Tuesday, October 19, 2004

thought experiment
It occurred to me this morning that if I was a character in a Richard Curtis movie I’d already be in countdown mode, since all his films seem to reach their happy conclusion at Christmas. Let’s think about this some more...
I’m not your typical Richard Curtis character – for a start I’m not posh enough, I don’t have a public school education* or landed parents. But then again I’m not ‘salt of the earth’ enough either, I’m no Martine McCutcheon. And, although Badger Mansions is in central London, it is simply not big enough to serve as a Curtis interior. To star in this movie I’ll need to be shot outside – wandering around Regent’s Park – and wrapped up in a scarf to stop my common tongue from running away from the script.
So, let’s forget all that character stuff and move on to plot. Oh dear, oh deary dear. I’m already married! Richard is not one to mince his words is he? As the script might have me say, ‘Buggering, bloody, bollocks – fuckity fuck, fuck!’ Now, if I was a few years older and TA was shagging the secretary, if one of us was about to die of a terrible illness, or if I was incredibly beautiful and TA’s best friend had an enormous crush on me we might be in with a chance, but I fear my starring role is about to be cut to just a few lines.
There’s a month and a bit until Christmas. This year, in a break from tradition, TA and I will be staying in London rather than going to the Isle of Wight to be looked after by my parents. TA’s best friend and his wife are coming to visit. They will be using Badger Mansions as a base while they travel around Europe during November and then spend Christmas week with us. So Christmas will have pleasingly Antipodean flavour, albeit one on a restricted diet since TA’s friend suffers from Crohn’s disease.
To be honest I’m a bit worried about creating joy for all of us. While I can see the romantic possibilities of holing up with my nearest and dearest, we’re on a tight budget and many of the things I take for granted – a real tree, decorations, family, a well-stocked drinks cabinet – won’t be there. I’ve spent Christmas away from the Isle before and I’ve been in charge of catering before – but never both at the same time. Also, the usual staples – television, eating, drinking – are not available to us. I turned to TA a day or two ago and suggested we buy some playing cards and stock up on board games, since there won’t be enough people to play a really blinding game of consequences or charades. I fear I’m regressing from Richard Curtis into Enid Blyton. Despite all my failings as a main character and the dodgy scenery, I want to script a Richard Curtis fairytale Christmas. Any ideas?

* US readers: in the UK public schools are the really posh private schools – Eton, Harrow, Roedean, Gordonstoun and the like.

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