Thursday, July 31, 2014

45 Days in London: Day 38

Time Travel

Today is my late Grandpa W's Birthday...I love to remember him and his droll sense of humor, his big back-scratch hugs, his passion for family history, the loving way he restored furniture, and his fabulous gourmet cooking. What would I give to be able to travel back in time and spent an afternoon with him?

Jeff had been reading about a 19th-century British inventor and his Time Travel Machine. Legend has it that he built seven such structures, and two have only a mile from our flat, in the Brompton Cemetery.

The cemetery is huge and we had a great time just exploring the grounds. Didn't we choose a perfect, ominous-looking day for this graveyard adventure?

Look—I caught a dove in flight.

Eventually we located the Time Travel structure, identified by its shape and Egyptian-looking inscriptions. The architect's grave is nearby, and it has some matching inscriptions. Of course the filmmaker in Jeff is completely intrigued with this notion of time travel and the history surrounding it.

In the evening we saw War Horse. We had amazing seats for this one. But I think what really helped our appreciation of it was the fact that we had so recently visited the Imperial War Museum and many other events commemorating the beginning of World War I. It was like we traveled back in time. Understanding the historical background made the story richer. We had just read heart-wrenching quotes from actual soldiers talking about their horses, and how brutal it was for them to have to shoot them when they were injured.

Even beyond being immersed in history, every performance was stunning, from the acting to the puppetry to the sparse folk-singing. I also loved the projections and set design. This just may be the favorite production we've seen so far. It received our one and only standing ovation.

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