The photo shows the departures board at King’s Cross station this morning at about 9:15 am. Where were we going? To get a clue look for the 9:45 train in the second column. (Click for a larger version.) The image could be clearer, I agree.
Tigger was off on another courier run and I went with her as I always do when I can. The firm sent us the package last night at about 11 pm. The courier had a job finding us and Tigger had to go out and find him wandering about cluelessly. Obviously not a professional like us!
Our destination was a business park some way out of the town (Cambridge, if you haven’t already worked it out) and had to be there by 12 noon. As the train journey from King’s Cross to Cambridge is only 45 minutes, we took the first available train after 9:30 am so that I could get a cheap day return. We could have had breakfast at home but instead walked down to King’s Cross and had breakfast served by our old friend Genghis at the cafe near the station.
I was worried that there might be long queues for tickets so we went to the ticket office first and were served in no time at all. When the time came to board the train, they played the usual trick on us: not announcing the platform until 6 minutes before departure time. It was platform 9, which is away from the central part of the station (where you have to stand to see the board), so, as you can imagine, there was a rush to get to and onto the train. I do wish they would show more consideration to travellers who, after all, pay a lot of money for their tickets.
When we arrived at Cambridge, the sun was shining, a perfect day. It was only 10:30 so we had an hour and a half to reach our destination. We could have taken the bus, as Tigger had, as usual, done her research, but as the firm is happy to pay for a taxi, a taxi we took. By 10:53 the job was done and the day was ours!
To go back to town, we took the bus. It went by quite a circuitous way, which was good for sightseeing, but by the time we arrived, we were ready for a cup of tea. We chose a cafe (above) right beside the river with a pleasant view of ancient buildings.
Thus fortified, we went for a ramble. Cambridge is known for its ancient, beautiful and well-kept buildings with their lawns and gardens. The above view is of the gardens of St John’s College, I believe. I very much liked the way they had left areas of rough grass under the trees and beside the water full of flowers.
There is a lot of water in Cambridge. This beautifies the city and also provides a habitat for water birds. I was charmed to see lots of moorhens around St John’s, some boldly foraging on the college lawns.
People also use the water, of course. In Cambridge, a “punter” isn’t someone who bets money on racehorses but someone who goes boating in punts. This one seems perfectly dressed for the activity.
Despite the extreme variability of the weather in recent weeks, it seems that spring is definitely on the way. From the train we saw fields yellow with the flowers of oil rapeseed and in town we saw this tree in blossom in an enclosed garden, new colourful life making a poetic contrast with ancient weathered brick and stone.
Cambridge is a busy town, what with the university colleges, a lively town centre and the inevitable flocks of tourists, but there can still be found quiet corners like this one.
After lunch, the clouds gathered and rain threatened. We explored a little further and went for a circuit on the free bus. After this we decided it was time to return home. We had a good day out and can’t wait for the next courier run!
Edited 18/04/08 for error correction.