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10th May 2011

So goes the word of the song --- almost too much I would say, well never too much, life is short and can be sweet. Sweet certainly is this wonderful, glorious weather and the stunning time of the year in England, spring, with all the flowers and blossoms. I dont often pray for the weather, but I did offer a quiet prayer for the Wedding to have good weather, especially for all those, who braved the streets in tents and wave the Royal couple on to their new life. I do love and wonder at those people, especially when you can see everything so well on television. It was a lovely day, lovely ceremony, serious but not too serious as the young people have brought a lighter touch to the Monarchy. I had two dear friends over for the day and we drank champagne, toasted the couple and ate smoked salmon sandwiches, good fun, rather old fashioned, but pretty good.

I know as an actor, I should sit on the fence politically and not say too much that pontificates and preaches, but I do think that the death of Bin Laden and the way it was achieved, was a good thing. And the pictures of him that followed, as a sad old man watching videos of himself, were not exactly inspiring. I often wonder if he really believed in, all he said, he believed in, but just wanted to "make his mark", good old ego again. Whatever the truth, plenty of people paid for his fanaticism and I do not believe his departure from this world, nor the nature of it was a bad thing, despite the well meaning statements from certain people about "justice". My English uncle was in the SAS and he did talk a bit about it and what it felt like, once you were "in the field" and the amount of time to make decisions and sadly they were not about morality and justice, although that's why they were there in the first place. I often wonder how many lives might have been saved if Hitler had been successfully assassinated? Well enough of all that.

We will soon be making our next New Chilling Tale in the US and I am excited, we have so many good people attached. Now we have an excellent actor Darren Burrows (NORTHERN EXPOSURE) to star in it. It seems that Edgar Allan Poe was his favourite writer and THE TELL TALE HEART his favourite story, so that makes it even more exhilarating. We dont have a lot of money for this, but when you have good people who are committed and passionate about what they are doing, the lack of money often makes that commitment even more determined and effective.

Yesterday I went to a very interesting writing seminar at BAFTA. I went because my old friend Julian Fellowes was invited to discuss and critique the sample script showcases we saw. I must say that these writers of these screenplays were quite brave. They were showcasing selections from their scripts, with real actors and then opening the 10 pages or so open to discussion with the audience and Julian. I have to say he really is a very entertaining and intelligent man, always has been and he doesn't, hasn't changed despite all his success. Actually I think this is the mark of a really successful person, they are grounded and mature enough, not to change (have their head turned by success). The selection of material we watched ranged from pretty bad, to potentially quite good to very good. The interesting thing about the middle one, which had potential, but not there yet, was the writer definitely had potential, but was too close to the material and too in love with the jokes, that they were taking over the story and he couldn't bear to give them up. Hopefully this will not stand between him and ultimate success.

Since I am not being offered all the acting jobs I would like now, I have taken to writing and am just completing my first full length feature film, after bleating all these years about the actor not being able to do his job, if the writer hasn't done theirs properly first. Whew what a task, it is not easy - a real challenge. It's only those geniuses like Shakespeare who seemed to be able to churn out the work so easily. We lesser mortals with feet of clay, find it less easy. But I am a stubborn so and so and will press on, as it fills the creative gap that acting leaves.

That's all for now folks. Next time from the US! Jane

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