Call back yesterday. Bid time return.

Trip Start May 27, 2009
Trip End Jun 17, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I took a day off from the normal sightseeing regime because we had evening theatre tickets, but naturally Claire had a million things to do. One of them was baking more cupcakes and delivering them to New Covent Garden where the wholesale flower market is located. A florist friend of hers was setting up for a wedding show for future brides and asked Claire to show her cupcakes, too. I went along for the ride.

I'm thrilled that Claire and Damian enjoy the theatre as much as I do. This year we saw "The Cherry Orchard" at the Old Vic, a beautifully baroque, but still intimate house. It's just down the street from Anchor and Hope, a gastropub where we shared a buffet of excellent first courses and a single entree. Sounds cheap, I know, but grazing is fun, and we ordered lots (and this is London, so we paid heftily for it!!)

We didn't get dessert because we were holding out for the ice cream they sell at intermission (known as the "interval" here) at the Old Vic. It's organic, it's local, and you can eat it in your seat while the off-stage sounds of cherry trees being hatcheted down are ringing through the theatre! Terrific!

I last saw this play at the Utah Shakespeare Festival some years ago, and thought it was one of the best productions I'd ever seen. The Old Vic's "Cherry Orchard" is a new translation by Tom Stoppard, and I felt he'd modernized it too much. Or maybe that's the point. Set in post-revolutionary Russian, this play is all about change as the former servant becomes the owner of a faltering family estate. Once the family has been paid off and the property is in his hands, the orchard will be cut down to make way for development. Sound familiar?

The play is part of what director Sam Mendes calls his "Bridge Project," and it's running in repertory with "Winter's Tale," first in New York, now here. The actors include movie stars Ethan Hawke and Rebecca Hall. As Damian pointed out, watching film actors on stage can be nervewracking. Many make the transition easily (Hall), but some leave you sitting on the edge of your chair, waiting for them to goof up (Hawkes).

Speaking of ice cream, ice cream trucks regularly go by Claire's place, They start out at the ice cream plant on the next street then spread out over the east end with their stockpile of traditional British ice cream treats (probably not the organic kind, though I haven't actually checked). The trucks play jingly versions of "Yankee Doodle Dandy."I wondered why they were playing that song and didn't know it is a British tune written to mock the colonials. By now, we've made it our own, but I guess the British still haven't completely gotten over OUR revolution. Call it macaroni...
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Claire and Damian's flat in the London borough of Hackney
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the_assistant on

trip plannng
E, We are narrowing down our September trip plans and your comments are very helpful. We won't spend much time in London since we left a lot of pounds there already but hope to visit some of the spots we missed last time. Can't believe you will be back in the USA so soon but looking forward to your return as you know, I like all my chicks in there rightful places so I can keep track of them. Sounds like Claire and Damain have taken good care of you. Don't forget the cupcakes for the infirm in San Anselmo....

claireptak on

Fingals and the fox hunter
you haven't heard anything yet!
Mom has been so much fun to host in london and has been such an inspiration for damian and me. you know what it's like when you live somewhere and never see all the incredible sights that surround you...
But it is so great to read the blog and get the distilled, humorous and well-written version. love it. Keep it up mom! pooped n' bloggin' forever.

alexporrata on

Call it MACARONI!!!
I am LOVING following the blog. Keep it up and I just might leave Roneil with Lu and 'Ezekiel' (long for 'EZ') or 'Miles' you can tell,we are deep into the name game here, and hop on Virgin Atlantic! Clarita, I am going to try a batch of your cupcakes in the next couple of weeks. Been craving the coconut, really bad. Elisabeth, glad you are having such an wonderful time with C & D. Carlos and Gene have had a few adventures of their own out here. One included a late night Kayak on Tomales Bay under a full moon. Gene will have to fill you in on how that one ended- let's just say he got a bit chilly towards the end and they hitched back from the Inverness Store to Chicken Ranch. When I came home and saw the truck still there, I of course panicked! Kisses to all of you! Give Damo my love. xoxo ap
Clarita: the white bubble dress has been a huge hit this summer! I wore it to Indian Springs on Friday where I treated myself and the advocates (two young women who work with me) to massages! It was our 'staff development' day. Can't wait to see you soon.

eptak on

Re: Call it MACARONI!!!
Hi Alex,
Naturally, I wasn't referring to the BABY when I said 'Call it Macaroni,' but 'Mac' does have kind of a nice ring to it! I'll see all of you soon. Trying to get Claire to send some cupcakes back with me, but don't know if it will work out or not. If not, maybe you and I can make some together. Love,E.

alexporrata on

Re: Re: Call it MACARONI!!!
YES YES YES! I would LOVE to make cupcakes with you- let's lock it in when you get back and recover from your trip. Can't wait to see you. We have missed you but not as bad as we usually do, since we got to follow your adventures through your blog!

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