If it weren’t for the weather, I could be extremely happy living in London. The energy, the museums, the theatre, the culture, the people. We’re even lucky enough to have friends who are much younger so that MAYBE they could look in on us in our cottage – which is five minutes away.
We’ve been having such a fantastic time. We saw a brilliant, mind-blowing play, “The Ferryman”, which has taken London by storm. I’ve never read such glowing reviews and I can attest there was no hyperbole whatsoever. The play is unforgettable. (I’m forever mixing tenses!!).
We went to the Victoria and Albert Museum and saw the Pink Floyd exhibit which was absolutely amazing and gave me a new appreciation for their talent. They were/are truly cutting edge and,way way way ahead of even the best of the rock bands (not to mention their politics). We also visited the National Portrait Museum, which we always love and also took in the new “Bob Dylan” play, “The Girl from the North Country” with our dear pals, Jay and Mike, at the Old Vic. It too had amazing reviews. Shirley Henderson, whom I adore, was a revelation.
On the tubes people READ – books (yes, actual books) and newspapers. When we talk to people, they’re informed and not just about this country. Most people we’ve talked to probably know more about the US than the average American citizen (of course, that doesn’t take much).
When we arrived at our friend Nicky’s in Kentish Town Sunday, where we’re staying, we turned around and headed out to Broadstairs, a charming town by the sea. We’ve never been to the British seaside and it was unlike anything in the States. It was so “accessible” and people friendly. They even had cabanas that were part of the National Trust so that people without financial means could have a permanent place on the beach in the summer. Charles Dickens spent a good deal of his time at Broadstairs writing.
And one of the BIGGEST selling points in the Chunnel. OMG, how I love the Chunnel and trains in general. Such a civilized, practical and inexpensive way to get around. We left the center of Paris and two hours later were in the center of London! A few hours later, we boarded another train and headed for the seaside. All easy-peasy! It reminds me how much I loathe cars, traffic and driving. The train is so utterly and completely relaxing.
Today I went to Brick Lane which is in East London, a part of town in the midst of massive gentrification. It’s quite the hip area. Very young and filled with galleries and arty shops. I had been invited to exhibit at a gallery there and went in to check it out. The reality is there is no way in my price range to make a cent selling art through a gallery, particularly one in another country which involves shipping and custom fees. That said, it would look great on a resume and help my street cred, so maybe I’ll give it a whirl next year. Particularly, if I spend the rest of this year completing work I’m happy with.
I hate to go and on about the fucking anti-Trump buttons but if we thought the reception we got in Spain, France and Italy was good, the one in London is ten times better. People come up and beg us to give them a “badge” and when I tell them we’re out, they take the name of the website to order themselves. We have engaged with more people over these buttons than we ever have on any trip anywhere. Trump: United in Hate.
It is inconceivable to me that our glorious time abroad is coming to an end. NOOOOOO!!!!
We fly back to NY on Monday, stay with our dear friends, Debby and Michael, who we last saw in Spain, and have a week of “transitioning” back to life in USA. Then the following week we head home and in about ten days I start to teach again. Then all this will just be a wonderful memory. I don’t mean to complain since nobody on earth is luckier than us (except maybe Trump) but let’s face it – it’s hard to let go of wonderful experiences. You just want them to go on and on.
The dogs are in Paris with a dog sitter who tells me they’re behaving very well (thank fucking god) and are enjoying themselves. That helps ease some of Jim’s guilt, in particular. He may actually be crazier than me on the subject of the dogs – and that’s saying something.
My brother and sister-in-law happen to be in London so we’re seeing them tomorrow. They’re on the last leg of their summer holiday, as well.
Even the blog is winding down. BOO-HOO! How can I freeze time?! If anybody has any ideas, please send them my way ASAP.