Where we stayed
near Petersfield, Hampshire.
window in the Lady Chapel at Ely. I
think the chapel had stained glass windows originally, and those were
destroyed during the Reformation.
Flowers in one
of the many gardens around Ely Cathedral.
Just north of
Petersfield, Hampshire, we stayed with friends in the middle of a 1,000-acre
wood that is a private development with 32 homes built mostly in the 1920s
and 1930s. It was absolutely lovely.
We walked in those
woods one evening, and the next day our friend Judy took us to see the home of Jane Austen
where she wrote most productively. In
the evening, we had a whirlwind tour of Portsmouth
and several charming fishing villages.
That was Tom’s birthday.
our hosts were warm and welcoming, and they wanted so much to show us their
part of England. We also made friends with Kitty of Sussex,
a black stray cat who has adopted our hosts.
Saturday, we journeyed by train from Petersfield (an 800 year old market
town) to London, caught the Northern line tube
then the Picadilly tube to Kings Cross Station, where we took the train to Cambridge.
Now we are on
our own again, in a cute 1 bedroom apartment in Cambridge, just outside of the city
center. Cambridge is a bustling town, with heaps
and heaps of thriving retail shops.
They have even succeeded in building a couple enclosed shopping
centers without killing off street-level retail.
hours and hours wandering through Cambridge
and its colleges. Yesterday, we also
took in the beautiful Fitzwilliam
Museum. When you are in Cambridge, you MUST see
the Fitzwilliam. The building itself
is gorgeous, and the collections are very important. We saw only the European paintings. To do the entire museum would take all day,
at least. The café in the museum is
okay, but the menu is weird and overpriced.
Considering that admission to the museum is free, however, it was
One of the
restaurant reviewers here in Cambridge
calls this city a “dining desert.” Our
landlord, Paul, has said pretty much the same thing: that the restaurants here are expensive and
not very good. I’d have to agree with
these two “experts,” but last night we stumbled upon The Peking Restaurant on
that the reviewer and we agree is excellent.
We had hot and sour soup, mu shu pork, and szechuan pork. Madame says we should come back and have
our friends in Oxfordshire and then in Hampshire has given us a sense of what
it is like to live in England. We talked about cricket, the Royal family,
watched BBC, listened to BBC 4 radio, saw a video of Charles and Camilla’s
wedding, went to the grocery, and took long walks on the public footpaths or
in charming villages before going to a pub.
Life is good
here. I think the only reason the
English ever leave England
is because of the weather. However,
we’ve been extraordinarily fortunate to have almost entirely good weather so
far. And the heat is intense in Paris. A good time to be away from there.