Joy on the Loose in London

© sue schlabach, 129twigandvine, sara pinto and her fabulous fanRecently I found myself in London with the amateur absurdist, Sara Pinto.

How I know Sara is a long and separate story.

For this story, all you need to know is that we are old, old friends. That creative sparks fly when we are together. That Sara now lives in Glasgow instead of 45 minutes down the road.

September. London. Old friends reunited. We found ourselves walking through South Kensington smiling, laughing, giddy. The crowds on the sidewalk split to let us pass, as if exhibits of happiness were equal to pure madness.

photo by Sara Pinto, seen on 129twigandvine On the Tube platform a gentlemen accused us of being drunk. I guess in a way we were: drunk with happiness to see each other after more than a year, drunk with ideas to share with each other, drunk with stories to tell, drunk with anticipation of the hours ahead.

Instead of adjusting our behavior, we felt spurred on to do more smiling, more laughing, to be more absurd. We only stopped short of public operatic singing in our gestures of joy. Just barely stopped short. And I think there may have been a little singing. (Just not in an operatic style.)

photo by Sara Pinto, seen on 129twigandvineReactions were first wary, then curious, before a smile would creep onto someone’s face. The Londoners we met were warming up to us.

In John Lewis we made the small act of buying socks as fun as a childhood jaunt to the circus. We took ‘kilroy was here’ selfies with enormous sunglasses, with coffee cups, on the Tube… Every so often Sara had a hot flash and pulled off some clothes and fanned herself furiously with a Spanish fan.

In the Islington coffee shop we visited twice in one day, the staff not only remembered us, but recalled (in minute detail) what we had ordered the first time. This is when absurdity pays off—you become memorable. It doesn’t hurt to have a Spanish fan.© sue schlabach, 129twigandvine, sue schlabach and sara pinto coffee selfie© sue schlabach, 129twigandvine, sue schlabach and sara pinto selfie, london John LewisSo do yourself a favor. Get a little absurd with someone you know well. Feed the absurdness in yourself and spread it about. Belly laughs are good for everyone. So is happiness.

It’s easy to spread misery. But it’s just as easy to spread joy. Pass it on.129twigandvine, © Sue Schlabach, selfie in Liberty, LondonMore about Sara: author, animator, a sometime accordionist, artist, and—of course—an absurdist (who is far from amateur). Go snoop around her website!

The second and third photos were taken by Sara Pinto.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

November 6, 2013 at 12:46 am

So fun! What a lovely story!

November 6, 2013 at 1:51 am

How fab to have a friend like that!
I’m hoping to have a good few giddy moments with my sister and nieces when they come over for Christmas. And we will be in London for a few days too!

Midwestern Plant Girlreply
November 6, 2013 at 6:21 am

Treasure your friendship, it is a valuable thing! You two remind me of my best friend and myself. We are a pair of goofballs when together. I love the coffee cup shot! 🙂

Lori O.reply
November 6, 2013 at 7:58 am

I love how time and distance cannot dampen a good friendship!

Kate Georgereply
November 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Love this with a passion that cannot be denied. Yes. And next time I think the singing should be operatic.

Sara Pintoreply
November 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Honestly, Sue, it should be illegal to have so much fun!!! Our few days together are still burning like an ember (but not hot in a bad way) in my chest! (wait, is that another hot flash??) Surprised you didn’t include the pictures of us in the headdresses!! All my love, Sara

November 11, 2013 at 3:40 am

He he – this post had me grinning from ear to ear, and I absolutely love your description of your friend as an “amateur absurdist”. I wish I had been up in town that day and encountered you two being bonkers.

Sue Schlabach 129twigandvinereply
November 11, 2013 at 7:58 am
– In reply to: Rachael

Thanks Rachael! Would love to see you someday in London!

Under the Cacao Tree in Bonnington Square | 129twigandvinereply
November 20, 2013 at 7:34 am

[…] Square was lit dimly by streetlights as we left the busy roads near the Vauxhall Station. Sara described it to me on the Tube, and here it was, as though she’d conjured it. The corner […]

Leave a reply