Friday, 28 December 2012

A Christmas Carol

I'm not a great Dickens fan, so went along slightly reluctantly when neighbours and drinking buddies Lorna and Richard proposed that we go to a performance of A Christmas Carol in Charles Dickens' House in London, but I was completely wrong.  That's never happened before, of course!

We went down by train at lunchtime and spent a couple of hours in the National Portrait Gallery, something else I was pretty ambivalent about.  Wrong again!

Jenny wanted to see the exhibition of pictures of Prince Henry, son of James VI of Scotland and I of England, so we bought our tickets and went in.

First, it was fascinating - he was very popular and in his late teens looked extremely promising as a future king, but then tragically died of diptheria (I think).  The notes published after his autopsy seem clear enough that modern medics have decided that was what did for him.

There was music playing quietly, and the highlight was hearing the Tompkins When David Heard that Absalom was Dead which we sing occasionally.  It's one of a slew of pieces composed as a direct result of the death of Prince Henry.  I've rarely enjoyed a couple of hours in an art gallery more.

From there we returned to Russell Square and walked to the Dickens Museum.  There were only 24 people in the audience in a smallish room, where Dominic Gerrard put on an excellent one-man-and-a-puppet show which held us entranced.  I was so glad we went.

Afterwards we walked to an Indian restaurant, the Salaam Namaste just around the corner, where Richard had booked us a table. We had really excellent food and if you're looking to eat thereabouts, I highly recommend it.

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