21st February

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Today I’m in Luxembourg, shooting in a café bar. We caught a cab after breakfast at the hotel and arrived around about 9am. We were both quite shocked to find people drinking at that time of the morning, one guy was happily knocking back a bottle of Chimay bleue which is a Trappist Ale and weighs in at 9%! The whole venue was decked out with Coca Cola branding so my worries of there not being enough to fill the video were soon dispelled!

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I had to film some interviews with the two reps called Valerie and Sara (which was spooky because that’s the names of the current and former wives!) and also the bat owner. I also tried to film the girl behind the bar opening a bottle of coke but Chimay man kept interfering so I had to wait till he’d gone and do the shot again. We were made to feel really welcome all day and the staff were really helpful.

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After I’d finished shooting we had lunch which was delicious. It was veal cordon bleu which consisted of veal escalope, cheese and bacon all rolled up. It was washed down with a nice bottle of red wine (which I think I drank most of!). After lunch the client went off to visit another café so I went upstairs and made myself comfy in the corner and started editing the video from the days shoot. I’d pretty much finished it by the time it came to leave so I only have the one from Paris to do as I didn’t get a chance to do that yesterday.

Luxembourg still 1

We headed off to the airport and caught a flight back to London. I’m still such a big kid when it comes to flying – you’d think the novelty would have worn off by now but it hasn’t! I still love that feeling of being forced back in your seat as the plane accelerates down the runway and the anticipation as you wait for the wheels to leave the ground. I love it when you’re flying above the clouds and even more when you get to see the sunset as we did tonight. And of course that moment when you’re coming into land and you’re waiting for the inevitable bump and the scream of the engines as they’re put into reverse thrust to slow you down!  As I sat down the girl on the end of the row asked me if I’d like the aisle seat (which presumably meant she wanted the window seat!) but I politely declined – what I really wanted to say was “Do you think I’m mad!!”

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I thought I was doing quite well as I got through passport control without to much hold up – even had a joke with the man on the counter about my beard! (Incidentally the captain of the aeroplane had a spiffing moustache!) My bags turned up quite quickly on the carousel and the person I phoned at the carpark was very efficient. I thought I’d be on the road just after 7:30. However it then took nearly half an hour for a bus to turn up to take us to the car park. Then it was absolutely packed and took ages to get everyone on board and the journey to the carpark was much longer than the 5 minutes advertised on the bus and website.

When we got there I was even less impressed with Purple Parking as by the time I got off the bus my bags, clearly marked fragile, looked as though they’d just been thrown out of the trailer onto the ground. I also couldn’t find my car. It said row A but I couldn’t see any signs indicating which one that was and had to walk all the way back to the office before I found one. Then my car was right down the other end of the row. I was glad to get in and get out of there! It was now gone 8pm by the time I pulled off.

I had a long drive ahead but I was hoping that once I cleared the busy parts of the journey (M25 and southern part of M1) it’d be ok. However just as I was nearing Sheffield the traffic ground to a halt and we crawled along for nearly 45 minutes before it picked up again. This and the stop for something to eat added nearlt and hour to my journey time meaning I didn’t get to Sunderland till quarter to two in the morning. The last 50 miles or so were such hard work as I was so tired.

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