Give or take a day, I’ve now been living in Cambridge for eighteen months. That might not sound like a long time, but it’s the longest I’ve lived at one address for quite some time (six years, five months and twenty-two days, to be precise). Since my last update on life ‘Down South’, I’ve ventured to Portugal, Germany and France. Closer to home, I’ve munched my way through a few more of Cambridge’s eateries (Pint Shop, Bread & Meat and Urban Larder are spots I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend), caught up with friends and family and squeezed in a few country walks.
Volunteering with Brownies
Towards the end of 2018, I was given the opportunity to work from home one day a week. Besides having saved my sanity (a three-hour round-trip commute is enough to tire anyone out), it’s also enabled me to volunteer for Girlguiding again. I volunteered for Guides for eight years; now, I’m volunteering for Brownies. (I tell you, I’d forgotten how much energy eight-year-olds have!) We’ve celebrated Burns Night (complete with Scottish country dancing) and World Thinking Day (the ‘Brownies of the future’ themed consequences game was great fun). We’ve done fruit tasting, learnt about hedgerows and endangered species and held a ‘junk fashion’ evening, all as part of their environment badge. And this week, we went to Pets at Home; a trip that was as much fun for us leaders as it was for the girls. Roll on next term!
Twilight at the Museums
I have to hand it to Cambridge: the free events scene is pretty darn good. Twilight at the Museums was undeniably a family-oriented event, but that certainly didn’t stop us from popping along to Cambridge University Botanic Garden to see the Glasshouse Range in a different light (scroll down for a photo).
Seeing The Cambridge Footlights
We’d been wanting to see The Cambridge Footlights for yonks and when we finally got round to it last month, it was well worth the wait. We booked tickets to Footlights Spring Revue 2019: Last Resort at the ADC Theatre, at roughly a tenner apiece, and had an absolutely cracking evening. Their sketch on private schools (many of which are registered charities) was a real corker: imitating an ad for charity donations, they described the plight of private schooled children, one of whom had ‘to walk eight miles to get to the end of his garden’ and another who didn’t ‘have a place to call home, because he has two’. Other highlights included the skit on Cluedo and the game of Guess Who? (audience participation compulsory) with which they opened the second half.
Returning to the Land of Baguettes
. . . in other words: why there was radio silence on the blog last weekend. Last Saturday, I stepped foot on French soil for the first time in eighteen-odd months. My sister is currently on the second part of her year abroad in Cholet, Pays de la Loire, so Laurence and I had booked a day’s annual leave and arranged to visit her for a long weekend. We spent a day and a half exploring Cholet and its environs, and a jam-packed day in Nantes following la ligne verte through the city. Many a viennoiserie was consumed, and I wouldn’t have been all that surprised if I’d come home resembling one. Stay tuned for more on this trip!
Rising Rail Fares
I will never quite understand why an industry which continues to under-deliver (at least in my neck of the woods) is able to up its prices, year on year. On the upside, my season ticket runs until the end of September, so I don’t have to face the price hike just yet . . . but when I do, it will hurt.
Return of the Slugs
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Last time, they left swirls of slime on the rug, my shoe and my laptop. Now, they’re back: slithering under our back door (we presume), sliming their way across the kitchen floor and vanishing before we come down for breakfast. If you’ve got any tips for getting rid of the blighters, I’d love to hear them!
Six Months in Six Photos
Laurence is running the Greater Manchester Marathon in a few weeks’ time, so a trip ‘Up North’ is on the cards. I’m really (really) looking forward to having lunch at Red’s True Barbecue afterwards! In April, I’m heading down to Exeter for work. We’ve tacked some annual leave onto the end of that, which we’ll be using to explore Dartmoor National Park. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess; we’re hoping to do the Tour du Mont Blanc this summer, and are pondering a two-wheeled trip to North Norfolk, but plans haven’t firmed up yet.