Saturday, September 23, 2006

Late In The Week

The sunshine didn’t come until much later. Instead the raggedy arse-end of Hurricane Norbet (or whatever the hell) decided to wear itself out over London and the outlying counties. Which felt like someone had scooped up the ocean and then dropped it from a great height.

Friday traffic in London is particularly bad as people race to get the hell out of the city the first chance they get. Friday is the day that people who have spent their working week using public transport get behind the wheel of a car and take their sweet time in remembering how to drive. Which means on Friday there’s no point trying to award the day’s Designated Arsehole Driver Award because just about everyone is trying their best to get nominated as the rain hammered down on us.

To get from North London to our meeting south and to the west of London, not far from Shepperton Studios, cutting through the outer boroughs of the city would prove problematic. With schools close to chucking out time, the streets would be chock full of 4x4s picking up their little darlings/spotty malcontents to add to the melee. Instead we went back out to the M25 orbital motorway to scoot around. Great idea!

We should have learnt our lesson by now. Earlier this year we shot a corporate job that required hiring extra lit from Shepperton, filming at the agency offices in Beaconsfield and then shooting exteriors outside Marlow. All this took place over the course of a week. And every day we got royally screwed trying to get around the M25. A plague of weeping sores would have been preferable. But once again, having blotted past experience from our minds, we trundled back out to the M25. There, wedged in on the slip road, we found it packed solid.

I hate being late. With deadlines or appointments, if I’m late, or even close to being late, on either it sends me nuts. Which was really not good for everyone in the immediate vicinity as I worked myself up to being seconds away from an aneurism. If anyone suggested a quick shot to calm me down, it would have to be with a Winchester Black Talon .357 Magnum 180-grain (Supreme Expansion Talon). Nothing less would have done the trick.

Setting out two hours before our appointment, we eventually pitched up almost an hour late. But were quickly forgiven. The Delightful LA Actress outlined her business plan and what was required for the website. We got a budget and a deadline and discussed all the options and possibilities available.

After that, dinner. Not long after we were seated, a Scandinavian model/actress friend of DLAA and her husband arrived at the nearby table. After they were introduced, the MA mentioned that various publishers had approached her for writing projects. But fear of the blank page has so far forced her to decline.

When DLAA started writing magazine articles this year and showed concern, I told her the best way to avoid “page fright” was to buy a Dictaphone, set it down on a table, and walk and talk. It’s a much more liberating experience that sitting down at the computer, watching the empty Word document taunt you to fill it with words. Obviously the transcription would need so work, but it got you over the first hurdle.

I mentioned this course of action to the MA. Soon I was bigged up for my ghostwriting earlier this year, and the daily word count I had to tear through, by Work Buddy and DLAA. Then MA’s husband pitched in with an idea for a book he had been harbouring. As they retired for the evening, we exchanged business cards.

Having got a new set of business cards within the last few weeks, the first card was handed out to a London solicitor we met after a recent meeting. The card I received after dinner topped that, easily: Superior Court Los Angeles County, Judge.


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