Lesson #1: Wasabi is not made from Avocado

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Grenada
14th April, 2009
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Arrived after a very long flight and we were all shattered. Grenada is a beautiful island and it looks like it is going to be a very picturesque shoot. We all headed out for dinner and ventured into a Sushi bar – yes, a bit of strange choice for the Caribbean, but the fish restaurant was closed. It was Luke’s first foray into this Japanese delight and unfortunately we neglected to tell him that wasabi was a type of radish and not avocado. It was not a very pleasant experience.

Lesson #2: Sleeping above dogs is only good for deep sleepers

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Grenada
15th April, 2009
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It seems that nobody apart from me got any sleep last night. We are staying in an apartment above the GSPCA and one of the dogs decided that he would howl and bark his way through the night. Thankfully, I managed to get quite a bit of sleep –  I can sleep through pretty much anything. When I ventured out of my room in the morning it looked as if Adam wanted to throttle the aforementioned dog.

We were all a bit sleepy during the first day’s filming, constantly getting in each other’s way and not being able to string a complete sentence together. The button dog was an interesting case, although I think Luke was getting a bit annoyed at me for asking him the point of the buttons.

Lesson #3: Cold showers are cold

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Grenada
16th April, 2009
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I don’t like cold showers. Only 8 more days of them!

Lesson #4: Five beers don’t cost $20 on Carriacou

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Grenada
17th April, 2009
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The highlight of today will have to be the rescuing of a hawksbill turtle and releasing it back into the sea. They’re a critically endangered species and it was pretty lucky of us to be able to film one. However, as I’m sitting here on the veranda looking out over the beautiful beach that is directly in front of us all I can think about is the fact that I paid $20 for five beers from a bar by the beach after we filmed the turtle. The sun had obviously got to me and I thought I was back in London in some trendy media bar! I’ll never be in charge of our group money again… or maybe that was my plan…

Lesson #5: TV captures moments and also loses them

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Grenada
20th April, 2009
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We’ve been on Carriacou now for three days and there is a very relaxed atmosphere around the island. This has meant that although there have been some good stories it’s been hard to enthuse the locals into what we are doing. However we’ve managed to get some bits that I think will make an amazing programme and we still have a day to catch up on items in Grenada and hopefully find some more interesting cases.

Whilst we’ve been on Carriacou we’ve looked at the plight of critically endangered sea turtles: seeing how they are rescued and released back into the sea, filming them underwater and last night (at 3am) we filmed a leatherback turtle leaving her eggs on the beach. I don’t want to complain too much because it was a privilege to see such a sight, but on my way back to the apartment it dawned on me that sometimes with TV you don’t really experience these wonderful moments to the full. The crew is so caught up in getting it filmed correctly that we’re all stressed and not truly appreciating what is in front of us. And I think that’s a shame.

Lesson #6: Do not eat aeroplane food!

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Grenada
23rd April, 2009
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I’m sitting at Miami airport drinking my coffee and dunkin’ my donut waiting for my flight home. It’s been a good trip with some highs and some lows, but overall I think we’ve pulled off another great programme.

The long trip home hasn’t got off to a particularly great start as we were up at 5am and the “airline” who flew us from Greneda to Miami decided that offering us a complimentary breakfast was too generous a step in these “credit crunch” times. I decided to purchase a sandwich as I was famished, whereas the rest of the crew starved. I wish I had not bothered as for my $6 I received a stale roll with ten slices of processed ham and one slice of rubbery cheese. Yum! I can’t wait to return home and have a nice cup of tea.

On a final note for this trip, and in context of our conservation work with the turtles, I would like to highlight the plight of something that is very dear to me: my name. Luke has continued to call me “Bruce” on this trip and has even gone on to the next step of introducing me to people as “Bruce from Armenia”. This has resulted in most of the people we meet also calling me Bruce. Now Bruce is a lovely name and I don’t want to offend any Bruce’s out there: for example Bruce Forsyth seems like a wonderful person, but it’s not my name. And I’m only part Armenian, not actually from Armenia. Anyway… If you feel that you can help preserve the name Nathan and have some spare time to volunteer your services in this very worthy cause then please contact me and we can start to get a plan of action together.

Save the Nathan NOW!

Nathan’s (Bruce’s) Top Bruce’s
Bruce Lee
Bruce Wayne
Bruce Forsyth
Bruce Springsteen
Fiona Bruce
Bruce Parry
Bruce Almighty
Bruce Dickinson
Bruce Banner (The Hulk)
Bruce Willis
Bruce Campbell
Bruce Grobellar
Robert the Bruce
Bruce The Duck??? (Luke’s suggestion…)
Bruce the Aussie

Grenada Top Ten Music

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in Grenada
29th April, 2009
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Kate Bush – “Hounds of Love” – We played this in the car on Carriacou in a vain attempt to impart some English music on the local population
Doves – “Kingdom of Rust” – From their new album, which is great, but also because my walking boots are beginning to rust from all the sea water
The Korgis – “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes” – The point of the trip has been one of conservation (hence the learning) and the band is obviously named after a breed of dog…
Reverend and the Makers – “Heavy Weight Champion of the World” – It’s got the line ‘At School he used to dream about being Bruce Lee’
Divine Comedy – “Love What You Do” – Because we’ve met and worked with some people who truly love what they do
Grandaddy – “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot – It’s my flying song
Hard-Fi – “Cash Machine” – Because it’s surprisingly expensive in Grenada
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Maps” – Luke bought a map to take back home and I accidentally creased it when it was in his bag. He wasn’t too happy…
Billy Ocean – “When the Going Gets Tough” – There were some tough days on this trip, but we managed to get through them
Will Smith – “Miami” – We sat at Miami airport for a long 5hrs waiting to go home

We’re All Mad!

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in India
1st June, 2009
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Having just watched the film Network on our long haul flight to Bangalore I have come to realise that I am mad! I am mad of all this! And I want to stop this madness!

But enough of my madness… You are reading this because you are a devoted fan of Luke Gamble and his fun family adventures. I am really looking forward to seeing India for the first time – being part Indian I find it fascinating to learn about my heritage and see where my relatives where born. I’m also hoping we get the Armenia episode in at some point!

The trip has already got off to a great start as for breakfast on the flight I got a nice vegetarian omlette whereas my flying buddy Luke got a lovely Indian curry. Yum! He looked like he was really enjoying it… or maybe he was mad…

Animal Euthanasia

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in India
3rd June, 2009
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A long tiring day, but one full of events and great stories: India looks like it is going to be an interesting episode. We are looking at the big question of euthanasia in animals and at what stage it is deemed correct to put an animal “to sleep”. The debate on human-euthanasia is massive and often appears in the papers every couple of years as an article on the positives and negatives. But I think that it is pretty much a given in the UK that if a pet is terminally ill or has an expensive problem the animal will be put down without any hesitation, and I can’t recall ever seeing this issue ever being debated in national newspapers. Now I understand the argument that they are animals and we have some higher level of consciousness, but I do find it funny that it is accepted as the norm. However, at the Karuna Sanctuary we were presented with animals that looked in dire conditions – a dog dragging himself around with his two front legs – and yet they are cared for by the owners of the sanctuary, who feel that they do still have a good quality of life. They argue that having spent much time with these animals they can monitor and observe to ensure that their quality of life is never negated. And if it is then the creature will eventually be put down. I can see their point of view and admire their courage and tenacity, although I can’t believe that some of the dogs are comfortable dragging their hind-quarters behind them. Having said that I do hope that we portray the society in good light as they are truly doing a great job for many other animals.

On a completely different note I think the crew and myself might go on a bit of a detox on this trip as beer seems to be banned. You never know we might actually look like kung-fu stars by the end!

I Feel Cold in India

by Nathan the Assistant Producer, in India
4th June, 2009
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Well I don’t actually feel cold, but I do have a cold. I’m pretty certain the microphones today will have picked up my sniveling – I’ll blame any noise on radio interference…

At the sanctuary today I spotted the two-legged dog, who I had mentioned in my previous blog, only this time he was dragging faeces around in the bandage on his behind. I am told that the dog is actually incontinent and that he is like this much of the time. It was horrible to witness and although the bandage was eventually changed, after I pointed it out, this can’t be any sort of life for the poor creature. My own personal belief is that the dog should be put down.