Monday, 31 January 2011

Acting and Activism: Sir Ian McKellen

So, funny to think I started off this morning taking pictures of my favourite mug, because I spent the evening with Sir Ian McKellen.

I suppose 'spent with' is slightly misleading. I mean, I went to hear him talk. However! While we were standing in the queue in the lobby of the Cambridge Union, a random older gentlemen walked in past us. I nearly collapsed onto Piotr when I realised it was actually him. The man, Gandalf!! He was less than a foot away from me, strolling in, as you do. And as if that wasn't enough, he came back out again the same way!!

Cheeky photo:
(He's the blurry one).

His appearance at the Union was in coordination with LGBT History Month (February) so he talked a lot about his work as an activist, as well as his life. It was brilliantly done, unsurprisingly, and he was so fun to listen to in general.

A phrase that is often used here is: 'what a legend,' like, 'wow, he managed to write four essays in one day on two hours sleep. What a legd.' However, in this case 'what a legend' really means what an actual legend.

And a few more photos:
It's Gandalf!!! (sorry, totally merits using that many exclamation points)

Standing ovation

He finished off the talk by giving us a bit of Shakespeare's Sir Thomas More, a role he actually originated. He made the point that he is probably among the last actors living to originate a Shakespeare role. What an amazing thing to witness. Here is my sneaky video of the intro and then the piece:

I am, unfortunately, now very sleepy and still have quite a bit of work to do. The whole experience was worth it, even getting there an hour and a half early to secure seats. Apparently people were watching it broadcast from the Union Bar.

All is, or will be well, however, because I again have a cup of tea. Twining's 'A Touch of Calm: Chamomile, Honey, & Vanilla.' Mm

Back Again

It has occurred to me too many times that my life is actually incredible. After four years in Cambridge, I still feel, so often, that I'm just watching someone else have an absolutely brilliant life. Then I realise that this is me, and I'm probably about the luckiest girl in the world.

So, I've decided to make more of an effort to record simple elements of my life here. I'm becoming increasingly aware that all this will actually come to an end. My plan is to try and record things I love about England, Cambridge, the world, people, etc..

I'm not sure why today of all days I've decided to go down the profound path. Nothing special has happened. In fact, I got up at 6 (blergh) to head to the boathouse for an early morning outing, and it didn't go especially well. At the same time though, there is always a moment during early outings when I look up at the sky, and realise I've just witnessed the sunrise. Lucky girl.

Apres outing, we headed to breakfast in hall, which, four years later, is still so much fun. Certainly one of my favourite things about this place, so I suppose it can be saved for a future post.

At the moment, I'm drinking tea (the first of many daily cups) and listening to Edith Piaf, before my 12 o'clock Arabic class (still not very keen. Would much rather be sitting here in the warmth of my room).

In any case, the tea is good (Green Tea with Honey Ginseng, all the way from Trader Joe's back in the Cleve), so that will be today's 'what I love about England.'

I use the same mug pretty much for everything, despite the fact I now have quite a collection. I use it multiple times a day, often without washing it (gross I know. I do rinse it out though!). It reminds me of my roots, but generally just makes me happy because it is massive. :) Thank you Starbucks.