I couldn’t sleep at all last night – I went to bed too late, looked at my phone too much, and had to get up early to make it to the airport for a 9am departure. So I wasn’t feeling like my best self at Changi this morning.
Still, I got to meet a friend who’s on the same flight and we passed an hour quite happily chatting, and then boarded the flight 15 minutes before take off, because if you’re going to be in a metal tube for 14 hours, why add anything to that duration unnecessarily? 

My friend was in Business; I’m back in Economy, but I paid the extra a few months ago to get a bulkhead seat so I could stretch my legs. So I got to seat 16B, which is a middle seat on the left of the plane. 16A and 16C were already occupied by two people who looked at me like I was Banquo’s ghost, rocking up uninvited to take the empty seat they had planned on enjoying for the flight. 

I was a bit nonplussed. Me and the wife have tried this before: you book the window and the aisle seats and then hope nobody wants to book the seat between them – in which case, bonus, you got extra space. But if somebody does book that seat, etiquette is unclear. Do you admit you were chancing this, and swap either the aisle or the window seat with the gooseberry in the middle? Do you offer the window? The aisle? 

Not a word. I figured I’d misread this and they weren’t a couple at all, but half an hour in the woman was asking the man to fetch her things from the overhead bins, so as we say in legal terms, there was clearly some substantive relationship betwixt the two. 

But not a deep enough one to want to sit together, which is just… Eh, whatever. I just have to out up with fourteen hours of cabbage farts and bad movies, but that’s the same whoever I sit next to. 

Speaking of films, I watched A Star Is Born, the 2019 Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper vehicle. It was fairly clear what character arcs would be followed: the ingenue singer plucked from obscurity by the country and western star on his way down, the evil English manager who wears only the smallest of socks, the doting father of the singer,… 

The music is good but it’s also just designed  as a reliable machine to make you weep. I had one huge fat tear rolling down my right cheek at the conclusion. But maybe I’m just tired. I’m not crying, you’re crying, etc. 

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