Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sally fixed it! High speed, wireless internet up and running.
Yesterday morning we did a bus tour. The bus was one of those English doubledeckers, bright red and almost as old as I am, which groaned its way through the narrow streets while our Austrian-born guide Willi told tales of Stratford, old and new.
The Shakespearean connection was purely coincidental. (Stratford simply means, Where the road fords the river) Stratford's first building was an inn. Someone gave the innkeeper a sign with a picture of Shakespeare on it, so they called it the Shakespeare Inn. The rest, as they say, is history.
Thomas Edison lived in Stratford, briefly, when he was a kid. He worked for the railroad and fell asleep on the job (so the story goes) and two trains almost collided. So he left, and went to America where he invented the electric lightbulb, the phonograph and other things. Canadians tell this story with real gusto, although they tend to focus upon the train crash that didn't happen and leave out the part about inventing the electric lightbulb.
Norman Bethune was born in Stratford. You don't know who Norman Bethune was? Shame on you. Go look him up.
Stratford boasts nearly 1000 acres of parkland and the only double viaduct bridge in North American that's still in use. And of course, the Stratford Festival, now in its 53rd year.
The Queen visited the Festival, a few years back. A helicopter deposited her upon the lawn in front of the Festival Theatre, where she attended a performance of The Taming of the Shrew. I asked if she brought the corgis. Willi didn' t think so.
We spent the afternoon at an Australian play, The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead, by Robert Hewett. One actress, Lucy Peacock, played all seven human roles . (There was also a dog, but it was invisible, much to Bao's irritation) The play itself consisted of a series of monologues, and was actually more about the acting than it was about the plot, which was almost non-existent. The acting, however, was excellent.
This is Lucy Peacock's 19th season at Stratford. She's also plays the role of the Duchess in The Duchess of Amalfi and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. Talk about multi-tasking.
The squirrels here are black, with reddish tails. Bet you didn't know that.
And when Margaret Attwood visits Stratford, she stays here, at Sally's Place. Bet you didn't know that, either.


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

I must admit I didn't know who Norman Bethune was; do now. I did know about the squirrels however. They're most plentiful throughout the region.

3:11 PM

Blogger waupacawinter said...

I was just in Stratford in May and toured the house that Shakesperes' father owned. You imply that this is a myth??

3:42 PM


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