Saturday, 27 August 2011

Which Involves Churchill, and Jason Webley

I could get to like staying in expensive hotels (especially when I don't have to pay). The Hilton Waldorf's breakfast would set anyone up for the day - possibly for several days.

After breakfast, E suggested that we go and visit the Cabinet War Rooms, which were the underground shelters from which Churchill and his government operated during the London Blitz, in WWII. At the end of the war, they were closed up (although it appears that they got some further use during the Suez crisis in the 50s) and then were opened to the public during the 1980s. They are currently run by the Imperial War Museum.

I'd been once before, when K and I were taken as part of a trip to London when we were children, but that was over 20 years ago, so I wasn't averse to making a second visit!

The museum includes some of the rooms used during the war, which in some cases were left untouched at the end of the war, and in others were re-furnished (using old photographs as guides) when the rooms were opened as a museum. I found looking at things such as the cutting-edge technology (an entire bank of switches and wires, to allow for transatlantic phonecalls, for instance) fascinating - a reminder of just how quickly technology has advanced over the past 70 years). It also left me feeling a little claustrophobic, and very glad that, unlike the various clerks and secretaries I don't have to send the best part of 6 years huddled in a basement barely seeing daylight!

The museum also includes a big museum about Churchill, including not only the war years, but also informtion about his childhood and youth (including one of his cavalry uniforms, demonstrating that he was quite slender as a young man!)

All very interesting. I left a bit sooner than E, on account of needing to get back to the hotel to collect my blongings and then get to the station to return home. I was rather startled to come upon Boris Johnson wandering through Churchill's bedroom. Due to my poor facial recognitian skills, he's probably about the only politician I would recognise on sight, as he is so distinctive-looking, but it is rather disconcerting to bump into any politician without warning!
Anyway, after getting over that unpleasant surprise, it was a relief to have a straighforward journey home, and to then have time to relax and make a meal before heading back out to Bristol to go to Jason Webley 's gig.
The pub where the gig took place was in Stokes Croft, which is not the best part of Bristol - I was a little nervous about leaving  my car, but the pub itself seemed fine, although when I went into the room the gig was in I was somewhat surprised to find that the room consisted of no seating,  and also no windows or aircon, so the room resembled a large, somewhat BASIC sauna....

There were two other performers - a band called, I think 'Big Hello'  which featured a lead singer who sang with his back to the audience, and a drummer & guitarist who rather drowned out their singer. Then there was a solo artist 'Cat Green Bike' who sanfg and accompanied herself on the ukulele, and who had a small but dedicated cadre of her own fans.

Both fine, bu I admit I was waiting for Jason Webley, and that neither of the support acts were so good as to make me forget thet!

Once Jason started, however, his gig was great!

I particularly enjoyed hearing 'Eleven Saints' and 'Dance while the world crashes down', and loved having the chance to go to a small, intimate gig (even one with no ventilation!).

We had about 2 hours of music, ending rather abruptly as the pub had to close (So no 'Drinking Song') - but such fun. I was absolutely knackered, afterwards, but so glad I went. Especailly as it seems that  Jason is unlikely to be back in the UK for some time. I was able to say Hi to Jason, and give him a hug, which was nice :-)

1 comment:

spacedlaw said...

No drinking song! How awful! (but then again the pub owners might have objected to his getting the audience drunk without a drop)