Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Weekend in Cambridge

Anne and I went back to Cambridge this weekend, for the first time since our year group's reunion in 2000. We arrived very late on Friday (having got snarled up with Brussels traffic, and thus had a long wait for the channel tunnel train, and then further confused by Maidstone roadworks) and left at dinnertime on Sunday, feeling that we should do it again some time soon, and maybe see some more of you while we are there next time.

We did manage to catch up with deborah_c, Liz the knitter, and Catherine the non-blogger; and we spent lots of money in Heffers and similar. We also went to the Fitzwilliam Museum - to my shame, I think it was the first time I had been, despite my five years of living in the city. There is a great exhibition of gold ornaments from, of all places, Georgia - the land of the Golden Fleece. There is a relatively new courtyard development as well, with shop and café.

And we went to Choral Evensong in Clare College, the first time either of us had been back to the college chapel since we got married there 15 years ago. Before the service there was a recital of a couple of Schumann pieces by one of the choral scholars; I chortled briefly at the coincidence that her accompanist had the same name as the editor of the Guardian, and then realised that it wasn't in fact a coincidence at all. He's not a bad pianist.

The service itself was rather good - built around the themes of redemption and forgiveness, with a sermon from a fellow alumnus reminiscing about his experiences as a prison chaplain, asking us not to buy certain newspapers which sensationalise crime and criminals (the irony of having a national newspaper editor in the congregation was not lost on us). We stayed on for dinner afterwards, but made an early move to try and get a chunnel train at a decent hour.

Well, it didn't work. One patch of bad traffic immediately south of Cambridge meant that we just missed the train at ten past ten, and the next on Sunday evenings isn't until a quarter to midnight. So we waited, and got it, and arrived in France at 0130. And we were making good time on this side until the car conked out, with a terrifying death rattle, at 0330 on the Brussels ring road. It was another hour before we got home, and another hour again before I was in bed.

Yeah, and on top of that I am travelling again today - about to get on a plane to Istanbul and then another to Cyprus. By the time I touch down on the island this evening, I will have been in five different countries in the previous 24 hours. Which is a lot, even by my standards. But it was worth it.

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