March 2020

It seems folk are still reading this rubbish. Have you nothing better to do ?

More publess travel for you, starting with a Monday afternoon trip to Cambridge to buy the essentials.

Including the new Maria McKee album.

Not my rug (it’s Maria’s)

These days I only go to town for the £5 Monday cinema at Vue (no more of that), parking in my secret free space in St Andrews Road next to the church.

Look how green central Cambridge is.

Essential Cambridge sights

The shutdown of the UK will no doubt coincide with the best Spring and early Summer of our lives (well, since 2018, anyway).

Just for Pauline, here’s some topless rowers on the Cam.

It was that warm

Never mind keeping 2 metres distance, no-one came within half a mile as I crossed the Cam to Midsummer Common and the University quarter.

Fort St George (in Englnd) looking forllorn

In 1988 I set off for Australia on a year’s travel (lasted 5 months till the money ran out).

Sis sent me a postcard showing Cambridge in the hour before the shops and universities opened.

Note the cutting-edge University gigs (all off I guess)

It almost made me feel homesick 30 years go, and I felt the same on Monday seeing it stripped of life.

Sussex St

Tatties, a renowned baked potato specialist in ’88, had no custom. But for once that wasn’t just Tatties being tatty.

The Champion never looked so inviting but unattainable. Re-reading this post from September just now made me feel weirdly nostalgic.

A Cambridge classic

I was a bit cautious about popping in Fopp, but there was no-one else about (a couple of other Dads followed my lead).

Hello there ! How are you ?” said the Fopp lady.

Well, I’ve pretty much stopped buying physical records since we got the family Spotify, but with a welcome like that I could’t NOT buy the McKee CD.

Or the Simple Minds Collection for an extra £3 “for the car”. Five points if you can guess the one that isn’t on this Best Of.

Quinno will know

I also popped in the two specialist Cambridge bookshops, Heffers and the University Press one, to try and find the Camus “Summer” I wanted for my post. No luck.

Never has it been easier to capture the majesty of the historic centre.

Lion Yard – 1970s Cambridge at its finest
Lloyds Bank

Even in January you’d be bumping into Spanish languaage students and Japanese tour groups on King’s Parade.

Now you can stand in the street outside King’s without fear of being mown down by cyclists and folk staring at mobile phones (like me, tbf).

I’d never seen Cambridge look as lovely (is that a Chris De Burgh song), or as quiet.

A University, I guess
Your actual King’s

The grasshopper working the Corpus clock seemed altogether too sinister.

Showing either enterprise, or gallows humour, Smokeworks were advertising their craft loo rolls and hand sanitiser.

Well done lads and lasses

And the really sad thing is, I couldn’t pop in and support them.

But I’ll be back. And so will Cambridge.


  1. I’d advise waiting 5 minutes after I post on Twitter to read these posts as I always tidy up after after publication, and the “a” key on my keyboard is really playing up at the moment. Perhaps Mrs RM will sort it out for me when she stops working.


  2. I nearly got to Cambridge last year but ended up looking after some hens instead and so have it on my agenda for this year.
    Now where did I put my diary ? Or has Mrs TSM hidden it ? She keeps saying it’s nor safe out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you go to Bonsall, then it’s quite likely that someone will try to sell you a chicken coop, as they did once me in the Kings, Paul.

      It might be because the World Chicken Racing Championships are held there, at the Malt Shovel, who knows?

      I wasn’t bitten by the bug, however – at least not on that occasion.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. We (me, Mudgie and some bloke called Andrew from West Suffolk) missed you last year. I’d been worried about beer quality on a Monday lunchtime but it, and the pubs (Alexandra, Free Press, Elm Tree, Champion of the Thames) were all winners in my book.


  3. Right. That’s it. Fully up-to-date at last but certainly don’t feel as of I’ve read all of them, so I shall go “back in time” & try to visit some of the 3000 (+ several since, thanks) that I’ve missed over the years. I may be some time:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d be delighted if you’d visit some of my old posts. Apparently some of the old stuff, before I sold out and took the sponsorship cash, is quite good. 😉

      I live in hope that someone one will recognise the Rye post title from 2016 as the genius it is.


      1. I’ve tried to spot a pun but nothing found 😦

        Sorry, Martin, did my best.

        My youngest has just announced that’s she’s quite happy to strand herself in Santa Barbara, meanwhile…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Etu,
        Santa Barbara was the original home town of Julie Felix who I heard after a Proper Day Out in Burton two weeks ago.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. “The Well of Low-NBSS” is genius indeed, RM. Must have missed that one first time out. Was wondering what the Rye connection was but Wiki tells me Radclyffe Hall lived there for a bit in the 1930s.


      4. Thanks TSM I knew that it rang a bell somehow, and that actually is it, even after all these years, oddly.

        Yes, youngest was doing a year there, away from her course at Glasgow University. Some of her group have headed back to Germany etc., but she’s decided to stay. I think that she’s probably right.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely photos as usual -interested in your Spotify comment -we got it at Christmas & I am now listening to a delightful “daily mix ” Lou Reed at the moment . I’ve not bought a CD since then -feel a bit bad as a lot of our Folkie favourites depend on “merch ” being sold as well as concerts (4 cancelled for us ) I feel pretty melancholy today -the lad is stuck in London & people are practically fighting over tins of beans in THe Stone. & my place of work -David Lloyd gym ,refuses to close


    1. That’s irresponsible of a gym not to close.

      Sympathies with your lad. Sure he’ll be fine. My two are away from home, Manchester and Sheffield.

      I know what you mean about supporting artists. I see it as environmentally irresponsible to buy stuff I don’t need, rather pay for gig tickets and T shirts. I’ve got 6 cancelled shows in next 2 months, mostly American artists.


      1. Most gyms are money grabbing bas*ards -rumour has it my department -the kitchen/bar will close next week apart from drinks etc but the meatheads won’t give up sweating all over the gym -many of them are dirty articles at the best of times -oh & they have been nicking the toilet paper !

        Liked by 1 person

    2. David Lloyd was a heartless bar steward when he was chairman of Hull City. No surprise he hasn’t changed. I would have thought a gym is one of the places with the highest risk of infection.

      Martin, are the public houses down there closed or are you being a responsible citizen and following the advice not to go in them. Obviously I would never condone going against advice or even entering a public house, but the two in Barton I definitely didn’t visit the other day seemed quiet enough to qualify as the perfect social distancing location. Sad times.

      I shall bung Maria Mckee into YouTube.


      1. Tom, these pubs are closed AND I won’t be going in them anyway as I do what the NHS tells me to.

        Fenland Cambridgeshire has nearly as many closed pubs as East Hull.


  5. Brings a tear to the eye. I was at Jesus from 76 to 79 and lived in Trumpington for a while a few years later. The city has changed hugely but there are some reassuring constants, not least the Champ.
    Mind how you go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My father, who passed away eighteen years ago, was at St Catherine’s College and, I’m not sure why, nothing brings tears to my eyes more than standing outside its gates.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Free parking in St Andrews Rd. Just “drove” along there on Google maps. The Oct. 2015 pic. shows a Lacons
    Brewery van parked along there !
    Speaking of Brewery vans. After I had visited Bod in Trentham I looked on Google maps to see what the premises looked like before Titanic bought it. Lo and behold there was a Titanic dray lorry at the road junction right by their future pub !


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