Monday, 13 June 2011

Matilda, Money, and the Magnificently Marvelous Mark Watson

Right, you may think this is a blog about things that start with M's. But actually, it's about my incredibly lovely day filled with funny, caring people. I'm always amazed how kind people are to me. I've no idea what on earth I've done to deserve this, but I'm just taking it while it lasts. The luck seems to have lasted (minus that one breakdown around Xmas holidays) for a year and a half. Absurd, but unbelievably fun.

First, in the morning, I woke up late. I had a dream that I was going to die in the dark if I didn't find the thing that killed people. The answer to getting rid of the evil thing was the one tiny difference in the room. The answer was that there was one more paint chip on the porch rail, so I crushed a log like a cool burnt marshmallow while my friend's geography teacher looked on. Logical, I know.

Then, before school, I got a message from someone I only vaguely know of offering to send me a bit of lyrics and sheet music from the musical Matilda. I LOVE figuring out Matilda songs from clips from RSC previews, but I can't figure out the full songs. Today, I am VERY lucky. Plus, there's no way I can go wrong! It's sheet music (although I'm not very good with sheet music), so I can only learn it the right way (with help from my piano teacher). 

At lunch, I ran home to get some video games to then sell to my friends. I lost them on the way to school in the backseat of the car to a stupid zipper incident, but again, luckily I found them. Mum gave me a ride back to school (the kindness continued) and I made $125 by selling a 4 old games and a 5 year old Nintendo DS Lite. I feel like I may as well use money as a fan like that guy in the Cash Man ads. This will definitely help me to save up to go to Montreal in July (I will blog about this separately).

Then, I came home and the best thing of the whole day happened.

My Oxfordian British friend Cathy went to see Mark Watson do his book talk about his new novel "Eleven" and the process of making it. It was apparently an endearingly tiny gig, in what seemed to be a bookkeeper's attic sort of space. No stage, and Cathy was in the front row, about a foot away from where he sat. I would've done almost anything to see that. If you don't know who he is, YouTube him now and come back. He's a lovely comedian, and I adore his writing.

Since she told me about said show about a week before she went, and she offered to buy me a copy of Eleven and send it to me, signed by him (at which point I squealed in glee). She also said she'd give him a letter from me if I wrote one (glee turned to grinning so big your field of vision is obstructed by your chipmunk-like cheeks). She's unbelievably thoughtful and funny , this woman is. Makes me happy whenever we chat, whether it be about the crazy weddings she's seen as a florist in Oxford, or about comedy, or about her memories of being a little girl who moved to Canada as a tiny child, growing up in Canada, then moving to Oxford and having to relearn the British accent. She's beyond amazing. Truly great friend.

Anyways, I wouldn't even begin to think of not writing a letter for Mark Watson, so I wrote this for her to print off:
Dear Mark Watson,

I've been a fan of yours for about a year now, but in that time, I've watched, read, and listened to as much of your stuff as I can find. I just wanted to say you've made me appreciate life a little more, with the "no santa claus versus a dead mum" perspective. You can't help but be grateful with that mentality. 
Thanks for your funniness and your writing. A Light-Hearted Look At Murder is the only book of yours I've had access to (thanks to Sarah K/h2osarah), but it's my favourite book. You've definitely got another fan here in Canada, and I will meet you somehow, once I've graduated high school. Give Cathy a hug for me for her incredible kindness, and keep doing what you're doing. 

Lots of love,
Your 14-year-old, piano-playing, nerdy, Torontonian fan
Julianna xoxoxo

After the gig, Cathy and a couple of my other friends in UK went to meet him (some for the first time, others he knew from before), and Cathy gave him the letter. Dialogue:

Cathy: This is from Julianna in Toronto. 
Mark: Oh really? 
Cathy: Yeah... you don't have to read it though (there was a big line of people behind her). 
Mark: *tears open the envelope so avidly he almost rips the note inside, and reads* Apparently, he was genuinely thrilled to get it. He kept smirking and making little "oohs" and "ahh" noises when he read the note. This makes me extremely happy.
Mark: Thank her for taking the time to write me. How does she spell her name again?
Cathy: *spelled it a couple of times*
Mark: Pretty name. *signed my book*

And there ends the episode. Small and insignificant to most, but it makes me grin to the point that my eyes turn squinty, I scrunch them, and I dance around the house like a fool.
Julianna xoxo

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