I can’t believe that I am on the plane back to Toronto.
But, before I forget, I would like to record some of the more important thoughts that have occured to me during my stay in jolly old England.
The Queen must hate that she lives right downtown.
Only a straight British guy can get away with saying he needs to go “Wee Wee”.
It is so much easier to buy a pair of fabulous boots when the numbers say they cost 78.15….pounds…still easier.
In the UK can you buy an Egg Mayo at the M&S right beside the H&M….which is near the V&A. From this I learned that British are a bit lazy with the words…though they love to invent nicknames for everything.
You can fill one hundred days with things to do and still not have seen everything…or learned to fucking look to the right when you are crossing the bloody street. (How I didn’t get smooshed by a LORRY is beyond me)
The painters from olden times really liked to paint Jesus and stuff like that.
If there is an empty corner in London….Scotland as well…they like to plunk down a statue of a guy on a horse….any old guy…I saw a bust of a guy who invented the drainage system…but in his defense, I am sure he changed the smell of London.
The Queen likes to put her initials EVERYWHERE.
Deep, I know.
Yesterday I got up early and went to … the National Gallery….
I couldn’t resist one more picture of Trafalgar Square as I walked into the Gallery…..
I wanted to see that painting of Lady Jane Grey…it is gorgeous and HUGE.
I love that all the museums and galleries in London are free.
I was wandering around looking very swiftly at as many paintings as possible….I turned a corner and saw this….
Now, any person who loves “Sunday in the Park With George” will, I think, be excited to see any of Seurat’s paintings…but I actually gasped.
There was a big bench in front of the formidable sized painting…he liked ‘em big…there were also a number of quite small studies that he did for the “La Grande Jatte” painting.
I sat myself down and just studied it…thinking of all of the times I have seen it in books or heard his work sung about….his technique described.
Then I thought how lucky I was to be introduced to art through musical theatre…art is so…holy crap, I hope I am using this word correctly….symbiotic…I would probably not have know anything about Seurat if not for Sondheim…I began to appreciate art because of that show.
I saw Schindler’s List, then read the book.
I read Of Mice and Men in school and then saw George play Lenny, years later.
I love the song “Starry Starry Night” and Jonnie Monro’s song “Who I Am”…and yesterday as I stood in front of the painting of the sunflowers in the National Gallery…I knew Van Gogh’s story.
Art is symbiotic.
I have looked the word up…I might be using it wrong…but I think you all get what I mean.
And just amazing.
So, after, I saw a bunch of paintings of Jesus…so MANY…I ran out and went to Covent Garden. I could not find a fucking shoe store for a whole week in London…REALLY??? So, I googled the fuck out of LONDON SHOES SUPERCOOL…and ended up in this wonderful little outdoor mall…there were at least 20 shoestores…I found these on sale…I wanted to buy a pair of boots to celebrate the beginning of my super secret TV series…which starts shooting next Monday…AHH!!!
These boots screamed SPECIAL !
I thought so anyway…so much so that I wore them out of the frigging store.
I then ran down to the London Eye…remember, I have been walking for TWO days straight…so I I stopped at M&S and got an Egg Mayo, which I spilled on my shirt…so I went to H&M and got a sweater…and continued on to the Jubilee Bridge.
This is the view I couldn’t resist on the bridge.
Then I went to the Eye…this is it!
It is huge and has a great view…I was meeting Blair, who is recently arrived in London himself for a 6 month stay…well, the freaking EYE was closed and I could not find Blair…due to no internet or cell phone I thought I might have missed him…so after 20 minutes I started to walk east on the South Bank…a bit of a ways for a gal carrying two pairs of boots…yes, I got another pair…suck it people…
I walked by the National Theatre….
St. Pauls Cathedral…I took this picture not having ANY idea what the place was…I thought it looked boarded up!
Then I realized I had time to only do one thing….the Tate Modern…..
Or Shakespeare’s Globe….
And I decided to go to the Globe.
And there was a good reason.
Yesterday, in the morning, I opened up my internet before I left the flat, and saw that Peter Donaldson had died. I didn’t know him well, had only met him a few times. But, as a gal who is not huge viewer of shows without songs, I spent a great deal of time listening to Mr. Donaldson speaking the words of Shakespeare…and he always drew me in…I always thought he was a fantastic, gifted and intriguing actor. The real thing. The last show I saw him in was Glengarry Glen Ross…and he was superb.
A number of years ago I saw him play…oh lord, Sharron…Malvolio in Twelth Night…is that right? He stood there in those yellow stockings with the black garters…I remember that. I remember him.
I thought if I had the chance to see Shakespeare’s theatre…that it might be a lovely thing….
It was gorgeous….it has no roof…of course…but it was still surprising.
I know it isn’t the original…but it doesn’t matter…it was there…and the stage was empty…I kept waiting for actors to walk onstage….
This was written, three times, in the stone out front of the visitors entrance.
Here it is….
RIP Peter Donaldson and, not forgeting, Gina Wilkinson and Graham Harley (who I didn’t know BUT LOVED on Slings and Arrows)…may we all live inspired because of you.
I then had the pleasure of running a great distance across the bridge…with my bags of boots…to meet the Blackman sisters, Karen and Gillian…friends and constant supporters of theatre everywhere.
They lived in Toronto and loved to London.
We had dinner, along with Gillian’s fiance Jacob, on a boat on the Thames.
What a lovely time we had…I had been walking around and seeing things for two days by myself…so I had a great deal to say…which, I guess, is no different that usual.
It was just a lovely moment in time…friends see each other in a whole new country.
THEN, after our lovely dinner, I met Blair…I felt horrible not finding him and he came back to Central London AGAIN and we walked around the gay village ( I think it is called something different there) with Blair trying to find a place to drink following his GPS…after a bit of time I stopped the cutest couple, who called me ‘darling’ I asked them where “The Yard” was.
After making our way there Blair and I sat outside and chatted and drank wine…another lovely moment in time…
I had to mind the time…Blair walked me to the train…through a really questionable alley…and I got on the train.
While I rode back to Blackheath I was struck over and over again about how we have to live…to take chances…to live as if we have all the time in the world but no time at all.
There are the Blackman Sisters who decided to move to London…no jobs…Blair who managed to take his job with him….Gina, Peter…
We gotta live.
I would like to send my DEEPEST thanks my hosts, Simon, Rob and Chloe…who cared for me like I was family.
I have never felt more welcome.
My whole experiment of depending upon the kindness of strangers really broke my fear of travelling alone.
The people of London were wonderful and helpful…what an amazing city!Though one must be careful and not reckless…we also can’t be afraid to do something alone…the world will take care of us.
Does that sound just lordy and pollyanna-ish?
I don’t care!
It is true.
I have four more hours on this flight.
I am gonna close my eyes and dream of home.
Always the best place to be.
The place to dream of my next adventure.
Thanks for reading all.
And thanks to London and all of it’s fabulous people.