'Pablo! Hurry up and get ready, you're late for school!' I flung the covers off in a semi-comatose panic and sat bolt upright in bed, my heart racing. I had been having a most agreeable dream about... well, never mind, and to have it suddenly ripped out of my consciousness was very disorienting. I sat there, swaying a bit and rubbing my eyes, wondering why I needed to go to school, what I was doing in an unfamiliar bed and why there was a large Labrador sitting at the foot of said bed, grinning at me and whumping its tail on the wooden floor. In front of me was a bay window, looking out onto mist-covered hills, and as the mist in my head began to clear, bits of reality began to fall into place. I was certainly not in my own bed; no, I was in a spare bed in the house of Mansoor Khan (of QSQT and JJWS fame – and if you don't know what those are, find out) and his wife Tina Fonseca, the mist and hills outside the window were because the house was in Coonoor, the grinning dog was the resident pet and, most importantly, there was no need for me to sling on a uniform and go off and throw paper planes at teachers – the Pablo being referred to was Mansoor and Tina's son, not me.
The obvious question here is 'What on earth were you doing in their house?'. Well, therein lies an interesting story. If you come from a well-respected film background, and are a successful director in your own right, what do you do a few films down the line? Why, you chuck it all up and head for the hills, of course, there to start an organic farm and then to make cheese. Acres Wild, the farm he and Tina run and live on, is also the brand name under which they market their freshly-made cheese. I've known the family in a tangential sort of way for a while now, and when I heard that Mansoor and Tina had become cheese makers of some renown, a trip up to their farm was but the work of a phone call.