I’ve been in England for nearly 3 months and somehow in two weeks I’m flying back to Canada for Christmas. It seems kind of insane how fast time has gone. Essays, rehearsals, and birthdays have been taking up most of my time so I haven’t really thought too much about my blog – sorry!
The Gilbert and Sullivan Society has just put me absolutely over the moon. What an amazing group of people to be spending my time with. Our weekend retreat was about a month ago, and we all hunkered down in a hostel in the-middle-of-nowhere, Devon for the weekend to rehearse for our upcoming Christmas Gala on December 7. I had almost forgotten how much I miss musical-theatre types (because of course they celebrate Christmas in November).
Guy Fawkes Day in England might be one of the oddest traditions I’ve ever been involved in. A bunch of us trekked out to Ottery St. Mary’s (the smallest of small towns) to check out the festivities. I couldn’t believe how many people were there to see the bonfire, fair rides, food trucks, and other festivities. Which included the strange and fascinating tradition of the Flaming Tar Barrels.
Residents of the town get to bundle up, light fire to a barrel that has been dipped in tar, and then hoist the barrel onto their heads and run through the streets with it burning up on top of them (much to the delight of thousands of spectators). Honestly, one of the things running through my mind as I was watching was “This would never fly in Canada or the US, because every one would be suing one another.” This was definitely one of those “be here at your own risk” kind of events, and I’m so glad I went. It was crazy, overwhelming, completely strange and I would absolutely go again.
My birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and as far as birthdays go it wasn’t too shabby. Definitely in my top five of best birthday nights. Good company, strawberry cider, and the best pizza in Exeter combined with actually managing to get a table at the Old Firehouse made entering my 22nd year pretty spectacular. Thinking back to the last ‘milestone’ birthday, my 18th, I don’t think I ever could have predicted then that in 4 years I would have moved to 2 different continents, and be spending my last year of school living abroad. Sometimes it seems so surreal I can’t even believe this is my life.
22 is looking like a good year, and I can’t wait to see what happens next