Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

I was overjoyed when an email popped into my in box from my fellow blogger and very good friend Frenchy Phil asking if I wanted to catch 'Welcome To The Sticks' at the Broadway cinema on Sunday pm, but I confess, when I agreed, I did have ulterior motives. The last time we went to the cinema together was to see Le Donk, the Shane Meadows movie and I came away with the inspiration to make my own film, which fitted quite nicely into making a short film to go on You Tube task. Then an idea began to form, slow but sure at first, until I had the basis of a structure for a 10 minute short film. The subject matter? My friend Frenchy Phil. Phil is an ex actor and has had the most fascinating life that I think truly warrants capturing on film. So today at the Broadway, after plying him with lager and tempting him with a bag of minstrels, I plucked up courage to ask him and he has said yes. Now I just need to get grips with my camcorder and learn how to edit. I wonder if Shane is available for a master class?

Me & James

I have a confession to make, one that my husband won't be too pleased about. I have a secret crush. Not just any old crush you understand but one that's been there for a few years now, growing in strength, sometimes also dipping, but quite strong at this present moment in time. It's James Martin the celebrity chef. I have to admit I like to indulge whenever I can. There's the cook books, a couple of appearances at the Good Food show, Saturday morning kitchen (of course) and also his column in the Sunday Mail. There's just some thing about this straight talking Yorkshire man with the cheeky smile that I find hard to resist.
Now when I first put my list together nearly two and half years ago, I wasn't aware of the great man. The only chef that seemed to be at the top of everyone's list was Mr Ramsey. I have to say that I'm not a great fan of Mr Ramsey's at late. There's the consistent foul language, which has become too over powering and of course the headlines, which if you are made to believe are that things are not too rosy in the house of Ramsey. Needless to say, he is still one of the top chefs, for that you cannot take it away from him.
Now if Gordon were to offer me a few cookery lessons I definitely wouldn't say no, but since the emergence of James then I've decided to amend one of my tasks to 'cook with a celebrity chef', which will give me the chance to either cook with Gordon or James, should the opportunity arise.
I'm off now to buy a copy of the Sunday Mail and to write a letter to Saturday Kitchen, explaining why I would like to appear at the Chef's table - talk about stating the obvious! Have fun what ever you choose to do this Sunday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lazy Bones

Since my two x rejection letters from agents, I have to say that I've done nothing else with my novel, other parts of my life seem to be taking over. Did I tell you that I'm trying to move house? Oh and trying to lose weight. As well as trying to complete this list, appearing on the radio and holding down a full time job. Time is so precious at the moment, that I wish I could have a few twenty six hour days. I'm not complaining. Funnily enough the more busy I am in life, the more motivated I become to get things done. I do worry though that I'm trying to over compensate for all those years that I sat on my ass doing nothing with my life, but I don't want the next twenty years to pass me by in such a flash that I turn round and ask myself just what have I achieved.

Talking of achievements, I've been particularly inspired by Cally Taylor, who seems to be everywhere on the Internet at the moment, with the release of her first book 'Heaven Can Wait'. I had a very embarrassing moment in Borders in Leeds, where I couldn't for the life of me remember her last name or the name of the book and wondered around aimlessly hoping that if I just set eyes on the cover, then I would know instantly which one it was. I didn't unfortunately, but never fear it will be purchased next time I go into town (if all else fails I will write down the title prior to going!) Cally is someone that is completely dedicated to writing and even though she holds down a full time job, still finds enough time to write an impressive portfolio of short stories and obviously her first novel as well. She's certainly gave me a good needed kick up the ass and I'm definitely gong to enter her short story competition.
Which leads me back to writing, sort of and my novel and yes I need to get my finger out and get it posted to more agents. Life is much too short for it to just sit on my hard drive.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baby Steps

I think I spoke a little while back about how some of my tasks aren't as straight forward as they first appear and how sometimes I have to do a series of tasks within a task, just so I'm able to cross it off my list. I call it taking baby steps, each task being broken down into smaller sections in order to complete it. The BBC Top 100 is an obvious example - 100 things to do before I even get to strike my pen through that one. Another one that springs to mind is one of my new revised tasks 'rescue an animal from captivity'. No, I haven't got a clue how you rescue an animal from captivity either, but I gathered that 'Born Free' might, so I've joined their 'Activate' campaign , which means I get to write to some pretty important people to express concern over the welfare of wild animals within their country. Some campaigns are connected to the release of animals back into the wild, so I'm optimistic that my little steps, may just influence the release of an animal within captivity in the near future.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Large Slice Of Humble Pie

I made yet another radio appearance this morning, which was fab and went well. I really like Andy Whitaker as he always makes me feel relaxed whenever I go on his show and he's lovely and friendly. I updated the listeners on my blog and discussed what I was about to do next (a short film in case you wondered) and then ran through the paper review.
However, just before I went in, there was a rep from a Children's charity and also a young girl who spoke of her neglect, growing up with her parents. Anything to do with harming children or animals and I'm a complete wuss, I start to fill up and the girl's story of how she used to cook and care for her younger siblings from the age of 6, was truly heart rendering.
Talking about my oh so unimportant list straight after that made me feel very humble indeed and brought everything back into context. I don't think I've mentioned on this blog but I volunteered to be a mentor for teenagers in need and I was feeling a little disheartened that I'd not heard anything, so much so I nearly asked the guy from the children's charity if they ran a similar scheme that I could apply for. Tonight I went home after work and opened my emails and there in my inbox was an email from the charity apologising in the delay of getting back to me and how my email to them was inspirational. I guess today was a good omen after all.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Time For An Update

I'm on BBC Radio Nottingham tomorrow anytime from approx. 8:15-8:30am, where I will be updating listeners on my blog and also doing the paper review. Hope you all get chance to tune in!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Although it's been out for ages, I finally got round to see Julie & Julia at the cinema last night. The film tells the true story of Julie Powell, who decided to cook her way through a french cookbook and record her story via a blog. Sounds familiar? Well it turns out we had more in common than I first thought. Julie turned to a challenge when she was feeling un fulfilled with her life and like me she was determined to record every step of her challenge and do it properly and not cheat, a girl after my own heart. One element that I loved about the film was where she hadn't got a clue if any one ever read her blog, besides her Mother, but it didn't bother her, as she just wrote the blog to record her achievements and disasters in the kitchen!
Without giving too much away, Julie eventually gains a book deal on the basis of her blog and unfortunately that's where the similarities ends. I'm not sure if the film works doing the whole split story thing, but it was good to see a blogger played in such a favourable light. Anyway, who knows, perhaps one day I'll get my own film too!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh What A Circus!

Sunday's are pretty boring affairs usually, aren't they? I mean nothing really happens on a Sunday - right? Except this Sunday. This Sunday was soo different to all other Sundays. Fancy an evening with Shane Meadows? Yes, I did too, so there I was on a Sunday singing David Essex songs with my friend Frenchy Phil, outside the Broadway Media Centre in Nottingham, staring at a bloke, thinking, is it, isn't it and then by the time I finally decided it was actually Shane Meadows, he had gone inside.

Now I have to admit I do get a little giddy when I know I'm going to be in the presence of greatness and not only did I have to contend with Shane, there was also his mate from college days, one Paddy Considine, my favourite actor, who also happens to be in my favourite film, directed by Shane, 'Dead Man Shoes'. To top it all, the ticket price also included an exclusive screening of his new film 'Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee' - it was all too much really!

So there we sat on the front row, where a few late arrivals mistook us for VIP's (well you would, wouldn't you?!) whilst Shane introduced the cast and crew of the film, then sat back and watched the most funniest film I'd seen in a long time - my cheeks ached with laughing so much.

The film was followed by a Q & A session and then I got the chance to be a real groupie and get my boxed set signed and have a couple of photos with the chappies. I was totally calm throughout, behaved appropriately, until I got to the back of the cinema and then had a 'oh my God, oh my God, OH MY GOD!' moment.

So pray tell what does this have to do with my 40 things? Well, Shane Meadows happens to completely inspire me. How he depicts working class life in his films is how I want to write about such things. He described his work as having sat in the same room of the working classes, as apposed to looking through the window, like his peers. A good analogy, but on my part I certainly need to up my game to be anywhere near his brilliance.
He has inspired me to start working on my second novel. Something completely different from the first, a lot more gritty, a lot more 'real'. You never know, this may well be the one that's published...