It's been a cold, miserable sort of day, and we've spent much of it lazing around whilst trying to avoid the rain showers. We went to my new favourite cafe this afternoon, to drink hot chocolate and do a bit of work in a sort of "it doesn't matter if we don't actually do any work" sort of way.
Throughout the day we've been receiving regular updates from various friends in New York. The much-anticipated hurricane seems to have become something of a damp squib. In fact, when we spoke to Christopher last night, he simply said; "yeah, it's raining a bit... no wait, it's stopped..." Sharon told us the sun was shining and that they'd managed to escape with just a few heavy gusts of wind. Thank God. Sometimes I wonder why the media makes such a big deal about these things. When they start to count the cost of this hurricane, it'll surely not be in damaged buildings, but in revenue lost when half of New York was evacuated, and all the shops, theatres and businesses were closed unnecessarily.
Whilst sitting in the cafe, I stuck a hand into my computer bag to find a pair of headphones and immediately felt my entire body engulfed by a searing pain. I looked down to see a wasp hanging from my finger. I can't remember when I was last stung by a wasp, enough, one assumes, to forget what an unplesant experience it can be! Five hours later, and I'm still feeling a bit sore, although thankfully I'm not one of those people who swells up when bitten or stung. There were no dramatic high-speed trips to A and E for injections of anti-histamines!
We went to see the film One Day tonight, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Nathan was considerably less impressed, describing the piece as "dismal." The only slightly irksome aspect from my perspective was Anne Hathaway's Yorkshire accent, which I genuinely would describe as, at least approaching, dismal.
The other dismal aspect of our evening was the cinema itself. Screen One at the Odeon in Muswell Hill is a barn of a room; a 1930s haven, which is beautiful to look at, but both freezing cold, and incredibly unclean. When I got up to leave, I realised my feet were stuck to the floor, and heaven knows what was lurking in the darkness under the seats! The screening room has also become hugely impractical as a space. For some reason people are no longer allowed to watch from the stalls, so the entire audience now sits in the circle, which, at its closest point, is at least 20 meters away from the (relatively small) screen.
To add insult to injury, Odeon policy is now to flog "premium" seats, which means no one with an ordinary ticket can sit in the first 15 or so rows. This obviously leads to the entire audience sitting in a clump in the back ten rows, so far from the screen that the experience becomes a little like watching a computer screen from an arm chair the other side of your sitting room. Only two people in the entire auditorium had paid for premium seats, so I'd wager that it can't be hugely cost effective.
And don't get me started about the person who switched the house lights on before the film ended... In fact, just at its most moving point; and there we all were weeping into handkerchiefs and wiping snot from our chins. Not a good cinematic experience, and Odeon, as a company, should feel ashamed.
350 years ago, Pepys went to see the Sandwich clan at the Wardrobe, and found the two oldest children preparing to leave London for a trip to France, part of some kind of grand tour I suppose. There was lunch at Pepys' cousin, Thomas'. Everyone was very merry, but Pepys felt the food was sub-standard and decided his cousin was something of a miser. After lunch, there was yet another trip to the theatre, and Elizabeth Pepys was thrilled to see the King, Duke of York, and Pepys' pin up, Lady Castelmayne all present. One assumes she barely watched the play itself. In those days, theatres, like churches, were places to watch people and be seen watching people. I imagine fans and things and lots of fluttering eyes...