Monday, March 24, 2008

Second coat

We've finally moved in to our new house after months of waiting. I quite enjoyed the stress of the whole thing to be fair - driving the hire van, seeing the new house empty with all our plans for it ahead of us, watching the girls run free from room to room, and enjoying the fact that Rosario and I could ask each other "which room are they in?". But the thought of painting really didn't attract me. It's so laborious, messy and smelly! But it had to be done. Rosario and I chose colours immediately to lift the terribly boring wood panel formica of all the cupboards, so we chose sky blue to cover them, and a strong red for a couple of shelves. But I had to put a 'primer' on first otherwise the blue wouldn't stay on them for very long. That was long and boring work, proving to me just how loathing I was of the task, my reluctance to do the job made me less inclined to do it properly. Then I gave them to Rosario and she put the first coat of blue on.

My brother-in-law Clive came round and gave me a quick lesson in painting. "Are you going to give it a second coat?" he asked. I told him I didn't really feel like it, it's fine how it is isn't it? "Oh no you *must* give them all a second coat, they won't last a month after getting hit and scratched all the time!" That evening I left all the protective newspaper on the floor so I could continue the next day. After dinner I heard Rosario go into the kitchen for something, and then her scream "oh no Juanita!!!!" I rushed in to find a solitary confident red brush stroke on six different cupboard doors. Juanita had sneaked into the kitchen, and found the brush Rosario had been using just to help mummy and daddy. We went mad. Whilst Rosario yanked Juanita out of the kitchen kicking and shouting I took to cleaning the red off frantically. It just about came off, but the decision to paint a second coat was confirmed.

So came the moment when I had fine-sanded down the cupboards painstakenly, and was carefully stroking the brush up and down listening to BBC radio2 on a Saturday afternoon, warm inside our spacious new flat whilst it gently snowed outside the kitchen window, and Rosario and the girls laughing together in the living room. I felt oddly content.

So what the f*** happened to my irresponsible youth?!!?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The devil makes work...

I like to think of this week ending in the solitary 29th February certainly as fortuitous if not anything else. The previous week I had filmed for a large production company that specializes in football reports across Europe as a test to my skill, alongside ten other seasoned cameramen, with the hope of repeat work in the future. At the end of the evening I was frustrated and angry. I barely caught the one goal of the match, I couldn't fully anticipate the ball's arrival when passed from player to player, and other cameramen had experience shooting hockey, cricket and golf. Competition was high. Aside from that our house move was continually delayed, and more things were demanded from us for banal legal reasons which delayed everything further and further. And finally, I agreed to help someone out by filming a pilot for a cooking series involving African food with a suspiciously naive approach to organising the filming day. I had a lot on my mind.

On Thurdsay plans were finally put into place and we exchanged contracts, so now we're definitely moving to Dorking and the family awaits us eagerly. On Friday I recieved an email from the producer who organised the football filming and said my footage was among the best he'd watched that evening! I couldn't believe it. He valued my fluent Spanish as an asset and said he'd be calling me soon for work! As for the pilot, I was a little nervous because we were filming in a tiny kitchen with no room to put lights up. After trying and failing with several options, I placed a pole between two walls and hung a light from it and solved the problem. As the day carried on I realised that I was directing everybody and they were all following my instructions without question. It's not as if I want to be a Director, but when nobody else quite knows what to do I have to start telling people. At the end of the day after the equipment was packed away it dawned on me I am actually quite good at what I do, and it had been hard to remember such things after an empty winter and too much time to think about it. Just as the devil makes work for idle hands, being busy keeps me sane.