Half A Lifetime Ago I Said Something Very Nasty

You may have noticed that I’ve not written much of late – can only apologise, but it’s due to my course stealing all my writing time. I’ve spent a lot of time working on my treatment (the journey of a young Asian Mau Mau sympathiser in 1952 Nairobi) and my monologue (a mother’s video message to her unborn child). I should, rightly, be working on my essay, but I’ve found the writing bug again and I don’t want to lose it. Thinking back on the last 6 months, I’ve realised I have learnt a huge amount, it’s just that it’s become innate, which is fantastic – that’s true knowledge.

I can’t make my Italy play my final project for Central anymore, so will seek to write my Kenyan film (Tentatively titled The Oath). I already have a couple of interviews with my grandparents, and I know people who are specialists in that historical time period, so could be good. Creatively, I’ve decided to make it refer to ‘the rebels’, not Mau Mau explicitly, to give me a little bit of dramatic licence without feeling the burden of accuracy. I will seek to make it more truthful, but I need to get a few drafts done first, I think, while I do further research. Else I’ll never write anything…

My treatment I don’t want to think too much about  – acts 1 and 3 are decent, I think, but act 2 loses all sorts of focus. My monologue went down well, though my tutor didn’t seem to like it very much at all. On one point of criticism (revelation of the circumstances) he was right, and I had already changed that for my new draft. Then we came to the old chestnut of “where’s the conflict? Dramatic action?” and, most damningly, “Why would anyone watch it?”. The first two I understand, but the last one I just feel I differ from his sensibility. I saw the (unmarked) monologue exercise as a chance to give an actor something decent to chew over, and I think I’ve done that. And you know what? I think people like watching a good piece of acting, even if the conflict in the writing isn’t immediately evident. In this, I wanted the conflict to be in the performance, that is I wanted the woman’s struggle to stay light and gentle, as is her usual self, against the heaviness of the subject she’s dealing with.  I’m almost proud of both my actors – they put a hell of a lot into it.

I love actors. I really do. I don’t have the sensitivity to do that kinda work anymore.


It was my Dad’s 12th wedding anniversary the other day. He’s been married to Hina longer than his other two wives combined now, I realise, and I find that a bit strange. I think back to the day of his marriage, when I went up to Hina and said “I will dance on your grave.” No jokes. Though I meant it at the time, and had put it out of my mind, I’ve really started to feel the guilt over the past few years. Everytime I get really drunk, I consider texting her to say we should meet up for a meal and I could apologise. But then I realise she’d find it weird…I mean, she’s probably forgotten all about it. It was her big day after all, and compared to the memories of joy, the mewlings of some angry kid have probably faded into the shadows by now.

Others significant events of the last couple of weeks:

– Italy rehearsals have started getting heavier, but we’ve secured nearly a thousand dollars worth of funding now, which is great.

– Racing won a game 4-3 after going 1-3 down. It was a crazy game, I’m not quite sure what happened to us but we were playing like England in that group stage match against Algeria in the World Cup. Everyone seemed to have lost it at the same time. We won though, which was great….but then we lost a close match this week 1-0. Boo.

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