Crude Diaries

Who is he?

Location Dad's house in Oxfordshire | Mood Walking on air | Date 29 April 2006
"Who is he?" said my stepmum as I bowled into their kitchen like a puppy let off the leash, but before I'd said a word. Ha ha ha, she knows me very well.

Girl meets boy

Location Organic farmhouse in Kent | Mood Lovestruck teenager | Date 27 April 2006
Despite numerous invigorating discussions with my 12 fellow filmmakers - half from Camden Town, half from rest of planet - and plenty of excellent solutions to Crude's various problems - I have now officially lost all interest in films, filmmaking, Crude, climate change and saving the world. And, what's worse, I've done so for the oldest reason in the book: girl meets boy. Unfortunately, the particular boy has now gone back home. Back to Tel Aviv, a 6-hour, 0.47 tonne flight away.

Filmmaking think-tank

Location Train to Kent | Mood Anti-social, unintelligent, grumpy | Date 23 April 2006
Bounced home for just 16 hours last night - washed clothes, played with cats, debriefed by Head of Security (sister) - then straight onto a four-day residential filmmaking think-tank thing in a big farmhouse in Kent. Sounded like a good idea a few weeks ago, but right now all I want to do is wake up every four hours or so to eat more vegetables.    

This Crude idea might just work

Location Boat back from big women's protest | Mood Caged animals planning escape | Date 20 April 2006
Seem to have accidentally become some sort of focal point for the protesters. There's a constant stream of people coming for meetings at our hotel at all times of day and night - suspect it may be because Robinson is doling out free drinks with our money.

Only cash talks in Nigeria

Location Guarding gear in car park of yet another bank while Lizzie negotiates inside | Mood Light at end of tunnel | Date 21 April 2006
Very hard to get veggie food in Nigeria so the avocado and peanuts on stale

Childhood recurring nightmare comes true

Location Hotel room in Warri | Mood Really tired | Date 19 April 2006
Cold, hard custard and dry white bread for breakfast anyone? The plaintain is lovely.

Have we walked into a trap?

Location In chief's bed in village in heart of trouble area | Mood Surprisingly calm and clear-headed | Date 16 April 2006
Found our fourth Crude character yesterday. She is Layefa Malemi , a 22-year-old who has been fishing all day every day for the last two years to save up enough money to go to medical school so she can become a doctor and work in her village. She is quiet, calm, intelligent and funny. Absolutely perfect.

Hands in the air to "prove" you don't have weapons

Location In bed with Lizzie in hotel in Warri, Niger Delta. Not good idea to have separate rooms and the cockroaches have put her off another night on the floor. | Mood Angry | Date 16 April 2006
No weapons here

Flying over Nigeria's gas flares

Location Curiously carpeted bedroom, Port Harcourt, Niger Delta | Mood Nervous tension | Date 10 April 2006
Had a last-minute first taste of Nigeria at the visa office yesterday, where all paperwork is stamped with "this form is not for sale" and the visa man tried to sort a quick business deal - cash upfront - between us and his real or imaginary clubbing pals. (Our cover story being that we're on a mission to bring Nigerian house music to the UK, for our friend's (real) record label.)

How to tell if the AK47 pointed in your face is loaded

Location My ever-confused house, now doubling as military training centre | Mood Nervous tension bordering on hysteria | Date 5 April 2006
  After various friends and family calmly and touchingly and repeatedly asked me not to go to Nigeria, I thought the least I could do to take their concerns seriously was a Hostile Environments training course.