The past weekend was very busy for us, and a busy last few weeks. We’re now settled in and just have a few boxes around the place that are needing to have their contents given a home. We had Roz (Australian we met on the Kumuka trip) stay with us for a few days almost two weeks ago now and while she was in London there was a reunion for those from our trip at the Walkabout bar next to Temple tube. The weekend just gone involved three events, Sarah McLachlan in concert on Friday night, a trip to Cardiff to watch the All Blacks on Saturday and last night another concert (and another Canadian); Feist at Kings College.
Sarah McLachlan at the Apollo Hammersmith, 19.11.2004
This was the second concert of Sarah’s we had attended in recent times and this specific concert was the last on Sarah’s European tour for 2004. As a fanclub member I had bought tickets for this concert months ago but couldn’t find out what seats I had till I picked the tickets up on the day.
We arrived and got our tickets and were happy to find we had front row seats. Things got better upon arriving at the seats, they were front row and center stage. Needless to say we had a perfect view and enjoyed the concert.
As I do I took a lot of photos and near the end of the concert the woman on our right asked if she could have some sent to her (which I’ll have to do later this week). Turns out she is from Israel and living in London. She heard about the concert and turned up on the day to buy tickets not knowing the concert had sold out a long time ago. She was going to buy some tickets from touts outside when a kindly fanclub member with a spare ticket gave her his. Not only did she get in free she got nearly the best seat in the house, how lucky is that?
At the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff looking at the All Blacks supporters, 20.11.2004
Saturday saw us getting up early to get to Paddington Station for the 8am train to Cardiff. We arrived at Paddington just as our train left so had an hour to kill before the next train departed. We wandered off and got breakfast and made our way back to find that Paddington had become a suburb of New Zealand with kiwis all over the place, even one guy in a black and red Swandri.
Somehow we managed to get a seat on the 9am train (most of it was reserved seating) and we were off to Cardiff. Once we arrived we found a cold and wet city waiting for us which spoilt any plans we had for a decent wander to see the sights. We ended up walking for 40 minutes or so before making our way to a movie theatre to get away from the damp. ‘The Incredibles’ was on so we saw that, a great movie and a good pick-me-up as well.
We were meant to be meeting some fellow kiwis at the Cardiff Walkabout pub to watch the England v South Africa game but looked at the queues for every pub we passed and decided to find something to eat instead. On our earlier walk we had passed a Nandos Restaurant so we found our way back to it and were lucky enough to get a table almost immediately.
The next hour and a bit was spent eating nice food, drinking good wine and watching the assorted fans walking past the windows. The only interruption was the fire alarms going off because the grill was making to much smoke which meant the doors beside our table had to be opened up, making things a little cool. Once finished we wrapped up again and headed off for the Stadium.
The All Blacks performing the Haka
The streets of Cardiff seemed to be devoid of vehicles with people everywhere so it was easy to follow the crowds to the Millennium Stadium. We found our seats and waited for the game. Various kiwis came past and everyone was friendly and chatty. Both teams were running around warming up on the pitch and the stadium slowly filled.
Before long the teams had left the field and then come back on ready for the national anthems. Listening to 70000 odd Welsh people singing their hearts out is something that will stay with me for a long time, the NZ anthem was good and the crowd was in good voice but we couldn’t really compare with the might of the assembled Welsh choir, that’s how good they were. We then had the Haka followed by a fast and frentic game of rugby.
Joe Rokocoko having just scored a try is being congratulated by his team mates
I’m not used to watching a game without commentary but it was an electric game to watch. I wasn’t sure we could win it until the final whistle, the whole thing was that close. At the final whistle we departed straight away to head back to the train station to see if we could get the early train.
At the station it was all very organised with long queues set up for each of the different destinations. We were pretty far back in the London queue and were extremely lucky to get a seat again once we had reached the platform and the train arrived. The train was even more packed than the trip in the morning. A few hours later and we were back in London making our way via tube to Liverpool Street before catching the train home, a long and eventful day.
Feist at Kings College, 22.11.2004
The last event for the weekend was on Monday night at Kings College. We were seeing Feist, a Canadian singer. We left work, had a nice dinner at Pizza Express and tubed to the venue, just beside Temple Station on the Circle Line. There was a queue (there’s always a queue) so we lined up and waited to be let in. The venue itself is the epitome of a student venue being small with a tiny stage and looking rather tired throughout. Being a student venue the crowd was mainly students, surprise surprise. Maybe I’m getting old but they just seemed a little immature to me and there were a number of people smoking cheap cigarettes which smelt horrible.
Keryn could only take so much of this nasty smoke and had to sit down part way through Feist’s set. About ten minutes after this fire alarms started going off and then the concert was interrupted and we were advised to leave the building! Never had that happen at a concert before. So we exited and then decided to go home, that was that
That was the extended weekend, more at a later date perhaps.