Saturday, June 22, 2013

Living La Vida London: Day 8

It's amazing that I've been in London eight days already, and I feel like I've been here for an eternity! I think about my family and friends daily and even miss America at times. But I really do love England. I find it sort of funny that I have never really fancied myself a hardcore American, but now I'm actually very proud to be from the United States and have grown to appreciate my home country- especially how easy it is to find my way around. I've also come to realize that although I love the energy in London, I enjoy how relaxed and quiet the suburbs are. If I ever live in this country, I want to live close enough to the city that I can go and do some fun historical tourist things and see plays, but live far enough away that I can sit outside and enjoy the stars and the skies when it's clear out.

For today, I went with about thirty other people studying with AIFS just as I am to Stratford-upon-Avon. I have been here before but I did not get to see Will's wife Anne's home and I did not get to see much of that beautiful little town. And it was absolutely beautiful.
 I adored seeing all of the roses around Anne Hathaway's (her last name was technically Shakespeare) yard. I was delighted to find that my favorite kind of rose was actually growing there! It's called the "sunset rose" in America.

 This, naturally, was Anne's home and was small compared to Will's childhood/birth home.
 This was a sweet little bumble bee buzzing around the various flowers.
 These were apparently all flowers, but they pretty much just looked like a bunch of weeds growing in a controlled fashion. That might just be me, though.

 This is a chair that good old Billy boy likely sat his smart little booty in whilst writing one of his 37 plays. I'm not the Bard's biggest fan, but I do give him props for being so clever and inspiring so many people with his works.
This is the original wall of the Hathaway home which is made of wattle and daub. Wattle is basically when sticks are weaved between stick posts and daub is the material used as a sort of cement to be put over the sticks. Daub is made out of things like clay, straw, hair, and hay.

 This woman knew more about Anne Hathaway's life than any of my professors I've ever had, and I've had some professors who are something of specialists on all things related to Shakespeare. I suppose it's different when you live in the same town as Will and his family did.

 Ah, Stratford... this is the main hub of it all and I think I would probably live close to this little town if I could. The people are wonderful, there is so much to do, and it's about two hours outside of London.

 This is a Tudor ring found near where Will built a retirement sort of home that was knocked down in the 1800's because its owner didn't like that people would stop by the house. That guy had some serious issues to work out, and judging by the fact that he own a couple of homes around England at the time, I'm fairly certain that he could've afforded a psychiatric evaluation... lunatic. ANYWAY, this is almost certainly a ring worn by our dear friend William himself. It even has the initials "W S" on it.
This is his birth home and also my favorite of the two famous homes in Stratford.
 Shakespeare selfie, obviously.
 This is just one of the two completely brilliant actors who performed various Shakespeare scenes, monologues, sonnets, and songs out in the gardens of this home. This dude was Juliet from the nauseatingly famous balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. They did, however, perform two pieces from my favorite of Will's work: Richard III.
We came back from Stratford at a fairly decent hour and so I decided to have some "me" time and see a play of some sort. After a nice chat with the half-priced tickets person, I decided to see the critically acclaimed musical "Merrily We Roll Along." I honestly had no idea what to expect or what it was even about, but I went in knowing that the critics loved it and that Sondheim wrote it. I actually really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anybody who is thinking about seeing any production of it. It's one of those musicals that makes you think, and of course (because it's Sondheim) gets a tune or two stuck in your head.

And then I endured an insanely crowded Tube station with many smelly and irritable tourists only to be met with with more of the same kind of people inside the actual Tube a few stops after my initial hop on. I'm feeling more and more comfortable getting around the city as the days pass.

Just to end, I thought I'd share a funny advertisement I found in the Tube. 

1 comment:

  1. So brave! Venturing out on your own to see a show...what a difference a week makes:) Love your pictures of the flowers.