Five days in London
|Reading at Polari at Southbank Centre|
It was pouring rain on Monday, but I met up with my good friends Donna and Krys at Charing Cross and had dinner at Pizza Express (garlic butter dough balls... mmmmm) and then crossed the Thames via Hungerford Bridge to Southbank Centre for the Polari reading. Once inside the gorgeous Southbank, I dried off and marveled at the view of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament that were the backdrop for the stage. Polari was sold out and the mix of performers was astonishing -- Alex Hopkins reading from his memoir in progress, Kristian Johns giving us a sneak peek at novel about a gay superhero and Alex Marwood reading from her grisly murder mystery, The Wicked Girls. I read from Remain In Light and closed with my poems "Wonder Woman" and "The Virgin Mary Appears In A Highway Underpass," which were very well received by the audience. It was a gratifying evening. Many, many thanks to dapper host Paul Burston for asking me to be part of the reading. I'll never forget it.
|The view behind the stage at Southbank Centre|
I took the train to Rochester in Kent on Wednesday to stay overnight with Krys, husband Peter and Donna. We chatted all night, had dinner, played with the cats and watched trashy British television. On Thursday morning, we sat in the garden having tea before I departed back to London and over to Eltham to visit my friend John. Then it was back into the city for a poetry reading at L'Osteria 57.
Agnes put the reading together and Karen Head flew in for the night all the way from Barcelona to join us. Ivy Alvarez came over from Cardiff and Robert Peake, who is living in London now, also joined us. It was a lively reading and I was thrilled to be part of it. Afterwards, Karen and I went with her friend Philip for a pint at The Lady Ottoline Pub.
|BFI IMAX cinema|
After the film, I walked back to Southbank Centre and sat on the terrace overlooking the Thames with Ivy Alvarez for a cup of tea. That's where I also lost my cell phone. We were on the bus when I realized it wasn't in my pocket. I totally freaked out and raced back to Southbank in a taxi and discovered that someone had turned the phone in to lost and found. Whew! I made it over to Soho to meet Dave Cross again and hand over a memory stick with all of Kate Bush's videos on it for the HomeGround party on Sunday night. We also got to discuss Prometheus, which he liked a bit more than me.
|At the Pizza Express across from Charing Cross|
Only two more days in London. Time both speeds up and slows down when I'm here, but this has definitely been a whirlwind of a trip.