The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Hills vs Culture

Peeping out of the curtains this morning I had to conclude that the day wasn’t looking too shoddy. Not a cloud was to be seen in the sky and it was that intense colour of blue that heralds a perfect day.

Such a perfect day called for one of two courses of action. One option was that we could go for a walk. It seemed like a perfect mountain day, but journeying to mountains would have taken time and eaten too much into the day, so a walk would likely have meant us finding ourselves on the Chase. The other option that appealed was to pop down to Stratford-upon-Avon, enjoy a bit of sun on the riverside while having a picnic lunch, before going to see whatever was being performed at the Courtyard as the Saturday Matinee.

A phone call was made to the ticket office when it opened with the crushing news that the matinee was sold out. What a blow! I really did fancy a bit of Shakespeare.

Hot on the heels of that news was a correction that it wasn’t sold out but that the only tickets left had a restricted view.

How restricted?” I asked.

The only answer I got was that there was a pillar obstructing view; no information as to whether it was a three-feet wide pillar immediately in front of the seats, or a pillar off to one side. Still, restricted view seemed a better option than no view, so the tickets were bought and with unprecedented swiftness we pulled ourselves together and got out of the door.

I do like Stratford, particularly in good weather, and today didn’t disappoint. A picnic was had as planned, Mick read a newspaper whilst I relaxed with a book and then we ambled over to the theatre to see As You Like It. The restricted visibility turned out to be a small pillar that blocked the very corner of the stage; moving the head by two inches either way got around that tiny lack of visibility.

It was an excellent performance, and the fight scene was right up there as the best I’ve seen. As You Like It doesn’t go down as one of my favourite plays, but it was still a good three hours of entertainment.

Disgustingly large ice-creams were enjoyed with more lounging on the riverside before we made our way home (and we did get a modicum of exercise to and from where we parked (thanks to me being too tight to park in town when there’s free parking to be had a pleasant 1 mile riverside walk away)).

It’s unusual for us to pop out for a good-and-proper day out of this nature, and an excellent time was had.

Back to the walking next weekend (and if the weather could be as fantastic as today, that would be just fine too).

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