The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review


Have gotten too much sun today so forgive any utter incoherency. Spent the morning at my son's Little League picnic, about which the less said the better; they didn't have his trophy, though they had the trophies of the other eleven kids, he was miserable, his misery made his brother miserable, both kids wanted to do nothing more than sit in the shade and sulk and then the dog stole my younger son's sandwich, which should have been hilarious except he decided to have a meltdown about it...let's just forget that part of the day. Oh, there was one highlight: among the books piled on the kitchen mantle was a copy of Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, and I got into a brief discussion of Patrick O'Brian with my son's baseball coach, which may literally be the only thing we have in common besides disdain for the New York Yankees. I can't help wondering whether my son would have been happier not being one of the weakest players on a division champion team, but being an average player on a mediocre team.

Anyway, after receiving promises that they would find and send us the trophy, we drove down to Alexandria to the annual Red Cross Waterfront Festival, where I managed to hook up with perkypaduan who was volunteering, and we met on the pier by the tall ships -- the Kalmar Nyckel (a reproduction of a ship that brought Swedish immigrants to America in the 1600s), the schooner Sultana and the Gazela (ghazalah, I thought of you) which was built to transport fishermen to Newfoundland and later starred in Interview with the Vampire -- they have pictures of Brad Pitt aboard. There was also a truck from the Virginia Marine Science Museum with a touch-tank and some little exhibits, including an aquarium with stingrays, plus a marine rescue group and a parrot foundation with animals, and because it was to benefit the Red Cross there were a number of health and safety exhibits for humans and animals.

And to our great delight, a group that's been at the Renaissance fair, the Noble Blades, were performing on the pier right in front of the Kalmar Nyckel. They'd been giving out balloons to kids all afternoon and doing little skits, and right when we came off the tour of the ship, they had started a mock-tournament with a group culled from the audience and given pink balloon swords to fight with. Then they split into factions -- some sort of pirate versus legit sea captain battle, though I'd be hard-pressed to say who were the pirates and who were the authorities -- and at some point one of the guys started singing "Double, double, toil and trouble" and one of the other guys yelled, "No! You said Macbeth!" and the singer objected, "I did not! I said Harry Potter!" ...okay, maybe you had to be there. Anyway it was very funny and they ended by leading the crowd in a rousing sing-along of the theme from The Love Boat which naturally warmed my heart.

From the waterfront we walked to Bilbo Baggins restaurant, where I have not been since I met juleskicks and lohowarose there many moons ago. We ate an enormous meal (they don't have a kids' menu so our kids both ordered full dishes and did a creditable job devouring them), and one doesn't go to Bilbo Baggins without getting dessert -- Lord of the Rings, for instance, which consists of alternating layers of white and dark chocolate ganache and mousse. So I am very full and quite content, despite the trophy disaster of this morning which my son fortunately seems to have forgotten about in the wake of dessert. I do have one brief follow-up on my post of this morning: Jason Isaacs in the miniseries A Dangerous Lady! No clips, but kissing pics, which is a good start.

The Kalmar Nyckel, Sultana and Gazela docked at Oronoco Bay Park, Alexandria.

One of the parrots with the ships in the background.

The Kalmar Nyckel from the Sultana.

Again, Kalmar Nyckel from Sultana...
...and Sultana from Gazela.

A Kalmar Nyckel watchdog.

Men with swords, some bigger than others.

A spotted stingray from the Virginia Marine Science Museum.

One of the murals in the upstairs dining room at Bilbo Baggins.

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