Monday, October 13, 2008

London in a Flash

Well, most of you already know that I went to London for a few days in August (I also spent a day and a night in Amsterdam).

I went to see a workshop of a musical called, "Ash." Rachel Fuller composed the music and the story is based on her job as an organist in a crematorium where she worked as a teenager.

It was quite an exhausting trip, but it was wonderful to see Rachel AND meet some of my very favorite bloggers for the first time.

I was so pleased to be the "guest of honour" at a "guerilla gig" at my blogger pal James Casey's home in Shephard's Bush - which all Who freaks KNOW is old Who territory. I met his sweet girlfriend, Vicky,as well as his brother, Andrew (who also performed for us) and 2 of James' bandmates, both named Chris (but the drummer Chris is called "Captain"). I had SUCH a wonderful time - I will post a few YouTube videos I took of the gig at the end of this post for your viewing pleasure.

I am such a lazy Susan so I am cheating here and cutting and pasting a bit!
Here are a few of my posts from Rachel Fuller's "Kew" forum.

I wrote this the day after seeing Ash:

Oh I am recovering from jet lag...but I slept most of today...
I am afraid I am NOT good at reviewing...anything I will give y'all a blow- by - blow of the night!

I was a bit late leaving my hotel room to meet Delbut and his wife Sarah - but, thankfully, I only had one stop on the tube!
When I got there, they hadn't yet arrived...phew!

SO! When the 3 of us were together....our mission FIND the Arcola!
This proved a most daunting task!
Sarah and Del tried asking bus drivers if they stopped near the Arcola- the funniest response from one driver being: "I dunno - I just drive STRAIGHT!"

THEN we found a taxi, but when we asked him to take us to the Arcola he said,"Oh no, I thought you were going somewhere LOCAL! I've got to pick up me wife now."

Ok hon, don't let us get in the way of doing your ERRANDS!

FINALLY, Del had the VERY GOOD sense to pop into a convenience store, get a taxi service's card - which was near us- so he booked a car and all was well.
(We ended up getting a call from MarkT who told us he found a nice pub right across from the Arcola. Perfect!).

So we all sat down outside the pub and had a few pints- when WHO should walk by- but PETE and his we all said hi...Delbut sai,"hello Mr. Townshend!" but apparently Pete didn't recognize his beloved fan....and he kept walking.

After some time we headed to the theatre, and had somed delish Turkish Lager (bear in mind Sue had NADA in her stomach! I thought we'd have dinner beforehand - but it was a liquid dinner for Sue! uh oh!).
We saw Rachel making the rounds- then she came over to ME!!! And we hugged and she seemed a bit in a panic. She was worried about the audio and said, "she'd run out of adrenaline!" I rubbed her back and told her "it will be FINE!" Once a mom,always a MOM!

Soon it was time for the show. Delbut saved me a seat in the very front row (I was slow getting in). I spoke to James at his seat on the way in...when I saw Pete walk down from his seat in the back and walk down to the front row and SHAKE DELBUT'S HAND!!! (He told Del that he was sorry that he didn't recognize him earlier).
On Pete's way back to his seat, I was still in the aisle next to James and I said, "hi Pete!" and I stuck out my hand and he smiled and said, "HI!"and shook my hand. That was my only encounter with Pete for the night! It's ok- I was there for Rach anyway!

I thoroughly enjoyed the show- BUT I am deaf in one ear, so the audio probs in the first half really effected by ability to get the gist of the plot.

At intermission I met Rob Lee (oh I met him earlier - before the show - we immediately recognized each other!). He told me that he chatted with Bob Pridden about the sound problems - and they were rectified by the second half.

The show was VERY powerful. The acting was SUPERB!
I LOVED the music.Rachel used a few old songs -
"Nothing Worthwhile," "Pleasure Seeker" and oh man I forget the other one!
I was smack dab in front of the band - which was amazing - and I LOVED the cello!!! Beautiful.

I thought Pleasure Seeker worked - but Del is right - it needed something more- because I didn't realize that there was an accident.

The play went by VERY fast!!! TOO fast.I would like it if Rachel and Jack flushed it out more.
I didn't want it to end.

Afterward...we had more drinks- Rachel signed my program- she wrote: " To Sue: So much love to you, Rachel xoxo"

I was SO jet lagged I FORGOT my pressie for her, so she wrote Eel Pie's addy on the back of the program.

We all hung around for a bit - Pete talked for a LONG time to Mark T. I just didn't have the nerve to approach was fine though! It was so cool being there anyway.

I said goodbye to Rachel - gave her a hug and told her that I loved her - and she said,"I Love You TOO!"

It was nice to meet DublinJames - albeit briefly!

Eventually we all went home - Del and Sarah were so lovely and accompanied me back to my hotel - but we grabbed a bite to eat first! I was SOOOO hungry!

Just a heavenly night!

I am truly blessed........

My camera was on the fritz...GRRR.
It wanted to stay on video mode...BUT I was able to get one beautiful group shot:

From left to right: DublinJames,MarkT,ME!,James Casey, Sarah Evans (Delbut's wife), Delbut.

One more post....

Well, I DID end up going on a LOVELY walking tour of Kew (couldn't find a Magic Bus to rent, sadly).

I had some fish and chips at a shop right near the tube station....then I set off IN THE WRONG DIRECTION looking for all the QUAINT lil' places Rachel showed us over at the weekinkew site!Sue is the dorkiest dork of all dorks. A saddo Americano...truly.

I walked and walked and walked and I even walked in a graveyard! (Thought Rachel would appreciate that).
I loved the Celtic crosses and Angel statues. I even wrote down a few of the verses I read on some of the head stones.
(Ok is this taking my fandom a bit too far?).

It was getting a bit I thought I'd try to find Kew I walked for miles and miles BACK to the tube station and followed the signs - walked across a bridge and THERE I found the little village where Rach lives!
I found the restaurant where she and Pete ate, but...I was in a bit of a hurry, and not in the mood to eat BY MYSELF, so...
I bought an apple, some power bars,some MUD from the Dead Sea (a beauty treatment, of course), a 10 Day Detox kit and a book for a friend at the Organic Health Food Store....I went to this holistic health center to see if I could get this special facial massage- but they didn't have any openings, sadly.
THEN! I went to STARBUCKS - got some CALM tea (I refuse to drink their burnt coffee) and wrote a card to Rachel!
AND! LOL by the time I left the place was JAMMED with moms and their prams! I saw THE most adorable Indian baby there (I think she was half Indian).I even got her to smile for me. aw.....

After tea I followed the signs to Kew Gardens. OMG. It was more beautiful than I ever imagined! I wish I hadn't wasted so much time walking in the wrong direction! I only got to spend about 45 minutes there...oh man you could EASILY spend a day there! Loved the indoor gardens - but the grounds- Oh wow. I felt like a character in a Jane Austen book roaming the grounds...It is a MUST SEE for anyone visiting London.

I rushed back to my hotel and got a taxi to take me to a Tube station so I could catch my flight to Amsterdam. I was a bit late checking in....and, oddly enough, my luggage was tagged as being "priority!" They are so darned accommodating in Blighty!!

I am kicking myself that I didn't get to Kew sooner...but I was QUITE knackered following a fun gin infused evening with James and co!

And,as promised here are some short snippets of the Amazing James Casey (and 2 of his mates from his band, Ether City - Chris Mayes on guitar and Chris (the Captain) on drums.

Ether City - "Supervillian"

Ether City - "Right Now"

James Casey performing a wonderful Rufus Wainwright inspired song called, "Josephine."

Even more James Casey: "Here We Are"

But wait, even MORE James Casey!! This last one is called: "Shoulder to Shoulder."


~VanO~ said...

London sounds terrific. Shemetra has always wanted to go there and you make it sound really cool. Maybe for our 20th anniversary we'll cross the pond!

You're such a globe-trotter! I'm jealous.

And it's good to see you blogging again. I look forward to reading more Suesjoy adventures!

grace said...

Fantastic Sue. thanks for the videos, and making me jealous again about missing ASH!! lol


Lucy said...

Sue -- I promise I DID read this post, but I read it so long ago that I can't remember what I was going to comment about it .. except that I'm still green with envy!!

Awesome writeup!

Lucy xo

Lucy said...

Oh yeah... except I did want to say I thought you should title the entry Ash in a Flash.

lol (it's the editor in me) (remember when I "edited" one of Pete's chapters? LOL and he CHANGED IT!!)

Lucy said...

OK... I'm obviously making up for my paucity of earlier postings to say, that's a FAB pic of you Sue. (everyone else too)