I went to Hong Kong as a very little girl. We were visiting my grandparents and for some reason I can still remember a lot of the trip. I had my fourth birthday there. I went back a year or so ago. It is of course unrecognizable and quite overwhelming, but climbing up the peak in the tram, hunting for disappeared addresses, I was bowled over by the smell of my grandparent's garden and managed to find it!
I was lucky enough to sit in the cockpit of Concorde. I was expecting to see sci-fi screens with flickering digital figures and was staggered to find buttons and knobs and a little handle to wind the nose up and down for ease of parking. (They may have been joking but I wouldn't have been too surprised if it had!)
For me, walking down the airplane steps straight into a foreign country is the most exciting way to arrive. I've got to smell the kerosene as I step onto the tarmac, so walking through a joining tunnel into an airport just isn't the same! For instance, arriving at Nice airport on a hot day, breathing the air of the Midi never ceases to put a smile on my face.
Italy is my favourite place to go for an instant change of scene. Rome, Naples, Florence Sienna, Venice are all great and famous cities but the small towns are often even better. I love the Adriatic coastal towns and the heel of the boot. The ruins at Paestum south of the Amalfi coast are one of the most beautiful places on earth. I haven't been to Sicily yet but it's high on my 'to do' list.
I am longing to go to South America. Argentina in particular. But someone has got to crack the jet lag thing. I know about drinking plenty of water helps and everybody has different theories about eating/sleeping patterns etc, but, oh, for some magical cure.
*A few years' ago, while shooting a film in South Africa (Man to Man with Joseph Fiennes), I got involved with a small charity called 'Hope and Homes' that cares for the AIDS orphaned children in villages. I've never really given much in my life to charity. I'm not one of those famous faces flying round the world endorsing and emoting over catastrophes. I have promised this charity, as a patron, that I will help. I am going to keep going back and get my hands dirty and be part of their project.
Kristin Scott Thomas was nominated for a Best Actress in the Cesar Awards 2010 for her role in Leaving.
Marianne Gray Update 9/8/10
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