Mike has had to take time out of his busy schedule being a gamekeeper to play one on TV. There's a new reality show destined for the US market called Ladies of London (I think that's the working title). The cast includes the incumbent Countess of this estate who will be having a shooting lesson with her friends under Mike's instruction as part of the show. It is one of the duties of a gamekeeper to assist his family and any guests with shooting requirements, and this certainly counts. Much to Mike's horror.
He's had to put on his full set of wool tweeds for the filming, and the temperature today is over 30C. An introverted man by nature, and still conscious of his scars from the accident, he's just walked out of the house looking like a man on his way to his own hanging. It will be good for his personal healing process to face this challenge, but Mike's still hoping that these scenes end up on the cutting room floor.
I want to be as supportive as possible and Mike is a simple man, so instead of talking to him about his feelings, when he returns from his ordeal he will find a warm gooseberry crumble waiting for him. Lady S has let me have her gooseberry harvest as she's not fond of the fruit herself. It's Mike's favourite (I told you, simple tastes). While he was sweating in his wool suit, I walked to the fruit cage in the walled garden and picked a kilo of gooseberries and made him an "I'm sorry you have to do this, but it'll be OK" crumble.
Mike came home looking both tired and baffled. He's not used to seeing breast implants or enhanced lips. He asked me why they do that to themselves. Where do I start to give him an explanation? To Mike who has been through many painful re-constructive surgeries, he sees plastic surgery as a form of self-harming.
It's safe to say he hasn't caught the acting bug.
I could have stood and watched the filming, and taken a few photos for the blog but I haven't got the 'bug' either. Besides, I had to de-flea the dogs, help a friend trailer her horse, and the leg of venison we're having for dinner wasn't going to cook itself. And I've seen fake boobs already thanks. You'll just have to watch the programme if you want pictures.
The young Countess-to-be was happy, so therefore Mike's happy. And the BBC provided so many cartridges that there's enough leftover for 3 days' practice at the shooting club. Mike came home after four hours' filming and peeled off his tweeds, and ran straight out to check and feed his birds. Real gamekeepers have to deal with real livestock.
I don't know how to break this to him, but filming of a new adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd starts in September on this estate. On the up side, I don't remember a gamekeeper in that book. I'll tell him to be thankful it's not Lady Chatterley's Lover. September's apple season - I can always make him another crumble.