Never check your answerphone messages the morning you’re supposed to get on a plane and fly to New Zealand.

If you do, you may find three frantic messages waiting for you: two left at 2.10am from a frantic film publicist and one left at 7am from your boss, all telling you NOT TO GET ON THE PLANE BECAUSE THE SET VISIT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Four hours before I had to leave. Bad weather in Wellington, apparently, with landslides and all sorts of stormy gremlins conspiring to hold up filming and thus make it difficult for the production to host any guests right now, let alone a bucketload of journalists from LA and two from London.

But that’s all right. I’m sure that one day, eventually, I’ll get another all-expenses-paid trip to New Zealand to visit Weta Workshop – somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for, oooh, five or six years now – flying business class with a limo service from my house to the airport and back and staying in a swish hotel with free room service and all my meals outside the hotel paid for anyway and with a Lord of the Rings tour of Wellington already booked so I can turn it into a future SFX column and, oh yes, did I mention all expenses paid?

I’ve seen fish served up on dinner plates in fancy restaurants that look less gutted than I do right now.

Still, I do find it ironic that I was looking forward to a New Zealand winter and that’s the very thing that’s stopped me getting there. There’s not really anything I can do about it except swallow hard, say, “Oh well, c’est la vie!” and get on with watching season two of Veronica Mars (given to me by my friend Scott so I could watch it on the flight). God bless Veronica: she’s really cheered me up!

I’ve eaten an extraodinary amount of chocolate ice cream since Friday. Can’t think why…

Oh well. C’est la vie.



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6 responses to “Grounded

  1. neil h

    “Made a note in my diary on the way here. It simply says… ‘Bugger’.”

  2. Jayne Nelson

    You have NO IDEA how much that just made me laugh.

    Thank you!

  3. Lisa

    God bless Veronica. And you are entitled to enormous amounts of chocolate ice cream.

  4. WhiteCrowUK

    Good job I’m not an editor I guess – I’d be all “why visit a CGI place in New Zealand, when theres a similar place in … Wales!”.

    On the plus side – with you missing out on such a long haul flight, you get a week of your life back from the dreaded jet lag! Jet lag AND a deadline must be so much fun.

  5. Lília Visser

    I think most of the chocolate in the world couldn’t compensate for the dissapointment you must experience right now, no matter what we devoted minions write or say…

    Only thing I can suggest right now is to milk the misery this injustice has brought you so your boss will feel morally obliged to put you on the top of the list for future trips.

    Maybe it’s a small comfort that other people had to come to terms with bad news about upcoming trips when I tell you that our plan to travell along the Englsih southcoast this upcoming holiday (with a sidetrip to my beloved London!) has been forced into two weeks camping in Belgium…

    …and my wife and daughter will then fly to Rio de Janeiro in September for two weeks of sun and fun…!

    Any chocolate left?

    Dutch Ruud

    Neil’s “bugger”-quote, where is it from? I know I’ve encountered it somewhere, but I can’t remember where, and it’s driving me nuts!

  6. Jayne Nelson

    The ‘Bugger’ quote comes from the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth. Captain Darling says it just before the final push. It’s one of my favourite lines from one of my favourite episodes of one of my favourite shows ever… so thank you again, Neil!

    I’m sure two weeks camping in Belgium will be lovely. Unless it’s raining. I’ll have my fingers crossed for you…

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