With the Oscar celebration of last night (yes people, for us here in Belgium the last of the Oscars were given away when we woke up) I had to think again of something of my trip to Kenya in 1981.
My sister and I had been on a safari for two weeks, and we had planned to end our trip with one more week in Mombasa. We stayed in a luxurious hotel (I almost fell down when I saw the room pricing - apparently we had got a room for more than 70% off) where everyone had his or her own waiter. The dinners were sumptuous affairs, and the people you met are now among the famous. We were befriended by a brother of Richard Branson, who was there with his wife and son (this one had an eye on my sister). Also friendly with us were the owners of an oil refinery on Cyprus and the big boss of Shell. Between brackets: there was an oil conference going on at that moment).
Now apart from all the nice people we met, I happened to meet 'John'. We were having coffee in the lounge, when suddenly a lanky American plopped down next to me, introducing himself by saying, 'Hi, I'm John'. From then on we called him like that. Everytime he saw me, he came over and it was apparent he wanted more than just talk to me. But I did not think a lot of him. He looked as if he sorely needed a bath in bleech water and his apparel could be better as well. He talked to me about him being in Kenya for over a year, exploring the possibilities of filming there. I did not believe a lot of what he said, but ....
Two or three years later, we saw a (delayed) broadcast of the Oscar celebration. And could you believe, when the producer of the best film came to the stage, we both recognized John!!! Well-dressed, not looking disheveled anymore.
I must admit I swore that moment. I could have had my chance to land a big time producer, one who could be interested of doing a film adaptation of my book about the Medici Diamonds. And then I'd write the script too and the Oscar would go to.... me! A nice dream, but I did not like John a lot. Shows how I am. I've turned down money more than once.
Anyway, if there is a director or producer among those who read this blog, they can always contact me! I truly believe my book would make a good film, full of action, adventure and romance. And I'd cast Johnny Depp as Cartouche, he's just right for it!