Bank Holiday Monday, or New Year’s Day (observed) as my diary would have it if I’d bothered to buy a diary as I have done every year for 45 years but what’s the point now ?
A visit to my parents (they’re fine, NPSS 4), and a meet-up with 3 of my favourite Germans at the Giggling Squid in central Cambridge. A chance for Mrs RM to compare upmarket Thai restaurants, and perhaps Cosmopolitans. I really should market retiredmartin.com as a lifestyle blog #YOLO #besties #Cocktails etc. etc.
Having stayed at the Premier Inn just off the A14 the week before we shifted our £39 of custom to the almost identical Travelodge in Orchard Park, a modern housing estate whose only positive feature is that it provides a lightning getaway from Cambridge in the morning.
And a stop for the guided bus into town as Mrs RM didn’t fancy the 50 minute walk.
Ten minutes later we jumped off at the Round Church, with 20 minutes till tea.
Cambridge was deserted, bereft of the Japanese and Chinese visitors that give the city life, and with the locals all avoiding the ‘rona the pubs looked very sad.
There’s hardly any GBG pubs in the centre anyway, the boozers like the one below being converted into chain burger joints.
Oh, well, there’s always Pint Shop, the upmarket craft bar for folk who find chalk boards cutting edge and think nothing of paying a fiver for a scotch egg.
I thought the beer range a little dull, but on closer inspection there’s a Polly there, and a Verdant, and the No. 7 (you MUST order by number) was tasty but over-chilled. Shoulda had the keg version.
We met up with our all-German friends, obviously they were on time, and had a meal I can only describe as “OK” at the Giggling Squid. Some wonderful staff gave us a long list of the items that were out of stock which seemed longer than the actual menu.
Still, we had a great chat about German Chancellors, and the place itself (it was Jamie’s) is gorgeous.
It was the only place we saw in town with decent trade.
At the start of the pandemic I came into Cambridge and was struck by the beauty in the emptiness.
Today I just felt sad. Even sadder when the 20:55 failed to show due to, y’know Covid, and we had to walk the 2 miles back to the Travelodge, waving to the Castle as last orders were called.
But the very next day I was out again, and things looked up almost immediately.