Monday, 29 August 2011

Appeaser of Gangsters and Breaker of Wind

I mentioned last week that I've been involved in making a film for a charity I volunteer with. Well, today was the second day of filming. After last week's antics (which involved appeasing Glasgow gangsters and football hooligans), we thought this week would be much simpler. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case - mostly due to weather this time. We wanted shots from the Squinty Bridge (seen in the photo at the top of the page). By this time, the wind was howling. This would have been fine, apart from the fact that the microphone was picking all that noise up. The speaker for this part was patiently waiting to say his piece but the wind just wasn’t dying down.

“I know this might sound weird, Donna,” said our Director, “but do you think you could go and stand about 5 feet in front of him.”

Ah, my big break. My acting talents were required at last. “You want me just to stand by the railing, wistfully looking out towards the river? Or perhaps I should glide elegantly past him as he speaks? Just tell me what you want me to do. I’ve been studying the great Method actors.”

“Actually, I want you to stand in front of him and act as a windbreak.”

A windbreak? I was mortified. I know the camera’s supposed to add twenty pounds, but I thought that was only if you were in front of it – not within ten feet in any direction. However, consummate professional that I am, I bit back my tears and stood in the required position – trying to look as fat and wide as possible. Apparently, I succeeded – we got the shot – despite the wind I successfully broke. (Not as in “I broke wind”, you understand.)

Luckily, my enormous bulk came in handy at the next location. The Director wanted a shot looking up Kelvin Way. The only problem was that there was an enormous green rubbish bin spoiling the shot. Not your normal household rubbish bin – it was about 6 times the size and really, really heavy. As I wheeled it out of shot towards the side of the pavement, I realised it was on the way towards a parked car, at speed. I would like to say that I threw myself in front of it, but I didn’t. The Director ran up and rescued me.

Anyway, enough of that. The wonderful For Books' Sake reviews Shona MacLean's CRUCIBLE OF SECRETS.

Another one of those lovely mystery book sculptures has mysteriously appeared. Here's a post on some of the recent ones at the Edinburgh Book Festival. And more from the Guardian blog on the Festival.

Irvine Welsh in a sneaky plot to sabotage Hearts? And a trailer for Ecstasy.

Ian Rankin auctions off a character and himself for cancer research.

A review of Val McDermid's VILLAGE SOS on Radio 4, a great interview with her in the Scotsman, and Val wants to make people care when someone dies.

A review of Ray Banks' BEAST OF BURDEN.

Yay! Douglas Lindsay's blog is back after taking a break over the summer.

And, finally, this photo was taken by my partner, at a town in the Buckfast Triangle ("you get used to it").

When I was looking for articles to explain Buckfast to those of you who don't know, I found this brilliant one from the Uncyclopedia. Do read the warning at the top.

I think this photo is brilliant. Someone spent ages getting this display juuuuuuuuuuuust right.


  1. I forgot my camera the last time we went to Buckfast Abbey, only about an hour from our house, but I will try and get some photos of the source of Scotland's crime wave next visit.
    On one of our visits the Abbey bookshop was unable to supply my wife with a Douai Bible, but there were plenty of copies of The Da Vinci Code.

  2. What a grand story of your abilities on Squinty Bridge and near Kelvin Way....ahhh, Donna the movie star! Be careful with those bins and cars, however--you need a stunt person then, not yourself! And what a grand photo in the Buckfast Triangle.Bucky-be drunk, anxious, hyper, and combative! What fun!? It's certainly a very special drink...and bottle. :-) Looking forward to more adventure tales and photos...and good mystery reading too. :-) Wonder what the folks in USA's Knockemstiff would do with Buckfast...I just finished the 2nd book about that peculiar area and peoples, The Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock...and methinks Bucky would be just fine there as a drink and a weapon.

  3. Norman - please do! Do the monks stagger round in flammable nylon shell suits?

    Bobbie - oh you're so lucky! I'm really looking forward to the Donald Ray Pollock - I've been waiting for ages. And don't worry - I shall hire a stunt double forthwith :o)

  4. Donna, not that I noticed. But I expect there are shell suits in the town of Buckfastleigh, and if I feel brave I might risk a visit. ;-)