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08 December 2009 @ 09:04 am
The travels of Brammers, part 4  
The joy of meeting up with old friends is seeing all the changes in their lives -- things like children, new homes, marriages. And then realising, as the kids fight over who gets to sit next to you and you have to convince a four year old that you do not want a kiss because he has a cold and you have a punishing schedule, that you can book into a hotel and no one will care one jot about you.

If only the bed wasn't so vile ...

Yesterday was spent being the most touristy I have been in years. We wanted to go to Blenheim, but it was shut, Warwick has too many stairs for my friend, and Avebury was too exposed in the rather grim weather (DELIGHTFULLY WET!), so we went to Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeared instead. And you know, it was a nicely put together little tour and son et lumiere, which gave enough of an insight into daily life in the late Tudor period without weighting people down with facts. Good misconception clearing up, too, as our guide dealt neatly with the 'But people were shorter then' issue right at the start thanks to what seemed like a Dorothy Dixer from another member of the public.

The whole thing showed what a secular saint Shakespeare is in the popular consciousness, with relics preserved, and signs of famous visitors treated as holy symbols, too. And, as I trod the steps in the dictated order, it was all too easy to see us as pilgrims, gaining access to the Presence of the Bard for our few moments of Poetic Blessing. Which I may have spoiled a little for the Japanese tourists behind me by chatting about Titus Andronicus with my friend.

The garden there is very nicely put together with a good eye for both Elizabethan garden design and the needs of a public garden in a public space. That they left the last of the apples and crabs to hang made me smile, as it was the appropriate thing to do for the period.

If you happen to be passing by, the sweets in the Magic Museum are very good and the Highland weaving shop of obvious name that I have forgotten across the street had a spectacular special on James Pringle scarves, two for £12.

This morning I am a little snotty and underslept, which seems the right frame of mind for the Natural History Museum and a good, bracing drink of Darwin!
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on December 8th, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
Re. misconception clearing up, I was cut to the quick to find out that all those preserved relics were rebuilt long after Shakespeare's time (from the people working there). I never figured out about the graffiti in the glass but still wonder if there was anything "real" there! (garden lovely yes)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 8th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
The furnishings stuff? Almost all of it, yes, alas, though I suppose that his stuff would have been passed on long before he became famous. Some of the bibs and bobs from around the house are actual, but they are generally things like Historic Nail! and Famous Pin That Could Have Been Shakespeare's! The fabric of the house is partially untouched, with one floor still intact and a few parts of unaltered Tudor structure, but no signage to tell what is what and where, and even I lost sight of the boundaries a few times and I'm v good at Tudor architecture.

The graffiti glass is real for the period of the graffiti: as actual glass it is harder to date as the leading and glass were similarly made through the Tudor period and for some time afterwards, and I was too busy looking for Walter Scott to see if it was actually Elizabethan ;-)

κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on December 8th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
Not the furnishings, I wouldn't have been so taken aback, but the whole house (not the one with the garden, IIRC, the other one, lower, with the glass). But yes, no signage and the guides working there dont know and don't care and I thought well then just do Shakespeareworld and admit it's all fake but looking really good (or tell me which is which stomp stomp).

They claimed this and that was written by his friends and even family and I was sure a lot of visitors had scratched into it, unguarded place, pah - did you find Wally?
The Ramblings of an often very distracted person.annes_stuff on December 8th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
I am glad to hear you are having fun. I can't wait to see you in January!

Oh, and do try to get a good nights rest if you can.
nahimanaemerald_dragon8 on December 8th, 2009 09:30 am (UTC)
I loved the Magic Museum! So cool. :)

And the Shakespeare garden was lovely. I wish I could have explored Stratford-upon-Avon more, I only had a couple of hours there.
Casaella_irene on December 8th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
Ooh, that sounds like that came in since my time... (I spent a year or so going to Stratford-on-Avon every half term. Possibly longer. I lives in Gloucestershire.) *makes note*
calanthe_fics on December 8th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
OMG, you were maybe 6 miles down the road from me!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 8th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
I know! And if I had had your phone number and the phone number of another dear flister who lives in Cov (and whose name I would remember if I had slept in the last week) AND could work out how to explain things to my old uni friend, we would have turned the wheel in the direction of Coventry!
being_herebeing_here on December 8th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Woes! If only I had known! (and I could have pretended to be a proper person for your friend!)
uminohikariuminohikari on December 11th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
I'm curious: why did they leave the fruit to hang?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 11th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)
To get the most energy into the seeds of the best apples so that when they fell they would be best suited for growing new trees from.