Bronze Brno, and a Chinese Crested Powderpuff
taking a Chance on love
taking a Chance on love
Three dapper dudes
To see and be seen one of the blandishments offered by the blurb writer of Peacock Alley Bar for, looking back, that day two women, classical in inspiration if not origin, occupied my mind. The first, her back to me when I took my chair, turned to look as I sat and as she stared, I thought, as one does when a gorgon-gaze alights, quos deus vult perdere, prius dementat. There she sat, bringing to mind nothing less than a bridge-and-tunnel Fury, hair a perfect ice storm immobile as she chewed gum, sipped wine and turned her head towards her slack-bellied Perseus, planning her next pursuit. In reality, possibly, as kind a granny as one might wish but that image did not fit my sense of being found wanting, so sinking my thoughts into the sunny land of Blurberry, I sipped a "hand-crafted cocktail," and ruminated on the inventiveness of today's innovative cocktail culture. "There you go," I said, "thinking like a blurb, yourself now!"
As the three dapper dudes blathered I read that "Bar mixologist Frank Caiafa pour (sic) premium shelf, rare and house-infused spirits, classic cocktails and has invented a series of contemporary and exclusive libations" and wished for the days when mixologists were still barmen and barmaids (I know, I know ...) premium shelf was just top shelf, and we all believed what we tippled was made in a factory somewhere in New Jersey and, frankly, cared less.
Helen Mirren, the second woman of that day, is a marvel to more than me, I know. I had never seen her live as it were, and I'm loathe to say even after seeing The Audience she is one of the great actresses of our time – such a Vanity Fairish superlative, I feel – but she impressed the hell out of me that night. Who else at the age of sixty-nine could convincingly inhabit, however briefly, the role of of a twenty-something, grieving young woman and, further, have the emotional range (without the gothic histrionics expected from most actresses of the day) to portray not only a woman aging, but a monarch maturing, over a reign of sixty years during which she has to deal with twelve Prime Ministers who govern in her name. A "stellar" performance indeed and the supporting cast was equally brilliant - the actress playing Margaret Thatcher almost had me raging in my seat so much did I, and still do, despise the original. Harold Wilson, always my favourite PM was a joy to watch, and the actor playing Churchill played the great man right. It's real professionalism to do this every day, and it's real magic to make one forget the actor or actress and just see the character. Helen Mirren has both.
I hadn't meant this to be a theatre review but I found The Audience so wonderful and perfect for a cold night in Manhattan and as a celebration of old friends' new lives in the city – with or without Belgian Loafers. In case you are interested, I do not own a pair and am not ever likely to.
When I stopped blogging three months ago I received many kind comments most of which expressed a wish that I would eventually reconsider. When I announced a few days ago I wanted to begin again I immediately began to receive comments welcoming me back. I was so moved and still am.
Someday I will write about a journey with a black dog (one that so many share) and if you want to see where my awareness of that journey began look for the gypsy caravan.