BACK TO JACK: FROM LONDON TO LA - AND BACK AGAIN
I was in Wholefoods in Camden recently, wasting time before a movie but also pretending to be in the Wholefoods on Lincoln and Rose (and failing miserably because the aisles were so narrow), when I heard a familiar drawl: two elderly American tourists were walking through condiments looking worried.
“Can you see the Graaaaam crackers, Donald? Marcie needs them for the soup.”
Donald wasn't losing his marbles - he couldn't see them because no-one knows what a Graham cracker is this side of the pond. I felt their pain. It was like trying to find a Pot Noodle at a Ralphs.
I stepped in and guided them to what I felt might be their next best option, Jacobs Cream Crackers or Carrs Table Water biscuits. They seemed happy enough with this frankly less than satisfactory substitute, and went on their merry way. Hopefully the mysterious Marcie was also okay with this.
So much for my good deed for the day (adjust halo) but going from London to LA - and then back again after six years - has been an interesting transition.
I feel armed with all sorts of useless knowledge about the DMV, where to buy the best burritos (Hugos, in Atwater) and where to park on Speedway on a public holiday (not telling) but rusty about where the Northern Line meets the Victoria Line (and I'm a Londoner so I should know better).
Don't know if you heard though - but there was a Royal birth. Post-push, I interviewed Kay Burley from Sky News, who was part of the media pack outside the Lindo Wing, waiting for news of Prince George's arrival. Unfazed by the mammoth amount of waffle it took to fill the best part of 11 hours, she told me that she was proud to have a ringside seat at this historic event.
Across town another birth was happening: Jane Bussmann has shot a test pilot for her new sit-com “Distinguished Ladies” about a writer for a celebrity magazine who really wants to be a worthy war reporter. Her Kate Middleton upskirt storyline was inadvertently topical, and very funny. Another some-time Brit in LA and performer, author and comedy writer for Smack The Pony, Brass Eye and South Park, Jane told the gathered crowd the Sway Bar in Holborn, to leave if they were easily offended. Of course no-one did and the most offensive jokes got the biggest laughs. I hope a wise producer picks it up soon.
Dodging tourists on 'Boris bikes' I spent the day at the David Bowie exhibition at theV&A. If you're visiting London before August 11th, do go – get into the queue by 10.30am and you're almost guaranteed to get a day ticket. His teeny tiny stage costumes need to be seen to be believed.
Bowie is one of our best exports and so achingly creative and inspirational, there was nothing left to do but buy a giant slab of cheesecake at the museum's cafe. This is not America - no Graaaaam crackers required.
This is the first in a series of blogs from Blighty. If you want your event to be featured in “Back to Jack” or suggestions about what I should review or where I should visit, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. No guarantees but if there's food and drink on offer, I'll be your friend forever. Follow me @lisamarks