Wednesday, July 23, 2008

arts and the man

Paintings that struck me today at the National Gallery:

Long Grass with Butterflies, by Vincent Van Gogh

Portrait of a Restaurant Owner, by Vincent Van Gogh

Coastal Scene, by Theo van Rysselberghe

Picnic at le Pouldu, by Maurice Denis

The Painter's Father, by Paul Cezanne

This next one is not on my list of favorites, but I did look at it for a long time. Because what is wrong with these children? I bet it was hard to get them to hold still. You know how kids are. Especially when they have to pose for a long time holding cats and eels. But that little girl looks like an old lady.

Other prominent themes in the paintings at the gallery included ugly babies, ugly babies, and more ugly babies. Of course, I'm biased, having fathered the most beautiful baby of all time. But those babies were fugly. We also found a non-ugly baby that looked like Mahonri.

Once we had art in our bosoms, we decided we would head to the nearest pasty shop. Although we had heard that the finest pasties and pies in London were served by one Mrs. Lovett in a charming East London shop, we were on foot and didn't have the time to get either a pie or a shave in East London. So we settled for my favorite pasty shop in Covent Garden, where we people-watched and made jokes about Aristotle's play structure, which, (whew!) is a lot more funnier than it sounds.

This evening's presentation was Pygmalion, at the Old Vic. I like the Old Vic because it's haunted, and I love Pygmalion because it's My Fair Lady without the singing. It's like the Cliff's Notes version, but much more entertaining and funnier. Also, much more bleak and socialist. Which is basically my life story. Just kidding, I'm a super happy socialist. I loved the play. I love seeing great English actors doing great English theatre. I loved the fact that the first act starts in Covent Garden, and we had just eaten pasties there. I also loved making friends with my seatmate. She had just celebrated her "eightieth," and she was part of of one of those senior citizen tour groups who take Le Bus all over the country and see things, except the name of the group was Xtreme Tourz, which I think is a little too "text message" of a name for old folks. But she seemed to like it and was having a lot of fun.

And though the day should have ended with a Big Ben visit, and nearly did, we were also pleased to return to Manson Place and a special surprise visit from Gary Reimer, who, for whatever reason, was driving a giant pink American truck. So we literally dragged Kensington, and Gary put our lives at risk, and we laughed and laughed.