A much slower pace today. We both have a bad habit of going for broke and exhausting ourselves. I need a run to Boots (why oh why don’t we have Boots at home) and this unexpectedly creates a new discovery – the local high street. So this is where the locals hang out! It’s restaurant focused, with many Asian and Middle Eastern options. A few Italian too – very spoilt for choice. We explore happily and make mental notes for tomorrow night’s dinner There’s a gorgeous florist bursting with summer blooms; masses of peony roses which are quite hard to find at home.
Chris, true to form is enticed by one of the Asian restaurants, where we lunch, the only non Asian pair. The place is packed and does a brisk turn over. Our waiter smiles in approval of our order of chilli. A BBQ special – it’s a hit.
Post lunch we head out to Kensington Gardens, adjacent to the Palace. It’s a glorious day, no sign of the humidity that’s hung around the last few days. The gardens were bought by Henry VIII in 1536, for a deer park. No doubt for hunting, but I prefer to think of them being in a park. They are lovely with glorious ancient trees and meadows left to run to wild flower. We learn that many areas are left fallow at this time of year as a habit for wildlife. They’re much nicer to little creatures here than we are at home. Even micelings are considered and accommodated it seems.
We pop into the Palace briefly too, to admire the mulberry maze, orangey and formal sunken garden. Lovely. The gift shop beckons – I’ve left my earrings at home and score a lovely pair of dangly fresh water pearls. Needs must, as Nigella says. I also make friends with a few polite royal squirrels, two babies and Mum. It’s good to have royal friends 🙂
We slowly meander through the gardens, stopping here and there. We see a two dachshunds, one having afternoon tea in the lap of luxury, the other a brown pup, ottering along with that gait they have when they run. Love. He comes to grief though when he gets too close to ducklings and the gander braces himself, runs at him and hisses up a storm. He’s huge and pup backs off very quickly.
Today is the first time I’ve felt that I’m on holiday. I guess slowing down will do that.
Eventually we make our way to the Underground and head towards the Theater District. Part 2 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tonight. Yes!!! G&Ts pass a relaxed hour. Now that we are half way through the plot, I’m dying to see what happens next.
We go through security again, much quicker this time, everyone is wanting to be in, seated, to see what happens next. Bellinis at the bar, phones off, curtain up! Oh!
Well, again JK is true to form. It’s the ultimate struggle, good vs evil, making the right choice, and standing by your family and friends. It doesn’t disappoint and there are even more plot twists, ever more complicated special effects. But at the heart of it is a story of love. The love that a parent has for their child, and all of the complexity that comes with it. A darker, underlying story of what a lack of that love can do to a child.
It’s all I dare say without leaking too much. The creators and JK Rowling are using #keepthesecrets and I think it’s fair enough. I would have hated coming to the theater knowing the plot. We’ve waited so long for a new Potter story. I remember the joy of reading each new book, locked away with all under severe threat if interrupted. Whilst I’ve re-read them (and all my favourites) many times over, there’s no a substitute for the thrill of the first time a story unfolds.
The cast again, give it their all. There’s a real sense of enjoyment that they’re part of the JK phenomena. They receive a richly deserved standing ovation and come back for three curtain calls. Despite over five hours of play, for me, it’s over far too soon. Well worth all those tense moments in the ticket queue, well worth the price of admission and even the flight over. I wonder when it will travel – it’s bound to, and beyond that, if it will make it to film. These performances are pre opening night – they’re still tweaking here and there.
For now I’ll wait for the a script to be released and pore over that for a while. Off home it is.