I admit that I had been hesitant to visit Cambridge University, No. 1 in the world, all those other titles. This is partly because of the doubts I have over my own exam results; for they would determine my potential to apply for a place. Oh to hell with exams, I thought (and pretended) to myself. I still booked tickets to go!
The trip had its serious purposes but I couldn’t help but feel liberated. This was a first for my mother: she let me go on my own (with friends). I packed my bags without the compassionate motherly interference that I occasionally battle against. I checked the weather and packed an impermeable coat.
The morning of departure and behold, the traveller’s worst nightmare: train, cancelled! Outrageous. But as always, good things come out of an unfortunate circumstance such as this one. I started a conversation with an elderly gentleman who sat beside me on the bench. His birthday is on the 12th of July, only a day after mine; and about to reach 90 years of age!
Kept my squinting eyes on the screen; 12:00……London Kings Cross…… –
The only departure with the platform being a hyphen ‘-‘ was mine.
I looked through the automatic doors which led into the main station area and I saw: herds of people with sloping backs carrying themselves and their bags following the flow. Right, I told myself, you only have once chance. Two trainfuls of passengers, one of them already very agitated by their previous cancellation, want a seat, but you’re not going to subjected to standing in-between carriages.
So, I charged ahead and aimed to find a seat without its tuft of white label.
I found one, relaxed into the train seat which encouraged bad sitting posture and bathed in my achievement.
The following day began early and I was determined to adher to my super duper planned itinerary. Unfortunately this meant I didn’t take many photos.
At 10 o’clock I visited King’s College, arguably to most architecturally impressive building out of them all. I could have sworn that it maximised in size every time I looked away. My friend ‘Neutron’ joined me on a tour. We came to a unanimous conclusion on how we felt about it: amazing on the outside but not as much on the inside.
Then I visited Trinity College, a wealthy one and a famous one: Isaac Newton was an alumni.
The weather was awful. I decided not to take my umbrella because I felt my darling Marks & Spencer’s sun hat would be fine. (Sadly it’s gone a bit soggy and limp.)
Out of all the students, the tourguide I had for this college was extremely dull. An enthusiastic student really makes a difference to your opinion of the place. He was far too timid in his approach. Maybe he’s thoughtful?
I had lunch in a cafe opposite King’s College. Then set off to Jesus College.
Jesus College was further out of town. I think I was most impressed by what this college offered. Stunning accomodation, idyllic library (seriously heavenly building which makes me want to study in there), on-site sport’s grounds – not that I’m particularly sporty.
I then sat in a sample lecture on Linguistics.
I regret my words are dissipating. I’m boring myself in trying to compose my detailed account – that’s worrying isn’t it? so a blander note will have to suffice:
Visited King’s, Trinity, Jesus, Queen’s, Clare, (Pembroke, St. Catherine’s after closing time).
Number of feet that died: 2
Number of greasy breakfasts eaten: 2
Number of nosebleeds: 1938570486
Number of tissues used: …
Number of familiar faces spotted: 2
Number of people who recognised me but didn’t say hello: 1
Just to add, I have been reading a book called Hangover Square; and to sum up what I’ve read so far in a line, it’s about a schizophrenic who kills someone. I couldn’t sleep so I ate a chunk of cheese last night. I had a nightmare: I was a schizophrenic, the protagonist in the novel.
It was dreadful. Funny how hot milk enourages good sleep and cheese makes you freak out.
Children, do not eat cheese before going to sleep. This dairy product really induces nightmares.
Ever had a nightmare from cheese?
I’m still going to finish the book.