A special place
I’ll start of this blog post with an apparent non-sequitur, but all will become clearer if you stick with me.
A few months after my son was born and probably due to various factors that are too numerous to mention I seem to have picked up a virus that enjoyed my body as a host so much that it decided to hang around. Resulting in flare ups each Winter which result in aching bones, general tiredness and just an all round yucky feeling.
I like to spice things up a bit and make things interesting, so the last time I had a flare up I managed to contrive to fall quite spectacularly down the stairs. In doing this I think I managed to damage sone scar tissue from surgery I’d had a few years before. The surgery was quite major and so is the scar, so whatever I’ve done, it isn’t inconsequential. Because now whenever I have the virus, I also have the most incredibly sore scar tissue. It is agony, and I’ve been told I have a fairly high pain threshold, so it must be sore I suppose.
I won’t bore you with all the tedious details, but it all combines to make things hard work and not much fun.
Anyway, the other morning I woke up and for the first time in a few days I felt vaguely normal. On this note, we decided to go to Stratford-on-Avon because it was a beautiful sunny morning and I wanted to get out.
We’re lucky enough to live fairly close by to this wonderful place and can go there often, which is exactly what we do. I absolutely love this city. I’ve been going there since I can remember and it has always been a haven of sorts. As a teenager it was my preferred hang out-if either of my children wish to hang out there I’d be happy.
At university I made sure some of my studies involved Shakespeare’s plays and loved making use of the Institute to delve deeper into my knowledge and understanding. I even managed to get myself access to the RSC backstage to carry out some research into theatre staging. How I ever ended up working in the public sector I’ll never know?!
I love the river and the gardens that lie either side. The gardens surrounding the theatre are fabulous for exploring and discovering little nooks and crannies, whilst the more traditional park opposite has mini golf and the Butterfly Farm.
There are the obvious tourist spots which I do love, but I’m more interested in the side streets and nice little pubs (not that we go into any much at the moment!) I think my children walk further through Stratford without complaining than any other place-such is the draw!
The theatre has always been one of the first places I head to and we still do. I always come home feeling energised and inspired and I just love the fact that my children ask to go to the theatre whenever we visit. The re-build is fantastic and they’ve kept the wonderful Swan Theatre too, but they have made it a visitor attraction all on its own, which I think is brilliant.
I had one of my first epiphanies at a theatre production in Stratford-it was seeing Mark Rylance as Hamlet. It blew me away. So much so that I have seen both Kenneth Branagh and David Tenant in the role since. I just love that play, so much so that I vividly remember having to stand for four hours for Kenneth Branagh’s interpretation as they were the only tickets available!
Recently I saw The Tempest and Twelfth Night there on the thrust stage-my goodness what an amazing experience.
So, after a week of feeling totally rubbish, I am re-invigorated by a visit to one of my favourite places to visit in the world. I hope I’ve inspired you to visit if you haven’t already!