We have been in Bath since Christmas and although we have made multiple trips to IKEA on the eastern edge of Bristol we had still to visit the city proper until last week when we finally hopped aboard the train from Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads. It takes about 25 minutes to walk to the station and only between 13 and 19 minutes for the train to reach Bristol, depending on which service you catch; the two cities are that close although a world away in style and size.
This was our first visit to the Theatre Royal since we went with my parents and took Tom to see “Puss in Boots” or “Dick Whittington” – I actually can’t quite remember which but it had all of the traditional ingredients plus the contemporary addition of a current personality who in this case was Ian Botham who whacked bread rolls into the auditorium with a cricket bat, what else? – when Tom was about seven or eight. So quite a long time ago.
Once again I have been taken to task by one of my long-suffering readers for posting too many “travel” type pieces and not enough penetrating cultural analysis. Well at least I am generating some feedback so I suppose I should attempt to comply.
Some countries and cultures are superficially similar due to some shared history, the pervasiveness of cultural “soft power” and of course a shared language – although of course GB Shaw did famously say of England and the US that they were “two countries divided by a common language”. Experience, however, usually soon disabuses the traveller of the similarity notion and that is even more true for those who actually manage to live for some reasonable length of time in another country.