“What’s your blog going to be about today?”, asks Mel as Marco jags the convertible Opel Cascada round a headland and Lake Como spreads itself out beneath us, spiked with evening sun. I feel like a 1960’s model. I trust Marco not to force me to give him a blowjob too. So I can just enjoy the ride as the sun goes down. Mel’s question isn’t rhetorical either. It’s been a full day.


It’s not summer any more. In fact it’s freezing once the sun is gone. That won’t stop us keeping the top off this ridiculous car as the night closes in. We are heading back to the villa now, for spaghetti puttanesca, way too much red wine and… well you never know, if Marco plays his cards right maybe it’ll happen naturally. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll be a first for both of us. But this place is full of surprises. And I’ve said the word Rimula a great deal lately so things like that are close the surface.
We’ve finished the thing that we were doing. I won’t say we’ve finished working because it was barely classifiable as work. Rimula job firmly rimmed. Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oil is lubricating trucks in the world, but the future holds even lower viscosity oils, and even tighter fuel efficiency. Hooray etc. 

Half of the team are already back in the UK. The rest of us have gone to Como. And Marco upgraded his rental car to the hilarious convertible which has just been described by Mel as a “pussywagon.” Armed with such an egregious set of wheels, what choice do we have but to spin through the sunset roads by the lake?

This is the first uncomplicated holiday I’ve allowed myself for a while. I’m having a few days to switch off and recalibrate. Although having said that my manager just got off the phone, and I’m likely to have to send a self tape to her tomorrow. But for the most part I want to eat good food, catch the last of the Mediterranean sun, and stop banging my head against the wall for a second.

Last time I went on holiday in Italy, I came home and immediately shot a WW1 reconstruction. This was ten years ago, and I wasn’t able to get emails abroad. I learnt the soldier I had auditioned for. Then I arrived on set to discover that I was cast as a different soldier who also spoke a lot. I had to learn it during hair and makeup, while trying to make out like I wasn’t fazed and was totally prepared. I had to stash a load of bottles of pretend alcohol in my coat and then come and be terribly terribly posh in the trenches in a telling of the famous Christmas armistice. I wished the alcohol was real. It was not a pleasant shoot, internally. Went fine on the outside. I can’t imagine making that mistake now. My skin crawls thinking about it.  That job still pays me though. Every December I get money for usage. Every year it gets smaller. Last year it was down to 42p, efficiently paid direct to me by BACS just before Christmas by my old agent.

It still looks likely I’ll be shooting just after I get back from this holiday. I’ll be learning the right part this time round though… Fingers crossed.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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