Theatre: Romeo and Juliet at Reading Abbey

“What’s here? A cup closed in my true love’s hand?” The audience looks on in silent sorrow as Romeo drinks the poison and Juliet stabs herself with a knife. I know this is coming of course, but that doesn’t stop me crying. I’m watching the most romantic of Shakespeare’s tragedies, misty-eyed, sitting on a fold-up chair within the ruins of Reading Abbey, in an outdoor … Continue reading Theatre: Romeo and Juliet at Reading Abbey

Travel: Cornwall’s Minack

My train hurtles through miles of open countryside, past fields of stubble and leafy green crops in straight lines. There’s long grass dotted with white blooms and yellow tufts, and clouds of summer wildflowers float across the landscape like purple smoke. We whizz past sun-scorched farms where pigeons peck at corduroy soil and hay bales lie on the earth like massive half-corks. I close my … Continue reading Travel: Cornwall’s Minack

Feature: Chelsea Physic

Sunflowers helped clean the soil in Chernobyl by soaking up radioactive particles and storing them in their roots, I discovered, as I pottered about reading the labels and smelling the lavender in London’s oldest botanical garden. During August’s respite from lockdown, I longed to go somewhere green and beautiful, to connect with the natural world for a few hours. Chelsea Physic Garden is home to over … Continue reading Feature: Chelsea Physic

History: Shakespeare’s Globe

We all stop talking and turn to watch the cast of Twelfth Night sashay out on to the stage. I am visiting Shakespeare’s Globe on London’s South Bank – a replica of the Elizabethan playhouse where William Shakespeare was playwright, actor and co-owner between 1599 and 1613. A circular thatched roof covers the stage and three tiers of seats, but my £5 ticket has me standing … Continue reading History: Shakespeare’s Globe