Going to note down a few things from Christmas and activities this week, particularly concerning trip to London yesterday to see Les Misérables, which was my mother’s gift to step-father, sister and myself. Great to see it performed live again (went before about ten years ago), though the fact I know almost all the words by heart probably took something away from it. They girl playing my favourite character, Éponine (”I know this house, I tell you, there’s nothing here for you! Just the old man and the girl, they live ordinary lives”), was pretty good. For some reason they cut out the song Little People, replacing it with just a few lines here and there from Gavroche; not sure why they did this. There were plenty of bits in between the famous songs that I’d forgotten, and I was particularly struck by Enjolras’ death; the barricade spins round, hiding the dead bodies of all the rest of the students, to show him alone on the other side, body hanging as loosely as the revolutionary flag hooked in with him, an image of defeat.

We asked each other afterwards, “did you cry”, and it was interesting how we did so at very different points. My sister said she did at various deaths. For me, it’s certain lines about struggle, loneliness and justice (conceived Platonically), from Javert, Valjean and Éponine. I mean that is what the whole thing is about, as far as I can tell: the conflicting senses of duty on the parts of both Valjean and Javert, the uselessness of youth seen both in the love stories and in the revolution, yet, the romance of said uselessness.

It’s great to travel to London. I couldn’t help but contrast the place with Sheffield city centre where I went for coffee with a friend a day previously.

Note 12/iii/2013: The timestamp on this post may not be accurate.