Saturday, 20 June 2009

A cloudy day in London Town

Number One Husband went off to play golf which meant that he would start his weekend marathon of watching rugby/golf/cricket in a better or worse mood depending on how the round went. The golf went OK but the rugby didn’t and South Africa beat the Lions (I know you care). Despite both coming from South Africa originally we support England. After all we have spent more years here than there. He has a rather complicated list of national loyalties of whom he supports if England is not playing which I won’t bore you with here but, suffice to say, it ends with “anyone playing Australia” – that Southern Hemisphere rivalry dies hard.......

I decided to go to Covent Garden at 10 am, when the shops open and when it is surprisingly peaceful, in search of a new waterproof/anorak jacket. Henrietta Street has a number of shops catering to the outdoor climbing/hiking/camping fraternity and I am a bit of a fish out of water there. Having failed in my mission I had some breakfast and walked back through the market and spent the most hilarious 20 minutes of the week – or even the month.

If you are around Covent Garden and see a horseshoe shaped crowd applauding wildly seemingly at nothing, you have just encountered Ben Langley’s audience. This street performer (also seen in pantomime, Edinburgh Festival and creator of Ha Ha Hamlet – thank you google for all that) briefs the audience to follow his applause cues and then goes into the audience and applauds wildly with them while everyone watches confused tourists and other visitors stop and try and work out what everyone is applauding. (That doesn’t read quite right – you had to have been there.) I don’t normally bother to watch the various buskers who inhabit the Garden but this is one of the funniest performances I have seen – I was weeping with laughter. He is clearly a talented actor, mime and stand-up and no-one in the audience left during the performance.

Then on to the Barbican Library to see if someone had handed in my missing library card which must have been stuck in a book I returned – someone had – lovely people who use the Library. I left Number One Husband and friends to rage at the rugby and went to read in peace.

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