The train journey up to London is a bit of a distant memory now until I check out the pictures which I can never resist taking along the way, and don't you just love a good train journey in the middle of half-term week...
Somehow I ended up in a backward-facing seat which is never my direction of choice, but hemmed in on all sides, mainly by Child R, Mother of Child R and their dog, a large lurcher/collie cross called Chippy, I decided to stay put.
I had some nervous moments over R's very precarious and inordinately large cup of juice I can tell you...
And for some reason, probably because I was in the Entertainments Carriage again, I decided to watch something. I was glad of R sitting next to me who at the age of 4 & 3/4 proved completely techno competent on the screen buttons, so I watched out of the corner of my eye as she worked through the screens and lined up Angelina Ballerina for herself and then chose my film.
Now don't ask me why I chose This is It, the final Michael Jackson film, when Julie and Julia was available and I've really been wanting to see that, but I did, and it proved in strange ways not incongruent with the Paul Robeson concert I was to see that evening.
For all his flaws, what a consummate performer Michael Jackson was, meticulous and tireless in rehearsals on stage for the projected fifty venue concert tour he was about to embark on... and there we were, cynics all saying he'd never manage it. Well sadly he didn't, but had he lived, and having now seen this film, I have no doubt this would have been the slick spectacular to beat all slick spectaculars.
I can't believe I'm recommending it so highly but I am and I do, if only for its retrospective on music that, whether we like or not, has been part of our lives since the Jackson Five first hit the charts with I Want You Back in 1969. But also with the trial of his doctor in progress somehow Michael Jackson's tragic and sad demise is in the spotlight once again...and I look at him, gifted in so many ways and wonder quite how awful life and sleeplessness must have been for him to resort to what he did. What utter desperation he must have endured.
I'm not sure if I might have been singing along with my headphones in, which may be why Child R moved across the aisle to sit on on Mother of R's lap (leaving me to stress about the precarious cup of juice) but anyway we approached the sea wall at Teignmouth, and because I was facing backwards I had a completely different view of the sea. Now usually the tide is in, it's dank and overcast and it looks a little murky and menacing, but as Michael started singing I Just Can't Stop Loving You the train emerged from the tunnel and this is what I saw...
My heart wasn't downcast, but if it had been this sight...the beach we would walk along with small children and the Tinker and my mum (who lived for many years in Teignmouth) plus the music would have been sufficient gladdening in itself.
Chippy (remember Chippy...the lurcherollie dog??) on the other hand was very downcast.
Sprawled across the aisle of the train people had to step over him and lift great huge suitcases over him precariously for the entire journey, and to the FULL VOLUME tones of Owner of Chippy and Mother of R exorting CHIPPY with much exasperation to MOVE...SHIFT...SORRY...STUPID DOG...C-H-I-P-P-Y each time, which was about every thirty seconds.
No matter by this time Michael was onto Thriller and I was gone... almost dancing perhaps.