Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Back to real life

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It's always a bit of a downer coming back from holiday - especially when you return from sunshine every day to howling winds and torrential rain! However, I did have something nice to look forward to - our annual trip to see Shakespeare at the Castle. This year at Stafford Castle they are doing Romeo and Juliet in the open air. (The audience are under cover - the actors aren't!) Janet and I and two of her friends from the Uni always go and it is usually a fun night.

Cast playing music and dancing
This time, as we arrived in the car, we were turned away! The field that usually acts as the car park was far too waterlogged and muddy to be used. They were operating a park and ride scheme from much further down the road. Luckily, Janet knows someone who lives nearby and we parked outside their house and walked up the hill to the castle. It was fine and bright and I confidently told them that I'd watched the weather forecast and there would be no rain until five o'clock in the morning. I have faith in the BBC weather :-)

So we happily got ourselves ice lollies and settled down in our seats for another, what was sure to be, great performance. As people were being seated the cast was on the stage playing music and dancing. It was a very jolly, summery atmosphere.

The stage awash with rain
Then came tine for the play to begin, the audience went silent and the young bloods from the Capulet and Montague families commenced insulting each other and fighting. Then it started to rain. It got heavier and heavier until the stage was awash with water, not very safe for fighting and running about. After about ten minutes there came an announcement that the play would have to be suspended temporarily. The actors left the stage and the audience sat and watched the rain.

Lady Capulet's brolly matched her dress!
After a few minutes four stage hands came on with brushes and tried to brush the water off the stage. This provided some entertainment for a while - but the rain was getting even heavier and they were making very little difference. They eventually gave up, but we had another announcement to say that the performance would carry on. much applause and laughter as Juliet, her nurse and her mother, Lady Capulet came out with umbrellas!

They gamely carried on with their lines but you could hardly hear them for the drumming of the very persistent rain. Everyone groaned and gasped when Juliet had to sit down on a very wet bench, and Lady C's dress was starting to cling to her. Just as the masked ball was about to start, as Romeo and friends arrived in see-through waterproof capes (much to everyone's amusement) as we had another announcement stopping the play. We sat and chatted for around 50 minutes, looking up to the sky for signs of brightness - but to no avail.
Then the stage manager came onto the stage with a microphone and told us that he was going to have to pull the show as conditions were just too bad.

We were disappointed - but could totally understand the decision. It was way too wet and dangerous underfoot for them to carry on. It was the first time I'd seen Romeo and Juliet where the two never actually meet!

Just one to put down to experience! We have been going for many years and this has never happened to us before. What a summer!

Anyway the next day (Tuesday) I was back at work. I had a lovely morning - and got a few hugs too from customers that I haven't seen for a long time. It was great to see the Lace Guild again on their final session until after the summer. They will be back in September ;-) I was pleased that I managed to remember how to get back into the new system! Had one or two perplexed moments as we tried to give a borrower a new card, and try and put a message on another one's record - but Tracy and I worked it out in the end! The morning just flew by!

Last night N and I went over to Stone. N was worried when he'd heard that our favourite pub, The Swan in Stone had been flooded while we were away.

 He just wanted to make sure that it was okay. Plus - it was Swan Beer Festival 2012. They have hundreds of ales and ciders - and this year there is a Celtic theme - as they all come from Wales! Hannah looked great in her Welsh hat and Matt was on hand to dispense advice about which beers to try first. They don't call him Dr. Beer for nothing! :-)

Sadly I was driving so could only indulge in one half of cider from the twenty on offer. I chose one called Troggi Sedre which wasn't fizzy and looked kind of cloudy - but tasted very nice :-)

Also, as part of the Stone Music Festival there was a music quiz taking place at 9.30pm. We decided to stay and have a go. It was great fun. Two pages of lyrics - that you had to put a title to and several themed rounds of questions from the quizmaster. You even got a joker that you could put on the round you think you did best in. I thought we did pretty well with the lyrics - apart from one about "tongues" and "moves" that turned out to be from "Moves like Jagger" by Maroon 5 that had only been on the radio on the way to the pub! Doh!!

Anyway we scored a very respectable 45 out of 55, and won a bottle of wine. Not bad considering there were just the two of us and we didn't use out phones to cheat! I'm not saying anyone else did - but it is a little suspicious when one team got perfect score of 55. :-)

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