Buckingham Palace and Grosvenor Square

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The view from my window

The view from my window.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I didn’t write yesterday because we basically had the day off, and I basically did nothing, and that was basically enjoyable. And the weather wasn’t too bad either! We had a short music call in the morning. Then Corrine and I did a little planning of the holiday we are hoping to take to Norway in our two week break between Stratford and Newcastle. The plans are very exciting, and we are hoping to book early this week. We walked and talked for a bit; time for a little de-briefing after the stumble-through yesterday. That Koslo is one great woman, may I say that publicly?

I had a quiet lunch in our garden, while a troupe of young actors were doing their vocal warm-up and preparing for the show that they put on in an outdoor space somewhere near our house. Listening to their voices was oddly comforting. I did a little writing work in the afternoon, and then joined my Canadian house-mates in the garden for a little free-spirited expression. Kelly was playing the guitar, Jenny was working on understudy lines, and I was dancing: just letting my body play a bit to Kelly’s music. Very ’60s Bohemian. Fun.

I popped into the Henry IV tech rehearsal for a little while in the evening. That was interesting. Nice to be in the big Courtyard Theatre with no one in it but working actors and the plethora of people who are making a huge piece of theatre. There must have been twenty people in the room of various technical disciplines. And interesting to see how it all comes together in another country, and of course, in this iconic theatre company. Also to have a brief glimpse of Michael Boyd at work.

 The Old Ferry House

The Old Ferry House (where they picked us up.)

Today, Sunday, was quite an exciting day. A coach (not the horse drawn variety, but instead simply the English word for a bus) met us at the stage door and whisked us off for a luncheon at the Canadian High Commission in London. We had on our outfits and our lipstick, and we simply arrived at the door of 3 Grosvenor Square and rang the bell! Kind of fun. 

And then we met Jim and Donna, the High Commissioner and his wife. Wow! What fantastic people. So easy going, and easy to talk to. And for the girl who lives in St. Catharines, and for the rest of my compatriots, this is just not something we do everyday. Things like protocol come into play. They were delightful, and made conversation extremely easy, as did the Cultural Attache and his associates. These people know how to entertain. And they seemed genuinely excited and interested in the project on which we are embarking. Very gracious.

Okay. Now the menu. Yum. Pimms and ginger, wine, and juices were served first. Then we had a magnificent buffet of warm smoked salmon, goat cheese tart, potato salad, walnut bread, rocket salad, grilled eggplant and courgette on couscous, and tomato and feta salad. And for dessert, Pavlova! Tea, coffee, and chocolate. So kudos to the chef, and to the wonderful hospitality of our hosts at the High Commission. These are the perks, I’ll tell you.

We had about an hour and a half before the coach was coming to pick us up, so since Jenny and Corrine had never been to London before, I suggested a rapid walk through Hyde Park, across Hyde Park Corner, down the Mall (well I’m not sure if it’s the Mall on that side, but it turns into The Mall on the other side) to Buckingham Palace . I mean, you have to see the Queen if you’re going to London!! So we did it. The rain cleared for just the right amount of time, and the sun was even struggling to show itself, although this only proved to make us muggy and hot. But we got there. We had five minutes to take some snapshots, and then we high-tailed it back. Crazy, but fun. Five minutes at the Palace: the visit of the true tourist, but better than missing it altogether. And better than an hour on Oxford Street, at least in my books.

The coach picked us up shortly after 5pm, and we were back in Stratford by 7:30. Quite a little field trip, really.

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