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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The weekend before last, I made my way up the hill to the Bristol Estate and dropped in on Lisa's Mum (squeezing her in between Simon Cowell and Nicky Keig-Shevlin). I didn't stay long, because I don't like to leave my car outside without an armed guard for more than five minutes, but I was there long enough to notice a sign on the door of her block of flats advertising a Film Making Workshop for residents on 16th July from 7-9pm. Obviously it doesn't take more than a couple of hours to teach people the fine art of movie production. I expect Steven Spielberg learnt it in his lunch hour.

I actually did well to notice the sign, because I was distracted at the time by the fact that the door now opens outwards instead of inwards, having been recently replaced due to yet another act of wanton vandalism. I was also admiring the newly laid floor just inside, which I was pleased to see has now been repaired after the entrance hall was gutted by fire during an arson attack at 3am a few weeks ago. They just need to remove the black stains from the ceiling and the smell of smoke in the lift, and the place will be as good as new. But I digress...

I asked Lisa's Mum if she was planning to attend the workshop, but oddly she had better things to do. Coronation Street was on twice that evening. But as it turns out, it was her loss, because I discovered last night that the fruits of those film-making labours have now ripened on YouTube. So without further ado, I give you 'Welcome to the Bristol Estate'...

As the lady says, "you get the impression it's a rough area, but it's not that at all". Well, maybe slightly. Do watch the first ten seconds though, because they've managed to find the only flower on the whole estate, and you wouldn't want to miss that.

Anyhoo, I'm naturally fond of the area because I spent my weekends there on an inflatable mattress for two years, so that video brings back many happy memories. Right behind Katie in the opening shot is where my tyres were slashed eighteen months ago, and if you watch carefully as the camera pans across, you'll see the door to the bin area where people dump live hamsters. Unfortunately they failed to interview the drug dealers who live next door to Lisa's Mum, or the policemen who regularly turn up to arrest them, but there is a lot about the vegetable market.

And as the little girl says, "you can play all over the place". Which is undoubtedly true. It's usually in the turning space at the end of the road. I've come close to mowing down many a small child there in my time. Usually because they refuse to move out of the way. But on the bright side, my car's only been hit by a football on three or four occasions, and the kid who threatened to hit my bonnet with a cricket bat has probably matured a lot in the past year.

Not that I'm dissing the place. After all, I very nearly moved there. We viewed a very nice flat in Donald Hall Road around Christmastime 2005, and my brother was quite keen, but unfortunately someone had scrawled the word 'SCUM' on the front door of the flat opposite, and ultimately we felt that it might lower property values and stop me making friends, so we headed for Kemp Town instead.