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My night with Reg

Once again, disappointment – my brother and I are not suddenly rich. Went to the Silver Vaults today, the best place in London to buy and sell silver, incredible, famous underground bunkers packed with silver shops. I was with Lizzie who also inherited silver spoons she was interested in selling. We found the major cutlery guy, John Hamilton, who told me my spoon is not from 1661, as my mother thought – it’s from the mid-1700’s. He wouldn’t buy it because he has hundreds just like it. He said if he did buy it, he’d pay 40 pounds and try to sell it for 70. (Mum paid $200 US for it years ago.) Lizzie’s spoons, which she thought were worth thousands, were worth even less – 25 pounds. We were not supposed to photograph but I asked if I could take a picture of a drawer of ladles. 

Luckily it was a day full of other kinds of treasure. Went first thing to Sir John Soane’s museum – extraordinary. Thank God for the lunatic collectors in the world. Then met Lizzie and friend Christina for coffee, tried to sell silver, walked with Lizzie who knows the city so well, and went with her to see “My Night with Reg,” an absolutely stunning production of a stunning play. Glorious – at the end, with tears running down my face, I said to Lizzie, “This is why I come to London.” Such good acting, writing, directing, everything. AND – best of all – Lizzie knew one of the cast members so we went backstage, where I bumped into the gorgeous Downton cast member Julian Ovenden, whom I’d just seen strolling naked about the stage. “Beautiful,” I said, gazing at him. “I mean, the play. Absolutely beautiful.” 
“Thanks very much,” he said briskly, heading out for dinner. As Lizzie and I went out, she introduced me to a friend who was the director of the Royal Shakespeare Company for ten years. Amazing. 

And then we had a drink in a pub I’d photographed and posted here a few days ago, little thinking I’d be sitting with a friend who knows everyone in the London theatre, having a drink there. She went home, I walked through the insanity of London – everyone on earth is here – to get back to my room. Stopped for a bite to eat, a “jacket potato,” as they’re called, swimming in grease and utterly delicious, opposite the British Museum in the sun – and am taking a quick rest before going out to more theatre. Life life life is good.



2 Responses to “My night with Reg”

  1. theresa says:

    I LOVE the Soanes House! Yes, thank goodness for collections (though of course they were also pillagers, weren't they?), and with such a quirky sense of how to extend the perspectives of their collections — the mirrors, the Hogarths in those amazing moveable frames. He and his wife were also involved with the Foundling Museum (as was Hogarth, and Handel…). An amazing time to be a Londoner, I would think. Well, that would be true of any time, wouldn't it? When we were there in mid-February (also returned for a few days a month or so later), I remember the crowds in Leicester Square when we came out of the Kinks play — just thousands and thousands of people, all talking and laughing and moving towards their destinations, or not (many just standing in front of pubs with drinks and cigarettes), and somehow it all works pretty well.

  2. beth says:

    Yes, exactly – the millions standing smoking in front of pubs – so totally unthinkable in Paris. So very different yet so close. Wonderful to visit. I'll be glad to get home too, however.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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