That is probably a misleading title because I don't actually have a fear of flying, I just dislike it intensely. Something about being confined in that small space (ironic given I had no problem with the small spaces in the caves), all the other people and the fact that it all feels out of my control... which I think is the real problem as I know I have issues with control! With any other form of transport I feel at least I have the option of stopping and getting off if I want. (Although the reality might be something else... it might not be that easy to stop a speeding train!). So given that I was going to be airborn for 7 hours to Dubai, then another 14 hours to Australia and finally 3 hours to New Zealand not to mention the 24 hours coming home too, I decided to turn my journey into something of a film and literary festival! In total I saw six films and read almost four books.
The Descendants... was okay and fairly entertaining given I was a captive audience, although I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it.
My Week With Marilyn... was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed this and thought that Michelle Williams was superb as Marilyn Monroe.
The Help... was also excellent. I had read the book a couple of months ago, which I also thoroughly enjoyed, and I think it was probably a good thing as the Jackson, Mississippi accents weren't easy to understand against the background of airplane noise. But this one I would like to see again.
The Artist... was delightful. I had my doubts after all the hype and the oscars but it didn't disappoint. It was original, charming and funny. And the little dog was an absolute star!
The Iron Lady... I didn't really fancy this being no great Thatcher fan but I was pleasantly surprised and actually found it enjoyable but quite sad, although think she lost the plot long before the onset of dementia.
War Horse... this was another film I didn't really fancy but I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. It was over romanticised, sentimental and far fetched but still a great story and a real epic of a film that totally absorbed me.
As well as watching films I also managed a fair bit of reading.
The Fine Colour of Rust by P. A. O'Reilly - Nancy very kindly passed this on to me and it arrived the morning I left. I read it cover to cover on the flight out and loved it. A really delightful feel good story set in rural Australia and laugh out loud funny in places too. My Mum is reading it at the moment but when she is finished I'll pass this on if anyone else fancies it.
Unless by Carol Sheilds... this was another excellent read although quite a thought provoking story looking at complex issues within a family. I read this for this for my book club this month so think I might have to be more eloquent in my review by the time we meet!
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes... I really enjoyed this story looking at memory and how our memories can be quite selective and how difficult it can be to discern what is actual truth and what we believe to be truth. Then when I got to the end I didn't understand what had happened at all and I wasn't sure whether this was deliberate or not. The main character is always being told "He doesn't get it" and I'm not sure I do either. As it's so short I'm reading it again in case I missed something!
And finally Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell... which I'm still reading, finding a bit strange and yet also quite compelling. It is six separate yet intertwined stories written in different styles or genres so quite unusual.
Now I'm back home I'll probably revert back to my usual 2 or 3 films a year and one book a month!