Fun times at Shakespeare and Company

Several things happened today that are noteworthy:

1. Mum’s back! We met her at Gare de Lyon after her train came back from Avignon and had lunch and swapped stories and it was wonderful to see her again.

2. I finished and submitted my assignment. Letters of congratulation, chocolates, flowers etc can be left at my house because I’m home on Sunday.

3. We all went back to Shakespeare and Company, where I browsed for a blissful half hour, bought a book about the history of the shop, and found out about an event tonight in celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday!

4. Mum and I went back at 6.30 (Mum wanted to come with to make sure I wasn’t murdered on the metro) and we were let in to the little banks of stools inside the shop. It was tiny, and cramped, and crowded, and we couldn’t see the itty-bitty makeshift stage, and it was perfect. We sat next to an American guy who is living in Paris and we just talked and talked about books and travel for about half an hour before anything started. He was very well-read, with a very cheeky sense of humour and thought it was hilarious that I said ‘Far out’ because he hadn’t heard anyone say it since Mick Jagger did a couple of decades ago. Rude. There was about half an hour of songs and poetry performed, then two people did a scene between Helena and Demetrius. Then a bunch of people performed Tom Stoppard’s version of Hamlet that went for about 25 minutes. It was hilarious. Most of it I couldn’t see, but their cobbled together version was still very entertaining, and the dude playing Hamlet reminded me a lot of Riley which made it even better. Afterwards, they filtered us out and let a whole bunch of people in who’d been waiting outside. They gave us wine and then Mum and I walked back to metro, trained to Abbesses, and bought crepes for dessert and took some home to Marnie. It was a fairly warm, mild evening in Paris and it was a great way to spend our time – I feel very lucky to be in Paris on Shakespeare’s birthday.

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