So yesterday was one of those perfect days. It was the day after our 48th wedding anniversary which itself had been fun. Our very good friends Cindy and Keith visited us here for the first time and they were in great form. We prepared them a vegan brunch; Carol did the cold stuff and I did the hots. Though I say it myself, it was really pretty good. By 12.30 we were finished and toddling off down to the RSC Theatre to see an outdoor performance of A Comedy of Errors. The main theatre hasn’t re-opened for performances as yet but this outdoor stage has been packing them in all summer. And this was one of the last few performances so we were pleased to get in.
There’s a hotel at each end of our little lane in Stratford upon Avon. The Indigo is a beautifully restored, 100’s of years old, timber-framed property, significantly extended in recent years. It’s a lovely hotel with a magical hidden garden in its inner grounds. My daughter E and son-in-law stayed there for Stephen’s 50th birthday and we had some super cocktails there after a great Thai meal at our local Giggling Squid. It’s a really busy and popular place now that lockdown’s ended. It’s just charming….
If you’re thinking they haven’t finished painting the timbers then you should know that the black painted timbers are the originals whilst the untreated oak is the restored timber and has been deliberately left like that to show it’s a sympathetic restoration but the building’s history can be accurately read. And this building sits across the road from New Place, the location for Shakespeare’s impressive home once he became successful. A later owner, no doubt hoping he’d profit from the Bard’s fame after his death, got so fed up of visitors gawping through the windows, he pulled the place down. It seems incredible but it’s the truth. New Place is now a beautifully laid-out garden and it is located less than 100 yards from the stunning Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre. And about the same distance from our home in the opposite direction. We do feel privileged to live amongst all this fabulous architectural history.
I was walking into Stratford uA town centre at lunchtime and passed a couple of blokes greeting each other with lots of smiles and hugs so clearly very matey. One guy said to the other ‘ haven’t seen you in ages, how you doing?’ To which the other guy replied ‘just the same, how you doing?’ To which the other chap said, ‘oh just the same’. Then they shook hands and parted. I mean if you’re going to start a conversation guys, is that really the best you can do? Bloody hell.
So today is the 17 May, the day after my lovely grandson Georgie’s 14th birthday (can’t believe it). Here in England it is the next significant day out of the covid restrictions with people able to enter restaurants, pubs, cinemas, theatres, sporting venues etc (albeit with some space-guarding limits). Strangely I found it a v low key day here in Stratford – I expected far more hullabaloo given that it’s a major tourist hub. But no. I have no idea if the Shakespeare Theatre is open nor whether the various Bard visitor locations are open. But hey it’ll all become apparent. That said Caz and I were both busy at our adjacent work stations today so we may have missed the Lord Mayor’s show. We are like 70 year old Siamese keyboard twins busying away.
Long term readers will know I have a penchant for unusual names of all sorts. I love the quirkiness of oddball celebrity names for their kids which I wrote about ages ago in baby names. Things have continued bonkers-wise with Sam Worthingon’s kid Rocket Zot and Uma Thurman’s hardly under-christened daughter Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence. A very early posting covered off some unlikely car naming policy on behalf of the big car companies which continues to this day with the Renault Kadjar and the Skoda Karoq. Krikey! Later I enjoyed recalling some of the more amusing drag names spotted in a publicity sign for a Brighton bar and I then revelled in some names from recent series of Ru Paul’s Drag Race with such classics as Baga Chipz and Bimini Bon Boulash. Now that’s magic. Continue reading
Ok I mentioned my home town of Blackpool in the last posting. Actually it wasn’t really, I was brought up in leafy Poulton-le-Fylde about 3 miles inland from the seaside town, but nobody’s ever heard of it. It’s a very neat, historic and affluent little town and about as different from Blackpool as you can get and the bulk of my family still live there. But Blackpool was always the shorthand for my home town. And I kind of liked the place when we were growing up. It was the place to work and make money with its iconic Tower and its permanent circus nestled in its foundations (with its unique finale – a ring filled with seawater for a waterscape spectacular). It had 3 great piers and 3 railway stations, dozens of theatres where all the top stars performed each summer. I remember the Beatles performing at the ABC and Hendrix and Pink Floyd at the Winter gardens. It had a football club whose history and ownership you could be proud of (instead of the degenerates who ran the club recently). 7 miles of golden sands (bar a few sewage outlets), the best promenade in the UK with its wonderful tram system and the best free show on earth, the Blackpool Illuminations. Then there were the award-winning parks and a fine zoo, the brilliant Pleasure beach with its thundering wood-built roller coasters. Dozens of great bars and clubs and probably the most adventurous gay scene that a repressed Britain dared to offer in the late 60’s. It was definitely a fun town, tawdry yes but built for a good time. And more than 10m visitors a year flocked to it.
I have been informed by my Happiness Engineer that WP have retired the Classic Editor just like that. I have though managed to keep it working on my machine via some old back ways. But good news, I’ve managed to sort out my image uploader hurrah! So pics to follow.