Monday, September 2, 2013

Positively Autumnal

We are moving from our flat to a different area of town one week from today. I'll write more on that at another time as what I want to focus on today is where we've been living, and all the things we've really come to appreciate about it.

We live on the very outskirts of Cambridge, any further away and you're really not in Cambridge anymore. We are on an island of University owned land, surrounded by laboratories, veterinary schools, farm fields, and not much else. The closest pub or grocery store is more than 1.5 miles away so we really do have to "go into town" for any services or shops. While this location has had it's drawbacks it's also had it's benefits.


  • Picture a freezing cold winter day with 20 mph winds and you're halfway through a recipe and realize you're out of something. 
  • Perhaps your friends are all gathering across town but it's pissing down rain and you've got 3 miles between you and them. 
  • When the wind blows it absolutely h-o-w-e-l-s as there's nothing to block it. 
  • We don't know a single one of our neighbors (we may be at fault for this, but other people we've met in passing have said these flats are a black hole of social interaction).
  • To go outside and see what the weather is like you have 4 flights of stairs between you and the ground floor.
  • To carry up two panniers full of groceries you've got 4 flights of stairs between you and your flat.
  • No garden to play in.

Post Cycle Home Raynaud's Flare-Up


  • An absolutely beautiful view.
  • Immediate access to countless public footpaths.
  • Peace and quiet. Except for the birds, which are straight out of a Disney movie. Just Lovely.
  • Fantastic sunrises and sunsets.
  • Even on the coldest, windiest, crappiest day, this place is snug and warm.
  • No garden to worry about. 

On my walk this morning I headed over the M11 (highway) toward my favorite place to walk, the Coton Reserve. I've mentioned this place in previous posts as well as taken a few snapshots of the landscapes out in that direction. Living out here in the sticks (literally) we have access to so many trails, hedgerows of tasty blackberries, sightings of foxes and muntjac deer and endless options of which direction to walk and explore. Today I went over a bridge that is usually too muddy to approach, but today, thanks to our long, warm, dry summer I made it across. I found many new paths, a gold-mine of ripe blackberries and a lovely community garden bursting with produce and beauty.

As I walked, I couldn't help but notice that the rays of the sun, although still warm and strong enough make my skin go all rosie, is starting to feel positively autumnal. The shadows are longer, the sun is lower in the south sky, and the leaves on some trees have gone from vibrant green to a weaker one, with hints of red and yellow lurking beneath the surface. Throughout my walk I started to feel nostalgic for Cambridge, almost missing it in advance of leaving (in two years time), and I recognized that the feeling isn't one of nostalgia, but of familiarity for what autumn looks like in this lovely town. I was remembering what it was when we arrived a year ago, and it felt familiar.

Later in the day, I rode into town wearing flip flops, jeans and a tank top. It seems like ages since I had to cycle in my stocking cap, giant black down coat and Blundstone boots (the best!). I made my rounds throughout town: £8 haircut at the Market (best deal in town!), waterproofing conditioner for our winter shoes, and Poundland for some much needed packing tape. Making my way from shop to shop, cycling through the city past the colleges and through the quiet, tiny streets of residential neighborhoods I realized how much I've grown to love Cambridge.

I think in all honesty, it's taken me a year to really appreciate living here. Sure I've been able to appreciate it's beauty before now, and there have been so many times where I have to pinch myself to recognize that this is where I truly live. This is home. But today with the warm autumn sun and cool western breeze, the church steeples, the expansive green parks, the bridges over the river, the cobblestone market square, the ducks 'laughing' outside our flat . . . this is Cambridge. My Home.

Watching the seasons and weather change from four floors up has truly been a joy. I'm going to miss living out here amongst the wheat and rapeseed fields. I'll miss the vista from our bedroom window and french doors that allow us to open the entire wall of our living room, letting the outside pour in.

I'll miss this place because it was our first home as husband and wife. For better or for worse.
D30 - you've done right by us. Thanks for keeping us warm, dry, safe and sound.

Our First Day. Sept 11, 2012


  1. Oh man, this post makes me miss you and Cambridge so much! Sending love and good packing/moving vibes.

  2. Beautiful photography. Some shots remind me of the hay field we enjoyed in Drexel. Ah, the country life!