I really don't think my feet have touched the ground since I got back from the Afritrex experience!
I had a few days work with Luke, who joined me through the first few weeks of the expedition, then I had a few days work with Owen who joined me for....none of the expedition and then I decided to head off again around the world to explore and discover another new country with the help of my dear girl Bre over in Vancouver, British Columbia!!
Then it all happened, and so damn quickly too...one day it was just a suggestion from a friend. "Ben there's the perfect job in the newspaper for you, you just have to go for it!!"
And I was handed a cut out from the Daily Mail advertising 'The Best Job in the World' by Emma along with being emailed by my Aunty in Spain to say...."get your ass into gear Ben, this one's for you!"
So we set to work, not really knowing exactly what we'd be coming out with at the other end, something witty, funny but intelligent and a genuine representation of exactly what I'm about and what makes me tick too. My girlfriend Bre is another source of my constant energy - we bounce off each other and her help writing an amusing summary of what I'm about was right up her street. I typical Bre style we created lists, scribbled lines out and practised them to each other, every time building confidence as I practised 'piece to camera' work for the first time on a few weeks since being on the road....all massively exciting though!!
We had our script, moved into the great British outdoors, and it was freezing cold in fact the day before the South of England experienced its worst snow for 20 years with gorgeous temperatures of -2c on the day, yikes!!
And this is where the amusing part of the day really took place, we'd finished off the main part of the filming, using a number of takes for each shot up to now, here on the banks of the freezing cold lake it really wasn't an option.
I'm sat there as Bre sets up the camera hidden in the hedge, in only a pair of shorts with a snorkel and mask on my head sitting on a cold wooden bench looking out onto an empty Hampshire lane.
"Are you ready Bre, its freezing out here?" I questioned
"Almost baby, just getting it level" she replied
"You know we have only ONE take on this so please make sure it works first time!" pleading to get everything just perfect to save me the pleaseure of freezing my knackers off for a second time.
Then just a we're about to shoot and Bre says 'action', along come a walker into my periferal vision....damn it we'd have to stop! So I sit back down, the inquisitive rambler unaware of Bre's presence in the bushes, he looks me up and down and continues to walk past me taking in and trying to register what he's seeing.
"It's prefectly normal behaviour you know" I explained.....to which he turned silently and kept walking!!!
With our observer out of the way I steadied myself for the shock of the freezing water, the unknown bottom to the pond and tried to establish my escape route back to the Land Rover, my towel and some form of heater (although Land Rover's aren't best for this!)
3...2...1 and I ran down the jetty stuffing the snorkel in my mouth and just launced off the end into the murky depths, my knees hitting something under water, my mask coming clean off my eyes and the snorkel seperating just outside my mouth leaving my lips open and allowing the grim water to fill my mouth! Ha just what I didn't want!
Here's the full version so you can see just how much fun it really was!
We raced back to the house, emptied the leaves and mud out of my boardies and sat in front of the fire laughing at my stupidity and tried to warm up whilst learning how to use Windows Movie Maker for the first time. Actually its damn easy and by 2am the finished version was there all done....ITS A WRAP!! - as I believe they say in the industry.
Its only when the total number of entries were announced that I realised quite how unlikely it was that my application would ever go any further....come on there must have been at least 50 better produced videos, 50 more qualified people and 50 more bikini girls than I could ever offer so assumed that my entry would fall by the wayside and be lost for enternity with only Bre and I remembering the fun and stresses we had shooting it!