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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

me, in London

I arrived last night, after a flight that was delayed several times but never got unpleasant because there were lots of empty seats and lots of room to stretch out.

I’m battling a terrible sore throat at the moment, which has been hanging on since the weekend. No other symptoms, though, so no need to panic yet that I’m dying of some strange alien virus. I’m going to be very cross, however, that if the hurts-so-much-to-swallow part of it doesn’t go away soon. I had a weird brief reprieve from the pain last night, long enough to get some fish and chips, but it was back, though not quite as intensely, today. I couldn’t even finish my wine at lunch, so you know it must be bad.
Still looking at a meetup for early next week in Ealing. There’s some wonderful pubs here, and I’ve already narrowed it down to a couple options.

As I suspected, Facebook won’t play nice with my U.K. mobile phone — it has an exclusive arrangement with another carrier, which seems like a bizarre way to limit your customers. But Twitter is working fine, so you can follow my trip there.

Of to the theatre to tonight, to see the RSC’s new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (which features Joe Dixon, who just about stole Love’s Labour’s Lost from David Tennant). I’ll report on that asap.

Oh, and if there’s anyone out there who reads the site and works at Ealing Studios, and would be willing to give a visiting film critic from New York a tour of the studios, lemme know…

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  • Anne-Kari

    MAJ, I hate to break it to you, but you probably have strep throat. Take it from a mother who has 2 kids who have had it something like 4 times each. If you can see a doc over there for not too much money, have them do a rapid strep test (takes about 10 minutes).

    Sorry, the mommy in me has taken over this post.

  • JoshB

    Get those chloraseptic spray bottles in bulk. They say to only spray a couple times every few hours, but I say screw that. Apply liberally every few minutes, you’ll feel much better.

  • You can probably see a doctor for free in the UK. Call NHS Direct for advice.


    There are walk-in centres throughout London, although you might have to wait in line for a couple of hours. Otherwise, speak to a pharmacist.

  • Gee

    Oh, what rotten timing on your sore throat. It must be bad if it prevents wine drinking! A pharmacy (also called a chemist) would be able to advise you on what’s available over the counter.

    Here’s a list of chemists in Ealing (it includes Boots – a well known chain – at

    36 Ealing Broadway Centre
    The Broadway
    Ealing, London, W5 5JY
    020 8567 0641 )


    I throughly enjoyed the RSC’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Stratford. I’ll be interested to hear your view of it.

  • Anne-Kari

    PS: If it is strep, amoxicillin (aka augmentin) is the best bet. So says (non)Dr. Anne-Kari.

  • Gee

    It’s very difficult to persuade a doctor in the UK to prescribe antibiotics because of fears of antibiotic resistence. Unless they are convinced it is the only way you’ll get better, for coughs and colds, they’ll send you away with advice to rest and drink fluids.


  • Anne-Kari

    Gee – that’s pretty much the case here as well, but if one is positive for strep they’ll probably give some antibiotics.

  • Les Carr

    But welcome back, even if we’ve made you sick!


  • Dawn

    Hope the throat gets better really soon….I thought winde would help!? Oh well!

    I empathise with the flight delay – having been stuck on various planes for hours at a time trying to leave London on Sunday (got away Monday PM)….18 hour delay for a 45 min flight LOL. The south doesn’t do snow very well…LOL (yes, I’m from the north!)

    Have a great time in London!!

  • Dawn

    Oops – meant to type WINE…. Sorry!

  • Susan

    If you get the chance to get returns for “Twelfth Night” grab them. Saw it yesterday – it was sooo good. Have fun in London.

  • kalyle

    I saw Dream in Stratford last November. Joe Dixon shines in it; his physical comedy is hilarious. Also loved Mark Hadfield and Ricky Champ. Hope you have a great time!

  • Katie Dvorak

    You in London = me extremely jealous.

    Hope you feel better. Have a great time! :)

  • JasonJ

    Have fun in London. I didn’t take the time to go there when I was stationed in Germany in the 80’s, and I regret it. Hopefully the snow melts quickly.

  • MaryAnn

    I knew mentioning my sore throat would bring out suggestions for cures!

    I’ve had strep before, and I’m almost positive this is not strep. It may be something like minor tonsillitis, though. The good news is that I got what appears to have been good advice in an organic food store here in Ealing for a holistic cure: it’s something containing echinacea, goldenseal, and a couple of other things, and either it’s working wonders or the bug was finally burning itself out, because I’m feeling much better. I can swallow without pain!

    I’m not usually one for this kind of stuff, but then again, I try to avoid taking antibiotics — or any kind of medication — whenever possible. Going to a doctor — either here or at home — would have been low on my list of things to try unless I spiked a high fever or lost my appetite or had other worrying symptoms. Which hasn’t happened.

  • Anne-Kari

    Glad you’re feeling better – I neglected to mention slippery elm tea, works like a charm! – anyway, if you can avoid antibiotics, more power to you. Hope you are feeling 100% soon!

  • PaulW

    Good luck now with the throat if it’s getting better. Of course, keep up with whatever treatment you’re doing for it.

    Although I have to agree with the earlier posts that it sounded like strep. Usually the best thing is to let it burn itself out, but you gotta avoid spreading that to others as much as possible…

  • Lisa

    ha – Joe Dixon so did not steal LLL from David but if you liked him in that you will love his Bottom – he moonwalks!
    Love Ricky Champ in this and he apparently made a good Bottom when Joe was off sick

    Saw this in Stratford and London but preferred the courtyard

    Love Peter De Jersey as Oberon – HE WAS FANTASTIC

    can also sympathise about flight delay – I spent a couple of hours on a cramped hot full budget airline plane late Sunday night at Heathrow -it’s enough to give you claustrophobia

    Hope you had a great time cannot wait to read the review

  • Lisa


    Hope you’re feeling better!

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