Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thank you.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA. Here is this year’s pardoned Turkey. If he really is that big then I’m not surprised President Obama wanted to stay on the right side of him.

We were talking about this during the coffee break in our Italian class the other day. Well, we weren’t really talking about Thanksgiving Day as such, and certainly not turkeys, but it came into the discussion.

What started it all was talk of the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in London which quite a lot of us wanted to go and see. My Phil and I had plans to go and stay with Offspring Number One down in London and take in the exhibition while we were there. However, not one of us has managed to get tickets.

The exhibition has received so much splendid publicity that all the tickets are sold out. There has been so much activity by ticket touts, some of them selling tickets for up to £500, that the gallery now plans to institute checks on who purchased the tickets and people may be denied entry as a result. They have apparently reserved a certain number of tickets for direct sale each day but I imagine you have to get up at the crack of dawn to queue for these. Somehow I don’t see the night owl I am married to doing that.

Talk moved on from that exhibition to other places where we have all queued (or refused to queue) at some time in our lives. One of our number said that right now is a good time to visit exhibitions for which you normally have to queue for hours. His reasoning was that the British won’t be there en mass because they don’t go to many places when there is not some guarantee of sunshine and warm weather and the Americans won’t be there because they’ll all be back in the good old US of A celebrating Thanksgiving and eating turkey. All we need to do, he finished off, is to find some reason for the Japanese to stay at home in the third week of November and we’ll be laughing.

Walking back to the station later I heard a heart-warming story from another member of the class. Years ago she had taken her small son to London for the day to see the Tutankhamun exhibition. After queuing for some time she resigned herself to just taking him in to see the regular exhibition of Egyptian mummies. At some point one of the museum attendants overheard her say to her son that it was a pity they had not managed to see all the King Tut stuff. The attendant asked where they had come from and on learning that they had travelled form Bolton he told them to stand against a wall, join hands and close their eyes. On his command they were to take a step backwards and only then could they open their eyes.
They did as they were told and found themselves inside the Tutankhamun exhibition. The museum chappie had opened a partition for them and got them in. Now that is a story to restore your faith in humankind.

On the subject of restoring faith, we finished watching The Way. And yes, the Martin Sheen character does find inner peace and has his faith restored. Just about everyone finds inner peace and even the annoying Irishman with writer’s block regains his faith. Not only that but the American father changes his whole life style and apparently does not go back to being a pressured ophthalm.... eye doctor somewhere on America. In fact, the last time we see Tom Avery (aka Martin Sheen) he is still carrying a rucksack but this time has a big grin on his face, instead of the frown which he carried through the north of Spain, and seems to be making his way through Morocco.

Time to give thanks?

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