London was fun. Not sure what's going to happen from various meetings, but I got to look at impressive bits of CGI and say 'ooh' quite a lot. And I meant it too. Spent most of the journey back on the train wishing I'd gone into animation instead of stupid stupid writing, but cheered up when I remembered that I'd looked at animation courses back in year nineteen umpty-three, and they'd all looked like quite hard work.
On the other hand, you get to turn up to people from television channels, pop a silvery disc in a slot, let them watch brightly coloured things move, and then say 'cash please, if you want to see more where that came from, unmarked notes, we'll send the lads round as usual.' As opposed to sending in a script, which relies on people taking a chance, using their imagination, or as mostly happens in my case NEVER GETTING BACK TO ME EVER. In the words of that bloke from that film - 'Fuck y'all'.
Not you though. You're okay.
Crumpled shirt issues at the hotel (I own about seven linen shirts, and it occured to me the other day that instead of just buying different colours, I should maybe think about, you know, wearing them occasionally), which lead to this fab conversation with Yuri and the attractive Eastern European girl on the reception desk. I know it may seem as if I exaggerate sometimes for dramatic effect, but I promise, in this case, not.
INT. HOTEL RECEPTION - DAY
ME: Is there anywhere here I can iron a shirt?
YURI looks at me as if I'm mad, for at least ten seconds, which doesn't sound like much, but try it. It's a long time.
ME: (weakly) No?
YURI: There is the laundry room.
ME: Can I iron my shirt in there?
YURI: We have an ironing board.
ME: (because I've talked to Yuri before) Is there an iron in there as well?
ANOTHER LONG PAUSE
AEEGOR: We had one.
YURI: We did have one. But we no longer have one.
AEEGOR: Because of the fire.
YURI: Yes. there was a fire.
In the end, I go two doors down to another hotel I occasionally stay in, which I am convinced is also run by the Russian mafia, which I know has an ironing board and iron set up in a downstairs hallway.
ME: Hello. I occasionally stay in your fine hotel. Tonight I am not staying in your fine hotel, but I wish to use your ironing facilities. I will use them briefly, and then I will be gone.
PIETR: Are you staying here tonight?
ME: No, but I'd like to use your iron anyway.
I iron my shirt, and on the way out, tip Pietr a two-pound coin. I enjoy this, because both the act of tipping and the heaviness of the coin make me feel like a victorian man in a book.
I return to my other hotel, bear in mind less than two minutes later, with a freshly-ironed shirt over one arm, and I confess, a certain bounce in my step, as (to move my metaphor on by at least one king) Bertie Wooster would have upon the defeat of a particularly virulent aunt.
YURI and ATTRACTIVE EASTERN EUROPEAN GIRL ON RECEPTION are quite literally agog. Here is a man who left their establishment with a crumpled shirt and returned moments later with an ironed shirt. I suspect this has never happened before.
And this is my favourite bit, because it's true.
YURI: Sir, where are you from?
ME: (slightly carelessly) Cornwall. And yourself?
YURI: Sir, I am a Greek Cypriot.
ME: (to ATTRACTIVE EASTERN EUROPEAN GIRL ON RECEPTION): What about you?
AEEGOR: I am Spanish.
I need to travel more. Or maybe less.