Wednesday, April 19, 2006

English spoken here

London greeted me with its normal message: England is damp, grey and in need of repair. That's just my opinion and it's not say I don't like the nation which somehow gave birth to mine, but I'm always sure it's a country I'll never live in.

I spent Good Friday in the "Tate Britain" (see photo) building of the Tate Gallery. It's home to British art from 1500 onwards, plus a whole lot of interesting visitors. In front of a Francis Bacon painting, a 14-year-old in Gothic makeup explained to her giggly friends how Bacon had died of a heart attack in bed with a boy 30 years younger: "The poor boy!" they said. A woman with beautiful British vowels stood next to me in the gift shop and introduced a friend to her 7 and 9 year old children: "Nicholas ia an eminent academic in London" ... the poor kids tried hard to look impressed when he handed out his business cards.

For me, the novelty of being in an English-speaking land, able to comprehend the subtleties of conversation, had begun.

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