Stratford Upon Avon with Sue and Steve

16th September 2016

Last night was a quiet affair for Di as Fras did his evening dash into Birmingham and back again to see Aggers and Tuffers. (If you don’t know who that is then you don’t know anything about Cricket and this blog is certainly not the place to start trying to explain it !!) He returned about midnight and crashed into bed after a pretty good evening. He was a little amused to find that the audience of about 1000 people consisted of mainly old grey headed farts like himself – dah!!!

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We were expecting our visitors Sue and Steve to arrive this morning in Stratford-Upon-Avon for breakfast. These guys have the life of larry with spending about 12 weeks each year in England, time in Canada and cruising around the oceans. We know them from Canada and have shared a few of our travel experiences. They have a chalet on the east coast near Great Yarmouth Norfolk, so thought a quick jaunt half way across the country was in order. They arose very early (4.30am) to make the trek – as you could imagine, we were still inspecting the insides of our eyelids at the time.

They found nb Lucy pretty easily; after all, she does stand out and was parked directly in front of mr Shakespeare’s statue. After a chat on the boat we headed into town to a great tea room called The Four Teas which was a 1940’s themed café. The authenticity was excellent with the waitresses dressed in the style of the period; our green crockery reminiscent of the period and lots of other memorbilla of the time. Food wasn’t too bad either. A one off thing we have never seen before was the bottomless cup of Latte and coffee. The coffee we have seen before but not the Latte – this is a must return place for us.

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Our next move was to get on a hop-on-hop-off bus to see the highlights of Stratford. We returned to the boat on our way to the bus for a loo stop when a couple stopped by to tell us that they were hiring nb Lucy Ginger next year for two weeks and were wondering why when they were looking to hire her this year that she was booked out for the entire period. Well, they had their answer. Fras took them for a tour of the old girl. Their excitement was palpable.

So off to the bus it was. Once again, the pooches took pride of place up the front. Our first jump off spot was Anne Hathaway’s cottage (Will’s wife’s place).

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We opted not to go inside so hung around the interpretive center (gift shop) and took a stroll around the area. We were last here in 1991 and both remember we had taken a photo from this particular bridge and that we would return here in 25 years with the children……….

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Strange how Anne’s house has not changed in that 25 years……

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and here is the proof that we came back.

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Then it was off to Mary Arden’s house (Will’s mums place). We even saw the special tree where little Will’s pussy cat was buried …….nah, only joking… just checking that you are paying attention. Once again we wandered around the little town and then back on the bus to head into town.

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We went over to the park for an early dinner of fish and chips with Sue and Steve as they had a fairly long drive back and on a Friday evening with all the not so lovely traffic. They return to Canada a couple of days after us so will catch them on our return. It was a great and excellent day catching up with these guy’s and kicking the tin (or chewing the fat) as they say.

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The sun was starting to settle and the light on Macbeth deserved a photo. We did pop over to the theatre to check out if there were any cheap last minute tickets and they did have two for King Lear but at £45 a piece we opted not to go.

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Instead we wandered up into the main shopping area as we had a couple of items we needed to collect for friends. On our way around we passed Will’s principal place of residence – perfectly satisfactory establishment for the times.

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On our wanderings we went to this pub called the Dirty Duck which is very famous because all the actors from the theatre had gone there after performances. We did not recognise too many people except Richard Burton and Dame Judi Dench – obviously, we are not big actor groupies. We sat and talked to these delightful young ladies, who once again were attracted to the dogs, for about an hour. They had driven down from Birmingham for the day to busk. They were violin and viola players and we are sorry we missed their recital. They were a lot of fun and very gregarious and we didn’t get away from there until 7.30pm and the two pooches were starting to gnaw at the table legs.

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Our last night in Stratford-Upon-Avon as tomorrow we head back to Birmingham which should take us about four days and a shit load of locks. From now on it is going to be hard graft as we have set ourselves a rather ambitious agenda but provided there are no lock failures we should make it back by the skin of our teeth to Stone from where it all began.

Photo below shows NB Lucy parked beneath statue of Will in the S.u A. basin.

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