Well there we are. I’ve done my factfinding. It seems that The Isle of Man is still there. And the weather is as fast as ever. And a few people still want to tell visual stories. And so they bloody should. But the weather changes so extremely and so quickly.
Wind, calm, rain, hail, sun. We’ve had it all today. “When you write your memoir you’ll remember this,” says the director after I’ve chased down one of his bags that was blowing towards the river while he held the tripod.
It started with the wind. There were seagulls trying to make themselves flat on the pavement outside the guesthouse this morning. They didn’t even care that I was walking by them. Humans. We present danger to gulls, but only some humans. If the wind is actively trying to rip your wings off then I understand how you as a gull might make yourself as small as possible to ensure that the bastard wind doesn’t snag a feather and wrench you into pain, and risk the humans. In this weather they know that they’re more likely to get hurt in the air than on the ground. So there they sit, eyeballing my boots.
Weather is so sudden in this island. Massive solid slams of wind just happen, unexpectedly shutting the open car boot, rolling your heavy bay, easily blowing over the camera if nobody’s there to hold it – (someone always is). Even if the shot just involves walking across a street, if one of those gusts hit you, you swerve.
There was hail this morning again. In a beautiful bright day. The clouds just shout their moisture when they hit the west coast of the island, and if it’s still frozen then they can puke it out all the harder. I was in a car when the biggest hailstorm hit and it was spectacular. Trevor, driving, barely noticed it. Out of practice, I marvelled at the aggressive extremes of the environment, whilst he, in the driver’s seat, just levelly continued the conversation as if he wasn’t having to skate over an ice rink as he drove, ice slamming into his windscreen.
The place really is just a dot surrounded by a very nasty sea. Sure, dad waterskiied across it from Scotland to Ireland way back when, which I didn’t even know until his obituary. But he’d have chosen a very calm warm day, and likely have taken his time. Mostly, the Irish Sea is a cold and unforgiving bastard. It’s not like the English Channel at Jersey where my grandfather swam every morning no matter what the weather. Essentially, the Isle of Man is man vs weather. Lots of people just shave their head so they don’t have to care about hair. It’s almost constantly blowing.
My guesthouse filled up since the first night. Alongside me they took in “Four Poofs and a Piano.” It’s a revue act, by the look of it, and very good I’m told. Four musicians. Likely all pianists making use of that double-entendre. When I saw the name I assumed they must be local. They’re not though. They’re just marketing to a small town audience. They’re touring, bringing a solid act around the north. They’ve placed visible vinyl adverts on major interchanges throughout the island. And everyone was talking about them.
I thought about asking them about their marketing and their deals, out of curiosity, but I was just a guy having breakfast while they broke down their previous night’s show and it didn’t seem the time to put a producer hat on.
Here’s a break in the weather where the birds emerged to see what food the wind might have brought. Have a great week everyone. If you have a second around 17.10, send some positive energy my way.