Tuesday, 20 February 2007
horror w/e btw west- & east- end (1st)
it's never too late to chronicle the lovely london w/e spent with ary at the beginning of this month.
i was right on time to pick her up at waterloo station on friday 2 february. she was coming from brussels where her team was awarded a EU prize for energy saving. well done them! after a quick dinner based on beef wellington which arianna's skeptical palate feared it was cat (the finest english meat mistaken for a pet?!?), i took her to an intimate theatre in covent garden to watch the chilly woman in black. this time it was me who was skeptical at the thought that a musical can be scary. we soon discovered that it was not a musical as we thought: it was instead a theatre piece (still aimed to mass entertainment) performed by two and a half actors, half being the woman in black whose frightening apparitions freaked a rather young audience out: uncontained screams of young ladies were the real terror of this experience! after the show, we realised that a school had filled the gallery, which partly justified the emotional over-reaction.
on saturday, after a good sleep, we went for an organic lunch in the neighbouring queen's park. we had soup, salad, rustic bread, pear juice and hand-made jam. all very healthy and pleasant. the sun was coming through the cafe's window kissing the orchids which were adorning the only table of the venue. we then joined steve for his historical birth-tour around the historical pubs of london. the first one, and my favourite, was Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. the change of pubs and people coming and going at different times of the day conveyed diversity to this fun day. we ended our tour with jack the ripper walk, which took place between the old whitechapel and the city. although most of the places were completely different from 1888 and not very atmospheric (it is for this reason the From Hell was filmed in Prague), our guide was very graphyc in her descriptions and pointed out in several occasions that most of the jack the ripper films portrayed a romanticised (and so unreal) vision of prostitutes and the quarter. the tour ended in a narrow street, which is possibly the only one vaguely resembling the area in its original status. this is why every time i had passed through this alley i could not avoid associating it with jack. the guide gave us the option to look at a photo of his last victim to conclude the walk. most of us eagerly tried to discern the bones and flesh in the picture. creepy! but we were a cheerful group of 20 happy to carry on the celebrations in the dirty dicks pub as if nothing had been narrated to us. by that time we were all tired, cold and hungry, so a full pint helped us restore our body temperature. [p.s. it will be only the night after, in bed, when i was reflecting on the guide's words and got really weary...] that night, however, proceeded undisturbed at the kick bar in shroedritch where we played some table football (strange place: it resembles a traditional italian or possibly brasilian bar and is located in the middle of the trendiest part of london: all drugs, mod-style and rock 'n roll). at 4am we all realised that we were in need of food and decided to go... for a restaurant meal. all the vietnamese places we fancied were unusually closed, so we headed to brick lane for a (bad) curry (at that time of the night, or i should say morning, what do you expect?!).
the morning after hangover and tiredeness did not prevent ary and i to check out spitafield. so, armed with good (shopping) willing, we went back to the east-end. ary was positively impressed by the market and we spent a few good hours browsing the stalls before going back home.
dinner was offered by richard: a traditional english roast (lush) followed by a succesfull game at risk (i won!).
that night was a grim night though, not only haunted by the first serial killer in history but also by the sad thought that ary was leaving us the morning after.
posted by Amicacarmilla