Sunday, 24 December 2006

Merry Pub-mas Everyone...

An obscure title I know, but you may guess what I'm up to from it? But, firstly, I would like to wish everybody who reads my blog a very Merry Christmas!

OK, going on the 'You-only-live-once' principle, I decided to take up an offer made to me by the landlady of the Tan Hill Inn []
, after expressing an interest about working behind a bar on my last visit. (See previous post)

So, this Christmas and New Year is going to be quite different for me, as I'm now living up at the Tan Hill Inn until the new year, helping out over the festive period!!!

I'm very home sick and missing all my friends and family, but it's a fantastic place and I'm learning so much about running a pub. I've mainly been working behind the bar, but also been making food, creating tabs, taking bookings, restocking and so much more, but I will cover all in more detail when I pop home for two days, as I will need photo backup for you to believe what goes on up here... it's like something off a TV show; you've got to see it to believe it. Pure madness it is, and that's putting it lightly!

Have a great time everyone...

Today, I'm Most Angry About: 'Tan' the sheep getting into the pub, in the busy lunch hour rush, and me having to chase him around the pub, like something off a Benny Hill sketch...
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 0.1/10

Today's Top Tip:
Elderly drivers. Pressing the pedal on the right will make your car go a little faster. Forget all that rubbish about suffocating at speeds above 15mph, it was all a myth!

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

A Fairy Tale...

The weekend before last consisted of many things including my circuit training class's fancy dress Christmas party.
As previously mentioned, the theme was 'Festive Fairies'...

Well, here you go folks, the picture you've been waiting for:

Yes, this is me dressed as a fairy with big sis numbah 1...
I'm the one on the right! :0)
I added my own little devil twist to the outfit, accessories courtesy of me buddy Big Rich.

Me and my bro in law - Good Vs evil...

When we arrived, I was a little shocked to see that only about a third of the people had actually made the effort, as everyone else was just in smart casual clothing, or just made a token effort, so I stood out like a sore thumb.

Due to my fake bum and boobs, I was frequently felt up throughout the night, especially when standing at the bar, which was quite regularly, not that I'm complaining though :)

When I got to the front of the queue for the bar, a barmaid got a telling off from her supervisor for calling me a horny little devil! The supervisor had her back turned to the bar, so she didn't realise the barmaid was referring to my attire and not making a pass at me.

After purchasing a beverage, my fitness trainer Dean, whispered something very funny, but rather unsavoury, causing me to spit out a mouthful of beer!!! :]

Going back into the main hall, I spotted a fellow circuit trainer doing this...

Emma, don't drink and walk on your hands - Someone inevitably has a camera at the ready!

These two guys won best dressed and I had to agree. Not only due to their large build but the pink knickers and monkey posing pouch which later got removed and thrown in to the crowd! :-)

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Accidentally* pouring an entire cup of black coffee over myself, while talking to the lovely accountant Helen, who found it most amusing. She did, however, complain that her office now stinks of coffee; which it did!
[* Not on porpoise - I see no fish]
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 1/10

Today's Top Tip:
Taxi drivers. Why not pop into a garage and ask them to fix your indicator lights for you; that way other motorists stand a chance of knowing where the heck you're going.

Friday, 8 December 2006

The Tan Hill Inn - The Best Pub In Britain...

The weekend before last, a friend and I went to stay at the highest pub in Britain, The Tan Hill Inn.

It's 1732ft above sea level and is literally in the middle of nowhere. The nearest house is about 3.5 miles away (take note of the lack of plural there!) and getting to the pub requires navigating miles of baron Yorkshire moors on little twisting country lanes.

After checking in, and appreciating shelter from the 75mph gusts of wind, I habitually headed to the bar, to quaff a pint of beer.
The landlady, Tracy, and a barmaid were sat chatting at the bar and this is what happened...

Me: "Hiya. Two pints of 'Old P' please."
Landylady: "Yeah, sure, help yourself."
Me: "Hehe..."
Landylady: "..."
Me: "..." *smile*
Landylady: "Well go on then!"
Me: "What, really?"
Landylady: "Yeah, I'm not doing it for you!"

So, I go round to the other side of the bar and pull myself a pint:

LOL... Look at that face! I'm like a child on Christmas morning!

I inevitably messed up pulling my first pint, which gave much ammunition to the staff for several 'giving bad head' jokes :[]

Later on in the evening, a sheep strolls into the pub, as they do.

This is the local ovine occupant 'Tan'

After some food and many more pints of real ale, I sat by the fire and made friends with the resident dogga Sherbet.

Ahh, a pub, a friend, an open fire, a beer and a dog to fuss... HEAVEN!!!

The next day I went out walking on the north Yorkshire moors.

A superb time was had and I want to go back as soon as possible. Highly recommended!

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Tonight is the night of my first 2006 Xmas party... Yes folks, the 'Festive Fairies' fancy-dress one! Grrr Post coming soon to a blog near you :0)
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 0.3/10

Today's Top Tip:
Drill a one inch diameter hole in your refrigerator door, as this will allow you to check the light goes off when you close it.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Lights, Camera, Action...

So, the most amazing thing happened to me last Thursday; as previously mentioned, I got myself a part in a music video...

Well, it turned out to be two music videos and a lot more than just an extra stood in the background!!! I'd unknowingly let myself in for a WHOLE lot more...

What happened... A very abridged version:

On Wednesday afternoon, I received a phone message from Kees's boyfriend, the Silver Fox, telling me I had to contact Kees urgently regarding a video shoot!
Being a tad intrigued by this, I did so straight away and she told me she had been browsing the 'Nick Cave and the bad seeds' website (being a huge fan) and followed a link to his new band:
This is where she spotted a small link saying:
'Be in a Grinderman video! [View More]' and clicked on the link...

She applied and was contacted later and asked to send in a picture of herself. They got back to her asking if she had a boyfriend, as they needed a couple...
Silver Fox was away in France at the time, so she asked if I would do it!
She sends off a few photos of myself, but hears nothing back.
At 7pm, my phone rings and it's Kees telling me the production company (Factory Films) had called her and informed her we've got the part and to be in Central London for 10am!!!
OMG, I was bouncing around my house with excitement... I couldn't even eat from the excitement!

I was then calling and texting Kees, arranging the next day, but this message stood out as a particular favourite! Don't you just love it when your mates volunteer you for stuff without asking you first? LOL - Luckily I'm not shy like that!

The next thing I know, I've read my briefing and I'm off with a suitcase full of clothes at 5am driving towards London.
I met Kees at the services, just outside Reading, and I drive us to Heathrow airport, ditch my car, and we catch the tube across to the other side of London...

9am and we are on the London Underground... There's no point in hiding Kees, you're gonna have a much bigger camera in your face soon :]

The Tower of London viewed far too early in the morning :[]

This was our venue! A three-story rundown pub in central London, The George Tavern.

After confirming who we were at the entrance, we were rushed inside to see a mass of cablalling and equipment everywhere, loads of crew strewn about the place and saw eight other extras. We were then hurriedly told what to wear and asked to go see the make-up artist! WTF... me... make-up? :[]

Kees having her make-up done.... I had several sorts of powder applied with brushes and sponges and my hair done! A very odd experience, as I've never worn make-up before... Well, not unless it's a naked Sunday of course! *I jest*

Mr Nick Cave himself (the guy with his hand on his hip) and many members of the crew crowded round.
Rubbish picture, I know, but I wasn't supposed to take any at all.

After being fussed all over and briefed on the director's lingo, the ten of us were sent upstairs for the first shoot and Nick Cave thanked us all for coming and shook our hands - A thoroughly nice chap, as were the rest of the band and crew.

This was upstairs; a very old and neglected room, but it had loads of character, so perfect for the video.
[I wasn't allowed to take photos when the band were there, but this gives an idea to how the room looked]

We filmed many scenes, where I was told to walk back and forth infront of the camera, as it went in and out from the band, while others danced etc, simulating Grinderman playing at a dirty house party.

The director was John Hillcoat and he was telling us all what to do and where to look and giving us cues etc. A very nice chap to work with. (Not that I've done this before)

The cinematographer was Benoit Delhomme, a very generic French arty type who looked at me as if I was dog shit and held a light-meter at my face like I was an inanimate object.

Later in the day one of the other extras, a young American woman, got told to stand and laugh insanely for another part of the video or song.

Me and Kees even did a few "raunchy scenes" containing just the two of us... Enough said :)
I had to do a solo shoot too, which was a tad scary! They set up the camera facing some old mirrored tiles, above a bath, and I had to undress myself while they filmed my reflection!

11pm arrived and we were back on the tube, completely knackered and in shock and I landed back in my bed at 4am!

The first video we were in (for Grinderman's debut song 'No Pussy Blues') is going out on TV and Intermaweb in a couple of weeks. They are going to send me a DVD, so I'll link or post the videos when I get them.
After all this, you'll probably just see the back of head for about one second and that will be it LOL! :[]

[* I can't dance for toffee]

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Blindly and stupidly putting my hand into a bag, I took away with me on Thursday, to find my razor and finding the wrong end! I received three perfectly parallel cuts across the tip on my right middle finger... Grrr... Damn you Gillette and your triple blades... Boy did it bleed :[
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10

Today's Top Tip:
Deter goldfish from having sex by throwing a small bucket of air over them when you catch them in the act!

Monday, 4 December 2006

It's a Small World...

... And to top off this weeks recent surprises, an old friend of mine (Neil, who I haven't seen since I was like 18) has just contacted me on MSN to let me know he thinks he's just bought and moved into a house opposite mine, as he spotted me getting into a car the other day!!! What is this..? Surprise Phil week? :0)

Neil and myself aged 16, on a photography course at Kidderminster College back in 1993.Welcome to the street Neil!
(Although I'm still not 100% sure which house you've moved into :)

Today, I'm Most Angry About:
The six CD changer jamming up, in my car, and it refusing to eject the cartridge or play any of the CDs... Grrr :[
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10

Today's Top Tip: Save time when crossing a one-way street by only looking in the direction of oncoming traffic