50: spontaneity

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba’
(Here comes a lion, Father)

Circle of Life, Elton John

It’s E’s 30th birthday and I called him at midnight, when I realised he was still up, to be the first person to wish him for it. ‘I hope you’re starting this decade as you mean to carry on,’ I said.

‘Well actually I’m in bed,’ he replied. At least he can now say he was talking to a woman in bed as he turned 30. The fact that they’re different beds in different cities doesn’t need to be mentioned.

It turned out, in the course of our late night conversation that E was coming to London for the day and had a spare ticket for the Lion King. Did I want to join him and his friends to see it? There are always a hundred and one jobs to be done on the weekend, but the days are too few, and getting ever fewer, to say no to an unplanned piece of fun. So I walked over to the Lyceum to meet E et al and see the show.

I’m not a huge musicals fan, but this was an amazing production. Lots of people I’m sure have said so before me. The set and the costumes were so clever, and the dancing so skilled, there were points where I couldn’t decide what to look at.

And the opening words (even after hearing them sung out for the first time 15 years ago when my parents made me take my sisters in to watch the film while they watched Speed) make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

So here’s to E’s 30th birthday. And to the spontaneity of youth.

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