Saturday, June 9th, 2007


Well. We’re here. I’ve never been so tired in my life but we have to stay up until the end of this day. They aren’t kidding when they call it the red-eye. Crazy things happen when you’re beginning a trip like this. Jenny and her boyfriend, Gord, ran out of gas in the parking lot of the airport just before they parked the car! That’s true. So she checked in and then ran out to him to leave her CAA card with him before going through security. Kissing him goodbye and all the while looking over his shoulder to see if the tow truck was coming. And I was so nervous I thought I lost my passport. Jenny patiently looked over my shoulder as I checked the seventeen compartments of my carry-on for the third time… and then found it in my pants pocket! Oh yes. Wound up like a top.

The long and short is that after we had a bit of a bumpy ride flying through the thunder-storm which had caused our 40 minute delay, the journey was a smooth one. And I was so glad to have Jenny as a companion.

We were picked up by a car at the airport, and a very fast hour and a half later we were at the Stage Door of the RSC meeting Jondon, our company manager. Then there was a barrage of information of which I understood “Welcome…” , and they took us to The Old Ferryhouse on Waterside, where we are staying. It is a Georgian house looking over… the Old Ferry! And that means the Avon River.

But all of this was lost on me. All I could see was a grubby room that was not my home, in a house that I would be sharing with three women from the Penelopiad, and two men from the Henrys (who will be arriving early July). Food was what I needed. And Jenny, too. So we went to the Green Room at the Swan.

It’s all a bit surreal: we met Sue, the stage door person, marched through the backstage of the theatre, then met Ruth, the Green Room manager, and everything she said sounded like it was in another language. We had no idea what time it was, and what meal might be served. But I think she took pity on us, and said that a hot lunch would be there in a few minutes if we would like a cup of tea. Thank you, thank you.

We got that sorted out, and then headed off to discover the town. And that’s how it all begins this adventure in Shakespeare’s Birthplace. This Odyssey of ours.


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