I have just spent a delicious week locked up in the house with my gorgeous little Babygirl (known as Saskia to everyone else) for lazy mornings snuggled up in bed, she with Charlie and Lola, and me with one of Rupert Everett’s amusing autobiographies, kindly smuggled by a new European contact. The weather has been unseasonably cold, which means like a good English summer and perfect for skulking around indoors wearing my cosy cashmere cardy over normal Cuba attire.
Although I have been chastising myself for my inactivity and all the things I should have been doing in this beautiful and fascinating island, sometimes we Mums just have to bed down again with the infants. Another international party in the house tonight so I will re-launch myself like an ageing rock star.
After 3 exciting weeks out of the house I have returned to Havana life slightly jaded, not helped by the disappearance of 2 of the more genuine people in my life, one escaped to New York and the other to Paris. I suddenly felt as though I was doomed to return to a social life of po-faced mothers and gossiping diplomats. Which is entirely untrue, as I know plenty of lovely mothers and diplomats and I just need to be reminded of all the wonderful bohemians and down to earth people in my life and get them all together again.
I have also been fretting over what appears to be an in-growing eyebrow hair problem, which does not abate and is disproportionately painful. I am rather embarrassed that my first visit to the doctor’s here in Havana will be for this slightly ridiculous ailment.
Many weeks have passed by without me clocking in and I have many heady tales to tell so not sure where to begin. Off the island, Chavez died (big shit for Cuba) and we got a new Argentinian Pope. On the island the new Cuba battles on trying to grow in a graceful and dignified manner and not always being allowed. The film school remains an exciting hotbed of passing talent and interesting worldly friends with a background scenery of one of the best soap operas you could wish for ….. eat your heart out Eastenders and new Dallas.
I managed to make it through my workshop, although the odds and gods were against me, way too many things going on around me. Old friends rocking up, new dear friends disappearing, children on holiday, grumpy nanny not stepping up, my chef gone slightly loopy and dressing like a hooker, my car broke down and we had no parts to fix it. I got food poisoning at the end of the first week and the film school doctors finally got their hands on me, injecting me in the butt cheek and putting me on a drip for 3 hours with me pathetically saying … I want to go home, and then giving in finally when I remembered I had the first series of Breaking Bad on my laptop.
So somehow, throughout all this, I got to write a script and Paul was a wonderful teacher and mentor. A laid back Californian scriptwriter, with many other talents and a thoroughly nice guy. This course was very practical and although I did not have much time for writing my homework in the end, I did finish a script outline and fudged together a first draft for a short film. I did however, get a really good sense of how to pull one together and still have to get that Final Draft scriptwriting software I was sniffing around for the whole of the second week. Maybe when I do my rewrite I will share it with you right here on my blog ……… I expect you can’t wait!
My house has now become more technical although we still don’t have broadband, ADSL, wifi or anything else of this century we are now the proud owners of an X-Box (guiltily purchased for neglected nippers in Guadalajara) and an Ipad mini, that I didn’t even know existed. But there is a story behind that …
We had a visit from our new American buddies from Morgan’s Creek (not Dawson’s!) and NBC and some other production houses. David, Kim, his wife and Kia arrived 2 and a half hours late to our house. We were all quite pissed off, Rafa and I and two other friends working at the school who shall be named S & S. It was Sunday and I was starting my workshop the next day and wanted to get the children and myself to bed early. When they arrived I shot from the hip along the lines of …… if there is one thing I expect from you Americans it is to be on time (years of living in Latin America have made me appreciate this punctuality). They apologised and took it all with good grace and proceeded to charm us all evening, and we had a lot of fun.
The previously planned seaside sundowner drinks were reduced to us looking into the black of the Mexican gulf listening to the waves crashing, but we made it out to the local newish Sushi restaurant around the corner and then back home for more drinks and chat. At one point I could see Rafa’s face looking slightly concerned and the warning bells sounded as I lightly skipped to his side like a gazelle on too much Cava to see what was going on. He was refusing to accept their very generous gift of the aforementioned Ipad mini. I did some verbal shin kicking and reluctantly Rafa received this wonderful present that even has his name engraved on it. I on the other hand was getting on with everybody so well I would have felt justified in receiving a couple of cars from whoever at this stage, and Kim did manage to give me a pair of cool reading glasses which the (grown up) boys later confiscated from me for bad hinatera behaviour. I got them back the next day and now don’t know how I lived without them, as you do in the material world.
Kim had confessed to me at dinner that his mother’s cousin was Meyer Lansky, shady character numero uno of pre revolution Cuban gangsters. His mother had been very ashamed of this side of the family and refused to talk about the old mobster, merely spitting under her breath…… He was a killer. It just all seemed too weird and wonderful that here I was nearly 60 years later sitting not far from Lansky’s old empire and planned Vegas of El Caribe talking to his second cousin. Gotta be a script in there somewhere. Maybe I’ll write it for NBC and make them loads of money ……. on my new iPad mini of course!
So the iPad sat on Rafa’s desk snarling at us with its sleek cool new world look until Rafa brought it home and the boys got their hands on it and that was that …. No going back.
Next stop Guadalajara and Mexico City.