I've always been interested in space travel - watching that moon landing on the TV when I was eleven obviously had a profound effect on me. I've never been tempted to send my CV into NASA though, clearly the fact that I'm too scared to step foot in a lift doesn't bode well for being encased in a lunar capsule hurtling through space for months on end.
Matt Damon has been turning up on a few chat shows recently, promoting his new film The Martian, and I thought it sounded like my kind of film. Can you imagine being left behind on a planet because the rest of your crew thought you were dead and the next scheduled landing was four years away? I'm not sure that I'd cope awfully well with that. Also, no internet? No phone? So I suggested to my husband that we should go and see it. We hadn't been to see a film for years, in fact neither of us could remember what it was, but last time we went it was touch and go as to whether we'd get in (must have been something very popular) so to ensure no disappointment we pre-booked our tickets in advance to pick up at the cinema.
To say we needn't have bothered in an understatement. The foyer was empty apart from a girl behind a counter selling giant boxes of popcorn and litres of cola and as we walked down to screen three I said 'I wonder how many people will be in here?' As we pushed open the doors it was quite obvious that we were the only people there! 10 minutes later the doors opened again and the audience doubled in size with the arrival of two boys. Talk about a private screening!
It made me think back to going to the cinema as a child. There was one cinema in town and there was only one screen - no choice of film. The internet hadn't been invented then so you couldn't pre-book, you had to factor queuing time into your schedule and normally the queue would be going round the block. If you were going with a group of friends it wasn't unknown for 2 people to queue and then 8 others turn up to join them as you got closer to the door. This was not always popular with the people behind you!
After anxiously approaching the front of the queue, you'd get your tickets and go up the stairs where an usherette would meet you and guide you with her torch to a vacant seat. There was usually a few adverts for the local Chinese take-away and the local cycle shop, then a short film before the lights went up briefly for the usherette to reappear with her tray of ice creams. Tiny tubs with little wooden spoons. Then the lights would dim, everyone would settle down into their seats and the main film would start. I don't ever remember going to the cinema without nearly every seat being taken.
At the end of the film they would play the National Anthem and as we got older standing up while it played was very un-cool, so it became a race to predict when the final credits would stop rolling and make sure you were already out the door before the music started. Hard to imagine that nowadays eh? I wonder when they stopped doing that.
Are you thinking of seeing The Martian? Have you already seen it? I'm not sure I would have been as resourceful as Matt Damon, but luckily it's highly unlikely for me to be put in that situation. Unless of course NASA find a way of making space capsules less lift-like and raise the age limit on applicants. Quite significantly. Also, I'm pretty sure I'd be too short for the space suits. Do they come in a Petite range do you think?