Dr Tom Payne's Blog (158)

Day 13 - Packing - Aberystwyth

Every-time I get on a plane I think I am going to die. As a direct consequence I spend the day prior to take off behaving like a condemned man. Swimming with Poppy in the morning is far more poignant and for the first time in several years I make sure that I send my mum some flowers for mother's day.

I also tidied. The last thing i want is for the last impression of me to be a messy one. Though if the plane does come down I guess that is…

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 13, 2010 at 23:30 — No Comments

Day 12 - Clapper Board - Aberystwyth

It was difficult to get out of bed today. I think I managed to squeeze a 60 hour week into the previous 4 days and it has caught up with me. I made it to the Hugh Owen library on the campus to pick up a copy of 'A Good Night Out'. I also went to the department to collect a clapper board. I am going to Poland tomorrow for a few days to meet with an activist devoted to the protection of Krakow. The clapper board is for the filming. It is giant and I would have left it in the department but… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 12, 2010 at 22:30 — No Comments

Day 11 - The First Night - Blackwood Miners

I arrived at the car behind the Parry Williams building in Aberstwyth ready to leave for the first show. I was clutching my carefully crafted Glen Gould style Blackwood soundscape CD, created using almost every single one of the last 48 hours of my life, only to be told that "we probably don't want to be listening to that". It wasn't phrased quite so politely. I saw the last two days flash before my eyes and managed to stifle several primal urges. Crying out of context… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 12, 2010 at 1:30 — No Comments

Day 10.6 - BBC interview Dai Smith - The Gallery, Blackwood Miner's Institute

Five people including me. Six chairs, three laptops, two white pillow cases hung on the back of the radiator. One table covered with the remains of many dinners and breakfasts. NATIONAL THEATRE WALES in neon lights behind Dai Smith the chairman of the Arts Council of Wales. The BBC arrive and are beginning to set up lights for an interview with Will Gompertz the new BBC arts editor. The two men are engrossed in a discussion in… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 10, 2010 at 15:30 — No Comments

Day 10.5 - Nancy's Cafe - Ystrad Mynach

The Bacon and egg roll, served with a mug of tea on a saucer, is to be honest, quite brilliant. I seem to have arrived at the cafe during mid morning workmans breakfast. A large group of men in grubby work clothes have just entered and ordered a combination of breakfast and sausage and chips. I am eating at a modern school table next to a gas fire taped to the wall… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 10, 2010 at 10:30 — No Comments

Day 10.4 - Auburn Hair - Arriving into Cardiff

The girl opposite is projecting tinny music from beneath a mop of auburn hair. She wears a red autumnal scarf around her neck and an inspector gadget jacket with large black buttons. Her head is facing down towards the device playing the music. I am trying to decipher. It is a female artist, someone like Alanis Morrisette of similar. She is travelling on a return to Cardiff from... I can't remember where she boarded the train. The man with the laboured breathing exits. Possibly we are… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 10, 2010 at 9:30 — No Comments

Day 10.3 - The School Run - Hereford

The train, which had been overflowing with school children chattering about drugs and their boyfriends, returns to a state of peace and quiet. All but for the gentle rumble of the train and the laboured breathing of a rather sturdy looking gentleman to my left. A red brick and a green metal structure filled in with green wooden panels, their paint worn away, fades… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 10, 2010 at 8:30 — No Comments

Day 10.2 - Missing Hour - Leaving Shrewsbury Station

I did sleep. The inflatable travel cushion came in handy. As I exited the train at Shrewsbury I passed an old man carrying a number plate. I saw him again a few minutes later in the coffee shop where he directed me to the much needed sugar. Pigeons are flocking about the bridge as we pull away from the station. I am not in my seat No. 20 F as the Man in 21 F is so fast asleep it seems unfair to wake him. Especially as the train is… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 10, 2010 at 7:30 — No Comments

Day 10.1 - Departure - Somewhere between Aberystwyth and Borth

I should probably try and sleep. It is 5:15am and I am on the Arriva Trains Wales service bound for Birmingham New Street. I will get off before that. Shrewsbury, change for Cardiff. Then Ystrad Mynach and finally a bus to Blackwood. I should get in some time around 10:30am. As the train travels between Aberystswyth and Borth all that can be seen through the window… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 10, 2010 at 5:30 — No Comments

Day 9 - Sudden Panic - Aberystwyth

The sudden panic in question relates directly to the task that I have set myself for day 10. I have booked myself onto the 5:14am train from Aberystwyth tomorrow morning. I should arrive in Blackwood some time after 10:00am. I will then spend the day meeting people connected to the NTW and observing rehearsals before jumping back on the train and arriving back in… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 9, 2010 at 22:30 — No Comments

Day 8 - The Tree House - Aberystwyth

I meet with Alan Chamberlain in the tree house in the afternoon. The morning is spent in the National library working through emails and missing the delivery of my new computer. Still no sign of the laptop, so I call apple repairs in London and am told that it is on the way. One or two pieces of equipment would make life a great deal easier.… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 8, 2010 at 22:00 — No Comments

Day 7 - Sunday Swimming - Aberystwyth

I wake up early and take my daughter swimming at the local pool. I spend most of my time under water, it is other worldly. She spends most of her time attached to my back like a horse rider. I'm not sure she appreciates my own very real need to breathe.

I arrange to meet Alan tomorrow at 12:30 to discuss the project. I also learn how to publish my blog to Facebook and the NTW community simultaneously. This results in almost instant feedback from… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 7, 2010 at 23:30 — No Comments

Day 6 - End of the First Week - Aberystwyth

It's Saturday and despite not getting to bed until 3:30 in the morning I still wake up before 9. The problem with being busy is that immediately on waking a thousand thoughts enter your head and as a consequence going back to sleep isn't really an option. The first week of the project is almost over and I feel pleased with the progress that I have made. Despite much aimless wandering on Monday and Tuesday I soon found direction and the interview with Mike Pearson on Thursday along with a… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 6, 2010 at 20:30 — No Comments

Day 5.5 - Breakfast of Champions - Downstairs at the Commodore cinema Aberystwyth

Today (Friday) ended somewhere around 3am on Saturday morning in the Castle pub in Aberystwyth. I can't be sure if I am blogging Day 5 or day 6. A combination of both perhaps. Day 5.5.

Much of Friday was spent in the…

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 6, 2010 at 3:30 — No Comments

Day 4 - Mike Pearson Interview 1 - Aberystwyth

The first action of the project arrived today in the form of an interview with Mike Pearson about The Persians. We meet in his office and negotiate the space with a rather large video camera. Mike sits against the wall in the corner and I set the camera up with seeming confidence, thanks Dorian. The camera is definitely secure in it's mount… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 4, 2010 at 22:00 — No Comments

Day 3 - Camera Training - Aberystwyth

Video camera training with Dorian in the department of Theatre, Film and Television, Aberystwyth. I can now safely mount and remove the camera from the tripod. I should also be able to achieve decent quality sound tomorrow when I meet with Mike. I have a few concerns over the availability of the cameras and while I have been given assurance that one will always be available I'm not sure that this is the right way to go. I think I need a less conspicuous… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 3, 2010 at 22:30 — No Comments

Day 2 - The National Library - Aberystwyth

I have been surprised by the amount of traveling that I have done over the last two days. I had imagined myself sat at a desk for the best part of three years and as yet there is not even the slightest hint of a table, unless of course it were the kind you eat from. I was sat on the stairs in the departmental building for a time this morning. Waiting for a signature. On reflection this wasn't the best use of my time, however… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 2, 2010 at 21:30 — No Comments

Day 1 - St. David's Day - Aberystwyth

I spent the early part of the morning attempting to arrange an over sized Welsh rugby shirt on a rather disappointed six year old. My daughter explained that the other children don't play with her when she doesn't dress as a Welsh lady. As this only happens once a year and is already an identifiable pattern in her short school life, I figure that the emotional scar caused by not dressing like a Welsh lady might stay with her well into adulthood. I… Continue

Added by Dr Tom Payne on March 1, 2010 at 21:30 — No Comments

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