This week saw me in London, first and foremost to catch up with friends, but also for a meeting at Paramount Pictures in Golden Square.
I usually travel by train, and this time was no exception. With a small amount of effort a few weeks before I had saved travel vouchers from the Scotsman newspaper which gave me a heavily discounted price of £11.50 one way! However, I decided to treat myself to first class, which still worked out a third of the normal first class price!
There are points of the journey that always unnerve me slightly, when the train reaches it's maximum speed and feels at times that at any moment we are going to leave the safety of the iron rails beneath us. By noon, less than four and a half hours later, I was in Kings Cross and heading out on the Piccadilly tube line to Chiswick where my friends stay.
The following day we decided to spend most of it at the Imperial War Museum. I had never been before and at first thought it would all be
over in an hour or so. How wrong I was. Four and a half hours later I was still in there! The building was jammed full of World War I and II planes, from the famous Sopwith Camel to the mighty Spitfire, all hanging at jaunty angles by wires from the roof. The ground floored was covered with an array of tanks, guns and missiles, with more of the same together with uniform and small arms displays on the next floors.
At the very top was a Holocaust collection. I defy anyone not to be moved by what is contained in there, and it beggars belief that some people would believe it never happened! In one room there is an enormous model of the now famous railway entrance to Auswitch.
Though it was just a very detailed model I found it quite sad and desperate to look at. One particularly moving moment was a video of a woman, now in her 80's, talking of the moment of liberation. They had all been herded into a large barn by their Nazi guards, and from within could hear a great deal of commotion outside, shouting and gunfire. After a great length of time the doors swung open and there before them were the Russian army. This was her moment of liberation. And she cried as she told of the moment. More than sixty years later.
The following day was my meeting at Paramount. I had arranged to chat about a new project they have launched called Move. The idea is to try to recreate the success of the recent film Paranormal Activity, made for $15,000, bought for $300,000, and to date has taken more than $1.8million at the box office! I was there pitching an idea, and following this I am now developing it further.
Though I enjoy visiting London, it is always with a little excitement that I make the return journey home to Scotland. As the train thunders ever northward, it empties of its passengers at various stations. After Newcastle, it is non-stop to Edinburgh.
As we cross the border it is very quiet onboard. Once in Edinburgh I catch a bus home to Joppa, and as I walk to my house the only sound I can hear in the darkness is the waves rolling onto the beach, twenty metres from my house.
There's no place like home.