Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Off to Malaysia!

This was the first time we were flying using Qatar airlines. It is an eight hour trip to Doha and an hour to get off the plane and onto our link to K.L. for another eight hours! We had an allowance of 23 kilos and when we get to the check in counter I always have to hold my breath as I worry about our luggage being overweight, it's not because I have packed too much but because a certain person keeps adding bottles and other goodies he thinks we can't live without! I remember eleven years ago when we flew to Australia for Chris and Diana's wedding and I unpacked my suitcase on arrival and between us there were seven bottles!! That is without the duty free stuff! Nothing has changed. The routine now is...I pack my case and if it is interfered with, it is without my knowledge!! On arrival in addition to the bottles we had a couple of fillet steaks and blocks of cheese! Next will be the kitchen sink!

Nicks favorite!

I try not to be too negative about the long journey and the first thing I do is suss out the movies on the entertainment channel. I was desperate to see "Quartet" but could see "A Late Quartet" advertised so I thought maybe I had got the name wrong. I settled down to watch this movie and was not disappointed! It was really good. The main plot was about four musicians three men and a woman who have been playing together in a string quartet for twenty four years. While two of the members are married with a daughter, the woman has a different relationship with each of the other players. As the Quartet approaches their twenty fifth anniversary concert one of the ensemble reveals that he has a debilating illness and will have to step down. This was indeed a lovely movie to watch accompanied by beautiful chamber music. Highly recommended.


I still wasn't sure that this was the movie that had been recommended and on arrival in K.L. Nick was proud to demonstrate his new T.V. And music centre and he loaded up the real thing I was looking forward to and I was able to sort some of my jet lag out by watching Quartet. This movie is set in an old age home. This home surpasses any Old Age home I have ever seen....a beautiful building set in magnificent surrounds. In fact the film was made in its entirety at Headsor House in Buckinhamshire. The home is used exclusively for retired musicians and the story centres around organizing a concert to raise funds to keep the home open. It has a magnificent cast of Bob Comolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins amongst others and is directed by Dustin Hoffman. A truly lovely experience.

These two movies plus The Best Exotic Marigold hotel have to be the best three movies I have seen for a long time. The common theme and thread running through them all is that they are about "older" people and two of them are specifically about retirees!! Is this why they are so appealing? Or do young people also enjoy them?

Not to be too single minded I also watched "Safe Haven". The movie is an American romance based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. The critics have given the film between on and three stars I do think it will appeal more to the feminine sect! While talking about movies last night we watched "Broken" which also gets about a three star rating. Warren was so upset that he wanted us to switch off. The story is set in North London where several broken and dysfunctional families live in close proximity to each other. A young girl witnesses a violent fight between a neighbour and a retarded young man who is blamed for raping his promiscuous daughter. It is all very possible and upsetting. As Nick says who wants to bring kids up in England?

At this rate I may just get through "The Thousand movies to see before you die."

It is great being back here and seeing Nicks new apartment, having lots of time with Joshua and spending

time with Moira.



I am back swimming.....the first after nearly a year. Maybe I will get rid of some of those kilos I have piled on!


Keeping Busy.



After a week at home with Oscar we are back in the Golden City. Oscar is back at school and we are getting ready to fly to Malaysia. It was fun having the little fellow with us but it does mean that one has to put most projects aside and just be there for him. 


Fortunately I have this lovely friend Bridget, who has Jonathan who is two turning three and Bridget pointed me in the right direction for holiday activities for little ones.It was fun being part of the Yummy Mummy brigade and being reminded about those early years of bringing up children!



We baked, dressed up, read, and went out and about as much as possible. We even went to a book launch with Tina Scotford at the Book Boutique.


I purchased "Saving the Rhino in the Land of Kachoo". I am so glad I bought this book. I brought it to Malaysia for Joshua who is turning five and he LOVES it. In three days he has heard the story five times! He loves it and has learnt lots of new words too! It was lovely chatting to Tina about writing, I have googled her and she started off as a nutritionist!


The weather in Johannesburg was rather chilly especially in the morning and evening. Sarah's flat faces north and has huge big windows where the sun shines in and one can almost catch a tan! The north side where Oscars bedroom is is FREEZING! I bought a new water bottle for the little fellow and made winter sheets for him which I hope makes Winter a little less chilly for him. But I have decided that nothing is going to change Oscar from waking up and crawling into bed with whoever! I usually woke up with a little hand tucked around my throat, the body cuddled in and the little fellow fellow saying "Gan, Gan I Love You" aren't I fortunate to have this great little fellow who is so loving?

And now for Malaysia......!