Saturday, November 20, 2004

Here Be Monsters 

Saturday, October 9, 2004

The founders of Harvard University missed a trick.
After they’d chosen a name for their university and got their letterheads and sweatshirts printed up at the local Kwik-e-Print, they had second thoughts and decided that Cambridge University would have been a better name. It would have given their establishment a certain brainy kind of feel, they thought.
Kicking themselves for this missed opportunity, they settled for naming the surrounding area Cambridge instead, and that’s where we spent our Saturday.

It’s a handsome place alright, although if they’d really wanted to mimic it’s English namesake, they should have imported a couple of thousand rusty bicycles with wicker baskets, and introduced the concept of gentlemen in stripy blazers and ladies in floaty dresses all enjoying a good punt up the Cam.

We continued our mission to loiter in every bookshop in New England (I bought this; Girlfriend bought that), and on Cambridge Common we sat in the Autumn sunshine and watched some kids playing American football, another group playing baseball, a rather fine Frisbee demonstration, and a young family entertaining themselves and us by crawling about on all fours, roaring and bumping into each other.

Three generations of the same family asked us for directions all at once. We weren’t the slightest use to them, but enjoyed the chat anyway. Grandma, the oldest and least infirm of the trio, told us how she loves to visit London and travel alone on the tube. “No, I don’t feel at all afraid," she grinned. "If I get lost I can always ask a policeman.”
We smiled and spent the afternoon in Shay’s.

In the evening by the subway a band played Sweet Home Alabama - I’m sure it was the same band we’d seen in Woodstock - and a crowd gathered round and had what seemed to be a good time.
Even the grumpy looking lad in the bandana and one of those greatcoats once popular among members of Echo And The Bunnymen, holding up a board with messages of political protest on each side looked like he was enjoying himself in his own solitary kind of way.

We took the T back to the middle of Boston and ate in a German restaurant.
I had the most peculiar meal - a landfill of deep fried pumpkin ravioli served in a reservoir of oil - which I won’t be trying again in a hurry.
Afterwards, Girlfriend handed me this photo meddling opportunity on a plate.

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