Monday, March 12, 2007

Tilly Elliot

Tilly, charming and delightful as always, was ever so excited as she rushed into the kitchen just as I was taking the scones out of the oven. I knew why of course, but I still pretended not to have heard the news that today was the day the film crew arrived to begin shooting the new film version of the stage musical version of Billy Elliot. ‘Whatever is it dear?’ I asked feigning lack of knowledge that Easington had now become so gentrified with all the Londoners turning the old terraced miners’ houses into weekend places because they loved the north so much they had started to shun the more picturesque villages because they kept finding everything they did reported on the internet by the many bloggers who had moved to such places in search of fresh air, fields and film deals, that the film company had to look elsewhere for their backdrop and had decided upon our village. ‘Mummy, mummy!’ began Tilly, excited, charming and delightful, ‘there are lots of men with black faces all over the village!’ Gosh, I said smiling, I’m sure it’s nothing to be concerned about dear.’ ‘But Mummy, isn't that why you and daddy wanted to move away from London?’ 'Oh silly Tilly', I reassured her ‘There's no need to worry, they’re miners!’ ‘What’s a miner?’ quizzed my daughter in her typically charming and delightful manner. ‘Well, in the olden days before you were born there were lots of miners, but they didn’t vote conservative so Maggie Thatcher had to sack them all, because that’s what happens if you’re naughty’. I beckoned Tilly to come outside with me to see that these frightening working class people were really nice and from the south like us, just like everyone else I allowed the children to speak to in our village.

I led her up to one burly blackened miner. ‘Way ay lass!’ he said by way of greeting. ‘Mummy, it’s Gandalf from Lord of the Rings!' shouted Tilly, in her charming and delightful innocence of Sir Ian Mckellen's true status, and of his ability to bring more magic to the screen in his acting than even Gandalf with all his powers. ‘Hello darlings’ said Sir Ian, ‘are you here to watch the filming?’ ‘Oh yes please!' exclaimed Tilly. Just then the director called out over the megaphone ‘CAN ALL THE SINGING MINERS PLEASE LEAVE THE SET, I JUST WANT THE DANCING MINERS!' Obviously the same director as The Producers, I thought. ‘Oh, that’s me!' said Sir Ian, ‘got to go and shoot the big tap number! See you later darlings!’and with a flourish and a ‘don’t start without me boys!' he turned to the gathered synchronised bobbing miners lamps and tap danced over to the MDF colliery wheel illuminated in the beam of the film lights. ‘Is he the star of the film mummy?’ asked Tilly, as Sir Ian theatrically tripped over a cable in his rush to begin the scene and landed in a heap next to Renee Zellweger, Billy's dance teacher in the film. 'No', I replied, smiling at my amazing ability for wry observations and dry wit, ‘it’s just a miner roll’. I must remember that one for the blog, I thought, and we all went back home and gathered around the aga for tea and scones with strawberry jam and lashings of Joanna Trollope

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

ACE ACE ACE !!! That comment about the miners reminds me of Ali G asking some retired ones if they are 'brothers' [because of the black faces] and the old guy saying 'Yes, we were all brothers, down the pit'..

Priceless...

rilly super said...

thankyou anonymous, you are very kind. I think the story of Billy Elliot, as you say, brings back memories for us all. For me it's of the small boy in our street in Islington who was taunted and mocked because he wanted to be a boxer when all the other boys were doing ballet...

Chippy said...

Dear Sir,

RE: 'A miner roll...'

I believe this was missing the sound of a drum and snare, which the government has made compulsory after any truly bad pun. Could you please rectify this oversight.

Yours,

Chip Dale

rilly super said...

dear sir? you're not my builder are you chip? I imagine you shaking your head thinking 'oh dear, I think this criticism of a pun she's obviously worked on ALL NIGHT might upset the little lady so I'll address it to her hubby, as she probably wouldn't understand it anyway'. Well, ok, as soon as I can get sound effects on this blog I'll oblige, although the building noise from the cottage might drown it out..

mutterings and meanderings said...

Don't upset yersell, pet

rilly super said...

you are lovely mutterings and meanderings, perhaps I did over-react a little but it's my artistic temperment you see dear. In fact the more I think about chip's sound effects idea the more I smile fondly when I imagine the hovis advert music coming on when people click on the blog. Thank goodness for all of you who help me get by in my this time of grimness

andy said...

Oh Rilly - I'm going to take this post as a tribute to my grandad who worked Easington colliery in the 50's and 60's - but ah divent nah if he'd understand yee, yee aad bugger!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Did you know a shopping emporium - Dalton Park - is built on either Easington or Murton pit?

rilly super said...

andy, some might say that working the coal 1500ft underground in the fifties under risk of explosion or rock fall was an even tougher life than mine. I didn't say I would say that of course, just that some might. Even though he had it easy compared to my grim life I'm sure I would have loved to have met your grandfather

mutterings and meanderings, Dalton Park is at Murton, on the old spoil tip, or so I'm told by northern aquaintances

Anonymous said...

Soopah dharling! Just love this.

andy said...

I had many a happy day at Hawthorn, between Murton and Easington - untill they built the A19 right through my Grandad's house. He worked down Murton just before he retired, and had some wonderful stories to tell of hardship and joy.... like when a german bomb landed in his garden.. it didn't go off ( I wouldn't be here it had!), but it ruined his garden - he never forgave them for that... "why man, them buggers buggered wor pansies"

rilly super said...

thanks anonymous, and thanks andy. As some people have suggested that I can come across as insensitive in my comments I'm not going to say anything more, except to say I'm very glad that the luftwaffe fluffed up the fuse on that bomb. Not very far to that incident in years or distance but could be a million miles