Sunday, January 18, 2009

A birthday weekend

Monday is my birthday, and I'll out myself by declaring here proudly that it is my 50th birthday. If we had been at home in State College, we probably would have had some kind of party to celebrate with friends, but obviously here things are a bit different. So we've had and will have a variety of activities this weekend.

On Saturday morning we met Vaneeta D'Andrea, a friend of Roger Brown's and an administrator at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, for a tour of Hampstead Heath. Vaneeta, who lives in Hampstead near the Heath, is an American who's lived in London for 20 years. The Heath is a huge park located on the outskirts of London, with lots of forests, rolling hills, and recreational areas, and is very close to the girls' school. (If you'd like to see some good vistas of the Heath, you should rent the movie "Scenes of a Sexual Nature," which was filmed entirely there). We walked for about an hour, with a stop at a cafe in the middle for a spot of lunch. It was actually sunny out, which was the first time we'd seen the sun in about a week, so it was a wonderful way to spend the morning and early afternoon. We climbed (okay, "walked," but Rosie complained it was like the Bataan Death March -- but note there was a woman in a motorized wheelchair on the path ahead of us) up to Parliament Hill, where Vaneeta took a picture of the four of us with London as the backdrop.

Last night, Anne and I went to the Almeida Theatre, which is just up the street from us, to see a production of the European premeire of Neil LaBute's new play, "In a Dark Dark House." It was an intense play, with many twists and turns, and it was an excellent production. It takes place in the U.S., and two of the three actors were British; it was interesting hearing them put on an American accent. Unfortunately, it was closing night, so we can't recommend it to any of our local colleagues and friends. But if it comes to your area, it's definitely worth seeing -- just be prepared for an intense evening of theater involving themes of physical and sexual abuse. Definitely was not appropriate for the girls.

Tomorrow night Anne and I are going to see "Billy Elliott" in the West End, our first foray there on this trip. Rosie and Lena are going to see it on Broadway with their camp this summer, so it will be just the two of us. And the four of us will go out to dinner tonight to celebrate my birthday.

No comments:

Post a Comment