.....and evermore shall be so.
There are times when I envy the adventurous of mind. The ones who will go out of their way to find a mountain to climb or a molehill to kick, to swim the Channel or pee in a pool. Just for the fun of it.
Not me. For me it’s more of the same. Green grow the rushes O.
Curtains drawn, lamps lit, Millie dreaming on the rug by the fire, the remote within reach, remains of supper congealing in the kitchen sink, wind and rain howling and rattling like all the Hounds of Hell have been released at once.
But I’m not complaining. Neither is Millie. Good things are happening too.
The notoriously fickle River Severn, which frequently doesn’t know if it’s coming or going, is merely lapping the terrace of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon, instead of overflowing it. We are among the lucky owners of tickets to both Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, which are playing in rep and were sell-out hits even before the official opening night. And not a film star or boy band in sight!
Such is the Hilary Mantel effect.
We went to the matinee last Saturday and, lo and behold, the lady herself was there, sitting in the row behind us. I looked over just the once. The show was a triumph, Mantel’s treatment of the ruthless machinations and political intrigue at the court of Henry VIII and the rise and rise - so far - of Thomas Cromwell had me spell-bound; I might even say ‘swooning with admiration’, but then I’m the unadventurous kind, who doesn’t do much swooning. I am already looking forward to the second play later this months. O Joy!
And yet more joy: the first snowdrops have been out for a week, bravely nodding in the atrocious weather conditions. I suppose it’s their job to ring in the New Year, and proclaim, with the Welsh Twelfth Night carol :
Now Christmas Is Past,
Twelfth Day Is The Last,
To The Old Year Adieu,
Great Joy To The New.
Much later, next morning, hanging my head in shame:
There you are, letting me re-route the River Severn to lap the foundations of the RSC Theatre when all the time it’s the Avon. THE RIVER AVON - SHAKESPEARE’S AVON! Are you all too polite to put me right or could it be that one river in a far-off country is much like any other, as it obviously is to me. It took my friend Frank to point out my mistake. He is good at that.