Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Wants and don't wants

There is certainly balance in my life right now and this was demonstrated by two short episodes this week that I shall relay to you now. I contacted my dear neighbour earlier in the week to see if she was free for a coffee and a chat now that the hectic holiday season was over. It turned out that the only time I was free, she had already planned to go and give blood at the local community centre. She wondered whether I'd like to join her. To give a bit of personal background, I was born via caesarian section and my mum had a transfusion of 8 pints of blood to ensure we both made it through. I've always wanted to repay this amount (despite being incredibly squeamish) but have only managed to donate 5 pints to date. Having someone to go with and wanting to play my part, I decided to go along and duly turned up on the Friday morning. My neighbour handed over her donor card (32 donations so far!!) and then introduced her 'English neighbour' who had come along to give. There was a slightly awkward moment before I was asked whether I had lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996, I had. In that case I couldn't give blood due to the risk of BSE, mad cow disease. I was shocked. By way of consolation I was invited to have lunch (the French receive a full meal after their donation, not just a couple of rich tea biscuits and a glass of squash) but I was too put out to eat. As soon as I got home I Googled UK blood donations to see if this was just some bizarre joke but no, it was for real. In fact there are some quite heated forums on the topic should you be interested in the politics, conspiracy theories and bloody (or not) mindedness of it all. I hoped for a dramatic blood red sun set to illustrate this ditty but the sun was golden that evening (see above) so I channeled the emotion into my entry for a competition my writing group are taking part in. The challenge is to write a story in exactly 100 words, here is my entry:

Blood Quest France

Fear gripped her, though she remained resolute. Premeditated blood letting was not her thing. The seed had been planted, had germinated over thirty six hours and the harvest was fast approaching.

Too late to back out. the door gaped open sucking her in.

'Master your breathing. Conquer your fear'.

Deliverance served up without ritual sacrifice- YOU CANNOT GIVE BLOOD IF YOU HAVE LIVED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM BETWEEN 1980 AND 1986.

Saved by the deathly shadow of mad cow disease.

(The cow pictured does not have, nor has she ever had, BSE).

Two days later though and now we're potentially in demand. I receive an email from someone claiming to be 'a film production designer' looking to shoot his graduation film in France.
The film was to be a wonderful coming of age story about an English kid spending a day with his chic and sexy teacher on a french exchange trip. He finds himself at a heated family lunch with helpings of comedy and tragedy and a need to impress. With his mum constantly phoning to check up, this is not going to be an easy day but he'll certainly learn a few things about life, love and language... To cut a long email short, the production team fancied the look of this place and wondered whether we'd be interested in being part of the operation. Call me suspicious but my initial reaction was 'you're not using my home to shoot soft porn movies!!' The more rational part of me then decided to do a spot of research and discovered that the whole thing was quite legitimate. The next day i received a phone call from the producer and then began my bid to create a thriving film industry here in Montmelard. Friends offered rooms to put up film crew and stars and I waxed lyrical about what this area has to offer. we waited on tenter hooks until yesterday when we were informed that financial constraints had knocked us out of the running. Dissapointed but not discouraged we took solace from the director's words - 'I will save your contact and maybe I'll call when the next film with a bigger budget comes around'. we'll be ready and waiting!!