Thursday, 8 January 2009

Not so long ago, not so far away

As an eight year old, my dreamscapes were Enid Blyton-fuelled. Running away to the circus, living with gypsies, or being the one person who'd finally locate that Faraway Tree with its revolving worlds up top, were all seriously considered options for my life's work.

All of it, appears to have somehow come to pass. My life, is much like a circus (a good one), my attitude to existence that of a gypsy, my revolving worlds are the places I am blessed to travel to. And as always there are characters, for all the world, given half a chance and a ready and waiting camera, is a stage, and the men and women in it, players.

Here then, is my top 10 list (in no particular order) of experiences thus far,which have both rivalled my Faraway Tree dreams and kept them very much alive:

1) Ballooning in 5am silence across Australia's Red Centre near Alice Springs and believing that if I stretched just a little, surely I'd touch the sky.

2) Heading for Indonesia in a boat and jumping up and down while inwardly screaming at the discovery of two dolphins swimming alongside it.

3) Sitting in the warehouse of a small family run rose field plot in Grasse, the South of France, and spontaneously crying at the joy of what it feels like to have hundreds of perfect, pure pink roses rain down on you.

4) Interviewing Isabella Rossellini and realising, she was nervous too.

5) Watching Howard Jones, almost 20 year after I'd first discovered his music, on the Padang outside the Singapore Cricket Club, in the pouring rain, and feeling 12 again.

6) Revisiting my childhood home in Bombay earlier this year, to find my late grandmother's half a century old address tag still firmly stuck to the door.

7) Helicoptering into a countryside prison camp while on a location shoot, by mistake. And not being shot down.

8) Venice afternoons. Bombay mornings. Highway sunsets, Singapore.

9) Meeting celebrated chef Jean Georges Vongerichten and noticing how his eye's sparkle with humour and happiness, more than 30 years on the job and counting.

10) Elephants. Everywhere. Anywhere.

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