Thursday, September 19, 2013

London Visit, September 2013: Jenny Joseph

Friday night, we gave Jenny Joseph (an Oxford chum) dinner...
...with Prudence Raper, Mitch Raper's sister. He was the top poet
 in Oxford. Jenny is the best-known poetess in England. 
The poem that begins: “When I grow older, I shall wear purple” 
is known  by everyone! When I took her to the National 
Theatre production of Edward II on Sunday matinee, I murmured 
to the usher so that Jenny wouldn't hear, because she hates that sort 
of publicity, that she was the famous Jenny Joseph.  
I quoted that line and even an usher at the National Theatre 
knew it. Not to mention everyone else we've spoken to. 
Imagine our little Jenny! She was married, has two children, 
and now she lives in Gloucestershire. She uses a walker, 
but believe it or not, insisted on taking the bus to our place 
for dinner, and walked in pouring rain for several blocks 
from Victoria Station. I took her to the 
theatre on Sunday.  

Here's Jenny reading her famous poem:

London Visit, September 2013: Taxi Tony

Leaving Los Angeles in Upper class on Virgin Atlantic was quite splendid. 
They have a bar, so one can go and have a drink with interesting people.  
I talked with a fascinating Belgian Internet mogul, Philippe Delhez, who 
used to be a French fighter pilot in the Serbian-Croatian conflict.  
Fascinating guy, spoke perfect English, He said the American pilots 
were very trigger-happy, and the French pilots tried to stop them 
from killing a lot of civilians...
The next day, at noon, Tony Walker, the famous Taxi Tony from 
7-Up and 56Up, picked us up in his cab and drove us all over London.
He first showed us EVERY house Winston Churchill lived in (!) 
and photographed Joan with the famous statue in Mayfair 
of Roosevelt and Churchill.  
We drove past St Pauls and on into Bethnal Green and Hackney, 
a formerly blue-collar area in London’s famous East End, now inhabited 
by Somalis, Pakistanis, and so on. We visited Tony’s 
Mowlem School where I filmed him at 7 years old
 (they treated him like royalty).
Mowlem School in Tony's day.
In the evening, we had a lovely reunion with David Samuelson, 
who was my cameramen on 7-Up, and is now late 80s, and very frail.