While watching movies on Korean Airways, sitting in my distressed oatmeal trousers, I mused and became distracted and thought about how I could extend Heaven into Hell, the reverse of what some characters in C S Lewis’ The Great Divorce attempt.
Kiri te Kanawa, seated behind me, was meanwhile wisely telling her manager that she refused to sing any compositions by John Cage, while another John, John Grey the philosopher (he was three seats back) was spouting forth to the New Zealand artist, Karl Maugham. Karl, I note, is now doing screen prints, as I saw one in the Milford Gallery the other day. I prefer his original paintings, because the colours are so rich, but his subject matter – abundant gardens – continues to appeal. A young man in the gallery was telling me that Maugham has hundreds of photos of gardens that he works from.
Further back in the plane there’s now some dispute about Alfred Hitchcock being regarded as an auteur, since the very word itself has gone skewhiff. At least Hitchcock never made a movie, someone else shouts, in which a horse climbs a ladder, as one does in Bandidas. Or supposedly does. I think Hitchcock would have included a ladder-climbing horse if he'd found the right place for one.
A couple of foreigners have just walked down the aisle, chatting. Mr Vanderlught and Benigno Aquino, neither of whom I have ever met, even though their names have appeared previously in this blog. tend, with their serious demeanours, to make the plane feel like Bleak House, or Miss Havisham’s home in Great Expectations, that book that Lloyd Jones’ writes so fondly of in his own story, Mr Pip.
The plane takes a sudden dip and we all think we’re headed for a shorter life than we expected, rather like the young man who sailed down Baldwin St in a wheelie bin.
As the plane flattens out again, I suddenly realise my namesake, Mike Crowl, from Conroe High School, is sitting across the aisle from me. He holds a full video card, because he has been taking endless photos of the actress sitting next to him, Alice Brockway. She is proclaiming forth that Yes, you can put lemon peel in a compost.
The last I see of her is when she rides away from the airport to the Penny Factory, on a pennyfarthing, which the proprietor of the aforesaid Penny Factory will no doubt turn into a piece of enamelled jewellery, such as a pendant, or a stud.