Just been down in Pett (near Hastings) for a couple of days, doing a publicity-photo shoot for a film I was in a while ago. For anyone who's interested, it's called Stranger Things, and hasn't been released yet - but watch this space, as it's already won an independent film competition and is getting some good attention... It was very low-budget - hence the need to take photos later, as normally there would be a stills photographer there while you were shooting the film - but it's a lovely, subtle story with some great performances. (Or so I've been told. I haven't seen it yet.)
Anyway, on the photo shoot we stayed in a sweet little B&B, which was run by a really talkative woman who made ceramics. She cornered us after breakfast and, on hearing what we were doing, started talking about her own creative processes ("You never know where inspiration comes from, do you? It just comes... my grandson said to me, Nan, where do you get your ideas? but of course I just don't know, I just have them..."). And then she started showing us her work ("I had this idea for a pottery frog to go in the garden, with a top hat and glasses and a book... and this statue, I had the idea for the woman kneeling in the waves because I got to the bottom and realised I couldn't do feet...") and it was all... well, not very good. OK, so I'm a bit of a snob - but it was all so incongruous, the kind of Radio 4 artistic introspection, as if we'd come to interview her, when the work was all so bad.
I related this story to my parents, and my dad said, doesn't it make you think of that poem...?
The one he was talking about is:
'Look at the happy moron.
He doesn't give a damn.
I wish I were a moron.
My God, perhaps I am!'
And he's absolutely right.
So today I am not going to expatiate on my creative processes.
I'll just leave you with the image of three people squashed in a twenty-year-old camper van, which is rolling gently backwards down a hill while the driver curses and revs and the smell of burnt plastic rises all around. I've been in cars where I thought they might not get up the hill, but in the past they always did. This one, however, did actually roll back down. And apparently after I got dropped off it got stuck on the M25 and had to be rescued by the AA. The world of low-budget films is a glamorous one...