So, I was in London this past weekend. The reason for going was that a close US friend of mine was visiting London with her family. Although I chat with K, and my other US friend A, a few times a week (we have a chat group), I hadn’t actually seen K in the flesh in 7 years! As she was relatively close by, I couldn’t let the chance of meeting up with her pass me by.
I flew in to London on Friday afternoon. After 3 hours of delays (ugh!) I finally made it to my brother’s apartment in Hampstead, just enough time to drop bags and freshen up a little before heading to The Old Vic theatre to meet up with Hariclea there.
We went to see a short one-man, one-act play called Sea Wall, starring Andrew Scott (of Moriarty in Sherlock fame). Once we all entered the theatre, there he was pacing around on stage, looking around and waiting for everyone to be seated. I shot a quick picture, you don’t see much detail on it, but you get the idea of the set up…
I don’t know how he did it, but without any announcement or anything, he just seemed to be looking around, the whole audience fell quiet and he started talking. Even from up where I sat, you could see the expressions on Andrew Scott’s face quite well. Shows you what an expressive actor he is! Andrew Scott plays Alex, who is telling us about visiting his father in France for a holiday. He speaks of his father and his wife and his daughter and just by him telling us all about them and the love he feels for them and telling us about the place they are at, you get this vivid image of what it must be like and of what life is like for him. He speaks with humour but there is an underlying restlessness and a foreshadowing you feel of something deeper and darker. The darkness becomes apparent at the end and yes, breaks your heart.
I really liked it, and thoughts and images have been popping up in my mind long after the half hour play ended. Pretty special stuff! I don’t know Andrew Scott very well, I only know him as Moriarty, but he has a long list of credits in the theatre. Hariclea was telling me how absolutely mesmerizing he had been in Hamlet last year and I can almost picture that! Andrew Scott is a great actor and I really need to see more of his work!
Hariclea had brought a theatre-loving friend of hers along as well and the three of us went on to have dinner in a nice little Italian restaurant close by afterwards. It was a lovely evening in great company!
Saturday was filled with great company as well, as I finally got to see K again and her husband and two teenage kids. We spent the day at the British Museum, then went on to Covent Garden and in the evening met up with my brother for dinner in the Soho district. My brother suggested we have dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho (apparently they’re a small chain) serving Vietnamese ‘street food’ and we were not disappointed; it was good!
After dinner we dropped the teens off at the place K was staying at and we four adults went on for some drinks and a chat in a pub across the street (just in time to see Germany score their amazing 2-1 victory goal against Sweden in the 95th (!!) minute in the Football World Cup). I can’t tell you how great it was to meet up with K again and it was fun to see her meet my brother, whom she only knew through my stories but now got to meet in the flesh. I so wish I could see her, and my other dear friend A, far more frequently!
Sunday morning I slept in and then had a small late breakfast in the garden chatting with my brother in the sun before we went to pick up his daughter (my niece) from her mum’s place. We got back and the three of us had a lovely lunch before I had to hop on the bus to the airport again. Time really does fly by so fast when you’re having fun!
I just love being in London. I’ll be back again next year at the latest, as I promised my daughter she & I would go there for a mama-daughter weekend (I had a mama-son weekend there last year, it’s her turn next). I was thinking of going in May but with Brexit, who knows how easy it’ll be to enter the country as a EU citizen? Maybe we should plan it sometime before March 29th 2019 but then the weather will be more iffy and cold than in May. There was a huge Brexit demonstration in London last weekend…
…and while we didn’t go there, I did see people aftewards here and there wearing anti-Brexit badges. I so wonder how an EU national’s enjoyment of England will be affected after March 2019…