My weekend in London, part I

Good evening, how’s your weekend going? Good? Good.

Other than the incredible amount of pain in my left hip and lower back, mine is going great. I’m in London; I got here yesterday afternoon in the rain, navigated the Underground successfully, all on my own and made it to our hostel without getting lost.

Our room at the hostel is in a cupboard. No word of a lie, we have to go in through a tiny door that looks like the entrance to a store cupboard, and up a set of twisty stairs. We’re in the attic. Other than having to crawl to get in to my bed area it’s pretty fantastic. Plus I got the ‘double’ bed.

After getting settled in we went out to meet an acquaintance. They took us to Leicester Square and Chinatown. It was busy, as you would expect, and raining. Eventually we met up with some people we’d met last March and went for tea.

That was a trial; though a reservation had been made the restaurant hadn’t reserved any tables for us. They then wanted to spread the group all over the restaurant and took ages to serve us. Thankfully we had a bossy American with us who gave the staff hell.

Today we went to Speedy’s, famous now as it has featured in BBC’s Sherlock series and always busy. The staff remembered us from last March, as they remembered the Guild having a group photo taken outside and them being tagged in it when the photo went on twitter. They’re really pleasent in Speedy’s and the food’s not bad.

Between dinner and Donmar I went to the Wellcome Collection cafe/book shop. I was good and only bought one book, though I could probably spend a small fortune in there. We might be going back on Monday morning.

And so to the purpose of this weekend away, other than a jaunt to London, Coriolanus at the Donmar, with Tom Hiddleston in the title role.

It was fantastic. I haven’t been to see a live play in fifteen years, and it was so wonderful to be sat in the audience hearing Shakespeare again. The actors inhabited their characters completely, and the minimal use of props was very effective. The Donmar is a very small, intimate theatre, holding only 250 people. The immediacy of the action is stunning. I was completely entranced. My friends cried like babies.

After, we were completely wrung out emotionally, ‘dead’ as the fandoms like to say.

Plans for the rest of the night had to be curtailed and after an epic journey on the tube (because of closures for maintainance this weekend on the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines) we’ve returned to the hostel. I’m hoping it’ll quiet down soon so I can sleep.


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