Monday, 5 April 2010

From the things-I-did-on-Saturday dept...

Saturday I continued what seems to have become a personal weekend tradition of running along the banks of the Thames. I've been trying to run different parts each week and I may actually make it a goal to work my way along the river, though I'm not sure what to pick as start and end points (maybe the edges of Zone 6 would be a good start).

This weekend I ran from Putney Bridge upstream to Kew Bridge, a little farther than the finish line for the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, which it turns out starts in Putney and was also being held that afternoon. This 6.8km race started in 1829 and has been held annually on the Thames tideway since 1856. People here take this event seriously, apparently, with 250,000 people arriving to watch it live from the riverbanks and nearly 8 million people watching it on television.

London graced us with pretty nice weather for the day and people were out enjoying BBQs and beer. I had to enjoy by watching since I don't normally run with a wallet, but I did make it back to Putney on the tube in time to catch the start of the race. And that's about all you can catch because those guys move fast and are out of sight pretty quickly. In the end, Cambridge held strong on the outside of a long bend in the river and managed to score a narrow come-from-behind victory near the end.

I also popped into town to catch the final evening of Waiting for Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. I was curious to see this production—with Sir Ian McKellen opposite Sir Patrick Stewart—last summer, and was delighted to find it had been remounted, albeit with Stewart replaced by Roger Rees. I found the scenes between Vladimir and Estragon quite engaging (McKellen is marvelous and the pair have excellent comic timing) but the scenes with Pozzo just seemed to drag. I've seen the play once before but can't recall the event well enough to know whether this is a script problem or one unique to this production. Apparently they're taking the show on a world tour; if you can handle this 1940's take on a "show about nothing", I'd recommend it, even just for a chance to catch Ian McKellen in a more intimate setting than the supposedly-upcoming Hobbit movies.

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