A ride up Vesuvius
As I have been hinting from time to time, I am currently making a documentary about Pompeii. When I say "making", I mean presenting and having quite a lot of content input -- it's actually been "made" by an assortment of excellent producers, directors, camera- and sound-men. Two of these, Daisy and Paul, you see in the pic, over last night's pizza -- because we are now filming and today was our first day.
I am still amazed that it takes a weeks solid filming to make a programme that will run for 59 minutes on television, but I am beginning to see why. I'm also beginning to see the skill of imagining a programme in your head, but actually filming it in a completely different order
This morning we went to the Naples Archaeological Museum, to look at various things, especially some jewelry kept there. Television certainly lets you do things that you don't get away with usually in academic life, like trying on the rings and the bracelets. I'm not sure I wholly approve - but it was certainly a buzz. Who could be so cynical that they did not feel a buzz slipping on an armlet once worn by a dead Pompeian? Not me.
And in the afternoon we went up Vesuvius to get a look over the area once submerged by the eruption, and out over the sea (plus back into the crater, which was steaming slightly).
I had been prepared for a longish walk. But with all our equipment, we got a ride up in one of the "Park Rangers'" Fiat Pandas. And I took the lift back down again at the end of the day, while the others walked. My driver was Cosimo, who explained that he worked full time on the mountain -- and had just devised a "reconstruction spectacle", celebrating the Battle of Vesuvius, in which the slave Spartacus defeated the Roman legionaries, and due to be shown over five days this summer.
When we got back to base camp (as it were) everyone was clearing up, and the big dogs, which seemed to have some official role around the place, were being patted and packed off home. It reminded me how fascinating it always is to see a tourist place "after hours", and to get a glimpse of the infra-structure. It was a bit like the time we stayed in a hotel right opposite the pyramids outside Cairo and could watch from our bedroom window the tourist camels being put to bed for the night and got up again the next morning.
Anyway, it's now 7.00 pm here, and the "team" are just about to look at what they have shot today (of me...so I am a bit anxious). That's Chris the Camera in the hotel bar on the right -- inspecting what I will no doubt soon learn to call the "rushes".
And as soon as that is done we are off to supper.
On the pay per blog problem I will get back to you as soon as I have reliable news on the subject. Promise.