Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snow, markets and the world's heaviest tripod

First up, an illustration of why I hate winter:

View from the bathroom window as I was getting ready this morning
Yes, sunrises are very picturesque and everything, but I would rather they were things of rare beauty because I seldom saw them. Winter has other ideas. I just feel sorry for the student types I know who risk sleeping through the daylight hours at this time of year, and living in perpetual darkness. 

Today was Multimedia Portfolio at Journalism School, which is basically Get On With Whatever You Need To Get On With Time. Which was very much appreciated, as what with all this learning things in a classroom, I've barely got anything else done this week. 

I started my Video Journalism project today, which was a relief as I was worried that the Christmas markets I was planning to film would have packed up and gone by the time I got around to it.

My very wonderful friend Whizzkid came along to help me out. I'm not allowed help with the actual filming, but having someone there to help lug the tripod about (I could deal with heavy, awkward or snagging on my clothes. Maybe even two out of three. All three made me a bit grumpy, by the end, despite all the festiveness), tell me if I was in shot when I'm interviewing and generally keep me company was probably the only reason I survived. 

We went to the market on the South Bank (right next to the London Eye) first. It was surprisingly small and deserted, but there were a few good shops.

I was ambushed by chocolate yet again: 
Probably the most popular stall we saw, for some reason

Real snow on the stalls!

Whizzkid and his (smartphone) baby
After about half an hour freezing and filming, we trekked (quite literally) over to Hyde Park to the Winter Wonderland, which had a much more impressive market. There was an animatronic singing reindeer head, but sadly although I filmed it, I forgot to take a still picture. Whizzkid got very excited, because it was singing Auld Lang Sine, which is apparently his favourite song.

Festive Consumerism

I love helter skelters so much
After some more speedy filming (it's quite hard to set up a tripod when you're worried your fingers are going to freeze to it), we parted ways for a while, so I could return the camera kit. We met up in Covent Garden a while later, and I tried to repay him by helping him shop for a Christmas present for his girlfriend (who I have sadly yet to meet, as she is in Sweden). We wandered around looking for 'those shops that sell stuff you'd never normally look at but girls like', Whizzkid exhibited a taste for designer socks, and we eventually found a few nice things. The highlight for me was when we were in one of those crystal/incense shops, and Whizzkid got a mood ring stuck on his finger. After a few minutes of frantic tugging, he freed himself, only to complain that it still hadn't changed colour. Thankfully the staff were too busy convincing a woman she needed to make an appointment to be 'read' to notice. (Apparently tonight was a really bad time to meet a Gemini.)

It is technically tomorrow, and although I have big plans for a lie-in, I do want to get a few things done, so I will sign off for now.

Please melt, snow!

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