Nota Bene is star struck. How he managed to type his latest post while breathlessly and excitedly bouncing on his toes flapping his hands either side of his shoulders while gasping, ‘My Cat is a Superstar!’ is beyond me. Still, it made for interesting reading and I was dead keen to view the video clip of the trailer of the film in which his daughter was starring, one which he with all due humility embedded in his post. I don’t know any movie stars so I supposed the closest I would get would be as an avid reader of Nota Bene’s blog. In future, when the Cat is world famous, I’d be able to say, ‘I knew her father. The mad sod blew his heart up riding a bicycle somewhere down the bottom end of Oxford Street. It was the weight of the takeaway curry that did for him apparently. That and the Mercedes G Wagen that parked on top of him and the two Para-Medics attending him outside that Gentlemen's establishment in Soho’.
The embedded video was High Definition. Sr. Nota Bene had helpfully indicated to us hopeful groupies that his daughter, the one we would all be stalking, was the girl in the foreground of the scene in which two lasses conversed around 50 seconds into the clip. I live in deepest and, when I succeed dodging snakes to switch the generator off at night, darkest Africa so to download fifty seconds of HD video takes a shade over an hour if the connection doesn’t drop. This is why I normally do not bother watching videos embedded into the blogs I follow. But this was the Cat. Nota Bene has written, by my last calculation, three million, nine hundred and fifty four thousand, six hundred and twenty seven posts, and in only five of them has he failed to mention his ski instructor son or the Cat. Naturally, faced with such devotion, the very least I could do was to shut down Angola’s communication links to the outside world by hogging their bandwidth to down load the video of his daughter.
Most of my long term readers will have by now been discovered by distressed relatives petrified with boredom behind their computer keyboards but the few still breathing will remember Ju who came to me as a very frightened little five year old after her parents died. I will never forget when this very introverted, traumatized child finally let loose her emotions and sobbed her heart out in my arms. Perhaps, as an alcoholic, I knew more about inner demons than any psychologist. Any temporary foster parent will know how hard it is to give up a child they have loved and cared for as their own, however briefly. Ju was with us for over two years but has now turned into a fine, happy young lady and, as part of this enormous family I seem to have built up, visits her ‘Tio Tom’ regularly and she is staying with us now. She asked me if she could stay here for Christmas. Of course she can! I want the house full.
|L-R. Marta, six years old. Alex, five and not-so-little Ju, thirteen.|
Ju has shot up but I am pleased that Marta is now catching up with Alex.
I found it pretty dull watching an immobile download progress bar for Nota Bene’s blasted video so when the kids asked me if they could have Batatas Fritas, I thought, ‘What the Hell! I’ve got bugger all else to do for the next hour or so’. The kids cleared off into the garden and were playing nicely for a change so I peeled the potatoes, sliced them up into Belgian sized chips and set a pan of oil to heat up. Just before the oil reached temperature, I checked the video. Still twenty seconds to go before I reached the fifty second mark so about another half hour of downloading to go. I laid out the plates, readied the salt and mayonnaise and withdrew from the fridge a pot of, for me, highly illegal tomato ketchup. Marcia says I am fat. I tossed the chips into the hot oil and within minutes they were golden and crispy. I called the kids to the table.
‘No Daddy!’ wailed Alex, ‘we wanted Batatas Fritas!’
‘But these are Batatas Fritas!’ I exclaimed, somewhat crestfallen.
‘No, we wanted Chips!’ he said resorting to English.
‘These look like bloody chips to me, Son!’ I said stabbing one with a fork.
Ju stepped in. ‘Tio Tom, we want the chips that come in packets like the ones you sell in the shop.’
I blame the Americans. They were the ones who started to call crisps, a Golden Wonder British invention, Potato Chips. Didn’t NASA manage to fuck up a whole Mars mission a few years ago because they were working in pounds, feet and gallons while the rest of the world supplying the components were using SI units? They could have saved themselves a fortune and maybe even hit Mars if they had called Potato Chips, crisps and chips, chips.
Ah well, I like chips. So while I munched my way through another heart attack on a plate and the kids ate their crisps, I watched the video.
I watched it. And then I watched it again. Wallander sprang to mind. It was bleak, moody, desperate, an expression of all my emotions at sleepless four-in-the-mornings that are barely suppressed during daylight hours. The Cat delivered her lines perfectly. Damn right it changes you if you kill someone. I don’t know what the film is about but I would say to the clearly preoccupied character the Cat was playing so well that some people just deserve to die and someone has to do it. On the other hand, the film could be about some flaming maniac who should have been drowned at birth. Or it could have been all about forest flower pickers. The trailer is really too short but, like most of the women I have known in my life, an irresistible tease.
‘It would change you though, wouldn’t it?’
Somehow I think this film is darker than plucking Primroses. I am dead keen to see it and clearly the producers, with presumably hours of film to choose from, decided that the Cat’s lines were best to promote the film. She certainly hooked me.
Before I could consider this further, the kids interrupted me again and asked this time for pancakes. I was only about half way through four pounds of unwanted crispy chips indecently laced with mayo and ketchup and now they wanted pancakes?
Seriously, with a houseful of kids, you will never, ever get to see what you want. I do love pancakes but I will try hard to see this film. Just not in HD if I have to download the bastard thing.