Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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In and Out of London

When the traffic and the dirt and the people get me down, I need to be reminded why living in London is great. On Saturday I went to an exhibition and saw a new play at the National Theatre, and in between had coffee and macaroons in the Burlington Arcade - which did the job nicely.

I highly recommend Bond Bound: Ian Fleming and the Art of Cover Design if you're interested in Bond or books or both. The gallery is pleasant and free and there's lots of good stuff in the exhibition: intriguing letters from Fleming ('Thank you for the amusing photograph of myself with Len Deighton'), correspondence on whether having a naked male chest on the Pan paperback cover of Thunderball was too racy (they went with a back in the end) and an art installation consisting of shredded copies of From Russia with Love in cardboard boxes (in a limited edition of 69 and yours for £75).

Michael Frayn's Afterlife is also highly recommended. It's clever and funny and has Nazis in, which is all I could ask of the dramatic arts.

On Sunday I was very much outside London, at Biggin Hill Air Fair.

The weather was perfect for an air show, i.e. the left side of my face and neck are now burned from sitting facing the same way for six hours.

Making their UK debut were the Sarangs, an Indian helicopter display team with beautifully-painted ships. My favourite thing, though, was an original Blériot XI, found in a barn, restored and flying. As the pilot prepared to end his sedate cruise at fifty feet he turned the engine on and off - the only way to lose speed, as there was no throttle. The Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Mirage 2000 might be impressive, but taking to the air in an unmodified First World War-era monoplane is in another class entirely.
Tags: airshow, james bond, plays

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