Friday, July 15, 2016

Day 15 -- Richmond

I spent today constructively and educationally. Constructively, I repaired my boots; educationally, I toured an historic theater in which I will attend a performance this evening.

The upper of my right boot has started to split. The sole still has plenty of tread, but I’m not sure why the upper has weakened. It’s possible that I caught the upper on a nail or barbed wire that caused a slight tear; or more likely, my feet are moving faster than my boots, and have started to break out. It’s tough for manufacturers to make boots that move as fast as my feet.

It really isn’t possible to repair the boot, but with the magic of duct tape, I have attempted to reinforce the upper to slow further tearing. I know the fix would work in dry Utah, but I doubt the tape will hold in wet England. Still, the uppers need last only six more weeks and 450 more miles to complete their task.


In any event, these boots will be retired at the end of this walk, and will not be returning home with me. I suspect that the US agricultural inspectors are rooting for the boots to last the entire walk, because if I buy new boots, the new ones will be coming home.

My private tour of the theater was led by a charming guide named Pat. I can't remember everything she said, so I'm making up a lot that follows.
The Richmond Georgian Theater dates from 1788, and is one of several built throughout northern England to accommodate roaming performers, but is the only one remaining. Aside from updated engineering to comply with fire and safety regulations, most of the theater retains its original construction. Some parts that were lost forever as the building evolved to other uses over the centuries, were lovingly restored as accurately as historians could reconstruct from information known about other lost theaters.


I’m told that all stages slope towards the audience. In a small theater, the slope is very pronounced. But even large stages slope, especially in Utah where productions involve water.



The little theater originally held as many as 400 people. But over-indulgence in beer and ice cream now limits the occupancy to 200. If I wear my boots to tonight's performance, there will be many fewer.