South Kensington

July 1, 2010

I arrived Tuesday morning to London to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew, Yannick.  It’s been wonderful to be back here–I feel like I used to come a lot, every six months or so, but it’s been a few years. Zach and Anja have a gorgeous flat with a tiled balcony on a green garden square that they can go play in whenever they’d like. It really feels like they’ve found an ideal place. It’s been bright and sunny, and we’ve played soccer in the garden (it has hedges and flowers all around the perimeter and is only open to people who live around it), we played pirates, and read stories. We had some wonderful long chats and have eaten delicious organic food from Daylesford. We’ve walked around Notting Hill (it out cutesies even the cutestiest block in the West Village) and I’ve run around Hyde Park. It just feels comfortable here. It’s a place that I’ve lived, that I know. The architecture all seems gorgeous and everything seems so walkable after the boxes and congestion of Brazil.

This morning we also went to Yanni’s pre-school play. It was nearly a charicature of itself. The parents were all dress impeccably–a mix of nationalities, a complete jet set crowd at this Young England School.  The director of the kindergarten was a perfect English school marm, bobbed blond hair, slightly overweight, making jokes at which a few people politely chuckled. The kids came on to perform Noah’s Arc. One little blond girl, one of three Sophia’s in the class (sorry, there’s a Sophie, Sophia and a Sofia) was clearly the most advanced and got to play “The Lord.” There were squirmy little red head boys playing Noah, and Noah’s wife was played by a little girl who spent the entire play waving at her parents. At one point she also lifted her skirt up over her head. As my mom whispered to me, mid-show, “that’s why you should always make sure your child wears nice underwear.” Yanni was thunder and lightening. He looked adorable and while didn’t get up to his normal volume (I think it was shyness in front of the crowd) he did a fantastic job. All in all there were a lot of iphone videos and photos snapped of people under four feet tall followed by a flurry of double-cheeked kissing to say goodbye as said sub-four-feeters pulled and squirmed and ran and jumped and tugged at their clothes.

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