Thursday, April 10, 2008

Traveling and Blogging

As it turns out they don't exactly go together like tea and crumpets or tweedle dee and tweedle dum. There's a really good reason why I haven't posted about my trip...there's just no time!

(I swear somebody spiked Father Time's English breakfast tea with speed - seems like every time I blink an hour passes. I kid you not.)

Take today for instance. I got up at 8am. Spent the first couple of hours editing photos from a movie I'm expected to provide artwork for on my return to Los Angeles next weekend. Then I got ready to catch the train for a lunch appointment with Rob (you'll meet him shortly). Caroline (my amazing screenwriting friend who has been kind enough to let me crash at her adorable English manor) speedwalked me to the train so I could catch the 11am to London Victoria.

I love train rides...

Doesn't this train look like a super happy animated character who has
play dates with his best friend Thomas or the Little Engine That Could?

Meet the nameless guy sitting across from me. When he wasn't hacking as if he'd smoked four packs a day for 50+ years, he was babbling to himself or reciting Macbeth...not sure which.

That train looks like it's in italics...or going really fast.

Let me see...reflections of a train?

I'm very upset that they erect buildings like this.

Crossing the Thames.

Victoria Station (ceiling)

Catching the tube.

The tube inside.

Leaving the tube.

Okay, so all that took an hour. Including the short walk to Rob's hotel to meet him for our 12 o'clock lunch. He took me to a fantabulous Lebanese restaurant where he ordered a scrumptious mezzes meal.

I mean...come on!

Told you you'd meet Rob.

He has a record and DVD company and is interested in bringing me on board for a project. Dare I?

After lunch we went round (by car) to Tony Palmer's house (who I originally met in LA and is a great music documentary maker). Rob is releasing the DVD of Tony's amazing BBC series All You Need Is Love: The History of Popular Music that originally aired in 1977. They've hired Tyler (my son) to edit a promo for youtube which I will definitely pimp on here when it's up.

After Tony's we were off to some meeting Rob had in some other part of London (the other side of the Kew, which is an amazing botanical gardens). He dropped me at a coffee place...

...where I had this deliciously large cappucino (decaf) and did a little more work on those dastardly movie posters. Then he showed up with the two guys he was meeting with - Tony and Jim - who he was in the midst of signing to release their new records. Turns out they were Jim Diamond (Alexis Korner) and Tony Hymas (Jeff Beck) from the short-lived 80s band Ph.D.

On our way to Jim's place for a wrap-up chat we stopped at the office of some major A-list rock star and now I can't remember who it was...he wasn't there anyway.

Then it was back in the car to drop off a bunch of CDs or DVDs of Rick Wakeman for Rick Wakeman at the production company where he does his current stuff. I asked Rob where it was and he said, "Some film studio."

Um, yeah...just 'some' film studio:

I barely caught the photo of the sign on the security booth because they just breezed us in (very un-Hollywood) and within seconds we were in a less than impressive office speaking with Ben. Ben had possibly the best English accent I've heard yet. He was so upbeat I could have sworn he'd just walked off a Monty Python movie and was posing as the guy at the production company.

As it turns out they do a bunch of stuff with Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake and Palmer fame for those of you who were born yesterday) so I happened to mention that I shot them way back when. He seemed delighted by that and took my information. Then as Rob was collecting some swag for his troubles (why didn't I get any swag?) I realized they also do Yes...and guess what? I shot them too. So, maybe I'll do a little business with this company in the future. But only if Ben calls me so I can listen to him talk.

After Shepperton - I think it was after - we made a quick stop at the Hatch Farm. There were riding stables there and also a magnificent house owned by a guy named Terry who does DVD authoring for Rob's company.

After that, we were off to Bill's.

On the way to Bill's - which is in the country - we passed this... hard to see from my iphone photo but it's the two walls left standing from an old stone manor (I think). And, yes, that's my finger in the picture. I am a professional photographer. I am a professional photographer. I am...

Then we got to this one-lane bridge. I took this photo for the sign that you can't read. It says "Weak Bridge"... why'd they have to tell me that?

It's like pulling teeth to get information out of Rob but I managed to find out who the mysterious Bill was'is...but only in bits and pieces. He's a drummer... He played with Yes... He played with King Crimson... He played with Genesis... yeah, so what?

And we were meeting at the White Horse Pub in the quaint little village of Shere, which I later found out from Bill was the location for the British part of the Cameron Diaz/Jude Law/Kate Winslet/Jack Black movie "Holiday."

Stunningly quaint...

...and stunningly quainter.

My first pub meal of the trip...Shepherd's Pie...yum, yum.

Rob and Bill (Bruford).

Bill was extremely nice and very interesting to talk to...he left the rock'n'roll side of music many years ago for his true passion as a jazz drummer. You can learn more about him on his website at (sorry, I'm too tired to do the quick-click link).

Since I didn't take a photo of the outside of the pub when it was light out I had to do it on the way out when it was dark...on my first attempt I was forced to leap out of the way of an oncoming car and got this:

This is my second attempt. It's about a 3 second hand-held exposure
so don't give me any grief about blur. It has way more atmosphere
and natural coloring than any dreaded flash shot.

After that I was driven back through the dark woods of the country, back to the city and home to Chez Caroline.

So, I hope you've learned why it's so hard to blog whilst traveling. The days are jam-packed. The time flies by. And this single post took over two hours, and now I got an email from Rob telling me it was fun hanging out today and would I like to come round the hotel tomorrow at 11 for another tour of duty. That means less the seven hours sleep.


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