Posts Tagged ‘William Shakespeare’

“Doors – why do there have to be doors…?”

Okay, that’s a Michael Johnson song. The tune plays whenever I recall my observation of doors in England: most of those I saw were small. What fascinated me was that they were small entrances to large and wide spaces inside. But the main significance of English doors to me really was they were my cue that warmth was nigh. While touring the outdoors I struggled against the cold, although that stopped when I decided not to care how I would look in a borrowed, over-sized thermal jacket.

Super typhoon Haiyan made me wonder how victims were finding comfort in the aftermath as I have come to regard doors as ‘shelter in the time of storm.’  That’s a title of a hymn said to be “a favorite song of fish­er­men on the north coast of Eng­land.” The Postman, a paper published in London, narrates that fishermen “were oft­en heard sing­ing it as they ap­proached their har­bors in the time of storm.”

And I wonder why I’m an anglophile. When I was little my mother sang the hymn in my head during rainy nights –

The Lord’s our Rock in Him we hide
a shelter in the time of storm
secure whatever ill betide
a shelter in the time of storm…

You may recognize this photo as Hall’s Croft, William Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband Dr John Hall’s home.

shakespear 5 sepia

I was frantically searching for my tour pass which I thought I dropped around Hall’s Croft entrance while peeping at a hole in the door, trying to decide if I should get in or proceed right away to Shakespeare’s grave nearby. We were running out of time.  But what made me frantic about searching for that bloody pass? I was getting scared. I knew I would freeze if I could not find that small slip of paper. It had the password to the door of the hotel I was going back to for the night!

Would death by hypothermia be as dramatic as The Bard’s storm speech on the heath?

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s moulds, an germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!

Linking with ABC WednesdaySepia Saturday


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Never mind that I bumped my head on the ceiling above the hearth of this home. I think Anne Hathaway’s cottage is quaint.

stratford 4 anne's cottage in sepia 100_1297xian

According to an info on its walls,  the cottage “was occupied by the Hathaway family and their descendants from 1543 until the late nineteenth century.

Although it is now known as Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, in Anne’s time it was a farmhouse called “Hewlands.”  The earliest part of the building is supported by massive, curved oak frames called “crucks” that date from the middle of the fifteenth century.

The cottage in which she is said to have lived with her parents is yet standing.  It is still occupied by the descendants of her family who are poor and numerous.

shakespear 4

This is the photo that follows the cottage info above.

shakespear  3x

Visit this week’s Sepia Saturday headquarters for more homes and houses.

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