notting hill

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*living in notting hill at the time of the movie of the same name, with julia roberts and hugh grant, i went to see it obligatorily at the notting hill coronet. you may remember that in the movie there is a scene of grant’s bumbling bookseller tearfully watching his lost love julia roberts at his local cinema, the very same cinema where i was watching the movie (i was sitting not in exactly the same seat, but a little forward and to the left). if you know anything of notting hill and it’s narcissistic residents, you may well imagine the little ironic self‐congratulatory cheer which went up in the cinema at that moment. i used to carry around, but fear i have lost now, my ticket stub, where the name of the cinema; ‘notting hill’, and the name of the film showing there, are identical. this must have been unique. unless you know different, and there is a movie called ‘the odeon’ which showed at ‘the odeon’, or maybe there’s a cinema somewhere called ‘jules et jim’. perhaps not. a kind of godardian piece of self‐reference if you will. a year or two later and i was working on the corner of notting hill gate with my very own office and everything. the picture here is the view from the window. i was in love at the time. (still am actually, but things change)

*grammar note: i have never, to my knowledge, lived with either hugh grant, or julia roberts. such ambiguity illustrates the dreadful consequences of what is delightfully referred to by grammarians as a dangling participle. those of you who know me well will be aware that i embrace ambiguity at every opportunity

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