Thursday, October 14, 2010

LONDON : The Dean of Musical Theatre

Monmouth Coffee

Lunch date with my Aussie mate Dean Lotherington, who I haven’t seen since his 2007 Edinburgh Festival show Seriously. Pet Shop Boys Reinterpreted,  which I think saw about five times. It’s that good.  I’m still waiting for the official recording to be completed so I can leave it playing endlessly in my car or wherever.

One of the things I love about getting onto one of the Tube carriages with Bondi or Munson is that you know your last moment selection of a carriage is going to make at least one person’s day. There is always, and I mean always, someone who is simply beaming from ear to ear when you step in and park yourself in a seat or corner. Sometimes they’ll start up a conversation and other times they will sit quietly and just glow.  On the way into the city today there were several people really happy to see Munson, talkers and beamers. When we came back later in the afternoon, it was a young girl from Romania, her mother and (I think) grandmother, with lessening abilities in English. The girl was going to see a castle where a king lived, but I got the feeling this was almost second-rate compared to rubbing the belly of a gigantic sled-dog on the train.

Borough Market lunchSince we were going to a pub in Southwark I went to Borough Market first to get coffee at Monmouth Coffee where Munson stole the show a couple of times. I wish I had photos of the crowd of people literally queuing up to photograph him. Coffee done, we were walking back through the market when one of the vendors (selling lavender, mulled wine and food) called me over to ask if Munson wanted one of the filled baguettes that someone had dropped on the ground. Things got even sillier than at Monmouth with people just wanting to photograph him eating a sandwich on the ground. Yes, he had tipped out the contents and daintily nibbled alternately on the ham, goats cheese and bread, but I would never have expected this sort of over the top reaction.

Woolpack No.2

Woolpack No.1 Woolpack No.3 soup despair

Woolpack No.4 Dean and MunsonAt the Woolpack in Bermondsey Street (not far from London Bridge station and Guys Hospital) Munson was welcomed, offered water immediately and then we were left to settle in while we waited for Dean.

A funny long lunch ensued.  Munson was very happy except for missing out on the soup, but I doubt that carrot & parsnip would rock his world in any case. He had a few words to say on the subject, but I told Munson that we don’t repeat that sort of language on this blog.

As we crossed London Bridge that afternoon, Munson became very frisky with the colder winds blowing along the Thames. As he would do when we left Sydney Park of an afternoon, he grabbed the middle of the leash in his mouth and started to dance around me, dragging me along by the shortened leash. It’s the sort of thing I could just stop if I was a bore, but it is so enchanting to have him do this right in the middle of a bridge as people are starting to scurry home from the office. It reminded me of Bondi dragging me across the Rialto Bridge in Venice or enchanting the office workers of Canary Wharf on a chilly Xmas eve. If you’ve got a dog around, these are the moments to remember. Canis capere!


  1. Mwij - the Borough Market is one of my favourite places in London. I guess you have to watch out for Munson's diet if people keep insisting on giving him food!

  2. You just can't NOT smile when you look at Munson!

    Good grammar be damned!

  3. I envy you Mike (and your little dog too!). Our Malamutes are too old to get out much (Zach is almost 13 and Kira is 12). I miss taking them out in public and basking in the wonderment people have for these dogs.


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