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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2007/12/10 21:56:07 (December 2007).

[Saturday 8th December]
So then, being as it was our wedding anniversary today (we're apparently required to celebrate two a year owing to a technicality of how we got married, and the fact that it seems women want to squeeze out as many of these things as possible) we had decided to go to Cambridge. There wasn't any particular significance to Cambridge, it was just somewhere neither of us had been to before, and we'd been talking about visiting for some time now. Besides that it is less than an hour by train from London, and given that we'd already lost a big chunk of the weekend by not being organised enough to get away Friday evening, that made quite a difference.

It didn't start particularly well. There'd already been a certain degree of tension given the perceived poor planning that had gone into this weekend, and following just missing a train at King's Cross this erupted into a full blown argument on platform nine and three quarters (well, not quite, but close enough).

We spent the train journey broody and simmering. On arrival in Cambridge, around lunchtime, the weather was frankly crap. Cold, wet, and generally miserable. Again,l it didn't bode particularly well.

In an attempt to salvage a potential disaster of an anniversary, I had pushed the boat out when booking the hotel room, and went for the the most expensive room available in what I had assumed to be one of the grandest hotels in Cambridge. This building up of expectations was extremely unwise, as when we checked into our hotel the room was in fact depressingly mediocre, and most of the hotel was overrun by insurance salesman (or some equally banal types) there for their company's Christmas party.

Morale was at something of a low by this point, but despite that we bravely trudged out to see some of Cambridge. The weather was unfailingly awful throughout, but when occasionally we were able to muster a small amount of enthusiasm I suppose the sights were quite appealing. After a general meander we found ourselves walking through the grounds of King's College, which is rather impressive I suppose, and then out the other side we we stumbled upon The Rainbow Cafe. It's a fairly famous vegetarian eatery (I believe Tom has mentioned it a few times), and so despite not being particularly hungry we determined we ought to stop off for a late lunch. Chie had something vaguely Indonesian, and I had a "Latvian potato bake". I can't help but marvel at the way vegetarian cafes are so similar right across the country. They always seem to have the same sort of chairs and tables, the same sort of staff, and of course the same sorts of menus. Still, it was pretty good nonetheless.

Continuing on our aimless wander, we happened upon a pub which is allegedly the oldest in Cambridge - The Pickerel, although I have to admit I wasn't all that impressed. For anyone who knows my extreme snobbishness about pubs, I need only mention that it had a fruit machine. After this we then wandered back to the hotel for a bit of a rest, and to decide what to do with the remainder of the evening.

In the end the plan was somewhat less than ambitious. We took a wander in the direction of a cinema, thinking we might try and wile away the time with a film, but nothing really grabbed our interest. After this we did however stumbled on quite a nice little pub - a placed called St. Radegund's. It was full of character, and we enjoyed a pleasant half an hour or so in there.

By this point we were both a bit tired, and not really in the mood for eating out, so decided to just get a pizza and a bottle of wine and take it back to our mediocre hotel room. The Oddbins we went to for the wine had a very knowledgeable chap, whom to my surprise was actually able to pick me out a vegetarian wine (I only wish I could remember the name) which turned out to be pretty decent.

...and so we passed the remainder of the evening, eating pizza, drinking wine, and feeling generally a bit sorry for ourselves in our very mediocre hotel room.

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