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T minus 1 and counting…

Tomorrow I start my big push to write a first draft; I’m both nervous and excited :} I keep telling myself that I can do this, I just have to immerse myself in the story and use a combination of planning and spontaneity to keep up the momentum. Oh well, too late to back out now…

The Winter’s Tale

Yesterday’s trip to London was exhausting but definitely worth it – almost as good as a trip back in time (and without the smells!)

We got the coach down to London and arrived in plenty of time, so we had a drink in “The Mudlark” and then dinner at Pizza Express (very Elizabethan – not!). Just after 7pm we headed back to the Globe, where we ordered a drink for the interval and hired cushions – the latter very necessary, as the benches are very hard. I was gratified to see that prices for cushion hire haven’t changed in 400 years, in relative terms at any rate. In Shakespeare’s day it cost 1d to hire a cushion, and now it costs £1. On the other hand the gallery seats used to cost only 2d or 3d – a lot cheaper than today’s £25!

The play was performed in Elizabethan costume, though with women in the parts that would have been played by boys. “The Winter’s Tale” is not one of Shakespeare’s best, and not easy to understand; not just because of the changes in the language in the last 400-odd years, but also because it is deliberately obscure in places. However it was an enjoyable performance and of course more “grist for the mill”.

Sadly I have no clear photos as it was a cloudy evening and thus rather dark; the theatre is open in the centre but obviously rather shadowy at that time of day.

Thunderbird is go!

Took my iBook into work today (in case I needed tech support) and finished installing everything I need. I now have Apache, PHP and MySQL running, with MT and PHPMyAdmin; Firefox & Thunderbird; X11 and The GIMP; Palm Desktop for syncing the LifeDrive; and AbiWord for writing. Woohoo!

New baby

Thought is the parent of the deed, as Thomas Carlyle put it. So today I went out and bought a G4 iBook (a refurbished Panther model, thus saving over £100 on the price) 😀
I can see it will take some getting used to; I’ve only driven a Mac on a handful of occasions in the past 25 years, and not at all in the last five.
I also bought a copy of “The Reckoning: the Murder of Christopher Marlowe” by Charles Nicholl; a bit of Elizabethan intrigue should set the old imagination racing!

Good technology

If I’m going to be writing 2-3000 words a day, I need reliable technology that doesn’t interfere with the flow of words. I currently have 4 options:

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Period films

Another CWIL meeting, another Jacobethan shopfest 🙂 This time it was music and movies: a CD of Dowland songs and DVDs of “Shakespeare in Love”, “Stage Beauty” and Kenneth Branagh’s “Henry V”, courtesy of a ‘3 for £20’ offer 😀


By happy coincidence, someone at work is selling 2 tickets for a trip to the Globe Theatre on the 24th, which I had previously failed to sign up for in time. It’s to see a production of “The Winter’s Tale” in Elizabethan costume (tho’ not one of their all-male productions, sadly). Of course I snapped them both up, so Richard and I can go.

Stocking up

Before tonight’s CWIL meeting I combed the shelves of Borders for non-fiction books for my research. In the end I bought 4 paperbacks: “English Society 1580-1680” by Keith Wrightson, “The Age of Shakespeare” by Frank Kermode, and “The Tudor Housewife” and “Pleasures and Pastimes in Tudor England”, both by Alison Sim. That should keep me busy for a while!