transports of delight
4th October 2015
This last two weeks I’ve been mostly shooting precious metals.
There was a stage when the thing I’d done the most of was amongst the things I cared for least: football. For about five years every third call was from a breathless producer excited by exclusive access to some great player or hallowed bit of turf. Thanks, I said, but no thanks. The most famous footballer in the country refused to believe my indifference, put me in his complimentary seat at his own Premiership games. When word reached him that I’d been seen reading a book at Chelsea, he finally gave in.
I’ve always thought I’d been born with something missing. At my Secondary Modern only excellence on track or field earned respect. Interest in art, reading, nature and listening to what girls had to say was a guarantee of rather welcome social exclusion.
So I was surprised when, after four days shooting Ferraris rare and incredibly expensive for a BBC pilot, something stirred down in my DNA.
At an air-conditioned engineering company somewhere in Buckinghamshire, where the floors were white and the tools of stainless steel, a rusty wreck, a crumpled husk, remains of a collision fifty years ago, arrived from an American junk-yard. Before my very eyes a man I had previously considered sane said We Can Rebuilt It, began to calculate the possibility of bring it back from the dead. And for a moment I considered going halves.
Riding in all this feline machinery was revelatory. As I watched the needle creep towards the red line in the outside lane of the M6, jammed into a leather bucket seat without any safety belt, watching my own doom through the viewfinder, I think I felt what other men feel. A sort of interest. Appreciation, even. I wonder how Spurs are doing.