An Idea for Next Year

I suspect it will now be a long, long while before we hear anything more about James Bond. Now that No Time To Die has come out and Daniel Craig has left, I think EON will give the franchise a rest before doing anything more. By that I mean three or four years. Craig has left such a mark on the character, the producers will want to let the dust settle – that, at least, is what I would do.

Or so I thought. En route to bed last night I had another small but notewothy idea: next year marks the queen’s platinum jubilee; seventy years on the throne and all that. Whether you’re a monarchist or not, it will be a huge cultural occasion for the UK. What if EON used the event to announce the next Bond actor? After all, the franchise already has firmly established royal links. It would be the perfect opportunity to announce the next incarnation of Britain’s favourite secret agent. By then, it would have been more or less a year since the release of No Time To Die, which is probably a big enough gap for things to be reset.

That, at least, is what I would do. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen; I’m just noting an idea. Exactly how they could go about it and what sort of grand entrance the new 007 would get is anyone’s guess. I don’t think the queen would be up for anything on the scale of her Olympic entrance. Nonetheless, it could be interesting to see whether the pairing of the Queen and James Bond could be picked up again.

Squealing about Seeing A Bus

My floor was badly in need of a mop earlier, and when that happens I find it’s better if I get out of the house for a couple of hours. I just had a nice long trundle through Kidbrooke, over to Lewisham and back through Blackheath. Not much really, but I need to report one thing: on my way there, I saw the very bus I wrote about a couple of days ago – bus 007! When I saw it, I couldn’t help letting out a squeal of excitement, and this music instantly popped into my mind. (All right, I know this is a blog entry just about the fact I saw a bus with a certain number, but it’s my blog, okay?)

Jetson One

All I have to say this evening is, for my next wheelchair I want one of these! Basically a quadcopter, according to the blurb, “Jetson ONE is an ultralight and extremely fun to fly recreational all-electric personal vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.” Judging from the video, it is highly stable and manoeuvrable. It would certainly make getting around town far easier, quicker and more fun, although I just wish they hadn’t named it after an old kids sci fi cartoon.

Route 007

I have just come across a little tidbit of information which made my day, week and month. I was just mucking around on facebook, when on a James Bond fan page I noticed an interesting piece of trivia: someone had asked where Fleming got the number 007 from, and someone else had replied that it was the number of the bus he used to take to get into London. The original poster had responded that this was the correct answer, so naturally I decided to check it.

Sure enough I found a web page confirming it, but then came the cool bit: I looked up the route, only to find it runs through Eltham, along a road just a stone’s throw from my place! The bus route, from Kent into Central London, is now run by National Express, but still uses the number 007. To think that Ian Fleming himself used to travel into work through Eltham, and to have this link with one of my all time cinematic heroes, really is awesome. Now that I come to think about it, I think I’ve actually seen the bus, but dismissed the number as just a coincidence.

The Problem with Poppies

I know why people are wearing poppies today: it is to commemorate a war, now over a century ago, in which hundreds of thousands of people died. People wear poppies this time of year to make sure we remember that brutal conflict, because if we forget it, we risk repeating it; and that must never happen. That’s why I have no problem with wearing poppies. Yet more and more these days I fear that poppy wearing has become interwoven with nationalism, and that some people, especially outists, are trying to usurp remembrance. They would whip us all up into a nationalist fever, so that Europe is perceived as the enemy and old rivalries with states on the continent are revived. Or, worse still, they would frame the goal of European Unity as the betrayal of all those who died, when in fact the EU was created to make sure we never have to see such bloodshed again. That’s the problem with poppy wearing: as a symbol it is being usurped, and used by some to say precisely the opposite of what it was intended to.

Nothing Awesome to Report

I have just got back from Eltham Palace, but disappointingly I don’t have anything cool to report. When I got there, filming had obviously wrapped and men were sweeping up the fake snow I saw being sprayed around yesterday. I’d set off feeling so optimistic – who might I meet and what might I see today? – but it just goes to show awesomeness can’t happen every day.

Coming Across Another Film Shoot

Up until around a couple of hours ago it had been shaping up to be a pretty lame day: I didn’t sleep at all well last night, and it had been grey and drizzly all day. At about three I thought I’d try to cheer myself up by going on one of my usual, shorter trundles. I set off for nearby Kidbrooke first to see how the construction work there is coming along, then up Middle Park Avenue, intending to pass Eltham Palace en route to Tesco before returning home. As I was rolling up to the Palace, though, I began to notice something was happening there: it was lit up with powerful light, and there were lots of people outside the main gate. As I got closer, I came across two pristine vintage cars from the nineteen twenties.

This was certainly worth interrupting my trundle for. Turning back, I rolled up to one of the people and asked him what was going on, and what do you Know? I’d stumbled upon another film shoot.

This got me instantly excited. After all, the last time this happened, I got to meet Danny Boyle. I couldn’t see much of the film equipment as it was through the gate near the palace, but the road outside the palace grounds was obviously being used as a back drop. Old, expensive-looking cars were parked on either side of the road and fake fog was being sprayed into the air as it grew darker. It looked wonderfully evocative. I got talking to the lady spraying the fog, and she told me they were shooting a film called Wonka, obviously a remake of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. I was also told the name of the director, but I didn’t recognise it this time. Apparently, though, Matt Lucas is in it.

I stayed for a while, watching them do a take before continuing to Tesco. However, they’ll be shooting there tomorrow, I was told, so that’s where I’ll be heading after breakfast. This is why I adore London: you never know when you’ll bump into a film crew next.

My Paris Speculations Begin

I had another of my random little ideas last night which, short of much else to blog about, I think I’ll note here. I was watching a tv program about a painting created in Paris in the 1920s. It was a wonderfully evocative image of some ladies sitting in a cafe or bar by post-Impressionist painter Edouard Vuillard, instantly transporting viewers back to Jazz Age Paris. Of course, the twenties was when Paris was arguably at its coolest: writers like Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald drank in the bars with jazz musicians and philosophers. If I had a time machine, that is the time and place that I would probably choose to go back to.  Now we are in the twenties again, I can’t help wondering, when the french capital hosts the Olympic Games in three years, will it reference that era in the opening ceremony? After all, 2024 marks the centenary of the last time Paris hosted the games; wouldn’t it be cool if they referred back to the last time Paris became the world’s heady, hedonistic playground? Not that I want to preempt our french friends, or indeed get into the habit of speculating about an event which is still three years away, but I think it would be very interesting if that was the way they chose to go.