Thursday, July 08, 2010

Lilies on Leicester

I took an intentional detour this afternoon to walk back through Trafalgar Square en route to the theatres in Leicester Square. I really like Trafalgar Square; I like the immensity of it and the way that even though it's essentially concrete, a fountain, an obelisk and a couple of lions, the space is really impressive. Even crawling with tourists, as it was tonight (a swarm of them dressed in fluoro green tshirts no less), I still enjoyed it.

Skirting around in behind the The National Gallery, I took my detour up to Leicester Square and all of a sudden found myself faced with bollards and bobbies blocking my path doing crazier-than-normal crowd control. What gives?! So I did what any self-respecting lady about town would do. I allowed myself to be pushed and shoved into a cute little hotel bar just on the outskirts of the Square. Hoisting myself up onto the barstool, I ordered a french martini from the barman and asked him what was going on. Leo DiCaprio, he tells me. Movie premiere, he says. Oh great, okay - so "Inception" was premiering in London tonight. Just as my cocktail arrived, the crowd outside starting screaming and applauding, clickety-clacking their cameras to try and preserve all the hysteria. Safely inside, I sipped my drink in quiet solitude.

Dashing off just before 7pm, I took a forced detour this time - around the premiere crowds - and found my theatre not far away. I had some dinner at a pizza place across the road, sitting alone next to a table of an Australian family. As I was sitting there, trying to enjoy my linguine and a glass of Chianti Classico, I could feel the daughters at the next table staring at me. I was starting to feel really self conscious. They were blatantly staring, but not saying anything. Then the conversation at the next table went dead altogether, and I got really nervous. So I ate faster and tried to look anywhere but in their direction. Why was I getting so paranoid? I wasn't doing anything wrong! Ugh it horrible, but the pasta and wine not; that was just fine.

The play I went to see was called Lilies on the Land and it was the story of four women who were members of the Women's Land Army in England during WW2. I bought a ticket for 12 pounds (normally 35 pounds) from the Time Out website, purely because the reviews were so good. I really enjoyed the show, and was entertained from start to finish. The stories came from real-life letters and diaries from women who had really been in the WLA and so I think that really helped the story to ring true.

Getting home is a lot like auto pilot these days, particularly when I've been out all day. I had no trouble at all trudging through the Tube to Waterloo and switching for the train home. Then the man at the baguette store sold me 2 Diet Cokes for the price of 1, and my day was complete.

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