I'm not over thinking it. Que sera sera and all that.

***

Work is tough without a voice. Thanks to Kathryn and Michelle, who bought me some medication over 12 months ago - which, luckily I'd saved, and used now. The pills and spray were a massive relief and really helped.

***

I wrote a special something before: A 10th anniversary blog post. It won't go live until January (when I'm in the midst of my blogging exile) - so you'll just have to wait until then to read it! But, interesting it'll end up being my 600th blog post... and look, I just crossed 10000 visitors!

***

This post was a bit crap, wasn't it?

Sunday, 27 December 2015

2016 - All New, All Different

Urgh. I feel really shitty right now.

At work today my voice kept disappearing on me as I strained to talk to customers, and everything was spinning in several directions. I have man flu. I'm calling it now.

***

I've spent the last few weeks thinking about what sort of year I want 2016 to be. Entering 2015, I wanted to complete lots of unfinished business. I largely succeeded - making both Lasagne and Fellow at last, plus leaving my job at Vue/moving out of my old room in Shepherds Bush. So... going into the new year I'll spin this year's resolution on its head. Whereas the last 12 months were about ending existing projects... I want 2016 to be about beginning entirely new things.

Marvel comics have recently relaunched their books under the banner "all new, all different". I like that, and I'm stealing it for my new year motto!

Of course, for new things to exist/things to be "all different" I have to draw a line under certain practices. One of these includes my iPod. It's time to retire the device. I've had it for 8 years now, and the routine of putting it in my ears every commute has become a little tiresome.

Then there's Facebook. I hardly use it any more anyway, but it's time I log out for the year. Now, I'm not deleting my page - and I will likely return to it in 2017 - but I can't keep refreshing the page, checking desperately for updates. What's the point? I'm going to continue my new adventures, of going out and actually socialising with people in person.

Finally, for now, there's Blogger. I know, I know - I've threatened to leave these pages before. Many times! But now, it feels right to rest the blog for the duration of the 2016 year. I need some time away from pouring my heart and soul out every day. I think I spend too long reflecting on what has happened, that I end up dwelling on facts - which is obviously not at all healthy. I also quite like the idea of just going out and living for a while - not spending my time storing events or information away, ready to use in these writings at a later date. I'll continue to write on these pages until New Year's Eve - after which, barring celebrating the blog's 10th birthday in January, you won't hear from me on here for a while.

What new things am I going to do, I hear you ask? Well... actually, no. I'm not going to tell you. Let's not cement those plans, and leave things as open as possible. Just know that I'll be doing/trying new things in 2016, that if successful will leave me a greater human being.

***

Christmas was hard. For the first time in weeks I've been thinking about the ex again. You have no idea how hard it was *not* messaging her a "Merry Christmas".

Random Bits of 2015

Around this time of year everybody and their dog seems to be writing up about the last 12 months, and the best of everything within them (films, TV, music, etc.) Though I'll be posting some sort of video review of the year, I thought I'd do things my own way - by trying to capture as many memories from the last year as I can.

JANUARY

Watching The X Files season 1 and 2 across the month, one or two episodes a night before going to bed. I repeated the activity, this time watching season 3, in December.

I wrote at least one thing every day throughout January. These included issues of Darkened Avenue that were 8 years overdue! Also tackled were prose Doctor Who stories, and episodes of my family soap The Kenchucky Tree. I kept the momentum going into February, but when I started working on the scripts for Fellow things slowed down, and I missed various days writing. After that, I never got back into the groove of daily writing again. Oh well... there's always 2016 to achieve this!
Vue Piccadilly (where I was based at this point) always being packed, due to a great selection of films. This was the busiest month that cinema ever had.

Being silly in Tyger, Hammersmith - putting on a princess crown, and pretending to shop with a tiny trolley!
Eating pub lunch, and introducing Gabby to Yorkshire Pudding!

FEBRUARY

Eating Square Pies... at home!

Going to watch Ennio Morricone in concert at the O2. It was magnificent!

Spending Valentine's Day at the newly opened Pizza Express on Leicester Square, and then on Greenwich's Cable Cars.

I went bowling for my birthday - with all the family around.
Finally uploading all my old DV tapes to digital format.

Lunchtimes at work, and being brought free sandwiches and hot drinks across from the Curzon down the road. I don't think I showed my appreciation for this enough at the time.

Sitting on Nelson's Column on Trafalgar Square, talking through the decision to resign from Vue and what would happen next. All decisions should be made sitting there, on Nelson's Column.

MARCH

Eating Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cake) and Lángos whilst in Budapest.

Gabby's cat hiding behind the cupboards in her mum's living room.

Receiving a plastic oven glove as a present from Gyöngyi. I didn't trust it'd work at first... and still don't!

Searching for ANYTHING Doctor Who related whilst in Hungary. You know what?! I found something, too!!

Driving the pedal kart around Margaret Island:


Visiting the Szimpla Kert, and loving it. I wrote my name on the wall upstairs!
Going for a drink at a Leicester Square casino with my friend James, and accidentally ending up in a strip club ("Lola's") in their basement. Neither of us knew where to look! So awkward.

APRIL

My Picturehouse interview. Ouch. I sucked. They sucked even more.

Working the Avengers 2 premiere at Vue Westfield, which included a run-in with a well known UK film/TV actor, who had brought a black bag and was attempting to steal chocolates at the end of the screening!

Arguing with my former landlord, who said that I hadn't paid a deposit when I moved into my Shepherds Bush room. Eventually, when I threatened to go to the citizen advice bureau, he backed down and effectively gave me my money back.

Debora resigning from work, only 5 months into the job. Being asked by my GM to stay on an extra 4 weeks, and agreeing.

Filming in a Nando's! Then... filming on a selfie stick, in the middle of Piccadilly Circus!

MAY

Watching the General Election results on the Green Room TV at work... and being really pissed when it became clear what the result would be.

Part of one wisdom tooth started to crumble away, leaving a sharp edge on it that cut the inside of my cheek. I had to go back home and have it removed - but first, had to wait an agonising couple of weeks to find enough time to get off work!

Missing my original leaving party - as the TGI Friday restaurant took waaaaay too long serving us. I had to nip across town to watch the Matilda musical - and did so on an empty stomach!

Visiting all of the Vue cinemas in Inner London, all within 1 day.

JUNE

Learning that Donna's dog Dylan had died :(


Finally getting that long overdue eye test!

Watching The Curious Incident of the Dog At The Night Time. I sat on the front row, on a special "prime number" seat. Because the letters of my name, as numbers, add up to a prime number - I won a special badge prize!
That awful date in Pizza Hut.

Meeting deers at Bushy Park. Do not offer them nuts! One started to approach me, and it was the single most terrifying experience of my life! Well, not quite, but you get my point.

Cooking tacos!

Shaving my hair off, to a number 2 (the shortest I'd had it in 2 years)

Going to the premiere of Entourage: The Movie. I had worked in Leicester Square for two years, and never once got a chance to walk the red carpet for myself. When I resigned, I requested the opportunity to do so. During the premiere I was given a champagne flavour ice lolly. Disgusting!

JULY

Watching Jurassic World with my nephew Tyler - his very first time in the cinema! He was restless after a while, and you had to chuckle seeing him moving between seats - sitting with his parents, and then me.

Meeting Lorand, the white van driver who helped me move my stuff from Ealing to Southfields. Later, in November, he would move it from there to my new base - in Woolwich.

The giant spider that lived in my bedroom all summer.

Watching The X Factor auditions being recorded with sisters Donna and Lauren. Waiting outside for hours, I got a very sunburnt neck - which is visible in Fellow, actually!

Tiziana visiting Manchester.

AUGUST

My nephew Jamie calling me a variety of different names all rhyming with Ant (but never just "Ant"). These included: Pant, Jant, Blant, Plant, Dant, Fant, etc.

Singing the song from Pixar's Lava with Tyler every car journey.

Tyler's 3rd birthday party (but also, multiple times this year) where I was dragged into the children's play area/ball pool by my nephews, who wanted me to play.

Flirting with the girl in Southend's Baskin Robbins.

Matt's birthday party... which he was 4 hours late to! During it, everybody commented how fat I had gotten, and how my new glasses made me look like a paedo.

SEPTEMBER

Running every day this summer - building up from managing only 3 laps to 20.

Attending the Doctor Who premiere in Cardiff, and meeting Steven Moffat, Peter Capaldi and Jemma Coleman (who, btw, was definitely checking me out!!)

Sleeping on James' sofa for two weeks during Raindance. Thanks again, buddy!

Receiving a significant tax return!

OCTOBER

Watching Jerone's short film, The Cut, on the big screen.

My conversation with Elliot at the end of Raindance ;)

Meeting Svetlana at London Film Festival.

Taking the dog for daily walks, and trying to find new routes and pathways not previously explored.

NOVEMBER

Finding out my ex Clare is now married (and congratulations to her).

Me and future Housemate-Jack discussing "ghash" properties. We visited one house that was literally being held together by scaffolding! Jack wasn't amused, and called the estate agent to cancel.

Then... sat in a McDonald's with Housemate-Jack, working out what we could/couldn't afford in a London property.

Meeting new housemate Sharanus, who immediately showed me to his bong!

DECEMBER

Sitting in the plush Private Member's bar at Picturehouse Central, with James, Alberto and Stella.

Meeting Lenny Henry and hearing his thoughts on Brian Michael Bendis.

Name dropping Frank Miller to every single customer at Forbidden Planet.

Me and Workmate-Jack doing constant Alan Moore voice impressions. His better than mine, as my voice started to go, and then my Alan slipped from a Northampton accent, to basically Cockney.

Applying clothes pegs to Mafalda. Don't ask.