Friday, September 30, 2005

Punting: It only sounds dirty. 

Last Sunday, we decided to go to Cambridge. Beautiful city, and home to 18,000 of the world's most smug undergraduates. Fair enough. This is St John's, the second richest college. I'd probably be quite smug if I lived in this building.

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Despite the fact that it is only a 90 minute drive, I have been to Cambridge only three times in my life. The first time, I was a child, and my parents took me to visit Trinity College. I remember being most unimpressed by the building, but intrigued at the notion of "tutorials". Having your teacher all to yourself sounded quite good.

My second visit came about in my early twenties. A friend had finally graduated after spending eight years in the place, and I was invited to "Cocktails on the Lawn". This sedate and civilised sounding affair involved drinking Pimms from eleven in the morning and ultimately falling in the river.

Returning to the city as a proper adult, one with a child and husband, was fantastic. (Although I did keep my sunglasses on in case anyone recognised me), because we went punting!

We didn't attempt to punt ourselves, and went for the "guide" option. Our guide was an undergrad with floppy hair and a voice like Hugh Grant. The stories he told us as we floated gently past these amazing buildings were fascinating. He was also amusingly scathing about the more recent additions to the university.

At one point, there was nothing to see but glorious architecture, and it was like we had gone back in time.

Best day out I've had in years.

Tara looked cute in her lifejacket and enjoyed seeing ducks!

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Define "good", please. 

The day before yesterday, I was coming out of school with Tara, when she ran off to hug a young man at the school gates. I recognized him as being one of the leaders of her theater workshop. I didn't catch their entire exchange, but I distinctly heard him saying, "Are you good at school?"

Yesterday I received a letter, via the school, from said workshop. Apparently the children are to perform at a charity thing on Saturday. Real stage. Real audience. The letter requested that we call to confirm attendance, given the short notice.

I called and said, "Tara would love to be there, but are you sure you want her?"

I could have been joking, since I made no reference to her previous performance.

"Oh, don't say that. She was really good last time", the organizer replied.


That was one of her "good" moments?!

We'll go on Saturday. But only if I can stand in the wings with one of those hooked sticks so I can yank her offstage if necessary.

And I'll be sure to bring sunglasses and a hat. Possibly a fake beard and a stone to crawl under.

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