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ARTS BAG: Things in Stratford, Ontario That Heal My Soul

1. The river, and the trees that hang over it;
2. The moon, and the river and theatre beneath it;
3. A great play ("The Tempest," because it was the only show we saw and it was bloody brilliant. It's not the only one, apparently; rumor round town is that this year's Stratford Festival is the best in years);
4. Rheo Thomson: the little chocolate shop that could (cause they make their goods - and they  are so good - on site);
5. The other couples that stayed at A Cottage on Brunswick, the B & B we stayed at, people who spend money and energy on the arts and who can "waste" 2 breakfast hours talking about them;
6. The Artist's House: the artist (Gerrard), his art, his little house, his perfectly named little dog (Smudge);
7. The bravest girl I know. Hint: she's from Japan;
8. The ducks by the river and the ducks in the river. Because they remind me of Holden. And because, well, they're just nice;
9. A used bookstore, as it should be - cluttered and smelling of old books; and
10. An 80 year-old Christopher Plummer as sprightly and brilliant as any man in his prime could dream to be, so full of voice, so full of life. What is his secret, I asked the couples round the breakfast table at our B & B? He still has passion for what he does, they said. He still has passion.