Toronto boasts all sorts of charming centres an hour or two away, like most cities do. And like most city-bound romantics, I do like to take day trips. And I do like to go on about how pleasant it is to travel alone by train and how you meet such interesting people. On a last-minute, mid-week escape to Stratford, I ended up sitting next to someone I already knew, a composer/music critic/author, and, so again, I enjoyed great conversation as we rode the rails. He's not only come out with another book, but also a CD of his chamber music! Really impressive.
I had come to see Shakespeare's Cymbeline, and so I did... half of it. During the intermission I stepped outside, gazed up into the gorgeous summer's afternoon, and decided that I wouldn't be contained a moment longer. It was also playing at the Tom Patterson theatre, which is not my favourite, the seats being very utilitarian and uncomfortable, not like the other spaces that the Festival performs in. It's always a treat to visit Stratford, its Festival, and its shops. I had a few hours to go before I met a friend for dinner, and so... I walked, fed the ducks, and shopped the summer's day away.
Art on the Park is a gathering of artisans along Lake Victoria each Wednesday and on weekends during the Festival months. I was captivated by a glass pendant that seemed to contain a moving fireball, along with a ceramic bead pendant that looked like a cross-section of a lake, from water to silt, to sand. They both came home with me. And a return visit to Watson's Chelsea Bazaar (all four cats are still there!) ended with me buying two very small cups in which to enjoy my Mayan hot chocolate. I discovered that Molly Blooms (my favourite pub) has all-you-can eat fish and chips on Wednesday nights (golly, and it's good). By the time I boarded the train for the return journey (for which I sat again next to my composer friend), I felt spoiled and happy.
Did you know that young, mop-headed Bieber is a Stratfordian? Well, you do now!