Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Visit to 'The Other Place' or a day out in Cambridge.

So I survived the first week in the new job. The first day was pretty disastrous as no one was expecting me at the time I was told to arrive and nothing was set up for me at my new desk. It was kind of reasuring to find the HR department was as equally incompetant as the one at my old job, I guess that's the University for you!
It took until Friday to sort me an email address, without which I couldn't really do any work. So I spent most of the week deleting records and filing.

Having said in my last post that I was surprisingly calm about leaving my old job. I was clearly in denial and it took starting the new one to bring it all home I think. I came home on Monday and bawled my eyes out. I also have dreamt of the old place every night for a week now. It will pass I know but it has made for an emotional week.
On the plus side the canteen makes delicious fresh cakes every day and the most amazing brownies, as I have little to no willpower I have been busy sampling! I also love the novelty of being able to eat and drink at my desk and go to lunch whenever I want. 


Yesterday I had the excitement of a day out in Cambridge or 'the other place' as we call it here in Oxford! I went with two friends from my old job to visit another ex-collegue Sophie who moved there in February. We met her and her lovely boyfriend Alphonso at their apartment and walked into the city centre from there, this took us past the University library first so we had to take pictures and comment upon the differences. We were all ridiculously excited by the bollards outside which are designed to look like piles of books, some of which you could spin round!  What a sad lot we are, I guess you can take the girl out of the library but not the library out of the girl!
This was our first view of the city and just the classic image of Cambridge that you see if you look it up. Kings College across the medows.
The river Cam is wider than the Thames at Oxford and they certainly made up for that difference with the amount of punts on the river. It was mental, we did go out for about half an hour as we were able to get a punt for a fiver from Alphnso's college.I all honesty it was actually a bit traumatic and not at all the relaxing experience it should be.
At one point we were hemed in on both sides and had to stop still as there was a complete bottleneck ahead. I lost count of the number of times we were rammed and we saw 3 people fall in!
There are just too many punts on the river fullstop. The ones with hired professionals belt up and down the river scaring the novices to death as they struggle along.
The saving grace of the trip was the Ben and Jerry's Punt. You could just pull alongside and buy an ice cream, strawberry shortcake for me, lovely.

In conclusion when it comes to a wonderful punting experience Oxford wins hands down!

We were able to get into King's College Cathedral and St. John's College for free thanks to Sophie and Alphonso and we were also able to go up onto the tower roof  of St John's Chapel. It was fiercy windy but there were some great views to be had.
There was a wedding on too and we shamelessly gawped and made comments about the frocks. The bride's dress was a gorgeous draped grecian style confection but dear lord some of the guests!

Out and about in the City I got to step into the doors of The Eagle which I was thrilled about. Sadly we didn't have time to stop for a drink and a good long nosey around and to be fair none of the others have my obsession with WW2 and when the American G.I's were in the U.K.

Cambridge is a beautiful city and needs more than one day to do it justice. We crammed in as much as we could and my legs are certainly aching for it today. I know I have visited it a few times before, but I was quite young. (I used to live in Cambridgeshire when my Dad was in the R.A.F and posted to a base there), but I don't really remember the city at all. We did pass the cinema which is where my Dad took us to see Star Wars and I did remember that, but that was pretty much it!

I would like to go back for a long weekend one day and do it justice. I had a lovely day out with great friends, I ate, shopped, found an elephant and got sunburnt, but it's not as nice as Oxford!

                                               A Cambridge Elephant and what a beauty he is.


  1. Sounds like an exhausting, but great day! Love the photos.
    Liz & Shortbread & Ginger

  2. Love those bollards! Those pro punters sound mental - thank heavens for Ben & Jerry's! Maybe you could do a week house & job swap with someone in one of the libraries at Cambridge - get a bit more time there - I expect HR is in a pickle there too, no-one need know! xxx

  3. Those bollards are great. I didn't know you could even get ice cream punts. Mmm, ice cream...

  4. Oh I know the feeling. I used to dream about an old job I was made redundant from. I sometimes think that I might go back and haunt it. But - there are those perks you mentioned - eating at ones desk is an amazing thing if you have not had it before! Makes you feel like a grown up!

    I LOVE Cambridge - I really must got for a visit soon :)

  5. Congrats on the new job, I think the first day has always been rubbish wherever I've been - they never seem to be prepared for new members of staff. The book bollard is something I'd like too, and I had no idea you could buy ice-cream from a punt - brilliant!