Friday, June 22, 2012

Decorating London

Union Jacks decorating Victoria Station
I was running two agendas today: getting tickets for some show, any show and secondly, doing some walking.

That is how I found myself in Victoria Station, early this morning, watching the wind blowing through the Union Jacks that float from the ceiling girders.

The pigeons were flying low through the station amidst the travellers hurrying from the trains to the underground.

Hard to know where to walk in London – since there are so many options. I decided to go from Oxford Circus down Regent Street, just on a sight-seeing tour that would get me some exercise.

... a wind-up telephone booth at Piccadilly Circus ...
At Piccadilly Circus I saw a gold telephone booth and then this one that looks like a wind-up London telephone booth. This is part of BT’s Art Box Project.

 By the time I got to Trafalgar Square I was so tired that I walked on by the National Gallery, hoping to find an underground line that would point me toward home.

Then I wondered what kind of insanity is that? To miss the 11:30 am Taster Tour, just because I was tired.

So I got a little bit of Mattaeo, Reubens and the pre-Raphaelites before heading up Charing Cross Road toward home.

But I passed by another theatre and noticed that Horrible Histories was about to begin a performance.

I must be suffering “London pre-withdrawal symptoms” because I was compelled to stand in front of the ticket wicket, just to ask the price. Then I thought it only right to check out the performance to see if Duncan would like to go see it later in the week. Yes. The show was made for him.

I was interesting in the range of prices when buying my own ticket at the Victoria Theatre for tonight’s performance. The day seats (21 front row seats where you have to lean back and look up at the stage) were £19.50. They had to be purchased with a credit card, and the clerk was only handing out a receipt, not the ticket, which was to be picked up at 7 pm, just before the performance. “For good reason,” the clerk said. “People buy these tickets and then sell them to someone outside the theatre for twice the price they paid for them.” So I had to come back with the same credit card later in the evening. I asked the German girl in front of whom I was standing in the line up, “Have you seen this show before?”

“This one? About 100 times,” she said.

 ... multinational flags decorating Regent Street ...
That makes my addiction to musical theatre seem like a minor one.

Tonight was my first time in the front row. I was always conscious of the musical lines the trombones were playing, for they were right in front of me in the pit.

I was covered with the fine snow that falls when Billy Elliot’s dad has the solo song at Christmas time. . Previously I thought Row F was the best row in the house, but there is something to be said for Row A – the expressions on the actor’s faces are right there.

A lovely evening after which I walked home alone, a fine mist falling on my umbrella ... and knowing I had completed enough exercise in the day to come home and have a midnight snack of dahl and lime-chili chutney.



  1. You are so adventurous, Arta. I don't know if I would have the stamina to do all that in one day.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Re energy: I am always asking the question "where do they find the stamina" when I see young mom's with their baby or babies.

      What I do in a day is duck soup. I have no diaper bags to pack, no bottles of milk to carry with me, no car seats to pack around, and no one needing a nap, just as I need to go out the door.

      My life? An utter charm to live, but I had to have all those kids to figure out what work really was. Now I am fancy free. I don't have to worry about how one other person is going to spend the day. I am leaving the house right now to see if I can spend my last magical Saturday in London -- for this month.

      Now that is selfish! I should have to change at least one diaper.