Friday, July 19, 2019
Back in Blighty
Here I am, fresh off an 8-hour transatlantic flight, relaxing with a coffee in our living room, Dave and Olga by my side. It's great to be home.
I had a good flight -- smooth and uncrowded enough that I could lie down across three seats and get a modicum of sleep. (Not very deep sleep, but some dozing, anyway.) I also read a peculiar little book called "The Waiter" by Matias Faldbakken -- I liked it, but it was very strange and the ending was even stranger. I'm not even sure I know what happened. Was I looking for literal meaning in something that wasn't meant to be literal? Was the whole thing some kind of metaphor? Hmmmm...
Anyway, it kept me busy, and I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it. Just be prepared for an unusual experience.
When I landed at Gatwick, I encountered these two huge portraits of the Queen in the arrivals hall. I'm not sure when they were installed -- I don't remember seeing them before, but maybe I've just forgotten them? Anyway, they're interesting mosaics by artist Helen Marshall, made of snapshots of ordinary Britons who submitted pictures for the project.
Here's a closeup of a tiny piece of one of the murals. Pretty amazing, huh?
Before I left my stepmother's house on Thursday afternoon, we watched "Mary Poppins Returns," with Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. I loved it. It lives up to the spirit of the 1964 original and I'm especially glad that Disney invested in some old-fashioned celluloid animation for some of the fantasy sequences. It was great to see Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury and Meryl Streep among the cast members, as well as a cameo by Karen Dotrice, one of the kids in the first movie. I recommend it to anyone who's a fan of that earlier film.