Today we decided to follow Neil as he set off on the first part of his Hansel journey. He will be playing English classical music against various iconic English scenic backdrops, so where better to start than Beachy Head, the starting point of The South Downs Way?
There was something familiar in the air when we arrived at the Sussex clifftop, and it wasn't just the welcome smell of the sea; there was Shetland-style wind, enough to blow you to France if you let go of the handrail and you weighed somewhat less than I do. But what a view! It's a magnificent sight, and well worth dragging all the camera equipment up the hill for.
Neil had chosen Elgar's Cello Concerto for this particular spot, and it sounded so perfect there – quintessentially English and utterly glorious.
Nearby there was a brand new memorial monument to RAF Bomber Command, installed only the week before. Whilst Simon and Roseanne filmed Neil, I encountered Brian Giles taking photos of the stone memorial. He turned out to be a former member of 542 Squadron, an aerial reconnaissance group who had photographed the Möhne dam before 617 Squadron destroyed it with Barnes Wallis' 'bouncing bombs' in 1943 during WW2. Brian had come to take photographs of the memorial prior to a squadron reunion due to take place next week. He was passionate about the work of the unit, and had many stories to tell, some of them very moving. One of the best things about this project is the people you get to meet along the way, all with their stories to tell. Today was no exception.
Once filming was over, we set off for Salisbury, a journey which took far, far longer than we had expected, but an interesting one for all that. As we drove into this beautiful city the first thing we saw was a banner proclaiming the arrival of The Olympic Torch on Wednesday......we just keep catching up with it (or is it catching up with us?).