I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Saturday, February 25, 2012


....and no one told me?

On the way to work it was snowing where I live and then really coming down in the valley. I mean, I sort of expect (if not dread) it at home seeing how if I lived any further up the mountain I'd have to pay for a lift ticket. But I wasn't expecting it to snow the whole drive out.

We are working in a gem factory - they prepare raw gems for machinery and commercial use. The heat has not been turned on in the building for 17 years and so the place is like a walk-in freezer. All the concrete and metal is cold - really cold - and everything absorbs the cold; my chair, my binder and script, and all of the cast and crew. It was actually colder inside than outside and it was pretty dang cold outside. I've shot here once before but it was summer so quite nice to be inside a cool building. But not in February!

Here's a look at some of the massive amount of equipment in the place.

And some suspect chemicals we had to work around. There were 45 gallon drums of hydrochloric acid outside where we shot one scene. Yikes!

The picture on the right is some of the raw gems the factory works on.

Here's a look at our director, on the right, setting up a shot.

Anyway, back to Friday the 13th; at one point in the afternoon I got up out of my chair at the monitors and started off down the hall and took only a couple of steps when I tripped on a cable to the camera and fell headlong onto the hard tile floor. I have bad knees, the right one being particularly bad to the point where I can't climb up anything higher than a normal stair, I can't kneel, and walking all day around London kills it. I fell on it on an icy road when I was about 31 and smashed all of the nerves under the knee cap. It took two years to heal. My doctor told me the knee would give me trouble when I got old. Well I guess I am old because it gives me all kinds of trouble! I have arthritis in it now and both knees have degenerating cartilage. I smashed it again in the BVI when a rogue wave caught me in Devils Bay and slammed me onto the beach, knees down. I couldn't get back through the rocks of The Bath's, I was in so much pain, and had to take the long trail back up to the road (and we walked there from Fischer's Cove!). Anyway, yesterday, I couldn't get up off of the floor for a while and not without help when I did get up. They wanted to send me to the hospital but I refused to go. I had a job to do! Fortunately I sit to do my job on set so it worked out fine. But when I had to get up to talk to an actor, I hobbled like I needed crutches! Today I am not hobbling so much but I'm pretty sore - arms too from bracing the fall.

That's where I smoked my knees. That cable running from the monitors through the doorway. The thin one.

THEN, when the day was over at 11:30pm (I left my house at 9:30am) I got in my car and my headlights weren't working! The transport guys came and had a look (I LOVE those guys) and figured it was a relay switch. I wasn't sure how I was going to get home in the dark; some of the roads are remote and have no lights. But then I got the bright (no pun intended) idea of trying the brights and they came on. The only thing is, if my headlights aren't on then the brights don't stay on. So I drove home for an hour holding the lever towards me the whole time. My left hand was stiff by the time I pulled into the driveway.

Now I have to go out and renew my car insurance and find someone to fix the headlights. And go play with my baby granddaughter who, at six weeks, is already trying to talk. Cooing and watching your mouth to try to imitate what you're doing. Amazing. Here's a video of her trying hard to talk.

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