Wednesday, October 13, 2010

“This Is A Bit Weird, Isn’t It?” – Ben Crompton

I was expecting Sunday’s weather to be overcast and cold since Saturday was leaning more towards that way, but surprisingly, it was one of the best weather day’s I’ve had in London thus far! Beautiful clear skies, sunny and bright, and wind! I love the wind, it makes the air feel so crisp and it just smells of Fall. I knew it was the perfect day to go find Regent’s Park. So after a chat with my good friend Mitch back home, I packed a bag full of postcards and pens, put some St. Vincent on my ipod and went to find the park. I wish I had brought some bread though…

Turns out Tom is right when he said, “It’s right THERE, love” because this park is seriously right around the corner, and it’s huge! (Apparently it’s even larger than I thought and I missed a whole section full of fountains and a rose garden. Who do you think takes care of a public rose garden?) The section I stayed in runs along a stretch of water? I guess you could consider it a river, but I dunno if it’s a real one or not. Anywho, first thing I see are these giant geese! At first I was like those are some huge ducks, but their necks are too long and they’re too big to de ducks… oh my lanta, they’re geese! I’ve never actually seen a real goose before Sunday, go figure. They make the pigeons (which are incredibly fat here) look tiny. There was a small child who wanted nothing more then to try and hug one of them, but to his disappointment kept being dragged away by his parents. I went for a nice little walk taking pictures and such and then finally settled down on a bench to do some writing. I was joined by a couple who wanted to eat their lunch, but I was in too good of a mood (and had my music) to really care. The squirrels did though and they came out from their hiding places to see what the couple had to offer. I swear this squirrel would have sat in my lap and eat out of my hand if I had any food. As it was he climbed right on the bench next to me and let me pet it before scampering away when the lady got all mad.

The best part about the sunny weather was that according the forecast, it was supposed to stay that way all week. This made this week look significantly brighter from my end and put me in a better mood to go back to work. When I went into the office the following day, I was all smiles. The sun was out, I was going to research the hell out of whatever it was they gave me, I’m not really sick anymore and I had gone to bed early the previous night. Ben thought something was wrong with me, he kept asking what happened, I was acting different. I just told him the sun is out and I’m not sick! Let’s go eat lunch outside! And we did. Even my film class was less boring this week. I managed to stay awake the whole time and we watched a movie, Hitchcock no less. Turned into one of the better Mondays I’ve had in a while.

That day at work we also got a new work experience guy. His name is Dan, but it’s a bit weird for me to call him that since my Dan back home is quite different. So I call him Thomas in my head. This guy is like 6ft something, shoulder length blond hair and has like the London equivalent of that messy on purpose cause I’m a cool trendy hipster look. I do like his purple shoes though. I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him, but he sounds like a pretty cool guy. All I know about him is that he went to Uni and had an internship in Bath. What???? I though Bath was like a tourist town let alone a real functioning city that has Unis and Production Companies.

Tuesday was the longest day ever, but also the most enjoyable. When I showed up to work that morning, everyone was in the midst of making sure everything was in order for the Production teams that were going out. One team was going out to film some material for a show currently under way, and the other was go to shoot those shorts for BBC. Ugh I wanted to gooo! But I was only there for a half a day so it wasn’t really possible. My task that morning was quite simple, go and find something interesting happening in the news. Turns out did you know the Awkward Family Photos blog/book is going to be turned into a TV show? I dunno how exactly, but ABC just signed on it. Enter Devon mentally checking out and looking at awkward family photos for a good 15 minutes here. Apparently I was making quite a lot of faces at my desk, cause Ben, who sits directly across from me asked, “Devon what are you watching? You’re making the best expressions, I love it!” Shortly after that is when all the fun began.

Amy, one of the Production people gets a call from Josh saying something or other about the shoot and needs to talk to Ben. All I hear is “Yeah... at my house… in Islington…” What?? Five minutes later I found out exactly what was up. Turns out they didn’t bring a spare battery for the Cannon they were shooting on so they were going to take it out of the camera at the office. But the camera isn’t at the office, it’s at Ben’s flat, in Islington. Next thing I know Ben, comes up to be with ‘his hair all out of sorts’ and starts speaking really quickly.

BEN: Devon, I need you to go round to my place and pick up a camera. Well a battery to be more specific, but a camera.

DEVON: Ok, how do I get there?

BEN: Here, take my Oyster card, that’s very important. And here you’ll need these *he chucked his keys at me* Ok so what you’re going to do is just walk out of here take a left and get on at Brondesbury Park and then take that to Highbury and Islington. And then you’re going to jump on a bus, yeah? It’s number 271 and oh, here’s my address, the bus will take you there and then here’s the alarm code-

DEVON: Urggh, you have an alarm? I hate alarms.

BEN: And then call me when you get there and I’ll explain to you the rest.

*Matt walks in the room *

MATT: Woa! What the hell is going on here??

Bahaha! Woa, indeed Matt. I went from spending my day looking at awkward families to going round to my boss’s flat. How did this happen? While he’s explaining all this to me and I’m trying to find Highbury and Islington on the tube map, Matt is just shaking his head like this is crazy, you’re sending Devon to your house? Ben’s writing his address down on the piece of paper and as he hands it to me, he looks me straight in the eyes and says all calm like, “This is a bit weird, isn’t it?” Hahahaha, um, yes Ben, this is.

So there I went in search of Brondesbury Park, with my London and tube maps in one hand and Ben’s hastily written down address in the other. All I can say is thank the Lord for my ipod! It ended up being about a 30 min ride to Highbury and Islington. But part A, the tube and the part I was least worried about, was done. On to part B, the bus and the one I was most worried about. Which side of the street do I need to be on since the bus runs both ways with the same number? And where is the bus stop? So after walking the wrong way from the tube, being on the wrong side of the street, I finally got on the right 271 bus. (I double checked this fact by doing something I hated, and talking to the bus driver. Look who’s growing up!) I was also very glad I brought my map with me and had looked up Ben’s house before I left the office. I had no idea where I was supposed to get off or how far he lived from the bus stop. Turns out he lives right down the street and I’m a good guesser of the Is it time to get off the bus? game. Then came part C. I didn’t even think C was an issue, get in and grab the camera right? Wrong. I forgot about British keys!

Not only do British people not put their locks in the doorknobs, they use those locks that use those old timey keys that look like real keys. And the doorknob was in the middle of door, not on the left, and doesn’t actually turn. You just kinda push with it. (Yes, it reminded me very much of The Hobbit). So I take out Ben’s keys and my phone and turns out he’s already called me twice. Brilliant. As I’m trying to figure out which key to use on this lock (there are two) he calls me again.

BEN: Ok, so the brown key is for the little bottom one, yeah? And then the silver one is for the top and the alarm code is **** and just let me know when you get inside.

ME: Alrighty…

I then tried very unsuccessfully to open the door with these weird locks that I couldn’t even figure out which was the right way to turn. Left. No, that’s not working this is England, so right? Wait I don’t think that’s working either. How do I know it’s unlocked if there’s no doorknob to test? Wait. I think the top is unlocked, but the bottom is still locked? Or are they both locked? I can’t tell! Why isn’t the door opening?? I can’t believe I came all this way to not even be able to open a freaking door! GAH!

BEN: Are you in yet, Devon?

ME: Yours is the one with the green door, right?

BEN: You’re at the right house, aren’t you? You’re at 148?!?

ME: Yeah, I’m just... having some problems opening the door. I’ll call you when I’m inside.

Seriously couldn’t open this freaking door. And that’s something you just can’t ask someone off the street to help you do. Or can you? Heeeeey Post man who was walking along putting post in the neighbors door. When he got to Ben’s house, I had to ask him to help me open the door mumbling, “I’ve never unlocked a British door before.” I’m so glad this man didn’t ask any other questions than, “Are these the right keys?” because how do you begin to explain that you can’t open the door when you have a key, but that you’ve never been here before and you don’t live there. And then Ben called again:

BEN: Are you in yet, Devon?

ME: ummm, just about…

POST MAN: Ahh, got it!

ME: Yay! Yes, I’m in!! I’m in! Thank you so much!!!

BEN: Is that a man’s voice? Who’s there?

ME: Where’s the alarm?

BEN: Just when you walk in to the right.

ME: Ok. *pushing buttons*

BEN: Devon… was that a man’s voice? Who’s there?

ME: oh um, I had to get the Post man to help open the door for me.

BEN: Oh did he? That’s great! Do you have my keys and is he outside and the door closed?

ME: Ha, yes, he’s outside. I have your keys, door closed.

BEN: Brilliant. Alright my room’s at the very top, yeah?

*me climbing stairs*

BEN: Ok, and I’m the bedroom on the right.

*walks out of the wrong bedroom to the one across the hall*

BEN: Is there a nice spread on the bed?

ME: Do you have a Buddah?

BEN: What? Yes, in the corner. That’s tiny! Why did you pick that to distinguish my room? Are there green stripes on the bed?

ME: Ok, I’m in the right room.

So as I’m going through Ben’s drawers, in his bedroom, all I kept thinking was how much personal space Ben and I are breaking through. And that Adriana would probably kill to be in my shoes right now. And I was very tempted to kinda sneak through the house and see what kind of things he liked and such. But I didn’t! I thought if my Dan ever finds out about this he’ll never let it go saying I’m stalking my boss and going through his things and he wouldn’t be entirely wrong. I’m not that creepy! So I grabbed the camera battery and charger (cause I’m smart and thought ahead!) without going through any other drawers.

BEN: Ok great! Ah Devon, this is f*cking brilliant! You’re going to save this shoot! Now go downstairs, yeah? Are you there?

ME: Yes

BEN: Ok, have a look around. It’s pretty clean, huh?

ME: Hahaha, um yes, especially for a bunch of guys.

BEN: Impressed, eh? Now turn on the alarm and lock the door behind you love.

But now I knew how to get home! The whole trip took almost 2 hours. When I came in the office, they were all sitting round eating lunch and Ben jumps up and gives me this massive hug. Haha, ok, I didn’t really do anything, but sure, I’ll take a hug. Elena asked if I went through his things. Hahaha. "Well, I would have!" was her response. After that I literally only had about thirty minutes to eat lunch before I had to go back on the tube for class. Oi, seen too much tube for the day, thanks.

Next was the extremely pointless Internship class where last week we got into a major discussion about the point of the class. So this class, they printed out our little handbooks for us and the teacher, whose name is Xanthy and who I keep wanting to call Anthy (shout out to Anthy!) is trying to go through it and explain things to us. But I feel like she’s just making it more confusing. The woman is very nice, but a bit scatterbrained. Example, “Ok, go to page 6 to read the Learning Outcomes.” I’m on page six, looking at the learning outcomes. “Oh it not on page 6… it’s on… oh wait. Yes yes it is. Alright, so!” And then making sly comments to make us feel bad like, “if it works, then great and if it doesn’t, well then I’ll go in a corner and cry again *nervous laughter*” This class is so pointless and is way more work than I wanted to do and the whole British idea vs American idea of an internship class still needs a little work. One guy asked, “So… just to be clear, we have to get outside sources to write a paper about our work, at work?” Xanthy, “Yes. This is a theory class.” Really, cause I thought this was an internship class and that was why I had to go through my boss's drawers today.

After class Nicole and I went to Hammersmith to see The Big Fellah, a play set in New York and dealing with the Irish and Bloody Sunday and all these events that followed after. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I knew more of the history behind it all, but one thing I can say is that their American accents needed some work! When are going to see something that isn’t political? All this heavy theatre is getting a little much for me, I need something light. Like a musical or a comedy. As we’re headed home, Nicole got a text from Nick saying that Anthony the 45 year old man on my floor, wants us all to go out to a pub tonight. Bahaha, like that’s happening.




  1. My takeaway from this yarn? You got to pet a squirrel. That's awesome.

  2. aw, you posted my other comment. you do love me! hey you need to start putting together a Christmas list already, lol. I know you won't be home till later but I'm trying to get a jump on things.

    you should steal an English key cuz they look cool.

  3. I agree with Jess. You petted a squirrel??? You are brave, my dear.

  4. i want to live in a country where keys look cool! is it pathetic that I'm jealous of British keys?

    anyways, after having read your post card I've been wracking my brain to figure out something cool (and cheap) that you could maybe find me in London and I've decided...I would like a picture of Collin, on Harry's shoulder.-can swing something like that? :)

    but really, i trust your sense of style and will allow you to pick me out a fun small present! or you could always just get me a t shirt. :)