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9th August 2009

I am back in the UK by way of New York and Amsterdam (airlineís decision not mine). I flew back on Northwest Airlines, who are now busy merging with Delta Airlines and KLM, at least I think they are merging with KLM as well, not just partnering. So I flew from Boise to Minnesota on Delta, switched to Northwest from Minnesota to New York and when I left New York for London it was KLM, which is why we went via Amsterdam. Northwest and Delta seemed to know who they were, but KLM was having an identity crisis and the cabin crew did not seem to know who they were any more. Some of them disclaimed all knowledge of the American end. But technically I flew from Boise to London on the same airline! Such is the state of the airlines in the world at the moment.

I see Richard Branson is going to Congress in the US to protest the proposed merger between American Airlines and BA, canít say I blame him, it will create a monster. When my son was laid off from United after 9/11, he declined to go back when they asked him and stayed with his corporate job. His friend from College went back to United and is now about to be laid off for a second time, just before the birth of his first child. They would both have been senior Captains by now on double the salaries, had events been different.

I always listen to ĎWomanís Hourí when I am in the UK, wish we could get it in the US. I missed it while I was away. To hear Jennie Murrayís velvety voice, dripping like dark melted chocolate, talking about the delights of watching menís thighs while they drive, gave me quite a buzz last week and, I hasten to add, a giggle. I suppose it only works with manual cars, not so well with automatic.

I had a business meeting in New York and I had a great time there. Itís amazing city, much safer now since Mayor Giulianiís zero tolerance policy. Everyone was friendly and positive despite the grim times. I stayed near Times Square which was packed jam with tourists from all over the place, all having a whale of a time. The hotel was terrific- itís called STAY, an appropriate name. It was a Quality Inn - now rather chic, boutique hotel. The rooms are small, but who wants to spend their time in the room, unless maybe itís young or even old lovers? And the staff were lovely - friendly and helpful beyond the call of duty.

One day I marched up from Times Square (47th Street) to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (83rd Street) about 40 blocks, through Central Park and the Zoo. It was great until I exited the Museum to be greeted with torrential rain, as if someone had turned a garden hose full pelt on to the City. It was like the rain we had, when we had to cancel our first two performances at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Never mind, it reminded me of ĎSingin in the Rainí and Gene Kelly deliberately jumping in the puddles.

I wanted to go to the theatre, but there were about 30 musicals to 5 straight plays. I ended up seeing our imported ĎMary Stuartí with wonderful performances, but is a creaky old play, not really helped by alienating sets and only the two women dressed in the right period, with the men all in grey business suits- not very engaging for the audience. I donít really see how Schiller made it as a great writer to start with.

Anyway thatís just my opinion, the theatre was packed and the audience certainly appreciated the terrific acting and there are Tony nominations all round. So now I am back and getting acclimatized again to the UK. I really do feel I have been in another world, but the brilliance of nowadays is that one can leap from one side of the world to the other in the matter of a few hours. So dear friends, the pile of paperwork calls and this will be a short blog until next time! Jane
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