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Bardsey Island Observational Research Project

Dodging the Draft

The story now opens with Hen aka old 1939 girl in the nursing home where she lives packing to go on her holiday. Beth aka 2010 girl is fighting her Mum because she doesn’t want to leave London. She is a brat and her first word is fuck.

I hate my script now. I pulled back to see their ordinary world and now I hate them both. I hate her mother. I hate her brother. I hate the whole project. I long to write it as a story. When bratty Beth stamps her foot I want to see through her eyes her disgust at the sheep shit that has splattered up her jeans.

For the sake of this thing called a camera I have to change completely how I write. I can’t put the reader where I need them to be. It’s driving me mad. Every new way I try to work this out I end up with the same stale wordy mess.

I want to do this my way. That will mean voice over and other no-nos that we have been warned about. I don’t care if it would make a bad film – because it’s never going to be one anyway.

I don’t care if my story has the island ‘skewed’ to seem like it has a noble primitiveness that the audience won’t understand. I don’t care if I glorify the past. There are plenty of people who go to Bardsey that do glorify it, who do believe they are better cut off from the rest of the world on that island. That’s how it is. That’s the arena I went to.

I can’t extract Bardsey from Wales, the Welsh culture, its noble and mystical heritage. I can’t move it somewhere more accessible to the non-Welsh, town-dwelling audience. Bardsey is in Wales. To be on Enlli is to be cut off in many ways from the ‘real’ world. The world as it is today. That is the reason a lot of people go there. That is what it’s like when you get there.

And I have a debt – to Wales, to Bardsey and to the people that welcomed me to the island – to be truthful and gentle in my representation of such an important place. I also owe it to them to do a skilful job.

And right now I’m not in possession of those skills!

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