Sunday, February 04, 2007


Sunday 4 February 2007

This morning I wake up in Harlesden wondering just what the hell I am doing here. Why did Nichola get me to stay here when she already has somebody in the house that could have been taking care of Meg?

For a February it is actually quite bright outside which means things are not necessarily as bad as they could be.

Eventually I step out, murmuring into the world as I let Meg out and later take her for a walk around the block where she keeps turning around giving me a look as if to say “hurry up” as she tugs at her leash. On the way I encounter a few locals who I mostly avoid and resist. I don’t really like it here.

From here we return to the house where the Spanish girl Isabella is soon murmuring, getting ready to get out. Yesterday I stupidly mentioned that I was going to Asda this morning and asked her if she needed to go along and she said “yes” so first we have to get this done and out of the way.

We drive to the grotty Asda in next to near silence and while she does her stuff in the store (exchanging some clothes or something) I lose interest in doing/buying anything myself and just allow her to get on with her thing before we are soon heading back to the house. Also in silence.

When we get back she heads out which at least removes the awkwardness from the house. Why did Nichola get me in this weekend when there was already someone here? God bless Isabella she is spending the majority of the time in her room, I wonder if she is avoiding me.

With this in mind I begin looking into my own options for escape from the house. Today the Curzon is showing a movie called The Bridge with a director Q&A. It is also showing Old Joy, the new movie featuring Will Oldham. In the end I fail to get ready in the time for the first film but I decide to head to town for Old Joy.

Out of boredom I find myself watching the Emmerdale weekly repeat. When did the ladies on this show become so attractive? That’s definitely not as a result of GM foods or inbreeding. I actually find myself watching the show a little too intently.

While I am watching this my phone rings with an unrecognised number. When I answer it turns out to be BBC and Jude from the Stephen Merchant show on Radio Six asking me if I am available to be on the show this afternoon. It seems they have picked my suggestion for his Song For The Ladies segment where I suggested “Good Weekend” by Art Brut.

The call completely freaks me out. Is this Catherine’s doing? I have barely heard from her since before Christmas. This is just too strange. And what if it isn’t her doing and I suddenly pop up on the radio show that she is working on. That would just be too stalker like.

In the end I tell Jude that unfortunately I can’t do the show as I am heading out to the cinema this afternoon. Out of courtesy she asks me what I am going to see before swiftly ending the call. Almost immediately I regret my decision.

From here I proceed to go bleating to Racton and Jenny who both pretty much tell me that I am nuts for my decision considering how much of a fan of Gervais, Pilkington and Merchant I am.

Eventually Isabella returns which I pretty much take as much queue to head out. As per my original intention I head down to town on the Bakerloo Line, which is its usual Sunday nightmare.

I have to reiterate just what a nice day it is today as central London feels sedate and unharassed.

Soon I get to the Curzon where I buy my ticket for Old Joy and soon take my seat. Old Joy turns out to be very much a Sunday afternoon movie. It is slow movie but glorious in execution. In essence not a whole lot happens over the course of the film but this doesn’t make it any less worthy.

My initial impression is that the movie is like Slacker crossed with the Blair Witch Project. I find the thing quite bleak in execution which only adds to its effectiveness and makes it tangible. Also without a heavy degree of patience and enthusiasm it could easy be written off early as boring. In a way it is almost a relief that I choose to watch the movie on my own as my enjoyment could/would otherwise be hindered with concern of a friend sat next to me not being as interested as the piece as I.

Sitting in the background of the movie is a subversive selection of talk radio (Air America) clips which play through the car radio and represent/provide some kind of “times they are changing” atmosphere/undertone. And it’s a change for the worse as it makes the landscapes look incredibly rundown as a return to nature begins to look appealing to some, even if its not feasible.

There is an overriding sense and feeling to the movie that there may be something sinister about to happen and as they head further into the woods seemingly with different agendas (one to placate the other, one to find themselves) it does become something of an uncomfortable moment captured in time. Eventually it ends in a sad and confused manner with one character appearing able to deal with the modern world while the other is stuck in a state of arrested development and confusion. I know so many people like both of these characters.

I emerge onto Shaftsbury Avenue feeling downright blue. With view to cheering up I head to Tottenham Court Road and the huge Fopp where surprisingly I don’t buy anything.

If I am being honest I don’t want to return to Harlesden this evening, I don’t enjoy my time there anymore. Not least as this requires a painful journey up the Bakerloo Line.

When I get home the night is pulling in and I spend the evening on Nichola’s laptop looking at old WWF wrestling clips on Youtube and downloading various MP3s (including an entire Minutemen live set). There is just nothing else to do.

Rifling through her DVDs I come across The Terminal starring which is a movie I have never considered viewing but when I put it on it completely draws me in as in my bleak frame of mind it serves a huge purpose as it would appear that all I want (need) right now is to be watching a movie where people are nice to each other. The Terminal turns out to be a glorious movie, surprisingly smart and ups my opinion of Tom Hanks higher than ever.

All night Isabella remains in her room and without a TV in there I wonder just what she is doing. Am I an ogre to her?

The night ends with watching Kelly Osbourne Turning Japanese on ITV2 which proves surprisingly entertaining, not least for the stitch up job on her first assignment which sees her serving in a Meido cafĂ© (costume and all) followed by being a receptionist in a sex hotel. It’s not difficult to imagine how grumpy she gets. Also you can easily imagine how frumpy she looked in her maid outfit.

With these strange images in my mind I head to bed. I will be forgiven for nightmares.

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