Saturday, July 12, 2003

Ha! And ha again!

by Suw on July 12, 2003

Seems I rank No. 1 if you search for the words 'chocolate' and 'city' in Google. I realise that that is an entirely pointless ego-surfing kind of thing to say, but what the hell. 😀

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Days like today I really miss London. I get such a strong feeling of 'hiraeth', that wistful homesick longing that only the word 'hiraeth' really expresses. I've been speaking Welsh continuously all day, and as I'm typing this my brain is simultaneously chucking up a Welsh translation. Apart from for the word 'simultaneously', though.

Came up for the afternoon to meet up with G, (I don't know why I use people's initials instead of their name), who used to be my Welsh teacher. Haven't seen her in ages, so it was good to catch up. After a pint in a pub on Baker Street we went over to Regents Park, sat under a tree and watched people go by. (In particular this cute bloke who was sitting not so far away reading a book about how to teach people English. I wanted to go and talk to him about whether he was teaching the language or literature, but I didn't have the nerve.)

The weather was just glorious – not a cloud in the sky, hardly a breath of wind, just beautiful sunshine, the kind that makes the world seem perfect. We went boating on the lake for an hour. My, those oars are tricky blighters at times! I got the hang of this rowing lark fairly quickly though, although surely I'll pay for it tomorrow when my shoulders seize up. G managed to lose an oar and we provided an abject lesson to all those around about how impossible it is to row with one oar.

The waterfowl were great. I love ducks. And grebes. I made some really awful grebe jokes (like ?Oh! He’s looking a bit a-grebe-d? and ?I hope we don’t suffer grebe-ous bodily harm?). G looked at me like I was a bit gone out. Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last.

Later we had a coffee at a pavement caf?, looking at all the amazing buildings in the area, then we went for a wander from Baker Street down to St Christopher’s Place, then over Oxford Street to Grosvenor Square where armed policemen stand round the American Embassy looking bored.

I don't know why, but I always feel edgy around policemen with guns. First, I get the irrational urge to confess to everything: regardless of what it was, I did it. OK? Then I find that I want to look at these guns, want to see what a real gun looks like, up close (although not too close, thank you very much). Then I realise that staring at a policeman and his big gun is probably not a wise move so I try to look anywhere but at the policeman or his big gun, which is hard work when they're stood right in front of you. Trouble is, the act of trying not to look at the policeman and his big gun immediately makes me start to feel guilty again.

Men with guns are strange. Particularly ones that cradle them like Blofeld does his cat.

Anyway, we wandered through the sultry evening streets and I got more and more nostalgic for the days when I used to live in London. Ironically, some of the best times I had living in the capital were when I'd just graduated and only just moved there. I was unemployed, but ironically less broke then than I became when I got a job. I temped for a while, ended up working all over London, and used to really love exploring places in my lunch hour. I’d just wander out of the office and hope that I didn’t get so lost that I wouldn’t be able to find my way back.

I remember one night, I was out on what I suppose could be loosely termed a date with a comic called Simon. He was a nice guy, but I was in a wandering mood. We walked for hours through the London summer, climbing over the wall into UCL at one point, just because we could, and legging it out over a fence cos we'd been spotted. I think. I was a bit pissed at the time so frankly anything could have happened. We walked through Bloomsbury. Through Kings Cross. Through Shoreditch (although not, I believe, in that order). Eventually, after a bizarre conversation with an illegal cabbie, we ended up in a comedy club somewhere in East London at about 1am.

I don't know what Simon was expecting from that date, but I don't think it was a six hour exploration of the capital city. Oddly, I never saw him again after that.

People are strange.

So yeah, I'm feeling very nostalgic tonight. I would therefore like to advertise here for a? I was going to say partner, but really I’m just after a source of cash. Must own or rent nice apartment in central London – Mayfair, maybe, or Regents Park; must be happy to keep me in the manner to which I would like to become accustomed; preferably should speak Welsh, be gorgeous and like cats. If you can't manage the being gorgeous and liking cats bit then I must admit there might be a bit of an issue, but the Welsh is negotiable. Just don't be a monoglot English speaker. In return, you’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you’ve made someone’s life much, much better. And frankly, not much else.

Applicants should sent their last three years' accounts, with picture, to me by email.

Let's face it, this is the only way I'll be able to afford to move back to London, and London on a night like tonight, the moon hanging full and red in the deepening blue sky, people bustling everywhere, the streets seething with life, the warm sirocco-like breeze breathing on your skin, it’s worth it. It’s worth every penny. Even the ones I don’t have.

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The script

by Suw on July 12, 2003

I downloaded Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 yesterday. The demo version is fully functional, except when it runs out you can only save one script to another format. I can't afford to buy the full version, so I will have to make do with this whilst I can. It's pretty good, I think. Easy to use, sorts out all the formatting automatically as you type – which is a major boon as script formatting is apparently a major thing – and when you cut and paste from Word it autoformats the text for you. Bargain!

So, I've started writing my script. I'm not going to tell you what it's about until it's all done, but so far, I've written six pages. I've done more today whilst I was on the train (actually, I'm writing this on the train too, using my resurrected Velo) so it will be fun to copy and paste that in and see how the page count goes. (Update: I’m up to 11 pages now! Wow! That’s like almost a tenth of the way through!)

As with my visitor stats, I obsess about page counts when I'm writing. I don't know if this is healthy or not, but I can't help it. A screen play should be 90 to 120 pages long, so at the rate I type and bearing in mind that the formatting results in hardly any words per page compared to a novel, I should be able to bang out a first draft within 20 hours. If I do an hour a day every day I should be done well within a month.

LMAO. Yeah, right. I know how these things work. I know how easy it is to put projects on hold 'just today' and suddenly discover that six months have passed and you've not written a single word. Still, blogging about it should provide some sort of motivation to keep going, because at the very least I will not want to eventually have to confess that I bailed and didn't finish it.

I could really do with a full, legit copy of this software though. So if you would like to contribute to my life, drop me an email. I take PayPal.

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What accent do you have?

by Suw on July 12, 2003

Ken, over at Digital Common Sense, blogs about Rageboy’s post about Why I Blog. And They Don’t.

Both are amusing and worth your time.

However, the thing that kinda struck a chord was Ken’s comments about geography and how irrelevant it is to blogging and the blogosphere. Ken’s right, of course, the internet does make geography a non-factor, but I often wonder what all these people whose blogs I read regularly sound like. What accent do they have? I love accents, particularly ones I can actually understand (and anyone who’s tried to have a conversation with someone who speaks in a strong Glaswegian brogue knows what I mean).

When I was over on Sweet Addy, I tried to organise an audio-book. We were gonna each read a passage of a short story or something and then I’d put them together on a CD and distribute it to everyone. Of course, trying to organise a large group of people via the net is a bit like herding cats. We managed to decide that we were going to do one short story, but fell over on trying to decide which. Many people were keen on doing The Story of Ferdinand because Elliott has a tatt of Ferdinand, but there were almost more participants than words in that particular story, and no one could come up with another choice. I fancied doing something by Neil Gaiman, but only one other person on the board had heard of Neil. Philistines.

But I still like the concept of having spoken word files that illustrate the wide variety of accents of the people I have come across on the net. Maybe it should become de rigeur for all bloggers to put together some sort of mp3, just for the terminally curious, like me.

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