Lots of movies and great companions

Wow, it’s been ages since I last posted anything, and probably will be until the next post as well.
I have the minor matter of my Oxford finals coming up in June, which are almost universally responsible for a fair bit of stress. The simple version is that I will be examined in 9 subjects in the space of 14 days on material learnt since April 2013.
And there’s the fact that I’ve somewhat moved on from this blog, both for personal matters and from a debating perspective.

The reasons behind this newest post are, like most of my other recent posts, inspired by flights (seemingly the only other exciting thing that happens other than debate related thingys). And even to that extent this flight came on the day of the Oxford Schools Debating Championships Finals Day 2015… so perhaps really I should just blame debating anyways.

I’m not entirely sure what was so exciting about this flight. Probably partly because I was in the new A380 double-decker plane, which is only the 3rd trip I’ve had in it. It’s the largest plane in the world, and I was certainly taken a back by the massive wings that also curved considerably more than the Boeing 777.

Kudos to British Airways for a well designed interior with reasonable amounts of space even in Economy class. There was more vertical space than horizontal space, though the latter is probably more important for people flying and who spend most of the time sat down. I particularly liked the flat cabin overhead storage bins which just struck me as making much more sense than having trays that drop down.

The newspaper selection was rather disappointing with only the Daily mail, i and the Daily Mirror available. perhaps other classes of seats had better options… I can’t say for sure.

My favourite bit of the new plane has to be the entertainment system, which now is switched on whilst you’re still on the tarmac, saving precious movie time, although it was still interrupted by the safety announcements and the like. It was probably one of the reasons I managed to fit in 5 movies and even a TV show, which probably beats my old record of 5 movies. This unsurprisingly also entailed not sleeping… I mean you just can’t fit in 5 movies if you slept for any extended period of time.

I was probably lucky to be flying just a little while after Oscar season because many of the films were available, and indeed too many for me to watch. I had to start with The Theory of Everything, and I must say I think Eddie Redmayne throughly deserved his Oscar statute. Was also funny to try and location spot, which was really the only good thing about The Riot Club. The storyline was just poor… and that’s independent of the terrible content of the movie itself. Thankfully though it represents many aspects of Oxford that I detest, nothing I’ve seen in real life is quite as terrible as is portrayed. The Imitation Game was reasonably good, and I guess about as exciting as bio-pics can go. The presentation of the story-line was a bit convoluted to be honest, but no real complaints. I still think The Judge did a better job of portraying the souls of the characters so to speak. Or maybe I’m just biased towards films with a legal element to it.

I eventually ran out of films beginning with ‘The’ to watch, I had thought of watching The Hunger Games but having not watched any of the earlier ones the first 3 minutes confirmed to me that it just wasn’t going to work. Same probably goes for The Hobbit. I ended up finishing off with Whiplash which despite not seeming to have that much content (some guy playing the drums) was surprisingly captivating. I rounded it all off with an episode of Veep, I had considered slipping in an hour and a half long movie, but figured there wouldn’t be enough time with landing and all. There are still a tone of movies I wanted to watch (cf: Foxcatcher, Interstellar, Birdman) which I’ll have to fit into the return journey.

The other interesting bit of the journey was my sitting next to a Swedish couple who were flying into HK in order to catch a cruise around South East Asia. It’s one of the few times I’ve bothered to strike up conversations with fellow travellers and it led to a torrent of interesting tidbits including discussions about Chinese air-quality, HK’s future, Scandinavian countries amongst other things. I also found out how to lift the arm-rest adjourning the aisle after the flight attendants wrestled with it for nearly an hour (there’s a button, but not an obvious one). This was because one of the couple had a disability (cue Paralympics conversation) which meant that they had to go to the toilet with the aid of an in-flight wheelchair.

So all in all, new plane, a lot of movies and a very interesting pair of fellow travellers, all mixed up in a single flight. Well, back to revision then.