When we’re on deadline at Total Film – which, annoyingly enough, seems to be all too often – I always find myself dreaming of the days when we’re not on deadline at Total Film, because on those days I can get home by 7pm and watch some TV and have an early night and that’s just bliss.
Except, in reality, that’s not what I do between deadlines. In reality I go home early one or two nights a week and spend the other nights at press screenings for upcoming films, or grocery shopping, or meeting friends, or just strolling through central London to get some exercise on my way to Waterloo and the train home. Even if I do go home on time, it’s amazing how those few evening hours can fill up. Sometimes I’ll arrive indoors, call a friend, have a chat and then realise that I only have an hour to make something to eat, wash up, clean out my pets and have a shower before bedtime. My weekends, too, fill up.
I can’t complain, though, especially about the press screenings. I’ve already seen two films this week: Mirrormask (haunting but disappointing) and Steamboy (striking but unsuccessful), and tomorrow I’m going to see Doom, which I expect to be rubbish but full of sexy men running around looking sweaty; yeah, I know, so sue me for being shallow. Best of all is Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire on Friday night, although I really should stop wittering on about Potter on this blog because I must sound like a stuck record (or a cracked iPod, to bring that particular simile up to date).
Mornings can fill up, too. On Tuesday I went into work late because I was waiting for one of King Kong‘s FX guys to call me from New Zealand so I could chat about making the big ape. Unfortunately the interview fell through, but even sitting around waiting for the phone to ring was tiring. Although that could have been because I found myself idly watching Mutant X, so it serves me right.
The only place I ever seem to have a lot – nay, acres – of time is on the train to work and back each day. And I like it. I know I should feel robbed of the two hours I spend travelling, knowing I could spend them… oh, I dunno, sleeping or something, but I actually enjoy listening to music, gazing out of the train window, reading my book or Private Eye or even Metro if I’m desperate enough. I study the people around me, overhear their pointless phone conversations, give regular fellow passengers silly nicknames (Shiny-Faced Woman and Brillo-Hair Pug-Lady are my favourites) and generally enjoy the feeling of doing nothing for a while.
Whoever said trains were irritating? Mine are usually on time. I can always find a seat. I see everything from Big Ben to St Paul’s Cathedral to Battersea Power Station to the London Eye as I travel. And as for the Underground… I defy anyone not to feel a rush of excitement when that whoosh! of air exits the tunnel just before the train. “Wake up!” it tells you, and you bloody well do.
Trains, quite simply, RULE.
Though I must concede that I do have a problem with Grunts-Loudly-For-No-Reason Man. Oh well. There’s always one, isn’t there?