Saturday, 30 April 2011

The little bee

Over breakfast this morning I watched a honey bee attempting to pollinate my television! It seemed perfectly happy to disappear every few minutes, find a flower, and return through the open window with more specks of yellow pollen, which it deposited in a little hole on the back of the telly, which I think might have been designed to wall mount the thing. It was a very curious sight and I'm at a loss as to what to do about it. Should I cover the hole and break his little bee heart, knowing it will be better for him in the long run? No wonder bees are dying out, if they try to make honey in plastic moulding!

I've been in Cambridge all day with Helen. It's been a wonderful day, although my hay fever season has now started. We drove up from London, but due to a terrible accident on the M11, were diverted via Thaxted, which is where we had lunch.

The weather was stunning; not too hot, but a beautiful treacly orange sunlight all day. We walked around the centre of town and Helen showed me the room where she practices as a therapist in one of the colleges. It was a lovely room; very peaceful and comfortable. You could see an ornate sandstone clock tower out of the window.

As the sun set, we hired a punt, and drifted along the backs for an hour or so, periodically having to steer around massive pile-ups of tourists blocking the river. No one fell in. I was bitterly disappointed. Helen surprised me with her punting skills.

As we walked around the town, a series of childhood memories were triggered, and it struck me how, now my links to Warwickshire have been severed, Cambridge is now the town in Britain which holds the most continuity for me. On many occasions I was able to tell Helen what certain buildings used to house, and what others had been before they were rebuilt. Perhaps I'll end my days there. Who knows...

Helen in her college

April 30th, 1661, and Pepys took a carriage with Elizabeth, Creed and his clerk, Thomas Hater who also brought his wife. Pepys found Mrs Hater slightly amusing. She was wearing some kind of mask, one assumes to protect her skin during the journey to Portsmouth, but it was so peculiar, that Pepys originally mistook her for an old lady. He was pleasantly surprised to discover that she was instead an attractive "black" woman. Very dark haired, rather than of African descent.

After a full day travelling, they'd only made it as far as Godalming. Pepys ended the day feeling somewhat grumpy, his hat having blown off his head and fallen into a river. He was also upset to be missing the annual May 1st coach parade in Hyde Park, where the great and the good rode up and down to show how wealthy and wonderful they were!

My favourite flower...

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