I loved Handbagged. Absolutely loved it, even by the high standards of the Tricycle. But then, you’d expect me to, right? The comic imagining of the weekly audiences between the Queen and Thatcher is a rollicking blast through 80s politics, but without the superficial clip-show feeling of The Iron Lady, and was laugh-out-loud funny and terrifying in equal measure. In a small theatre, having Thatcher march onto the stage and start hectoring the audience is genuinely scary, like finding yourself trapped in a cage with a wolf. To have escaped living through it in person is a relief, of sorts, although Kinnick’s famous ‘I warn you’ speech is sadly still as prophetic as ever.
And so having enjoyed a second dollop of left-leaning British political theatre and\or silly songs (we’d seen News Revue a few weeks back), Michele and I both spent the rest of the week working in Milan. (Italian geography lesson 101: “Milan seems much less crazy than Rome… is this where businesses usually base themselves now?” “Usually, unless they’re connected to the government. In Rome they all stop at 3.”) Anyway – the food, oh, the food! The food was so good
Back in Britain, we spent last Sunday wandering around Cambridge to find out which bits Yale decided to steal, getting nostalgic about libraries and meeting up with Simon for pub drinks so we could mock the people’s government of the United States of America collectively. (Which is still closed, incidentally, although all in a noble effort to halt the march of national socialism and ‘the worst thing that’s ever happened to us as a country‘. I salute your stoic sense of perspective, anonymous vox poppee! America has endured terrorism, killer bees and the finale to the first season of Heroes, but clearly health insurance for the poor requires a whole new level of fortitude.)
Oh, come now dear Americans, I’m only being mean as a defence mechanism to convince myself that this drizzly island is still the best place to call home. Because (as our glorious fridge of many faraway magnets nicely demonstrates) all paths still lead back here, and the last couple of nights have proved what a good thing that is. From dinner at Andrew and Bonnie’s, to pizza, beer and impromptu Year 6 test-marking with my parents, to a wonderful flat night at ours punctuated by lots of shouting between Brits and Yanks about whether ‘porn’ and ‘pawn’ are homophones (they are). To Thai lunch followed by milkshakes with Lucy, to a determined march up to Highgate only to baulk at paying £4 to see Marx’s grave (look, I never said I was against price signals…), to a wonderful farewell-to-London evening for Michele in the corner of – where else? – a local pub, so many of the people and places I care about are here.
This is not a reason to stay rooted to one spot forever, but a good reason to enjoy it while I am