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After 36 years I still have the need for speed, even if I take a blanket to the movies these days

Opinion

Three or four decades might have passed in the meantime, but Tom Cruise still remains Rebecca Levingston’s undisputed Top Gun.

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A rave this week about things that brought me joy. And some comfort.

Tom Cruise.
Blankets.
Vinegar.
Democracy.
Royalty.
Boarding school bed making.
Lollipop legends.
Sunshine.
Heart surgeons.
Siblings.

Look, I’m just going to say it. Top Gun: Maverick is the greatest movie sequel ever made.

Tom  Cruise is perfection. Intense, handsome, ridiculous. He’s a running, flying, sunglass wearing, beach sport playing (shirtless football not volleyball this time) superstar. Surprisingly comedic and tear jerking, I can’t remember the last time I loved a movie at the movies so much.

Thirty six years after the original, it could have been terrible. It’s not. Highly recommend rewatching 24-year-old Tom before you go see Maverick approaching 60. And don’t overthink it. You don’t even know who the “baddies” are and it doesn’t matter. Tom Cruise is fearless, funny and flying towards every award Hollywood can throw at him. He brings back that loving feeling. Bravo.

A confession: I took a blanket to the movies because that is who I am now. It’s 2022. Comfort and warmth in this wild world are now my priority. I also had a birthday last week, so maybe I’m moving into a new phase of life where BYO blanketing is no cause for alarm.

You know what is alarming? Mould. I’m struggling to to find any fun in fungus.

Who knew mould could grow on ping pong balls? That’s a discovery I made this week. Shout out to the ancient Babylonians for inventing the vinegar that’s saving Queensland households one spore at a time. Fuzz on your Birkenstocks isn’t a deal breaker but should I save my husband’s wedding shoes that are now furry?

Which brings me to the blurry. Not exactly a crystal clear election result. Or was it? You’ll have your own view on that, I imagine, and there’s a plethora of opinion pieces that will dissect our democracy. I just want to say thanks to the 105,000 strong team of people who work the election weekend to make sure we all have our moment in a cramped cardboard booth with a tiny pencil and a powerful vote. What a privilege.

Speaking of which… The Queen. How happy does she look at horse and flower shows lately. A last hurrah? Prime Minister Albanese might reignite the republican discussion. Regardless of your view on the monarchy it’s a delight to see Her Majesty so smiley.

I wasn’t smiling at 4:33am last Sunday morning when my youngest son woke us up. Few sounds will raise parents more quickly than a child throwing up. Poor little lad is on the mend now, but since I’m all about joy this week, I want to give props to my husband’s boarding school years that gave him superman like speed when it comes to stripping and remaking a bed.

You have to soldier on through the dark times don’t you? And the rain. Like the lollipop legends at my school who are kitted up, guiding traffic with gumboots, fluoro raincoat hats and umbrellas every morning and afternoon despite the drenching that La Niña continues to give. You ladies are human sunshine. Thanks for keeping us all moving.

Just like the heart surgeon who will operate on my dear friend and radio queen Kelly Higgins-Devine next week. KHD is heading in for a double bypass, which makes sense because her ticker holds twice the passion of the average human. We love you Kel. Heal well and hurry slowly back behind the microphone. Do not go and see Top Gun: Maverick while you’re recovering. Can’t wait to hear your voice and your laugh back on air soon my ABC sister.

Finally, siblings. Specifically my brother. He’s a nurse. He’s been working away at a remote hospital recently. Like most health professionals, he’s caring and stoic in equal measure. This week was a very sad week for him and his new colleagues. A devastating day wearing his blue uniform.

My brother also loves to surf. After his shift, he visited the sea to ponder life and death’s mysteries. He found comfort rather than joy watching those waves. Sometimes that’s what you need.

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