Tuesday, 31 March 2015

House tours

Strangely a lot of people seem to want to look round my house!  Sadly as we don't open on a regular basis I have to charge a pretty outrageous minimum charge of £135 for a private tour -  otherwise I would spend my whole time wandering round my house with the odd visitor for somewhat less than the legal minimum wage!

Luckily I have found the answer to this problem - it is called Invitation to View (www.invitationtoview).  All prospective viewers have to do is look up their web site, then click on PROPERTIES and scroll down till you come to Great Fulford - click on that and you find dates/times when you can, as an individual, book yourself in for the doubtful pleasure of a 'tour and tea with me!'

Sometimes a solitary character turns up and on other times it develops into quite a party but it has proved - I think - to be rather good fun - not just for my viewers - but for me as well.


Friday, 27 March 2015

Food Banks

I felt a bit sorry for David Cameron being ambushed by Paxman on the subject of food banks. Paxman seems to think that the growth in Food Banks and the growth in people using them equals more poverty - it doesn't.  If you offer people free anything you should not be surprised that people take advantage of your offer as even Paxo would discover if he offered his books for free.

Free food is frankly an opportunity too good to miss - it means more money to spend on fags,beer, 40 inch Plasma TV's and other essentials.  Food is actually very cheap - not just my opinion it is official. fifty odd years ago food took some 40% of a households budget now it takes around 10%.  So three cheers for Britain's -and the World's - farmers - they have done a cracking job, as incidentally, have the food retailers - at feeding the people of this country at incredibly cheap prices.  No cheers though for Paxman who - with his massive brain - must have known that his food bank question was pathetic.    

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Richard III

I watch spell bound with disbelief  as one of the nastiest rulers this country has had  is given a heroes burial in Leicester Cathedral.

The facts are simple, Richard Duke of York was entrusted by his brother with the care of his children. He totally abused this trust in spades. First he, together it must be said with a fair few of Edward's closet friends and allies, conspired to wrest control of Edward's sons from his wife, the Queen, and her family, the Woodvilles, who most of the Yorkist nobility hated and regarded regarded as upstarts.

This they achieved swiftly. Richard had Lord Rivers, the boy king's uncle, lord Richard Grey his half brother and Sir Thomas Vaughan his chamberlain arrested and sent North to grim Pontefract where later he had them executed. Now with the king in his possession he advanced on London but within a month he had, in a rage, had Lord Hastings, one of his principal allies in his coup d'etat hauled out of the council Chamber and executed there and then on a old log. Meanwhile he spread rumours about the legality of his brother's marriage and thus he moved towards declaring his brother's children bastards and locking them up in the Tower. All evidence points to him ordering the killing of his brother's children.Now this is the monster who is being lauded every where by the 'great and good ( or rather the completely fucking ignorant).

Within five months of Richard assuming supreme rule first as Lord Protector and then as king  the Yorkist nobility, who at first welcomed his coup against the hated Woodvilles  woke up to the monster within their midst and rose up in rebellion.  This, known as Buckingham's rebellion. failed but within two years Henry Tudor, a man with only the slightest claim to the throne, had landed at Milford Haven and marched unopposed, with men of all classes flocking to his standard - why? Because virtually the whole country knew Richard for the monster that  he was and so he died at Bosworth rightly reviled by Shakespear and historians down the century

I will be fascinated to see what historical morans turn up at his funeral service to pay respect to a child murderer and I will be- probably - violently sick as I read the eulogies these ignoramuses write and say about a king who while he may not have been bent in body as Shakespear represented him was most certainly bent in mind .  


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Jeremy Clarkson

The thing which really puzzles me over the Jeremy Clarkson affair is that he is alleged to have punched a producer. Now if it had been a camera man/director or  the director himself I could have fully understood it - but a producer just doesn't make sense.   Let me explain why.

Doing TV work is actually very hard intense work for all concerned and tempers do get frayed not least because good directors will constantly want you to repeat everything umpteen times.  They do this because they are perfectionist which is fair enough but you, the talent, know that 99% of the footage shot everyday is going to end up on the cutting room floor and the chances of this scene doing the same are therefore virtually 100%. What's more it is now seven o'clock in the evening and you are -literally -dying for a pint. And then the director says; 'Oh Francis could you go round and drive over the bridge once more as the battery on the third camera went dead - or whatever- and you feel like screaming - NO I FUCKING WON'T -I'VE DONE IT FIVE FUCKING TIMES ALREADY -I'M GOING FOR A FUCKING PINT and them you remember that you are -actually -being rather well paid- so meekly -but with grinding teeth - you do it once again and again until he/she is satisfied.
Sometimes -as well - you and the director will just disagree .  He/she will want you to do something and you - for whatever reason won't -again tempers will become frayed, and high words will be exchanged but then -like a thunderstorm -it will be over -hands will be shaken and the incident forgotten.

So if the news item had been that Jeremy Clarkson had laid out his director I would have thought- fair enough. Producers though are different animals. They are responsible for the schedule and for ensuring that the right locations, hotels,flights, train tickets  etc. are booked. Now it is -I suppose -possible that the producer in this case fucked up but I just find it difficult to believe that Jeremy Clarkson would have lashed out at a producer for just a fuck up. The most puzzling thing about the whole incident though is that it has ballooned up into such a big deal. In my limited experience of working in TV you - the talent - and the crew- eat, drink, and travel together and bond into a team -us against them.  So that's the puzzle - who let the cat out the bag and why?