London at night is vibrant and engaging even for a solo woman with a swollen ankle. As my pain abated, I was able to put on tights and my suit for the theatre. I purchased my ibuprofen and set off in a taxi for the West End Theatre district. I never go to downtown events alone at home but I am amazed at how comfortable it is in other cities.
I had purchased an online pre-show meal at a restaurant called Salvador and Amanda in Covent Garden. The hostess helped me with the stairs and for under 20 pounds, I had a Spanish tortilla with garlic aioli, sautéed mushrooms on spinach mash topped with cheese, 2 glasses of house wine and an expresso. I couldn't finish it all but there were a lot of people sharing tapas and happy hour drinks.
The Audience was excellent. For two hours, I believed that the Queen was on stage. Helen Mirren, who is a rather petite woman, entertained her Prime Ministers with humour, compassion, and the wisdom of a woman whose destiny is to be "a face on the stamp" for all of her life. She must exude
"friendliness not friendship" to her ministers. Only when Harold Wilson tells her that he may have early
onset Alzheimer's, does she break her own rule and asks to be invited to Downing Street for dinner.
Throughout the play, the Queen speaks with her rebellious "girl self" who wants to ride bicycles, watch the other people through the window and who balks at being addressed as "ma'am". The play runs until June 15 and is truly worth seeing.
Tomorrow, I leave London on the Eurostar for Paris. By 2:00 tomorrow, I should be in my new Paris apartment.