Friday, 16 September 2011

My Date With Cambridge

Whilst spending time at home being a lady of leisure, following a recent redundancy (It was expected, and the last 7 weeks have been well and truly relaxing and I have enjoyed every minute!) I decided to spend the day in Cambridge and have a date with my home town. 
Just me and Cambridge. 
In the Drizzling August Rain. Lovely. In fact, I had such a great day in my own company that I just want to blog about it to diarise it. Feel free to skip it if it doesn't interest you, but I can't rate a date with Cambridge enough..
Why not take a day off and do the same!?
I started with a quick stop and walk around Madingley American Cemetery, a great place to relax and think about things. The only other people around were two american tourists who politely spoke a few words to me and then carried on walking. It's such a picturesque location, yet so sombre at the same time. I had only visited for the first time last year, after years of driving past without going in. Now, if I need a peaceful hour, this is one of the best places in Cambridge to go. Perfect start to a relaxing day. 
I also decided to stop being a bus snob, and actually took the park and ride for the very first time in around 10 years hehe... It was quick, cheap and easy and I felt like an old fogie with a big bus-induced smile on my face. My dad would be proud! It even stopped right in the centre of town close to a new coffee shop I had wanted to try for some time, Michaelhouse Cafe which is situated in a pretty church on Trinity Street, so I thought it rude not to stop and enjoy a pot of fairtrade tea and a slice of fresh-from-the-oven New York Fruit Cake which consisted of peach, apple and vanilla, it was moreish and very different to anything I had tasted before - I will be taking Mister back here soon!
Unfortunately the day had really darkened, and the heavens decided to open on the one day that I forgot my umbrella, so I had to pop to TK Max and join the queue of fellow umbrella forgetters... but I found myself a really cute blue and red polka dot brollie to hide underneath, so I was actually happy in the rain for once... frizzy hair free for the rest of the day hurray! 
I had actually agreed to meet a fellow Twitter addict at Sidney Sussex College to pick Mulberries for my upcoming Punting & Picnic Tea Party and by the time we had found the mulberry tree, the rain had stopped which was a saviour as I'm not convinced we could have balanced our brollies with this messy fruit!
TIP- If you find yourself mulberry picking, please do not do as I did and wear light pastel shades of clothing, wear black clothes! Mulberries stain. Fact. 
After what looked like blood stained hands, I thought I might want to go home, but I trooped on and indulged in a sneaky purchase or two at Lakeland and bumped into an old friend which was so nice to have done so, and we had a good old natter and a catch up before he trotted off again, and I even found what I was looking for in the form of a baby gift for my friends new born baby boy as well as a tea cosy for myself in Cath Kidston.... A very lucky visit at the perfect time led to a chat with the girl at the counter who convinced me to book onto their upcoming crafting evening. Nothing lucky ever happens to me like this... It was a weird sensation to be having such a nice and surprising day hehe. 
In fact, the ENTIRE day had been made of little conversations and meetings with people that I would never have met or got talking to if it wasn't for my tea parties and my new found confidence : ) 
It's so important to chat to people and natter for a minute or two, I feel. 
Just strike up a conversation with the next new person you come into contact with... You never know WHERE it will take you, honestly!
I finished my day off in the late afternoon with a quick step out of the very heavy sheet rain that had decided to come back and frizz up my hair (Ha!... You failed again rain ; p ) into Benets on Benet Street, where I ordered a creamy Hot Chocolate and a gorgeous round of Millionaires Shortbread to take back for the Mister. I have only ever tried Benets Ice Cream in their new Ice Cream Parlour on Kings Parade, so I got chatting to the lad behind the counter and we had a good old moan about the punting lads who bully you into punting on a rainy miserable day and won't let you pass with their big boards and perfectly coiffed hair... I liked him, a sensible boy with some very good ideas to swipe the punting pests away haha. 
I haven't really ever spent the entire day in town on my own comfortably, and it was so nice to just please myself and enjoy my favourite elements of Cambridge. I walked around and enjoyed some parks that I would normally just bypass in a rush, visited some charity shops and found a cute milk jug and also picked up the latest AA Guide to Afternoon Tea in the UK.

 Cambridge is hiding so many secrets ready to explore.
I'm up for a second date if Cambridge is!

Miss Sue Flay 

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