Monday, 28 February 2011


I rang Tom Saturday to ask him if he wanted to come for lunch. He told me he was "Too Busy", which annoyed me because I know he isn't that busy, yes it's lambing season and there is work to be done on the farm where he now works at Bystock - he ditched the paper shed a while back.

Really though, I suspect he just wants to hang out with his best mate Jeffrey on the massive white leather Lay Z Boy sofa in Jeff's room, watch telly, chat, drink tea and coffee and eat cakes and pies.

There's quite a lot of talk of pies at the early part of the film, Tom could see we found this chucklesome, and played up to it. I seem to remember asking him on camera at some point what he loved, aside from Metallica, and he patted his expanding belly and went, "Pies, mmmn, I love em."

The older (read nagging, read concerned) women in the family, Mum, my stepmum (Jane), me, have been increasingly concerned about Tom's less than ideal diet. His room is full of fizzy pop of every conceivable hue, Mr Kiplings slices, crisps, large blocks of cheese and crisps, and a withering length of cucumber that my Mum likes to put in his fridge, like a feeble totem of hope for a healthier future.

Tom's mate Jeff has convinced him eating Bystock Court's food is a bad idea for reasons I probably shouldn't go into too deeply. I've eaten Bystock food a few times, especially in the last year or so while making the Mission, and its like good school food, which I've always had a taste for. Roast chicken, mash, gravy, veg Tom? No, it's a ginsters and a couple of bags of beef crisps, tea, coffee and fancy cake in Jeff's room, no wonder my once string bean of a brother is taking on a round bellied avuncular form.

But, in many respects, its none of my business what he eats and none of his what i eat. the human rights act has also enshrined his right to eat pies, even though we think he should be cajoled into eating a jamie oliver type 'good' institutional meal three times a day.

I want Tom to live long and be healthy. As a shallow, image conscious, fat snob, I want my sylph like bruva back. he keeps saying he's going on a diet which so far means giving up sugar in his tea, well, giving up four of the sugars in his tea.

However, I have indulged many vices over the years. Tom doesn't drink much, smoke, spend cash on stupid things, he doesn't take drugs or owe Heidi Fleiss $50,000. If he wants to indulge himself in pies and fancy cake and sweet milky hot beverages, I really don't think I can object without looking like a patronising hypocritical nag.

I shall continue to nag and he will continue to ignore me. I'm posting the picture below because it shows us as the happy family we occasionally are.

NO word from TriBeCa film festival on whether we have been selected; no word from Wellcome as to whether they will give us a grant to finish the sciencey bits of the film and do a cool outreach programme. But lots of people asking me about it. Today, the builders, Franco and Reggie (two of Tom's less celebrtiy heroes, although Franco is quite well known in the town of Ashburton and is definitely quite rock n roll) and the more lofty Mr Holy Moly.

People's interest is f'inawesum man.

Writing this has made me decide to have a pie for supper

Buon Appetito

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Confused people who think mental illness is the same as mental disability

Incredibly, even a psychology student dragged this stinking ignorant opinion into a conversation recently, and I had to sit on my fists to stop myself punching her as she talked up a 'contraversial' opinion that disability and illness are one and the same.

People with mental disabilities are more vulnerable to mental illness, sometimes because of their disability, but just as often because they do not receive useful psychiatric care, or have suffered bad things in their lives that bring on mental illnesses.

You tend to be born with a disability and it will affect intellectual development; mental illness tends to happen after childhood and, often, it can be managed, treated, or, hopefully, cured.

There is a term, psychiatric disability, that describes someone so mentally ill they cannot usefully function in society.

Tom doesn't have a mental illness; he's about as likely to get a bit miserable as any other Spicer kid, we've all got a bit of a gloomy gene. He has a wonky gene and a misshapen chromosome, and he just got baked different as he developed in the womb and in his very early years.

Mental disability in a foetus can be caused by having a mentally ill parent who is drinking excessively, as it can a mother who has nothing to eat, which in turn damages the foetal development. But if anyone wants to try and tell me mental disability and mental illness are the same thing, perhaps in a debate type sort of a forum, I would be delighted to step up to that particular plate. Poorly educated 'free-thinkers' and hippies, especially, love to promulgate this asinine view. Then again, perhaps they are themselves a bit, you know...

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Dude, I have not seen you in, like, years. Dude, where the fuck have you been?

Bloggers that write, "It's been a while" are useless. So I'm going to say, I've been busy. Which is probably more annoying, but better than, "I've been at Daddy's place in St Barth's and skiing a lot with my new billionaire boyfriend" - which I haven't.

Where is Mission to Lars at?

Yesterday we sent the film to New York for consideration for the Tribeca Film Festival. Hoping, willing, some kind of decent sort of selection that might enable us to put one of them laurel leaf thingies on the bottom of our film poster.

It seems this, along with a microscopic cinema release, is what all the right documentaries wear these days. I heard a story recently about a low budget documentary maker who was a hit at the film festivals who didnt go home for a year. He just hoofed around the world as the guest of various film festivals, which is nice work if you haven't got any other work to do.

I'd be happy with one nod of recognition (preferably a bit more than a nod, a festival equivalent of a high five would be nice, because i'd prefer not to have to pay my own air fare and, frankly, i need the encouragement) from a good film festival and best of all, a proper good airing on the tellybox.

Mission to Lars is near enough to its final edit now, its about 80 minutes long and its funny and its sad and its got twists n shit. it's good. It's got this really specific ambient pace that we nearly lost but got it back because its so key to the story, because this is Tom's pace of life, not manic mine or Will's. In the final cut Tom leads the film, and that's as it should be. He's by far the funnier sibling of the three of us. A year ago I might have said that in a patronising hands between my knees sort of a way, but this time, I mean it.

Tom has genius comic timing. One scientist told me this was in part due to f-x syndrome.

I've been trying to get some money from a grant fund to finish the last bits of film. Documentaries rarely make much dough, and the more investors we have the less we'll get. So far we've given all our time and everything for free, James, Will and I. My accounts came in from the accountant recently and I was a little alarmed at how little money I'd made this last tax year. Penny dropped though, and I forgave myself when I realised how much time I'd put into the Mission. Will and James (james especially) have spent hundreds of hours on it.

It is appropriate that the brilliant Passion Pictures are giving us some informal executive assistance, because passion is what you get paid in it seems.

All's well though and something more and more like a proper film is taking shape. So at the moment I am out pimping for money for titles, credit and music. Mike Lindsay from Tunng did the score and he gave us cool mates rates, but he ain't working for passion. The title sequence needs to explain the F-X thing, so we don't get too bogged down in it during the journey, so I went to a well known scientific philanthropic concern to try and beg some money but you need a special sized brain qualification to fill out application forms for free money/grants and I don't know that i have it.

I am better at putting on parties and going to People With Money and opening my eyes really really wide while putting my hand out in a begging action. Though not very better. I'll never be a Weinstein, that's fo sho.

Way back, just before we went to Sheffield Documentary Festival (which is dead good) in November, the photographer Chris Floyd came to stay with the entire family in Cornwall and take some photos of us three for some promo flyers. Chris is an excellent dude who walks alone, a singular chap and a real spade caller (meaning he is honest, not that he is racist).

He was the first person outside of me, Will n James to see the film and this was a bowel loosening thought. When Chris liked it I sort of knew we were going to be OK. I didn't know how OK and I still don't but I realised that this crazy little plan had exceeded what I dreamt and hoped of it already.

Here are some of Chris' pictures from that day in Boobies Bay
Boobies Bay is a small rocky beach with a good right hander at low tide. We didn't surf much this holiday, there was a lot of demotivational drinking, my family's other team game - it can put you off family sometimes, the drinking thing
Tom's pretty smart with the drinking, he tends to know his limits, and only pretends to have a hangover. When he pretends to have a hangover he stays in bed til lunchtime and then eats a fry up and a hearty lunch in quick succession.
What else is there to say? Masses, like the editor we used who had worked regular like with Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan, and who trumped all the others in the frame because she 'got it'. Like the fact that Tom has a stack of flyers with that image above on the front, which he signs for all and sundry. The fact that at Christmas Will, his wife Tiff, me, my new fella Wolfie, and Tombo, all sat round the dining room table on New Years Eve and had a right funny banter about Mission to Lars and that lead on to funny banter about stuff in general and that warmed my cockles to a good heat.

If nothing else, Mission to Lars has changed our relationship with Tom and his with us. We've all got a shared experience now, one that crosses the divide of our life circumstance and allows us to chat and laugh together. The three of us, and in a secondary way, the whole family, have been on a crazy adventure together. Its stuff like this that makes relationships and are the foundations of bonding n shit. (I wrote n shit because I am starting to feel slightly awkward about the sentimentality).

Moving on.

I should do some work now. If you want to know more, there is so much to tell, do give me a sign and let me know I am not howling into the wind like a lonely blogger with an arse of cottage cheese and no friends, let me know I am not a female Comic Store Guy from the Simpsons. And please, if you can be arsed, say a tiny prayer to the Gods of getting on telly and being liked by festivals.

You rock for reading this, thanks.

Love from Kate