How to travel with class!

I haven’t travelled much.

A couple of trips to Spain with some mates.

A few holidays with mum and dad. Well, OK, a lot of holidays with mum and dad. We’ve been all over including all the obvious European places, but also some less obvious and more challenging places. Not like North Korea or anything that mad, but we have been to Viet Nam and Thailand, both places when I was really young too.

Although now I just stuff a ruck sack full of tee shirts, shorts and a pair of jeans, I can still understand why people like the idea of travelling unencumbered. When you see the old Victorians’ travelling trunks you know straight away that they didn’t carry their own luggage, and so why shouldn’t you send your affairs ahead of you today?

Just think – you could catch a budget airline, take nothing but a brief case with your in flight reading and perhaps an iPad, thereby avoiding getting ripped off for silly prices for hold storage, and even hire a sports car at the other end instead of a family saloon – if you could send your luggage ahead of you.

Cue sendmybag.com! These guys have seen the future of travel, and for those in the know it is a good experience.

With sendmybag.com you pop a few details into an app (and it gets easier each time you use it), your bags are collected ahead of your trip, you travel looking as if you haven’t a care in the world, and arrive at your destination having had none of the horrible bits of travel to worry about. Brilliant.

When there is a Mrs Lee Morse we will do just that. And it’s not even expensive, especially when you consider what some of the money grabbing tykes charge you for checking in a bag these days.

Check it out. Liberate your travel.

Old Jeans New Jeans

Now here’s a debate for you.

Should you buy new jeans when your old favourites have finally become more hole than jean, or should you buy an aged product, or should you buy genuinely old jeans that someone else has discarded?

I’m in this difficult state right now as my Edwins that I have been wearing pretty much all the time over the last 18 months or so have properly fallen to bits. For ages the turn ups have been held up by more imagination than thread.

I have had to gingerly slip my foot down the leg being careful not to catch the gaping hole at the bottom, but this morning that all went a bit wrong as I toppled, caught the turn up, and ripped its last remaining threads so that it hung by just a seam.

Now I like a distressed jean, but that’s too much – turned up on one side, but nothing on the other.

The mere fact that the arse has been hanging out of them for months hasn’t really bothered me, it has inspired me to buy better looking boxer shorts and to wear the visible bits with pride.

I can’t bring myself to step out in a brand new pair of jeans. I don’t like the idea of wearing someone else’s rejects as their fade lines will be different to mine, and yet I also can’t bring myself to buy something that has been pre-aged. Ageing is a personal thing. It shouldn’t be done by a machine.

I have amazed myself with this – I’d have never thought that I was so vain!

 

More Film Work?

I completely enjoyed the work driving for the film company, they were a good bunch of people, happy to stop for a chat when they weren’t working, but focussed (!) when they were on work time. They didn’t seem to look down on me at all as their driver. I quickly moved from straight driver to more than that anyway. I had to lug their kit around the locations, and some of it was far heavier than you’d be allowed to lift in a normal job.

The camera was called Red and that weighed quite a lot, but its tripod, which I think they called a spider, was stupidly heavy.

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And then I did little jobs all the time. If they needed something from the shops – and often they might be a prop like a wheel barrow – then I’d have to look it up online, then drive off to go and get it.

Admittedly I was bored stupid at times, but in general it was good fun and I said to the director fellow that I’d be delighted to do it again – after all look at the funky beast I had to drive:

Chief WagonThere seems like there is a lot of work there, but the difficult thing for most people is that they can’t just drop their tools and take up the offer. I don’t think that would bother me much as most of the time I’m waiting around hoping for a job from Jon, my Dad, and now The Co-op, so bring it on! Maybe I’ll get to drive all sorts.

 

From Feeding Deer to The Shining

The great thing with working with film people, ever those who make advertising, is that they are all obsessed with film.

Making ads is OK too though as even Ridley Scott made a lot of ads, apparently funding the film work with his commercial side to the business.

The guys talk film all the time and get really excited over the tiny detail that you probably miss when you’re watching something in the cinema, and especially if yo end up watching the film on the TV at home, the screen’s too small and it’s too easy to just nip out and have a pee, or go to the fridge. For me that’s why cinema rocks.

We were talking about scary film moments, and it seemed that everyone loved to be scared by Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I looked it up when we were sitting in the bar and found that Here’s Johnny is one of the iconic cinema door moments.

The Rotten Tomatoes site still rates The Shining as a four and a half stars even though it’s now nearly 35 years old – a heck of a lot older than me! I was trying to think when I first watched it – I was probably 15 or so. It’s one of dad’s favourites and so I’m sure I’d have seen it young, despite the protestations of mum.

As an aside, and a very different film – it’s sweet that young Macauly Culkin in Home Alone got third place for the first Home Alone – that was more my scene at that time. In fact, I’m a bit scared by The Shining so maybe Home Alone could be my favourite? I know. It doesn’t compare really does it. Sorry. But here he is…

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Feeding the deer

If this is really what’s called work then i’m a lucky man.

This morning I had to be outside before six, but that was actually a privilege. As the sun started filtering gently through the trees it was my quite amazing job to be out there feeding deer by hand!

I never believed that it would be possible, but sure enough I literally had to stand there super still with my hand out holding the funny pellets they eat, and they’d come and take them from me.

Meanwhile the camera crew were capturing the moment that the deer would reach forward, just before you saw muggins here standing looking like a plonker in the middle of the field.

After that the groundsman, who is also the deer keeper fed the whole herd by walking along with a heavy bag of pellets, spraying them all over the ground, but in a well rehearsed arc that was just what the camera director needed to make his film.

The confusing thing is that the camera man is called a director of photography, the director is the director, and then there’s a guy called a focus puller who does pretty much nothing other than follow them around focusing the camera. Apparently it’s a difficult job as you have to pre-empt what the director of photography is going to do and then be focussed on the right bit by the time the camera gets to it.

I can’t even pretend that I would have the patience for that bit as you have to accept the instructions they just bark out at you without getting pissed off. I would be sacked in no time.

But when it comes to feeding the deer, it seems that I’m a natural!

A different driving job – film crew

Just as I was expecting a call from The Co-operative to call my in for my first shift I had a completely different offer from an outfit called Chief. They’re a film production company based down in Salford and I have done some driving for them before.

It was a difficult decision. I had the potential of a few days driving with Chief at a good day rate, but the worry was that I might get a call form Coop while I was on the Chief job and have to turn them down.

It was decided on a combination of the pay and the fact that the Chief job would be a whole lot more fun. We were going to do four days in the north east and all I had to do was to drive the mad American day van that they have to shift all their people and lit around in, and hump the kit from the van to where it was needed at any given time. Hardly brain straining, but if you’re out on the road with a good gang of people then that’s the most important thing.

We went to some great places including one just outside Doncaster where they were filming a guy making chocolates. These chocolates were the most beautiful jewel like things you can possibly imagine.

He demonstrated making them for the camera from scratch, and he really does everything there in front of your eyes. While one tray of chocolates goes in the fridge to harden off ready for the next stage of the process he gets on with working on another, and within a couple of hours, although you only see him working on one tray at a time, he suddenly pulls all eight trays out and there are nearly two hundred perfect chocs in front of us.

He made them without gloves on to look better in the demonstration, but he can’t sell those so we were allowed to take them home – mum will be delighted when I get there.

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