Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Half Day, Half Night

One of the great things about being on vacation is the ease with which the days begin. Of course my days begin with the same ease at home, but there is something about being in a hotel, in a different city, in a different country that makes the slow, gentle start to a day seem all the more sweet. London was a treat to us last night and it will be a treat today too.

After our flight yesterday we made it to our hotel, a terrific Edwardian building constructed in 1902, a building with all the elegance of that final period of classical architecture before builders and designers discovered the use of concrete, glass and steel, building to save money and maximize space usage rather than considering the effect of their designs and constructions on the landscape in which they were set. It is the classic turn of the century brick building, with narrow hallways and lots of angled and cornered corridors, shaped around an interior patio garden with a terrific outdoor restaurant.

Our first order of business was a nap, something planned to take an hour or two. We slept for about four or five hours, finally getting up to see the world at around dinner time. After dining in the garden we talked about what we might do for the evening. I checked with the concierge at the hotel about reservations to Jersey Boys at the Picadilly Theatre. He suggested we just show up and buy tickets at the door; since I was in a wheelchair we would get priority seating.

We took his advice and grabbed a cab to the theatre. Sure enough there were tickets available and special seating for those of us in wheelchairs, excellent seating. Getting to the seats was an interesting diversion. The theatre staff wheeled me back out the front door and down a side alley to a door generally used as a service door, doubling as an emergency exit. They let us in where we were right next to the wheelchair seating.

As is usual in theatres, the wheelchair seating was simply the removal of a couple of standard seats at the end of a row with easy access. Mostly this works out fairly well, and mostly it did in this case. The only challenge was the narrowness of the seat rows, making it impossible for me to stay in my chair without having to watch the show while seated at ninety degrees from the stage. I transferred to a proper seat and settled in.

The show was terrific and I loved the music. Cheryl had seen the show in Calgary already however she enjoyed the London presentation, suggesting it was somewhat better than the Calgary presentation. After the show it was back out into the alley, and back into a cab to return to the hotel. We finished the day off with a pleasant cocktail and snack in the garden-side bar. For a half day, it was a pretty full day.

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