Berry Barn Reunion!

Of all my favoritest memories in my life, perhaps the best of all were the summers spent at the Berry Barn. It is seriously a special place, just on the border of Sooke and Metchosin. There are usually 3 horses: Velvet, Prophesy, and baby Scout (who I’ve known since he was a stumbling foal). They spend their days lying about the paddock, playing horse games, and always coming to us for a treat or a pet and kiss. The dog, Dinny, and the de-clawedbarn cat (gosh…whats her name!? help me guys!!??)  – who can catch birds and mice simply with pure skill. The amazing humans at the barn, are…
Glenys, our mentor and drama instructor who manages to pull shows and scripts right out of her hat it seems;
Grandma, who makes the most beautiful costumes ever, and paints the sets single-handedly, and. incidentally, makes the finest and most addictive Welsh cakes in the land;
and Betty, who helps out with everything, and is the most amazing, magical seamstress!!

There are usually less than 20 of us who are in a play. We’ve done Macbeth, Midsummernight’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Tempest and Twelfth Night, a play a summer since I was about 10. We spend 2 weeks preparing; learning lines, sword playing on the mossy rocks, running lines in the gazebo, flying around in our outlandish costumes, and blocking out scenes. We played all sorts of acting games too; improv explorations, the ‘ball’ game, the ‘Keeper of the Keys’, tossing dowels, creating tableaus, making art for the play, and learning to use our bodies to express what our words could not. But the camp means so much more to us than all the things it was. We all are the closest friends, bonded by the great Bard, and spent every free break running wild over Glenys acreage; playing by the ‘crick’ and catching frogs, galloping barefoot over the mossy, wood chip floors, playing on the bridge and scampering over rocks, swimming in the frigid water, flying down the steep hill, hiking over boulders into uncharted territories. It was our magical dominion and we explored ever inch. We even rehearsed scenes outside, using the natural woodland setting to inspire us to imagine more clearly the island setting of Tempest, the dangerous tricks of the forest in Midsummernight’s Dream, the traveled paths in Twelfth Night. It was an incredible 5 summers, and the kind of magic we created  offstage was the realest I have ever found.

Last night was our great traditional reunion. Its usually a potluck and Glenys makes chilli and we play improv games until its way too late and the parents have all long arrived and helped themselves to some food and laughs. Getting up the steep flight of stairs was difficult, but I knew that even if there was broken glass on each stair I would drag myself to the top. We had simply the most marvelous time. Everyone has grown up, grown into their own skin. Growing up is beautiful.

Here are some pics I snapped at the party!

Matt, Nick, and Morgan, our comic relief
Will, Dan, Pelle and Kaeleigh (all looking their best :P)
Char and Matt!

The Lovely Laura’s, Me, and half of Matt!!

I miss you all so much! So many good times 😀 xoxoxo

3 Comments on Berry Barn Reunion!

  1. Laura Gerein
    May 23, 2010 at 7:00 am

    I had such a great time last night, Nicole, and I’m so glad you made it up the stairs 🙂 I know there was a cat named Felix and possibly one named Mathilda, but I can’t for the life of me remember the old cuddly one that particularly loved Will. Hmm, we’ll have to think on that one. xoxo

  2. Two
    May 23, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Great article, Nicole!
    Hehe, it seems I gatecrashed most of the pics “^.^
    Very accurate and beautifully written! Makes me nostalgic
    Hope you start feeling better soon!


  3. Nicole Bottles
    May 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    thank you guys! i’m so glad you checked it out!

    mat i love the pics…you just added the right amount of ‘mat-ness’ and made the album a hit :P.

    love you both so much!

    ps: mathew…do you have fb? how about email? i have a really old address???


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: