I spent this week in Cambridge.

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I’ve not been back to Cambridge since I went to the folk festival in 1994, where I got showered in (someone else’s) beer when the Saw Doctors came on stage and everyone cheered.  That was before I got my A-level results.  At eighteen, I was offered a place at Selwyn College to read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic with a Choral Scholarship, but I didn’t get the A-level grades that I needed so I ended up at Manchester instead.  I can honestly say that after the initial disappointment, I have never felt a moment’s regret about not getting there.  But I do have to admit that this week was a bit strange.  Life would have been very, very different if I’d gone there and not to Manchester.  For one thing, I’d have ended up as a medievalist, not an early modernist!

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But I didn’t, and I was back in Cambridge to visit some archives.  I spent a happy hour or two in the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College looking at Archbishop Parker‘s corrections to his Whole Psalter, and a day in the University Library Manuscript Room looking at some bits and pieces.  I didn’t find anything earth-shattering, I don’t think, but there were one or two useful bits and bobs.

 

 

 

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The trip was combined with a family holiday, so after my day and a half of work I was able to join my family doing a few, more touristy, things.  The weather was very, very warm, so we went swimming in the lido on Jesus Green, which was very pleasant indeed.  We went out to Wandlebury Hill Fort, Houghton Mill and Wimpole Hall, although bad planning on my part meant that the hall itself was closed on the day that we visited! The Botanic Gardens were beautiful and the children thoroughly enjoyed the activities in the explorer backpacks that they borrowed.  I think we all wished we’d had longer to spend there.

 

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