The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

I had reached Past Master, in the Nigel Tranter trilogy The Master of Gray. When the lines started to blur and I was no longer taking it in.

I thought of going straight to bed but instead, I switch on the television, which was also now looking a bit blurred, and flicked through the Menu. A late-night film, starting in ten minutes, Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, instantly I was alert and went off to the kitchen to put the kettle on, and since I painted a chain and padlock on the kitchen cupboard door, but no key, the biscuits were safe from my grasp. I now settle down to watch one of my favourites films starring Julia Roberts. (if I keep this late-night film watching up, I will be meeting myself getting up as I go to bed).

Julia is a filmstar at the height of her career but longs for a “normal” relationship and lives in fear that she will drift into middle age and ‘look a little like someone that was famous once’.

Hugh Grant plays the hapless lover, who can not quite believe this is happening to him, the story plays out in a comical way superbly directed and the comic timing of the cast just brilliantly, one feeding off the other.

The course of true love never runs smooth – towards the end we have Julia coming into the shop, dressed in ‘everyday woman’ clothing, and carrying a peace offering, to ask forgives.

Hugh sees no future for them she a big movie star living in Holywood he a bookstore keeper in London.

Clearly, he did not see the film ‘Young at Heart’ starring Frank Sinatra and Doris Day, if they had Oscars then, he would have needed a barrow to hurl his clutch off stage.

“Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you if you’re young at heart” Hamilton sings out, tears now welling up in his eyes, he reaches for the box of tissues and finds only a Post-it.

I think I have been on my own for too long. 

Then we have the most beautiful line in the whole film, Julia standing before Hugh looking like the girl from next door,

“Don’t forget” she said “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”

Don’t you just love happy endings?

I hope they don’t do a re-run of Casablanca, before I get to the shops, to buy more tissues, “We will always have Paris, we lost it until you came to Casablanca”.

I did go out first thing this morning, I headed along the cycle track for Guardbridge. My intention was to press on into Cupar and return via Pitscottie. I made it as far as Dairsie when down it came, I sot out the bus shelter, there to dug out my cycling cape from the pannier bag then sprinted for home, boy didn’t it rain. Cold, wet and miserable I arrived home, sod’s law, the rain stopped almost as quickly as it had started. The best part of my ride today was diving under the hot shower and changing into warm, dry clothing. Sorry Hamilton, but it comes with the territory.

Stay safe.

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