Sunday 9 December 2007

Bus-surfing to nowhere else but Oxford...

Why the title? All in due course, but here I am to blog up my December 8th 2007. A return to "Contempt of Conscience", this time to cover a double screening/fund raiser in Oxford.

After about 5-and-a-bit hours of kip I dragged my carcass out of bed and immediately went for the Pro Plus - not being a tea or coffee drinker, this is my caffeine hit for such days. Downstairs and the first hit of Special K for the day, no not the drug as dealt in that text-only game we all used to play during the Sixth Form about drug dealing, but the cereal of course. A stint of random TV later and I was picked up at 8am to head off to Oxford.

It was a day for at least one first - my first time using Park & Ride - and only the second time I've been on a bus since before I graduated in 2005. This of course meant I could re-apply my 'bus surfing' skills (while have a memory lane session). What is bus surfing? Standing on a moving bus, to really stay upright and not crash into people (helpful when you've got a fairly weighty tripod over one shoulder and a shedload of camera gear over the other) you have to anticipate the motions of the bus and counteract them with your legs, thus keeping you steady, level and upright.

Mind you, when surrounded by people it is wise to hold onto a pole...but if you find yourself alone on a bus, by all means have some fun and literally surf the bus' movements...something I did on the way back from the Hereford Art College during a taster week there when I was 15.

We ended up getting there early, so sought shelter from the rain and wind - at first in the entranceway to some really famous library I've never heard of - in a book store's coffee shop, and this is where I thought to myself "this could be nowhere but Oxford". It's Saturday and it's early, we've already seen one student-sort wearing the local colours on his scarf (which was tucked into a fairly swish overcoat) and here we are in a book store filled with coffee drinkers waxing lyrical about poncy subjects.

It's at times like these I would leap into a loud discussion about the merits of the demise of Captain Rhodes from "Day of the Dead" just to ruffle some feathers, if I wasn't so British.

Anyway, a shot of Coke (the beverage!) and an Oxford-poncy 'gluten free, organic' brownie later and we gathered in the now-unlocked music hall where the event was happening. Now, not being clued-up on city universities (I went to UEA, a campus university), I think this music hall was part of the university...and I overhead, I think, that the building is famed for it's acoustics in the main hall...although again, all news to me.

We set up the gear for the screening in the main hall - which had a ludicrously slippery wood floor - and soon had the first of two screenings of the most recent version of "Contempt of Conscience". Afterwards it was time for some new interviews/pieces to camera from some of the Peace Tax Seven members who were in attendance...then another screening. After the second screening (and 2 of 3 Special K energy bars later) it was time for more pieces to camera/interviews...oh and I forgot, after each screening there was a Q&A.

By the end of the day I'd shot around 100 minutes, all for a segment which will probably clock in somewhere up to five minutes (although I've suggested the Q&A could make a DVD extra feature). Early evening and it was time to go, while the event was still continuing into the evening with the fund raiser-proper, myself and Joe (the director) had to get back to Hereford.

So after twelve hours since leaving in the morning, I was back and digging into a Curry (that happened to be Weight Watchers) ... and it was fucking disgusting. 'Meh' chicken, horrid 'sauce' with a rank taste...thank heaven's for the Naan breads! Then some Omid Djlili...or however you spell it...and then bed a while later after turning in a respectable 18 hour day...then I had a slothful 12 hour kip! ... Hey, I'm the sort who really needs their kip, I was catching up from the day before...bah, screw the naysayers, ha!

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