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Painters, Plays and a Fancy Meal

August 10.

John Edwards is a Welsh painter, who we met when we took Jodi and Wendy to London in 1985. Shortly before we were scheduled to return home, I admired a painting of John’s hung in a London gallery window. When I inquired of the gallery owner whether she had any other works of a John’s she said no, but she would in a couple of days, because they were opening a show of his then. I said that we’d be gone by then, so the gallery owner called John and we were invited to visit him that afternoon in his home/gallery in a former biscuit factory in SE London. Carol and I, with Jodi and Wendy, hit it off with John and wound up buying six paintings, assuring the success of his show. We’ve remained friends of John’s and have seen him several times in Chicago and London. We love his somewhat zany personality, and his paintings, too. Here is John in 1985.

At 8 this morning, John came to our flat for breakfast, traveling an hour or more from Ipswich, where he lives in a remodeled tannery. (Yes, John has moved from a biscuit factory to a tannery, in which he seems very happy.). it was great to spend a couple hours catching up with John, hear about his many recent projects and introduce him to Zoe and Phoebe.

Here is a photo of one of John’s recent paintings.

He’s to send us photos of other paintings, and we may wind up adding to our collection of Edwards’ paintings.

Carol miscalculated the date on which we leave London (tomorrow), so we needed to pack up and move to another flat this morning. Not ideal, but that’s why God made Uber, so we called one and got the move done.

We tubed to Piccadilly Circus and walked along very fashionable, upscale Regent Street for some 45 minutes or so, before settling in to a very nice pub for lunch.

I’ve about had it with tubes at this point, so we taxied over to the Phoenix Theater to see a terrific musical, Come from Away, that had been very highly touted to us by our friends from Atlanta with whom we’ll be traveling to Japan next April, Robert Cook and Joseph Hanson, who had seen it in New York. The play is based on the real life story of a Newfoundland town that absorbed some 700 people who were diverted there because they were on flights when 911 occurred. We met Tom Handler and Judith at the show, and Judith arranged for us to get a backstage tour by a friend of her daughters who works on sets for the theater.

After the backstage activities, we spent an hour with Tom and Judith over coffee in a very pleasant old pastry/coffee shop, then said goodbye, as they were going to the Proms tonight

Carol had made a dinner reservation for us and the girls at a very good French restaurant in SoHo, called Margaux. Excellent meal, after which we took a taxi to our “newly-moved-into flat” and reviewed the trip together (more about this review tomorrow).

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