By Marcy Morrison Pearce
Editor's note: Islander Marcy Morrison Pearce is performing with Alameda's Dance/10 in London during the Olympcis and is also visiting extended family in England. You may read her earlier reports here and here.
"Oh to be in England," as Robert Browning wrote. And today is the day to be in
London, a city where the residents have been rightly complaining for months about the tube and road closures, the millions of pounds spent and just the general inconvenience of hosting the Summer Games. Today all the buzz is about what has been touted here as “The Greatest Show on Earth,” last night’s opening ceremonies. I hope somebody got permission to borrow that line from a little circus family I know.
Knowing we would be here in London for the opening of the games and available for touring before my mates from Dance/10 got here, we started scrambling for Opening Ceremony tickets months ago. None of our routes panned out, unless we wanted to pay thousands, so we resigned ourselves to watching as most Londoners without the golden tickets watched … in a pub.
Pimms in one hand, lamb burger in another, I was glued to the flatscreen, but was more amused by the commentary midst the drunken hoopla: “What’s that a barnyard?” “Looks like Abraham Lincoln!” “I knew they’d fit Poppins in there someway!” “Never mind, it will get better!” And it did, with the entrance of James Bond and their beloved Queen. Roars of applause went up through the pub when Her Majesty skydived into the stadium. That quirky British humor.
The reviews in British tabloids and Internet sites are as mixed as my friends’ reviews on Facebook. The mood here ... ”Never mind, it’s over. Get on with the Games.”
I know my blog is primarily supposed to be about the Olympics, London and dance, but I have to stray from the topics to tell you about the highlight of my trip so far. We took a Beatles walking tour yesterday. We saw the house where John and Yoko created the Two Virgins album. We saw where Paul lived with Jane Asher and wrote such immortal melodies as “And I Love Her,” “We Can Work it Out” and “Yesterday.” We saw the old Apple building where the four disillusioned men held their last concert on the roof.
Then we went to Abbey Road. As our tour guide left us dodging traffic to take pictures on that famous crosswalk, she told us Paul’s London home was right around the corner. I had to go, no matter the protests from the family who had been walking the streets of London for three hours: “Marcy, come on. My dogs are barking and Paul’s busy at the Olympics anyway. “ But I was drawn to Mecca.
We found it, just as the tour guide described, huge doors, golden knocker and intercom on the door. We just stood outside for a moment, before a man jumped out of a van and said, “You lot just missed him!” We chatted with him and discovered he does odd jobs for Paul and drives him places on occasion. He was there today waiting for his wife. “Where’s your wife,” I asked. He pointed to Paul’s house. Turns out his wife was Paul’s baby Beatrice’s nanny for 10 years. Now, she’s still employed to help around the house.
The gates flew open! There was Paul’s life before my eyes … his car, his house with twinkling lights around the perimeter, the sound system for the party they’re holding today. I felt like I was intruding until Paul’s workers prompted me, “Well, snap a picture!” They were such a kind couple, we chatted about Paul for several more minutes. When we finally pulled ourselves away, Beatrice’s former nanny said to us, “Paul would have loved to have met such a lovely family.”
You know that game, "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon"? My claim to fame, 2 Degrees of Paul McCartney.