I haven’t managed to get to a computer since I flew in early on Saturday morning, but have been recording snippets of clarity (or not) on my Handspring, which has also been a darling in facilitating my Making Of Lists and resultant (surprising) efficiency these few days.
So. Here be randomness, made marginally less random by chronological arrangement.
* * *
When most of your packing is incomplete and you’re on a flight in three hours, the most important thing you need to be doing is probably not arranging and re-arranging tacky metal letters on a tacky leather strap to see what words you can make, but this is, of course, what I found myself doing on Friday evening. My sister bought me a bag when she went to China recently. It was in almost all respects a very nice bag, except for the fact that on its front, shiny metal letters strung on a leather strap screamed MOSCHINO. After unpicking the strap and removing M,I, C and H thinking they might come in useful some time, I was left with O, S, N and O, which I fiddled around with a bit before settling on SNOO, which somehow appealed to me. Enigmatic. Fun to yell.
* * *
The in-flight entertainment on the plane wasn’t particularly promising this time – nothing I particularly wanted to watch except for stuff I’d already seen, but I couldn’t resist Coming To America, which I know in such frightening detail that it was a real effort restraining myself from joining in at “Freeze, you diseased rhinoceros pizzle!” The audio track to Moulin Rouge got inexplicably mixed up with the audio track to A Knight’s Tale, so after watching people doing the can-can to We Will Rock You for a few minutes (strangely appropriate, actually) I decided, and I maintain, only after all this, to switch to Bridget Jones’ Diary, for the nth time. With my Handspring, foldable keyboard and a dry martini on the table in front of me, and Colin Firth a foot away on the screen, I almost forgot I was flying economy class.
* * *
(written in absolute joy on Saturday morning)
I’m in my hall, sitting next to the window in my room, and despite having just gotten off a thirteen-hour flight with very little sleep and hauling my gargantuan suitcase across London and up three flights of stairs (with help from Justin, who thankfully responded to my unsubtle hints about men being strong and him being a Real Man), right now I feel like I want to sweep all of London up in my arms and kiss everyone hello.
The airbus from Heathrow was almost empty, which you’d expect at 6.34 am, and I sat on the top deck right in front, not caring that the sun was shining into my eyes because the vapour trails in the sky were worth risking blindness for.
(note to self, though: readjust paranoia from rock-bottom Singapore level to reasonably high London level. When probably-well-meaning guy helps you lug your suitcase onto the bus and remarks that it’s very heavy, replying “Well, it’s got my entire life in it!” is perhaps not the best of responses, given the slim but ever-present possibility that probably-well-meaning guy might turn out to be fucking-arsehole-thief guy.)
I got into the hall and my room, freshened up a bit and decided that morning mass would be a good thing to do. Finding out I was the only congregant put me on tenterhooks for a while (what if I suddenly forget the Hail Mary? what if I don’t stand up and sit down when I’m supposed to when I can’t just follow what everyone else is doing?) but everything went well, and I managed to make the minor liturgical re-adjustments from Singapore to London (“sins” -> “trespasses”, “do not bring us to the test” -> “lead us not into temptation”, which I vastly prefer) without any major mishaps.
After mass there were familiar faces at breakfast, familiar Saturday papers reminding me how London is teeming with things to do, familiar toast-burning toaster…and through all this I was feeling like I couldn’t stop smiling, that there was nothing I didn’t feel like doing, no one I wouldn’t be happy to see, that everything, at least right now, is as good as it gets.