Unexpected Cambridge

I’ve been living in Cambridge for just on a year now. Here are some things I’ve discovered:

1. The wind. People do tell you about the wind, to be fair; it’s just that one can’t comprehend the sheer sideways chilling force of it until one’s been there. ‘Cambridge winds are lazy,’ says my friend Helen. ‘They can’t be bothered going around you. They just go through you.’ I understand that this has been a relatively mild winter; nonetheless, I got caught out last week and had to wait half an hour on the platform at Cambridge station without gloves. Following liberal daily applications of hand cream, my skin is just about returning to normal.

2. You start caring about the Boat Race. This was not a good year to start caring about the Boat Race. Thank goodness for University Challenge, that’s all I can say.

3. You forget all about hills. Hills? What are they again?

4. You get very good at dodging bicycles, tourists with selfie sticks, and people trying to sell you punt trips.

5. You begin to believe that every conceivable object can be transported on a bicycle. Not just the obvious things like kegs of beer or small children. I myself have brought home on the back or the front of my bike a) an orchid in a pot; b) a daylight lamp; c) a herb planter. And I know someone who used to carry a folding bike on his cargo bike, so that he could meet his partner at the station and they could cycle back together. Now that’s love.

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