There's apparently a very strict law which provides that English-speaking North Americans can't visit London without going to the theatre at least once. So, Saturday, dim sum lunch, followed by fighting our way through Covent Garden's throngs of kids desperately wanting to be cool. I almost made us late for the show when I came upon the Apple Store. Oh, my goodness. It looks like a restored pre-reformation abbey: large, spacious, arches, brick walls, young single people devotedly bent over their work at long tables, reverently quiet.
I got into the most useful discussion of iPad2 with a salesperson that I've had anywhere, because I could hear her and she could hear me. If I get back here, I'm going to discuss creating a useful and consistent outline style in iPages with one of their geniuses. The ones in NY only know how to find the pre-packaged (useless) styles, and don't even know how to use outlining in a document. I've tried 4 NY Apple stores with this topic, and colleagues have had no better luck either. Actually I wouldn't even have bought Pages but for the fact that the salesperson assured me that it included a fabulous cross-referencing "functionality" that automatically updated itself. Never trust anyone who thinks functionality is a word. There are entire forums devoted to Pages' lack of x-ref capabilities, complete with copies of apologetic responses from Apple.
And so I was dragged, raving and muttering, out of the lovely Apple store, recovered, and we proceeded to the theater, where we saw the all-singing, all-dancing Betty Blue-Eyes, which is a West End musical of one of my favorite movies, A Private Function. We enjoyed it, but unless your taste runs to tap-dancing accountants and chiropodists (a little goes a long way), I recommend you get your hands on A Private Function from Netflix or your local DVD store. The movie starred Maggie Smith and Michael Palen, reason enough to see it. And of course screenplay by Alan Bennett, who created a plot which just keeps on thickening. The story takes place in 1949, when England still - still! - had rationing in force, and centers on a clandestine pig. Said pig is being raised (fattened) in secret to provide the main course at a banquet celebrating the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip (long before the invention of the fascinator!).
Because rationing laws were so strict, both the existence of the pig and the organization of the banquet for 300 (fictional) town notables had to be kept secret in the hope of eluding the rationing authorities. To add to your DVD experience, watch in a cold room. There was a heat shortage, too,