Archive for November, 2014

November 30th 2014

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Filmwise: Writing and researching.

Like those muffins that have three quarters of their portion of chocolate chips concentrated in one tiny edge, leaving a vast expanse of naked cake, the nearest train carriage to me had the usual poor distribution of passengers, with the isles almost empty, while the landings by the doors were packed with eyes struggling to find the newspapers, Kindles and iPhones that the hands had attempted to stretch out.

The young woman with an orange supermarket plastic bag standing ahead of me in the queue cut through the web of reading materials and landed herself an enviable square foot in the isles. I followed her.

Looking at the steamed over glass panes, she proceeded to pull open a window. Everyone appeared to be grateful to her, though she and I seemed to wonder, “why didn’t they open it themselves?”

As the train neared her destination, she began to get ready to weave her way through the blockage by the door, only for her shopping bag to get tangled in some sharp object, perhaps a fellow passenger’s umbrella, and for the contents to slide onto the floor.

With her face going slightly red by the effort of picking the items, for I couldn’t help out in view of the crowded carriage, she managed to collect all her shopping bar a particularly large cucumber. “That’ll be full of liquid and not much taste,” I thought to myself.

With no more space in her handbag, like a book or a cane that teachers used to carry, she placed the vegetable under her arm and stepped out at her stop.

Peace and love,

Ja’far

November 23rd 2014

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Filmwise: writing.

“At least open the window and say something to me; it’s ‘expletive’ to get me all the way down here and do this!” He shouted from the street.

The lad was in his late twenties, in a well-worn dark tracksuit, ginger hair, unshaven, and somewhat too convincing in his anger.

The raised voice and distressed body language appeared more for the benefit of us passers-by rather than the occupants of the  flats above. For soon he was stopping members of the public and asking for money.

“Well, he’s clearly delusional,” decided the lady in the soups and tinned food isle. “I am not going to say anything, and just let him be there until someone can spare the time to travel to the country,” she continued on the phone.

I opted for the 3 for 2 offer.

At the check-out, the young lady blinged me a gold-tooth smile. “We close at nine; not long to go!”

My small shopping basket seemed a welcome sight, and our conversation on evening and night shifts, on which we compared notes from our respective experiences, could’ve been one of the more memorable chats I had that day, had a customer not rocked up with two members of staff and a giant trolley in tow.

“105 of the Russian stuff, and 155 of the _ (spirits brand).”

The gentleman was clearly not epically parched to account for this lake of Russian and Scottish intoxication. Going by his sensible and modest attire, manner of speaking and good energy, I saw him more of a moderate drinker – one who would enjoy a glass or two on special occasions.

I wished if I could break the unwritten rule for check-out queues and ask the question now engraved on our four faces.

Back by the apartment block, there was no sign of the lad and his indignation at the shut window.

Peace and love,

Ja’far

November 16th 2014

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Filmwise:  Writing.

En route to the pictures in the West End, there appeared to be an unusually long queue outside an expensive restaurant. The waiters looked unconcerned with the size of the crowd outside, as they went about serving the seated customers.

“I am not going to ask again; I’ve been turned away once already,” complained the well-dressed young lady, before taking a long drag on her cigarette.

The two young men by her side were like naughty school boys who’d been ordered to stand in the corner for the rest of the class. Their gaze was firmly focused into the restaurant and away from their companion.

“Look, it says number 176; where is this address?”

As I crossed the road, my eyes rested on the said address a couple of doors away. It appeared, the restaurant had another branch nearby. “Why wouldn’t the waiters just explain this to them, instead of turning them away,” I wondered to myself.

Before I could walk back and come up with a polite way to explain to the party how I’d come to realise that they were going to the other branch of restaurant X, someone else pointed to the correct address, “it’s the brasserie where we’ve booked!”

At the cinema, Nightcrawler (Dir. Dan Gilroy, 2014) was great.

Peace and love,

Ja’far

November 9th 2014

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Filmwise: More research and rewrites.

Having spent the greater part of the weekend huddled over the keyboard, exploring new ideas and revisting concepts from the past, a long and unhurried walk was very much in order.

My habitual taking in of the appearance of Christams decorations in the neighbouhood and the local high street at this time of the year was interrupted by what sounded to be a domestic on two wheels.

Ducking and weaving between a taxi and a double-decker, the woman in overcoat seemed more concerned with the cyclist behind her than the dangerously close four-wheeled vehicles around her.

“I am sorry that I have to get home cycling on a main road. So, ‘expletive’ you!”

The man seemed to be content with keeping his wheels a safe distance away, waiting for the bus and the taxi to go by, before  following his other half .

As I continued my walk, I wished for the two to exhaust all their arguments and energies by the time they get home.

Peace and love,

Ja’far

November 2nd 2014

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Filmwise: Finally completed the first draft of a treatment that I’ve been meaning to write for a few years now. A good feeling.

Like most other projects I am developing at the moment, this began as a “what if?” question. I may have been chatting with a friend at the end of the 1990s when the idea came to me. Months later, I jotted a few lines about the theme of the story.

Years would pass, and the few lines would morph into paragraphs and pages. These would evolve into a first draft of a general outline and, now, a treatment.

What is particularly enchanting about the process is those instances when one looks back at notes written years earlier and is surprise to realise that one doesn’t have a memory of inscribing some of these ideas.

This is turning out to be a great autumn.

Peace and love,

Ja’far