I know it's already Wednesday but if I don't do this, it won't get done. I've spent most of the past month talking about my feelings in the wake of losing Bonnie, and that's probably not completely over—the blog is, to a large extent, a sort of a diary for me—there are still, of course, other things going on in my life, and some of them are fine things and worth sharing with those who pass by, and myself down the road (ha! inside joke there).
Saturday was fun. We headed out to Stratford.
P-Doug was holding forth on something so we missed our exit and after that, the exits get kind of sparse, so we had to drive another
ten minutes or more into Oxford County to exit at Woodstock and double
back on side roads. We arrived in plenty of time for the lecture, which
was a really interesting one on Elizabethan pronunciation and how
they've pieced it together with about an 80-90% certainty. North
American English has actually been more conservative than most British
accents and you can hear where the basis of the language here comes
from. To me, it sounded most like the way people speak today around
Bristol. A lot of the rhymes in Shakespeare's work, and puns based on
them, have been lost because of changes in pronunciation. Bawdy jokes,
and apparently there were a lot of them, have been lost due to that
(hour and whore were once pronounced the same, for example) and the fact
that we reverence the works and have lifted them out of the context of
plays for the masses. Amazing presentation. We had a stage director from
Manchester who's currently working over here at Stratford, three actors
from the company, a linguist adviser, and a TV over which an Englishman
teaching at the University of Kansas skyped in to address us. At one
point he emailed a handout to one of the organizers, who printed it and
distributed it... the kind of stuff they said, back in the 50s, the
classroom of the future would be like. We got to hear one of the
meetings between Romeo, Friar Lawrence, and the Nurse as it probably
originally sounded, and it actually wasn't all that hard to follow. Back
then, accent was regional, but did not then represent class
distinctions; that didn't happen till the 18th century, and became most
pronounced in the 20th, oddly enough.
We went to a native art store just around the corner. Been there before. Gorgeous stuff, all of it
with federal identifiers to attest to its authenticity. The stuff's
expensive. I ended up buying a beautiful print of a cormorant for $125; I
need to get it framed.
We hung around at a perfect, perfect pub called Molly Bloom's,
and it turns out they have about a half a dozen locations, and the
furthest east is Toronto, down on College Street. Everything about the place was just perfect. The food, the
ambiance, the music (and its volume level). It was really terrific.
In the evening we saw Fiddler on the Roof at the Festival Theatre.
I've never seen it performed live before, though I've seen the movie
dozens and dozens of times. It was slightly different from the movie...
for instance, there's a song between Perchik and Hodel in the play
that's not in the movie, and I don't think the movie suffers for its
lack. It was great to see it performed live. P-Doug knew the movie was one
of my lifelong top ten, so at the last minute last week he bought
tickets. :) Didn't get home till 1:30, though, and I was the one
...Because! at 7 on Friday night, I got a call from P-Doug. He had a flat (right here...
lovely spot, though, don't you think?), and his spare, 14 years unused,
was also flat. So off I went into countryside in Durham Region, about
45 minutes from home. Picked him up; we drove south to a service station
for a tow truck. While we were there, it occurred to me that we could
have just brought the spare and filled it. So, back up. Spare off the
car. Back down. Fill the spare. Back up. Put the spare on. Then I
followed him into town along Steeles Avenue. Whole thing took about
three and a half hours, and, of course, meant we'd be using my car to
get back and forth to Stratford. :)
And there you have it.