Retired Bloke and Shakespeare

WE woke to rain this morning. Those of you who know Wales will be thinking: “Why’s Retired Bloke making such a big thing of something that everybody knows happens all the time? Rain in Wales: it’s almost obligatory.”

Ah, not this September! At least, not until this morning. Still, with The Garden Project off the agenda, it was off to the swimming pool for yours truly, where the fellow members of the Retired Blokes Swimming Club greeted me like the long-lost brother.

“Thought you were dead.”

Having assured them that RB was still among the living host, I managed a perfectly respectable 19 minutes 40 seconds for my first 800 metres front crawl in a while. Respectable if you ignore the training squaddie in the adjoining lane who passed me with metronomic regularity while using just one arm. I call that showy.

Swum, showered and towelled, it was back on the road for the ageing Jaguar and RB, performing the now regular taxi service for The Daughter Who Left (But Returned), who is on a 10.30am shift this week.

IMGP5009Then, with the sun making a belated and shame-faced appearance, it was off to survey progress on the aforementioned Garden Project. As you can see, The Fence is now erected, and very impressive it looks too.

IMGP5013Did I tell you that I was a bit of a Shakespeare fan? Have been since I was a little lad, watching a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the parents’ old black and white television and thinking that I didn’t have the slightest clue what it was all about, or why there were people dressed as trees and speaking something that sounded a bit like English but not as generally heard in the playground of Waunarlwydd Infants and Junior School,  but I liked the look and sound of it.

Anyway, I’ve been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for a few years now. It sounds grand, but it means that I push a small amount of money their way each year and they in turn give me the chance to buy tickets for their shows ahead of the “common body, Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream” (that’s Antony & Cleopatra, by the way).

But here’s the thing. Today I booked two places on the ‘padded seat without arms’ for The Current Mrs Feeney and self in the 2016 RSC season- but not for anything by Will himself. Instead, we’ve gone off-piste, with tickets for Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Doctor Faustus’ and an adaptation of Miguel De Cervantes’s ‘Don Quixote.’ It almost feels disloyal, but I suspect Shakespeare will get over the snub.

By the way, I’ve just heard the weather forecast for tomorrow; more rain expected, so put away that spade and hoe.

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