Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Flight to the lakes

Several months ago I heard that Flight of the Conchords were playing in Glasgow at the SECC. I'm a big fan and thought it would be very nice to see them. Tickets went on sale at 9am on a Friday morning and I knew that they'd be popular, but still I stupidly didn't go online straight away to buy them. I went to the gym instead. It was about 10:30am before I made my attempt to purchase tickets, but alas every site I tried was sold out. My dream of seeing the Kiwi comedians was over...

But wait! My flatmate hadn't been quite so lax in his ticket buying and had been online at the right time. He bought ample tickets with a spare one that he kindly offered me. So it was the case that a few weeks ago I was able to go to see them in concert. It was a very good gig. I was very impressed by Bret and Jemaine's singing voices and the way in which they (seemingly) improvised around technical problems. They played the majority of their classics, bowing down (or so it seemed) to audience pressure for a couple of songs. There was a bit of playing around with some of the songs, which didn't work on all occasions, but mainly added to the show. It wasn't just a show of song after song (it kind of a comedy gig too) and inbetween songs there was a lot of banter with the crowd and even jokes designed to run through the show. The gig overran, but no-one minded and the finale was pretty awesome.

Now for a change of story...

I had to run away from the gig pretty quickly as I had to get to bed to be up early. My girlfriend and I were travelling down to the Lake District in the morning to stay at a holiday home owned by her parents. We were up at 6am for the drive and made it down to Ambleside just after 10am. We weren't due to enter the cottage until 4pm, so started the holiday with a walk up Loughrigg. This has great views down over the Langdale Pikes and Grasmere. It wasn't the most challenging of hill walks, but was certainly challenging enough for two people not used to getting up a 6am. However, we made it over Loughrigg and down the other side to have lunch at Chesters - a nice, if slightly pretentious, restaurant-cum-interior decoration store, with very nice cakes. Getting back to Ambleside we were able to get into the holiday home, which was very nicely done up. We had to have a brief snooze before heading out for dinner at Ambleside's (if not the UK's!) finest Vegetarian restaurant - again very nice.

The next day saw us take a walk up to Grasmere (I think I'd been before on a school trip back in 1994) - we were attempting to follow instructions from my girlfriend's dad to give us the route, but we failed to take the planned path and ended up walking mainly along the main road to Grasmere. Grasmere was very pretty, but (in a similar way to Ambleside) seems entirely based around tourism - it's all lovely cafe's, restaurant, outdoor gear stores, or quaint crafty shops. It's great to visit, but isn't necessarily a taste of the real Lake District. We were able to get a very nice lunch there though (I forget the name of the cafe) again with particular note of the cakes - this place was famous for it's lemon meringue pie, which I had. We took a more scenic route back via some caves and hilly bits - we didn't see much wildlife, but saw many sheep and lambs, including a lamb that was a bit too adventurous and got stuck behind a wall next to a river.

We only had the weekend away, but the start of our drive back to Glasgow saw us stop off at a really nice pub called The Queens Head near Troutbeck. I was able to get a proper Sunday roast after a weekend of mainly being vegetarian/cake-arian [Update: I have been corrected by my girlfriend who reminded me that I had actually had a sausage sandwich for lunch that day - and very nice it was too]. It set me up for the drive home.