Treading on Holy Sod: The Ravings of a Fangirl
Okay, maybe not holy sod. Even I'm not fangirl enough to quite be able to believe that the places I visited are sacred. However, I will say that over the last few days I have definitely walked in the footsteps of some of the greatest literary figures of all time.
Let me elaborate:
1588 - Shakespeare writes his first play.
1599 - The Globe theater is built by the company in which Shakespeare has a stake.
Somewhere around 1600 - 1605 - Shakespeare writes the play All's Well That Ends Well.
2011 - I am standing in the Globe theater, watching a performance of All's Well That Ends Well.
Yep, it's me. Standing in the Globe. The place Shakespeare helped build. The place where countless noblemen-and-women have come to watch plays. The place where the Bard himself stood. Admittedly, I was in the cheapest area, a place that used to go by the lovely name of the 'the pit'. This was where the common folk could pay their penny for standing room at a play. Most probably none of the nobility would have dirtied their lace ruffles in such a place, so it is not likely that I actually trod the same ground as counts and dukes. But, I was there. And it was pure exhilaration.
Of course, most people are not as fanatic about theater and Elizabethan history as I am, so you're probably mentally saying 'whatever'. But seriously, if you ever find yourself in London, you should definitely check the Globe out. The costuming and acting were superb, and the prices cheap. One can get in for only 5 pounds, if one doesn't mind standing up for the duration of the play. (That's what I did, and it really was not bad).
1892 - John Ronald Reuel Tolkien born.
1898 - Clive Staples Lewis born.
Early 1930's - The Inklings, a literary discussion group of which Lewis and Tolkien were both part, is formed and meets at the Eagle & Child pub in Oxford.
2011 - I am eating lunch at the Eagle & Child.
I was nearly shaking with excitement when I heard that we might be able to visit the Eagle & Child (also known to locals as The Bird & Baby, or simply The Bird). This was practically a dream come true. I have come as close to worshipping Tolkien and Lewis as I will allow myself to get. One of my main goals, when it comes to writing, is to eventually pen (or type) something that may be counted worthy to stand beside their works. I have expressed hope that, sitting in the same pub where they sat, I might absord some of their literary genius. Ah! The ravings of a hopeless fangirl! Whilst others are oohing and aahing over whatever male actor is supposed to be the hottest right now, I'm daft over some old guys who've been dead for at least 38 years.
You don't have to be a hopeless Tolkien or Lewis fanatic to enjoy the pub. I can say from personal experience that their chicken and cider pie is quite good. My family was also in agreement that the fish and chips were above average. And now I have realized that I'm starting to sound rather like one of those tourist guidebooks. 'And once you've finished touring the (Long Name) Museum, take a short bus ride to (Unpronounceable Name) Square, where you can enjoy the vibe of the market, and savor the rich flavors of (Creme de la Something or Other)...' Yeah. No. I'm stopping now, before this goes even further downhill. Right now, I think I might be able to have a decently good ending to this post if I stop just here. As Sam's old gaffer in the Lord of the Rings says: 'All's well as ends better'. So see, even Hobbits quote Shakespeare after a fashion. I've got some good company in my obsession, and hopefully, a good ending as well. :-)