Way back in last September we attended a family gathering of my wife’s relatives in London. We stayed with her aunty and uncle whilst we were there and, as we were sat around during the afternoon, they mentioned that Eric Clapton was due to play at the Royal Albert Hall: would we be interested in going?
We said that we would love to, but I was sceptical – Clapton gigs sell out fast, especially at the Royal Albert Hall.
Undeterred, they got onto the computer there and then and to my surprise there were indeed tickets available, so the deal was done.
The concert seemed like a very long time in the future, but this weekend it finally came around, so off we went to London again.
I have seen Eric Clapton before a couple of times, although I was depressed to note that the tour T-Shirt that I dug out to wear to the gig was from 1990 – it really doesn’t seem like 23 years ago! I had never been to the Royal Albert Hall before though, so I was looking forward to that almost as much as the concert itself.
The concert was, as you might imagine, outstanding. The stage set was very simple: the special effects that you come to expect from big concerts these days were totally absent, but when the music is that good you really don’t need gimmicks to distract you.
All too soon the concert was over, but we stayed on in London for a couple of days. On one of those days we ventured out to Kew Gardens, something else that I have not done before. It was in our mind that we might seek to do this if the weather was good, so I kicked myself extensively for setting off without my camera: my only excuse is that I wasn’t thinking beyond the excitement of Eric Clapton!
I was somewhat shocked at the entry fee of £16, but if you get there early it is a good day out – we aren’t that organised, so didn’t arrive until well into the afternoon, but we still had a very enjoyable time.
Given our limited time we headed for the main glasshouses – although stuffed with exotic and interesting plants, I was at least as fascinated with the Victorian glasshouses as I was with their contents. I also loved the Treetop Walkway, which gives a great treetop-eye view of the park and especially the impressive Temperate House.
All in all a very enjoyable weekend – and I even managed to get a few decent photos with my phone camera. The best camera is the one you have with you!