The decision to come here was made late last night whilst standing at the top of White Horse Hill in Oxfordshire. The forecast was good, and I wanted another glorious day away from London.
Our companions were Jem and Ian, and when we arrived in Cambridge we hooked up with Stephanie and Julia, friends of Jem's from Australia, the latter of whom had just returned from Malmo, where she'd presented all the Australian coverage for the Eurovision Song Contest, including the little package about Australia which had been broadcast midway through the final. The BBC had opted not to show it, but Brother Edward had played it to me on Saturday, so I was able to congratulate her... And mean it!
The lovely Julia
We punted along the backs in baking sunshine, constantly forced to avoid the mayhem of inexperienced tourists doing the most bizarre things. One woman seemed to be attempting to punt down The Cam sideways, creating the mother of all barriers in the middle of the river.
We had a lovely drink in a pub just off King's Parade, said our goodbyes to the ladies and then pootled off to the car via Lammas Land and Midsummer Meadow, every corner of which holds a memory, from the paddling pool, which I remember wading through and thinking it was deep enough to swim in, to the bridge where my mother once killed a duck by feeding it her incredibly dense homemade bread. The duck literally sank. It was deeply traumatic!!There are few places in the world that I can't actually remember seeing for the first time, particularly those which have remained in my life so constantly; this area of Cambridge is very special to me as a result.
We came home via Thaxted, where my Mum had laid on the most delicious assortment of cakes and scones.
We walked to the windmill as the sun set behind a sky filled with wispy mares' tails. Mares' tails are, of course, bad news for the weather as they herald the arrival of rain... But that doesn't matter. I've had two glorious days of sun, and that'll keep me going for a while!