I was so proud of Oli on Friday when he gave a talk to 150 people at a conference at the British Film Institute. He’s funny, charming and very cool, modestly receiving the loudest claps of all the speakers. It’s been quite some time since I’ve run any presentation skills workshops, but he definitely wouldn’t have needed that – he’s a natural. Although – rewind – he did say afterwards that I was right about him at least having some bullet points jotted down, as he did forget to chat about a couple of things he’d planned to impart – nothing important though, luckily.
I’d never been inside the BFI before. I always thought I wouldn’t have the patience to watch a subtitled film, but I’m addicted to Sunday nights’ The Returned on ITV. I only know two other people who watch it but, actually, you forget you’re reading the words. It’s done wonders for my French – I can sometimes even recognise when sentences have been shortened, presenting us multi-linguistically challenged English speaking viewers with condensed versions of the actual spoken language. So if anyone would like to take me to see a French film now, I will happily go. Try anything once, anyway.
It was fantastic wandering along Southbank after the conference. It’s been revamped over the past year and there are loads of decked areas among shady trees where you can sit in a deckchair with a drink and a burrito, reading your book or simply soaking up the sun. Jubilee Gardens is landscaped now and it’s really very tranquil lying on the grass and gazing above the tourists’ heads to watch the London Eye slowly turning against a cloudless sky.
We childishly joined the queue for the Victorian-style carousel and laughed the whole way round as our prettily painted horses bobbed up and down. I told him about the time Gill and I went on one in Leicester Square on our way to a red carpet film premiere. She worked in film PR in the eighties so we went to loads of fantastic film events. I was in fashion then, and wearing a long billowing skirt from a Paris collection sample sale. J’étais à la mode alors, et vêtu d’une longue jupe gonflée d’une collection vente d’échantillons Paris. (In case anyone would like French subtitles !)
That merry-go-round wasn’t aimed at children – it was quite late in the evening – and it zoomed around so fast we couldn’t catch our breath. My skirt blew up to cover my face so all I could feel was the wind blasting at me – and it seemed to never end. We got off dizzy and laughing, with hair and clothes all over the place. Another example of how we missed out on social media sharing in those days.
I think that was the time we saw Robert Powell and couldn’t remember his name, although Gill knew he was Jesus of Nazareth. We definitely didn’t look like red carpet attendees after the carousel, more like victims of some biblical plague! Bit like today, for me. I spend most of the summer smelling of a mix between citronella and petroleum. I couldn’t use more anti-midge spray on my arms and legs if I tried – but still the little buggers attack me. People laughed when I wrote on Facebook this week that something invisible flew down my top and chewed me seven times. It’s not pretty.
I’m not a huge fan of old-time musicals (apart from The King and I, and Seven Brides), so I didn’t realise this came from Carousel: Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain, though your dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone.
You’ll never walk alone if you follow me. Here I am: @WeekendWitch.
Thanks to Cybermyth 13 for the Flickr pic