Monday, October 27, 2008

What Things We Have Seen Done At The Mermaid!

The Mermaid Tavern on Sweet Swan Lane was the site of this year's Sidney Supper event, an annual birthday celebration organized by the Mary Sidney Society for Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke. The event marked her 447th birthday. Just in case you don't know who Mary Sidney is, she's an Elizabethan woman who has fascinating, impressive, and documented connections (revealed by Robin in her book, Sweet Swan of Avon: Did A Woman Write Shakespeare) to the works attributed to the man named William Shakespeare.

As Ben Jonson (a contemporary of both Mary Sidney and Shakespeare, and the self-proclaimed poet laureate of England) said, "What things we have seen done at the Mermaid!" Of course, he was referring to the Mermaid Tavern on the corner of Friday and Bread Streets in London 400-something years ago, but it's a sentiment that is being taken seriously by a growing number of Mary Sidney devotees today. And then there's always the fact that when word gets out there's a party at Robin's house (The Mermaid Tavern), lots of people show up because they know it's not going to be your usual get-together.

Somewhere between 30 and 40 cars parked along the road, along the driveway, and in the parking area next to the house. At least 60 people attended, perhaps more. I ran a shuttle service with the SwanMobile (shown below) for people that didn't want to walk the 192.5 yards (yep, I measured it in Google Earth).

There was mirth and merriment aplenty. I will posteth a short video on the morrow.

Marcia & JohnT.jpg
As valet, I greet guests when they arrive at Sweet Swan Lane.

The SwanMobile.

guests at Mermaid Tavern.jpg
Some of the guests listen to Robin. Others are outside on the patio (the door on the right). And still others are behind the camera.

Ceryn seated in chair.jpg
Ceryn, youngest member and Student Liaison of The Mary Sidney Society, greets guests in the Mermaid Tavern's Great Hall (ha).

Sidney Supper singing.jpg
Laura and Anna lead the guests in a sing-along of Brush Up Your Shakespeare.

singing guests.jpg
Some of the previously mentioned mirth and merriment.

Robin, Main Mistress of Mirth and Merriment
(as most of you already know).