Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kendal Mountain Film Festival

I'm over at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival, in Northern England. It's about as English as English gets in my mind. We went out for a hike the other day and walked through green fields filled with sheep, rock walls, rolling hills, little stone houses, older couples in gum boots out walking up hills in the mud and so on before retiring to the pub to sink a few pints.

I think any English-speaking person likely has some sort of mental image of Britain. This small collection of islands exerted a huge influence on me, from nursery rhymes to the Magna Carta to Wordsworth poems. I keep looking out the window at the rain, sheep and all other stuff I just mentioned and feeling that I have seen it all somewhere before, and that it is more familiar than my few brief trips here should make the view. The Kendal Film Festival is definitely an British production,with a full collection of English, Scottish, Irish and even Welsh film makers--somehow this too makes sense, all the accents swirling in a pub. I'm on the jury and sworn to secrecy on that, but I am really enjoying this festival. When I get old I'm going to do nothing but tour around to film festivals. Wait, I'm already sort of doing that, Dundee is next week!

Seriously, this is a fantastic event and worth planning a trip around. The sun even shone for two days, unfortunately I was locked in a basement and unable to see it. Now that we're done judging the sun is hidden behind a layer of clouds and rain that even has the locals commenting on the poor weather...

We've been hitting the Kendal climbing gym hard in the evenings, so much fun! My elbow problems finally seem to be in the past, and I just can't wait to get after it again. I even love climbing plastic, just the feeling of moves, chalk, ropes, friends new and old, climbing is just so damn great no matter what the medium.

4 comments:

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

> older couples in gum boots out walking up hills in the mud and so on...

If you want to fit in with locals you need to get the lingo right. They are "wellies" old chap, "wellies" - as in wellington boots. :-)

Have a great trip. If you get a chance try and get out and do some routes - even just our little English 'mountains' in the Lake District can be pretty fine on a good day. Anything on Scafell will be amongst the best routes England has to offer.

Tom Phillips said...

Hi Will - Great talk. Inspired me not to go into the office on Monday. (well actually I did, but Tuesday I'll be out on the crag). One of the best talks I've seen at Kendal pver the past 7 years. When are you going to put a book together with all this stuff in it?!

Will Gadd said...

Wellies, yeah, wellies! Thanks. The sheep legs fit pretty good in there too, or so I've heard...

I do have a book on the go, thanks for the encouragement to work at it more. I'm still more interested getting out into the mountains most days than writing, but maybe as I get a bit older than will change? Or maybe not...

thanks for the comments!

WG

Gary from KY said...

Hi Will- Loved the Kendall Mountain Film Festival. Your talk was particularly inspiring. I will keep it in mind as I'm recovering from knee surgery (torn meniscus). Can't wait to get out on the rocks this spring!

My wife and I planned our trip to England around the festival and we loved every minute of it. Kendall and the surrounding countryside are truly beautiful. Didn't get to climb this time but scoped some routes at Stanage Edge and Raven Crag in Langdale for the next time round.

Know what you mean about England seeming familiar. This was my first visit, but I felt very much at home.