Long time Agatha Christie fan that I am, I watched David Suchet on the Orient Express on PBS the other night. (You can watch it here, online, for the next few weeks!) What elegance, what luxury! I would love to travel on the Orient Express one day. But I'm pretty sure the lowly life of a nerdy scientist living in genteel poverty will not ever allow this wish to come true. So watching this was as close to being there as I'll get. And it was wonderful! Mr. Suchet (yes, he is the perfect Hercule Poirot) was so delightful a guide, so charming. He was genuinely delighted by everything on the train, by the crew, by the food, by the elegance and luxury, by the sights, by the little things that normally escape notice. He was utterly charming when they let him drive the train: "Every little boy's dream! I can't believe I'm driving the Orient Express!" he kept exclaiming, over and over. Sweet and charming. He seemed genuinely surprised that the crew would want to meet him, that the producers of the train would arrange for a vintage car to drive him to Calais. I do hope he's as charming and delightful in real life as he was in this program, because I think I'm in huge crush with him.
How old a fan am I of Agatha Christie? My aunt and godmother used to read the books, and I remember reading her copies in the summer while we were staying with her at the shore when I was knee high to a grasshopper. Well, okay, I'm too tall to have ever been knee high to a grasshopper, and I really don't ever want to meet an insect that I'm knee high to (can you tell I watched two episodes of Doctor Who last night?). Some of my happiest memories are reading Christie when it was raining and we couldn't go to the beach, curled up on the porch, smelling ocean and salt and damp, rain drumming overhead and sometimes blowing through the jalousie windows. The books are a tie to a special time and place and wonderful lady long gone but living still in the wistful corners of my memory.
Don't worry, Gentle Reader. I harbor a secret wish that secret dreams really can come true. Lady Scientist J and I were walking the Canyon yesterday, and she told me of a friend of hers who is living in her dream house on the bluff. The dreamer in question patiently worked for 30 years or so to make her dream a reality. So I will remain hopeful. I will plug away.
I made my desk top background a photo of a dream house I've admired for years as a reminder to myself. I hope the owners didn't think I was stalking them when I took the photo...