Wednesday, July 16


The Thames at Southbank nearby OXO wharf. It is the afternoon and I arrive for a double-date early to mill about and make a few phone calls from my mobile. The weather and vibe good and London is the place to be on days like this. Sure the city suffers a bad rap when it comes to weather but in actuality rainfall is the same as San Francisco - about 40 inches a year. The difference is ours spread across the year nor does the data capture gloomy winter days+early sunsets. But let us not dwell on this now- today it is summer! and skate-boarders skate, violinist play and tourists photograph themselves here and everywhere along the river. Oh, and as the kids would shout: "the tide is out!"

We meet friends Jan and Nes for dinner at OXO tower (pictured, upper right) which offers the best view of the city, in my opinion, stretching from Parliament and London Eye to St Paul's and the city. From there we see King Lear at the Globe. It is hard work, Dear Mother, but David Calder who plays Lear is brilliant. He looks like a king too, with a white beard, bald crown and large middle supported by thin, muscular legs. It is his voice, however, that enthralls. I prepared for last night by listening to Lear on CD - I read the play sophomore year in high school - but the language still at times foreign, though the emotions raw. I had forgotten poor Gloucestor who in one bloody scene has his eyeballs extracted in a particularly wretched treason. Ian McKleen played Lear last year at the Old Vic (tickets impossible, btw) and his king different from Calder. I've heard McK described as an actor playing himself in the role, while Calder an actor playing Lear. Either way - rapture.

The oldest hath borne most: we that are young,
Shall never see so much, nor live so long."