Cambridge Journal: Day 7

First of all, this is my 101st post! The website has been going for nearly a year now, updated regularly with what I believe is interesting content. “Monty Maxwell” as a subject is pretty obscure and limited to a dedicated few, I suppose, but what the hell, I think it’s a worthwhile project.

Moving right along: Today was my first real weekend experience in Cambridge. Last Saturday (I’ve been here a week!) I was working my way through airports, riding on trains and dragging a suitcase across a town I’d never been to before. Now I can get around happily with no consternation at all, and that’s what I did today.

A lot of my classmates took off for London. Friday I believe it was just the three of us who went punting who stayed last night. I slept in very late today, having worn myself out over the last week, and enjoyed the feeling of just laying in bed for a while. I got wrong information about there being no breakfast on weekends, but it is true we don’t get dinner.

I headed out to the Games Workshop store to have a look at their Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th Edition launch party. I was told it would be a big event with a huge, all day battle going on in-store. It was less than impressive. I stopped and chatted with one of the employees for a bit, and when he inquired into my DIY Chaos Marines warband I couldn’t really describe it, so I just showed them some pictures of my models on my phone. “Now I’ve seen everything” is how one employee put it, and that made me giggle. Other than that, it was pretty much a bust. The huge battle wasn’t all that huge and the crowd was nowhere near as large as expected and it was mostly children. None of the adults I saw the other day were about, so I guess I was too early or they didn’t care to attend the opening.

After that I went to Subway, because I wanted a regular sandwich. I’ve heard other people at KU talking about how happy they were to see American fast food joints. It’s not intimidating to me to eat local food at all. In fact it’s very good. The chip shops and roach coaches sling excellent burgers, the one nice restaurant I’ve been to had good food, and there is a decent grocery store just a short walk from where I live. What was a relief was that Subway was cheaper than most places. And I do like sandwiches. But on to what you really read this blog for:

I thought it was weird that they’d name a breakfast cereal “Force”. And you can’t read it in this smaller picture, but the gentleman on the box is wearing a hat with the moniker “Sunny Jim” on it. I must try some eventually, to see what Force tastes like. It doesn’t sound appetizing, but I’m willing to have an open mind about it.

One thing I love about England is that Reggae and Ska is not weird here. It’s absolutely normal. Normal enough to have a ketchup named after it, even.

I’m fairly certain that this door leads to Cambridge Below. Trinity Hall has been remodeled all kinds of times, and weird stuff like this pops out into my consciousness every now and again. Everything is so different here that I walk by strange stuff all the time and don’t notice it until the 100th time I pass it. Like today I noticed that the hand rail to the stair on the floor below me turns back and goes into the floor. The actual stairs down are further down the hall.

I’m normally looking at cool stuff like this☝. A series of sundials, I guess, on this tower you can see from Senate House Lane. Everything about this thing is cool.

Remember when I was going on about moats and whatnot? Here is what I mean ☝. These bars with the deadly spikes, albeit pointing in the wrong way, are in the nooks of the Senate House outer wall. I guess to keep people from climbing up to the ledge where the windows are. They build the ledges wide enough to walk around on, then decide they need to protect them, so they build you a ladder to ascend to them with?

This little bit of extra defense at least makes sense. What it implies to me is that the pointy iron bars were not actually enough, really, and some determined blokes must have actually been managing them. So you add some more spikes and a Garden Weasel to the top near the wall: Bam! You’ve got yourself some bloodied up peasants who will never be trying that again, thank you very much…

Here is a very cool Catholic Church I passed on the way back from Subway. I also went into the local shopping mall after this. It’s weird because it’s not a huge building surrounded by acres and acres of parking lot. In fact it blends in pretty seamlessly to the surrounding buildings, but it’s still a three (in some places four) story building that is maybe not as long as Oak Park or Metro North, but is still a sizable shopping mall. I got a couple of nice Lonsdale shirts for the equivalent of $10 a piece. Fred Perry and Ben Sherman clothing is both abundant here, but also more expensive than mail ordering it from the States for some reason.

Oh, and there’s this:

This is in a cupboard in the kitchenette on my floor. It looks like some kind of meter for something, but I’ve no idea what.

There was a wedding going on all afternoon here, so for the better part we made ourselves scarce, also doing some grocery shopping at Sainsbury’s. Eventually we did come out and sit on the river-wall, because our rooms are hot and boring. We sat there and talked while wedding guests took turns with the college punts and mingled on Latham Lawn. Then a friend of mine let me watch last week’s episode of Doctor Who on his laptop, and then I called it a night. It remains awesome, if you were wondering, but I do miss my family and friends. Right now I’m in my room with the windows open listening to drunken locals punting on the river singing obscene drinking songs…



Filed under Cambridge Journal, Learning, Right Living

2 responses to “Cambridge Journal: Day 7

  1. Krista

    Congrats on the 101st post! I’m going to have to go count up my blog activity now. And you totally made me giggle at the Garden Weasel reference – what’s sad is I knew exactly what you were talking about and didn’t even need the link.

    I would think local food there would be pretty good. Much better than say, China . . . or Taiwan . . . basically any of the Asian countries where they they eat things I get my husband to kill after I scream at it ;). I’d be over-doing the fish and chips, I’m sure.

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