Thursday, January 19, 2012

"London Jottings"

Welcome to a cheesy time travel experiment. I will take you back to three and a half weeks ago. Not really a “time travel”; more like a time meander.

We went to London for seventeen days, seven of which involved an organized theater tour, where we attended plays every night and had private interview sessions with actors from the plays we saw, a longtime theater critic and a really hot director. I mean, he was successful, not, you know, the other kind of hot. Although maybe he was both. I’ll have to check with the wife.

We stayed in three different locations, four days in a rented apartment, the seven theater tour days in a hotel, and five days in another apartment. (“Day 17” was travel.)

I didn’t post while I was away, because it was too complicated (for me), and I was too busy doing things. I did, however, take copious notes. (I haven’t used the word “copious” since I studied Words Are Important in Grade Ten.)

To inject an element of fake immediacy, I will write the following an as yet undetermined number of blog posts, as if there were written while the events were actually taking place. (Because when I took the notes about them, they were.) Think of it as war correspondence from a journalist who got shot, and they found seventeen days of notes in his pocket.

Okay, seatbelts, everyone. Calibrate the settings, as we propel ourselves back in time, all the way back to…(WAVY LINE EFFECT WITH ACCOMPANYING EERIE MUSIC)…December the twenty-second, 2011.



Words you never want to hear before leaving on a trip:

That’s an unusual fracture.”

Searching for a certain cosmetic product to take along – okay, nose drops – I pulled out a drawer and it fell on my foot. Well, not exactly my foot, my right baby toe. And not my whole right baby toe, the topmost metacarpal. It’s like a half an inch long.

What made it “unusual” to the foot doctor was that the fracture was so high up, that if I had pulled my foot back a half an inch further, I’d have missed injury entirely. I cursed having abandoned my Scottish dance classes. A nimble skip backwards, and I could have Highland Flung myself to safety.

Instead, though no treatment was required beyond the ameliorating (Words Are Important again) passage of time, I was setting off for London with a pedal digit that had the purplish hue of an eggplant, swollen to the extent that only irony would qualify it to any longer be considered a “baby toe.”

As it turned out, we had a wonderful trip. I may have to reconsider the entire concept of omens.

(Future blog post: “Omens” – predictive, or retrospective revisionism?)

So long, L.A.

On the drive to the airport, we spotted a small dog in an adjacent car with its head out the window.

The puppy was wearing sunglasses.

The Best Laid Plans

Regular readers will be aware that for the last quarter century, and a little more, our family’s habitual Christmas Break destination has been Hawaii. This year, however, primarily because of the theater tour – though also because baby Milo (ten weeks old) was too little to hula – Dr. M and I were instead holidaying in London.

This required a deliberate adjustment in our thinking. Weeks before our departure, we decided to eschew (yet another Words Are Important selection) any and all thoughts related to our fiftieth state, especially considerations of the contrast in temperature between Honolulu and London – a meteorological disparity amounting, conservatively, to thirty-five degrees.

It is warmer in Hawaii.

We were vacationing, untraditionally, in a damper, bone-chillingly rainier portion of the world. A tiny part of us thought we were crazy.

Consciously determined not to think about what we were passing up, we succeeded to a commendable degree in erasing thoughts of tropical days and flower-scented breezes from our minds.

We arrive at the airport, and proceed to our Departure Gate. The electrical Notice Board flashes “LONDON”, along with the flight number and the time of departure.


It was evident that earlier in the day, that same gate had been the Departure Terminal for passengers headed to – wait for it…


How did we know that? Each of the terminal’s three cylindrical columns had a grass shirt encircled around it. The Departure Lounge also sported a full-sized cardboard cutout of Santa Claus, with Santa dressed in his identifiable outfit, except for the surfing-appropriate bathing suit. And wafting out over the sound system was “Mele Kalikimaka”, the traditional Hawaiian Christmas song.

They seemed to be laughing at us.

With our coats and our hats and our scarfs and our gloves.

The Flight

It’s a psychological phenomenon: You try not to think about something and you think about it even more. What I tried not to think about on our long flight to London, half of it over the ocean, was the word


And away we go


Zaraya said...

Dear Mr. Pomerantz; seventeen days (ish?) of time travel sounds like fun.


Frank said...

Perhaps the sunglassed L.A. puppy was Uggie who has just been nominated for two best dog performance Golden Collar Awards for The Artist and Water for Elephants. A star is born!

Rex said...

I'd think that a man of your (slightly crippled) stature could persuade Reverend Jim to loan you a DeLorean for the time travel.