Monday, March 02, 2009

Return to Camden Town

This morning, for your pleasure, I shall present, in the most pleasing way possible, a selection of amusing anecdotes I either have forgotten to share or have simply neglected to do so.

Monday. Yes, LAST Monday. Elizabeth and I headed out for our morning jog, and I recommended, "Let's take it easy today." Ha! We ran this time not simply round and about Hyde Park, but all the way down to Buckingham Palace. As we got closer to the palace, we noticed the line of guard on horseback coming down the same street as us, so we exchanged one of those meaningful looks you read about in books and promptly took off to race the guard down the street to the palace (and win) just before the Changing of the Guard. However, I'd be lying if I said we stuck around to see it. We did try -- we added our sweaty running bodies to the pressing mass of international observers, waited around, got pushed around, did a bit of pushing ourselves, and ultimately decided we'd been waiting and pushing for too long, and we ran back. Let me tell you, a week later, my calves are still burning.

Friday was an interesting night, beginning with a discount viewing of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. I will not say anything more on that topic other than starting from the opening bar scene featuring a sex doll and a pole dance stripper, the entire spectacle was disgusting, distasteful, and offensive. The night improved from there, though, starting with the fall of the curtain. As we walked back through Covent Gardens, we stumbled across an impromptu concert by a rather talented solo performer. You know, the "just me and my guitar and my music (and a decent sound system)" kind of thing. The crowd made a large, tight circle around him and sang along to all our favorite songs -- "Can't take my eyes off you," "Hallelujah," etc. etc. Every couple of songs, he'd switch to Italian, and the huge group of Italian boys across the circle from us would suddenly burst into a very loud version of it along with him. It was all in all a very cool unique experience. There was dancing, hugging, picture-taking, the works. After staying at the concert for more than an hour, we all packed up and went home, during the process of which Erin and I got separated from the group in a bit of elevator confusion and met with a lot of creepers as we sprinted down the stairs only to miss the tube and ignore a guy who came over to talk to us who wouldn't stop touching us and spoke to us in about 5 different languages, and somehow I understood everything he said to me, and told him to pretty much buzz off. PHEW. It was a long night.

Saturday was the return to Camden Town. Jenessa agreed to come along with me on another one of my very necessary, slightly nerdy literary pilgrimages. We headed up to Camden again, not to see the dog collars and punk life this time, but to visit the homes where Sylvia Plath lived, including the one in which she committed suicide. It was interesting that at the house where she committed suicide, the blue plaque on the house only mentioned that it was the home of WB Yeats with no mention of Plath. We were not able to enter the houses, as they are now private residences, but we certainly loitered outside, took pictures, and at the second house, read aloud Anne Sexton's verse tribute to Sylvia Plath she delivered at her funeral.

We spent the rest of the day wandering Primrose Hill in Camden, which is honestly the most charming place I've ever been in my life, and I'm dying to live there now. I might have even looked up the cost of renting an apartment there... We also found out before we left that Primrose Hill happens to be where Ewan McGreggor and Jude Law live, so we wandered up and down many a street, hoping to casually bump into them, strike up a captivatingly intelligent and witty conversation, and begin a lovely (and convenient) and lifelong friendship. Alas, it didn't happen -- a goal to pursue another day.

Anecdote instant terminated. I shall perhaps add pictures of the Sylvia Plath houses later.


Liesl said...

I am deeply saddened that you were unable to run into Jude Law and Ewan McGregor. I'll recover soon enough, and will seethe with raving mad jealousy when you do meet them and strike up a lifelong friendship. Guess I'm not the only one who imagines conversations! Hah!

Also, again, I love your stories. They make me happy.

Wendyburd1 said...

I love your stories and anecdotes!! They are so magical!! This sat THROUGH the whole thing?!! Connie!! LOL!

Liesl said...

Also, your experience with "The Taming of the Shrew" reminds me of when I was in Vienna and went to the opera "Pique Dame (aka The Queen of Spades)," which ended up being Tchaikovsky meets Las Vegas. They were practically having sex on the stage. Very awkward, so we left.