Monday, 28 September 2009

The Real Story Behind Those Film Titles

1. The Constant Gardener This film is about my dad. It involves a shed, a lot of pottering, possibly some tweed trousers and a fool proof plan for watering the lawn during a hosepipe ban. The Action centres around dummy runs of the Hosepipe Ban Plan where you cling to the edge of your seat as he attempts to outwit the hosepipe police (whom you never see, but the local news always assures you are there). There’s a hilariously tragic scene where the cat gets red paint in his ear fooling everyone into thinking he has a brain tumour that has burst. I kid you not.

2. Twenty Eight Days Later My Mother stars here as Neurotic Woman #1, it is set in the eighties with appropriate costumes, although My Mother still wears blue eye shadow and flares and uses words like groovy, it was the only time she was hip and she’s staying there. I am in my teens and the title of the film refers to the calendar she kept on the fridge door to remind her when to start worrying about a late period. Mine not hers.

3. Pride and Prejudice My sister returns to Africa to fight for lion’s rights.

4. Dumbo I marry my Husband, let my dad give me away unsupervised and without a map, ask my sisters to be bridesmaids and allow them to choose their own dresses; one is full length Barbie style pink designed to show cleavage and snag the Best Man, the other Hollywood red carpet in preparation for the real thing. My Mother is allowed to attend ungagged.

5. Forrest Gump A camping trip goes horribly wrong, two year old is being potty trained and sleeps with us in the tent. We rename the film Forrest Dump.

6. Rambo Husband’s chance to shine. Shot entirely in front of the bathroom mirror when he thinks nobody is looking. Straddles the comedy/horror genres.

7. Herbie Goes Bananas My brother takes to the weed, My Mother finds one of his Special Cookies and eats it. The police attend. The cleaner attends. There is an interesting scene with a broom handle and a jay cloth. No one ever mentions it again. Ever.

8. Jaws: My sister gets braces. My brother invests in industrial magnets. She spends a week stuck to the boot of his car. He cleaned her for free.

9. Dirty Dancing: Centres around the end of any wedding attended by my parents. A little too much sherry is imbibed, inhibitions are shed, as are clothes and they raunch around the dance floor convinced they are Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The image haunts you for months and causes intermittent blindness.

10. It’s A Wonderful Life It is, really, and I wouldn’t have them any other way

Monday, 14 September 2009

Things I Have Said To My Mother Today

  • Hello?
  • Hi mum
  • Mum?
  • Is everything OK?
  • Calm down
  • Calm down and take a deep breath
  • in, out, in, out
  • That's it
  • Tell me what it is
  • Dad?
  • What about Dad?
  • Is he OK?
  • He's lost what?
  • His paint stirring stick
  • Is that it?
  • Well yes of course it's serious
  • No, really
  • I thought something had happened to him
  • But this is much more disastrous of course
  • I am taking it seriously
  • I am
  • Well has he looked where he keeps it?
  • On the shelf in the shed
  • Next to the seed planting stick
  • Could he not just use the seed planting stick?
  • Oh yes sorry how silly of me
  • Completely different kind of stick
  • Have you searched the shed?
  • Yes of course you have
  • No, I'm sure Barry hasn't taken it
  • Why would the neighbour take dad's stick
  • I don't think he's always been jealous of it
  • Because it's a stick
  • Sorry, sorry, it's not just any stick
  • I really don't think Barry's jealous of Dad
  • Yes I suppose Dad winning Best Tomato was a dark day for him
  • Not the same since, yes
  • Yes stick stealing would seem to be the act of a desperate man
  • Well stress does change people
  • But I think that refers to serious life stress
  • Not Best Tomato Winning stress
  • Why don't you ask Barry if he's seen it?
  • Not talking?
  • Why?
  • The leek episode?
  • Are you sure he stole them?
  • Yes I'm sure it's Barry who needs the psychiatric help
  • I'm thinking of booking in myself
  • Sorry, just a joke
  • Why doesn't Dad suggest getting psychiatric help to Barry?
  • Might get them talking again.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Things I Have Said To My Two Year Old Today

  • Ooh lovely sweetheart
  • Yes very nice
  • Yes but we're choosing a card for Daddy
  • Because it's his birthday
  • Here what about this one?
  • No not that one
  • No
  • Put it back please
  • No, put it back
  • I don't think Daddy wants a Spiderman card
  • No darling he doesn't
  • Because it's got Spiderman on it
  • And it says to a wonderful grandson

  • Come back here please
  • I said come here
  • How many times have I told you not to chase the postman?
  • Because he doesn't like it
  • No he's not Daddy
  • Please stop calling the postman Daddy

Things I have said to the Postman today

  • Ha ha ha ha ha
  • Oh how funny
  • Yes it's a great joke Jack chasing you
  • And calling you Daddy, yes
  • ha ha ha ha
  • Well he thinks you're his daddy
  • No, no, no he does know his daddy
  • Ha, yes I suppose he does make it sound like a guess
  • Ha ha ha
  • I agree
  • Yes I'll try to stop him chasing you
  • And shouting kissy kissy kissy
  • I'm sorry the neighbours look at you strangely
  • No I don't think we need to get him checked out
  • It's just a phase
  • Well, a chasing and kissing one
  • That he'll grow out of
  • He's already starting to progress
  • He's started chasing the neighbour
  • Well I call it progress

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Brit Out Of Water

OK, so I'm in LA, LA baby! I'm just going to write that again so you all heard me correctly - LA Baby! Fabulous! Honestly it's dead different over here, for a start American people all speak American all the time! Yes! Even the kids. It's not something they put on for the TV or anything, oh no, they actually speak it to each other. It's brilliant.
I've tried to copy it a bit, just so I don't stand out as a tourist or anything but rather woundingly I tend to be met with blank stares. I've bought some kind of translation book thing but I'm non the wiser about how to blend in (any help here from my American readers greatly appreciated, you sound so English when you write in the comments box).
And you know how everybody says you can't get a carb in LA? Not true!You can get loads, more carbs than you can shake a french fry at (that chips to us Brits, I must have assimilated more than I realised). You can get any kind of food delivered any time of day. And whatever you want too, penne pasta with newts eye sauce hold the avocado? Done. You want extra cheese with that? Err, yes why not? (except if you're over here don't say the why not? bit or they give you a lecture about cholesterol and fat and look meaningfully at your thighs, only my right one though, my left is surprisingly slender).
The other thing over here is that there is somebody to do absolutely anything for you. Don't fancy washing up? Well, there are numerous options available to you, ma'am. This company right here will come and do them for you (dial 0800 brokenweddingchina), this other company to your left will collect your plates, refurnish you with new ones and return the old ones clean (dial 0800 wedontstealhonestguv), and this one right here ma'am will simply bring you new ones every time and burn the old ones (0800 carbonneutral).
Yes ma'am, the only thing we ask is that you don't dial 911 again, (that's 999 to Brits, see, everything's different!)
I'm thinking of setting up a similar company in the UK, just to perform jobs you don't want to do. It's called We'll Do It All For You And There's No Minimum Wage. Excellent.
The best thing about being a Brit in LA? You can be absolutely, utterly uncool about anything and they just think you're charming. I mean, I am cool, really. In our little village in Warwickshire I was the first to get skinny jeans, they started arriving at the village store about a month ago, and I camped outside just to be sure to get the first pair. And compared to Husband I am definitely super hip, I am the ....... (insert cool person's name here, one escapes me) of Warwickshire.
But over here I am not. I can gush and exclaim and generally declare well we're definitely not in Kansas anymore to my heart's content. I mean, I know you're meant to be all aloof and don't careish about the whole movie thing but I just can't.
I've had a walk on part at Warner Studios in The Mentalist, which is possibly my Most Exciting Thing Yet. Although if you ever do it, I suggest not taking your own clapper board and shouting 'action' just to see what happens. It's not pretty and they get quite cross. It was a day of awesomeness ( just a little cool word I've picked up, but it's been ruined by Husband using it over the phone about his new slippers). And I just couldn't hold back, the gushing and general level of being grateful reached gargantuan proportions. I gushed for Britain, and proved to all my Country Bumpkin status (although I was wearing skinny jeans so that should have offset most of it).
I was, in a nutshell, an uncool, gushy Brit, and it was fantastic. A kinder more generous people I have yet to meet (apart from you, mum, sorry). And I want to come back soon. Which I will do obviously, I was assured by the crew of The Mentalist that I would most definitely receive an Emmy Nomination for Walking, Shuffling Papers and Subtlety In Background Acting. So I'll be back in the Spring. To pick up my award.