Thursday, July 31, 2014

How Soon We Forget...

Unbelievable but today I'm feeling quite cold.  Almost forgotten how that feels as we've had so many weeks of glorious hot weather, on of the hottest summers on record they say (but as they have only been keeping records since 1910 am pretty sure there have been even hotter summers in times past).

The overcast skies, cooling breeze, plus showers have really brought down the temperature, but even so it is still warm, just FEELS so much cooler.  Nearly had to put a cardigan on this afternoon when sitting in the living room, but then that room always feels cold as it is east-facing.

Thanks Margie for the link re Spam.  I will look forward to reading it.  Am desperately trying not to buy Spam at the moment (am sure it is packed with fat and calories) but B said that Morrison's sold 'Spam' under their own name, so he brought me one (as it was cheaper than Spam.  Of course it wasn't called Spam, it was 'chopped pork and ham', a sort of luncheon meat, and it was very similar to Spam and it did have the nutritional info on the tin (Spam doesn't).   Don't know why I enjoy Spam so much as it really doesn't taste of very much.  But at least it does have flavour, which is more than we can say for a lot of products these days.

Regarding me being a sort of surrogate 'Mum' to Wee Wendy, am not sure whether I am too old to be Mum, or too young to be 'Grandma' (I am 81- but in my head am still 35).  Now that I have taken up crochet, think I probably do look more like a Granny, especially when I sit in my rocking chair.
As you say Wendy, dogs really are a comfort, and fill the gap when children grow up. 

Am surprised that you would not be allowed to take an older dog Sairy, you still have plenty of years ahead of you, but perhaps you could be considered as a 'puppy walker' for the Guide Dogs of the Blind.  I'd love to do that myself but think the 'walking' bit would be beyond me.  Labrador puppies are so lovely I wouldn't want to give them back once they had finished their initial training, but then the 'walker' would be given another one and so on.

As I have nothing really of interest to chat about this evening, might as well give a run-down on my first TV appearance.
This came about (as mentioned) because the researchers at the BBC were looking to find 'ordinary folk' who did something a little different, and they had read my article about suburban self-suffiency and shown it to Erica Griffiths (who directed 'Indoors, Outdoors').  Erica came to visit me and we spent all day non-stop chatting (me doing most of the talking as you can imagine).  At the end of it Erica asked me if I'd be happy to be on the programme and I said yes.  Only later did I learn it was to be on TV (I thought it was on the radio).

The day of filming arrived.  This to be in our kitchen in Leeds.  Erica came, Zena Skinner (a TV chef) came, and so did a camera man and an electrician, also a director (I think Erica was the producer, there is a difference). 

Erica had already decided she wanted me to demonstrate 'Party food for 20p a head', and the previous day/s I had prepared the food, some made up, some to demonstrate.  The 'slot' was to last approx. 10 minutes.  That's a laugh as it took over six hours to film it.

Unused to filming I had no idea what to expect, and as there was only one camera, did not realise that everything needed filming at least 3 times, if not four.  Picture me demonstrating how to assemble something.  There would be a long shot showing me behind the table, putting it together, then I'd have to do it all over again so they could film just head and shoulders of me.  Then again to show just my hands in the bowl, and then AGAIN with Zena Skinner is shot.

Trouble was I had to remember to say the same things each time (and of course I had no script and couldn't remember what I'd said), and also replace things on the table in exactly the same place as they had been for previous shots, so of course I kept putting the pepper pot on the left when it should have been on the right, and that meant another re-take.

We had almost completed the first part when the telephone rang. At that time the mike was discreetly hidden in the top of my blouse, with the wire running down under my outer clothes across the room to the sound engineers equipment,  so when I heard the telephone I instinctively began to run to the hall to take the phone off the hook, forgetting about the wire which then wrapped itself round one of the lights fitted on a tall stand, and making this fall over. 
By then Erica had reached the phone, and it was B - asking whether it was all over and how it went. She was quite cross with him and asked him not to phone again.

So we had to begin all over again.  Eventually it was done and by then I was a nervous wreck. When I shut the front door behind them I just laid my head on the door and sobbed 'I'm never going to do TV again'.

Later Erica phoned me to say that - because of good editing - they had gathered enough material to make a very interesting piece.  She asked me to write up the recipes for their fact sheet, which I did (sending them to her), and later she phoned me to say that normally they got approx. 2,000 requests per week for the fact sheets, but 'my' week they had 36,000!!!  So they asked me if I would do another one - promising to fit me with a remote control microphone so I could move around more freely.  But that's another story that intend telling you shortly.

All TV programmes give credits at the end, showing everyone who has worked on the programme, not just the actors/cooks/etc, but the people behind the scenes, and I have to say that when we enjoy a programme it is because of the clever editing, excellent camera work, good directing etc, and it is right their names should be shown and their work appreciated.  As a director once told me -  'in fornt of the camera you are like puppets, doing what the director says, not what you want to do.  That way the programmes work'.  And to some extent this is true.  Granted that many chefs and presenters do seem to 'ad lib', and generally say a lot more that is edited out.  But often they read from cue cards and very little is said that hasn't already been rehearsed and another part of filming is the rehearsal where we do what we are supposed to and someone stands at our side with a stopwatch to make sure everything fits in exactly to the last second - especially when doing live TV (as I did with Pebble Mill - but that is a story still to be told).

Getting close to midnight so possibly this will be published on the same day as shown for the previous blog, but as I've said before, forget the date.  Just scroll back to make sure you haven't missed anything.  If I can keep going for 10 minutes more then it will be tomorrow (Friday) and the blog will be continuing as a 'daily diary'.  

The other day found a padded wrap-around, velco fastened knee support.  B bought it years ago, not sure why, but I tried it on my bad knee, and it does seem to help, not much pain relief when I have to stand up after sitting down, but certainly better walking around and wearing it I can manage now with just ones stick.  Trouble it is seem to crease up at the back of my knee and I'm afraid it might harm my circulation, so come evening I remove it.  I'll take it to show the doctor to see if he thinks it will be alright for me to still wear it, or he might suggest me getting an elastic knee support.  Obviously the knee does need some sort of strapping to ease the discomfort.

There was a programme on the radio yesterday where they were talking about pain-killers, and apparently paracetamol (the ones mainly prescribed, esp. for back pain) apparently do not relieve the pan at all. Well, I could have told them that - I've been taking paracetamol for weeks, and when I asked the chemist for something stronger and he gave me codeine and paracetamol (to be taken for only 3 days as the can be addictive), even after three days there was no pain relief.   So am hoping the doctor will be able to give me something, even if I can only take it occasionally.  Just when I go out, for now I'm not even wanting to go to the church as the chairs there are not comfortable and sitting for a couple of hours and I'm literally shrieking when I start to rise - it hurts that much. But it could be worse.  I should be grateful it isn't for at least I can still move around (a bit).  Am going to ask my daughter if she needs the zimmer frame she gave me when we moved here.  I didn't need it then, and gave it to her when she became ill and found it difficult to move around.  She is now much better, so if she still has it, then am sure it will help me,  
At least my knee (the left knee is the most painful) doesn't hurt when I'm sitting down, as I am doing now.  Am just dreading having to get up to go to bed.

As it is now one minute past midnight, then it IS time for me to go to bed, so will grit my teeth, give a few squeaks and hobble across the room then a few moments later can fall into bed and hopefully get a good nights sleep.  A bit of lavender water on my pillow will make sure my dreams are pleasant.  Hope yours are too.  Looking forward to more comments to reply to.  Enjoy your day.  TTFN..