We spent much of the weekend in Cambridge. My eldest nephew, recently graduated from Oxford (from the same college as Prime Minister Theresa May, and a certain Mrs. Clooney), lives in Cambridge currently. We went to see him to celebrate his graduation.
Cambridge is far from a “new” place to us, though. For several years (too long ago now), we owned a house not far away near the town of Huntingdon. (In a “brush with greatness,” I once met former prime minister John Major at a local constituency meeting – less than two dozen residents – around the corner from our house. At the time – 2000 – he was still the area’s member of parliament.)
So back then we spent a lot of time in Cambridge.
Aside from some new shops, it hasn’t changed very much, really.
Writers always pay attention to these things. (Even if, like me, you write non-academic romance fiction.) Cambridge University Press is, naturally, here:
I remember lots of cycles in Cambridge – the city’s relatively compact size, and it being pretty flat, makes cycling practical. Now, bicycles are everywhere. There is actually a parking problem:
Also visible everywhere are notices – some polite, some rather less so – on fences and “500 year old” railings asking people NOT to chain bikes to them.
I developed the impression that if you stand still too long, someone might lock their bike to you.😂
Saturday evening, we had pre-dinner drinks in the Castle Inn. They don’t do Guinness, but my nephew and I had another stout I hadn’t tried before. The Mrs. had red wine (of course):
We had dinner out afterwards a short walk away at a French restaurant. It’s part of a chain, and the food in the other one we’d been to a few years ago – in Bath – was great. Here it was excellent too:
For dessert, I had the profiteroles… and probably put on a pound just looking at them:
We had a relatively late – 9 pm – dinner reservation by British standards (the British eat out later than do we Americans, but earlier than the French and much earlier than the Spanish), and a window table. Bridge Street started to go into “night mode” during our meal, as people, particularly women, dressed up for a Saturday night out began to saunter by. Several women seemed to be having a tough time staying upright – but evidently NOT because they had been drinking a bit too much.
“God,” my wife laughed about one as we saw her totter past the window, “how is she walking in those heels? You’d need to carry me.”
A related issue perhaps. All Oxford colleges now accept both men and women, while Cambridge still has a couple of women’s colleges. Living near one as he does, my nephew said everyone notices, however, that there do seem to be quite a few men… leaving its grounds early in the mornings.
Surely not? [Tut, tut, tut.] Students these days. You know, back in my day, well, we never would have even considered…
Sunday was also U.K. Mothers Day. (Which is presumably a life consequence not many of those students want to think about just yet in those, uh, early mornings.) At the street market, we bought the mother-in-law flowers as we prepared to leave to drive down to London to see her:
Cambridge is – in my humble opinion – a more pleasant place than is Oxford. Oxford is a good-sized city. Cambridge still feels in many ways like a big rural town.
Crocuses, outside a college:
Spring is arriving.
Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. 🙂