Thing 2 was going to be something entirely different, but I found myself walking home today in the blazing sun with a heavy baby strapped to my chest, (my own baby as it turned out, which was lucky), separated only from my sweltering, sweating skin by her sundress, now also soaked in swelter and sweat.
Like an oasis of pub, the Maypole suddenly presented herself. And I was IN.
The Maypole is Cambridge pub royalty, and I drank at her throne many times when I was a student.
Happy Hour cocktails were the thing of the day, and I'm very relieved to say that they were so potent, I can recall absolutely none of it.
My best friend at the time enjoyed the cocktails SO much they rendered her unable to recall how to get dressed, and she made it all the way to the top of Castle Hill after one dance around the cocktail menu too many, before realising she didn't appear to be wearing a skirt.
Moments later she realised she WAS in fact wearing a skirt, but our old friend the Dodgy Eighth Martini had caused it to become wrapped around her waist, leaving her outside Fitzwilliam College at 2am, wearing what appeared to be only a jumper and some tights.
She was warmly welcomed into College by a very friendly group of 2nd Year medics, generously offering to help her out. Of said tights.
The Maypole's other crown is one of writing, and specifically comedy writing.
Hunched over the old wooden tables, pint of ale in hand, generations of hilarious and clever students have sat here, drinking and writing hilariously and cleverly, and then performing hilarious and clever sketches for those less hilarious and clever than themselves.
I was a contemporary of both writing duos Mitchell and Webb and Mel and Sue, all of whom went on to achieve huge success on television, stage and other places where people achieve huge fame and success in the fields of sublime hilariousness and cleverness.
Wishing to become similarly famous and successful was in fact my main reason for going to the Maypole in the first place, but somewhere along the drunken lines I managed to forget two key things;
I am neither hilarious nor clever.
This minor oversight didn't fully hit home until I decided to write and perform a full run of one-woman stand-up shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, some 23 years after the 'where is my skirt' incident, having never written or performed stand-up before.
This time the two key things I forgot were to write anything, or to manage to perform it, but other than that it was such a success they've asked me never to come back, for fear of showing everyone else up.
I am happy to oblige.
Today's visit to the Maypole could not have been more different than my previous ones.
Baby in tow, I sat in the cool, calm, courtyard area, on a comfortable sofa in the shade of a huge fig tree, ordered a cappuccino and breastfed my 8-month-old daughter.
I was greeted by a friendly smile from Vincent, who, alongside his wife Annie, has co-owned the place with his father, Mario, since 1988. Vin and Annie know me not only as a pissed student of old, but a mother with children the same ages as some of theirs, and Annie taught my three eldest how to ballroom dance at school when they were 10 - a skill they will have for life, and for which I’m eternally grateful!
Memories flooding back, I felt the hit of a new cocktail, this time of nostalgia, comfort, and panic that I really AM leaving this place at last.
It was just like days of (very) old.
Only this time, sober. And much happier.
Highlight of our stop, encouraged by a biscotti on a teaspoon, was my baby's very first attempt at a pub crawl. Or indeed ANY crawl. 👏🏻👏🏻👶🏻
This also seemed somewhat apt, given how many times her mother had tried to crawl out of the place after closing time.
I'll miss these little patches of Cambridge memories.
But at least In know that when I come back, they will still be there. I'll have a large G&T next time, please.
And a spare skirt, just in case.