Archive for December, 2014

December 28th 2014

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Filmwise: Writing and enjoying it.

The free-sheet headlines were exhaustively scanned. Nothing to draw my attention. The carriage doors slid shut, as we gently bounced and shook towards the next stop.

By the doors stood a couple, or so they seemed, for she was almost as tall as he. Not sure whether it was the All Star pair of shoes, or the knee-length crimson red skirt, made of a material too thin for this time of the year, or the bomber jacket that she wore, but there seemed something child-like about this person standing in the outer rim of my peripheral vision.

Risking looking directly at her, all doubt vanished; the pink cheeks, the sense of wonder permeating the way she stood and looked up to the gentleman, and her smile that was total in its joy – all indicated that this was a girl of no more than nine or ten years of age.

The gentleman, who was trying hard to divert her adoring gaze away from him towards the map, and then to a poster advertising travel insurance, was clearly her father, going by the similarity in looks.

“When you call an insurance firm, what you need to keep an ear for is the access fee on these insurance deals – they could be for £100 or they could be for a lot more.” Noting the ever so slight sign of bafflement beneath all that excitement and sense of feeling safe bathing the whole being of his daughter, he added, “you know, if you make a claim, you cover the first part of the cost, and then they pay the rest.”

It wasn’t until they stepped off at the next station, with the father trying hard to keep a conversation going about claims and policies, that I came to a conclusion to the possible reason for the girl’s obvious boundless happiness: This was the first day of the school break and she was out with her daddy.

Peace and love,

Ja’far

December 21st 2014

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Filmwise: Writing.

“But Jenny didn’t get one,” the five-year tried to whisper to her granny over “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” the brass band was blowing out through the Christmas decorations of the department store’s inner hall.

The topic of discussion was the cotton-filled fluffy black penguin with orange feet and nose.
The boundless love of the grandmother, expressed in a gentle kiss, was a satisfactory enough a reply. Who cares what Jenny has or hasn’t got.
She wandered towards the band by the ladies evening-wear department, attempting to catch the eye of the trumpet player. He nodded to her between bars. She smiled back to her nana. “Look, I am talking with the musician,” she seemed to be saying.
When the face behind the Tuba smiled to her, she instinctively put her arms around herself, a default posture for “I am shy!”
By this time, Jenny had gotten wind of the black and orange penguin, and now there was the added injustice of the other girl, possibly her sister, receiving nods and smiles from the brass men and women in between puffing into brass.
As parents, or family-politics-aware adults, the musicians were quick to raise a brow here and flash teeth there for Jenny. No reason for the two little ones to squabble over their attention.
With a pair of red and white cotton slippers in one hand, granny approached Jenny and produced a penguin.
“Emma was asking why you didn’t get one too; isn’t that nice?”
“Yes,” she nodded with a tinge of suspicion.
Peace and love,
Ja’far

December 14th 2014

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Filmwise: Writing.

This Thursday evening, I was momentarily distracted from an encore viewing of the annual gathering in strength and rising frequency of the tidal wave of shoppers  in the West End by the sight of a security guard attempting to say something to a little girl.

“One copy of the Evening Standard, please!” he was saying from the height of his stool behind a stand with two CCTV monitors.

Under a pink wool hat covering her ears, a white overcoat and black shoes, the ten year-old girl, or thereabouts, was having a hard time making sense of the big man with the yellow high visibility coat addressing her from high up.

“One copy of the Evening Standard, please; it’s over there, inside the entrance.”

Possibly a visitor to London, the girl was bemused by this odd situation of a strange man asking her for something that she may not have heard of.

“One copy of the Eveing Standard, please!” he persisted.

The child shrugged her shoulders, smiled, and walked off to catch up with her family.

He shook his head in resignation.

Realising that the chap’s predicament was his inability to leave his post by the security cameras, I handed him a copy of the paper.

“Oh, thank you so much.”

Peace and love,

Ja’far

December 7th 2014

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Filmwise: Writing.

With my weekly fix at the pictures received (St. Vincent (Dir. Theodore Melfi, 2014) and Paddington (Dir. Paul King, 2014)), something to eat was in order.

“OK, what are we doing?” the young man with Mediterranean features was holding a plastic container by the meat counter at the local supermarket.

“Well, let’s think about what to cook!” the young woman said soothingly.

My choice of items were easy to cram into the basket, and I was soon en route to the cashier when I found the young woman standing by the ready-made meals. So focused she was on reading the ingredients that she appeared to be oblivious to the sounds she was making with her chewing gum.

“She must have been told not to chew gum noisily when she was a little girl; she’s making a racket chewing now with a real relish,” I thought to myself.

“So we went from cooking to pot noodles?” the young man appeared in the isle, holding a basket of meat and vegetables.

“Well, let’s think about noodles with fresh meat and veg.”

The man was easy to persuade.

Peace and love,

Ja’far