Lets talk Egyptology, circus acts, wonder.land, a new production of the Tempest, a Roman bathing spot, cute villages, rolling hills and the simple pleasure of a hug.
You'll have to forgive the complete dry up of any blogging over the past four(!) weeks, I've been busy with mum who has been visiting all the way from Sydney. Its been great having her in London. There have been coffees, chatty brunches, English countryside trips, travel adventures and lots of hugs (you're never to old for a good hug!). I'm sure there will be loads more in store but for now, here are some things I've been up to.
A few of weeks ago, after work, I went to the Beyond Beauty exhibition at Two Temple Place. There I was, looking at ancient Egyptian artifacts, learning about how the Egyptians viewed beauty, in a gorgeously restored medieval hall, and to top it off, listening to live jazz music floating through the air. I had a 'this is why I love London' moment that made me grin like an idiot. Sadly the exhibit is now closed but Two Temple Place will be open again to the public during London's Open House weekend in September – put it into your diary, this place is worth seeing even without the Egyptology exhibit.
A few days later a couple of friends and I ran away to the Circus. Circus Restaurant that is. All dressed up, with a booking made months ago, we sat down to dinner while being serenaded by a drag queen dressed in Olivia Newton-John nightie from 'Grease' who took absurd pleasure in stroking a fellow diners bald head. Well, at least that was one of the acts that had us giggling away. From trapeze artists swinging above diners to hula-hoopers(?) the acts made everyones jaw drop. It was a fun night out at one of Londons quirkier restaurants.
Now, for someone who loves the theatre, I've been quite remiss in booking anything. Or so I thought. I almost missed seeing Wonder.land entirely. I was drifting asleep the night before when my brain decided to tell me about it. That shot me awake in no time and had me frantically searching through my emails to confirm. Whew. It was one of the oddest productions I've seen. It is a modern adaptation of Alice in Wonderland mirroring our current relationship with technology. Cleverly done with special effects blurring the line between physical and virtual actors - there is a great scene where the actress playing 'virtual' Alice drops into the top of a structure and is shown as a virtual character disintegrating. However, I left simultaneously not sure if I'd necessarily want to see it again and desperately wanting a teapot full of glitter.
Over the Bank holiday weekend I took mum to Bath and the Cotswolds and had the pleasure of seeing her face light up at the old Baths, the bright yellow flower fields of rapeseed in the countryside and the incredibly cute Cotswold villages. One of our stops was at Lower Slaughter (no I'm not making that up, its a real name and comes from old English for 'wet land' or muddy place). We had tea and sandwiches in a cosy room with stone floors, huge fireplace, low ceilings, wooden beams, lead windows and the smell of fresh scones from a neighbours table that made our mouths water despite our own tea!
This weekend, mum and I hopped up to Edinburgh and landed an awesome room overlooking the city and the Balmoral Hotels clock tower. Mum was speechless, it was adorable. She had a great time touring around Edinburgh and getting lost in its layers of history, the stories in its stones and its beautiful views. Seeing her wide-eyed and in love with the city was worth missing out on London rare 25 degree weather and donning layers for Edinburgh 12 degrees. By the way, if you are going to visit Edinburgh from London, unless you are strapped for time or the airfares are much cheaper, I recommend going by train. Its only about half an hour's difference in the end and it means you skip the security, immigration, boarding saga.
So that's been my life for the past few weeks, bit manic, filled with warm hugs, good chats, and adventures. Till next time, what do you do when family visits? I'm always on the lookout for new ideas so any suggestions are most welcome!