Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Down to the West End last night to catch a preview of M. Night Shayamalan’s Lady in the Water (I’ll post a review in a couple of days). Sitting outside the Bar Italia in Soho, we were engaged in conversation by an eccentric fiftysomething fellow in a kilt who was treating his old Italian mother to dinner (she was the very picture of an old Italian mother, complete with cloche hat and shawl, somewhat in her dotage and addressed by her doting son with affectionate exasperation; if you put the pair of them in a novel you’d be accused of stereotyping). In short order, we learned that he was a cellist and had been down to Sussex on some kind of camping holiday (don’t go there) that seemed to have involved country dancing. Then his attention wandered to a young couple sitting down with their baby and after a little to and fro the father (also Italian) brought the baby over so that the old Italian mother could not only admire it, but also give it a wee cuddle - something British parents would almost never do. Meanwhile, the restless and voluble kilt-wearing son had wandered over the café across the road to make more friends. I love this crazy town.