Monday, 21 July 2014
Romeo & Julie-wet..!
"Indeed, the likes of which hasn't been seen, ooh for many a year..."
"We should take advantage of such a glut of sunshine, should we not?"
"Absolutely, why, I hear of an outdoor rendition of a Shakespeare play - what say you?"
"A delight... let's attend forthwith..."
Oh yes, famous last words. It started well, with the end of another warm day and even a little hazy sunshine. We set out our waterproof picnic blanket, assembled camping chairs and opened a few bottles, sandwiches were shared and then the play started. Romeo & Juliet, an all male cast, who were brilliant and full of energy. Yes, a perfect evening, in a quintessentially English garden (Claremont Landscape Gardens - National Trust Surrey) just by the side of the lake - glorious.
After maybe 15 minutes of captivating performance, the rain started to spit. My partner and I exchanged looks, this was fine, what are a few drops of water right? We grinned at those already reaching for brollies, not a hardy lot at all!
Then the rain got a little harder - OK, sweater time...
Harder again, maybe the brolly should at least protect the food..?
Extra large hail! OK - this could be trickier than we thought...
Is my stomach rumbling? Oh no...
Thunder, yes, and of course, lightning – perhaps time to move..?
Torrential (and I mean torrential rain) ... er - ok, let's just huddle with the brollies right - I mean it can't go on forever?
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we will now pause for a short break..."
Hey this rug really is waterproof, it's creating a paddling pool topside...
Ok, can we get any lower do you think, the peanuts are getting soggy...?
If I get any lower I'll be swimming!
So, a sea of umbrellas now covered the spectator's area and in odd open spaces, abandoned picnics (we even saw an abandoned handbag!) that the previously shooed away geese were eyeing greedily (the picnic not the handbag...) and we were essentially pinned down: too much stuff laid out to gather easily without putting the brolly aside...too many people, too many brollies, to manoeuvre much at all. So trying to protect each other and the cache of food stuffs, we began planning the retreat. Among a few stabs of the brolly a few startled squeaks as water dribbled and permeated... we waded, yes, waded, away from the beautiful setting and the now sadly obscured by rain, stage.
Was it a night to remember? Yes, would I do it again? Yes, but next time armed with a flask, a single wrapped sandwich and a cagoule! Important note: waterproof picnic blankets are great for damp ground, not such a good idea in rain, unless of course it goes over you not under you.
I feel for the poor thespians, who really were doing such a remarkable job and who left the stage without anyone really noticing in the storm - such a shame.
Worse thing is, that by the time we got home and dry, it turned out to be a lovely evening!