Friday, February 23, 2007

In Dublin's fair city . . .

So there we were in Ireland for the second time in a month or so. One of the great things about being back so soon was that we could renew friendships with peope we'd only just met the last time - and one of these was Pat the driver. Pat works with one of the new Presents authors, Abby Green, in the film crew where she's an assistant director. He's one of the drivers. But of course, this being Ireland, he's not just a driver. Pat is also a writer and he's written a set of short stories that he has turned into scripts and had produced as a TV series.

Pat and Biddy at the book launch in Jan ->

All he needs now is for someone like Channel 4 to buy them and we'll be able to see the result. Pat's also a great talker and a great story teller. So if he drives you anywhere, you're in for an entertaining time. Pat had to be at the airport to pick up one of the actresses ( the lovely Andrea Lowe) from the TV series they're filming and so he gave us a lift into town too - and he entertained us all the way.

Pat was also our chauffeur the next day when we went out to Skerries, just outside Dublin - but first he delivered us to our hotel where Anne McAllister and her friend Nancy were already settled. It was wonderful to meet up again and of course the talk started at once - and only really stopped when the holiday ended a week later. I'd met Nancy a couple of years ago when we visited Anne and her husband and as she had a large cat of her own - Big Bart - we have plenty in common. We all went out to eat and later were joined by Abby Green so the talking became even more enthusiastic.

In her day job, Abby is an assistant film director and she is currently working on the filming of the BBC TV series, Murphy's Law, starring James Nesbitt. We were lucky enough to be able to go and visit her on the set ( with Pat as our driver once again) and to see some of the programme being filmed. To Abby, this is all very matter of fact - it's what she does all day. But to me it was all fascinating, learning about a new world so that even the dressing rroms, the wardrobe van, the makeup van, the trailers were Aladdin's Caves of new and interesting details. Nancy took a picture of the Three M&B Musketeers (myself, Anne McAllister and Abby in the chair) in the makeup van to record the event.

Unfortunately we weren't able to take any picture of the actual filming, but we were able to watch and soon realised that this is where the boredom and stress of the productrion can soon set in. We were there for quite some time and all that was filmed was one tiny scene of James N (as Tommy Murphy) pacing up and down, up and down . . .again and again and again. Abby had told everyone that the 'M&B ladies' were coming to visit and everyone was really welcoming - including the star of the programme, James N himself, who came striding over to say hello and shake everyone's hands. Abby was was working on this programme when she had her very first acceptance so James knew all about her book - she'd given him a copy - and he admitted that he used to read his Grandma's M&B books as a boy.
James Nesbitt and Abby Green

And not only did he welcome us to the set but he also arranged for us all to go out to dinner with him that evening. For those of you who have only seen him playing tough guy Murphy, the real James Nesbitt is much more of a true Irish charmer - think of his famous role as Adam in Cold Feet and you'll have more of the idea. He's a wonderful host, witty, entertaining, open, friendly - and generous to a fault - and he made sure that everyone of us (Myself, the BM, Anne, Nancy, Abby and Andrea, the actress we'd met at the airport) had a woderful time. He's one of those special people who listens as well as talks, takes a real interest in what people are saying - and remembers it to come back to later on.
The BM, Abby and Andrea
He's also aware and understanding of the way that romance novels work (those times spent reading Granny's books educated him well!) and we shared an interesting discussion on the way that characters in both books and films work - from the perspective of the actor and the writer. The conversation ranged far and wide - laughter and joking combining with serious topics in a sparkling mix - the time just sped by until at last, with the restaurant finally closing, we reluctantly had to leave.
As a small token of thanks we gave him a bag of books - two of Anne's romances, and mine and a couple of the BM's books - a true crime and his last poetry collection. And I have no doubt that they'll be read. I just wish we could meet up again and talk about them later.
Thank you Jimmy - it was a very special night and you were a fabulous and generous host. We had a wonderful time.


Rachel said...

You lucky devils! An evening with James Nesbitt - I loved him in the last Murphy's Law - so HARD, so NASTY, marvellous.
I am really jealous! Brill pictures.

Nicolette said...

How fabulous, Kate! It sounds like a wonderful time was had by all!

Lee Morrison said...

Your trip sounds LOVELY, Kate!

Thanks for sharing the stories. What an exciting time!


liz fenwick said...

Lucky you Kate. Your trips to Ireland bring out the stars!!!

Nell Dixon said...

Sounds and looks like you had a great time. Welcome home!

Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

Welcome back Kate. What a fantastic trip you had (and what a wonderful day job Abby has)!

Thanks for sharing (I LOVE both Cold Feet and James Nesbitt).

Sue :-)

Annie West said...

Kate, am thoroughly jealous. Sounds like a magnificent, er, research trip.


Anonymous said...

carolc said...

Kate sounds likes a fabulous trip. Lucky you!

Biddy said...

DAMN!!! Obviously I went on the wrong Dublin trip!

I'm glad you had such a great time and what a wonderful dinner to have had. I am very jealous :-)

Mind you I am off to Nashville tomorrow ;-)


Biddy said...

DAMN!!! Obviously I went on the wrong Dublin trip!

I'm glad you had such a great time and what a wonderful dinner to have had. I am very jealous :-)

Mind you I am off to Nashville tomorrow ;-)


Michelle Styles said...

It sounds like you are a thoroughly marvellous time. Now I shall have to make sure and watch Murphy's Law because Abbey works on it.

Kate Walker said...

Rachel - yes he was nasty in Murphy's Law but in real life he is such a charmer. It will be strange watching mean and moody Murphy now

Nicolette - that about sums it up!
Hi Lee - thank you for dropping by. It was a wonderful trip.

Hi Liz - I have struck lucky in my visits to Dublin - it's all because of Abby, really

Nell, thank you for the welcome home. It wasa really great time

Sue - The thing is that Abby finds her day job just - well just a day job! I love Cold feet too - and James

Annie, as a fellow writer you will understand how hard research can be sometimes. But a writer just has to do it ;-)

Carol - you said it!

Biddy, sorry darling but you did miss agreat trip. But I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time in Nashville. Enjoy every minute

Michelle - my advice isjust watch Murphy's Law - because of Abby working on it if you must but also because Jimmy is wonderful in it. Well worth seeing


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