It was bound to happen. Traveling, cold weather, too many pints, and not enough runs have made friendly acquaintances of me and a bloke called influenza. Like 19th century fever and chills sick. I was shivering so badly last night I actually scratched myself in the face, and now look like I’ve been in a knife fight. Joy. Anthony Trollope once said ”When a man is ill nothing is so important to him as his own illness,” so this post is probably not going to get its due attention and will probably be filled with random mistakes brought on my too many meds and partial delirium. Hope this chilly season finds you in full health and a forgiving blog reader.
This is the only thing keeping me sitting up straight at the moment. The British version of Theraflu and Airborne.
Welcome to idyllic Cambridge where I studied many moons ago and walked the backs to dinner every day.
The history starts here at Peterhouse (appropriately said without the word “college” like some other pretentious colleges in Oxford). Apparently in 1209 students fled Oxford to Cambridge due to town riots. The Bishop of Ely needed to keep them from doing what young men are want to do, so set up the first college.
St. Johns College where William Wordsworth studied. His buddy Coleridge was nearby at Jesus College. Later both settled in the Lake District, where I unfortunately, ran out of time and funds to visit.
Trinity College: Where Isaac Newton studied and supposedly gained insight into the law of gravity under this apple tree.
Trinity is also the home of Lord Gordon Byron who in perfectly rebellious Romantic fashion took a bear as his pet when he was told he could not have a dog.
The Bear finally found at home at this pub The Mitre – hopefully not for bear baiting.
Corpus Christi College where Christopher Marlowe (Faustus) and Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) studied.
Magdalen College – the home of Samuel Pepys perfectly kept library. OCD or control freak?
I got a Pepys at the Magdalen dining hall set up for a wedding. Anyone want to lay wages whether I crashed it?
Dickens read and drank at this pub the Eagle. Apparently a woman died in a fire upstairs and to this day the window must be left open or weird supernatural things happen.
Legend has it that an old hunched back ghost haunts Silver Street, location of the Anchor Pub. I spent many o’ nights at this venue in college and can attest to some strange happenings (perhaps more Cider induced).
The Anchor is along the River Cam, great for summertime punting. Yup, did that too.
Nostalgia finds my visiting my old haunts at Gonville and Caius College
The buttery, where I’d grab an afternoon tea and scone after studying in the library.
And Heffers, my favorite bookstore hang out. Shame about the name.
Ta ta Cambridge.
On the train for a pilgrimage to Canterbury.
The city is renown for its famous Cathedral, where Thomas Becket’s murder and miracles to follow took place. Pilgrimages proliferated.
The Archbishop is the senior bishop of the Church of England. Love this pub and ale named Bishop’s Finger.
Perhaps named after Becket’s holy relic, his finger bone? Maybe the proprietor’s of this namesake will know.
The Pilgrimages here became the theme for Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
There’s a somewhat hokey museum that gives you an overview of Geoffrey Chaucer and his tales.
complete with moving mannequins, poor lighting, and odd smells.
Another noteworthy Canterburian, Christopher Marlowe.
Where the gorgeous Marlowe Theater resides.
And where I happen to have traditional Pantomime tickets thanks to family friends. Jack and the Beanstalk is literary, right?
All I’m saying is if you haven’t seen English Panto, it’s rather hard to describe. Part vaudeville, part slapstick, part musical, part audience participation.
The kids can buy outrageous light up toys to use during the show.
Intermission icream cups…
By the second half, the audience was throwing green balls on stage and singing songs. Hilarious.
And very famous cast, who took pics with family friends’ kids afterwards. Samantha Womack from EastEnders to the left and Phil Gallagher from CBeebie’s to the right.
All with the Cathedral backdrop – amazing.
Christmas Panto must mean Christmas celebration. I was fortunate enough to be invited to dinner for early festivities.
20 of us around the table…
Complete with Christmas crackers, Yorkshire Pudding…
God bless us, everyone!
Dessert minced pies…
And the traditional, lit-on-fire Christmas pudding. I’m going to attempt to make this at home for Christmas dinner myself this year.
Many many thanks for the warmth and welcome to the Grieve family Christmas! Just another reason to adore England.