Books and Films

Finding Colin Firth sitting on your sofa early in the morning can easily be categorised in the “more unusual occurrences” column in my life. Cromford, our village, was staring in a film. Or maybe it was Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent, both now Oscar winners, who were the stars. Either way, Cromford was abuzz with cameras and lights, people with clipboards, catering wagons, extras hanging about seemingly for hours and curious locals.

No. 1 Mount Pleasant was an actually location for the shoot, No. 2, our place, was the Green Room, a place for actors to hang out waiting to be called for their next scene. From my admittedly limited experience of film making, waiting and organising the catering loom large in the production of films. Lots of waiting was done on our sofa. And the waiting always stops for the catering.

The film, ‘And when did you last see your father?’ is based on a book of the same name by Blake Morrison. It’s the story of the relationship between a grown up son, played by Colin Firth and his dying larger than life father, Jim Broadbent.

If you’ve never heard of it, (it wasn’t a blockbuster release), I’m not too surprised. In fact when we went to watch it at the local cinema, the lights went up at the end to reveal about 15 people, almost all exclusively Cromford residents who’d come to location spot. We all laughed. It’s an okay film, I’d give it 5/10, a little slow but that reflects the content and the mood the director is trying to create.

Why this little reminiscence from a few years ago? Being on passage at sea again means reading books is seriously back on the agenda. I’ve just read ‘And when did you last see your father?’. No surprises….the book is better than the film. But I understand a little of what was trying to be conveyed to the watching audience now. There’s lots of internal dialogue in the book which is tricky to portray well on film.

Here we are mid trip. Over 300 miles across the Atlantic towards Bermuda. A swift motor out over the Gulf Stream then 24 hours of glorious fast beam reach sailing. The wind has now died and the engine is earning its keep. The sea is flat, the dolphins playful. Arrival sometime on late Monday looks likely.

My other amusing recollection of being involved in film shenanigans was Dave trying to find keys for the front door of the house. I was still renting the flat at this point so we were staying there. The production crew wanted to leave their cameras and lights in the house overnight, rather than have to cart them up and down the path each day. “No problem” Dave said.

Finding out that the kit was worth substantially more than the whole of the small terraced cottage prompted a slight panic. Locating and USING some house keys might be good idea.

Stop press…. We’ve arrived safely into Bermuda. We had to leave the US as our 6 month stay was up. Don’t want to upset Mr Trump.

I wrote the above on passage. We motored into the anchorage at pretty much midnight, Monday night into Tuesday morning. 660 miles thereabouts. Thanks for being a red dot watcher.

Bermuda is not like North Carolina.
Here’s some photos to prove it.

Downside is I’ll be here for the briefest of time. I fly back to the UK tomorrow for some, whisper it quietly, work. Two Nando’s programmes and a two day gig in Ireland. I’m fortunate that my work is fun and rewarding so I am looking forward to it. Honestly. 🙂


One thought on “Books and Films

  1. Julianne Osborne says:

    So lovely to read your latest news, Helen. We spent some time in Bermuda on our honeymoon- an idillic island with great people, beaches, food etc etc.
    It would be great to see you if ever you get time on your trips back to Blighty. My email is My mobile is07555 022766. Safe journey’s and lots of love xxx


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