Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stratford thru British Library

It is so easy to get behind in the recapping. I forgot to mention that, on Monday night, a group of us went out to a pub right down the street, The Wellington.

OK, Stratford-upon-Avon. Well, we had to meet at 6.40 am in the courtyard of the college (I'm sure all the people who were asleep were happy about that). Everyone came to the conclusion that they just said that early to make sure everyone would be there by the time we were supposed to actually leave. That totally penalizes the people who drag their butts out of bed on time. Anyway, the bus actually left at 7.10ish. We then drove for a bit to Oxford to spend a little time wandering those streets and seeing some of the sights. Here is a group of us in Oxford. (It is amazing what you can do with self-timers!)

Then we wandered around a bit more. I found this in one of the churches as a piece of artwork. It was the Last Supper represented by emoticons. Took this picture of the explanation to remember what each of them were.

We loosely followed a walking tour to see a number of the main sights in Oxford. Luckily, our class is going back there another day so there wasn't any sort of urgency to see everything.
Then we were on to Stratford-upon-Avon. There, our professors had gotten us a ticket that got us into 3 of the different historic houses: Shakespeare's birthplace, Hall's Croft and something else whose name I have written down elsewhere. I will find that and correct this post then. Here is the picture of Shakespeare's birthplace.

Basically we had a whole lot of time in Stratford. I mean a whole lot. Noon until 7 when we had tickets to Macbeth at the Royal Shakespeare Company. So I spent a lot of time down by the River Avon, watching the water fowl and the canal boats going through the locks. Oh! Meredith and I found pots for our kitchen so we were finally able to cook our own food!

The play was well done. The representation of the 3 wyrd sisters was very interesting. They were portrayed as younger women who were present in almost every scene though the other characters couldn't see them. It made them really feel like they were pulling strings behind everyone's actions. The thing I could have done without was Macbeth seeing visions of the other guy's line stretching forward to forever being represented by babies hanging over the stage. Some of them were burnt or covered with blood and just looked gross. But the actors did a good job and Lady Macbeth was a very convincing mad woman.

We ended up getting back to the college around 1.30 am. It was a long day.

Next Day!
We didn't have a scheduled activity for class on Wednesday morning because we were getting back late from Stratford. I had wanted to go to yarn shops but ended up sleeping until 10.30. Then I had a leisurely lunch/waking up period which included typing like a mad woman in the computer lab until the afternoon London Alive! session at 1 pm. My tour was all about death and mayhem in Westminster. A wonderful session, there was talk about the bubonic plague and rat wars :) Just for your future knowledge, you should really appreciate brown rats. They killed off the black rats which were the plague-infested flea carriers.
I hope to write more about the tour when I have time (ha!).

I'm going to have to leave you with just pictures about the British Library because I am going to run off to a play in Regent's Park. Tonight is Midsummer Night's Dream and I only have a little bit of time before I have to leave for that.

I'll get caught up one of these days!

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