Tom Guttry is the film producer who I spent the fortnight guiding around the Isle of Man. He's the 'hands-on' guy for the four(!!!!) production companies involved in the development of Riding Man as a feature film. Over the two+ weeks, I tried to check as many boxes as possible for him, showing him a selection of different-character spots on the TT course, and introducing him to a selection of the characters I met when I lived here. Some of them are, ah, 'different' too, to say the least.
One must-see spot was the Fairy Bridge. To be honest, it's not one of the nicer or more scenic bridges-over-streams on the Isle of Man. And there are days when the trees over the stream, and crevices in the rockwork, festooned with souvenirs and notes, strike me as that much litter. Still, I try to remember to bid the fairies 'hello' every time I cross.
On the Thursday of race week, quite a few bikers stopped by. One foreign guy asked me, in heavily accented and broken English, who'd died there. That's an honest mistake, as anyone who's lapped the TT course is so used to makeshift memorials that look similar. I don't think he understood me when I explained that no one had died here, it was a place people came to leave notes and little presents for the Manx fairies, and to ask for good luck.
Tom made a wish. I warned him not to tell me what it was, or to ask for too much and anger the fairies with greed or hubris. (Those, I admit, are not official rules for communicating with fairies. I told him that only because to me, that's a common courtesy.) Presumably, he wished for success in his effort to turn Riding Man into a feature film, so rather than bore the fairies with a similar wish, I asked for a different favor.
I placed my own wish, written on a tiny scrap of paper torn from my Moleskine (I know, what a snob, eh?) in a tiny snail shell, the snail long dead and his shell stuck to the wall by a thick impasto of white paint. Some Isle of Man public employee had painted the stones of the bridge as part of the general pre-TT beautification program, I guess.
In hindsight, I suppose that I put my note in the empty home of a slow guy. I hope the fairies have a suitable sense of irony.