Wednesday, November 14, 2012
This week we look back to my recent trip to Venice, as well as looking forward to my next Poetry Cafe show! Those of you who have followed my misadventures for a while will recall that this is my second trip to Venice in two years - my first was back in December 2006 and yes, my last was in November 2010. The first trip helped me fall in love with Venice and the second trip helped me fall even more in love with the place - the only problem being that I lost most of my footage that I filmed there due to being stupid and clumsy, although some did survive and appeared in my SHY YETI VS AUTUMN PT 2 episode, which you can view at: http://youtu.be/6R928Bs4Ekw
But why? Why do I love it so? I love it because Venice is an adventure. It's all about the canals, of course, but even more so it is a pedestrians city, a city to get lost in, to find different facets of with every visit. In fact getting lost in the city is one of my favourite things to do. You can only get so lost before you fall head first into the lagoon, so basically you can't go too far wrong - but it can be quite an adventure. All those alleys to explore, all those twists and turns, it's like being in some kind of living computer game and sometimes it can be almost overwhelming. But I love that about Venice! Every time I've been here - and this is my third visit in six years - I have only ever seen the city at its best. I've always visited in the autumn, I've only ever seen it when it's sunny. I've never seen it foggy, smelly, crowded or suffering from some kind of city wide ice cream shortage. I'd probably like it even if I did. Anyway, to date the city has only ever chosen to show me its good side. For that I thank it. I'm going to show you around, last time I was here I didn't get a proper chance - but that was my fault - I was a big stupid stupid yeti and I did a bad, bad thing.
I was last here in November 2010 for my 37th birthday with my friends Harry and Calum and we had a great, great trip and I did originally record an episode or two of my usual yeti madness. Unfortunately on the day we travelled home I stupidly tried to delete a photo for reasons that I needn't go into now, but instead of deleting just one photo I deleted everything. I was sad. I did manage to film just a little bit for an episode before I went home, but even then I knew all the footage that I had recorded was now lost. I wanted to come back immediately, but it took two years. I'm here now and I want to do the city justice. Venice, here I am - let's go and play!"
Today was the first day of my holiday, although we didn't leave for Venice on this day. However there was some filming done on this day for the episodes that I intend to be filming this week. I returned to a location that I last visited in early 2011 when I was taking promotional photos for my YETI HUGS AND OTHER HORRORS collection. This time Dominic and I spent about 20 minutes recording the intro for the new episodes set in Venice and took a few photos under a rather lovely tree covered in autumn leaves. Hopefully it'll make a nice start to the first of the episodes. Once done we were off to IKEA for Swedish meatballs and then went to see the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. A very good day, all in all!
Headed for Venice today and arrived without much of a hitch at all. On previous visits I arrived on the outskirts of the city by coach and then walked on into wherever the hotel was (near the railway station the first time, near Rialto Bridge the 2nd time), but on this occasion we travelled in by boat. By water bus to be precise. It was a bit of a squeeze, but we all got on board in the end. I managed to get a few photos and to film a little of this journey in and I'm sure this will be part of the opening title sequence of the episode. Having checked into our hotel we went out to find some dinner, heading for St Mark's Square - via an establishment selling ice cream; I had strawberry and blueberry yoghurt by the way. After this we found a very nice Italian restaurant called Rossopomodoro which was not far from the Square and had pizza and pasta and all manner of fine things. After dinner we visited a couple of tourist shops and I found some props that may be useful for the episodes of Shy Yeti On Location that I hope to be filming here over the next few days. Filming today was mostly establishing shots - although we did film one brief sequence which may be part of one of the dream sequences that I have decided will be a big part of these episodes. Having found the way back to our square we walked on a little to see Rialto Bridge at night and then came back to our hotel for an early night. Not that I slept very well, I was probably too excited!
Wednesday 7th November 2012
Today was another very busy day and I got a lot filmed for the Venice specials. We headed for the Academia area of the city, which is actually very close to where our hotel is. Took all the usual tourist photos on the bridge and then headed on. Today I was using 3 cameras! Poor Dominic he was so patient! The first is the camera that I use for filming and normal photos, the second was my Blackberry which I use for taking photos for Twitter and Facebook and the third was my new camera, which I am only really using for taking photos with one of the "art" modes, so that the photos that you take look like paintings!! I filmed all manner of little sketches during the day, I may list some of them below - although they won't mean much until you've seen the finished videos, which probably won't be until early-2013, except for one or two little pieces that I hope to include in my Christmas episodes. Highlights today included the beginning of a couple of yeti dances, the return of the ghost hunter from the forthcoming belated Halloween episode and the recording of my new-ish poem, THE MAN-EATER OF SURREY GREEN. We spent the whole day just wandering around some of my favourite Venice places, eating ice creams, getting lost and then finding ourselves again. I managed to find my way back to a favourite ice cream seller and favourite coffeehouse, not to mention Venice's very own version of CO-OP. In the evening we ate locally and explored some of the streets around our square - I even found some grafitti of a monster which I took photos of back in 2010 when I was last here, but then lost! You will be glad to hear that he has now been safely recaptured!
The list of things filmed (below) deliberately doesn't give away too much, but may act as a bit of a clue as to the contents of the two episodes filmed during our days in Venice.
X Intro (to camera, but mainly v/o)
X Phone scenes
X Xmas poem intro
X Man eater of Surrey Green
X Start of 2 Yeti dances
X Silly scene with Dominic
X Paul worries about manager
X Dream sequences
X Third Time Lucky plug
X General views
X Ghost hunter intro
X 1 ghost hunter story
X Ghost hunter next time
X Start of ghost hunter fish story
X Shower scene
X Nightmare, photos etc.
Today we were as busy as ever... After another fantastic breakfast and a quick trip back to visit the local monster again in daylight! After that we headed to the Rialto Bridge and had a wander around there before heading to where we wanted to catch our boat on our way to the island of Murano, which is known for its glass blowing industry. On the way we recorded a few silly sketches - one where I'm playing a spy and am paired with Bruss the bear, who joined the family when I was in Brussels last month. Other than this I recorded my new poem ARE THEY AWARE I'M A WEREWOLF? Soon after we caught the boat and arrived in Murano where we had lunch and I took a lot of photos before recording two poems, one of them a new piece called ON FIRST NAME TERMS WITH LOVE and the second an old piece, WICKED SANTA that I want to include in the Christmas episode. We also witnessed a very daft scene involving a dog, some bread and some pigeons - but you'll have to wait until the video comes out to see what happens there! After some coffee and ice cream and a quick return by "the ghost hunter" we were back on the boat just as it grew dark, which made for some nice photos and by the time we reached St Mark's Square it was fully dark. We did a cheap tea at McDonald's and wandered around the streets after dark, but mainly I just took photos as I wanted to preserve space on my camera as I had nearly exhausted my second memory card already!
X General shots around Venice and Murano
X Are They Aware I'm A Werewolf poem
X Secret agent comment with bear
X Goodbye from Venice
X On First Name Terms With Love poem
X Wicked Santa - Xmas poem
X Ghost hunter
Friday was our last full day and the original plan had been to take the train to either Verona or Vicenza or maybe even to head over to The Lido. In the end I decided that this would just take me too far away from Venice itself and that there were still places that I wanted to revisit in the city. Before leaving the hotel we recorded a scene where I wake from a weird dream and also a version of a prose piece from THIRD TIME LUCKY called A FORTNIGHT TO ACHIEVE. Our pass for the water buses was still valid until nearly 1 O'clock and so we took the Murano boat over the cemetery and had a look around there; filming another "ghost hunter" piece. After this we took a cruise around the bay and got off at St .Elena and walked through the park. I recorded a version of another poem from THIRD TIME LUCKY, this time another prose piece called THE BUTTERFLY COLLECTORS; not to mention a yeti dance and a couple of silly sketches with Dominic and Bruss the bear. Having picked up sandwiches from a nearby cafe we sat outside to eat them and then filmed some more weird scenes for the dream sequence and a little further along one final "ghost hunter" sketch. By this stage I was almost out of memory, but there was still enough for a brief yeti dance in St Mark's Square and a quick Venice limerick that I came up with on the spot. Originally I had hoped to read a piece called SOME VINDICTIVE CHILD from THIRD TIME LUCKY, but that had to be dropped; the rest of the space on the memory card I saved for various photos which I took around the city in the late afternoon and evening. That evening we returned to restaurant from the first night and also had a bit of a wander around Venice after dark to take a few more photos.
X Wake up from dream
X Yeti dances
X A Fortnight To Achieve (3rd)
X The Butterfly Collectors (3rd)
X Paul and bear comment
X Ghost hunter
As mentioned above, I also came up with a little limerick, which is becoming quite a Venetian tradition with me!
There once was a lady of Venice;
Whose favourite sport it was tennis!
"Well, her backhand appals -
And she fondles the balls!
Well, my dear - she is simply a menace!"
Today, was my birthday (my 39th!) - but it was time for us to head home. This blow was sweetened somewhat by it having rained overnight and for the first time in the trip the weather was overcast rather than sunny... After a good breakfast we went exploring near Rialto Bridge and I took a few more photos and recorded a little scene that I want to include at the end of one of the Venice episodes. We headed for the boat via one last gelato in St Mark's Square and flew home a little before five! All in all a brilliant trip - concluding the weekend with a nice walk across Richmond Park via the Marc Bolan memorial statue in Barnes on Sunday afternoon.
There will be more photos nearer the time that these episodes are edited, right now I'm not sure when that's going to be - it may well not be until the new year now as I've still got such a backlog of episodes, however there should be some Venice in the Christmas episode.
My next Poetry Cafe show is on Friday 16th at The Poetry Cafe, less than 2 days away... See you there at 7.30pm if you can make it! If not then I'll tell you all about it next week!