All the world’s a stage…

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.

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A-ha!

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.

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Words

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.

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Me, dogs and big strong men

I’ve been helping a company with its marketing activity recently, involving quite a bit of content writing, which has kind of diluted my creative juices a bit for my pp stuff. But I thought I should get back in the ole saddle before I forget what it’s like to write completely without a direction/brief. Anyway my subject this evening is back to an old shaggy dog theme. In fact it’s about shaggy dogs. Well actually it’s about little dogs. And men. Big old macho men. Or so I thought.

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Slightly odd

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.

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Names to amuse

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

Retail change

Well the weather’s really perked up and the cafes are buzzing with tables all over the pavements – it looks quite continental here in SuA.  Carol’s just finishing off her last day’s work this week then he plan is to pop down to a riverside pub and have a glass or two of something cool and refreshing for the first time in almost a year – assuming of course we can get onto the licensed patio space without having to sign my soul away to Matt Hancock. It’s great to see our towns opening up and coming to life again eh! Continue reading

Springtime

Let’s face it the last week or so has been really chilly and overcast with a bit of snow thrown in for good measure. It’s bloody mid-April for goodness sake. Popped out to get my paper at 6.30am and it was cold again (boo) but lovely and bright (hurrah). Carol was due to head off at 10am to Finmere to see her beautician and I needed to deliver a parcel to the Post Office and get some plant gifts from M&S before C left. It was only a few hours later but I couldn’t believe the change in the temperature. I’d only gone 50 yds and had to take off my top and walk around in just a T-shirt. It was so warm. OMG I thought, spring had sprung at last. Continue reading