Friday, May 22, 2015

I understand you and J.J. go way back, almost thirty years. Tell me about how you first met him.

It was funny. I was working with Steven, and I got a phone call one day. And this man was living in a house up on Lookout Mountain [in Arizona]. He'd been down in his basement, and he found this box covered in dust. And he said to me, “These are all home movies, and I think they belong to Steven Spielberg.” Now, my first cynical thought, unfortunately, was, you know, this is just somebody trying to get money. And so I’m going to not act overly excited about this. I just said, “Well, you know, great. If you don’t mind, we’re on the Universal lot. Maybe you could just swing by and drop the box off, and we’ll take a look and see if in fact they belong to Steven.” So I hang up the phone. The first thing I say to Steven is, “Did you ever live on Lookout Mountain?” He goes, “Yes, I did.” Now I'm thinking, Okay, this guy’s not making this up. So I said, “Well, somebody thinks they found your home movies.” He goes, “Oh, my God, you’re kidding!” And he had just assumed all these early Super 8 films he had made when he was 15, 16 years old were long gone. He’d lost them; he didn’t know where they were.
So this man arrives. Here’s the box. He couldn’t have been sweeter, couldn’t have been nicer. Drops off this box. Sure enough, Steven’s beside himself because here are all his old movies that he made. So ironically, I had picked up the L.A. Times that morning and read about these two kids who had won this film award, and their movies were being shown at the Nuart Theatre [in Los Angeles]. And I said to Steven, “You know what would be really great? Why don’t you hire these two kids who just won this film award, who would probably give anything to meet you, and they could clean up your movies and transfer them to tape so that we never run the risk of these movies disappearing again?” And those two kids were J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, who just did Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
And they came in. They were 15, 16 years old. And they ended up doing exactly that, cleaning up the Super 8 movies, and we’ve all stayed great friends ever since. All our kids went to the same elementary school. We followed J.J.’s career, so when he committed to Star Wars, it was this kind of fantastic coincidence of fate, I guess—preordained destiny or something.
Now that is a great story from Kathleen Kennedy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hello, I must be going

It is not like me to wait so long before my daily post, but we had a server compromised today and fixing it took me so long I had to dash straight to athletics training with the Bomber.

That's done, he's fed and watered and retired for the night. I will fill the dishwasher, empty the washing machine and do the same myself. It's a glamorous life.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


A sestina (Old Occitan: cledisat [klediˈzat]; also known as sestine, sextine, sextain) is a fixed verse form consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, normally followed by a three-line envoi. The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern.
The invention of the form is usually attributed to 12th-century troubadour Arnaut Daniel; after spreading to continental Europe, it first appeared in English in 1579, though sestinas were rarely written in Britain until the end of the 19th century. It remains a popular poetic form, and many continue to be written by contemporary poets.

This is what I am thinking about if I seem distracted, God help us.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Royal Day Out

I am going to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace tomorrow afternoon, which is why I can't help Mum and Dad with their trip to see Uncle Michael in Chelmsford. Perhaps I should try and squeeze this movie in as well.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Relatively speaking

Wales beat Brazil 29-0 just after ten yesterday morning with Dan Fish scoring the first Welsh try. That was a great thing for the Bomber and the Brazilian Halex to have seen together.

The very next game was the Fiji/ South Africa clash that Fiji won 19 - 7 to secure the whole series.

The revelation for me though was the US team. They blew everyone away and won the tournament.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Off to the sevens with Ben and Halex.

Wales play Brazil just after ten.

Didn't see that one coming.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Thrill is Gone

'King of the Blues' legend BB King dead at age 89. RIP.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

the glass spider
Dear Tessa,

Thank you very much indeed for your letter of 28th February and the welcome news of the listing of the Red House cold store at Smithfield Market.
Needless to say, I was extremely glad to read of your appreciation of the value of this group of buildings. As you know, I attach the greatest importance to preserving, restoring and re-using such precious heritage townscapes and I can only pray that the Deputy Prime Minister will take your advice and give the most careful consideration to development plans. I shall follow what ensues with the greatest possible interest, particularly in view of what happened at Bishopsgate Goods Yard…
Your affectionately,
There has been a ten year legal battle about whether we should be able to see this. Anticlimax was made for days like these.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


The draw has been made for this weekend's sevens tournament in Twickenham. Wales are in Pool B with New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.

Our tickets are for the Finals on Sunday. The Welsh group games on Saturday are New Zealand at ten to eleven, Australia at 13:34 and Japan at twenty to five.

The fixtures link is

I will probably get a Sky Sports one day pass to watch the pool games on the TV. Coverage on Sky Sports 5 is from 8:30 until 1pm and then from three until quarter past seven. There is tennis on in the two hour break.I wonder what that means for the Australia game?

Alex is coming with us, so I am delighted to see that Brazil are iplaying. I wonder if it will be easiest if he stays at mine with Ben on Saturday night? The matches start at 9 on Sunday and we will need to get the bus to Wimbledon and then train to get there. Going round to his house in the morning to pick him would probably add about half an hour to the journey; unwelcome on an early start.

Here is Dan Fish's try for the Blues against the Ospreys as a taster -

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Monday, May 11, 2015


I don't really pay a lot of attention to SoundCloud. Perhaps I should.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

overcoming hurdles

After the Bomber's unexpected hurdles win and qualification for the Surrey schools championship, I thought a team huddle was called for so I emailed the Harriers to see if there were hurdlers he could work with for the next month or so.

Steve replied, "we have a specialist hurdles coach Debbie who trains at Crystal Palace on Tuesdays at Thursdays at 6.30 pm."

Feet have been fallen on; I can see from the Power of 10 website that last year one of her athletes recorded the UK's best time of the season, and third best ever, for U15 boys' 80m hurdles which is what Ben has to do in June. I contacted Debbie who says she coaches sprinting on Tuesdays and hurdles on Thursdays and that he is very welcome, so I am going to take him along to Crystal Palace Thursday. (A positive by-product of this is that it gives me an excuse to call my Mum, a champion 80 yard hurdler herself all those years ago, regularly; apparently to keep her up to speed but really because I know she isn't having the easiest of times at the moment.)

Usually Ben trains javelin (the event that the Harriers think is his strongest) on Thursdays. Luckily Nick, his coach in that, has just started Tuesdays in Tooting as well so we can swap days and he is happy to accommodate him.

In summary he has two weeks of javelin Tuesdays and hurdling Thursdays before competing in javelin at the Surrey AA championship on 23 May, then a week in New York with his mum, then two more weeks training before hurdling at the Surrey Schools event.

I envy us from Spinal Tap is the only quote that comes close.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

wherefore art thou?

Romeo and Juliet at the Globe was good stuff on Wednesday and Steffan Donnelly was especially fine as Mercutio. I have been pleased to find out since that he is Welsh. Remember you heard it here first when he goes onto great things.

I have also found some photos (by the director and on Facebook) of the 2009 production that I enjoyed so much at the Mills. The balcony scene with Juliet at the door of our offices is on the left.

Prodnose: Actually in in Romeo and Juliet, the meaning of “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” (Act 2, scene 2, line 33) is not “Where are you, Romeo?” but “Why are you Romeo?” (i.e. “Why did you have to be a Montague?”).

Myself: Wherefore can't thou keep thy gob shut?

I am off to Radio Stanshall tonight at the Bloomsbury, which reminds me of the spooky resonance of Viv Stanshall with Mark Marlowe's various band line ups. I have seen Stanshall's biographer playing drums with Mark's trio, and the son of  the Bonzo's  Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell playing trumpet when the trio has been augmented with a horn section

Aunt Florrie's credenda "all musicians are nice people" perhaps?