I have spent the past few days in the fair city of Bristol in which, on Friday, my wonderful sister got married. And the sun shone and I saw lots of brilliant people I hadn’t seen in years and I discovered a new way of cooking potatoes (“Pommes Anna” -a French, of course, recipe which apparently involves dousing a mini mountain of thinly sliced potatoes in butter and then slowly turning them as they cook in order to gain a pleasingly crunchy shell which houses the orgasmically tender flesh of the potatoes within) and it was happy and silly and I even thought that it was probably a good idea to follow several (and really the top end of several) glasses of strong red wine during dinner with several pints of strong local ale as I hit the dance floor.
It is probably safe to say that I have had better ideas and even two days later my head feels a little wooly as I type. Which may mean that my usual meanderings are somewhat curtailed. Which is most likely a good thing. So in this respect I have done you a favour and you should be THANKING ME for my indulgences.
Usually when I fold myself into the corner of our increasingly tortuous sofa in order to begin writing, I do so with at least a sketchy sense of how the ensuing blog entry will be structured. Sometimes I even stick to the plan when I’ve made it. However, in these moments of beer-induced-brain-fuddle such planning is as unlikely as finding a pithy and original second half to this simile. So instead I am just going to hit you with all I’ve got. You may wish to stand back slightly or take sensible precautionary measures by wearing goggles or one of those bright yellow hats that fishermen wear in dreams. So here goes.
Brain salvo one: On Loving Bristol.
I bloody love Bristol. It feels like a place of true originality. And not of the sort that feels forced or fake. It is what it is. Its people are quirky and friendly; its buildings are eclectic and interesting; it has some amazing places to eat and it is the kind of place where people are happy to queue for SIX HOURS to see models of the canine half of legendary animated duo Wallace and Gromit.
So while we’re at it, let’s take a moment to be reminded of the genius of Bristol’s Aardman Animations:
On Saturday morning, we walked around St Nicholas Market, past all the tiny little counters selling all manner of delicious foodstuffs. It really is a magical place, redolent of flavour, simplicity and hope. Later the same day I bought some hummus from Tesco. There really is no hope for the planet. Or for me.
Brain salvo two: Talking of Tesco.
All of Team Long Arm have the ability to post to our Twitter account so our millions of followers can be reached at a moments notice if we ever wish to invade a country or share a picture of a sleeping member of our crew with the word “twat” written on his forehead. Mostly, our social media captain Nat is in charge of broadcasting to the world, but sometimes it is me sharing 140 characters of bilge, and very, very occasionally it might be Jimmy. Anyway, we can all see our Twitter feed and sometimes I will have a read. And earlier this is what I stumbled upon:
This made me so fucking grumpy. Now, I have no opinion whatsoever on Downtown Abbey; I have never seen a single minute of it. But what I object to, particularly when tired and grumpy, is this behemoth of a supermarket PAYING TWITTER to engage with shoppers about their choice in television. AND MAKING IT WORSE by using a hashtag that is inevitably going to be trending as DA screens on the TV tonight. I was unfeasibly riled by this. And did I sit back and just take this corporate rogering? Did I blandly and blindly acquiesce to the fact that my go-to supplier of bog-standard middle-eastern pastes wanted to engage with me on not only culinary but also CULTURAL matters? Like arse I did. THIS is what I did. This is how I stuck it back to the man so hard that his corporate body-politic must still be pulsing with wave after wave of core-cleaving pain. This is how I charged with the lance of satire. This. THIS:
I meant “popular”. Oh dear.
And this is how the poor bastard who runs Tesco’s Twitter feed expressed his or her sadness at the situation. I actually feel quite sorry for them.
In future, I shall leave the tweeting to Nat.
Brain salvo three: Melanie Walters ascends the pantheon of legend and achieves near-Godlike status.
It is no secret that we love Melanie Walters. And you will too when you see her performance in our feature film High Tide. She really is extraordinary. However, Mel tops even herself in this video in which she’s meant to be talking about why she loves Swansea Bay but instead talks briefly, but we think with real passion, about Long Arm Films:
Obviously we are likewise supporting Swansea’s city of culture bid and I should have some news on this front in the next few weeks. But for the moment, we are just happy that Melanie remembers us. Thanks Mel.
Brain salvo four: I watched Star Trek.
I watched Star Trek Into Darkness. And it was very silly. And the bit with the girl standing pointlessly around in her pants and bra is every bit as terrible and exploitative as the furore suggested when the film was released. I mean they’re not even SPACE PANTS. Not that would have been any less exploitative but it would have been at least a little more sci-fi. But pants aside (my motto) it is an entertaining enough way to pass a couple of hours; Mr Cumberbatch is as good as he is ubiquitous which, as grammar fans will tell you, is an impossibility – and you can win a Long Arm badge if you send me an email and tell my why this is. That is if I read the email and if you are right and if I get around to sending you a badge, and I have to be honest with you and say that this is on the muckier side of likely.
But call me an old fart but I would have liked a bit more exploring and a bit less EXPLODING.
Bet Tesco loved the tits off it though.
Brain salvo five: the soothing balm of music
This is sung by our friend Jaspreet. It is lovely. Thank goodness.