A delay inthe blog as we were in Dubai for a week, visiting our son Stuart, daughter in law Catherine and 15 month old twin granddaughters Abigail and Lola, who are now energetic bundles of fun. One of my Australian colleagues said that you love your children and fall in love with your grandchildren, and of course, as a soppy old grampa, I agree. We left Dunbar in snow showers and 2 degrees. In Dubai, it was 28-31 degrees and wall to wall sunshine. Back home today – it’s still grey, cold and the occasional blizzard. It’s an amazing contrast to go within 24 hours from feeling the bite of the sun at 31 degrees, to feeling the different bite of the strong east wind on your slightly suntanned face. The flight to Dubai from the UK is between 7 hours and 7.5 hours, depending on direction – so a relatively short flight for those of us used to travelling to Australia every year. When you think about air travel, it’s a very odd experience. On the one hand, it’s a private experience, as we all have our own seats and can choose whether or not to talk to others. Also, we all do different things during a flight e.g. some people watch film after film, others read more and watch less, while others – to me the strangest of all travellers – do nothing except sleep and stare into the middle distance. The one thing about long distance travelling I noticed, is that your taste level in relation to films can drop dramatically. When you get to that stage when you are too tired to read but not tired enough to sleep, you will watch films which you would never go the cinema to see or watch on TV. On the other hand, this is a very public experience, similar to being in a theatre audience. You are addressed collectively by the crew and organised collectively to board, and keep seated for take off and landing. I am half way through reading Sharon Olds’ award winning book of poems Stag’s Leap. It’s the story her divorce and is a collection of very frank, honest, touching and often heart rending poems. If this sounds like a dreary set of poems, it’s not. One judge commented “Her journey from grief to healing is so beautifully executed”. Yes, there is pain and grief, but there is also humour and, despite her loss (her husband left her for another woman), the poet values what was rich in the marriage, although some readers may think that she shows too much tolerance for her ex. There is some beautiful turns of phrase in the book and I recommend it highly.
Sunshine and snow, air travel and Stag’s Leap