Day 19: Illness, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harrods

[Kathy->] is still battling a sinus infection today, so we had another fairly low-key day, with only two outings, both with subsets of the family.

Outing the first: All the kids but Maggie and I hiked 20 minutes down to The Odeon, a nearby movie theater, to see Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was a wonderfully quirky effort, very much in the same vein as Burton’s earlier Edward Scissorhands, a personal favorite of mine. (In fact, I was amused to see that the first time we really get a good look at Johnny Depp’s version of Wonka, he in fact has a large pair of scissors clutched in his hands.) The English movie theater experience was an interesting one as well. At the Odeon, they’ve preserved a bit of the spectacle of the old movie theaters, with impressively large theaters and a very spacious lobby — all the more striking, given what a premium space is at in central London. I was further delighted to see that among the usual candy and popcorn at the snack bar, there was also beer for sale.

Outing the Second: Abigail and I went to Harrods, a giant department store in downtown London, to purchase some tea towels [Mom McMains->] had promised to pick up for a friend, but lacked the time before her departure. We elbowed our way through the crowds and found the towels with a minimum of difficulty. It is, by the way, a treat to talk to the various people behind the counters at London businesses, not only because they’re usually quite helpful, but also because one never quite knows what accent one will encounter. In addition to the variety of UK accents, the city boasts an enormous number of immigrants, flavoring their English with French, German, Eastern European, African, Caribbean, and Asian languages. After procuring the towels, we wandered a bit through the rest of the store, enjoying the somewhat inexplicably themed Egyptian escalators and the toy section, and then returning home via the Underground once more.

Note: I’ve added a few photos from the last week that I like.