Saturday, April 23, 2005

Cambridge

Ir qA norhwe vS QWWK ....

That's misplaced hands on keyboard for It was another bad week.

Didn't work with the screamers (who I wrote about last weekend, and then removed so my mother wouldn't worry.) Mostly just had too much to do and too little time to do it in. But Thursday afternoon, my friend Mel and I left at 4 and drove country lanes to Cambridge, where we were going to see Nanci Griffith at the Corn Exchange.

The drive to Cambridge is a bit of a pain. If you take direct routes, you end up in traffic waiting endlessly at roundabouts. If you take lanes, you see really fabulous little villages with thatched cottages and one-lane streets. But it takes a long time, and there aren't nearly enough sheep to keep you occupied, as it's mostly cropland.

We made it in plenty of time to check into our hotel and change close. I wore a close-fitting skirt with prints of Botticelli paintings covering it and a cute little tulle ruffle at the bottom. Paired with my black sweater, a denim jacket and a pair of black boots, I felt really fabulous.

Our hotel was about 3 blocks from the Corn Exchange, so we could walk. Contrary to the images conjured after many stops at the Corn Palace in Mitchell SD, this place is not, in fact, a building with murals of grain coating all surfaces. It's a big old warehousey building that used to be a public marketplace (for the cropland we passed on the way, I'm assuming,) and it's been turned into a concert hall. It's actually a really comfortable venue and the sound was pretty good.

The concert rocked, as Nanci always does. I've seen her a bunch of times, but this was Mel's first chance. She's been a big fan for years, just couldn't find anyone else who appreciated the music. We felt a little silly all dolled up like we were since half the crowd were bluehairs and the other half were in jeans, but no harm done. She didn't play Ford Econoline or So Long Ago, but she did a lot of things from Flyer and a kickin version of Sonny Curtis' Walk Right Back. And, at the Corn Exchange it seems folks sing along regularly so we got to belt out a few tunes without feeling like dorks. It was also nice to hear an unabashed liberal American speaking out about the good, the bad, and the ugly of our international politics. (Nanci gets a little impassioned. Solidarity, sister.) Thoroughly enjoyed the concert. Stopped off at a little greek place for a late supper and a bottle of wine before hitting the sack.

Oh. And I was reminded again that the standing ovation is no longer obligatory now that I'm out of the midwest.

Friday was perfect. Clear as a bell, and my room had a spectacular view of a lovely public lawn so I could watch an early morning cricket practice and the rush of folks heading to class/work for the day. We took our obligatory tour of the hotel (in exchange for the free rooms,) and then hit the streets for a leisure day. Cambridge is full of quirky shops and boutiques as well as all the big chains, so we wandered the shops imagining ways to spend money and had a nice little lunch at an open air bistro. Finished the afternoon with a walk along the river. Didn't go punting because it was a little chilly, but will definitely go back for that soon.

Excellent kickoff to a good weekend, and much needed after the month I've had.

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