The COVID pandemic had put paid to many events, last year and this year. One of the annual events was the Gonville and Caius Benefactors Day. We had missed a few, not just through COVID, but also because it clashes with the Download Music Festival. This year Caius held the Day, not in June, but in September.
We decided to attend, and to stay in Cambridge for the week. We pitched up at the Cambridge Camping and Caravan site pitch in Trumpington, on Friday 10th September, leaving again on Friday 17th. Cambridge was full of graduates attending their degree ceremonies. These had been held over from 2020. There were crowds of people standing in the street outside the Senate House. Privacy seems important these days, the railings had been covered to stop people gawking at the graduates and their families on the lawn.
The Caius Benefactors Day was on a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon. We walked in early but did not have to queue, quickly finding the waiters and the wine supplies. Lunch was good. We conversed with several different people, none from my year. There was a talk from the Master, an exhibition in the library & an organ recital. A few days later we entered Caius again. Not very welcome, the porter was not keen and told us to be quick, and not to enter any buildings other than the Chapel.
During the rest of the week, we visited the Botanic Gardens on a beautiful sunny day, eating lunch at the café. Another day was spent at the Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences, and the Whipple Museum of the History of Science. Of course we had coffee at St Michael’s Cafe and some wine outside the Cambridge Wine Merchants (they sell Ricard!).
Nearer the campsite we walked over to Hobson’s Park Bird Reserve, a nature reserve surrounded by the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Addenbrookes Road and new housing in Trumpington. The bird reserve is made purposefully difficult to get near with ditches and earth works. There was a useless hide; willow trees in front were blocking any view of the birds. I think the lake was full of geese, we could hear them from the campsite, leaving and arriving at dusk and dawn.
The weather was mainly good, except for the day we travelled to Saffron Walden. That Tuesday it rained most of the day. We were soaked through waiting for the bus. Saffron Waldron had a rather deserted market, which packed up while we were there. A good Turkish lunch time meal at Meze By Night. At one stage, R thought her legs might fall off cos they were so wet & heavy. I queried whether she meant her trousers, but she said she wasn’t sure. We did manage to visit the Fry Gallery, but it was in a temporary location, so few Ravilious paintings on show. Only one, I think.