Finally, welcome to my new site… as torturous an experience I can recall until the last two days, loading the manuscript and jacket of I,Gabriel on to various on-line book publishing platforms – harder in fact that writing the blinking book.
This site is designed with ease and accessibility in mind, for instance, the comments section on this blog now works. My blog is more central, as are my books and lest forget the button, ‘book a show near you’ – my first enquiry of which has come through this morning and I will get to anon.
The site was supposed to be ready July 1st – allowing me a full 28 days of blogging and posting ahead of July 29th and the release of I,Gabriel and here I am, July 17th. Best laid plans and all that…
So probably there will be a few blogs to come as I have much to report and including The Brothers Trust screening day last Sunday…
But for now, a funny instance that occurred just over a week ago – which beautifully encapsulates and demonstrates the best and worst characteristics of us frail and vulnerable human beings.
Delighted to have Tom home and with Spider-Man Far From Home riding so high at the Box Office, life is good and Nikki and I were out with Tom in London one evening at a very public event.
As you can imagine, Tom is visible now. His face is on buses and billboards all about the place, not to mention all over big screens-and-small. Tom is becoming well known, famous even and this might be interpreted as the cost of his success. Because people are excited when they see him and even more so when it is out of context and unexpected. Seeing a ‘celebrity’ (I don’t enjoy using this word to describe my son and not because I am jealous) at a ‘star studded’ event is less exciting than seeing say, a ‘movie star’ (see my previous comment in brackets) on a residential street in South West London.
And with this in mind I am instinctively protective of Tom and his privacy. Whilst I understand the excitement and the love, my parental DNA to protect him kicks in and my hope that Tom’s life can remain normal, or as normal as possible. And so I am happiest then, when people don’t freak out when they see him and to this end, I emit involuntary vibes of leave him alone.
To the other evening then…
Tom and I are ahead on a busy street trying to hail a cab or an Uber. Nikki is some way behind (sore feet?). A bunch of exuberant lads who have been at the same event are ahead of us. I clock them immediately and quickly call upon my best security guard look which happens to be completely blunt and ineffective.
As we pass, one lad spots Tom and does the customary double-take.
“Bloody hell, that’s Spider-Man.”
A cheer goes up and then a jeer because the guy is not believed. Tom will have heard this also but doesn’t break stride. From behind me, I now hear a general conflab…
“That bloke there. I’m serious, that’s Spider-Man.”
“It is. I’m serious? I’ve Just seen Far From Home. That geezer is…”
I risk a glance back – hoping that they are not giving chase – and I am still emitting my best ‘leave him alone’ energy – the way any protective parent would – which brings me to one of the best human traits of all – being a parent and the need to protect our young.
But this quickly expires which this takes me by surprise and then amuses me…
As the conflab continues, someway back now but my ears are straining and I can still most of the exchanges.
“That bloke up there… I am telling you, that is Tom Holland.”
“Who’s Tom Holland?”
And this stops me.
Who is Tom Holland?
Are you serious?
Graham Norton three times. Billboards. 5 movies as the web slinger…
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you what is known, as the ego.
Something that we all have and can be debilitated by unless we keep it in check and at bay at all times.