Short & Sweet
April 28, 2006|Posted in: Uncategorized
Just a quick check-in as I’m packing up to return to sunny California (is it sunny there?). We bailed on Canterbury today because Mia is getting a cold and I wanted to repack everything. I arrived with one suitcase and am leaving with three and a carry-on; I’m bringing back a boatload of her stuff that she can’t pack around Europe later this summer. Egad.
We saw Billy Elliot (the musical) last night — sweet, funny, but sad to say, not a single memorable song. But the 12-year-old boy who was Billy carried the entore show on his (ok) ability to sing and awesome ability to dance — tap, ballet, acrobatics, flips, and a great flying scene. Really nice stuff. Glad I saw it, but probably wouldn’t see it again.
Did a lot of walking yesterday — through the Portrait Gallery, where I finally saw the only official Jane Austen portrait in existence (unless you believe in the other one purported to be her, but I think it’s just false hopes). It was on display, this little jewel of a watercolor in a gilt frame, and it so reminded me of Austen’s own words, how she tries to write stories ‘writ small’, on ‘these little bits of ivory, two or three inches wide,’ like scrimshaw. And there she is herself, a little bit of ivory, almost, with that puzzled scowl. Imagine if your sister drew a picture of you and tht was the only thing the world had to remember your face. Unfortunately that’s what we have of Jane — a crappy watercolor her sister did, and it could be anyone or no one — as much like the real woman as my big toe. But it’s all there is.
And so we worship.
Idle worship, I say…
Lots of wandering and meandering — got a taxi driver to take us around Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, and saw Abbey Road, and yesterday tried to get to 84 Charing Cross Road but it’s a Pizza Hut now. Tragic. Really. And yet, 48 Charing Cross is still a bookshop, liiking like I imagined 84 would look. Is there something to it — a dyslexic time warp? I’ll post pictures when I get home and am able.
I’ll need a pack mule to help me move all this stuff — I’m playing moving van, I guess. My brain is fried, must return to the US and catch up on all the writing I haven’t been doing here (my brain is writing but fingers resting).
Think elevating thoughts Saturday while you sleep, when I am flying home to my little Island in the Bay.
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.