I am now, just about, recovered from my flight back and indeed from Christmas. It's been complicated.
The flight itself wasn't too bad. I watched three films, read a bit and kipped briefly. However, the meals service was a bit wonky, since they started serving at the front (and presumably, with business class) and worked towards me at the back. There was a bit of a tendency for things to run out by the time they reached us, so I didn't get any choice of meals and missed out on bread rolls. Poor planning there. Wouldn't be that hard to get me to pick a meal option during check-in.
The films were, for reference:
- Легок на помине (Legok na pomine), a Russian comedy. The premise is odd (swindling estate agent cursed by house teleports) but I found this quite engaging, despite the protagonist not being very likeable. Well worth a look if you aren't looking for something deep and meaningful.
- ルパン三世 (Rupan Sansei) is a live-action contribution to the Lupin III franchise. It was pretty good and quite entertaining, as I love a good heist. I confess that the sheer apathy with which the protagonists slaughtered security guards didn't sit well with me. I appreciate that it's an old trope that didn't bother me in Star Wars or the various James Bond films; then again, in those it's usually established that an organisation is blatantly evil, or at least part of a hostile military. Here, the guards were (admittedly armed) employees of a private security firm, and basically seem to be innocent civilians who probably aren't involved in the crimes of their boss. A bit of a nitpick but it detracted somewhat from my enjoyment. I must also report that it's more of an action film than a heist, since it's more about stunts and tricks than fiendish plans. However, worthwhile.
- The third film was Hotel Transylvania. It's about as good as I expected it to be. Decent animation, some quite fun bits, and lots of bits that are probably more suited to other audiences: it sounds patronising to say "children or Americans" and that's not how I meant it! I'm just not sure which bits that didn't do anything for me are intended for which audience. Also, a bit saccharine to be honest. And the hero is genuinely rather annoying, being the know-it-all kind of Gap Year kid - I'm not sure whether this was intentional or not. Okay, not great.
I was immediately engulfed in a storm of family parties, family visits, uncling, and other stuff that's only just sort of starting to subside. A bit exhausting if I'm honest, especially with jet lag. I'm basically over it now, but was wanting to sleep by teatime for the first few days back, which wasn't ideal.
My family welcomed me back with many delicacies:
As always, Dad made me a silly cake for my birthday. This year, things being very complicated, we have a very basic one. The hill fort with palisade is an old favourite.
I also got to properly make the acquaintance of my charming niece, and practice baby-entertaining. Luckily I was an inexplicable hit with the younger audience. However, I may need to work on future installments of The Very Very Small Yeti who Went to Mars as the plot seemed a little lacklustre at times.
Although things have been, well, complicated... it's good to be home.
And now to get a job.