Away to Lammas Land, with a detour for a spot of cricket before a picnic in the Grantchester Meadows.
Later there was a dinner party hosted by Jean that lasted til dawn…. and I didn’t make anyone cry this time!
I can bend my finger for the first time in a week! This is the part where I am overly optimistic and end up even more injured.
The last few days have included hiding from tourists, exchange students wielding clipboards, punting touts, and sunlight. Not with marked success, but still.
Early morning sunshine, drinking coffee, watching the market wake, chatting with vendors: sometimes I love this city. The feeling will pass.
On the way home I spotted cygnets in the lock – guess they didn’t read the warning signs.
I do so adore Midsummer Fair. Why? Because it scares the bougie neighbors.
One awesome element of life here: DIY bone setting and dentistry kits. If only they offered takeaway phlebotomy!
A few things I cannot do with a broken finger: chop vegetables, apply sunblock to right arm, operate left hand brake on bicycle, type. Too bad that pretty much covers “life.”
I appear to have broken a finger. While doing… chores? This is only slightly less stupid than the Bunny Cage Lava Rock Incident.
While I adore my boat, there are a few elements of river life I could give up. For instance, I do not not enjoy debating environmental impact policies with drunk people before 10am.
Ever the optimist, I always make the mistake of assuming that forward motion solves all problems. In that regard, I would like to register a wish for a peniche on the Seine next xmas. Thanks in advance, Santa!
Tonight I went to an academical sort of party and someone said “aren’t you a nice looking girl” while staring fixedly at my chest.
I would have thumped him, but he was 83 years old, so I went and hid behind the buffet instead.
First coffee related injury! Caffeine + cobblestones = calamity.
I know too many secrets and I am feeling impatient instead of reticent.
But today is the first day I have woken up knowing that I am truly safe, and it is…. anti-climactic but awesome.
This morning I would have enjoyed working at the cafe much more if the Americans would just SHUT UP. People from my homeland are so …. loud.
Foreshadowing? You be the judge…. a courier just turned up (about two months earlier than expected) to present me with formal UK residency papers.
I’ve lived here so long, I just thought “huh – the town sure is rowdy today….”
What was that noise? Why Suicide Sunday, of course.
Though it truly is as shocking as it sounds, if you aren’t used to such things.
To locals this is just part of the academic year; when they aren’t naked and vomiting in parks, the students are swanning around in ballgowns and tuxedos. And of course, there is the accent; even when slurring, they are all, to my humble ear, posh wankers.
Quite the spectacle – and remember, I attended a college that routinely had people OD’ing in the laundry room. Cambridge is simply off the scale for debauchery.
My kids have a tutor who keeps insisting they are Oxbridge candidates – but I am appalled at the suggestion.
I know, I know, not a nice thing to say…. but hey, I never claimed to be nice.
Five years in this town has not rendered me sufficiently jaded to ignore the fireworks – weeks and weeks of massive celebrations every night? Ho hum.
But today was the Town & Country Show. Steam engines, sheep dogs, and jousting, with the Bronski Beat as soundtrack – oh my! I am genuinely thrilled.
The rummage for old legal papers reveals that I apparently still own a Commodore 64, boxed, with the original manual.
I am distracting myself from the difficulties of the immigration situation by reading biographies about logicians, and Alfred Tarski is officially my new secret boyfriend.
And! Tonight I have front row seats in the theatre founded by Keynes to watch Leonard from Butterflies star in a Christie play. I am psyched!
The geek factor this week is very high.
Benefits of being OCD #123: when the immigration attorney writes at 4 am demanding decades old documents, I know exactly where they are!
Someone flirted with me – and I noticed! This would be a rare event anywhere but in Cambridge?! Inconceivable.
Then I attempted to shop at a grown-up lady store, only to find that I can make even the most respectable frock look egregiously slutty. Who knew. Not me, for sure.
The application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (aka permanent UK residency) has been dispatched by courier to the attorney shepherding the next part of the process.
I can now accurately state where I was every single day over the course of the last five years. Not that I want to or anything.
FYI, I reckon 8am is not the most ideal time to shoot passport photos. Unless you like that “look,” of course.
Tomorrow I relinquish my passport for an unspecified length of time. Adventures will therefore be restricted to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland). The only reasonable idea I’ve only come up with is <a href=”http://www.bekonscot.co.uk/”>Bekonscot Model Village</a>.
But Byron says that if I go there, the universe may end. So… whatever.
This morning I just wanted to drink coffee and write but instead I was stranded in a Bermuda Triangle of Ladychat. Must. Escape!
I hustled my headphones in and did my best to ignore, but could still hear a sharpish twittery noise…. though at least no words were discernible!
Then as I cycled to the river, the people who live on Drunk Bench cheerfully shouted “Oi! It’s the girl who loses her boat! Don’t do that today, we’re busy!”
One hundred and seven rolls of film later, guess what turned up? The Chorus at the first Ladyfest. Including bit not limited to the Beauty Bark Incident.
On the way to the camera store I provided directions and assistance to three sets of strangers. Before 9am. Perhaps I should give up my career and switch to the tourism industry.
Except, oh wait, I don’t like ….strangers.
Capitalist bastards took Birdsong off the radio!
That was sufficiently appalling, but this afternoon I can’t decide: am I more of a “Canal Boat” or “Waterways World” kind of girl? I’m certainly too cheap to buy both. How stressful.
On the topic of thrift, I am generally thrilled to find my books in charity shops… except today I stumbled across the one with my face on the cover. Creepy!
Back on the devils teat I’m realizing how special Olympia was, at least in terms of coffee. I miss the Smithfield! The Asterisk! Batdorf & Bronson! Dancing Goat! Heck, even the campus coffee cart was better than anything here.
Today I’m eating bread, cheese, cherries & plums on the banks of the river. If the tourists would stop pestering me I would say this is a perfect afternoon!
Though I must pre-emptively admit I loathe, detest, and abhor the Strawberry Fair.