Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Voyage Round My Father

During the summer I had wanted to see A Voyage Round My Father, which was playing at one of my favourite theatres - the Donmar Warehouse. However, the run was completely sold out and I left London disappointed. As luck (and demand) would have it, the play transferred with the same cast to the West End and I was able to see a performance last night.

The play is essentially John Mortimer's autobiographical account of his relationship with his cantankerous father, played by one of the remaining British stage legends I had yet to see - Sir Derek Jacobi. The Times review summed it up quite well by describing the play as a touching confession of posthumous love. The play itself was sporadically brilliant (but what is consistently brilliant, really?) and had some killer lines in it. But the best part of the evening was watching Derek Jacobi who was breathtakingly good. I actually feel honoured to have seen him perform and I don't say that very often.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Fulham First

Last night I went to my very first Premiership football match. I have adopted Fulham as my local team. It was either Fulham or Chelsea, and I opted for the underdog. This harkens back to the late 80's when I started going to Vancouver Canucks games and they couldn't win a thing. The shock of a win induced an unbelievable euphoria - like last night as we won 2-1.

Some small observations: the pitch is much smaller in reality than it is on television; the smell of the freshly cut grass was wonderful (and then rudely interrupted by the scent of cooking sausages being prepared for half time); and apart from one particularly crass and unmistakable refrain, I cannot comprehend football chants. But admittedly, the best part of the evening was discovering that the Fulham mascot is....a badger. Those of you who know about my well-established badger obsession will understand (and probably wonder at) my excitement.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Things I Currently Love v.2

Listening to Toronto Maple Leafs games on my computer as I'm falling asleep. Even lying in bed, I thrust my fist into the air every time they score.

How I shocked the bejesus out of a woman on the tube today. Standing on the platform, I said: You're from BC. She stared at me: How on earth did you know that? I explained that when she opened she wallet to retrieve her ticket, I had seen her BC drivers license. In the hot, teeming tube station, we smiled at each other with the secret knowledge that we were both from the most beautiful place on this planet.

That Arthur, my new aloe vera plant purchased yesterday, came with instructions that said: In winter, reduce watering to nil. It's like a kill-proof plant.

The look on my father's I-just-got-off-a-ten-hour-flight face when I surprised him at the Heathrow Express this afternoon. If I can't visit home, the next best thing is home visiting me.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Thanksgiving and Thanks for BitTorrent

This week I experienced my last first-day-of-school. I used to love this day - new teachers, new classes, seeing friends again, new resolutions. But now I'm just kind of tired. Sure, I enjoyed the school supply shopping, but after 23 first-days-of-school (Montessori through PhD) I'm just about done now. I had my schedule for this year's work approved by my supervisor and to see the actual end in sight is an enormous relief.

I'm flying to Toronto tomorrow for Thanksgiving weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing friends and sleeping in my big queen-sized bed and drinking real filter coffee, but what am I the most excited about? The beginning of the hockey season and the baseball playoffs which are now in full swing.

I acquired a reader's pass to the British Library and have been working there over the past couple of weeks. Imagine a huge room full of at least 200 desks, each one a large size, with comfortable chair and individual light....and a little signal light that flashes when the books you have ordered are ready to be collected. And the best part - even a sneeze will induce looks of death from the silent masses. You really could hear a pin drop in there and I love it.

I have been faithfully downloading the American tv that I can't get over here. Hello Amazing Race. Hello Grey's Anatomy. While it will be nice to watch these shows in real time when I'm in Toronto over the next few days, there is something comforting about crawling into bed with my laptop, turning off the light and having a flickering screen of illegal images send me to sleep.