Monday, October 31, 2011

Feeling sympathetic for Voldemort

Let me interrupt this unnecessarily drawn-out and long-winded description of my fall break with three highlights from last week.
1. Wednesday night we went to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” starring none other than Ralph Fiennes, He Who Should Not Be Named himself. We had spectacular seats and the production was amazing. Ralph (properly pronounced “Raif”) Fiennes was so great as Prospero, and the woman playing his daughter Miranda was wonderful too.

(not my picture)

Ralph Fiennes had longer hair and a beard, as befits a man shipwrecked on an island for 12 years, which made it easier to distinguish between Prospero and the hair-less Voldemort. I appreciated that, although the general consensus among my peers was that we loved it when he delivered a line and Voldemort’s raspy voice came out.
2. Thursday afternoon we went to the Houses of Parliament to see a debate in the House of Commons. It was a poorly attended “debate” on Britain’s upcoming chairmanship of the Council of Europe and we spent more time queueing than actually watching the session, but it was still awesome to be in Westminster. I love the environment in government buildings like that. Is that weird? I always feel like yeah, I could do this whole government thing.

Ladies and gentlemen, the future of politics

3. Friday we took a day trip to the Roman and Georgian town of Bath, on the west coast of Britain. The idyllic train ride through the foggy English countryside was easily matched in beauty by the town itself. Every building is made of creamy coloured Bath stone and practically the whole town was built as a Georgian vacation hotspot; rows of townhouses designed to look like regal palaces, and sweeping parks for the Sunday promenade. Imagine any town mentioned in a Jane Austen novel—Bath looks like that.

Bath Abbey

Bath also has baths. Natch. The ancient Roman baths were discovered under the Georgian bathing buildings, so people having been bathing in the same hotsprings for over 2000 years. 

I am not a small town person in America, but small towns in the English countryside are another matter altogether. I’d like to live in a Bath townhouse, yes please.
I am currently sitting at my desk, full of Bath fudge and English tea and warming my toes in my wool socks, beyond happy to be in a country where fall is crisp and clear and the trees lining the streets fill the spectrum from green to red. Fall in England is that perfect, storybook kind of fall, a season that isn’t just the rainyish time before Christmas but a time that inspires celebration of its own accord. I love it. xo

Hyde Park

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