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Freddie Starr switched on our Christmas lights. About 150 people crammed into the cul-de-sac to count down to the point at which Freddie lowered the decoy lever fashioned from a garden trowel, 100's of lights jumped to life, fireworks flitted into the sky and a snow-machine started chugging away -- all at the same time. It was an awesome moment. I was so pleased Freddie turned up, had a cup of tea with us and was, along with his wife Donna and her two children, entirely lovely. Bonus points go to my mum for calling Freddie and asking him to come. The lights will be showing until January 1st 2005, so come along to Linton where every penny donated to the lights goes to the County Air Ambulance. To show a minuscule sample of the brilliance that people have put together I have this and this for your internet viewing.
Because it is so rare that somebody like Freddie comes to a small village like Linton, and because the lights are novel, I thought I would try to make a short film about the phenomenon. The film would have an initial waiting and wondering phase where I would interview people and ask if they thought Freddie would come. During this phase I could pick up on the sceptics -- because sceptics are entertaining. Then there would be a building-up phase as night starts to draw in and the tension mounts and people start arriving. Then Freddie would either show and the film would end victoriously or he would not show and there would be an unsatisfactory type of ending which could work just as well. What I learnt from this short film is that 1) the people around me do not like to be filmed -- ever 2) If you film outside, in the dark, my particular brand of camera tends to switch to long play mode which I could pass off as arty but, in fact, is incompetence 3) it is one thing taking a decent static picture, but quite another linking these pictures into a watchable sequence. So, when all the bad and wrong bits are edited out, I have an advert length film. This film is my equivalent of a light display this year.
Last month I talked about a scene in an Elisabeth Subrin film where a narrator told how the subject of the film, Francesca, had been warned by her father that a dragonfly would sew up her mouth if she ever laughed. I thought at the time, and it may have showed in my writing, that this sewing up of the lips was original -- then I read a Peanuts cartoon. In this cartoon Snoopy and Woodstock are cowering on the kennel roof, afraid a passing dragonfly will sew their lips together but Lucy assures them that the dragonfly sewing thing is all just a common myth. Lucy goes to the library and there is not one book showing a case of a dragonfly sewing anyone's lips together. Snoopy is left wondering why they would cover something like that up. So, it turns out that the dragonfly lips thing is common knowledge. Similarly the specialness of Freddy Starr coming to switch on our lights was slightly changed when I read that the night before he switched on neighbouring Swadlincote lights with the mascot of Castle Gresley -- Elvis Gresley.
The face book has started. To enforce simplicity I have been drawing in a mini-book in which there is only space for a few lines. Some of the results are here.
I bought a match-box sized book this year and I have started to fill it with drawings of faces. In order to get the variety and number of faces I need to fill this book I have resorted to finding faces on the Internet. I drew the collection of faces on the right hand side, in part, from here. The left hand side shows the twee cover of the book -- the diamond shapes are mirrors and the rest is glitter and silver balls. I can't believe I paid nearly three quid for that tacky looking book.
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