By Marcy Pearce
Editor's note: Islander Marcy Morrison Pearce is performing with Alameda's Dance/10 in London during the Olympics and is also visiting extended family in England.
It was a balmy, beautiful, British day and we are all somewhat rested, fed, and showered, albeit without the help of washcloths. The past two days have been filled to bursting like a proper English breakfast sausage.
The highlights: yesterday ended with a rollicking, rain-soaked rendition of “Singing in the Rain,” as the group attended the musical of the same name at the regal Palace Theater in the London’s Theater district. Today, our official tour of London couldn’t have ended in a more royal fashion, with the sight of police on motorcycles closing the roads right in front of us as Princess Anne streaked by in the back of a Land Rover.
Yesterday began with a sunny cruise down the Thames with Big Ben in the backdrop as we passed under Tower Bridge with the five Olympic Rings suspended over the river and sailed down the mighty waterway to Greenwich. Today began with the majestic Changing of the Guards in front of Buckingham Palace. Nobody does pomp and circumstance quite like the British.
You know, I take it back … today actually began with smoke alarms blaring at our hotel and a quick evacuation before 8 am. My husband thought the noise was finally the wake-up call we had been trying to get for the past two days with no success. My daughter thought I had plugged too many appliances into the English plugs. I was the one with the presence of mind and panic to grab my passport and make-up. The “all-clear” was sounded before I made it to the parking lot.
England is beautiful. No graffiti, no trash in the gutters and surprisingly enough, no trash cans … very few, at least, especially around tourist areas like Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Big Ben … because, our tour guide tells me, they’re afraid “someone will toss a bomb in them and blow the whole palace up.” While I would hesitate to use a public restroom in San Francisco, I wouldn’t think twice now to “spend a penny,” as they say, in a British bathroom.
Tomorrow we do what we came here to do: dance. We return to Greenwich, site of zero longtitude and Greenwich Mean Time, where we dance on the Island Gardens Stage on the Banks of the Thames. Break a leg, Team Europe!