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Dear Ann,

I’m still in Ohio, soaking up the Buckeye State goodness. Had my first Jeni’s in-store experience yesterday, in Chagrin Falls. It was transcendent. Related: need more elastic in my mom-capris.

Here’s a confession: I generally don’t watch movies when I travel by plane, even on long flights. The headphone cords get tangled up in my yarn, and somehow I just am not interested. I get in the zone on my knitting, or sometimes my needlepoint, and the hours fly by. I get a lot of random thinking done.

On the trip home from France a couple weeks ago, though, I was recovering from a brutal bout of the 36-hour château plague. Some one in our group at Château Dumas had gotten sick the day before we left, and was weak and wobbly at our farewell dinner. Shortly after my sub-group reached Avignon on Saturday evening, we started to fall like dominoes. I got it on Sunday night, so Monday was a complete loss. I passed the time staring at the ceiling of my hotel room, debating whether to drink a Coke. Tuesday morning dawned, and I had to take a train to Marseille and then two flights to get home. Luckily, the life force had returned enough to make the trip, but it was flickering. After keeping it together for a whole day, I found myself seated on the plane from Charles de Gaulle to JFK, without the strength to knit.

What to do for eight hours? It was a personal film festival. Watching movies on the plane! Such fun! Here are some awesome movies that I discovered and rediscovered.  If you feel up to it, go ahead and knit. Otherwise, sip a ginger ale while taking shallow breaths, and enjoy.

45 Years

There’s a wrenching twist, beautifully revealed, and Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are wonderful. So artful, and painful, and beautiful.

(For rent on Amazon.)

I Had a Farm in Africa

Out of Africa is so much better than this trailer, oy. (Also on Amazon, and YouTube.)

The Shawshank Redemption

I had forgotten most of The Shawshank Redemption. So good. (Amazon.)

All of this would have been better with knitting, of course. I got a few rows in, but just barely.

Happy Sunday, all.




  • I flew a week ago from CDG to JFK and also watched 45 years and most of Out of Africa. Managed to do some knitting too! Luckily didn’t get the Chateau bug!

  • I also watched 45 Years flying from coast to coast two weeks ago. Good but sad movie.
    Then I started on Hail Caesar! Didn’t finish it but we watched it two nights ago and laughed all the way through it.

  • Hey, we’re in the same state! Attended my nephew’s wedding reception at an art studio venue in downtown Cleveland last night. No knitting and no films, but the Alic in Wonderland theme made it really magical.

  • Is chateau plague related to montezuma’s revenge? My sympathy!

  • Chagrin falls? I wasn’t sure if that was part of the joke about jeni’s (which I don’t get bc I’m in melbourne, Australia and have never heard of it). I actually had to look it up to check.
    Who named a town chagrin falls?
    (Oh wait, I can probably look they up too)

    • I love how names that are familiar don’t seem odd. Chagrin River, Chagrin Falls. And Jeni’s is wonderful local ice cream, that started in Ohio, the state where Chagrin Falls is located. Thanks for the laugh.

      45 years was a good movie, maybe not for feeling sick, movie, however!

  • You need to try Graeter’s ice cream…founded a very long time ago and still operating out of Cincinnati, Ohio, my home town. There is none better!!!

    • Jeni’s better than Graeters but either is better than anything else in the world!

  • Last spring on an overnight flight I watched Dr. Strangelove – a strange experience! The choice of films while inflight is certainly a hodgepodge.

  • Ugh, you have my sympathies! I travelled once from Brisbane, Australia to LAX and on to the Nashville TN airport…all while recovering from a terrible stomach bug. It was awful, but my body was somehow scared into shape by being in a window seat on one of those enormous planes. It seemed impossible to get out too often to be sick, so I wasn’t! In any case, I remember nothing…no movies, no knitting, nothing but one hot cup of sugary tea that felt like it saved my life. Take care!

  • Sorry to hear you were sick during your vacation. Thanks for the movie ideas. For those paying for HBO, I discovered Brooklyn is showing this weekend. Nominated for 3 Oscars in 2015. Easy to watch this film set in 1952.

  • Sorry about your Chateau bug! Out of Africa & Shawshank…such classic choices you were given! 45 Years? is new to me…thanks for the tip. Safe travels to you.

  • Oh, Kay….so sorry to hear you got sick while traveling. Been there done that. I guess it happens to everyone at some point, but I am someone who almost always gets sick on a big trip. At home, seldom so….but travel, much as I love it, wreaks havoc with my normally excellent immune system. Anyway, I am so glad you were well enough to not be miserable on your flight home. And thank you for the excellent movie recommendations, one of which I have not seen, and two of which I am now willing to see again. XO

  • Oh, it is so surreal to be ill while travelling. Airports are only a whisper away from fever-dreams under the best of circumstances, IMO. Glad you found the on-flight movies distracting enough to be helpful.

  • I have A fear of being sick on an airplane!
    I had ginger ale for breakfast, but that goodness in was in my own bed!
    Great movies !

  • Just chiming in here to say that Redford and Streep in Out of Africa are such movie stars in those roles. Off to watch it again.

  • Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorites! Morgan Freeman’s voice is so absorbing – the perfect choice for Red. Have you read the short story (it’s in the book Different Seasons by Stephen King)? The movie is definitely one of the better film adaptations if King’s work.

  • Being ill, even a little ill, on a plane ride is one of the worst things in the world! And on a transatlantic flight? Poor Kay!!!

    However, maybe Jeni’s made up for it a little. Next time you’re in Austin, be sure to go to Amy’s – another destination ice cream, and available at the airport!

  • I only just saw The Shawshank Redemption for the first time a couple of years ago, and I could see why there was such a fuss about it. Really, really good. Just when I was thinking, dear God this is grim, it all came together.

  • Love all the films you mentioned. I rewatched “Shawshank” for the millionth time recently. It’s one of if my all time faves.

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