Friday, 25 February 2011

On Books and Writing, Films and Filming

A big thank you to Rachel for coming in and livening the blog up this week, and to everyone who dropped by to visit, especially if it was for the first time. It’s been really nice to have so many people here making me feel more popular congratulating Rachel on the release of a really fabulous debut, available here now and coming soon in paperback, just incase you'd forgotten!

Here, while I've been shut away in my office, half-term has passed a little in the style of the First World War, with long periods of boredom followed by short, intense bursts of activity. Thankfully the fighting has been confined mainly to verbal skirmishes over Nutella allowance (a holiday treat) and who has 'borrowed' ipod headphones from whom, but even so by yesterday we were all ready to get out of the house for a little while. Prompted by a phonecall from my brother who is also juggling bored children with being self-employed from the other side of the Pennines, and the fact that daughter #3 is doing Jane Eyre for GCSE, we headed up to Haworth for the day.

I suffered pangs of angst at leaving my book, and daughter #1 felt the same about being prised away from revision (she’s come to the idea pretty late in the day, but like many converts is pretty evangelical about it now) but turned out to be a Very Good Idea. Apart from the pleasure of an impromptu meet up with the Yorkshire cousins, it was an absolute gem of a day – blue-skied and gentle, with enough sun to warm even Haworth’s old grey stones. The cousins brought their puppy, and after we’d loitered in the pub (in homage to Branwell Bronte) we headed out to walk across the moors in the manner of Charlotte, Ann and Emily. Or, more pertinently to daughter #3 who, at the age of 4 sobbed for hours after watching The Railway Children, in the manner of Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis. We walked past the house that was their home in the film, and through the field seen here.

(Are you sobbing yet? I've watched this 3 times in the course of loading this post and welled up every one of them!)

It was while we were there that I got a phonecall from the TV company about a piece I did with them on Lady Chatterley’s Lover a month or so ago. It was part of a series the very charming Gyles Brandreth has been doing on BBC’s The One Show this week on the subject of taste and decency, and I went down to Bristol to meet him in an old courtroom where the temperature was probably several degrees below freezing, to talk about the book and the trial. It had originally been scheduled to go out tonight (Friday) but they’d brought it forward to Thursday, meaning I was spared the dread of waiting for it to come on at 7pm as we were stuck in a traffic jam on the M60 then. There’s something far less intimidating about watching after the event, although I still couldn’t think about attempting it until after the second glass of wine. (You can see it here for the next few days. The piece is about 14 minutes in.) My poor children. On the one hand there’s the excitement of having your mum on TV. On the other, there’s the fact that the first sentence she says involves the words ‘visceral’ and ‘sex.’

Anyway, today I'm back at they keyboard and trying to remember all the huge insights I had into my ms when we were striding across the moors yesterday, and recapture the enthusiasm I felt for it. I'm sure another cup of tea will help. And toast. (Wonder if there's any Nutella left?)


Abby Green said...

Darling, you were visceral and sexy and fabulous!!!!!!!! Great piece, you are a true tv pro....xx Abby

Morton S Gray said...

Hi India,

You are becoming quite the celebrity what with radio and television appearances. Well done. Listened to both and you were very good. I can see must have been a little embarrasing in front of the children! when do you get your own show? Mx

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Oh wow! India on the telly! I almost watched it live by accident but must have been distracted by a basket of washing, because I only got as far a the Gavin & Stacey bird - thank goodness for the Iplayer!

Stunning job and most 'arty', I'm very impressed (and envious of your knees).

The Obscene Publications Act is now defunct, right? Or is Andreas going to land me in bother?!

Thanks for the extra plug, goddess, you are truly ambrosial.


Brigitte said...

Unfortunately BBC iplayer is not (yet) available over here. *stamps foot*
BUT was able to listen to you on BBC Manchester the other day. Very articulate - must say I didn't doubt that one minute - well done, you.

Ah, was there any Nutella left? Curious mind wants to know.

Have a lovely week end.

Sharon Kendrick said...

Yes, I welled up at that scene, too - and the piano music is so knowingly constructed to ensure this happens every time!
It's quite sweet and poignant how she leads the younger brother and sister away while the parents reacquaint - both old-fashioned and yet surprisingly modern.

It was a fabulous piece on the One Show, India - you sounded awfully knowledgeable and very eloquent!

India said...

Ha, Abby - you have to say that because you know that if you don't I'll substitute your eye cream for superglue next time we share a hotel room. But thank you anyway my darling. You got the job.

Morton, I know. Why, I have just this evening informed my husband that I can't possibly walk down to the supermarket in the cold and wet because I run the risk of being mobbed. (Ahem. Am just about to put on my coat and find my shopping list...)

Knees, Rach? Oh god, they weren't showing were they? (Rushes back to iplayer link to indulge hitherto unthought-of area of paranoia...) You should be OK on the Obscene Publications front as long as it's in the context of a work of literary merit. (Oh dear. Better take a long, hard look at current ms...)

Thanks Brigitte - you're lovely! No Nutella left, sadly - it is the end of the holiday after all and those girls can surely get through it. How is your lovely man? Hope he's fully recovered now.

Sharon, I must admit I'd forgotten the bit when she leads them away. (I love it that she says 'for a few minutes'. I'd want a bit longer!) Thanks for your politeness about the TV thing - knowledgeable I don't know about, but they certainly couldn't shut me up once I got going!

Rachael Thomas said...

I loved the interview on the One Show. I just happened to be watching as I was cooking Everything stopped whilst I listened intently. Great job!

ros said...

Oh, The Railway Children makes me weep buckets. Especially at the 'Daddy! My Daddy!' line. I have just finished knitting a beret which makes me feel like Phyllis from the Railway Children whenever I wear it, though actually it is nothing like hers.

Johanna said...

Enjoyed the One Show clip, India. Hope Giles wasn't as lecherous with you as he was with Sheridan Smith.

Nell Dixon said...

Oooh, now I can say I know someone 'off the telly'. You were mahvellous dahling!

India said...

Hello again - have been frantically working around the clock to get a book sent off this week, so sorry for being so rude and ignoring your lovely comments!
Rachael - hope nothing got burned while you watched.
Gyles Brandreth was actually very lovely but not lecherous at all with me Johanna (I wonder why... *sigh* Must invest in good anti-ageing cream immediately)

Ros, I can imagine you look wonderful in your beret. I'd so love to be able to wear things like that, but whenever I try just end up looking more like an extra from 'Last of the Summer Wine' than Phyllis. Not fair. Haworth is so lovely though - some shops there you'd love.

Nell, - lovey... dahling... thanks so much for dropping in! xxx (Those were air kisses, of course!)