Messing About in Boats

Monday 12 December 2011

Another fun weekend that slid by just too soon. Monday is back at my door again, that unwelcome visitor come far too soon.

It didn't start in the most auspicious manner. I woke up to a cold, grey morning that didn't exactly beckon me out of bed. I'm also beginning to feel as if I'm getting ill- just that drained, sniffly, sore throat feeling that says flu is just around the corner.

Just in time for next Saturday's big Christmas night out. Typical! I've launched an immediate pre-emptive strike with vitamin c tablets and Lemsip before it has a chance to think about developing.

Anyway, I'd promised to go down and visit my friend (and former chief Bridesmaid) the lovely Lady T. She's recently moved down to Cambridge, following a really rough couple of months where her long term boyfriend dumped her completely out of the blue after five years together.

They'd had a marathon summer of attending weddings (ours being the final hurdle) and I think it had crystallised for him that he didn't want any of that. Anyway, they had to untangle their lives and possessions and T had to move out of the house.

Unbelievably, almost immediately afterwards she was also made redundant from her job as an Account Manager at a small PR firm - although that wasn't as much of a surprise, ad she knew the company had been struggling to pull in enough business.

Still, what an absolute shit storm.
My heart really goes out to her. I tried to be there for her, but she was determined to put a brave face on it all.

With no job, no home and no other half to speak of anymore, she moved down to Cambridge to stay with her half-sister and try to figure it all out. A fresh start is just what she needed, but I really selfishly miss her. All my other girlfriends seem to have moved away for work, and I sometimes feel like I have no one to spontaneously call up to go for coffee.

But you don't really get lonely when you're married- there's always someone to do things with, and I've gained two sister in law that I get on well with. But still.

Anyway, I drive down to explore T's new city. And what a beauty it is. I've never been to Cambridge before, but actually it was pretty much as I imaged- beautiful old winding streets, weeping willows and breathtaking architecture.

The day had evolved to be cold but full of perfect golden sunlight- just the ticket for wandering around and seeing everything to its best advantage.

We enjoyed sushi for lunch with a lot of catching up. Really nice as Darling Husband won't come within 20 ft of a piece of raw fish, so it's something I can only do without him. Indulged ourselves with salmon teriyaki, duck gyoza and mochi aplenty- yum yum!

Then we went for a wander around the charming shops. Cambridge seems to have a far nicer selection than Nottingham! There was a little open air arts and crafts market on in a tree-lined square, and we also visited the most amazing independent kitchen store that was a cook's dream!

The staff were lovely and spent ages taking us through the pros and cons of the espresso machine T is thinking of buying. They also had KitchenAid mixers in every colour of the rainbow- acid green, bright purple, cherry red. It's like a toy shop for adults!

On a whim, we then decided to do the ultimate touristy thing and take a punt tour of the colleges by river (hence the Wind in the Willows inspired title). We had blankets wrapped around us and got amazing views of the sun-dappled famous buildings of Trinity, King's, Clare, St John's and others- complete with very witty commentary from the student guide who led the tour.

It got us both thinking about our own uni days and how different they could have been! Suddenly, I was filled with what if visions of studying and living in one of the historic buildings, cycling through town with my wicker basket, dressed head to toe in Joules and Jack Wills. *sigh*

If I could have my time again, it would be so different. I'd throw myself into it all more, embrace the lifestyle and the experiences, instead of being full of unresolved teenage angst and self doubt! I didn't know myself then, and I made lots of misguided choices. I could do it all so much better now.

Boat trips and daydreams aside, we warmed back up afterwards with a pot of tea and a gorgeous cake at the beautiful Patisserie Valerie. What a place! Calorie counting went out the window.

It was a lovely day though, and so nice to catch up with T.

Sunday was designated Christmas day in the Frost household. Darling Husband insisted on an early start to commence the annual mission of choosing the Christmas tree. He nearly came to blows with a blonde who rudely snatched the tree we'd been eyeing up and made off with it.

But finally, the winning tree was found and we spent the rest of Sunday decorating it and baking our first batch of mince pies with Christmas songs playing in the background.

It really feels close now!

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