We gather in the canteen to celebrate the publication of the fabulous The Tent, the Bucket and Me – with not only author Emma, but also her utterly awesome mum and dad! It’s like a family picnic where we’ve all had to retreat inside (which is, after all, what happens at every family picnic I’ve ever been to). We have erected a tent (last seen in action at Latitude), and BQL has made Welsh Cakes. None of us has any idea what they’re supposed to be like – they seem to be a cross between a scone and a garibaldi.
Now, it would be a dereliction of my duty not to point you to Emma Kennedy’s very brilliant blog, which we’re all hooked on, as only she should be allowed to tell you the reaction of The Family Kennedy to the Welsh Cakes, which were made to Emma’s Aunt Peggy’s secret recipe. She told us afterwards that literally no-one in her family dares to make them, so Lou had done A Very Brave Thing Indeed.
Off to the Charlotte Street Hotel afterwards to see my friend Dominic’s new BBC drama Freefall. It’s got all sorts of starry types in it, including Aiden Gillen from Queer as Folk, Dominic Cooper from Mama Mia, Rosamund Pike from one of the Bond films and even Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud! Crikey.
It’s a drama about the recession (yeah, I know). It starts off in the heady days of late 2007, when I was buying overpriced flats in the hopes of turning a fat profit, Property Ladder-style, 2 years later. Aiden Gillen plays a horrible banker (boo!); Alfie Allen (brother of the more famous Lily) works with Dominic Cooper, who is a somewhat-under-scrupled man selling discount mortgages to people with ropey credit ratings (double boo!) He sells the dream of a better life, with a nice house and a flash car, to an old mate of his who’s currently living quite happily in a council flat with his wife and 2 kids. Can you guess where all this is going? Yes, yes you can. Very much so.
By the end of it, I wanted never to buy anything ever again, and to go back to renting, now that my flat is obviously a total albatross, even though my tracker mortgage has gradually reduced in price so much that the bank is practically paying me to live there. It’s all very Affluenza, and makes you wonder how the bankers got away with it for so long, making millions out of shuffling debt packages around different investors (although, is that what they were doing? I’m still none the wiser after all this time – there was a lot of talk about ‘warehouses’ in the film, and I couldn’t work out if they were literal or metaphorical, which didn’t help).
As Dom’s films are rarely in possession of a happy ending, it’s unsurprising when one of the characters tops themselves, but I’ll leave you to find out exactly which one it is. Ha! Good times.
Drinks saved: one and a half. Even more tempted to drown sorrows afterwards in wine as it was free, but resisted.