This morning’s weather wasn’t quite as cheerful as Monday, but this didn’t stop Mittens from enjoying being outside.
I still wasn’t quite 100% and my blood pressure was through the roof, so I decided today would be one of taking it easy. It seems all this leisurely living in a luxury townhouse is stressing me out. I ate some comforting soup while transcribing all the attractions on my wish list onto a tube map and reluctantly whittled today’s itinerary down from Westminster, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern, Borough Market, London Bridge, the Shard and Canary Wharf to just Shakespeare’s Globe and the Borough Market.
I had the choice of walking all the way to the Globe or taking the tube and I chose the former. I was so glad I did. Although I was absolutely freezing (delighting in my visible breath), I adored exploring Bermondsey, Southwark and Bankside up close, randomly encountering gorgeous architecture, art installations, river views and archeological sites of significance. And every few steps, there was a pub or cafe that I desperately wanted to patronise, but I kept walking determined to get to the Globe before the crowds became insurmountable.
#jonestip This is the Barrowboy and Banker and it’s on Borough High Street
After about 40 minutes of wandering, I made it to the Globe, which looked more like a record store or pizza chain. But, it turns out that I simply had the wrong entrance.
I wandered through an exhibition while I waited for my theatre tour to begin. I loved the little theatre reproductions and it took all my willpower not to touch the costumes.
Then, it was time to see the theatre. Our tour guide’s name was Heather and she was incredibly enthusiastic. Unfortunately, it was at this point that I remembered how much that I hated other tourists. This time it was due to their inability to follow instructions and their obsession with the perfect selfie at any cost whether it be sacrifing other people’s enjoyment of the tour, or their fellow tourists’ safety.
So, despite being shoved behind a post in the gallery where I had far less than a tuppence view, I took a stack of photos while listening to Heather tell us about the architecture of the twenty-sided polygonic space; the cashmere hair in the walls’ plaster; the input from contemporary actors to the layout of the stage; the sound room above the stage; the significance of the demonic trap door and angelic door in the ceiling; various incidents resulting in damage to the original; the Burbages’ financial troubles; the notoriousness of Bankside and its heavily taxed dens of debauchery, violence and sin; and the slightly bittersweet tale of the reproduction’s completion mere years after its benefactor’s death. As much as I was amazed to see the wooden galleries, I was absolutely in awe of the sumptuous set dressing for the afternoon’s Twelfth Night. The colours and textures were just incredible!
I really loved being at the Globe. It reminded me of my teenaged obsession with Shakespeare in Love and my adolescent Shakespearean acting career, playing Juliet’s nurse, Mistress Page from the Merry Wives of Windsor, Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing and Portia from The Merchant of Venice, culminating in being the Townsville Juvenile Eisteddfod’s Shakespearean Champion in 2003.
After the Globe, I walked through the Borough Markets, as suggested by my host, Iain. It was delightful. So many things I wanted to buy but knew I couldn’t take them back through customs! I did, however, buy some hot apple juice, Croatian Nutella and some green olives. I also got to try a sample of a delicious venison burger!
I was getting a bit cold, so I stopped for lunch in the closest pub. I got a bit of a strange look when ordering vegetables with my bangers and mash, but was redeemed by the sticky date pudding.
I caught the tube home and had a relaxing afternoon because I was still a bit ill. Emma and Iain made me tacos for dinner and I spent the rest of the evening watching Midsomer Murders and dreaming, through watercolour, of being on the stage of the Globe.