Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, philippa jane keyworth, philippa jane keyworth author, philippa jane keyworth regency romance, philippa jane keyworth regency romance author, philippa keyworth, Royal Shakespeare Company, Sonnet 116, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Swan Theatre, Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
So, I have started a series on the Regency and being as I’ve posted all of two posts, I think it’s time for a break.
Haha! Yes, I am laughing in a mischieviously cheeky way. The thing is, to be quite frank, I’m tired. If I used profanity on a regular basis I guess I would say I’m ‘something’ tired but, as I am a lady, I shall refrain.
It’s just, it’s been rather a busy summer so far. I have been to the States, gotten published, had my brother’s two weddings, had my anniversary, had my birthday, had my husband’s birthday, been away for the former three things listed and that’s not the end of it.
Oh, no, I am also going away camping twice in the coming weeks, possibly popping off to Cornwall in September before coming back and starting university. Golly, I just got tired, right that instant, when I was writing that. In the words of Miranda’s mother, ‘I am what I like to call, exhausted!’
I am therefore having a break from the usual strenuous blogging and instead looking to have gentle blogging exercise in the form of the above ramble and the below ‘schpeel’ about my recent anniversary/birthday/husband’s birthday weekend away in stratford:
Yes, I went to the birthplace of one of the greatest writers of all time. I went to William Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon 🙂 To celebrate not killing each other, and all that, in the last few years, me and my husband thought we’d toddle up to Warwickshire.
We went to The Garrick Inn, reputed to be the oldest Inn in Stratford, for dinner and drinks (doesn’t that sound posh? And it gets better later). The Garrick Inn is a timber framed building dating back as early as the 1400s and has a colourful history – It is even said to be where the Black Plague originated but whether that’s true, I’ll let you decide. Let’s just say, after being told that, I was looking for the nearest bottle of hand sanitiser.
Thankfully, despite the fact I didn’t carry a handful of posies under my nose into the ‘plague’ Inn, I came out, husband in tow, with no boils or coughing.
We then wandered down to the banks of the Avon and went to watch the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Twelfth Night at the Swan Theatre. The play was brilliantly acted and the set was so cool. If you know the play, you’ll know that it starts with a shipwreck from which both a brother and sister scramble to shore. To show this in the production, they had a tank of water at one corner which disappeared under the stage. At the beginning of the play, Viola, swam from back-stage into the tank and burst through the water, scrambling sopping wet onto the stage having scared a woman in the front row half to death – I couldn’t stop giggling.
To top this great weekend off, we were driving back and saw signs to Highclere Castle. I exclaimed, ‘Oh, that’s the place Downton Abbey was filmed!’. It couldn’t be avoided then, with home forgotten we pottered off to Highclere and that was truly beautiful:
All in all I found this weekend to be very inspiring for my writing – Though I didn’t even bring my journal with me.
I tell you what, I am not the coolest or discreetest person to hang out with for a weekend. I get excited about very geeky things; like what the red chinese tea-cady from 1809 in one of the rooms at Highclere is; and I also walk around like a goon taking pictures of the back of my husband’s head and chatting to random shop-keepers. Yes, I am glad I married a patient guy…
That’s pretty much it for this week folks – I’ll leave you with the words of a very famous, and my favourite, sonnet by William Shakespeare:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Philippa Jane Keyworth – Regency Romance Author