Monday, June 8, 2015

England: London Day Five (Yes. I skipped day. Big Whoop.) - East Finchley

Dearest Friends,

Today I went on a pilgrimage. I fulfilled a long time dream of going to the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley. It was a very lovely day. 

You may be asking, “What is the big deal about that cinema? Why did you take a 30 minute subway ride by yourself to get there?”

The answer has to do with one of my favourite things of all time: Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Review Podcast. It is a BBC production which airs every Friday afternoon. Two middle aged men sit in a recording studio and talk about the latest film releases. Mark Kermode is a doctor of film studies who wears his hair in a “quiff” and has flappy hands. Simon Mayo is a smallish man who is a radio presenter and famous British DJ. He tends to know less about film. His job is to read out emails and provoke Mark into talking about films. HE also interviews the various film stars and directors that become guests on the show. 

Mark Kermode always waxes on about how his very favourite cinema in all the world is the Phoenix in East Finchley. It is his favourite, because he has such good childhood memories from there. They have done a few live shows from there as well. So today I decided to use my free afternoon in London to go there and watch a film. I saw Second Coming. It was an independent British film starring the wonderful Idris Elba. It was beautiful, but it was SUPER long. There was only me and about five elderly ladies in the theatre. Two of them left halfway through! 

When the film finished I stuck around to order a coffee from the cinema cafe and sketch for a minute. Then I traipsed down the road to some charity shops to do my other favourite thing: thrifting. There were some more elderly ladies in the charity shop. They thrust dresses at me bidding me try them on. I humoured them even though I could tell they would be too big. I enjoyed tossing out bits of encouragement and advice to them as they tried some things on as well. It was so fun. At first I pretended to have a British accent, but later I petered out and got more American. 

I also wandered into an old book shop. I chatted with the owner and confessed my purpose in coming to East Finchley. He laughed and said, “Oh yes, I know that show.” I bought some very old post cards and a book of Seventeenth Century poetry. 

After all this I took the train back to central London to rejoin my group. 

It was a wonderful day. I loved getting out on my own and having a destination to explore. It was a feeling of accomplishment and discovery. I also enjoyed being on my own. That has been an interesting aspect of this England trip. I do not have a “person” in this group. I like everyone very much, and some people quite a lot, but I really don’t have a special friend. I have mostly been fine with this and content to move from group to group. In fact I sometimes, like today, seek out solitude. But I confess that this evening when I returned from our play I felt a little homesick for Joanna or Sheldon or another close friend from home like Barbora or Claire. 

In the end, it was an iddyllic day which included some of my favourite things: Sketching, podcasts, theatre, cinema and thrifting. If I could have shared it with another person that would have been great, but it was still valuable on my own. I don't think I could have convinced anyone to share my interest in East Finchley anyway! 

Lucy Rose


Sorry I don’t have any photos for you today. I will include them at a later date, because the internet here at this hostel is terrible. 


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