Monday, 10 December 2012

'You are now leaving the future'

'You are now leaving the future', read the graffiti painted on the side of a shed in a field just off the A14. And on this winter afternoon, as the light faded, I wondered if it could possibly be true. If, as I passed the sign, the years would slide back and somewhere out there in the darkening towns were bright neon-lit cinemas where projectors still whirred and joins clicked through the gate. Where platters turned slowly, reflecting the spilled out light of old arc lamp conversions and film, glorious film reigned supreme. But alas, the sign lied, and in the very next town the squat black boxes sat like contended toads in deserted projection rooms behind foyers that looked more like coffee shops than real cinemas.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Floods and traffic mayhem

It's eight thirty in the evening and there is still a traffic jam packed solid all the way down Main Street due to the A38 being flooded. I went for a walk earlier and took some pictures - the traffic went all the way down Hatton straight, and according to some comments on Facebook, all the way up to Mickleover in the other direction. It has now started to rain quite heavily again.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tuesday - Corfu

Afternoon. Slightly cloudy skies. A feeling that the weather is on the turn. I have drunk several glasses of cheap red wine - why does it always taste ok when you are on holiday - and now it's nearly time to walk down to the village, get some lunch, then maybe go for a paddle and watch the waves break endlessly on the shore.
Back home I am aware that it will be a soft October afternoon, pale light, long shadows, the fiery foliage on the verge of falling. Chilly nights, damp with dew and maybe frost. So far from these endless summer afternoons, not unlike August in short-shadowed light, mellow sunshine, the trees all still in full leaf, together with all the Mediterranean plants - Oleander, Bougainvillea, Morning Glory with its purple trumpets. In the vegetable gardens, beans and courgettes still flower. A second planting of potatoes. Vivid colour of peppers and chillies. Lemon and orange trees. In many of the gardens, roses bloom as if it were still July, without blight on the leaves. Geraniums glow in vivid reds and pinks. Nothing is dying, moldy, mildewed. There are no turning leaves. The grass (coarse though it may be) still grows as lush as midsummer at home. Our pale eyes need sunglasses to shade the glare of sunlight on white buildings, waves against sand, bright skies.
If only England had a climate like this. Yet if it did, it would not be England. We live in the distant north, favored by the Gulf Stream that gives an equable climate and enables us to grow plants that should only really thrive far south of the latitude where we actually reside. The rain gives us green foliage, grey days, and a lushness never seen further south. You can't have it all. When we are moaning about the unreliable summer weather (if wet, in the village hall) places like this are baking in 40 degree heat.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Can't hear high frequencies any more!

Last night I realised that my hearing isn't as good as it used to be. I was round at Dave's (we always have a Chinese take away and watch a film on Saturday evenings). He said that his TV had developed a fault - every now and then it made a high-pitched whistling noise. At one point he got up and thumped it, making me jump. 'That's stopped it,' he said. I hadn't heard anything at all. Yet when I was younger I used to hear my parents' TV whistling until it drove me mad, when they couldn't hear anything at all.
Tried a hearing test on YouTube (which I realise isn't the most accurate way to measure hearing loss, but I wanted to know roughly what my cut off point is). Turns out it's somewhere between 13 -14 kHz, which is probably about right for a 52 year old.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I'm still here

It's a rainy evening in late September and unlike many people, I haven't been flooded out. Here I am, sitting in front of my wood burning stove with a decent glass of wine and a snoring cat in the chair next door, able to appreciate that life really has been good to me so far.
Over the years I've used the Internet, I have had a few blogs on various sites, and this evening I have been looking them up and thinking that I should take up the habit again, particularly as I am about to embark on a big writing project and I need somewhere to procrastinate when it gets bogged down. Actually, it's slightly bogged down right now, as I'm still not quite sure where to start.
The working title is 'Last Reels' and it's about the effect on the lives of three different characters as cinemas transition from film to digital and jobs are lost, along with some of the magic. I've been thinking about the characters, the background and the scenes for quite a long time now, and have drawn up an outline and written some background information. I know they are all going to meet at a funeral, but am not sure if that's where to begin. In the old days, I would have just taken up the old A4 pad and a pen and started writing. If it went wrong, I just began again and effortlessly churned out another forty pages. These days, I find myself dithering and dallying, cutting and pasting, then looking up what everyone's doing on Facebook. The Internet is the greatest time waster ever. After all, I have just written a couple of hundred words here that could have been the start of my story.
Right. Let's begin. I will keep notes on my progress here. Just the thought someone might read this is one way of spurring me on.