(Actually I don’t like Pimm’s, to be honest. It's sickly, full of leaves, bunting and fruit salad, and only drinkable when you're so drunk you should definitely put the glass down and go to bed.
It just sounded apt and sort of as if it might cunningly lead into what I'm about to say, even though, unlike the book title it’s nicked from, it's not about dolphins or the world blowing up. So really, it was a very poor choice of phrase..
Come to think of it more, I've never read 'So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish', and I'm not sure I'd dislike it any less than I dislike Pimm's. Despite trying three times, I've never managed to finish reading its sibling, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy', I disliked it so much. Mainly, I think I disliked how much the people who like it, like it. It's a sort of 'like dislike'.
I get that a lot.
Gee, I'm SO glad I started this blog this way. I feel it's going really well.)
Let's plough on. With some NEWS:
I am leaving Cambridge.
Yes, I'm finally done! Out. Leaving town. Packing up. Going down. Not passing GO, and definitely not collecting any money.
But very VERY excited about it.
I arrived in Cambridge as an undergraduate at Clare College, in October 1993.
I expected to stay for 3 years, attempt to complete my degree, and then leave.
A quarter of a Century, four children, five house moves and a hernia later, I’m still here, and in all that time I’ve never lived more than one mile from where I started.
As epic journeys go, it's up there with Marco Polo's trip to the loo and back.
But now, almost exactly 25 years to the day since I first set tender - and possibly drunken - foot here, I will be leaving.
Some might say this move is about 22 years too late. My old College tutor would disagree, and say it’s 25 years too late.
But it’s happening, at last. My feet are itching and it’s time to walk.
(Or rather get on a plane, which will be much faster and easier on my decrepit, runner's knees.)
With the reality of my Cantabrigian departure suddenly sinking in like one of the many bicycles chucked into the Cam every year, I’ve realised that there is a rather large number of Cambridge-y Things that I’ve either never done, or would like to do again before I go.
- things that bring back memories of days past;
- things that Every Good Tourist has to do when they visit here;
- things that are new in town and any self-respecting Cambridge-ite knows about, but because I've got a new baby, social anxiety, no self respect and a social life made of tumbleweed, I've somehow managed to miss.
So I’ve started to compile a list.
From punting and Pimms to pints in the Pickerel, (I really need to get this 'P' key unstuck on my keyboard) it’s a sort of hit list of All Things Cambridge, to work my way through before I depart.
And then I'll love it so much I'll probably want to stay, and curse myself for this snap decision to leave when I ONLY JUST arrived, 300 months ago.
My very short list so far, is below – it took me all of about 3 minutes to write it, and I’m sure it’s missing a lot of things that I've either forgotten about, don't know about or don't know how to spell, so I've ommittted them.
For this reason I have decided to pass my Light Blue baton over to YOU lovely folk, to do the work for me, and give me your recommendations, must-sees and must-dos.
Because I'm a massive cheap-skate I'm largely after freebies, obvs, so please do try to think of really awesome places that might want to shout me a free cocktail in exchange for a write-up on this blog, as it's read by at LEAST five people, two of whom can read.
I am fairly sure that in Influencer terms this is GOLDEN, and at least half a person will immediately go to any venue or attraction I mention here.
Most places could hardly PAY for such publicity. Which is just as well.
SO, if you want to suggest any:
places to go, things to see and do, restaurants, bars or cafés I should visit, or just a view I really ought to enjoy, I’d love to hear your suggestions.
I will try to get through as many as I can in the time I have left, and write a little blog about each of them. I might even take a photo. Especially if the activity involves any pretty cups of coffee.
It will possibly be the shortest, fastest, least useful Guide To Cambridge ever written, but hopefully a fun one and a happy goodbye to the place where I’ve spent my entire adulthood, and have almost come to call ‘home’.
On your marks, set….GO! Let’s Cambridge.
- Indigo coffee house - I last went here in 1994. I should probably go back and order pudding.
- Fitzbillies Chelsea bun - I met the love of my life in Fitzbillies, so we should probably finish the story off with Cambridge's most famous sticky mouthful.
- Bould Brothers - best new addition to the Cambridge coffee scene, à mon avie, and TOP bus-watching spot, which my baby loves.
- Grantchester afternoon tea – I loathe afternoon teas. GOD I hate them. So does Mike. So just to annoy him, I'll endure one last scone on a deckchair before I go.
- Limoncellos – HOW HAVE I NEVER BEEN IN HERE?? What is even IN it?? Is it full of lemons? I must find out.
- Jack’s Gelato - because GELATO. And Jack. Obvs.
- Old Bicycle Shop brunch – seen a millions instagram shots of it, but never had it.
(PLEASE TELL ME THERE ARE OTHER PLACES TO EAT IN CAMBRIDGE?? I feel this list is rather short. Cheers.)
(I notice this is the longest list. Discuss.)
- Tamburlaine cocktail – never been, never had one.
- Browns cocktail - I used to be a waitress here. I'm owed a drink. For old time's sake. And....because I want one.
- Pint in the Pickerel – Mike has never been in there. Considering he has drunk most pubs in both Fife and Cambridge out of booze several times, this is pretty much a crime. I shall take him, and pint him.
- Hotel du Vin – first place we kissed, so I'd like to re-live that moment. Over champagne. And if someone could hold our baby for a moment, please. Thanks.
- Varsity rooftop - best view of Cambridge, unless you have vertigo. Or a baby strapped to your chest. I have both. BRING IT ON.
- La Raza – never been. WHAAAAAT? Yes, I know. Leave me alone, I've been busy.
I hate day trips, Visits To See Things, brown-signing and tourist box-ticking. If there's a Thing To Do or See, I do or see everything else. But I guess I should go to....
- Ely - Cathedral City, but without the cheese.
- Wandlebury - went once with my kids when they were little. Hated it. Happy to be proved wrong.
- Gog magogs - Cambridge's Alps, yes? Shall I bring my crampons?
- The Maize Maze – FOUR CHILDREN, and I’ve never been here. Or maybe I have, and I got lost. I'm not sure. But I'd like to see it.
- University Botanic Gardens – bloody love this place but haven’t been for about 10 years. I've got a new baby now, so she is due her fall into the pond before she leaves.
- Formal hall. I'd like one last dry potato and a profiterole before I leave, please.
- Walking at the top of King’s College chapel. Bricks will be shat. But it'll be worth it.
- All colleges. I've been into about 5 of them. There are more than five, right? #Cambridgepro
- OMG Famous Things I should see eg Samuel Pepys diary. Graves? Places where Awesome Stuff happened? (Not like Lola's. More like Cavendish Lab.)
- Evensong at King’s – or anywhere. Actually very annoyed with myself than I haven't been doing this regularly for years. Must be so beautiful. So I'd like to go to a few.
- Swimming in Byron’s Pool - naked? Must one? What are the rules? I shall obey.
- Punting - Slowest form of water transport know to Man. But must be done.
- Glassworks - I've never been in the jacuzzi they have, that overlooks the river.
- Up Great St Mary’s - I've been sick at the bottom of Great St Mary's, but never up her. Given that I walk there every day, this seems like quite some lazy omission.
Ummmm...that's it for now.
Over to you . . !