So on Monday I did two interesting things:
In the afternoon I had an MRI scan on my lower back, which involved me squeezing into a long metal tube and listening to The Four Tops on West Middlesex Hospital’s headphones while the machine clanged and twanged and wobbled around me for 15 minutes. It was kind of like being inside a machine gun (for the first half of the scan) and a large guitar while somebody played bad Russian folk music (for the second half of the scan). I also made the MRI technician scratch his head in surprise when I pointed out the large mural of the Egyptian pyramids on the wall and asked, “Is that there because the MRI machine looks a bit like a sarcophagus?” To which he replied, “Huh. I’ve never thought of that before.”
I guess you don’t need much of an imagination to be an MRI technician.
In the morning I was lucky enough to interview Neil Gaiman in a swanky room in a swanky hotel in a rather swanky part of London. There was no clanging or twanging or pictures of the pyramids; instead there was a large poster of Stardust propped on the mantelpiece, a nice cup of tea and some interesting conversation. Conversation which began like this:
Neil: “Hey, Jayne. So, I read on your blog that you saw Stardust but couldn’t say what you thought because you signed an embargo form.”
Me: “Uh… you read my blog?”
Neil: “Doesn’t everyone?”
Me: *gapes like a goldfish*
Alright, so I’m sure Neil Gaiman doesn’t really read this blog. He probably stumbled across it once while looking for people’s reactions to Stardust. And it’s not as though I’ve got anything to say that a man who scores nearly two million hits on Google would want to read. Also, as I pointed out to him, my blog usually consists of me wibbling on about sexy men and not much else.
(Which reminds me: I told him I’d call him a sexy man so he wouldn’t feel left out. So, um, consider yourself sexy, Mr Gaiman. And I don’t care what The Guardian has to say about your beard: it most certainly is NOT “disreputable”. That article seemed really prissy to me, anyway…)
Another thing that came out of the interview was that I finally got official permission from the film company to talk about Stardust. Which means that at last I can say:
It’s fun. It’s silly. It’s passionate. It’s beautiful. It’s full of derring-do and even a little derring-don’t. It’s brimming with sparkling performances, including a break-out turn from Charlie Cox as the film’s hero (girls, get ready to drool), a hilarious cameo from Robert De Niro and a chance for Michelle Pfeiffer to eat the scenery in a way the actress has never, ever done before.
Stardust is everything The Princess Bride was back in its day: a heartwarming fairy tale for boys and girls to fall in love with. It’ll come out in Britain in October – please go and see it. It’s genuinely lovely!
And that, with the exception of an amusing story about a ferret, is pretty much everything that happened to me on Monday.