Monday 5 November 2007

A Guy Fawkes in the eye...

With Halloween done and dusted (without bothering to do anything about it, admittedly) it was time for Guy Fawkes...although November 5th is the official day when The G-Man stuck it to parliament, or tried didn't end up being "V For Vendetta" really, not a single Natalie Portman in sight!...we celebrated on November 3rd (being a convenient Saturday).

Regardless, myself and Ben went on a mini road trip to Bristol to see some of our friends who are now living there and "living the dream" - which is of course, residing 'across-and-over-one-from-Justin-Lee-Collins-off-Friday-Night-Project- and-Bring-Back-the-A-Team' ... but alas, I didn't spy him hanging around his gaff.

Upon arrival in Bristol (after being guided by the holy hand of Buddy Christ on the dashboard of Ben's Micra Monster Red Devil) it was beer, pizza, sketch-based comedy and cats-acting-like-people with a slice of kids-falling-over clip show jollity.

Mid-evening and it was time to bundle up to brace the bitter mildness of the weather, so much for gloves and coats then. The Downs (a big park/field area) was fenced off, those bothering to pay on the inside and those of a tighter-fisted disposition outside ... the roads on the latter side of the fences were packed. A few fireworks later (coming from all directions as it seemed multiple events were taking place across the city) and it all ground to a halt, some poor bugger had been hurt. But myself and Emma "the girl zombie in Trapped" Clark-Bolton (and everybody else of course) gawked like zombies at the "sky flowers" ("Land of the Dead" style) when it all kicked off again, at which point the defences broke and soon everybody was flooding into the event for free (until they parted cash to go on shakey rides, like the one that uses centrifugal force to keep you from being fired off into space). After a series of people showed off by hanging upside down in it or poking their heads out, some of our gang elected to give it a go and barged the centrifuge ride thing with gusto.

Then, after narrowly averting being blown up by chav-aimed fireworks, we did a tour of the grounds before staggering off into the main street of Bristol, desperately seeking refuge in any licensed premise, ultimately coming to rest at some random, out-of-the-way, over-crowded, too-noisy-too-small-too, trendy bar where I had a shouted conversation about "Grindhouse", "South Park" and everything in-between.

I turned round to discover the place had near-emptied during said conversation. Back to the 'just across and one over from The JLC' flat for arse-parking and shoe-ridding before more sketch-based comedy and then "Apes of Wrath", an episode of the absolutely superb "Garth Marenghi's Dark Place". By now everybody had either fucked-off-to-bed or was making their merry way to bed-fordshire, at which point Ben and myself prepared our makeshift beds for the night. Ben settled on sofa cushions on the floor, while I was lazy and used a sleeping bag as a duvet and crashed on the three-seat sofa.

A bizarre sleep later - the sort where you're not sure if you're dreaming ambient noise or actually conscious and just hearing, drifting in and out of consciousness - and we finally all got dragged out of our kips for a quick late-breakfast. During the night I'd somehow managed to work myself practically into the spot down the back of the sofa where spare change should be found, not sleepy bloggers. Then it was time for a "30 or 45 minute walk" (to quote Ben) to the Downs ... and beyond.

We stopped off by the cliff edge and gazed at the Bristol bridge, as well as egged-on falling trees that were being chainsawed below. After this brief pitstop the decision was made to barge it to the bridge itself, and this is where it all went arse-over-the-proverbial-tit. While descending a brief stack of ramshackle rock-steps, having been concentrating on the right foot, I sprained my left ankle. Inevitably I collapsed amidst a torrent of foul language that a shedload of kids nearby no doubt heard...but fuck that, swearing is funny - FACT. Fortunately I was wearing my boots, which of course are high around the ankle, had I opted for my shoes as I'd thought of doing, I could have even broken the damn thing...small graces I guess.

So, with me carrying a weak and somewhat-floppy ankle, everybody marched forth as I hobbled behind looking like a right prat. We got to the bridge and then went beyond, seemingly touring the city to get back to the flat. Said short walk turned into a Rocky-style marathon for me, where I ultimately hobbled for what must have been 4 miles on a sprained-and-unsupported ankle.

Never has a Nissan Micra looked so Godly. After my "Gonna Fly Now" mental-montage had ended, I parked-arse in the Micra and enjoyed the sweet relief. It's not exactly riding 20,000 miles around the world on a motorbike like Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman did, but still...4 miles of a 5 mile Sunday-afternoon-meander on a sprained ankle is still pretty impressive...well I was impressed anyway, don't know about you, but I was.

And onwards home to Ross Vegas, a battle against Bristol city centre confusion and near-Newport traffic jams - but we did get a second fireworks display sitting in traffic. After a panicked minute at the Severn Bridge toll - a frenzy of jangling change and "we're twenty pence short, exact change, exact change!!" - it was the final leg of the journey, where in the meantime mine had gone to sleep and stiffened-like-a-zombie.

A well earned and most definitely necessary bath later, I was kicking back - ankle bandaging in place - to the African special of "Top Gear" before "Long Way Down" continued being likewise awesome. A quick bosh-around on the internet post-LWD and it was off to an equally well deserved night's kip.

It's only the day after (at the time of writing), but the ankle is a little better - yet still swollen and weak. Evidently places beginning with "B", and my well being, don't go hand-in-hand. Four months prior to Senoir McSwollen Ankle, I was filming in Birmingham where I slipped full-blown slapstick-comedy-style flat onto my back. It knocked the wind right out of me and I've almost finished recovering...2007 - a good year for career progression, a bad year for physical well being, lol.

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