19 August 2011

Nowheresville Nostalgia

After four years at the University of Cantab, I wanted to stay in Cambridge partly because R was going to be there doing his master's and partly because I wasn't ready for London yet and the only other place I could imagine living was Oxford, which was where I grew up. Two years later, as more of my friends gravitated London-ward, I finally took the plunge and left Cambridge behind.

I'm glad I wasn't planning to get the 21:45 then...

I don't miss the crap shopping, the lack of independent espresso bars, the fact that not much happens, the killer bikes, the killer tourists or the crap transportation (see photo). But this evening, I went back to catch up with some old friends, and I remembered that there are some things I do miss about Nowheresville (these are all from the "town" rather than "gown" perspective):
  • Spending a sunny Friday evening at one of the riverside pubs, sipping a G and T and watching the punt chaos on the Cam.
  • The Arts Picturehouse -- a lovely independent cinema -- and reasonably priced cinema tickets.
  • The prettiness of most parts of the city centre compared to London.
  • Overhearing the random chatter of overconfident, over-intelligent and over-loud people (mainly students).
  • Bumping into people you know: I was only in town for a few hours and I saw someone from my office and some guys from St Jocks'.
  • After three years in London, the Nowheresville air felt incredibly clean.
  • The almost eerie peacefulness: in the gown-dominated parts of town, like Pembroke Street, even on a summer Friday night, you can roam the streets and meet only a handful of quiet, civilised folks.
I wouldn't move back, of course, but I do feel grateful that I still have reasons to visit (one reason fewer once PhDE moves Down Under at the end of the month).

Tidying up the Mill Pond punts

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