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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