Monday, July 25, 2011

Cambridge revisited

I arrived in Cambridge on Saturday afternoon and got a cab to the hotel I had booked - it turns out that with cheap hotels you get what you pay for. The room, on the third floor of a two-storey house is tiny - box-room tiny. There's a single bed along one wall with not much room to spare at the foot and the bed is against the curtains and the wall making them unclosable; the bathroom takes up most of another wall and there's a small desk filling in a third. wall. The last wall, of course has the door.

The bathroom has a teeny basin with a small cabinet above artfully placed so you hit your head with it when you are cleaning your teeth. The shower, to be honest, is quite good, lots of hot water. However the shower door is not easy to close from the inside - the result being that the bath mat, placed outside the door, gets soaked.

The desk is covered with: a small tray with the makings for (instant) coffee and tea, a kettle, a mirror and a small television - this does not leave a lot of room for anything else.

Oh, and there's a clock. A battery-powered digital alarm clock. Which beeps ...




Who has a clock that beeps on the hour? Beautiful little gilt clocks that chime delicately on the hour (and quarter and half) I can understand, but a digital clock that just ... beeps?

It took me several hours before I actually identified that it was the clock that was beeping. However it was then a very easy job to remove the batteries.


Cambridge itself has been lovely to re-visit. I have done some very long walks, yesterday spending some time along the Backs and wandering through Clare College.

On Saturday night I went in to King's College Chapel to hear the Aurora Orchestra play. They're a new group of young musicians and the program was Mozart, Mendelssohn and Beethoven, so I thought it would be nice.

They were set up in the back half of the Chapel, in front of the rood screen. However as soon as they started, with the overture to Cosí fan tutte I realised that it was totally the wrong place for an orchestra to play. The echo in the chapel is so long that any detail in the playing was completely lost. They seemed to be very good, but it was impossible to really be sure. I left at interval.

Yesterday evening I went to evensong at Great St Margaret's, which sits dwarfed opposite the magnificent King's Chapel. Being holidays the choir was made up of the "younger girls" - the youngest appeared to be around 5. But they didn't do a bad job and the congregation struggled through the hymns.

The high point of the service was the unexpected entry of a woman who announced herself during the reading of the second lesson: "How dare you!"

The elderly lady reading the lesson stopped. However the newcomer was just starting and, using colourful language, proceeded to harangue the church in general for, as far as I could work out, not allowing her to light a candle for a deceased friend. Eventually the vicar managed to carefully shepherd her out (nobody touched her at all) and shut (locked?) the door behind her.

The woman reading the lesson then continued from where she'd stopped and everything proceeded as if nothing had happened.

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Blogger Wedge said...

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11:02 pm  
Blogger Wedge said...

I love your hotel room. Reminds me so much of my travels around Japan :) though the clock that beeps hourly is a bit of a concern...

11:03 pm  

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