|The face of team member Alan Wilkinson. Only after I sent it did I realise it is now 7 years old. (And that I am still wearing the shirt from time to time!)|
I am well aware of how busy I am. I'm approaching the launch of the biography of Eric Knight, the man who wrote Lassie, I have an agreement to help an Asian entrepreneur write her life story, the Welsh MP job is barely half done, and down at the allotment the ground elder is tickling my knee-caps - or would be if the weather were warm enough to bring me out in my rather fetching khaki shorts.
So I really ought not get into conversations with strange men in pubs.
To be fair, Steve is not all that strange. I met him on a one-day course in social media management for 'small creative industries'. I like that. I generally introduce myself simply as a writer, but now I see myself at parties, creating a stir with a new line:
'Hi, and what do you do?'
'Oh, I guess you'd call me a small creative industry - and you?' (which roughly translates as, 'Pick the bones out of that, jerk!')
Anyway, I liked Steve (he's a film-maker and when I find a web-link for him I'll post it). I asked him out for a drink, and later he texted me to say he was bringing along a chum, an Iranian-German theatre director from Cologne (or Koln if you prefer) called Bettina Montazem (https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Bettina%20Montazem).
It's great meeting new people, especially if they are the type, as Steve is, who asks you for your back-story (and two hours later wishes he hadn't). It wasn't long before we got onto my many jobs (50 before I turned 50, as you'll recall if you've been paying attention), and then my literary interests and achievements.
As soon as I mentioned the Kerouac House in Florida (https://www.kerouacproject.org/) where I was resident for 3 months in 2004, he told me that he and Bettina had just been On The Road for 3 weeks, circulating Europe in search of funding for a musical they were planning: Sherlock Holmes (https://www.facebook.com/thesherlockmusical/).
Draining their pints, they declared that our meeting was doubly fortuitous. Not only do we all have a thing about road trips in general, but guess what? The German writers they had brought on board to write the script turned out to be a bunch of losers and... whose round is it, by the way?
Another pint, a hand-shake, a follow-up meeting a few days later, and I found myself co-opted onto a small team which comprises Steve the film-maker, Bettina the director, her partner Richard, blues man extraordinaire (wow, check him out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywntWdicrZ4) and song-writer/composer Steve Nobles, whom I will meet next Thursday when we start the proper work.
Ee, life: you never can tell what will happen next.