Friday, 24 July 2015


Last year at our town's Culturefest event, I was trying to get some publicity for an initiative that the organisation I was working on and was trying to attract the attention of the radio journalist. While I was doing this, a steward told me that I needed to move.

"You need to go and stand with the other Thai dancers over there," he said.

Nobody should be subjected to my dancing - of any variety! But this is typical of the annoying prejudices that happen because I look vaguely foreign. When I'm not a Thai dancer, I've been confused for a waitress in an Indian restaurant, a foreigner in my own hometown and even once a geisha.

However, this worked in my mum's favour last week when we were in Stratford. Queuing up to get into Shakespeare's birthplace, she was unexpectedly ushered in for free and couldn't understand why until she realised she'd been behind a group of Japanese tourists and staff had assumed she was with them.

Anyway, we were in Stratford meeting up with a couple of university friends and apart from a lovely ice-cream by the river, we spent most of the day in Stratford where we met by the best playground I've been to for ages!

There is a spacious playground for youngsters at the front, complete with boat and massive sandpit. Then there's a splashpool and a larger section including a zip wire for bigger children which my smaller son and his new friend loved. They didn't wear themselves out though - they then ran around the Lazy Cow Cafe in a back room - both wearing toy boxes on their heads before looping around the bandstand repeatedly. Now that's what tourists want to see. As my mum commented on the way home: "I remember going to Shakespeare's house about 20 years ago. It hasn't changed much."

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