A personal column by the Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers
I booked a day off work last week to watch more than 30 films in seven hours.
The films were short and the cause was a good one – helping to judge an international filmakers competition in the forthcoming second annual Harrogate Film Festival.
Hardly hard work, our location was comfy to a fault, Everyman cinema, and the company was great, too.
My movie judging colleagues included Brian and Henry from Harrogate Film Society, Rachel from Harrogate Theatre, Sarah from Raworths, Chelsea from Everyman and the festival’s organiser himself, Adam Chandler.
It has to be said I really enjoyed last year’s inaugural festival and, once again, the short film competition is something Adam can be proud of, having attracted 400 high quality entries from 40 countries around the globe.
Despite being a movie marathon, the task in hand was in no way a chore; I’ve been a massive film buff for 40 yearor more aand I’ve seen a million films.
Another 30 or so wasn’t going to hurt.
As an experience, however, the whole thing did feel a little bit odd.
Here we all were, sitting in darkness together staring at the light from a film screen for hours on end.
Time almost seemed to stand still until, that is, towards the end of the afternoon, when I looked out of Everyman’s wide windows towards the outside world at the junction of Albert Street, Station Parade and Station Bridge.
It was just as dark outside as in now but there below us twinkling in the gloom were the lights of buses and cars, people scurrying around, everyone else getting on with their normal daily lives.
I guess Harrogate Hospital must have grown accustomed to the sight of me arriving in my gym gear for my weekly circuits. I certainly hope so.
I’m not some sort of quiet exhibitionist and it’s not an example of an eccentric whim. Honest.
I’m just in a hurry and it saves a bit of time if I don’t have to change in the hospital gym’s changing room.
I have to adit this habit of doing things too quickly on a regular basis also explains the occasional spelling mistake in my work.
Not everything that turns out wrong in print these days is a case of ‘fake news’.
Still, I accept it must look odd to some people when I make my entrance through the hospital’s sliding doors in shorts and T-shirt - especially at this time of year.
The weather conditions in the last month or must have heightened that perception for, as I went past the hospital’s reception desk the other week, the person on duty shouted out with a jaunty voice “is it shorts weather now?”
“It is getting slightly warmer,” I replied sheepishly as I shook the slush off my shoes.