Thursday, 3 March 2016


The week started with the 29th February, the extra day added because this is a leap year. The day after was March 1st, officially marking the start of spring, and a new beginning.

That same day I had a bit of a spring forward and leap into a new beginning myself.

I have, for a number of years now, answered my calling, that of teaching young people how movies are made, and helping them make their own. I realised some time ago that this is what I should have been doing all along, but I guess I had to gain the experience first, both professionally in filmmaking, and voluntarily in youth work.

So I was delighted on the 1st to receive an offer to be film tutor for the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, home to Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet. They call the role, Engagement Artist, and I will meet the rest of the freelance pool on the 17 March.

I am still waiting to hear if Into Film are to bring me on board to deliver film tutoring to teachers in schools and bring filmmaking into the classroom more. If they do it looks like all at once I am going to be busy as I was four years ago, last leap year.

Leap year doesn't actually happen every four years though. It's a rounding up, due to the fact that the Earth's rotation takes 365, and a quarter days to orbit the sun. However, that's not 100% accurate, and actually over compensates. But you'd hardly notice, as it equates to the year cumulatively becoming 3 days longer every 400 years.

But it turns out we did notice. Long ago. The idea of having a leap year was suggested as far back as 45BC, but it would be 1500 years, when the Gregorian calendar came into use, that it was officially recognised. To correct for the over compensation, Pope Gregory VIII's astronomers established the practice of adding a day for every year divisible by 4, except for those that are divisible by 100 but not 400, thus correcting the over compensation. So 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, but, in keeping with the rule, 2000 was.

Leap years a bummer if you're on an annual salary of course, as you'll work for free that day!

29th February is also the day that traditionally women can get down on one knee and propose to men, supposedly attributed to Queen Margaret of Scotland. If the man refused he had to pay a fine, which was anything from a simple kiss, to 12 pairs of silk gloves.

As the earnings from my new freelance posts are yet to start, I naturally hid myself away on the 29th, for fear of being proposed to over and over again, and having to shell out for all those gloves.

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