One thing about the trip to Stratford that I forgot to tell you about was the tea cup. After dinner on the Friday night Sonia and I went for a wander around the town. We were pretty close to the graveyard where Shakespeare is buried when I saw a tea cup and saucer on a wall. I laughed, said 'how very English' then we wandered on. About 15 minutes later as we were walking along a road parallel to the river I saw ANOTHER tea cup and saucer... and this one had a label on it...
I thought perhaps someone was having a treasure hunt and it was a clue or something, so I took a photo and went over for a closer look:
The label said 'if you find me keep me. Have a lovely day. Send your story in a tea cup to... (can't remember the email address)' and invited us to 'visit them' in the marquee by the river for the Stratford literature festival. I decided I would keep the tea cup, as it was quite fun. But I did feel like a bit of a numpty carrying it around for the rest of our walk, and then taking it back to our B&B in a taxi... I never did write a story about a tea cup, but I'm not very good at creative writing! But I did have a lovely day!
The following evening we passed the marquee after dinner. There was a rather stylishly dressed woman sat by the entrance with a bookstand when we arrived and I said 'we found one of your tea cups...'. She had no idea what I was rambling on about. We popped inside but it was quite late and they were beginning to pack up. There were lots more tea cups, here one sale for £5 each (made me smile, I'd never have bought one, but a free tea cup with baby plant is fun). We looked at some lovely artwork from a fairy tale, then left as it was clear it was time to leave!
When we left we got chatting to the lady by the entrance again. I can't remember all the details but we talked a bit about the Ilkley literature festival (which Sonia has been to) and the lady mentioned having met Salmon Rushdie at a literature festival (I thought she was name-dropping, but I could be wrong) but being a little embarrassed that she'd never read any of his books all the way through (and I felt smug that I'd persevered and read all of Midnight's Children - good book, but I don't think I'd read another of his, too heavy going for my tired brain when I get chance to read).
Anyway we said goodbye and wandered off. At which point I had a funny feeling maybe we'd been talking to a famous author who was doing a book signing or something and we'd just rambled inanely at her. Or maybe she was just a regular book lover/seller. We didn't ask her name so we'll never know!