Tuesday, 19 July 2011

you were romeo, you were throwing pebbles..

a couple of weeks ago, one of my oldest friends broke up with her partner of 9 yrs, and understandably, things are pretty tough for her..i am so awkward in these types of situations, i don't really know what to say, as i know that none of what i say can make anything any better..
so when i asked her last week if there was anything i could do to help, she asked if i could be free at the weekend as she would like to get away for a couple of days whilst he moved out..
so we decided to go to Stratford-upon-Avon, as it's somewhere neither of us had been, and soemwhere she has always wanted to visit..we booked a premier inn room, printed out a 'town tour' from one of the websites which came up when i googled "things to do in stratford" and set off on saturday morning, armed with a bag of jelly babies..

Shakespeare's house

i'm not sure why i was expecting a larger town, but Stratford struck me as a quaint little town..we had a little rain on the way, and according to the weather forecast had been anticipating a washout, but most of the time it was sunny and warm..we checked in and set off for a wander around the town, and headed to the river where there was a rowing competition going on, with numerous teams in fancy dress outfits racing each other..we then walked a bit further and took the foot ferry back across the river and felt sorry for the guy who had to turn the wheel to get us across!

a quick stop in a cafe for a panini and then we headed on to see the house where Shakespeare was born..i was really glad that the weather stayed nice, as it was so good to be able to wander around with our focus on the actual buildings and architecture of the town, rather than just the shop fronts and windows..


once we had wandered around the town, we pottered around some of the sales, and i ended up with a pair of shorts (post to come at a later date on them) in the laura ashley sale, which i was thrilled about!

The Old Bank, which had various Shakespeare carvings and mosaics

in the evening, we went for a lovely dinner at Lamb's of Sheep Street, then headed off to the RSC for the Merchant of Venice - amazing :) i wouldn't say i was a massive Shakespeare fan, i've read some but not all of the plays (although not just in school)..the RSC theatre is a lovely building too, with lots to do other than the shows; we wandered around one of the exhibitions - murals made of sugar paste, to celebrate the 50yrs of the RSC..

The Jester statue, complete with 'fool'-related Shakespeare quotes
  on sunday morning, after filling ourselves with a tonne of fruit and granola at the hotel breakfast buffet, we had a little look around the market stalls and then headed on to the butterfly farm!!  i have to admit, i have been to one of these before, in north wales, and was recently disappointed to find that it had closed down when i planned to take my sister again a few weeks ago, so i was rather pleased that there was one in was really warm inside, but i coped with it as the butterflies were amazing, i couldn't believe the size of some of them, and the colours were so beautiful - although i didn't know what any of the types were.. considering i am so scared of moths when i'm at home, i can't quite understand why i liked this so much, but i did. so there.

one butterfly landed on my wrist as we were walking round - i wanted to take it home with me!
on the way in, we were warned to watch out underfoot because they had just had some baby quails hatched, and they could run around the thoughts when she said this were "pah. as if anyone would step on a bird, it'd be far too big..", but as we rounded a corner and saw one with it's mother, i couldn't believe how tiny it was - the butterfly in the picture was a normal sized one, as opposed to one of the giants..

mum and baby quail
when we decided we couldn't take any more of the heat, we ventured back out into the town, and the rain began..which we took as our cue to head home (via the bullring - oops)..


  1. That sounds like a lovely trip. It's somewhere I have never been. I love butterfly farms :)

  2. I love Stratford, it's lovely just to sit by the river and eat chips!
    I bet your friend really appreciated your company and kindness, just for you to be there must have meant the world to her. x

  3. I've never been to Stratford but I would love to. Awww, the quail must have been sooo teeny!

  4. Awwwh the quail!! Adorable!! :D I visited Stratford in 2008 and went to Shakepeare's house, I thought it was a lovely town too, didn't know there was a butterfly farm though!

  5. What a lovely quaint town! Looks like you had a nice weekend away. Its not always easy to have the 'right words' when I friend is suffering a hard time, but more often than not, they just want a shoulder to cry on, an ear to bend and most of all a good drinking buddy! Hope shes ok. x

  6. How strange, the butterfly place I went to recently had quails wandering about as well! Do they like the warm atmosphere or something?!

    I read Bill Bryson's Shakespeare recently and was surprised to learn how little we actually know about the man (not many records have survived from his day) - makes you wonder how much of the stuff in Stratford is purely cashing in.

    You're so lovely to do that woth your friend, hope she'd doing ok x

  7. I'd love to visit, it sounds great! Love the quails, we used to have some they're so cute!

  8. Oh how cute is the quail?! I remember going to a butterfly place with my grandparents when I was teeny and one of the giant ones landed on my grandad's head. Funny how these memories stick with you!

    It sounds like a fantastic trip. I'm of the opinion with Shakespeare that you can't really like it unless you've seen it performed properly. It's like films with subtitles - you have to take a little while to tune your brain into it and then away you go :)