Friday, September 24, 2010


Stratford was lovely, but the weather was not ( : No rain, so I can't really complain, but it was bitterly cold. Even my new pea coat didn't do much for it!
It was amazing to see Shakespeare's home. I could just imagine him growing up there. It was so exciting to see that the walls in his bedroom (which he shared with his brothers) were covered with cloths patterned with elves and fairies, which made me think of A Midsummer Night's Dream and imagined him running around with his brothers and sisters into all of the nooks and crannies or else sitting in his father's glove-making workshop.
We saw a great monologue by one of the people who works at Shekspeare's home. He asked if we had any requests and Will asked for Hamlet's "to be or not to be" speech. The actor was actually so spectacular that I almost cried. (well, I DID cry in a kitchen , so maybe you all won't be taking me seriously anymore), but it was so moving!
We also got a very bad cream tea and learned to avoid places that aren't packed. The good places are full to bursting with long queues outside! After the horribly dry scone and bakwell tart I had, I was overjoyed to find a cute little place called "pasty presto" which had the most delicious, warm pasties. Well worth the wait in line. I found myself thinking that whoever invented the pasty should have been made a saint. I had one with Indian curry inside. perfect

We went to Anne Hathway's cottage, which was very nice and there were gardens and orchards which made all of us giddy. Corbin, who is from Sebastopol started robbing the apple trees and a lot of other people did the same. I felt like it was very wrong to do this, so I just took a bite off one and left it on the tree (#: Which may have been worse. I left an offering on the tree of a shiny nickel out of guilt, not wanting the ghost of Shakespeare to dog my steps for the rest of eternity.
I also saw Shakespeare's burial place, which was very cool too.

Phrases of the day:
"curfew"- from the French, "couvre feu", to 'cover the fire'. When the bell rang, people had to put out their fires for the night so that no fires would start.

"the stinking rich"- when rich people were buried, they didn't want to be put in the churchyard, they wanted to be buried right inside of the church. A few days after the burial, the church would smell very bad as decomposition began to happen (sorry if that upsets anyone's stomachs) and that's where the phrase comes from.

"turn the tables"- tables had a shiny side and a dull side in Shakespeare's time. When fine guests came over, you would display the shiny, polished sisde, but if you disliked someone or didn't want to impress them, you would leave the tabletop unturned and dine on the rough kitchen surface.

I learned a couple more, but I can't seem to remember them at the moment ( : I'll have to update this later!


The church where Shakespeare is buried

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