Un saludo al pueblo chileno …
… y un abrazo solidario a los 33 mineros y sus familias. El mundo espera ansioso con ustedes.
A warm greeting to all Chileans and especially to the 33 miners and their families. The world waits anxiously with you.
To Vero, her stay probably became a blur of outings and facts to remember – but it didn’t matter. She was achieving what she had set out to do - her English had grown in confidence and expression, parallel with her knowledge of the country, its people and its customs.
There were visits to Jane Austen’s homes in both the West Country and in Hampshire, the 18th century village of Laycock preserved free of modern influences, where her novels have been filmed. There were also visits to Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths, the Harbour Festival in Bristol and to Poundbury, the Prince of Wales’ model village in Devon.
On 9th July, Independence Day in Argentina, we celebrated by attending a performance by Circomedia, a troupe of actor-acrobats, in a most entertaining performance at the Bristol Theatre Royal.
And how could she not see a Shakespeare play… we spent a memorable day at Stratford-upon-Avon getting lost in the one-way system, unable to find the cunningly concealed car parks, but managing to see Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, where William Shakespeare’s wife had grown up …
…. And later a matinee performance of Julius Caesar, with noble Romans left and right making speeches and falling on their swords, and lashings of fake blood. I too was grateful for the surtitles above the stage to remind me of the beautiful and complex English of the play I had studied at school for O’level with the headmistress – my mother – as the teacher of literature; and to bring back memories of my father declaiming Casius’ long monologues by heart at the dinner table with arms waving like windmills, as he remembered his performance at St Albans College, Buenos Aires, in the 1930’s.
But as we walked out of the theatre with the afternoon throng I felt different about it – now the play was to me merely a story of politics and of men killing each other, with women standing by helplessly.
On Vero’s final evening we went to a Spanish tapas bar in central Bristol with friends. I had specially booked the table nearest the small stage where a flamenco dancer was to perform – I had intended it to be a final celebration of her part-Spanish heritage. Unfortunately the dancer was ill, and the delectable food served by the establishment did not compensate for the gruesome trio who entertained us instead with a relentless diet of deafening percussive rhythms.
The end of the holiday
Photo Finish -
From Lonicera's non-digital archive
Last of the Bristol images
Imperial past (George VII)
The Council House
(guess which bridge again...)
This one of bicycles on the Bristol Downs is for my work colleague Nick, who is on a sponsored bike ride to London this coming Sunday - so this is to wish him lots of luck!