O For a Muse of Fire

While Facetiming my family the other night, my dad asked me if I am doing any actually classwork. Of course the answer is yes, cheeky man, and one day I will write about my studies. In the meantime, there is much to report in the way of field trips and excursions. (And full disclosure this is what Facetiming my family often ends up looking like:

The boys are thrilled as you can see)

So embarrassing. Anyway….


Last Wednesday I won a ticket lottery to see Romeo and Juliet directed by Kenneth Branagh (!) and starring Lily James and Derek Jakobi. Lily James was a lovely Juliet, and Derek Jakobi (much like Branagh) is Shakespeare performing royalty. I love him best as the chorus in Henry V.

Hearing that voice in person was thrilling as you might imagine.

That evening was the Three-Penny Opera (of Mack the Knife fame) with the whole school, and so between plays my friend Alé and I took an exploratory trip where we found plenty of treasures, both of people and places. IMG_0164

This little alley is mostly used book shops and antique stores. Among our discoveries:

  1. A house once inhabited by Mozart!

2. A rare book shop peopled by wine-drinking sages who had the best stories to tell and let us hold 500-year-old books.

3. This antique shop bursting full of personality, both of inventory and shopkeeper


After a quick coffee stop, we hustled over to to the theatre to meet the rest of our crew, but not before this shameless display of tourism:IMG_0188We got another peek at Big Ben on the bus returning to Oxford:


Two days later we returned to London, this time to St. Martin-in-the-Fields. IMG_0178

I was a little bit freaking out because hearing a concert at St. Martin-in-the-Fields was a dream of mine and did not disappoint.

Saturday night, 6 or 7 of us saw the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra playing some Bach concertos and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The performance was truncated for me (long story), but what I did see was lovely, especially inside the stunning Sheldonian Theatre. IMG_0247So that wraps up the excursions of the last week. I will write about class and life and all that, but for this afternoon we are heading to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I wish I could beam all of my students over to see it too, since they did such a splendid performance of this play in the spring.

Note to my students should they encounter this post:  “Not to worry, Darlings, even the Royal Shakespeare Company could not possibly dethrone your favorite-Midsummer-production status in my heart. Love, Ms. Jones”

Published by Erin

Writer, teacher, composer with a passion for traveling, coffee, and a good book.

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