396: OMGLondon part 1. walking, Cake Lunch and famous people

I got home from my trip to England a week ago and I am just now feeling somewhat back to normal!

So I better get to blogging it all before I forget anything, right?

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London, Thursday June 3, 2010

Walking

On the way  to Trafalgar Square, Beth and I  passed The London Eye :

I would totally go on it, but Beth was firmly anti That Thing. Maybe because we kept calling it The Eye of Sauron?

Right across from Big Ben was this statue of  Queen Bodicea:

I wouldn't have known who it was, but  Beth is a brainiac anglophile who informed me of such things. Love that about her.

 Westminster Abbey :

...where there were some details I had to snap.

Aw, a fella with a broken sniffer:

 And swirly doors:

And yes, the weather was amazing while we were there. Summery, sunny London. Wow.

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Cake Lunch

Via the magic of Twitter, I have become friendly with Lisa Lam of U-Handbag fame, author of The Bag Making Bible (available September 2010) and her editor Jen Fox Proverbs of Sew Crafty Fox. When the plans for London were firm we made a date for tea and cake!

We were sad that Jen was under the weather and was unable to make the 3 hour trip to visit us, but we did get to see Lisa.

Look at how cute she is!

We met up for vittles at Patiserrie Valerie where we enjoyed lattes (yup, not tea) and split three desserts three ways. As it was our middle-of-the-day meal, we couldn't help calling it Cake Lunch.

We talked about crafting and writing craft books, blogging and twitter, and all sorts of stuff. It was awesome.

I gave her some gifts including a copy of my book. As she was flipping through it, I pointed out this picture of Stuart modeling the Band Tee and said, "That's my fiance."

Noticing his adorableness (as if she could help it) she looked at me like 'wow, handsome!' and then back at his picture, nodding,  and said "Bonus." This made me so happy. I tell him every day how handsome he is and I love it when other people think so, too. Is that weird?

Love Lisa's necklace!

The internet is so cool that it allows us to make these connections we wouldn't otherwise get a chance to make. Meeting Lisa was wonderful - she was delightful in every way. (Thanks, Lisa!) Check out her post about our little rendezvous which includes a review of Small Stash Sewing.

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Famous People

After Cake Lunch, Beth and I headed back to the hotel to primp before going to see The Real Thing at The Old Vic.

Over the last month or so, I had read a bunch of reviews and was dying to see it. I was so psyched when Beth surprised me with tickets to closing night! Having heard the the play was fast-paced and wordy,  I really wanted to see it twice. About a week before the trip, my Dad handed me a hundred dollar bill instructing me to take Beth out to dinner. I said "Would you mind if we bought theater tickets with it instead?"

So we secured tickets for Thursday night, too. (Thanks, Dad!)

The lead actor was this gentleman from a movie I kind of like called Jane Eyre, which I may have mentioned once or twice:

That's right, Toby Stephens.

I know, he doesn't look very Rochestery when he's all smiling gingerness, but I promise you it is him.

Yup.

Bronte-Along girls, try not to want to stab me right now, ok?

Back to Toby later.

I'm glad I read the play before seeing it, because it was indeed quite dense and I think I enjoyed it more than I might have if I hadn't read it first.

Wait, what?

What's that on the ticket?

Seriously? A unicorn?

London was full of them. I took it as a sign that I was in the right place.

We were standing in line to get the tickets when suddenly Beth looked like she had seen a ghost (or a god.) She leaned in and whispered to me, "Jesus Christ. Rupert Penry-Jones is standing in line behind us."

Who?

This guy:

I had only just heard of him this spring. I've seen him in Cambridge Spies (which was very good, also starring one Toby Stephens) and  Persuasion.

Beth was shaking. She assures me that if I had seen him in the recent remake of the Hitchcock film 39 Steps, I would have been shaking, too. (Note to self: order that from the library this week.)

Casually, all cool-like, I turned around to see. Separated by only one person in line, there he was standing, alone:  tall, blonde, causally dressed, somewhat scruffy, and mostly unassuming aside from being ridiculously good looking.

We got our tickets and as Beth was trying to steady her hands enough to pay for our programs, I was standing pretty much next to him  and contemplated saying hello. But Beth was so Freaked Out I didn't know if she would kill me or not!

Turns out that I did get several more chances, but still didn't say anything. I wished I'd had my phone with me because I would have gotten a good closeup of him, since he didn't freak me out. (My phone didn't work over there, so I went without it most of the time.) Beth managed to get this shot as he was waiting for someone before the play started:

That's him, leaning against the pillar in the background.  

Moments after this picture was taken, we saw that he was waiting for Damian Lewis. I've never seen him in anything. Unless you count the London sunshine.

He certainly did not mind standing out in a crowd. I could tell by his red straw fedora.

Damn, I wish I'd had my phone!

We made our way to our seats, which had to be apart, unfortunately. But they were in the 2nd and fourth rows, so, you know. It was all good, as the kids say.

I'll talk about the play in the next post.

Meanwhile, Beth and I were wondering what Rupert Penry-Jones's  friends call him.

Can't be Rupert.

Pen? PJ?

PenJo?

xo,

melissa