Above the clouds

High above the clouds above the Indian Ocean, the landmass of Australia behind me, three hours away from Singapore, it is sinking in that I resume my normal life in less than forty-eight hours. How much less I’m not sure as time zones confuse my mind as well as my body.

I had the obligatory mass panic at the start of my journey, thinking it had left my ‘phone in Loris and Ibb’s flat. I even called Ibb on a borrowed ‘phone. Fortunately it was in my bag, so the only problem was feeling foolish. Well it’s not the first time.

Sydney airport was busy and hot. Signs to toilets misled as some were being renovated. The free wifi was initially elusive. By the time I got myself organised my flight was being called and my seat was in the first group. As in my outward journey, my vegetarian meal was served in advance of everyone else’s. Passengers near me craned to see what I had, gave me curious looks. I ate and continued watching my first film: Florence Foster Jenkins. I saw Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant on Graham Norton some months back when the film first came out. It was more touching than I expected and a tear rolled down my cheek at the end.

Straight on to film number two: Marseille. I lived in Marseille for a year a long time ago, and the opening scenes of the city with Notre Dame de la Garde high up on the hill brought a wave of nostalgia that surprised me, but it was the sound if the Marseillais accent that really stirred my emotions. Time to go back for a visit. It was a fairly slight film, the sort of thing that would be made for television in the UK, with holes in the plot line you could drive a lorry through, but I loved every minute.

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With plenty of time to go, I have chosen my third film: Love Actually. Now two doses of Hugh Grant in one afternoon might seem a dose too many, or for some two doses too many, but I am looking for ward to this one. I saw it years ago, and remember only the scenes with Li am Neeson, or maybe Bill Nighy, with the boy sitting on the Southbank, facing the river. If you have followed this blog for a while, you’ll know I love the Southbank.

Anyway, I passed up the opportunity to watch the end of Love Actually on the television on Saturday night. It is Alison’s favourite film. We watched a scene or two and I realised I had forgotten the whole thing. I thought then I might borrow the DVD from the library, so the fact that I can see it nw seems meant, and it’s like a nice little bit of the people I met during my holiday.

I suspect I shall finish this at the hotel, where For the first time in four weeks I shall not know anyone. That feels quite an odd idea.

Later:

Well I did watch most of Love Actually, but I am in one of the seats by the emergency exit, so although we have twenty five minutes before we land, I have had to put my screen away. I was up to the last few scenes, so maybe if it’s on the next flight from Singapore to Heathrow, I’ll watch the end. I had completely forgotten it was set at Christmas time, so now understand why it is usually shown in December in Australia. Funny how we used to get The Great Escape. Bits were very poignant; Liam Neeson at his wife’s funeral, as of course he has been widowed since making this film; Alan Rickman who died this year. The little boy who plays Sam must have lived somewhere near me in the past as I used to see him with someone I presume was his mother, food shopping in our local Marks and Spencer.

Like so many things from not long ago, it seems impossibly innocent and hopeful. Who would have thought the 0s could seem so positive? There must be a moral in there if I look hard enough, something about appreciating the good during times that seem cynical and threatening.

Bizarrely I have just noticed that I seem to be online. This seems so unlikely I want to test it out, so I’m going to post now if I can.

It didn’t work!

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