Friday, December 23, 2005

This Flight Is Making Me Afraid

The flight to Montpellier was possibly the worst I’ve ever taken, as I was beset the entire way by barely controllable panic attacks. The sort that make you think the same terrible thoughts over and over again, until your scalp crawls with fear, your hands go numb, your heart’s beating like a fucked clock and you can no longer feel your legs:

Oh my God, I’m in an aeroplane, I can’t get out.

OH GOD I CAN’T GET OUT

That noise doesn’t sound normal.

Oh God, make that noise stop.

Oh God, the noise has stopped. We must be going to crash.

OH GOD WE’RE GOING TO CRASH

It’s abnormally hot in here.

OH GOD THE PLANE MUST BE ON FIRE

I can’t die now, I haven’t deciphered the Pictish Ogham inscriptions.

OH GOD I CAN’T GET OUT AND I’M GOING TO DIE AND I HAVEN’T EVEN FORMALLY REFUTED DR RICHARD COX’S THEORIES ABOUT THE PICTISH OGHAM INSCRIPTIONS

I’m going to be sick now. That will be embarrassing.

OH GOD I’M GOING TO BE SICK

Oh Jesus, I can’t get out.

OH GOD I CAN’T GET OUT AND I’M GOING TO BE SICK

And so it went on, and on, for two interminable hours. Matters were not helped by my travelling companion (in the sense that he was sitting next to me), Barry from Essex, who insisted on soliciting my opinion for the entire duration of the flight on how he could best market his wholesale commercial lighting business.

Barry, it doesn’t matter. WE’RE GOING TO DIE. WE CAN’T GET OUT. I’M GOING TO BE SICK. YOUR WHOLESALE COMMERCIAL LIGHTING BUSINESS IS THE LEAST OF OUR WORRIES.

Fortunately we made it to Montpellier without mishap, I wasn’t sick and no one – to my knowledge – died during the flight.

Perhaps because of this pseudo near-death experience, I am having one of the best times in France that I’ve ever had. The countryside around my house is stunningly beautiful. I’ve seen the low winter sun rise over the frost-encrusted vineyards and the Iron Age oppidum* that caps the hill opposite. I’ve seen the low winter sun set in a rust-coloured glow over the first foothills of the Cévennes. I’ve bought an incredibly girly teapot. I’ve been having a really good laugh with my Mum. I’m very happy.

To allow you to share in this unexpected joy, here is a video for a lovely song by Icelandic indie piano popstrels Ampop.

And a very merry Christmas to one and all!


* The perspicacious among you may have noticed that living beneath Iron Age hillforts is the sort of thing I do.

12 comments:

the Beep said...

are you perhaps Julian Cope in (very good disguise)?

Joyeux Noelle, and have a happy holiday too

patroclus said...

Do you know, beep, I think I actually might be.

You have a lovely Christmas too.

the Beep said...

Oh goody, can you sign all my CDs then please?

Pashmina said...

In that case I'm sorry to inform you that my husband might be a bit in love with you. In the nicest possible way, of course.

So glad France is compensating for the dreadful dreadful flight. Have a wonderful Christmas and hurry back.

patroclus said...

Well, will you just look at the classy array of busts in this comments thread.

Sorry, you were saying?

vampwx: umm, vampire feminine hygiene products (many quips spring to mind, but there they will stay).

Konrad said...

Merry Christmas, darling. I always enjoy to read your blog!

james henry said...

I now heart Ampop.

Dave F said...

I spotted the Withnail reference in there: "... heart beating like a fucked clock".

Next time you haver "the fear" just think what Danny would have said.

I watched it for about the 15th time the other night. Does it ever lose its glory, do you think?

Betty said...

Sounds like an idyllic setting and I'm envious ... have a great Christmas.

patroclus said...

Gosh, thanks everyone. You have lovely Christmases too, now.

Pash, interesting, I didn't have Mr P down as the Julian Cope type. What a varied fanbase he must have. JC, not Mr P, although I'm sure Mr P has an eclectic array of fans too.

dave f, it's probably best not to get me started on W&I, but no, it doesn't ever lose its glory.

James, thought Ampop (terrible name, mind) might be just your sort of thing.

Konrad, ahhhh, so loyal. Happy Christmas my dear!

In other news, I have just finished reading Dr Richard Cox's book about the Pictish Ogham inscriptions, and will be taking issue with it shortly. Book your seats now for what promises to be one of 2006's more obscure academic bust-ups.

Tabby Rabbit said...

Merry Xmas. Have fun xxx

cello said...

Happy Christmas Pat. And bring on the vicious academic wranglings come New Year, say I.

WV:nvxtjy, which is pretty damn close to nativity. Or maybe I'm a bit pissed. I'm only still up, by the way, because I'm waiting for my little chap to properly go to sleep so i can fill his stocking. I'm not really sad.