This 2007 romantic comedy trots out that well-worn theme of the grass is always greener anywhere but home. Monday, 8.30pm, Movie One.
Political satirist and ace impressionist Rory Bremner is the subject tonight of this excellent series that journeys into generations past. Wednesday, 8.30pm, BBC Knowledge. Susan Kurosawa other end, paddling softly around the shoreline’s reeds. Such slow and lazy movement, while on the road itself the concrete stretches on and on, clickety-clack, as I ride steadily northwest and the hot sun slips across the sky.
At the side of the road up ahead there’s a dead animal, well picked over by predators and no longer recognisable for whatever it used to be. The road may be hot and sultry, but it is not kind. It’s hard and noisy and can kill anything in a blink if it’s not understood and treated with respect.
Back in Wisconsin a couple of days ago, riding to Minneapolis to start this journey, I passed through a national forest, and there, lying beside the road, was a bald eagle, huge and glassy eyed, its neck twisted. The bird’s feathers were scattered across the lane: a vehicle must have struck it as it swooped down for prey. I rode past, then doubled back and looked more closely, peering into its unseeing eyes and studying its sharp talons and perfect beak. Even in death it was intimidating.
A few miles on, as I was half watching wakeboarders on a river that flowed alongside the highway and was heading into the curves a little faster than usual, the tyres hit a series of expansion joints filled with lines of slippery black bitumen. The leaning bike slid into the oncoming lane before I could correct it. Whoa! There was no one else on the highway and it was no big deal, but this anonymous roadkill here in Minnesota is a reminder of the road’s potential treachery.
After a while there are railway tracks on the left and a train up ahead. The bike’s moving at maybe 60 miles an hour (95km/h) while the train is pressing along at 10 less than that, so in a few minutes I catch up with it and begin to pass.
The boxcars are covered in graffiti, and it’s tempting to watch every carriage as it slides by, reading the graffiti artists’ names. Eventually I reach the front and look across to the driver, who’s looking across at me. We wave to each other. Looking back, I see a blackbird flying alongside on the right. Its red-tipped wings blur against the blue sky.
I take my feet off the pegs and skim them along the road, stretching my stiff legs. Holding the handlebars for balance, I lean into the wind, and it’s as if the bike is flying. The bird soon goes away and the train soon drops behind, but the feeling stays there as the miles roll on, clickety-clack, reluctant to fade. This is an edited extract from (UWA Press, $29.95). Susan Kurosawa’s later this month.
by Mark Richardson
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